Where were you on 420?

Only recently since I’ve worked in the cannabis industry have I become aware of the 420 “holiday” and how large a celebration it has become since cannabis is legal for recreational use here in California and in many other states. But I truly didn’t know what the meaning behind the 420 was.

So, I did some research and found out that there are a lot of theories as to why that particular number was chosen, but most of them are wrong and have been discredited. Some of those myths include:

  • That 420 is police code for possession, or maybe it’s the penal code for marijuana use.

  • There is a California Senate Bill 420 that refers to the use of medical marijuana, but the bill was named for the code, not the other way around.

Both of those are false. As far as I can tell, the phrase 420 actually was coined by a bunch of high school students. The story goes that back in 1971, a group of kids at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California had a habit of meeting at 4:20 to smoke reefer after school. Somehow, the phrase caught on—and when the Grateful Dead eventually picked it up, "420" spread through the greater community like wildfire. What began as a silly code passed between classes is now a worldwide event for smokers and legalization activists everywhere—not a bad accomplishment for a bunch of high school stoners.

Now that you the real deal about 420, here’s how I spent the day:

It was quite a jam packed day. What most impressed me, is the diversity of the people choosing to include cannabis in their lives whether it is for medicinal or recreational purposes. We have come a long way baby and it is my sincere hope that I’ll continue on my path in the every emerging legal cannabis industry. I have high hopes for my future!

The Ultimate CBD Guide, my version

The Ultimate Guide to CBD

Unless you have been living under a rock or haven’t had any access to the internet, television or your phone lately, you have definitely heard a lot about CBD and its proposed healing powers. Whether it be the traditional oil, CBD capsules, CBD bath bombs, CBD coffee or even CBD mocktails, the compound seems to be everywhere, claiming to treat a myriad of health conditions.

Why the rise in CBD popularity?  Although the medicinal use of cannabis and its compounds can be traced as far back as 2900 BC, today’s meteoric growth of the CBD industry ,  in part , can be attributed to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 13, 2018.  With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill , hemp and all of its elements, were removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Previously, officials used the CSA to control the cultivation and distribution of hemp, treating the plant and its components, including CBD, no differently than illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin. The 2018 Farm Bill removed all restrictions on production of the hemp plant, which is defined as a cannabis plant with a THC level of no more than 0.3 percent. Now, farmers are free to grow hemp and manufacturers are free to make products. Thus, today’s CBD boom was born.  

That boom will only continue to get bigger according to the analysts from Forbes, who predict the cannabis market is on its way to growing by more than 700% by the end of 2020. That being said, there is still a lot of controversy, confusion, and even stigma around the topic of CBD’s. This guide aims to clear up some of that confusion and to help you to navigate through the ever-growing number of CBD products, which are popping up everywhere you look.

First things first-Hemp vs The other Cannabis plant (Marijuana)! Very first thing first is that I am aware that I should not be mentioning marijuana in this ultimate guide to CBD for fear that you the reader may be scared off by the word. Or by the mere mention of it, somehow CBD will be confused for its evil twin and lest shed bad light on its exulted brother, CBD. However, this is my blog, no one pays me and therefore, for the sake of clarity, I do mention marijuana every now and again.

After that brief editorial, the next important thing to understand is the difference between the other cannabis plant (marijuana) and hemp.

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Fundamentally, both hemp and marijuana are the same plant: Cannabis sativa. However,  Marijuana, is the flower part of the cannabis plant, which is often smoked or otherwise used for recreation and medical consumption. Hemp, on the other hand, is also part of the cannabis plant, but it is the tough, fibrous stalk which is used for industrial uses.

The other major differences between marijuana and hemp are:

 

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  • THC Content: Marijuana has very high THC content, while hemp has a very low THC content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes people to get high.

  • Appearance: Marijuana plants are typically female and contain large budding flowers, while hemp plants are male and consist primarily of leaves and a stalk. .

  •   Growing Conditions: There is a huge difference in the way hemp and marijuana grow.  Hemp can basically grow in any climate and doesn’t require special attention. Marijuana, however, requires a carefully controlled warm and humid environment. So basically, hemp is way easier to grow and to cultivate.

  • Uses: Marijuana and hemp are used for vastly different things. Obviously, marijuana is mostly used for consumption, whether to get people high or for its medical benefits. Hemp is mostly used for industrial purposes to make building or crafting materials, fuel, clothing or more, in addition to CBD oil and CBD products.

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Now that you clearly understand the difference between Hemp and Marijuana. Let’s look at what gives the cannabis plant its “medicinal” properties, let’s  take a look at CBD’s.

What is CBD? Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a chemical extracted from the cannabis plant(from both Hemp or Marijuana). Unlike its sibling tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is  non-psychoactive and won’t get you high. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract.  CBD’s are said to give you all the health benefits from the Cannabis plant without the side effects of “getting high.”

Furthermore, industrial hemp plants usually contain only .3% THC and 99 % CBD’s. Marijuana plants, in contrast,  have  10% or more THC and  have less than 1% CBD’s.  CBD’s derived from marijuana are usually sold in licensed dispensaries and most of the CBD products that are sold over the internet and in other retail shops are derived from industrial hemp.  

 How does CBD work? The human endocannabinoid system is to thank for CBD’s health promoting properties. Unfortunately, since cannabis research was essentially banned until very recently,  that system is still largely misunderstood.  However, what we do understand about the endocannabinoid system is that it is a biological system, which plays many important roles in the human body and it seems to bring homeostasis to every part of our body

How does the endocannabinoid system work? An easy way to understand how the endocannabinoid system works is to think of it as a lock and key mechanism. The cannabinoid receptors are the locks, and the endocannabinoids are the keys. When the endocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors, they are able to produce physiological responses necessary for keeping cells alive and healthy.

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Additionally, cannabinoid receptors are found all over the body. They are everywhere – the brain, the spinal cord, the immune system, the internal organs, the peripheral nervous system, and even on the skin! In fact, the endocannabinoid system is the most widespread receptor system in the human body. The cannabinoid receptors we currently know the most about are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. But, you can be certain that there are many other cannabinoids that are yet to be discovered.

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Although receptors can be found throughout the body, the CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the central nervous system – your brain and spinal cord and CB2 receptors are predominantly found in the immune system, specifically the white blood cells. When CB1 receptors are stimulated a myriad of effects occur, regulating many physiological processes, such as sleep, memory, emotional responses, mood, appetite, temperature, among others. CB1 receptors are said to even regulate the sensation of pain. Logically, when you consider the effects of THC, it then makes sense that THC is the cannabinoid that primarily binds with CB1 receptors-resulting in what is normally called “getting high”.

 On the other hand, stimulating the CB2 receptors produces widespread anti-inflammatory effects since they are mostly located in the immune cells. CB 2 receptors mainly are bound to CBD’s and thus, give CBD’s their anti-inflammatory properties.

Through the stimulation of those receptors, CB1 and CB2,  the endocannabinoid system has been shown to regulate:

  • Gastrointestinal activity

  • Cardiovascular activity

  • Pain Perception

  • Modulation of neurotransmitter release

  • Maintenance of bone ma

  • Protection of neurons

  • Hormonal regulation

  • Metabolism control

  •   Immune function

  • Inflammatory reaction

  • Inhibition of tumor cells

To put it simply: the endocannabinoid system is our body’s system of endocannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoids that interact with them. It is a system that regulates almost every system in our bodies, bringing homeostasis to each and every system.

Since you now know how the endocannabinoid system works perhaps you can better understand the health benefits of CBD’s , which have been scientifically proven.

Health Benefits of CBD’s: While the majority of research done into the effects of CBD oil has been based on animal studies and anecdotal evidence, some pretty clear benefits have been proven through scientific research. Health Benefits such as:

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  •  Pain relief: One study found that multiple sclerosis sufferers experience increased mobility, reduced muscle spasms and reduced pain when treated with a combination of CBD and THC for one month; while another study demonstrated CBD and THC improved pain management for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

  •   Anxiety relief: Several studies have found that the use of CBD oil is helpful in reducing anxiety. A 2011 study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that when people with generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD) were given 600mg of CBD oil prior to a public speaking test. as opposed to a placebo, they experienced significantly less anxiety during their speech.

  • Control of Epilepsy: Clinical trials have found CBD to be highly effective in the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. There is also growing evidence to suggest it could help more types, although further research is needed to fully understand safe and optimal dosing.

  • Treatment of Depression: Many studies have examined CBD oil’s antidepressant-like effects. It’s also been shown to safely improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children.

Additionally,  as mentioned previously there are many anecdotal stories of people using CBD’s to successfully treat cancer, skin diseases, sleep disorders and a myriad of other physical ailments.  Hopefully with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill , the stiff regulations around cannabis research will loosen up,  so we can have more definitive research-based information on CBD’s.

Ways of consuming CBD’s: With the variety of CBD products on the market, it can be difficult to know which is right for you, and which method is the best way to consume CBD for optimal results.

Here are the five primary ways you can get CBD’s into your body:

  • Oral Ingestion: Capsules & Edibles: One of the easiest ways to consume CBD is by eating it. Many edibles come in high-CBD or even full-CBD form. You can find Hemp CBD chocolates,  gummies,  drinks and a lot more, just by googling Hemp CBD edibles  or walking into your local health food store. However, easiest is not always the best way! For you see, when CBD’s are ingested, they enter the digestive tract  and before being absorbed in the bloodstream,  they must travel through the portal vein into the liver, where they are metabolized. The result of this passage through the liver is  a reduction of the concentration of  CBD’s that can actually get into your bloodstream. One reported only a 6% bioavailability when CBD was ingested through the GI tract.   

  • ·Sublingual: Concentrates, Tinctures, Lozenges & Sprays: Sublingual administration is when an isolate, tincture, or spray is administered and absorbed under the tongue. Usually the CBD is held under the tongue for 60-90 seconds before being swallowed. When CBD oil is held under the tongue, some of the hemp extract compounds are directly absorbed into the mucous membranes. The remaining CBD’s that are swallowed, then pass through the liver as any swallowed product does. The CBD’s absorbed by the mucous membranes absorb more rapidly and effectively, reaching the bloodstream without being broken down by first pass metabolism. This method carries with it a slightly higher bioavailability than simply swallowing the CBD compounds.

  •  Inhalation: Vaporized, Smoked & Dabbed: Inhaling CBD is becoming one of the most popular methods of consuming CBD thanks to its quick time to onset and high effectiveness. Today there are a growing number of products available including CBD-specific vape products, hemp flower, and concentrates used for dabbing.

  • Inhaling CBD has up to a 5x higher bioavailability than oral ingestion thanks to the large, highly permeable surface of the interior of the lungs. Inhaling also has a consistently quick onset in only a few minutes. Inhaling CBD has a faster onset but also has a shorter period of effectiveness. Though this method of ingesting CBD’s is highly effective, it still carries the same risks associated with regular vaping and may not be suitable for all users.

    High-CBD cannabis strains – While cannabis strains are mainly used for their THC content, you can also find high-CBD strains which are ideal for medical use. You will still get high, but the high is much less intense and you also get strong medical effects of the CBD-fast. Indica cannabis strains are generally higher in CBD than sativa strains, making them ideal for medical use. Other CBD strains that are becoming more commonplace in your local dispensaries are Harlequin, Cannatonic and Canna-Tsu.

    Moreover, today you can find  100% hemp joints and hemp shatter at your local and unlicensed CBD shop. The most popular and well known being Charlotte’s Web, a strain that was cultivated to help reduce the seizures of a young girl named,  Charlotte Figi.  

  • Topical: Lotions, Balms, Salves & Patches: Administering CBD’s directly to the skin is another popular way to utilize the health promoting properties of CBD. There are a wide variety of lotions, balms, patches and salves available on the market today. These products are designed to alleviate symptoms including aches, pains and skin issues. Topicals are a viable way of getting CBD’s into your body because there are cannabinoid receptors found in the skin

  •   Suppositories: This final method is by far the least popular of all the others that were previously covered. Despite the fact that most people will not choose this route right off the bat, suppositories have been proven to be highly bioavailable and thus a highly effective means of using CBD. Using a CBD suppository has the best of both worlds when it comes to onset and length of effects. Suppositories will show noticeable effects after less than 15 minutes and the effects can last for nearly 8 hours - longer than all other forms of taking CBD.

Which one is right for you? Due to the lack of extensive research, the choice of what CBD product is right for you really depends on you and your willingness to try a couple of routes of administration and see what works for you.  Although there is not one CBD product to fit all, there are several important factors to consider when you do choose a CBD product.  

The first factor to consider is what form of CBD was used  in your product.  Most products contain one of the following forms of CBD:

  • CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is 99.9% pure CBD. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. What you’re left with is pure CBD and nothing else.

  • Full Spectrum Oil: Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains everything the plant contains. Full-spectrum CBD is full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the entourage effect. There are many who think that without the presence of even a small amount of THC, that CBD’s do not act optimally and just aren’t as effective. Of course, there are other folks that have found the results they are looking for without any THC being present in their CBD products.

  •   Broad Spectrum:Broad-spectrum CBD is a little bit of both. Broad-spectrum CBD is full-spectrum CBD without any THC. It offers all the entourage benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD, without any chances of THC being ingested into the body. Broad-spectrum CBD is an excellent choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC is their system, whether for legal purposes, passing a drug test, or anything else.

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Other important factors to consider when choosing a CBD product are:

  • Lab Analysis: Knowing the lab analysis of your CBD product is the most important thing. So, just make certain that your product is tested and that you can access the results of those tests. Lab testing is essential to ensure you are getting a pure product. Any legit company will have its batches tested by a reputable third-party lab. If they don’t respond to questions or can prove that they have been lab tested by an outside party—and tested often—keep looking.

  • Look at the ingredients of the product and what the company adds to its product, including other flavors and sweeteners.

  • How the hemp is extracted:  Hemp CBD oil is typically extracted by two methods: CO2 or ethanol. While CO2 is the more difficult extraction method of the two, it is the preferred method for those wanting a purer end product. Most CBD enthusiasts prefer the CO2 method, as it is considered the cleaner of the two, and ethanol can destroy some of the plant’s health benefits, according to this extraction guide by Project CBD.

  • Read Customer Reviews: You wouldn’t buy anything online without reading at least a few customer ratings, so why would your hemp CBD purchase be any different? Read the reviews and always ask questions, even if it means sending an email or getting on your cell.

 Which dose is right for you? CBD does not have an official serving size or  standardized dosage. Again, the lack of research and our Western medical system’s reluctance to accept cannabis as a viable option for treatment, has left us a dearth of dosing standards.  The right CBD dosage is unique to each individual. What works for one person may not be enough for another person.

So, there is no one size fits all with CBD’s  but it is always wise to start small and gradually increase your dosage, until you have achieved your desired effects.

 Fortunately, there have been  no known reports of fatal overdose from CBD or CBD oil. In fact, it appears close to impossible for someone to have a fatal overdose from CBD. According to the National Cancer Institute “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids cannot occur.” So, if too large of a dosage is ingested, the excess CBD’s that are not utilized will be excreted in your urine.  The bottom line is that if you take too much, you’ll just be wasting the CBD’s in your products. You are not going to overdose!

Is CBD Legal? The 2018 Farm Bill legalized a lot of CBD, but not all of it. Most importantly, it redefined what hemp and hemp products are by federal law. Hemp is legally defined as a cannabis plant or part of the cannabis plant that has a THC concentration “of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”  If the THC concentration is higher, however, then it’s classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. That means the US Drug Enforcement Administration believes it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other than the 0.3 percent THC rule, there’s one other major stipulation as to whether a certain CBD product is federally legal: It has to be derived from hemp grown by a licensed business that is approved by the federal and state government. The marijuana plant itself is now legal in 30 states plus Washington D.C. for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, it is federally illegal, so in theory, the government could decide to arrest everyone who sells or possesses weed.

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One last question that many CBD users have asked is whether it is legal to fly with CBD products. The answer to that question is also not cut and dry.  The TSA currently doesn’t  have an explicit  stance on CBD, except that “you should not carry marijuana nor marijuana infused products because they are federally illegal.” That TSA statement continues on to say “however TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis-infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”  Translation-TSA is not looking to bust you for your edibles and vape pens. They are however asking you to be a reasonable and prudent traveler, if and when you travel with your CBD products.

What’s the future of CBD? Even though there are some murky legal issues surrounding the legality of CBD’s, the CBD market is thriving. Now that it is freed from the legal red tape, it can be expected to become one of the fastest growing markets on earth! 

Hemp farmers have begun planting as much hemp as possible because demand is only expected  to escalate! The hundreds of thousands of people, who  wanted to try CBD’s but were afraid of prosecutions are now free to do so. Now, with the legalization of hemp, there is nothing stopping anyone who want to try CBD’s as an alternative treatment modality for their health conditions. And, therefore, the sky seems to be the limit for the sales of CBD products. The future of the hemp industry looks very bright indeed and  you can bet that you will continue to see CBD’s make their way into your day through web and at your local hang outs and coffee shops too. Good thing that you know now the real deal about CBD’s.  

 

Keywords: CBD, Benefit, Element, Cannabidiol, Health, Non-Psychoactive, Cannabis Smoke

 

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice! The Winter Solstice for us in the Northern Hemisphere marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. It is a time that we all enter into a new direction of energy and start moving towards a phase of completion. It is at this time that we begin wrapping up the year and start reflecting on the lessons that the cycle of this year has brought us. It is the beginning of an energy shift for all of us.

Spiritually, the Winter Solstice is said to be about “honoring both light and dark”. It is said to be a time to go within, reflect and to honor the darkness so that you can know that light will return, once again. It is a time for you to see the duality of life and that in truth, everything is one and the same. In truth you cannot perceive light unless you have seen the darkness; you cannot understand summer unless you have seen the winter. Both of those concepts need one another to be real, to exist. The Solstice teaches us that no matter how dark the night, the light will always return. And no matter how light the day, the darkness will always return. We live in a world where we can be happy one moment and sad the next. In an instant, your life can change. In a moment, everything can change!

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This Winter Solstice allow yourself to see that in truth we come into this human life to suffer, to thrive, to find joy, and to find pain. We come to experience it all because we know it is what makes us whole. This Winter Solstice honor the cycles of nature, of life. Honor both sides of yourself-the light and the dark. Begin to the understand that it is not about how often you venture into the darkness or into the light, but how you allow these states to move you, to change you, to soften you, and to awaken you to wholeness, to the love, which resides within and all around you, and me.



It's back and everything is backward!

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Mercury goes retrograde for the last time in 2018 tomorrow until December 8th in the signs of Sagittarius and Scorpio. Mercury retrograde often gets a bad wrap and is blamed for causing delays, miscommunications, and mishaps. While Mercury Retrograde can cause things to go haywire for a period, it is important to look at these moments as powerful messengers rather than annoyances.

Mercury is the planet associated with communication, and it is his divine mission to take messages from the gods and higher realms and to deliver them to earth so, we can become wiser and more attuned to our highest purpose and destiny. As the messenger of the gods, when Mercury is in retrograde, it is even more important to stop, look, and listen to what areas your life are being stirred.

The interesting thing about this November-December Mercury retrograde period and what makes it so pertinent, is that it happens a few hours after Venus moves out of retrograde. Venus retrograde reminded us of how we treated our romantic partners and friends in the past and how those past experiences may have bled into our current relationships. For many of us, it has been a period of hard-learned, sometimes painfully slow lessons, but one that ultimately will make all of us more caring and considerate lovers — to our partners and to ourselves. I revisited almost every significant relationship in my life so far and learned so much about myself and my relationships.

Tomorrow, we move into another retrograde teaching us more about ourselves. Although it may be a bit unnerving, in fact you can ease out of Venus retrograde and into Mercury retrograde by keeping one thing in mind: patience. Just about every planetary retrograde is associated with delays and holdups in one area of our live or another. Your challenge is to keep your life on track even with all those astrological roadblocks in place.

So, when Venus goes direct tomorrow transfer the open-mindedness, patience and self-restraint that you've (hopefully) been showing all your relationships for the past six weeks to your every day interactions. You've been practicing it for the last six weeks, so you should have your retrograde coping strategies down pat. And if you're still feeling uneasy at the thought of another Mercury retrograde, just remember to breathe — and read every text and every email twice before hitting "send."

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For most of 2018, we have had many pivotal planets in retrograde and that energy has created a stop-and-go type of year. You may have even felt held back, delayed, or sluggish when it comes to getting ahead or trying to make plans. While you may feel thwarted and frustrated on the outside, on the inside you (and me) have actually been very busy clearing out and letting go of old outdated beliefs, uncovering wounds, mending heartaches, and tuning into the softer, stiller voice of our hearts. Although you may feel that not much has changed on an external level, on an internal level it is likely that you have been doing a lot of growing, changing and transforming.

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As we prepare to wrap up 2018, since Mercury goes retrograde right after Venus, it seems like a clear sign that we all have a little more growing to do. Uggh! Mercury wants us to dive in, uncover more from the depths of our soul, to clear away more of our past and begin to really question our path and progress forward. The Universe really wants you to be certain of how you are moving ahead, and what you are giving our energy to. The Universe wants you to pause and get really be clear on what your path ahead may be.

This is not to say that you need to have it all figured out, but what these retrogrades have been doing is helping you and me to pause, and really think about what is important to us. They have been guiding us to take it slow and to question our actions rather than just forging ahead on autopilot.

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By pausing, taking things slow, and not rushing ahead, you will be more open to hearing the path that our soul is calling to you. You will also be more open to receiving signs, clues, and guidance from the Universe. Ultimately, this Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to start new things, but, it is a good time to go back over things, it is a good time to revisit the past, it is a good time to question your actions and motives moving forward, and it is a good time to dig into your soul and work out how you are communicating with yourself, with others, and the world.

Because Mercury is the planet of communication, this Mercury retrograde will give you the opportunity to improve how you communicate your message, your energy, and your vibrations into the world. It also will show us, collectively, that we are all responsible for creating life on this earth and that our collective vibrations shape the entire planet. It will show us that it is ultimately our responsibility to take charge of our vibrations and ensure they are harmonious, loving, supportive, and authentic to who we really are. Use this last retrograde of 2018 as a time of self-exploration, and a time to pause and breathe before you and I welcome in the new energies of 2019!

What's in a Name?

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What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare.

As I sat down to write my weekly “cannabis strains of the week”, I started to think about all the times that I purchased a strain that had a name that “inferred” that it would be like a sativa strain and yet, upon consuming it, I was knocked out and locked into the couch.

Moreover, I have found out the name of a cannabis strain can in fact be misleading and sometimes just plain wrong. Here are some other reasons why cannabis strain names are not as helpful as some may think:

  • Cannabis quality varies widely depending on the cultivator and garden environment

  • A particular strain at one dispensary may look completely different at another dispensary

  • Cannabis strain fraud still occurs in the industry, albeit less than in the past since cannabis is fairly highly regulated here in California.

  • Industry regulations require testing labeling, but not accurate strain labeling

  • Many strain names are being banned, with Oregon being a great example

  • Cannabis strain names do not convey potency levels.

Just because a strain name is on the jar on the shelf at one place doesn't mean that the terpene profile, potency, look, taste, and cannabinoid levels will be the same at other dispensaries, even though it's all the same strain name. This can create challenges for anyone, including myself, who needs or desires a consistent effect. I like almost everyone else gets side swiped by a mislabeled strain, although it happens less and less with all the California regulations.

What is a better way to classify cannabis than by strain name?

As time goes by, a heavier focus will be put on other attributes of cannabis products, ones that are more reliable and a better indicator of quality than strain names.

The measurement of two other attributes are based much more on science, and less on subjective measurements. They are:

  1. Cannabinoid testing result levels.

  2. Terpene profiles: Terpenes are what give cannabis its smell, and each terpene is associated with certain effects and wellness benefits. So, terpenes do much more than give cannabis it’s smell, they also modulate the effects of THC and CBD’s.

    Therefore, it is the amount of each particular terpene present in a given harvest, combined with quantity of cannabinoids present in a strain that provide a much more reliable way for consumers to know what to expect from what they are purchasing.

  3. Not only will strain names matter less as time goes by as terpene profiles become more common, indica and sativa designations will become less relied upon over time. The two category indica/sativa system is very broad, and in reality, many strains are just a hybrid strain-a combination of two opposing strains.

Here are two strains that I purchased this weekend-Chronic Narnia and Fruity Knockout- both strain names prove my point about names being unreliable about the effects and flavors of a cannabis strain. Upon researching Chronic Narnia, I found conflicting information. Some websites said that it was a sativa leaning hybrid. Other websites, describe it as a rare indica strain. Oddly enough, for me this strain started as a sativa but finished up like an indica. Not a strain I recommend partaking in all day or you may end up on your couch pondering the legends of Narnia.

Fruity Knockout on the other hand, was described as a sativa leaning hybrid on several of the websites that I searched. And yet, it turned out that upon consuming this strain it was a heavy handed indica and just like it’s name, it knocked me out!

Ultimately cannabis strain names are just fun and sometimes even funny! They probably will never entirely go away in the cannabis world, but they will be less relied upon as cannabis science continues to evolve and more about the plant is known. So the moral of this story is that never just a book by its cover and never choose your weed strain just by its name!



Blue Dreamin' and I am thinking you ...

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Today we are in the dark of the moon, the time right before a new moon, which is said to be a time of great introspection and of letting go.  The letting go part is so you and I can make room for new things, new people, and new strains.  I however have chosen to take a look at one of the first strains that I consumed during my re-entry into the world of cannabis-Blue Dream!

Ironically, although I have written about every other strain under the sun, I have been remiss by not researching, revisiting and re-acquainting myself with what I came to consider a strain that had become passe. But, upon revisiting this strain, I take back my strain snobbery and sing the praises of it.  And yes, I recognize that there are many, many interpretations of Blue Dream as there are cultivators. That being said, here's a bit of background on how Blue Dream came to its current popularity.

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 What Is Blue Dream?

The Blue Dream strain is a sativa hybrid strain, with a 60% sativa and 40% indica genetic makeup. Although Blue Dream expresses a higher percentage of sativa phenotypes, on occasion it is possible to obtain a round that is more characteristic of an indica strain. Most of the time, however,  that situation is uncommon, and more often than not, this strain's effect will be uplifting and energizing.  Blue Dream’s existence arises from the joining of two delicious and fragrant strains, Blueberry, an indica and Haze, a sativa.  Its origins root back to California, where the blueberry sweetness of this strain seems all too reminiscent and fitting with our sunny and golden state, leaving everyone, not only Californians, California dreaming and wanting plenty more.

Here in San Diego, the Blue Dream strain is a common household name among medical patients and cannabis-lovers alike. This strain is Ideal for novices who are just dipping their feet into the world of medical cannabis, or those consumers, who are considered themselves to be connoisseurs because the effects of Blue Dream are incredibly balance although they can differ depending on who and where the strain was grown. 

Blue Dream Effects

Blue Dream is said to have a variety of effects, making it a versatile and easily lovable strain. Typically, it leaves its consumer with an uplifted, happy and relaxed feeling, paired often with a euphoria that is not only creative, but also energizing. Although the Blue Dream strain is a hybrid, it makes an extraordinary day-time strain, great for a before work smoke to center and prepare you for your long day ahead. You can also sneak a smoke at lunch to re-energize and re-uplift you; it works even better than a mid-day cup of coffee! Blue Dream, however, probably isn’t a good option if you are trying to fall asleep late at night, but if you’re planning on going out for the evening to chill out with friends or to party, then this should be your go-to strain.

Blue Dream Aroma, Flavor and Appearance

Blue Dream is partially popularly recognized for its unique and unexpected flavor and aroma. It’s aroma is berryish and always makes me feel happy. That being said, it’s flavor is sharp and earthy, citrus and sometimes even grape with floral notes; expressing a harmonious balance of qualities from both its parents, Blueberry and Haze.

Appearance wise, Blue Dream is rich-green, sometimes sage colored buds, with yellow and orange pistils and frosty, completely-coated-in-THC trichomes. Of course, since there are many interpretations of Blue Dream, you strain may look somewhat different. The water leaves of Blue Dream range from orange to brown to dark green in color, depending on the specific subspecies of Blue Dream you are cultivating, and the conditions in which your crop is grown.

Medical Benefits of Blue Dream

Because of its wide variety of effects, Blue Dream weed is suitable for assisting to heal a number of medical ailments, conditions and symptoms. Overall, Blue Dream is considered most suitable for helping with those who are suffering from mental disorders, such as stress and depression, as well as physical impairments, such as chronic pain, headaches and different levels of fatigue. Blue Dream strain is considered an especially uplifting and energizing marijuana strain, so for those who are finding themselves regularly exhausted, worried or upset, Blue Dream is likely a wonderful solution. Overall, Blue Dream takes care of almost anything that ails you, including the blues.

Finally, Blue Dream has made it back to my weed rotation list And I highly suggest that you make it one of your go-to strains too. It is an almost perfect strain whether you are up for a relaxing; need some motivation for some heavy head work or you just want to chill out, then this strain is for you. This hybrid strain seems to make the day’s endless list of things to do seem much more attainable. The effects generated from Blue Dream are typically long lasting, euphoric, and can be full-bodied depending on the cut of Blue Dream you have.

Considered a personal favorite of most patients I speak to, Blue Dream is definitely a medical marijuana strain that is sure to grow in popularity for years to come. I bet you can find it out a dispensary near you.

New Moon

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New moons are a time for planting seeds, both literally and metaphorically. But before you get your gardening gloves on, it’s always good idea to put some thought into what you want to plant and why. After all, we reap what we sow and this idea is especially important to remember during this September 2018 new moon in Virgo, which is all about purity not in a sexual sense, but in the sense of maintaining personal integrity and keeping intentions pure.

Furthermore, what really matters to Virgo is service and this September new moon invites you to be of greater service to others by honing your craft or learning some useful new skills. The more practical, the better! And for health-conscious Virgo, nothing could be more practical than caring for the body, mind, and spirit.  However, this is not just about nursing others back to health and becoming the caretaker of the world. Instead,  Virgo can help teach you that you are able to serve a lot more effectively when you take time to practice self-care. Another words-you cannot help another, without helping yourself first! 

And yes, “practice makes perfect” at this new moon. But in your quest for perfection, do not focus so much on the flaws that you miss out on the bigger picture. Don't get caught up in “analysis paralysis". Virgo energy is best expressed by simplifying things, not complicating them.

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So when you  are planting your own seeds during this new moon, it’s important to make sure the intentions behind them line up with your highest values and ideals. Sometimes, the gap between who you are and who you would like to be can feel painfully wide at times, but there is always something you can do to narrow it.  The trick to to not become overwhelmed by what your mind perceives to be impossible or improbable and just to take things one small step at a time—an approach that comes naturally to thoughtful, meticulous Virgo.

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Every new moon you and I have another opportunity to begin again with clear intentions for what we want our future to look like. On this new moon, allow yourself to be inspired by the possibilities and just let go of what is weighing you down.  Let go of the fear! Let go of the old; let go of your past and release all that no longer serves you.  And, let love, joy and peace guide you as you walk your authentic path in alignment with love and your highest good.  Listen to your intuition and follow your heart, not your mind.  You will not be lead astray! So much good awaits you, set your intentions today!

 

 

 

 

Grounded in gratitude

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Life is a series of phases, of changes and new chapters that ultimately shape and create our lives. With each change and new phase comes a time of transition — a time of unrest, general questioning and discomfort.

However, as jarring as the feeling of not being settled may be, the fact remains that growth doesn’t come from a place of comfort. Those rocky transitions can leave you feeling stripped of familiar comforts in the face of unexpected challenges. It can make you question your abilities. And, that is where I found myself yesterday-wanting to fall back on my old patterns but hearing my intuition telling me that I now know a better way of dealing with stress and challenges.

In fact, the entire month of August certainly showed me and you our shadows; how we keep ourselves limited through false beliefs and destructive behavior patterns and how we give away our power to people, places and things . So, as we end this month of transition and "growing pains", take a moment to reflect on how much you've learned and how the Eclipse season shifted your perception of your life.  Even if you are still fighting some demons, recognize that you have learned so much about boundaries, self respect, creativity and what is truly in your heart.

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Today, take time to consciously ground yourself in gratitude. Be grateful for it all! Be grateful that you are making positive changes in your life, even if you aren't perfect, yet. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else because "comparison is the thief of joy.” . Not only is comparison the thief of joy, but also of gratitude. Today, let yourself be-be loved, be understood,be enough, just be grateful! You are becoming the best version of yourself!

Just for today, I look at all the positive things in my life and I am grateful for them all. All of my needs are being taken care of, for which I am grateful. I accept my good with joy and pleasure. I am centered and focused and feel more secure each day. I am grateful. And so it is.

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Retrogrades and eclipses-oh my!

We're just a few days away from our THIRD eclipse in a row, and as of tomorrow we'll have six planets in retrograde!  A planet is said to be in retrograde, when the vantage point of Earth, it appears to be spinning backward. But, what is really happening is that the Earth is completing its orbit around the Sun faster than other planets outside its orbit. Periodically, the Earth will outpace the other planets—and that’s when retrograde mayhem breaks loose.

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Much like a speeding car or train passing a slower one, the planet that’s being passed will appear to stop and move backward—which is the apparent retrograde period. Then, once the Earth completely passes this planet in its orbit, the motion appears normal again, and the planet is said to be “direct” or “prograde” (to use the scientific term). Chances are, you’ve been in a vehicle that felt like it was moving in reverse when it was passed, so you know the feeling!

Each retrograde cycle has a “shadow period”—the awkward adjustment of the retrograde planet from apparent backward to forward motion…and vice-versa. For that reason, you may feel the stirrings of a retrograde cycle for several days, even weeks, before it officially begins.

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While retrograde planets are just an illusion, astrology followers or spiritually sensitive folks can attest to experiencing their effects. The areas that a retrograde planet rules can become weak, challenging or troublesome during this cycle.

Since all planets go retrograde periodically, it is important to embrace these inevitable cycles as a fact of life, and an opportunity to build character. As the Buddha said, “No mud, no lotus.” Sometimes, it takes a challenge for us to develop the inner strength and self-knowledge we need to evolve as humans.

That being said, eclipses and retrogrades are the Universe's way for you to go deep within to tune into your intuition, and reclaim your truth.  You can use this intense healing energy to move your life forward, and let go of the people, places, things, beliefs and habits that no longer serve you.

During retrogrades, the most  paramount thing to do is to SLOW DOWN. If you want to make any changes in your life, it's vital to transform your life from the inside out. To begin to listen to that small still voice that is within all of us, which we usually ignore and which leads us into "struggles".

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So, instead of hiding in your house or spending this entire month whining about how tough you have it, why not instead  make the most of these retrograde energies and focus on the  RE words-Revisit your intentions and revise your goals;  Remember what makes you happy and do more of that; Release yourself from relationships and circumstances that no longer benefit you and most importantly Reconnect with your soul which wants to help you know what your next steps are on this incredibly amazing journey that you and I are both privileged to be on together.

Listen to that small still voice within you; Be willing to let go without struggle or suffering and trust that you are always divinely guided and protected!

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It's always about YOU!!

For the past months, I've watched the women around me try to fill their emptiness within themselves with new romances, new relationships. Despite them being in true self crisis, they still look for another being to heal that part that keeps them feeling alone and in despair, even when they eventually are partnered up.  Somehow they believe although they are lonely, depressed and withdrawn, that they will be able to find Mr. Nice.  Alas, the law of attraction tells us otherwise.  You will attract what you give out. 

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It is so exasperating to watch someone grasp onto the idea that a "man" will be the solution to all their current perceived problems.  Despite being morbidly depressed, they search endlessly for someone to help them forget about how frightened they are in their own life. They choose to give away their power to what they describe as a "nice guy", when  they truly have no idea what a nice guy is.  Their definition of "nice" is that the guy wants to be with them. It does not matter who or what he is because in truth, those women are incapable of being a part of a real relationship, since they refuse to even look at the relationship that they have with themselves. 

It breaks my heart to witness one of those women, who was clearly suicidal a few month ago,   instantly change into a happy camper when a "nice" guy looked her way.  All is well until this nice guy, who can't possibly really be nice since he is just reflecting her fear, insecurity and self loathing, walks away because he was never really into her, which she choose to remain blind to. I've watched really smart women choose to remain blind to most of the truths in their lives. They frequently are awakened by the truth. Never understanding why the people around kill themselves, "hide" from their negativity, treat them like shit and always have the same experience where they just don't see "it" coming.  The truth is they just don't want to see the truth.  The truth that these women just have decided to give their power and their life to a man, in order to feel alive. They take no notice of anything or anyone else but their man. Until....

My friends refuse to listen.  They are convinced that their happiness is dependent on being with someone. They will not listen to the fact that they need to be happy within themselves and then, they will find a truly authentic Mr. "Nice".  It is frustrating to watch what happens when Mr. Nice suddenly reverts into a jerk. Then, those women  will return to their cocoon of despair, blaming the world and even god for their pain and suffering. Always with the refrain that it was "complicated".  And that my friends is bullshit.

I write this blog knowing that the ladies who need to read this will never read it!  But, by some chance, someone who has come under the same spell that a man or woman can bring you happiness, will read this blog and awaken to the fact that no one can bring you true happiness but YOU.  Accept that fact and reclaim your power.  You can because I did. 

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I must let these people go.  It is my journey to heal all those who are in my presence.  However, many of those people do not want to be healed or helped.  I send blessings to the women who haven't learned their value and may never. Today, accept your life as it is. Accept that you always have a choose.  Choose to love yourself and then you'll find the real Mr. Nice, right in front of you, right inside of you.

 

Transform your fate into destiny

It's a Full Moon tomorrow and I'm sure you can feel the intensity of the energies.

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Tomorrow's Full Moon is in Capricorn - this is the sign that encourages you to build your dreams step by step, even when it feels like you are climbing a steep mountain. You must have patience and perseverance. It's not a time to give up on yourself! Rather, it's a time to remember that your dreams are worth the effort and that YOU are truly the creator of your life's journey.

Many people use the words fate and destiny interchangeably. Yet, they are very different. Fate is what occurs if you let life happen to you. Life deals you a hand and you can accept those circumstances as seemingly inevitable. Destiny is choosing to be a deliberate creator of your life, fulfilling your potential for greatness. If fate is the hand you are dealt, destiny is how you play it.

Fate is your karma. Destiny is your dharma.

You make choices every day. You can choose to live by the rules you were taught, or you can choose to do what's truly in your heart. It's up to you!  Today, focus on what you want your future to look like;  let go of all the stuff that's holding you back and keeping you stuck. Then, move forward with love in your heart.  Create the life you desire!

Gracefully let go!

As I have aged, I have come to learn that setbacks and disappointments are all part of life! Things that once seemed to be a perfect fit in my life, no longer feel that way and the goals, which I dreamed of accomplishing seem to not matter at all, replaced by new visions for my future.  It seems as if suddenly I find myself completely changed-feeling a stranger in my own life. Not recognizing nor relating to the "old" people in my life but not having anything to replace them with.

That feeling disconnected spans from my job to my friends. Sometimes it is hard for us to admit when we've grown apart from someone, especially if that person once fit perfectly into our lives.  This person could be anyone-a friend, your family, or your past co-workers. I have tried to think my way out of my present uneasy feelings.  But, the Universe would not let me.  Each and every person has shown me, who they are-suffering, narcissistic and broken.  They all secretly wanted me to save their souls, while they continued to let their ego run their lives, remaining empty and unfulfilled.  They take and then they are so shocked when the faucet of compassion is turned off.  One thing they all have in common is that they all only took from me, never capable of returning any of my compassion.  I gave my power to each and every one of them.   I choose all those people so that I could learn to love and respect myself more! To learn how to stick up for myself and to stand in my own power. 

Perhaps, you too are living in the same present day "uncomfortable fit" that I am experiencing.  If so, know that this uncertainty is caused by Life itself. Life changes us, if we let it. We can certainly fight it or we can let go gracefully to make room for people, places and things that are more in alignment with who we are right now. 

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And, that is the key to all of this.  We only truly live in a sequence of present moments.  The past is done. The old thinking is done.  And, now it's time, as always to begin again.  To listen more closely to your heart and to tightly hold onto to your power.

Recently, I've done a series of letting go of childhood trauma.  Trauma that since no one ever believed me, I buried deep within myself. It has now been uncovered, recognized and released.  I have been released to love and honor myself for the person I have become and for the person who I am becoming.  I encourage each and every person, to stop fighting to stay the way you were and embrace the new. 

Be willing to let go of all the things that do not serve you to create space for better things to enter your life. Express gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life and for all the wonderful things that are coming to you. Sit back and watch the beautiful un-foldment of your life with joy and delight. This is the only real moment and YOU are exactly who you were meant to be. Let go!

 

Be willing!

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama

Last week we collectively were awakened by the suicides of two famous and wealthy celebrities, which most of us never knew but nonetheless were floored by their self-destructive actions. It was inconceivable that these seemingly blessed people still couldn't find peace in their lives. Even more incredible is the stories that we created around each of those senseless deaths just to make ourselves feel better.  

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Both suicides were senseless to me and made me more aware of how much struggling and suffering there is on this blessed planet of ours.  I've heard this week over and over how hard life is and how everyone is "trying". In fact, they are not trying, they are either doing or not doing.  Trying is when you struggle and suffer because you are truly unwilling to change.  So by saying I'm trying, you give yourself an out just in case you fail.  In fact, you are probably doing, just not up to your expectations or the expectations of others. 

What I also realized is that pretty much all of our struggles, from frustrations to anxiety, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry, all stem from the same thing …

The struggles come from being too tightly attached to something.

When we’re worried, we are tightly attached to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting whatever might happen when we put forth our best effort. When we’re frustrated with someone, it’s because we’re attached to how we want them to be, rather than accepting them as the wonderfully flawed human they are. When we procrastinate, we are attached to things being easy and comfortable (like distractions) rather than accepting that to do something important, we have to push into discomfort. In trying to hold on to what’s familiar, we limit our ability to experience joy in the present.

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Moreover, it seems as if we pin our happiness to people, circumstances, and things and then hold onto them for dear life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. Then we melt into grief when something changes—a lay off, a breakup, or the awakening to a friendship that never was. An awakening to how we gave so much of our power over to people, places and things that in reality meant nothing and who never had the capability to give us what we wanted. 

When you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important— letting go is letting happiness in.

I recognize that it is not so simple to let go of attachment. It is not a one-time decision, like pulling off a band-aid. Instead, it’s a day-to-day, moment-to-moment commitment that involves changing the way you experience and interact with everything you instinctively want to grasp.

Today, accept the moment for what it is and let NOW be enough. Become your own best friend. It is difficult to let  go of people,  when you depend on them for your sense of worth. Believe you’re worthy whether someone else tells you or not. This way, you relate to people, not just how they make you feel about yourself.

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Finally, experience, appreciate, enjoy, and let go to welcome new and wonderful experiences and people. You are enough and it's time to let go of all the people, places and things that you no longer need. It's time to welcome in the new you who you are becoming. 

Can the can't!

I've spent the last couple weeks listening to the words spoken by the people around me.   And, it struck me how much self-limiting and negative words, which routinely people used to talk about their lives.  The most glaring one was "I can't".  Yesterday, I heard a very capable women say over and over again that she "can't help" being afraid of heights, of birds, of weird looking fruit" among the many other things that she'd decided that she just couldn't face or deal with.  

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What was troubling to me was that this woman is a psychotherapist, working with eating disorder and deeply and profoundly damaged people, usually other women. She looked way older than her age. She looked as if she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.  She, of course, was unaware of how haggard and broken she looked or how sad she sounded each and every time she approached anything that might be out of her comfort zone, repeating the same refrain-I can't...I can't...I can't!  Imagine that this broken woman is treating other broken people...thus perpetuating the same cycle that we are victims of our experiences.  I have a long history with "therapy" in my past so I know how common it is to have broken people go into mental health to try to fix themselves. They are usually as sick or sicker than the patients, who they are treating. They perpetuate pathology through their version of helping.

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I gave up "talk" therapy a long time ago, after spending too much time lying to my therapists and almost going broke while I remained broken. I am here to tell you today that you are not a victim of your life circumstances!

  I am certain that you are now arguing with me that I could not possibly understand how hard your life is or has been; how much you suffer and how uniquely challenged you are....the most challenged of anyone you know. You may even trump everyone with your suffering by adding addiction, alcoholism and a hefty dose of self pity-all conditions that you have mastered and you alone suffer, no one has it as hard as you do!  I have listened to a litany of why people suffer.  The one thing, I haven't have heard is how they, in reality, have created all their own suffering from the start.  

Today, wipe the word can't out of your vocabulary! Begin to say I choose, I chose to and I am choosing to.... Begin to hear how your words limit your experiences.  Do not become your pathology.  If you have a chronic disease, do not become your disease.  Do not become attached to your suffering and let it define who you are.  Focusing on everything that is wrong with you life, over and over again on social media, by repeating your old stories does not make anything better .  You are more than your illness, disability or past history.   You always have a choice and you are not your disease nor are you defined by the tragedies in your life.

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Step out of your comfort zone of getting your needs met by getting sick, having accidents, struggling with physical or emotional illnesses or holding onto limiting beliefs? You are a blessed child of God and you deserve more.  Cut yourself a break and cut out the word can't from your life! 

Girls Scout Cookies never tasted this good!

Some weeks, a good weed strain story can be the force that gets you through! This week was one of those weeks and the weed story that I'm fixin' to tell is about a strain that outshines all strains in the world of cannabis and has parented countless offspring.  That strain is Girl Scout Cookies

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Girl Scout is a hybrid strain that is said to be a blend of OG Kush x Durban Poison, or OG Kush x Cherry Pie (GDP x Durban Poison). But in truth, after researching this strain, the real lineage of this strain is really unknown, according to it's creator Jigga, the legendary breeder behind Girl Scout Cookies. The only certainty is it was bred in San Francisco, California, sometime in the last couple of years; perhaps 2011 or 2012. The strain was developed by a Nor-Cal group of associates known simply as the Cookie Family. From there, different phenotypes have been distributed throughout the United States.  Some of its notable offspring include Gelato and Sherbet – as well as all the offshoots like Thin Mint or crosses like Blueberry and Strawberry Cookies.

Girl Scout Cookies was the parent of at least four of the last strains that I consumed so, I'd say it made it's way onto my hit parade.  Those strains included Sugar Cookies, a heavy indica strain, Sunset sherbert a happy, balanced hybrid, Grape Cookies, a really aromatic, tasty indica hybrid, Birthday Cake and Wedding Cake, both balanced and happy hybrids and the list could go on and on. 

So what makes this strain so popular is that it is a beautiful, relaxing and tasty strain that no matter what you pair it with the hybrid turns out bright and happy.  Cheers to the Jigga and now I'm told to Berner, the rapper, who is fabled to have taken the Girl Scout Cookies strain to the next level.  Whoever created it and then lovingly crafted it, has my gratitude.  This week their skill made even the most tedious of times seem tolerable.  It is my hope that you found something or someone that shone the light in your life to remind you that Life loves you and gives you everything you need to get through too!

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Pink April Full Moon

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Anais Nin

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Last night was the April Pink Full Moon, called the "Pink" Full Moon. It is called a Pink Full Moon because of the many spring blossoms opening up during the time of this Full Moon. As in the theme of April's showers brings May flowers, it’s time to for you to connect to this powerful activation for April, opening you up for the transformations to come in May. 

Not only are the flowers emerging, but so is love! Love is the emerging energy, which wants to express through you and your life. Anything that has felt hidden, unseen, unknown, fuzzy, held back and stuck is now making a massive long-lasting shift. It is a shift for showing up, being seen, and being known. 

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 Now is the time to shine your light within and to stop comparing yourself and your life with everyone around you!  Now is the time to stop playing it safe. Do not shy away from opportunities to connect, grow, and try something new. Put yourself out there and you'll learn more about yourself!Now is the time for letting your protective layers dissolve into the light. Let the promise of something fresh and new blossom in your life.  Spring has sprung and if you let it, so is your soul ready to soar! 

Happiness is an inside job!

Rarely do I awaken with "fire in my belly", which begs me to write.  This morning is one of those mornings! I've been wrestling with letting go of people, place, things and habits that no longer serve any purpose in my life.   Wrestling is the key word in that sentence.  My ego has been working overtime replaying its favorite re-frames and tempting me to look outside for my happiness.

This morning it became crystal clear to me, that my true happiness will never be found outside myself. No amount of substances, friends, lovers or work will fill the void that I often feel when I become disconnected to my inner voice/self. And so, I surrendered this morning to my higher self that knows all.  Most of all that knows what is right for me, today in this moment.

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Today, is a day of discernment for me and for you.  I encourage you to begin to look within, to listen to that small still voice that implores you to stop "trying" and begin to do.  To forgive and to let go of your struggling, wondering and worrying. You always have everything you need to know if you allow yourself to quiet your mind and open your heart.

I say farewell to the people, places and things that I have known all along serve no purpose but, somehow for some reason I gave my power to them.  Now, I let go and LISTEN!

Just for today, I trust my inner wisdom.  I listen with love to my inner voice and when I do, I hear all the answers to all the questions I shall ever ask.

I move through life knowing I am divinely guided, protected and loved.  And so it is.

A day for forgiveness

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Today is a day for forgiveness! My numerology friends tell me that 4-18-18, holds double 18 energy and the number 18 is considered the most sacred number in the Kabbalah. It's a number that denotes tuning into your soul and letting go of whatever ego fears you have. I can't think of a better way of spending a day than by releasing everything that is keeping my life small! I can't think of a better way to spend my day forgiving everyone for everything, including myself for all past perceived wrongs and in the process freeing myself!

So,  I  started my day asking myself "what or who are you still holding onto because you perceive that you’ve been wronged?" And, you know what, it seems as if I've been holding onto people, places and things from my way past and some from my more recent past.

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I work on letting go on a routine basis. So, it took me by surprise how much resentment that still remains within me.  It showed me again how important it is to forgive!  To forgive because no matter how justified I feel I am in my righteous indignation, no matter what “they” did, if I insist on holding on to the past, then I will never be free. Ironically, what I am actually forgiving is that those people, places and things just weren't what I wanted them to be.  That was a major revelation.  I created the illusions and then my illusions let me down! With that revelation, I was able to easily let go and I now feel so free.

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I encourage you to join me and free yourself by consciously forgiving yourself and everyone else, who surely taught you some very valuable lessons.  Lessons that have helped you grow and change in an absolutely perfect way.

Through forgiveness, you and I will be able to let go of whatever ego fears and resentments, which in reality are weighing us down and keeping us stuck in the past.  Forgive and set yourself free! 

Clearing up the confusion about Cannabis, Cannabinoids, CBD's & THC?

If you haven't heard yet, my new gig is selling CBD products manufactured by a local, San Diego company, called Pure Ratios.  And, before I go any further, it's important that you know the difference between Hemp and Marijuana. 

Although Hemp and Marijuana come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa, their effects and medical conditions that they treat are very different.  Cannabis sativa  can contain a wide spectrum of cannabinoid concentrations, including wide ranging compositions of THC and CBD.  However, there are many practical differences between hemp and marijuana, and clear lines drawn between the two.

Difference between hemp vs Marijuana

In practical use, “hemp” is the term used to describe the food and fiber variety of the cannabis plant, and “marijuana” is cannabis that’s grown to enhance the chemicals that make you feel high or stoned.

Cannabis Sativa has both male and female plants. When growing marijuana, male plants are removed and only female plants are cultivated. This is because when cannabis is fertilized, it lowers the concentration of THC–the main chemical that gets you high. Thanks to selective breeding over many years, ideal concentrations of THC in marijuana range from 10% to as much as 30%. 

Marijuana is usually grown indoors so that conditions can be monitored very closely. Marijuana is encouraged to become short and bushy and grow lots of flowers. That’s because THC is concentrated mostly in the trichomes — little resin-filled glands — on the flowers of the plant. Although you can find THC throughout cannabis, it is the flowers or “buds” that are harvested for recreational marijuana.

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Hemp, on the other hand, is as close as you can get to how cannabis grows naturally. Hemp is grown all over the world for food, oil, and fiber — so, the whole plant can be used, not just the flowers. With the hemp type of cannabis, male and female plants are sown very closely together, allowing for easy wind pollination and easily crowding out weeds. This results in very tall, hardy plants with less branching that look very different from the short, bushy marijuana plants.

Another key difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp naturally has almost no THC. Its flowers must contain just 0.3% THC — which is 33 times less than the least potent marijuana. Meaning, it’s impossible to get high from hemp, although many people have tried! Hemp also has more CBD than THC naturally, making it an ideal source of CBD from cannabis and one of the reasons why hemp oil is the preferred source of natural CBD for thousands of people.

Cannabinoids

CBD and THC are the two most abundant of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. They both interact with the endocannabinoid system but elicit different natural effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most prominent cannabinoids found in Cannabis, the plant genus that includes both hemp and marijuana. While there are over 100 different cannabinoids so far identified in cannabis by scientists, CBD and THC are by far the most extensively studied and best understood.

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CBD and THC both interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a vital signaling system responsible for regulating a wide array of functions, some of which include:

  • Pain
  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Immune response
  • Sleep
  • Cycles of cellular life and death

Their chemical makeups are similar to the body’s own endocannabinoids, which allows them to interact with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors to alter the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

 Major Differences between THC and CBD: 

Despite their similarities, CBD and THC have distinct differences that influence how they interact with the endocannabinoid system and subsequently the natural effects they elicit.

Psychoactive Vs. Non-Psychoactive:  One of the key differences between CBD and THC is whether the cannabinoid will cause a euphoric effect, or “high,” when consumed.

THC is the cannabinoid people think of when they think of marijuana. It is a direct agonist of the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1), found primarily in the brain and the central nervous system. The psychoactive effect that most associate with recreational or medical marijuana use is exclusively brought about by activating CB1receptors.

CBD doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors and is actually is considered an antagonist of CB1agonists. This not only means that CBD can never cause a high, no matter how much is consumed, but that it also acts to suppress the CB1-activating qualities of compounds like THC.

Now that I've cleared up all the confusion, you can now share your new found clarity and knowledge with your friends and family.  For it is only through education will we be able to start to incorporate the magical and medical properties of Cannabis and let go of all the fear and ignorance that currently surrounds it.   It's time that we all change, heal and move forward! 

 

 

Up in smoke...

If you've been keeping up with my adventures then you may have noticed that smoke has figured  heavily into many aspects of my life. Today, it's once again all about the smoke. However, this time it's all about the stuff that has gone up in smoke!

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Mercury retrograde began a couple of days ago and I'm feeling the cosmic effects.  Mercury retrograde energy slows us down and helps us re-evaluate every aspect of our lives.  It also causes computers to crash, people to show their true selves and communication mix-ups.  That all being said, the retrograde energies have awakened to people, places and things again that truly were not serving me in any way, even if I made up reasons why they somehow serve some purpose. 

Once again, I awoken to things that I KNEW were not in alignment with my purpose.  In fact, sucked up my energies and exposed me to negativity and drama which I no longer allow in my life.  So, as quickly as I awoke, so did my illusions go up in smoke.  Again and again, I am given experiences that are intended to teach me how to trust my intuition.  At the risk of sounding repetitive,  I am always guided and protected, all I need to do is actually listen and act. 

I think that perhaps life is about the repetitiveness and whether you repeat love and joy or repeat fear, anger and disillusionment.  If you repeat the latter then that's exactly what you will find in your life.  I plan to replace disappointment, anger and fear with the joy of knowing that I have learned so many lessons from all my frolics with smoke, which have all gone up in smoke. 

Today, I let go of all the people, places and things that taught me so much-the main lesson being that you always have everything within yourself-all knowledge, understanding and love.  Listen, act and trust.  Know that you are always divinely protected, guided and loved, just like me!

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Wishing that this retrograde helps you to re-evaluate, revision and reboot your life.  You always have the power to recreate your life, take the leap and the net will appear!