Athletes and Cannabis: A Mini Blog Series

Danielle: Reaching New Heights

 

In a place buffered by mountains, ocean, and redwood forests, Humboldt County caters to athletes of all kinds. As part of this mini blog series, we decided that we wanted to talk to strong women in our area who mesh cannabis and athleticism. The first strong woman who we had the pleasure of chatting with was Danielle.

Danielle is a climber, dancer, performer, and all-around-badass chick. When we sat down together at Far North Climbing Gym in Arcata, California, Danielle was eager to tell us about her latest activities, experiences as an athlete, and wisdom for living.

She shared: “I like to do a lot of things. I kind of consider myself a little bit like an octopus where I have, you know, all my tentacles going all at once. Sometimes I take breaks from one tentacle and focus on another one, but I always make my way back.”

About Danielle

Danielle grew up on a dance company, dancing 40 hours a week and then traveling on the weekends to compete. Looking back on that time, she realized that she was on a full-blown athletic training program without even realizing it. These days she rock climbs, teaches pole dancing, focuses on music production and performance, and teaches at a preschool. She mixes dance, martial arts training, and her climbing in all that she does. She also uses cannabis.

We asked Danielle about the forms of cannabis that she uses, to which she replied: “Everything. I love that plant so much. It’s awesome.”

For many people the integration of cannabis with athletic performance might seem counterintuitive, but Danielle shared tremendous insight on the topic.

“Take rock climbing for example,” she offered. “When I would go to the climbing gym without using cannabis, before I discovered it as a useful tool in that way, I feel like I just worked myself really hard and just got really frustrated with myself a lot. I was just being kind of mean to myself in the way that I was learning. After I discovered how to use it before going in [to the gym], I’m now a lot more patient with myself and remember that I’m doing this for fun, and to make my body feel good… and not hurt it and demean it. So, that’s how it really helped me.”

Training

Many times physical athleticism is the primary focus of a training regiment, but Danielle spoke at length about the mental benefits she receives from cannabis and how taking care of your mental space is as important as training physically. In fact, through her experiences, mental exploration has allowed further insight into her physical condition. Utilizing meditation and cannabis has allowed Danielle to acutely tune in to her body’s needs.

“I feel like I can really zoom into my body a lot more clearly than I used to. And I think a lot of that has to do with how I do a lot of vipassana meditation or I apply that into my meditation. And, that’s all about body scans. When I give myself cannabis, then I can just zoom in and as I’m doing those body scans it’s easier for me to find out where there’s tension or misalignments and be able to figure out how to fix it.”

Stereotypes

Stereotypes of cannabis paint it as a substance that impairs brain functions, but Danielle described using it as a means to heighten her awareness. She countered, “Cannabis is an amazing tool when it comes to meditation. And sure, we can definitely get into that close state of mind without cannabis, but sometimes it also helps you skip a few steps. It’s like, alright, I know how to do that and fight off all of those thoughts, or I can just take a little hit and then see where it takes me.”climbing danielle

Danielle’s experience with cannabis has helped her as an athlete and performer. Despite her personal success, many people remain wary of cannabis as a tool. No matter what way you experiment with cannabis, Danielle recommends “starting out with some really good guidance. Make sure when you’re going to experiment with it that you’re around people that make you feel safe, so you can explore safely.”

When we asked her if anything has surprised her about her journey with cannabis, Danielle replied:

“It surprised me how good of a person I’m capable of being. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to tap into that without cannabis–in all honesty. It helped me chill out, because I used to be really hard on myself about everything. That plant gave me the opportunity to chill and listen to myself. And, to see that, hey, I am a good person.”

As a piece of parting wisdom she stated, “Remind yourself that everything is good, everything is chill. Remind yourself of that whether you’re stoned or not stoned.”

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Clark and Even More

Holiday Herbs: Cannabis Politics Around the Holidays

The holidays are a time for meals, festivities, and gatherings of family and friends. These times which inspire conversations around the turkey or menorah (or however you choose to celebrate the winter holidays) are also notorious for bringing together different views and politics.

For those who use cannabis products for medicinal purposes, perhaps this choice doesn’t quite fit at the table with the mashed potatoes and the gravy. For those of us with leanings towards the leafy green medicine, the stigmatization of cannabis can be a hard topic to digest. So, here’s our outlet: Let’s talk about politics – cannabis politics.

 

Cannabis politics…is cannabis really still political?

With different states taking new positions on cannabis use and its subsequent regulation, medicinal products are still broadly discussed. While using Tylenol or Advil might not seem like a political move, the preference of cannabis and hemp derived products over pharmaceuticals is still subject to strong political and social beliefs.

Though some communities or regions of the United States might experience cannabis use as regularly and freely as alcohol consumption, the days of cannabis prohibition are still very much reflected in the lives of cannabis consumers, medicinal or otherwise.

So, while the politics of cannabis might seem more mainstream than previous years, the debate can still mean challenging terrain for the medicinal user in different social settings.

 

How does this stigma affect medicinal patients?

For those who use cannabis medicinally, one of the hardest things might be the secretiveness and the seclusion surrounding your medicine. This guilt and even shame, of pursuing a medicine that doesn’t fit with the family’s traditions, can be a challenge.

While there might not be any easy way to navigate this, perhaps family time is actually the perfect space for feeling proud of the medicine you use and the way your life has been affected.

Most of the stigmas surrounding cannabis are based on historical fanaticism that has long been disproven. However, the same arguments continue to be recycled year after year. Finding out what concerns people have about cannabis might create inroads for productive conversation. You never know when someone might start coming around to cannabis.

So, maybe 2018 is the year to start talking politics – cannabis politics. At the very least, you can take comfort in the fact that many people are struggling with the same awkward conversations!

 

How can you identify a cannabis sympathizer?

Anyone can be a cannabis sympathizer and respect the benefits of medicinal products. Here’s a funny story: My conservative mother, who is also interested in herbal remedies (you know, lemon balm and St. John’s wort) found herself in need of some alternative healing solutions. A quick search for herbal stores online provided her with a list of businesses in her area. (You can see where this is going.) She headed to the first one on her list and bumbled into the small establishment. As she entered the shop, she quickly noticed that this wasn’t like any herbal store she had ever been in. She was immediately embarrassed – it was a dispensary!

What a trip for a conservative mom! But, to her credit, she did conclude her story with a statement about how she has observed cannabis products helping people with serious cancers and ailments. When she spoke of cannabis helping people, it was my turn to be shocked. I couldn’t be hearing this from my mom!

 

Pass the cannabis, I mean the candy canes!

Cannabis might be a challenging topic to breach with your conservative relative across the dinner table, but the use of cannabis products does still challenge people’s opinions and beliefs.

The political nature of the plant has not been discarded with recreational legalization in a select number of states, nor with medicinal provisions for patients. But, things are changing. Perhaps you found yourself recommending cannabis products to a friend or relative this holiday season. Or, maybe you had a relative reach out to you about your experience with CBD solutions. Respecting each other’s beliefs about cannabis might mean treading lightly around the topic, if you get there at all.

From my family’s dinner table, it seems that my mom’s experience in a dispensary might be one small step toward normalizing the presence of medicinal cannabis in our community. Maybe next year she will be educating others about its effects – who knows?

However your family celebrates and medicates, the personal journeys we are on with cannabis will continue into the new year. Take strength in the fact that many of us are having awkward conversations about cannabis, but inevitably cannabis heals!

 

Happy holidays!



Nicola Walters is a freelance writer and website developer for Humboldt Harvest. She spends her time hiking, climbing, and teaching, and as an advocate for cannabis education.

 

Caveman Loved CBDs: Fusing the Paleo Diet with CBD Products

What would a caveman or cavewoman really eat? For those embarking on a Paleo diet, this is the central question. The motivation for pondering such a question comes from the desire to simplify our diets and to eat foods that are unprocessed, unaltered, and good for our bodies.

Now, not everyone needs to follow a strict Paleo-style diet – we get that these are very personal choices about food consumption. However, we want to share why we choose Paleo recipes for our CBD products to create winning combinations for everyone.

Paleo what?

The Paleolithic “Paleo” diet is based on the caveman principle: “If the cavemen didn’t eat it then you shouldn’t either.”* This focus on the eating practices of our ancestors was popularized by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book, The Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet embraces foods that would have been available to people during Paleolithic times – developing a menu around foods that can be foraged for, hunted, or gathered. Anything else – not an option. While our creative imaginations might be able to conjure up images of cave people gathering sticks of butter and picking candy bars off of trees – the Paleo diet is based on what would have actually occurred. This means sculpting your diet around nuts, seeds, meats, fish, leafy greens, and other regionally available and unprocessed foods.

How does Humboldt Harvest follow the Paleo diet?

At Humboldt Harvest, we call our edible products “foodicinals” for a variety of reasons, but in large part because of our belief that food is medicine. Our recipes always include the most nutritious ingredients and are prepared in alignment with the Paleo diet. This means that instead of relying on ingredients such as refined sugar, we honor the ingredients of our ancestors and use maple syrup and honey – sweeteners that are found in nature.

Coconut, almond flour, and fresh berries are just a few of the delectable ingredients used to create our foodicinals. We always strive for happy taste buds, healthy bodies, and healing benefits. As it turns out, Paleo eating is not only nutritious, but delicious! You can find out more about our ingredients here.

What would cavemen say about CBDs?

The history of the cannabis plant spans back as far as the Paleolithic era – 10,000 years ago. While uses of the plant have changed and evolved since that time, both fiber and flower have offered benefits to humans for thousands of years. Combining CBD oil with our Paleo recipes comes from the motivation to find our road to health through nature. Supercharging Paleo foods with CBDs means faster physical recovery, improved body care, and a reliance on natural remedies – that’s something we think the cavemen would have supported!

At Humboldt Harvest, we believe that health starts with wholesome ingredients – just like the Paleo philosophy. Our award-winning treats are a fusion of historical food knowledge and contemporary solutions for wellness. Find out more about the healing benefits of CBDs here and enjoy your adventure to wellness.

 

* This simplified description of the Paleo diet was offered by Jim White, R.D., a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association.

Sources:

  1. Abel, Ernest L. Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years. Plenum Pr., 1980.
  2. https://elixinol.com/blog/paleo-loves-cbd/
  3. http://thepaleodiet.com/

First-Time CBD Use: Cannabis Stigmas and the Actual Experience of a First-Time CBD User


When thinking about cannabis, D.A.R.E.’s “This is Your Brain on Drugs” ad campaign and pictures of the leafy green plant are fused into one questionable image.
As someone who grew up hearing about the dangers of smoking weed, I began to wonder how cannabis could offer medicinal benefits when it seemed as though people were hell-bent on keeping the stuff out of my hands.

The stigmas surrounding cannabis have contributed to ambiguity in the realm of…well all things associated with the plant. Is it really the devil’s lettuce? Can it really aid in reducing anxiety and stress? Where is the line between recreational and medicinal?

First-time users have these types of questions swirling in their heads as they try to sort out the science from the stigma, the medicine from the drug. With all of this uncertainty, the process of trying CBD products can feel overwhelming. What will I feel? Will this work for me? It it worth trying when I can just stick to something from a regular pharmacy?

While each person’s path towards health and wellness is unique, there are some important things to know about CBD use. It is my hope that by sharing my own personal experiences, I can help others sift through the herbal smoke cloud and get closer to finding healing clarity.

 

From recreational to medicinal…

In the past, smoking cannabis that was high in CBD and low in THC didn’t really make a lot of sense. As a recreational smoker, I was searching for the “high” feeling and wasn’t so concerned with the medicinal benefits. Getting to know the science of cannabis, I learned that CBD and THC are chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers. They provide relief for a variety of physical symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. However they have distinct differences. While THC creates a “high” feeling, CBD is non psychoactive. This means if you try a product or strain of cannabis that is high in CBD and low in THC, you get the medicinal benefits without feeling an intoxicated mental state. You can read more about cannabinoids here

I had never needed to prioritize the medicinal benefits of cannabis until events in my life highlighted my daily anxiety and stress. I realized that I had been self-medicating with cannabis for years and that cannabis with higher CBD content might offer further relief. On my own path towards wellness, my relationship with the plant was shifting and I found myself trying CBD edibles, tinctures, and topical products.

 

So, what’s a CBD experience really like?

I talked with my friends about our first time smoking cannabis that was high in CBD and low in THC. One person shared that it was a little disappointing. They wondered, “Wasn’t I supposed to feel something? Instead of feeling high or stoned…I felt nothing. Was it actually working?”

I knew that CBD is non psychoactive, but from my THC history I realized that this was a whole new genre of cannabis – one that differed tremendously from the D.A.R.E campaigns and apple pipes of my past. I packed a pipe with CBD-rich cannabis, lit the bowl, and took a couple of hits. After fifteen minutes, I hadn’t noticed a difference and so I look a couple more hits from my pipe. I waited another fifteen minutes and began to feel the calming effects. I realized then that I had to experiment with what worked best for my body to find my appropriate dosage.

My first time trying a tincture, I was surprised by how light and tasty it was. It didn’t taste like medicine. The tincture was high in CBD and made me feel relaxed, at ease, and less anxious. Experimenting with tinctures and edibles, I continue to adapt my dosage based on what works for me and it helps me with my anxiety, stress, sleep, pain, and inflammation. Feelings of calm have replaced feelings of being high and I have been happy to find medicine that helps me find peace, naturally.

 

The perceptions are disjointed.

While my own personal experience has shifted the way I understand cannabis, I also think about how others perceive it. I have many friends who have explored the benefits of CBD products and have experienced life-changing benefits. Those who were living with chronic pain have found relief. Those who were anxious and stressed are relaxed. And, those who relied on handfuls of pharmaceuticals have replaced drugs with herbal tinctures. It has been inspiring to witness, so why the continued stigma?

When I tell people that the cannabis I count on is non psychoactive, I think people are still skeptical. It’s as if they believe that hippies are exploiting a loophole to justify cannabis consumption. (Non psychoactive? Please!) National campaigns and tough-on-drugs policies have created their own version of paranoia that continues to encircle the cannabis industry. On one side, people imagine cops interrogating marijuana-toking hippies in VW buses. On the other side, doctors and scientists continue to test the effects of cannabis and plant medicine, emboldening newcomers to enter cannabis clinics in pursuit of relief.

 

Choosing CBD products

So, the terrain around cannabis is still unclear. But for CBD users, the non-intoxicating benefits of the plant offer a lot of promise. Just like any other medicine, the proper dosage depends on you and your needs. Medicating with CBD products has positively affected my life and I’m happy to hear others share their experiences. As more and more people turn to plant medicine to enrich their lives, the face of treatment is changing; the future of cannabis embraces freedom, not fear. While this transition is ripe with paradox and individual adaptation, today I celebrate, “This is my brain on CBD.”

 

 

Nicola Walters is a freelance writer and website developer for Humboldt Harvest. She spends her time hiking, climbing, and teaching, and as an advocate for cannabis education.

 

11 Tips For Managing Pain & Anxiety

If you struggle with chronic pain or anxiety, or know someone who does, you can attest to the impact both pain and anxiety can have on a person’s life. Frequently, pain and anxiety are linked; people who struggle with pain are more likely to experience anxiety and those who struggle with anxiety are more likely to experience pain. However, each person’s experience is unique and therefore the ways that they choose to manage their pain, anxiety, or both, has to be tailored to each person and situation.

Managing Pain and Anxiety

At Humboldt Harvest, we know that the path to wellness is personal and part of our mission is to help you on your journey. We hope this list of tips and techniques will provide you with proactive methods that are effective for you. What works for others may work for you, but you may also find yourself using different techniques in different combinations.

1. Deep breathing and meditation.

Using breathing techniques and meditation can help reduce tension in the body. Learning to take slow breaths – breathing in and releasing the breath slowly – can help relax your muscles and lessen times of pain or anxiety. Learning about meditation can be a tool for long-term wellness. It allows you to center or ground yourself during times of struggle.

meditation pose

While meditation classes are available, at the heart of meditation is repetition. Find a quiet place and body position. Many times this will be a seated position on a mat or in a chair. You can begin by holding a word or “mantra” in your head while you focus on your breath. Having a word or phrase in your head helps you to reduce distracting thoughts from entering your head. Focus on your mantra, breathe in, breathe out, and repeat.

2. Apply heat. 

Sometimes pain can be lessened by using a heat pad on various parts of the body. Heat heals by increasing blood flow, bringing additional oxygen and nutrients to an injured area. Similarly, hot baths can also soothe the body and be a great space for breathing, aromatherapy, and relaxation.

3. Exercise.

Sometimes physical movement may be out of the question, but other times exercise can be a perfect way to help you to tap into natural endorphins and reduce pain or anxiety. Endorphins also block pain receptors, so if you have the ability to exercise you may be able to alleviate some of the pain you are experiencing.

Learning about your body and what is within your limits is part of learning to live with pain or anxiety. Starting small with a walk or a short yoga routine can be a way to start integrating exercise into your life. What’s important is that you do what feels comfortable for you and you listen to the needs of your body before, during, and after exercise.  yoga pose

4. Quit alcohol and cigarettes.

While alcohol or smoking may be a way for people to distract themselves from pain or anxiety, both alcohol and smoking can make both issues worse. When it comes to pain and anxiety, getting the sleep that you need can already be a problem. Drinking alcohol makes sleep less fulfilling and irregular. It can also cause inflammation, further intensifying pain and the associated anxiety. Cutting back on alcohol or removing it from your lifestyle can improve your sleep and quality of life.

Smoking cigarettes may distract you from pain temporarily, but in the long run cigarettes worsen chronic pain. Not only can cigarettes create health conditions which result in chronic pain, but smoking also intensifies pain sensitivity and makes it harder to cope with the pain the body is already feeling. Finding natural ways to manage pain and anxiety will break the uncomfortable cycle caused by drinking and smoking.

5. Meet others living with chronic pain.

While chronic pain can seem alienating, many people are living with pain all around us. It can be hard to put yourself out there to discuss the struggle you are living with, but sometimes it can create community. Meeting with a healthcare professional can expand your knowledge of available resources and can connect you with support groups or other people who can help.

Finding friends or people living near you who manage pain and anxiety can make the journey seem more manageable. Also, you can learn their techniques for coping. Even speaking with our friends about this post allowed us to learn new ways of managing pain and anxiety in our lives. Reach out — you never know who you can help or who will help you.

6. Track your activities and pain level every day.

Learning about your pain and your body will help you find out what feels right. Keeping a journal about your activities and pain can help you to get to know your patterns and can be a resource when visiting your doctor. Writing in a journal can demonstrate how you are learning to cope with your pain and anxiety. Plus, journaling is a great therapeutic tool for decreasing stress and anxiety in your life.

7. Use massage.

Getting a massage can be a wonderful way of caring for and relaxing your body. Some healthcare plans will cover body work, so see what benefits you can receive. Learning self massage techniques can make it easier for you to access the healing benefits. If you are experiencing a migraine or headache, learning to rub or roll your muscles can release the tension being held in your body. Here is a list of pressure points for reducing this kind of pain.

In addition to learning about your muscles and how to self massage, there are a lot of great tools available – foam rollers, massage canes, and massage balls/tennis balls are all great ways of assisting self massage.

8. Eat a healthy diet.salad photo

Food is medicine. The nutrients we put into our bodies have a direct result on how we behave and feel. Eating a healthy diet is an important way of caring for yourself and can lessen pain and anxiety in your body.

9. Drink a cup of tea.

Drinking a cup of non caffeinated tea is a simple way of reducing stress and anxiety. With your hands wrapped around a mug of steamy tea, breathing in the herbal smells, a cup of tea is aromatic, calming, and hydrating. Discover how tea can reduce anxiety and create a soothing routine in your life.

10. Reduce stress and act on your passion.

In many cases stress intensifies chronic pain. If you are experiencing tension in your life, it can easily increase the anxiety or pain that you are feeling. By exploring ways to reduce stress, you can help yourself manage the physical and mental symptoms. Give yourself permission to do the things that you enjoy. Living a life of passion instead of feeling constrained by stress is another way to break the cycle.

11. Explore CBD tinctures.

The stigmas around cannabis might prevent someone from trying a tincture, but medicinal cannabis is becoming increasingly popular. Because CBD products offer benefits without making people feel high or “stoned,” more people are exploring their uses. The CBDs and terpenes in our products work as sleep aids and reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Finding a formula and dosage that works for you can assist you on your path to wellness. Seeing the medicinal benefits of CBDs and terpenes is why we at Humboldt Harvest do what we do. Find out more about harvest science.

Hiking Mount Shasta With Tincture Power

Sometimes we need a little help to get up the mountain.

Carved into Mount Shasta, a towering peak in Northern California, Helen Lake is a sight to see. Standing at 10,400 feet above sea level, the alpine lake takes an adventurous spirit to reach. Climbing through the snowfields takes courage and endurance, and guess what helps? A cannabis tincture.a tincture in snow

Tincture Power

Our 2:1 Wellbeing tincture helps ease the physical pain and it relaxes the mind, because the number one rule when adventuring is – “Don’t freak out.” Mountaineer tested, mountaineer approved. The 2:1 Wellbeing tincture helps you maintain your cool even in the most challenging environments.

Please Use Responsibly

For all of our tinctures, please use wisely. First, start with small doses in a comfortable setting — to understand how it affects you — before consuming during more risky situations. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. That’s the way to wellness!

Emerald Magazine’s Women in Cannabis

Check out Humboldt Harvest’s founder featured in this month’s publication of The Emerald Magazine. Esther continues to receive recognition for her delicious edibles and effective tinctures.

From the article:

“Women have become a driving force in the cannabis industry. As the market continues to expand, so do opportunities for females to break stigma and build equality. Gone are the days of a marginalized, male-dominated cannabis industry, thanks to the women — the pioneers, the advocates, the business owners and the scientists — like these.

Esther uses CO2 extraction techniques to create high CBD products from Humboldt sun-grown cannabis. They reintroduce plant based, steam distilled, solventless terpenes back into the tincture for optimal taste and effect. Esther has created a variety of tinctures to aid with ailments such as pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, menstrual cramps, insomnia and degenerative autoimmune disease.”

Keep reading…