Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

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CBD vs CBG: Comparing The Many Benefits Of CBD & CBG

There’s a new cannabinoid in town, and it’s called CBG (cannabigerol). With an impressive list of potential health benefits, could CBG be the new CBD? Keep reading to find out more about CBG and how it compares with CBD.

Over the last few years, CBD (cannabidiol) has become a darling of the natural health world. And with minimal side effects, no addictive potential, and a long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why this cannabis extract has become almost as famous as its cousin, THC.

But you might be surprised to learn that CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids out there. As CBD’s popularity grows, interest in cannabinoids has ignited, setting the stage for researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of other cannabis compounds.

One cannabinoid that’s attracting a lot of interest is CBG (cannabigerol). It seems to have plenty of health benefits to offer, but how does it stack up against CBD? In this article, we’ll compare these two potent cannabinoids and cover everything you need to know.


Cannabinoids seem almost too good to be true. After all, cannabis, and specifically CBD, has been praised for its ability to relieve pain, reduce seizures, lower anxiety, improve sleep, and more. But there’s actually a simple explanation for why cannabis has so many potential health benefits: the endocannabinoid system.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. Photo: Two people in warm clothes share mugs of tea, while a teapot and a bottle of Every Day Optimal rests nearby.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

The endocannabinoid system refers to receptors found throughout the body, and these receptors help regulate physiological processes such as pain, mood, sleep, digestion, and more. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG bind to these receptors, interacting with these different areas of human health.

Hemp is the best source for CBD, as it contains much higher concentrations than psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) (though this can vary by strain). On the other hand, you’ll find only trace amounts (1 percent or less) of CBG in the cannabis plant, although hemp strains can be cultivated to be higher in CBG. Young cannabis plants tend to be higher in CBG than mature plants, because CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — as the plant ages.


Both CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high. They’re both all-natural, have minimal or no side effects, and offer a wide range of health benefits.

Like CBD, the benefits of CBG are vast due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. For example, a 2015 study found CBG potentially effective at treating bladder dysfunction, while a 1990 study found that CBG can lower glaucoma-related pressure. CBG also has neuroprotective properties, may protect against colon cancer, and shows promise as a treatment for irritable bowel disease (IBD). It’s also an appetite stimulant with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial properties.

Some of these benefits overlap with those of CBD, which has also been used to reduce pressure from glaucoma and reduce tumor growth. Like CBG, CBD shows neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits; it has even been used for spot treatment of acne. CBD is also proven to be an effective anxiety reliever, with multiple studies supporting its potential for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Perhaps most famously, CBD also can reduce epileptic seizures and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

Though the effects of CBD and CBG when combined haven’t been studied, we do know that combining different cannabinoids results in what’s called the entourage effect. This means that each cannabinoid’s effects are enhanced when they’re combined. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.

It’s possible that the benefits shared by CBD and CBG — like those for glaucoma, cancer, and inflammation — may also be enhanced when these two cannabinoids are combined, but further research is needed on the subject.


If you’re looking to get the most out of your cannabinoids, and/or take multiple cannabinoids at once to experience the entourage effect, look for full spectrum CBD oil products. This type of CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBG, and many others.

The downside of full spectrum products is that the ratios and percentages of each cannabinoid can vary widely based on the strain of cannabis the oil was made from. This makes it harder to control what kind of response you’ll have; you may find yourself reacting differently based on the batch, type, or brand of CBD oil due to these variances. It’s also important to keep in mind that full spectrum CBD oils contain traces of THC, and while it’s not enough to get you high, it may be enough to show up on a drug test.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to experience pure CBD without additional cannabinoids and terpenes, or you need to avoid THC due to sensitivities or drug testing, you’ll want to look for either isolate CBD products or broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum in that it contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, but it’s processed to remove all traces of THC. Isolate CBD oil, meanwhile, is processed to remove all cannabinoids and terpenes aside from CBD, leaving you with a pure CBD product.


As our knowledge of cannabinoids continues to grow, so will our understanding of their uses and benefits. Although CBD is certainly the front runner, CBG shows a lot of promising uses. At Every Day Optimal we believe that CBG will have a big future in years to come and are looking forward to learning more about this amazon cannabinoid.

Questions? Be sure to reach out!

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Using CBD For Sleep: Can CBD Help Treat Insomnia?

We wanted to take a closer look at the science behind CBD as a treatment for insomnia. Millions of Americans suffer from sleeplessness, and conventional treatments often fail or lose effectiveness.

As more people begin using CBD for sleep, we wanted to take a closer look at the science behind cannabidiol as a treatment for insomnia.

Sleep has baffled humans for millennia, and although scientists have tried to unravel its secrets, it is still a bit mysterious. For the 50-70 million Americans with insomnia, it is even more elusive. Standard treatments often lose effectiveness over time and carry risks of dangerous side effects. Finding relief can be a gruelling task.

However, research has shown that cannabidiol (CBD) may be a promising alternative or addition to conventional medications. To understand how people use CBD for better sleep, some basic knowledge of insomnia and the science of sleeping is necessary.


Insomnia is by far the most common of all sleep disorders. People with insomnia struggle falling and staying asleep and suffer from poor sleep quality. As many as 20 percent of adult Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for either primary (independent of outside factors) or secondary (accompanying another illness) insomnia.

During insomnia, the brain goes into flight-or-fight mode, leaving would-be sleepers too alert to drift off. Photo: A house with its lights on at the top floor, with a night time city in the background.

During insomnia, the brain goes into flight-or-fight mode, leaving would-be sleepers too alert to drift off.

When someone with insomnia attempts to fall asleep, their brain enters a state that is known as hyperarousal. During hyperarousal, the body goes into fight or flight mode and is on guard for anything that may be a threat. This increased state of alertness makes it difficult to fall asleep, remain asleep and get restful sleep.


Approximately 70-90 percent of people with insomnia have a mental or physical illness that is the primary cause. Over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs can also cause insomnia. Occasionally, it affects people independent of any outside factors.

Physical conditions that can lead to insomnia include asthma, heart disease, chronic pain, seizures, renal dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s. Most psychiatric conditions can lead to sleep disturbances, especially depression and anxiety. Secondary insomnia often results in a vicious cycle were sleeplessness worsens the primary disease, which worsens insomnia.


Doctors manage insomnia using pharmacological and behavioral treatment methods. Non-medicinal treatment includes stimulus control, cognitive behavioral therapy or relaxation therapy. These include breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation.

Benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (sedative medications used for the treatment of insomnia and during surgical procedures) and melatonin receptor agonists are standard pharmacological treatments. Over-the-counter sleeping pills and supplements, like synthetic melatonin, are another common medication taken to manage insomnia.


Hypnotic medications used to treat insomnia are known for their potential to cause grave side effects. These include addiction, severe allergic reaction, memory lapses, hallucination, suicidal thoughts or actions, and abnormal sleep behaviors like sleepwalking. They may also lose effectiveness as tolerance is built or cause complications from drug interactions when another condition requires medication.

Among patients treated with pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications, 48 percent report being dissatisfied with the amount of time it takes to fall asleep (sleep onset latency or SOL) and wake up. A 2001 study of 30 insomnia patients found medication coupled with relaxation therapies caused SOL to plummet from 124 to 29 minutes. The participants using only pharmaceuticals did not experience a change in sleep onset latency, suggesting hypnotics alone are not always successful.


To understand how cannabidiol can boost sleep it is necessary to understand the biological process responsible for inducing sleep. In humans, circadian rhythm governs a 24-hour sleep schedule that is regulated by the hormone melatonin, a product of the pineal gland. This process begins with the retina; during the day a signal is sent from the eye through the brain, down the spinal cord and back up to the pineal gland, telling it to refrain from making melatonin.

At night, these signals do not activate, allowing the pineal gland to begin producing melatonin. The amino acid tryptophan is absorbed into the pineal gland via the bloodstream, then converted into 5-hydroxytryptophan by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. It is then turned into serotonin by the enzyme aromatic amino acid decarboxylase before finally becoming melatonin.


Cannabidiol may help stimulate melatonin production by boosting levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream; this is accomplished by reducing tryptophan degeneration caused by mitogen, the protein that tells cells to divide. CBD improves serotonin production in the same way, as an increase in tryptophan availability aids in serotonin synthesis in the brain.

Using CBD for sleep may increase melatonin levels and help ease health conditions that cause insomnia. Photo: A dark-skinned woman sleeps on a bed with white sheets, while a light shines on a nightstand.

Using CBD for sleep may increase melatonin levels and help ease health conditions that cause insomnia.

Inflammation adversely affects tryptophan cells and CBD reduces inflammation. When tryptophan is readily available in the bloodstream, the pineal gland can produce melatonin more effectively, leading to better sleep. Small doses of CBD may also help improve daytime wakefulness, helping to reset the 24-hour sleep cycle and restore balance over the long-term.

A 2018 study tracked 409 patients with insomnia during 1059 medical marijuana administrations using an educational app. Participants reported their self-perceived insomnia symptoms before and after using cannabis. On average, users reported a 4.5-point decrease after consumption, using a 0-10 visual analog scale. Researchers found that cannabis strains with higher cannabidiol levels more effectively relieved insomnia than ones with higher tetrahydrocannabinol levels.


Cannabidiol alleviates many of the primary conditions associated with secondary insomnia through its antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has proven useful in mitigating symptoms of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and autoimmune disease, among others. It also helps control the endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, pain, appetite, cognitive function, and other biological processes.

A 2015 case study showed cannabidiol was effective in treating insomnia induced by anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The subject, a 10-year-old girl, had been abused and was being prescribed pharmaceutical treatments. However, these were only partially effective over the short-term and caused extreme side effects.

Over 5 months, the girl took 25 mg CBD supplements at bedtime and 6-12 mg sublingual doses as needed during the day to control anxiety. After 5 months, the girl’s score on the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children had decreased from 59 to 38, indicating she no longer suffered from insomnia.


Research haven’t determined the best dose of CBD for sleep onset latency. However, a 2014 study found a 15 mg dose of CBD increased alertness, suggesting a higher dosage would work more efficiently for treating insomnia.

A 2018 study of medical marijuana users found cannabis strains with higher cannabidiol levels more effectively relieved insomnia than ones with higher tetrahydrocannabinol levels.

Unlike traditional sleeping pills, research demonstrates cannabidiol is relatively safe. CBD does not appear to be habit forming, even in very high doses. For example, a 2018 study found that an oral dose of 750 mg of CBD did not show potential for abuse among 43 people with a history of using two or more drugs for recreational purposes (polydrug use). Hypnotic medications alprazolam and dronabinol demonstrated a risk of dependency among the same participants.


It is vital for anyone experiencing distress or impairment from insomnia to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Poor sleep quality can negatively influence productivity, mental health, and cardiac function.

While some individuals find success using medicinal marijuana to treat insomnia, research suggests tetrahydrocannabinol may impair sleep quality long-term. Cannabidiol on its own is not shown to have the same risks. However, individuals taking pharmaceutical medications should consult with a physician prior to taking CBD.


Studies from as far back as 1972 consistently demonstrate the potential of cannabis to improve sleep. New research focused specifically on cannabidiol is exhibiting the same positive results, with little potential for adverse long-term effects. Using CBD for sleep is shaping up to be a promising alternative to some risky and inefficient hypnotic medications.

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Eat, Drink & Be Hempy; How to add hemp to your diet today!

In this episode, Matt looks at how to add hemp food to your daily diet with help from Ministry of Hemp writers. Then he visits a hip Omaha cocktail bar to talk about CBD-infused cocktails.

Eat, Drink & Be Hempy; How to add hemp to your diet today!
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

00:00 / 00:37:50

The Ministry of Hemp Podcast Episode 2: Eat Drink and Be Hempy

In this episode, Matt looks at how to add hemp food to your daily diet with help from Ministry of Hemp’s video producer Jessica St. Cyr and writer Elijah Pickering.

Then Matt and his wife Kacie head to one of Omaha’s favorite cocktail bars, Herbe Sainte, for CBD cocktails prepared with care and style by Bar Manager Austin Elsberry.

We want to hear from you too. Send us your questions and you might hear them answered on future shows! Send us your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, email [email protected], or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.


Click on the link below to download the full transcript of Episode 2:

Read more articles on hemp food and drink:



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CBD vs CBN: Differences, Benefits, And Uses For Two Potent Cannabinoids

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN. Both of these cannabinoids help create the “entourage effect” in hemp and cannabis that can help us live better lives.

Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — has been getting a lot of attention lately.

As it dominates headlines, sparks controversies, and finds its way onto menus in coffee shops across the country, you could even say that CBD is on track to becoming as well-known as its cousin, THC.

With all the focus on CBD, it’s easy to forget that there’s over 100 other cannabinoids out there, of which CBD and THC are only two. And among all of these naturally occurring cannabis-derived compounds, many have their own powerful therapeutic benefits that are on par with CBD. So with that in mind, which cannabinoid is next in line for its time in the spotlight?

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN and explain how both can help us live better lives. A seated person cups a mug of coffee in their hands in front of a laptop. Arranged nearby are a small plant, a notepad, a smartphone, a bottle of Every Day Optimal CBD, and decorate letters spelling the word DREAM.

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN and explain how both can help us live better lives. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

Our nominee: CBN, short for cannabinol. In this article, we’ll dive into what CBN is, what its benefits are, and how it compares with CBD.


Just in case you’re new to the world of cannabinoids, CBD is one of the primary compounds found in the cannabis plant (which includes both hemp and marijuana). CBD can make up anywhere from 1 percent to 25 percent of the plant, and in most strains, it’s the second most dominant cannabinoid next to THC. While THC is best known for its psychoactive properties, CBD won’t get you high; rather, its skyrocketing popularity is based entirely on its wide range of therapeutic benefits. Many consumers are touting the benefits of using CBD gummies and edibles for daily stress and anxiety, while others use the oils, balms and capsules for ailments like muscle pain, insomnia, and depression.

CBN is a bit different from CBD for a few reasons. Its content in cannabis tends to be pretty low – 1 percent or even less — but this is subject to change over time as the plant is exposed to oxygen or heat. Specifically, as cannabis ages, its THC content breaks down into CBN. Additionally, while CBD has zero psychoactive properties, the same can’t be said for CBN; that said, its psychoactive properties are very, very mild, so you’d likely need to take a massive dose of CBN to feel any sort of high.

Although CBN may be new to you, it was among the very first cannabinoids ever identified, and was successfully isolated for the first time in the 1930s. In fact, prior to the discovery of THC, CBN was considered to be the cause behind the psychoactive effects of marijuana.


Despite CBN being on scientists’ radar for so long, research on its use is very limited — especially when compared to the wealth of information available for both CBD and THC. That said, what we know so far about this cannabinoid is promising.

One of CBN’s biggest benefits is that it’s a strong sedative, making it effective as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety drug. According to Steep Hill Labs, CBN’s relaxing effects are comparable to the pharmaceutical diazepam, while a 1995 study on mice found that CBN can increase sleep time as well. Additionally, CBN’s effectiveness for sleep is enhanced when taken alongside CBD, which has been praised for its ability to increase REM sleep, reduce nightmares, and treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Aside from sleep benefits, both CBN and CBD are potent anti-inflammatories with powerful pain relieving properties. Again, these benefits appear to be even more effective when both cannabinoids are taken together. Both CBN and CBD can also relieve pressure related to glaucoma, and both have antibacterial properties, including against antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Among other benefits, CBD is a powerful treatment for epilepsy and anxiety disorders, and CBN shows promise as an appetite stimulant as well.

Full spectrum hemp extracts feature both CBD and CBN among other cannabinoids, promoting the "entourage effect." A person drops a dropperful of CBD oil from a bottle of Every Day Optimal into a cup of espresso.

Full spectrum hemp extracts feature both CBD and CBN among other cannabinoids, promoting the “entourage effect.” (Photo: Every Day Optimal)


If you’re looking to get the most out of CBD and CBN, you’ll want to pick up some full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil, as these types of CBD oil contain both compounds. Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils are similar, with one crucial difference: THC.

Full spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including CBD, THC, CBN, and a variety of other compounds that vary depending on the strain. Broad spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, goes through additional processing to remove all traces of THC, while keeping all other cannabinoids intact.

Full spectrum CBD oil is a popular choice due to what’s called the “entourage effect.” Essentially, the benefits of each cannabinoid are enhanced when taken together. This includes THC and CBD, CBD and CBN, and so on. Meanwhile, broad spectrum CBD oil is ideal for those who desire the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil, but who can’t have any traces of THC.


As you can see, CBN shows a lot of promise for a wide spectrum of issues.

At Every Day Optimal, we believe, that just like CBD, it can be quite powerful for pain relief, sleep troubles, and anxiety. When CBN is taken with CBD, these benefits are often even more potent. With all the attention CBD’s gotten lately, it’s likely that we’ll see much more research into the benefits of CBN and other cannabinoids in the near future.

And who knows – maybe CBN will start showing up in coffee shops next, right alongside CBD. We’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

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CBD For Bipolar Disorder: Can Cannabinoids Help Treat Bipolar Affective Disorder?

4.4 percent of adults are estimated to experience bipolar affective disorder. We took a look at research suggesting CBD and other cannabinoids could help.

We wanted to take a closer look at the science behind using CBD for bipolar affective disorder.

The National Mental Health Institute estimates 4.4 percent of adults in the United States will be given a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) in their lifetime. Adults with BPAD experience the highest rate of impairment among psychiatric patients; an estimated 82.9 percent suffer from severe disablement.

Bipolar affective disorder and its variants can be treatment resistant, which may explain the high rate of disability. Anecdotal evidence, supported by preliminary studies, suggest that cannabinoids have the potential to improve the symptoms of BPAD in some individuals by regulating the endocannabinoid system.


Bipolar affective disorder is a mental illness that causes significant changes in mood, motivation and energy. A process known as cycling, which involves periods of euphoria (manic episodes) followed by hopelessness (depressive episodes), is a hallmark of the illness.

A man hands holding a white paper sheet with two faced head over a crowded street background.

Some preliminary research supports the use of CBD for bipolar affective disorder treatment.

There are four variants of bipolar affective disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders. The severity and frequency of symptoms are used to determine which variant is diagnosed. Bipolar I is the most severe form of the disease.


Manic episodes, sometimes referred to as mania, are characterized by exaggerated self-esteem, insomnia, racing thoughts and abnormal speech, inability to focus, and impulsive behaviours. True manic episodes only affect those diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. However, patients with other variants of BPAD experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania.

Although mania is considered to be the “high” stage of BPAD, it can have disastrous consequences. Many manic episodes result in hospitalization, psychotic symptoms or grave impairment (e.g., risky behaviour leading to legal trouble). Untreated manic episodes can develop into psychosis.


Depressive episodes mimic a severe form of depression known as major depressive disorder. Symptoms can include feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. Additional traits of depressive episodes are changes in sleep patterns and appetite, trouble concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

This cycle of bipolar disorder is the “low” point of the disease. Like mania, depressive episodes vary in severity depending on which variant of bipolar disorder is present. Patients with Bipolar I disorder may have what are known as mixed episodes, during which they show signs of both mania and depression.


Prescription drugs used in conjunction with psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of BPAD in most patients. However, bipolar affective disorder can be treatment-resistant, making it difficult to manage in some people. Treatment-resistant BPAD is cause for concern, as up to 50 percent of individuals diagnosed will attempt suicide at least once in their lives.

Medications prescribed for BPAD include anticonvulsants, antimanic drugs and antidepressants. Use of antidepressants alone can lead to the onset of mania or rapid cycling. Mood stabilizers or anticonvulsants are often taken to negate these possible side effects.

The only pharmaceutical shown to have a consistent, positive effect on suicide rates in bipolar patients is lithium. However, newer research has shown there may be a possibility to control BPAD through manipulating the endocannabinoid (EC) system. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for binding cannabinoid proteins to receptors.


The endocannabinoid system, discovered in the mid-1990s, is comprised of two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids, a type of compound found in both the human body and cannabis plants, bind to these receptors to alter brain function. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced naturally in the body, while phytocannabinoids are found in cannabis plants.


An illustration of neurons firing in a human head. Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Postmortem studies have found that brains of patients diagnosed with mental illness, including BPAD variants, show abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system. A similar study, conducted using brain slices from mice, showed dysfunctional CB2 receptors inhibited the release of serotonin, suggesting a healthy EC system helps to regulate mood.

An investigation of endocannabinoid gene variants in 83 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 134 with BPAD, and 117 healthy control participants found two marked differences in the patients afflicted with MDD and BPAD. Specifically, the CB1 receptor (CNR1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) genes of the ill participants were found to be abnormal when compared to the control group.


Because of the distribution of endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, many of the areas they affect overlap with regions thought to be responsible for BPAD, along with other mental illnesses. Studies have shown patients with specific abnormalities in the CNR1 gene are at a higher risk of being resistant to pharmacological treatment, leaving them more vulnerable to the effects of bipolar affective disorder.

For these patients, phytocannabinoids could provide a way to manipulate the EC system and regulate the level of chemicals traditionally targeted by pharmacological medications. As always with hemp and cannabis research, these studies are still preliminary. More research will be needed to prove whether CBD and other cannabinoids can help treat bipolar affective disorder.

Anandamide and THC

Anandamide, called the bliss molecule, is naturally produced in the body and is similar in molecular structure to THC. Both anandamide and THC bind to CB1 receptors, altering areas of the brain responsible for memory, concentration, movement, perception, and pleasure.

FAAH genes are responsible for activating anandamide; indicating people with FAAH gene mutations may not have the appropriate levels of anandamide in the brain. Supplementing brains deficient in anandamide with THC may help restore chemical balances. Theoretically, this could alleviate cycling between manic and depressive phases.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol has been shown to inhibit serotonin reuptake in rats, suggesting it repairs abnormalities in CB1 receptors found to inhibit release in mice. If CBD functions the same in human brains, it could provide an alternative to conventional antidepressants, especially for individuals with treatment-resistant BPAD.

A randomized clinical trial found CBD reduces abnormal brain function in regions associated with psychosis, implying it may have therapeutic effects on symptoms associated with the manic phase of BPAD. If CBD regulates both depressive and manic symptoms, it could help treat individuals who do not react well to lithium.

Other Cannabinoids

Cannabis is a complex compound, made up of over 500 chemicals. Over 100 of these compounds are suspected to be cannabinoids. There is little information on the effects of these chemicals, apart from CBD and THC, because few studies have focused on determining what reactions they produce in the EC system.

Among cannabinoids that have already been isolated, CBG and CBCV seem to show a potential for treating mood disorders, such as depression. Further study may help isolate more of these chemicals and determine what effect they have on the EC system.

A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf. Preliminary research supports further investigation into using CBD to treat bipolar affective disorder.

Though research is just beginning, it seems likely that CBD and other cannabinoids could help people with bipolar affective disorder.


CBD rarely causes adverse reactions. Still, there are risks associated with both conventional methods of treatment and using cannabis derivatives as treatment. The most dangerous side effect of any treatment for BPAD is the potential worsening of symptoms.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, or previously diagnosed with any of the variants, should consult with a medical professional before starting or changing treatment. Even those who present with treatment-resistant variations of the disease can benefit from traditional methods (such as psychotherapy).

Regulating the EC system through phytocannabinoids may provide a way to alleviate symptoms in those with treatment-resistant BPAD. Further clinical trials in humans are needed to validate preliminary data, but the future of cannabinoids as a BPAD treatment looks promising.

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Just The Facts; A Beginner’s Guide to Hemp & CBD

In the Ministry Of Hemp Podcast episode 1, our host Matt Baum is learning about hemp and CBD and you can learn along with him. What is hemp anyway? What is CBD, and how is it used?

Just The Facts; A Beginner’s Guide to Hemp & CBD
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

00:00 / 00:30:48

Welcome to the first episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast!

This inaugural episode is really an introduction to the show, the host, hemp, CBD, and the people that use it. Join host Matt Baum and learn about hemp with help from the good folks at, CEO of Palm Organix Alex Herrera, and learn about how CBD can help those living with medical conditions like Crohn’s disease when he talks with contributor Annalise Mabe .

We want to hear from you too so please, send us your questions and you might hear them answered on future shows! Send us your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, email us at [email protected], or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

Below you’ll find the full written transcript of episode #1.


Matt Baum: Hi, my name’s Matt Baum, and I’m excited to welcome you to episode number one of the Ministry of Hemp podcast, brought to you by America’s leading advocate for hemp, If you’ve been to the site, then you already know how cool it is. It’s full of all kinds of information, recipes, interviews, news, virtually anything that you want to know about hemp is there. It’s curated by my buddy Kit, who is an amazing journalist and does a wonderful job. Kit is going to be a frequent guest on the show. In fact, he is going to talk a little bit about what is hemp in a few minutes here. Before we get to that, with this being episode number one, I thought we should introduce some very basic things, starting with me, the host, and how I came to bring hemp into my life.

Matt’s story

My name is Matt Baum. I’m 43 years old. I’m also the host of the Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book podcast. If you’re a nerd, check that out. You’ll probably dig it. For the last 30 years of my life or so, I’ve been playing drums as a musician, I’ve been working professionally in kitchens as a cook, and taking side gigs as a copywriter and freelance journalist. What do all those things have in common? Repetitive motion, basically.

Now I played in a lot of very loud bands, punk rock bands, hardcore bands. I also played in some much quieter bands, but the point being I was always hitting drums, hitting cymbals, and injuring myself. I never learned how to play. I never took lessons. I sat down at the drums and just started playing one day. And in doing so, some of my favorite musicians were guys like Keith Moon, Tommy Lee, guys that hammered their drums. I just thought they put on an amazing show, so that’s what I did. I beat the hell out of my drums. I put on a show every time. With that, I beat the hell out of my hands, too.

When I wasn’t drumming and touring in bands, I was at home working in kitchens, cooking. The good things about being a musician and a cook is whenever you’re not touring, there’s always cooking jobs available. But with those cooking jobs comes a lot of chopping, a lot of peeling, a lot of hand work, a lot of small, minute, finger work that really wears on you, not to mention the cutting, the burns, and the myriad of other injuries you can sustain while cooking. Needless to say, my hands weren’t getting any better.

And then one day, I got into a car accident. I got hit head-on by a woman that crossed four lanes of traffic. It would turn out that she was a cab driver that had had a stroke behind the wheel while driving. She side-swiped a cop car in front of me which probably saved my life and slowed her down a little bit before plowing into my tiny, little Honda Civic. I was young and I was stupid, so I didn’t have a safety belt on at the time. My head hit the windshield. My right hand went through the dash, and my knee went into the lower part of the dash.

I was supposed to leave and go on tour two weeks later with the band and had to cancel because I couldn’t walk and I had done serious damage to my wrist. Later on, my doctor would tell me that I probably would’ve been better off had I cut my hand off, because then they could’ve just reattached it and tightened up all those pesky carpal tunnel ligaments that were sore from cooking and playing drums. But, instead, I just injured the heck out of them. Even worse. And I would have pain, residual pain, that would last for years, and still lasts to this day.

I went through a period where I took a lot of painkillers. I admit it. I was addicted to pain killers. Not to get high, but because I didn’t want to hurt and I had to play drums or I had to cook or I had to type because I had a couple years of journalism school before I had decided to go to culinary school, so I would take copywriting jobs or jobs writing articles about food or music for local newspapers, which was even more repetitive motion, which caused even more pain, which made me take even more pain pills. You see where this is going. Well I got to a point where I realized that life with a pain pill addiction was not fixing anything and I just had to toughen up and probably live with pain. I did a lot of physical therapy. I did my finger stretches. I spun my wrists in circles. All that kind of stuff. But I just hurt and I hurt all the time.

That’s when I got into smoking weed again. I hadn’t done it since high school, and marijuana made me not care about the pain. It helped me sleep. It cut down my drinking. It seemed like a great answer. The only problem is you can’t be stoned all the time. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I have friends that are. But that wasn’t my style either and I didn’t want to show up at the kitchen stoned, and I don’t like playing drums stoned. It just doesn’t work. Being that shifted was an answer to the pain, but it wasn’t an answer to daily life. That’s when a friend of mine introduced me to hemp-based CBDs.

This friend of mine was working for a very early CBD start-up and was a huge hemp advocate. She’s wonderful. I’ll introduce you to her sometime on this show. You’ll love her. But she set me up with some CBD water. Not just for me, but for the whole crew in my kitchen. One night, we all drank it. We joked, “Ha, ha, we’ll get high or whatever.” None of us really knew what CBDs were. But none of us got high. We just felt better. It’s hard to explain but the pain and the numbness that was in my hands every day from chopping and grinding and peeling and washing dishes, for a little while, it just went away. It was an odd feeling, because I just didn’t hurt.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I felt amazing, it was miraculous, but I felt baseline again. There was no pain. Now it didn’t last a real long time, and that’s how I came into using a hemp oil, a tincture. This is an oil that you have a little medicine dropper and you squirt it right under your tongue and you let it sit there for about a minute, two minutes, and then you swish it around and you swallow. I found out when I started doing that, I could go an entire shift without any pain. Sometimes I could take a little before bed and I would sleep better. I also noticed that when I sat down to edit my podcast or write an article, I felt a little more focused. I didn’t have that same anxiety that I usually carried around.

Now I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but working in kitchens, working as a musician, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Anxiety that drives people completely nuts, ruins their lives, ruins their families. I carried a lot of anxiety around with me. But I found when I’m using CBD, just like when I was smoking marijuana, that anxiety seemed to fall to the background, but I wasn’t shifted. I wasn’t high and giggling or eating too much. I could focus. I could do my job, and I felt pretty good about doing it. And most importantly, I wasn’t in pain.

Flash-forward to today and I’m now working for a web-hosting company and I really enjoy it. But again, a lot of typing. I still play music with some friends. One of which knew I’d been using CBD, works for a local CBD start-up, and introduced me to the guys that run the Ministry of Hemp website, who turned to me and said, “Hey, you host a podcast. Do you want to host one for us?”

What is hemp?

I realized I’d been using CBD for a long time and I really didn’t know anything about it. Hosting a show seemed like the perfect chance to learn more about hemp, share that information with you guys, and I’ll be honest, get some free stuff on the side. Currently, I’m using a CBD tincture from a company called Palm Organix. It’s run by a guy named Alex Herrera. He’s a smart guy. We’re going to hear from him later on in this very show. But before we get into that, we should probably get a working definition of what is hemp? That’s where Kit O’Connell comes in.

Kit O’Connell: Hi. This is Kit O’Connell, editor in chief at Ministry of Hemp. Here’s the legal definition of hemp, found in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, better known as the 2018 Farm Bill.

The term hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof, and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than .3% on a dry weight basis.

Matt Baum: Thank you, Kit. So everybody’s got that, right? Tetrahydrum … Yeah. Like all good government definitions, it’s about as clear as mud. But the good news is the government has defined it and said you can grow it and use it for all kinds of different stuff. We’ll get into that later. We’re still kind of trying to figure out what is hemp. So from there, I went to YouTube, and that is where I found this guy.

Hunky Euro Matt: Hi. I’m Matt from Cured by Nature.

Matt Baum: In this video, Matt, not me-Matt, hunky European Matt, goes onto explain the differences between hemp and marijuana and why those differences have caused some confusion.

Hunky Euro Matt: Now the fact is that hemp is cannabis.

Matt Baum: Wait a minute. What?

Hunky Euro Matt: Cannabis is a species of a plant and includes all aspects of the plant, so cannabis plant has different strains. The cannabis strains that get you high are referred to as marijuana. However, most people also use the word cannabis or the word hemp, and that’s where the confusion comes from. You see, cannabis also has strains that are bred for industrial use, and these cannabis strains do not get you high. This is referred to as hemp.

Matt Baum: Okay, it’s been a while since I took biology, but I think I get it. Cannabis is the species of plant. Marijuana and hemps are strains of that species. Sort of like dogs. While both a pug and a husky are a dog, they are definitely different breeds with completely different characteristics. Okay, hunky European Matt. I think I’m following you now.

Hunky Euro Matt: The international definition of hemp, as opposed to marijuana, was really born all the way in 1971. It was developed by a Canadian researcher and scientist named Ernest Small. In 1971, he published a little-known, but very influential book called the species problem in cannabis. Ernest Small acknowledged there was no natural point at which the cannabinoid content could be used to distinguished strains of hemp and marijuana. But despite this, he drew an arbitrary line on the continuum of cannabis types. He decided that 0.3% THC in a sifted batch of cannabis flowers was the difference between hemp and marijuana. So there you go. You got cannabis as a plant species. Then on one hand, you got cannabis strains that have only traces amount of THC called hemp.

Matt Baum: Okay so my brilliant dog metaphor falls apart a little bit here, as a husky and a pug look completely different, whereas cannabis, whether it’s hemp or marijuana, looks very similar. But the difference lies in the THC level. Higher THC, marijuana. Very low THC, hemp.

Hunky Euro Matt: So cannabis versus hemp is a nonsense. If you want to make sense, you have to say marijuana versus hemp. So no more confusion, okay? Let’s recap. Cannabis strains with almost no THC are referred to as hemp, and cannabis strains with high amounts of THC are referred to as marijuana.

Matt Baum: Okay, I think we have a working definition here, thanks to Matt from Check out their site. It’s really great, and thanks for letting me use that video.

Learning about CBD with Alex Herrera

So now that we’ve got a definition for hemp, we can talk about its most ubiquitous use right now, which seems to be CBD. CBD is all the rage and people are saying it does all kinds of stuff. We’ll get into that on a later show, but first, let’s talk about what is CBD? Remember that Alex guy that I mentioned earlier?

Alex: My name is Alex. I am the founder and CEO of Palm Organix, a premium line of CBD products including tinctures, soft gels, and salves.

Matt Baum: So you sound like a guy that probably knows a little something about CBDs. Can I ask you, this is a sort of introductory podcast we’re doing here. Can you give us just a working definition of what is CBD?

Alex: Sure. Let me see if I can try to break it down into just a general overview. So CBD is short for cannabidiol, and that is just one of the several different molecules known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD acts as a neurotransmitter and is also known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Now CBD oil is a natural essential oil which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant and it is used by people all over the world as a dietary supplement and for a variety of therapeutic purposes.

Matt Baum: Okay now check this out. I do exactly with hunky European Matt told me not to do, and I misused the word cannabis. You’ll catch it.

Okay, the CBD that you guys deal with, does it come from cannabis plants or does it come from hemp?

That was it right there.

Alex: Our product is what’s called PCR hemp, which stands for phytocannabinoid-rich, and it comes from hemp plants.

Matt Baum: Okay. I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding there, and I think a lot of people, especially in a red state like Nebraska, people think CBD is just straight-up marijuana. That’s where they go.

Alex: Yeah, yeah, I think, Matt, the biggest confusion is because the plants look so similar, right?

Matt Baum: Right.

Alex: They’re a related plant, and then if you go back into the ’70s, the old joke was hemp was the poor man’s weed that they would smoke forever and never get high, because of the THC levels of 0.3. You could smoke that all day long and nothing would happen to you.

Matt Baum: Fair enough. Now can I ask you how do you guys take the hemp and turn it into balms and tinctures? How does that work?

Alex: Well, it’s got to be extracted, right?

Matt Baum: Right.

Alex: In order to extract cannabis oil, it’s really necessary to start with a CBD-rich plant, and so again, going back to this phytocannabinoid-rich is what we use at Palm Organix, is a heavy, high, much higher dose and levels of CBD than the basic plants used by most. It’s a very, very powerful strain of cannabinoids, terpenes, coming from the basic hemp plant. In order to extract it, I’m just talking industry-wide, generally speaking, there’s two main ways that it is extracted in order to get it into the salves, like you said, and the balms and soft-gels and tinctures.

The first way that’s very popular is called super-critical CO2, or CO2 extraction. That method uses carbon dioxide under extremely high pressure and at the same time under extremely low temperatures that isolates, preserves, and maintains a purity of medicinal oil. This isn’t an easy process. It requires real expensive equipment, there’s a heavy, heavy steep learning curve, but when it’s done right, the end product is safe, potent, and it’s free of chlorophyll, which is very important.

Now the other way that it’s extracted, the very other common way that it’s extracted is with ethanol.

Matt Baum: That’s what I was going to ask. I’ve heard about this, and that sounds scary to me. I don’t know. Is there anything scary going on there? Do we have to worry about that?

Alex: No. So obviously, ethanol is a high-grade alcohol, which is dangerous, and they use it to create high-quality cannabis oils. They use it a lot for vape pen cartridges and other products, but that this process, or this extraction method, it destroys the plant waxes which has a health benefit that are favored by some product makers. Some people prefer to use that method because they’re wiping out the wax at the same time.

Matt Baum: Gotcha. So it’s not so much dangerous as it is it changes the product fundamentally.

Alex: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s dangerous if me and you tried it, but I think it’s-

Matt Baum: Fair enough.

Alex: Exactly.

Matt Baum: So you guys said you do tinctures, you do balms, but you don’t do vaporizers. Is that right?

Alex: Yeah, so, no. We launched, and we launched with nine SKUs and I can talk about the products that we have. The products that we launched with were tinctures, and I’ll talk about each one a little bit if you’d like. We launched some tinctures, capsules, and topical, which is our salve, we call it. It’s like a balm. We didn’t do the vape. We may do the vape. The vape’s got a lot of moving parts to it, Matt. You got the battery, the pen, the refills, so as a launch point, we didn’t develop that product at that time. We also didn’t go with a gummy bear, which I think you can find on every corner, they sell it. We tried to stay away from those two to start, but I think we’ll launch with some other products soon.

Matt Baum: Sure, sure. So let me ask you this. What is the difference in taking it from a tincture to a capsule to a balm that you spread on your skin? What would be the difference there?

Alex: Yeah, it’s a great question. The most common way that the CBD is administer is a tincture-

Matt Baum: That’s what I have been doing.

Alex: Yeah. It’s a really pure application of CBD, mostly because the manufacturers don’t do any separating of the CBD oil, so what you basically have is either a natural flavor or you have like what we do, we add a little bit of a mint or an orange, which makes it a little bit enjoyable for the customer.

Matt Baum: Yeah. The mint’s really nice. I like it a lot, actually.

Alex: Oh, thank you, yeah. And then generally dosing ranges from … You see them really high, but generally speaking, you have 100 milligram bottle to 1,000 milligram is the range where it’s popular. Some people do make 1,500s, 2,000, 3,000, but the common range is 100 milligrams to 1,000. I think it’s important for your viewers, listeners, to hear that you’ve got to do a little bit of research to understand how you should dose.

Matt Baum: Right. That’s typically the little bottle with the squeeze dropper in it.

Alex: Yeah, just to kind of break it down, if you do a 500 milligram bottle of tincture, there’s generally 30 servings. A one-ounce container and there’s 30 servings in that bottle, so you just simply divide 500 milligrams by 30 and you’re getting 16.67 milligrams of CBD per application. That’s kind of what you’re going to get.

Matt Baum: That’s different from the capsules, how?

Alex: I mean, I think capsules, Palm Organix sells a lot of capsules and I think really the main reason I think you’re doing the capsules is because it’s kind of the easiest way to put that in your morning regimen of your vitamins or whatever. You can take them.

Matt Baum: Sure. And it’s oil in the capsule, it’s not dry, right?

Alex: Yeah, it’s in the capsule. You take it like you would … It’s like a soft gel, right?

Matt Baum: Sure.

Alex: The common dosing in that is anywhere from a 10 milligram capsule to a 25 milligram capsule. It’s very easy to keep track, so if you say, “Hey, I’m a 175 pounds and my doctors thinks I should be taking somewhere between 50 and 75 milligrams a day,” it’s really easy to do that brainlessly and administer it. I guess if there was a negative to the capsule, I would say if you’re trying to do a rounded out, that you’re trying to do, say,  60 milligrams a day, it’s a little harder to get there on a 25 milligram capsule.

Matt Baum: Fair enough. That makes sense. The math doesn’t quite bear out.

Alex: Doesn’t quite bear out. Yeah, exactly.

Matt Baum: Is it the same oil that’s in the capsule that’s in the tincture?

Alex: Yes, exactly.

Matt Baum: And does it absorb at the same speed or is it a little slower?

Alex: So the tincture gets absorbed the quickest, because you’re taking it sublingually. But when you take the capsule form, it’s got to go through the stomach and we recommend you take it on an empty stomach, because that’s the best way to get the absorption. Then it tends to stay a little longer in the system and more like a steady deployment of the CBD levels, so it kind of smooths itself out that way.

Matt Baum: Okay. And then the balm. How does that work? You rub it in your skin and it’s  literally absorbs into the skin?

Alex: Exactly right. And then actually the key to that is really to thoroughly rub it into the skin. It’s just like going right through your pores into your body. That’s a great way, Matt, to … We get a lot of people call up and say, “I have arthritis in my hands,” or, “I type and I have carpal tunnel.” It’s a great way to do what I would call targeted relief for arthritis or shoulder, tennis elbow, et cetera.

Matt Baum: Really? So it will actually … I’m a drummer, for instance. I’ve been a musician for a long time, and I have bad hands. If I had an issue like that, say, with carpal tunnel, I would literally rub it straight into my wrist and it’s going to target that area?

Alex: Exactly, and I will tell you that we have tremendous feedback where people say you can feel the relief in literally in minutes.

Matt Baum: That’s amazing. That’s really amazing.

Alex: Yeah.

Matt Baum: Alex, Thanks so much. This has been great, man. You really laid it out and I understand more. I’m hoping our listeners do too. I’m going to talk to you again probably in about a month or two here about your specific product. I just started using it, and I want to do it for about a month and then get back with you and we’ll do an interview. Sound cool?

Alex: Hey Matt, I look forward to it. I always enjoy speaking with you. Just give us a shout and we’re happy to get on with you anytime you’re ready.

Matt Baum: That sounds great, man. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Alex: Hey, we appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time.

Annalise Mabe on using CBD for Crohn’s disease

Matt Baum: Now that we know what CBD is, where it comes from, and how it’s used, it’s probably time to talk to somebody that uses it in their everyday life, like this person.

Annalise Mabe: I’m Annalise Mabe, and I’m from Tampa, Florida. I teach at University of South Florida and I’m also a freelance writer.

Matt Baum: Annalise wrote a really great blog post for the Ministry of Hemp site about living with Crohn’s disease. For those of you who don’t know, Crohn’s is pretty painful, but I’ll let her tell you more about it.

Annalise Mabe: Crohn’s disease is thought to be an autoimmune disease that affects the stomach lining and the small intestine. Pretty much your body attacks this lining and creates ulcers. It’s a biologic thing, it’s genetic, and there isn’t a cure for it. I was diagnosed with it mildly at 17 and it’s progressed to about moderate now, 10 years later. It’s something that I still deal with now. Treatments have improved, but there will never be a total cure.

Matt Baum: Like you said, there’s no cure.

Annalise Mabe: Yeah.

Matt Baum: There’s just treatments.

Annalise Mabe: Yeah.

Matt Baum: And what are the medical treatments like?

Annalise Mabe: Well, the medical treatments have progressed from steroids. We used to be prescribed things, and still are, prescribed steroids like Pentasa, things like that. But now, there are infusions and injections. There’s an infusion called Remicade and an injection that I take called Humira, which you’ve probably heard ads all over. I always hear the-

Matt Baum: Oh yeah, the TV commercials, yeah.

Annalise Mabe: Yeah. Lots of Humira commercials, but that’s a good one. Those are the treatments that are out there right now, treating Crohn’s.

Matt Baum: How did you come to find that CBD was something that would help you?

Annalise Mabe: It’s something that was recommended to me by a friend who also suffers from multiple chronic illnesses. It was recommended like, “This can’t hurt so why don’t you try some CBD products?” I did try CBD capsules and gummies, tinctures and bath bombs. I have found that they definitely help with some of the anxiety that comes with just the day-to-day living with a chronic illness, and-

Matt Baum: I’m sure, I’m sure.

Annalise Mabe: … they help relieve some of that stress as well, and some mild pain.

Matt Baum: You went on to write about CBDs showing some evidence of reducing inflammation. Have you noticed that with your situation?

Annalise Mabe: I can’t say that I can tell a huge difference, because it’s always sort of hard to tell, since Crohn’s is on the inside. Even with the treatments I’m on, like Humira, it’s still sometimes like hit or miss. I still have good days and bad days, so it is really hard to tell when I’m doing really good or, well obviously, it’s easy to tell when I’m doing bad, but-

Matt Baum: Right, of course.

Annalise Mabe: … there are still good days and bad days. Yeah, I think the CBDs definitely help with some of the side-effects of Crohn’s, like the stress and anxiety, and some of that mild pain.

Matt Baum: Let me ask you. You said you tried a bunch of stuff. What did you settle on? What do you think works best for you?

Annalise Mabe: I really enjoyed the bath bombs and the gummies and tinctures. I mean really, all of it. I used to take the capsules too, but it’s just kind of enjoyable to have a few of the CBD gummies or to take a bomb, because that just makes you even more relaxed when you’re doing a bath and it smells like eucalyptus or something really relaxing like that.

Matt Baum: Oh, yeah, definitely. And your doctor is aware that you’re doing this. What does your doctor think?

Annalise Mabe: My GI doctor hasn’t really confirmed anything in terms of studies, because I think they’re usually has a tendency to say that anything more holistic works for sure, since there’s not a lot of cutting-edge, like breaking-new science about it.

Matt Baum: Sure.

Annalise Mabe: I still take things like turmeric capsules as well, which the doctor hasn’t said these are totally, scientifically going to work for you, but it’s still something that I take and something that I think helps as well as the CBDs.

Matt Baum: Fair enough. So it’s more like he or she doesn’t think it’s going to hurt you, so why not?

Annalise Mabe: Yeah, exactly. And I think that they’re coming from such a medical perspective that I don’t think they want to tell patients that, “Oh, yeah, this is totally going to work,” if they’re not sure that it will, since there aren’t really a ton of studies out there on Crohn’s and CBDs yet.

Matt Baum: Absolutely. Can I ask, not a lot of people like to talk about Crohn’s disease. I mean, it seems embarrassing. How did you come to be so comfortable? You speak about it very freely, which I think is great, by the way. It’s not something that should be hidden, but how did you get to that point?

Annalise Mabe: Well, in high school, I definitely was self-conscious about it because, you know what, if you have Crohn’s you’re probably going to be using the bathroom a lot.

Matt Baum: Of course.

Annalise Mabe: When you’re in high school, you don’t want to sneak out to go use the bathroom and have everyone know where you are. It is kind of a thing that’s more stigmatized, but since it’s been about 10 years, I really have started to take it more seriously, especially after I needed a surgery in late 2017. It’s a resection. Some of my small intestine due to damage from Crohn’s.

Sitting in the hospital and just kind of down about it, and I didn’t really want to hide it anymore or not talk about it just for social reasons. That really connected me with other people like on Instagram in the Crohn’s community, and it kind of just let me be sort of an advocate, even in small ways. I think a lot of my friends started to tell me, “I never even heard about Crohn’s,” because I think it is something that people don’t really talk about a lot. It’s all been really positive after I started talking about it with people.

Matt Baum: I mean, that’s all you can really do, right?

Annalise Mabe: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Matt Baum: Own it and let people know, yes, people have this condition and we have to talk about it and we have to deal with it. I think it’s great that you do. I think it’s pretty amazing.

Annalise Mabe: Thanks.

Matt Baum: Annalise, thank you for your time today. You’ve been great.

Annalise Mabe: Yeah, anytime. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about it.

Learning about hemp with Matt

Matt Baum: So what have we learned today? We learned who I am and how I got here. We learned a working definition of hemp. It’s related to marijuana but it’s not marijuana. They’re both cannabis plants. Hemp, less than 3% THC, [Editor’s Note: Actually, Matt, that’s 0.3% — Kit] and used to make CBDs. We learned about CBDs too. They come from hemp and they can be taken in all manner of forms, gummies, tinctures, balms, bath bombs. But there is a ton of other things that are made with hemp, and we’ll get into that in another show. We learned that CBDs can help with mild pain and help with anxiety. And people like Annalise use them for serious medical conditions like Crohn’s disease.

Next time on the show is going to be a little bit of a history lesson when we look into the history of hemp.

That’s about it for the first episode for the Ministry of Hemp podcast. I’m super-excited to be here and I hope you guys are super-excited to listen and learn with me. I want to think hunky Euro Matt, Alex, and Annalise for helping me out on today’s episode. I’ll have links to all their sites and articles in the show notes. And speaking of show notes, every episode of our show is going to have a full, written transcript for the hard of hearing or listeners with concentration impairments. This was actually Kit’s idea, and I like it. He’s very involved in disability rights activism, and he’s right. We should be part of the solution. [Editor’s Note: Thanks Matt, shout out to my heroes at ADAPT — Kit]

In the future, I’m picturing the show becoming fully interactive, so I’d like to hear from you. Shoot us your questions. Add us on Twitter @ministryofhemp, or Facebook/ministryofhemp, you guessed it. You can even call us and leave us a message with your question at 402-819-6417. Or if you don’t live in the States, send us an MP3 of your question to [email protected], and we will play it on the show. And if you like the show, give us a rating on iTunes. It seriously helps more than you know.

Thanks so much for listening to the first episode. Take care of yourself, take care of others, and make good decisions, will you? For now, this is the Ministry of Hemp podcast, signing off.

1 Comment on Just The Facts; A Beginner’s Guide to Hemp & CBD

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While St. Valentine’s Day is considered the most romantic of holidays, like many other holidays it can be surprisingly stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to get everything perfect. That’s why we wanted to pick some great Valentine’s Day CBD gifts for you. If you’re looking for a gift that’s more sustainable and healthier than another chocolate sampler, we think CBD is perfect.

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Read on for a special Valentine’s Day CBD cocktail recipe, and our complete CBD Valentine’s Day gift guide.


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Our friends at Curaleaf Hemp shared this delicious Valentine’s CBD recipe with us.



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Ministry of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Gift Guide. A gift wrapped with a red ribbon and decorated with hearts on a string, sitting on a fabric background.MINISTRY OF HEMP OFFICIAL VALENTINE’S DAY CBD GIFT GUIDE

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Our review team loved Sunday Scaries Vegan AF CBD Gummies.

PlusCBD Oil CBD Balm (Ministry Of Hemp Official Valentines Day CBD Gift Guide)PlusCBD Oil

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off PlusCBD Oil CBD balm all month long!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code BEMINE at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until February 28, 2019.

Soothe away your aches and pains with this great topical CBD and you’ll be ready for your night on the town, or staying in with Netflix.

Every Day Optimal (Ministry of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Gift Guide)Every Day Optimal

  • What’s the deal? Get 25% off Every Day Optimal products until February 15!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code mhlove25 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until February 15, 2019.

Our reviewer loved Every Day Optimal Gummies and their CBD capsules are some of our favorites too.

Inesscents Salvation CBD Soap (Ministry of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Gift Guide)Inesscents

We’ll have a video review of some of Inesscents CBD products soon from our new video producer, Jessica St. Cyr.

Hemp Bombs (Ministry of Hemp Official Valentine's Day Gift Guide)Hemp Bombs

  • What’s the deal? Get 25% off Hemp Bombs products until February 15!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code SWEET25 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until February 15, 2019.

Our review team loved Hemp Bombs’ CBD gummies!

Joy Organics Skin Care Products (Ministry Of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Gift Guide)Joy Organics

  • What’s the deal? Get 25% off Joy Organics skin care products until Valentine’s Day!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code spreadlove2019 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2019).

Come back on February 15 for Joy Organics annual “Joy Day Sale” to celebrate the founder’s birthday. Use coupon code joyday2019 on February 15, 2019 to save 40% off everything in their online store.

Sagely Naturals

  • What’s the deal? Get free shipping on all orders from Sagely Naturals, with no minimum order, until Valentine’s Day!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code PLANTLOVE at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2019).

Our reviewers enjoyed Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery Cream and their CBD capsules.

Nature's Script (Ministry Of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Gift Guide)Nature’s Script

  • What’s the deal? Get 25% off Nature’s Script products until February 15!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code SWEET25 at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until February 15, 2019.

Try Nature’s Script High Potency CBD Capsules for a great, high-strength CBD product.

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CBD vs THC For Chronic Pain: Comparing Two Potent Cannabinoids

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain? In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain?

Maybe you’re just curious about the differences between the two. It’s easy to assume that these two compounds are similar, since they both come from the same plant. But while they can both play an important role in managing chronic pain, CBD and THC are very different substances, and each one works differently in the body.

In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.


CBD (short for cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) belong to a group known as cannabinoids, and they are derived from the cannabis plant – either hemp or psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). There are over 100 different cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the most dominant substances in cannabis, making them responsible for most of the effects that marijuana is famous for.

A seated person stirs Every Day Optimal CBD Oil into a cup of tea. When it comes to chronic pain, there's no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses.

When it comes to chronic pain, there’s no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

Both CBD and THC work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which refers to a group of receptors in the body that regulate various physiological processes, including pain, digestion, mood, and sleep. Cannabis is well-known for its versatility, helping people worldwide with problems like insomnia, PTSD, and pain – and it’s all because these endocannabinoid receptors are involved in so many different bodily functions.

By far, the most notable difference between CBD and THC is that THC causes a high, while CBD does not. CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects is one of the reasons it has become so popular as of late. In fact, CBD can counteract some of THC’s psychoactive effects (like euphoria and anxiety). This is why high-CBD strains of cannabis are often popular for pain relief, since they allow one to keep a clear head.

THC is also associated with more side effects than CBD, although these tend to be mild and are temporary. Some well-documented side effects of THC are dry mouth, red eyes, and hunger. Most people who use CBD report little to no side effects, with sleepiness being the most common, especially at high doses.


Research has established that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, with strong evidence that it can relieve pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. For example, a 2017 study concluded that CBD can reduce osteoarthritis-related pain and inflammation, and prevent nerve damage.

Other studies support CBD for relief of neuropathic pain and incision-related pain. CBD’s effectiveness at relieving different types of pain has led to its popularity among people with conditions such as fibromyalgia, IBS, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.


Although there is plenty of research supporting the use of cannabis for pain relief in conditions like Crohn’s disease, chronic migraine, and fibromyalgia, less attention has been paid to the specific benefits of THC. The few studies that are available tend to be small and show conflicting results.

A recent study in Neurology found THC is effective for alleviating chronic nerve pain. A larger study, involving 177 cancer patients, found that while THC was not effective at reducing pain, the patients who took a CBD/THC combination had their pain reduce by over 30 percent when compared to placebo. Another double-blind study supported this conclusion when using THC for post-surgery pain. Meanwhile, a 2017 study found both THC and CBD, when taken alone, were effective for reducing chemotherapy-related pain in mice.

The same study also discovered that when combined, previously ineffective doses of CBD and THC could relieve pain. This relates to an important benefit of THC – it can enhance the pain-relieving properties of CBD through what’s known as the entourage effect.


Although CBD and THC are the most dominant compounds in the cannabis plant, they aren’t alone. There are dozens of other cannabinoids and terpenes that work together to provide different synergic effects. For example, the third most dominant compound in cannabis, cannabichromene (CBC) has shown anti-inflammatory benefits similar to those of CBD.

A seated man holds his glasses in one hand while wincing and holding his neck, as if in pain, with the other. Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

The entourage effect refers to the benefits that one can experience by ingesting multiple cannabinoids together, including CBD and THC. In short, while CBD and THC have their own powerful benefits, they tend to be more potent when combined – especially when it comes to pain relief. An analysis of 18 studies on cannabinoids for multiple sclerosis pain found that the combination of THC and CBD was slightly more effective for pain reduction than CBD on its own.

The entourage effect is why CBD products fall into two categories: full spectrum and isolate. Full spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted along with CBD. On the other hand, isolate CBD products remove all traces of these other substances, resulting in a product that is pure CBD.

Some people have better success using full spectrum CBD products for pain relief because of the entourage effect. However, due to the variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, full spectrum products can be somewhat unpredictable in their effects. Isolate CBD products are often favored by those who can’t tolerate any traces of THC, or need to avoid it due to drug testing.


The majority of CBD products you’ll find on the market today are made from hemp, which by law can contain up to a maximum of 0.3 percent THC. This means hemp-derived, full spectrum CBD products are likely to contain low amounts of THC. There are CBD products available that are made from marijuana instead of hemp, and therefore contain a higher percentage of THC. For legal reasons, these products tend to be restricted to dispensaries.


As you can see, there isn’t a simple answer for whether CBD or THC is better for chronic pain. Both compounds bring their own benefits to the table, and in regard to chronic pain, there is evidence that they’re more effective when taken together due to the entourage effect.

Either way, it’s clear that cannabis has plenty to offer for chronic pain patients, and cannabis products can vary widely in effectiveness. So if you don’t have success with one product, don’t give up; try something new, whether it’s a different blend of cannabinoids, or a different potency.

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All About CBD Tinctures: How To Pick The Right CBD Tincture

CBD tinctures are the most popular way to consume CBD oil right now. From carrier oils to extraction methods, we’ve got tips on picking the right CBD oil for you.

CBD tinctures are the most popular way to consume CBD oil right now.

CBD tinctures typically come in small concentrated bottles of liquid with dropper tops, reminiscent of those from your high school science class. This product type allows you to simply place drops of the tincture under your tongue where the liquid contents are directly absorbed into your bloodstream. The remaining liquid is then swallowed.

CBD tinctures are more potent than other ingestion methods of CBD like softgels and edibles which must first undergo digestion before entering the bloodstream.

Additionally, CBD tinctures are paving the way for healthier, more powerful solutions altogether. While conventional tinctures use alcohol as a solvent or a base, new methods of CBD extraction are being used and tested. This presents you with the cleanest possible CBD tincture.

A collection of CBD tinctures in assorted bottles, decorated with hemp buds. Our guide to CBD tinctures explains how to pick the right supplement for your needs.

Our guide to CBD tinctures explains how to pick the right supplement for your needs.

If you’re interested in purchasing CBD tinctures, here’s what you should look for when researching and reading the labels to make the best choice for you.


Traditionally, a “tincture” was a plant or herb extracted in alcohol. Today, however, when people or companies refer to CBD tinctures, they usually mean CBD hemp extract mixed into a carrier oil to make a nutritional supplement, not actually a product containing alcohol.

The term “CBD tincture” has become popularized over the last several years, and is now used interchangeably with CBD oil. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer for a complete ingredients list.


The amount of CBD contained in the CBD tincture you purchase is the most important detail. The greater the ratio of CBD concentration to liquid or carrier, the more potent the tincture will be overall. This means that you can pack quite the punch in something like a small one to two fluid ounce bottle! (CBD content is measured in milligrams, while the tincture liquid itself is measured in either fluid ounces or in milliliters.)

For those who are new to taking CBD, this works in your favor; you can pick up a small bottle and start out taking just a few milligrams of CBD a day. A CBD tincture, even in the smaller range (around 250mg) will last you quite a while.

Take special care in reading labels, especially the front of bottles, which often use less descriptive vocabulary. While some supplements are labeled as CBD oil, some companies market their tinctures as “Hemp Oil.” Unfortunately, neither label tells you how much CBD content they contain unless you locate the distinct amount of CBD contained in the tincture itself. This should be clearly listed in milligrams (mg) on every bottle.

CBD tinctures will vary in their CBD content. Less potent products house between 200-250mg of CBD per bottle, and more potent products can contain as much as 2,500mg and more. Packaging and labeling can be tricky when purchasing CBD tinctures, but this CBD labeling guide explains more!


CBD, like many other health-promoting substances, does not have a long shelf-life on its own. It requires a carrier oil to help stabilize and preserve its healthy components. Don’t worry though, these carrier oils aren’t harmful like artificial preservatives, but actually accentuate the health and potency of CBD Oil. Several common carrier oils include MCT oil derived from coconuts or palm oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, frankincense oil, and grapeseed oil.

An overflowing scoop of hemp seeds sits near a bowl of hemp seed oil and two bottles of vegetable oil, along with a hemp leaf. CBD tinctures typically combine hemp extract with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil, or even olive oil.

CBD tinctures typically combine hemp extract with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil, or even olive oil.

The purpose of these oils is exactly as it seems: they carry the positive effects of CBD into the body, allowing for better absorption and use. The reason different companies employ the use of different carrier oils in tinctures is because each carrier contains its own various properties or functions. For example, olive oil can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, however, MCT oil can provide a much more stable shelf life.


When hemp is fully grown, farmers must harvest the crop and allow processors to extract the CBD content from the plant. There are multiple ways to do this, and not all extraction methods are created equal. Here are just a few types of extraction methods for CBD Tinctures:

Ethanol Extraction

Like a traditional tincture that requires an alcohol-based solvent, ethanol extraction uses a high proof grain alcohol to separate the CBD from the rest of the hemp plant. For those who are sensitive to additives or other substances, we’d advise choosing a product that is not extracted via ethanol. While ethanol extraction is completely safe, it may not be best for sensitive individuals.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 Extraction utilizes carbon dioxide as the primary element to separate the cannabinoids, like CBD, from the other parts of the plant. You can think of this method almost like “boiling off” the beneficial parts of hemp, while leaving behind the rest. Currently, CO2 extraction is one of the most popular methods and is the cleanest method of extraction.

Alternative Extraction Methods

As the CBD industry continues to grow, we will see new methods of extraction rise to the top (no pun intended). Sustainability and stewardship remain a cornerstone of the hemp industry, and creating clean methods of extraction remain a priority. The great news is that as the demand for CBD increases, new avenues of research and testing will pave the way for consumers to receive the best products possible.


It’s important to know where your hemp products come from. Right now, Colorado and Kentucky are the big players in providing hemp for use in CBD products. We recommend staying away from companies that source hemp from China, and focus more on U.S. grown and extracted CBD products.

A densely packed hemp field in front of a tree-lined hill. Since hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, it's vital to know the source of all ingredients in CBD supplements.

Since hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, it’s vital to know the source of all ingredients in CBD supplements.

This is particularly important because hemp is a bioaccumulator, that is, it is able to absorb toxic chemicals and substances from the soil, acting as a renewing crop to our land. However, hemp that has absorbed toxins or heavy metals from the soil should not be used for health products like CBD tinctures. For this reason, it’s important to know exactly where your hemp is grown.


CBD tinctures often contain other ingredients to help accentuate the therapeutic and health-supporting effects of the cannabidiol. Some of these added ingredients could be:


Terpenes are essential oils that are found in the hemp plant. They act as conductors, bringing together the effects of all the cannabinoids. Terpenes’ job is to make sure that you get the most powerful, long lasting effects out of your CBD Tincture. Like nature’s amplifier, they’ll help the music last for hours.

Cannabinoids Besides CBD

CBD isn’t the only all star player here. Research is being conducted on over 100 different cannabinoids, natural compounds just like CBD, that are found in the cannabis plant. You may see things like CBG, CBN, CBDA, THCA, and more in the CBD Tinctures you purchase. Don’t worry, all these little guys pack a powerful punch and will only enhance your experience.

Additional Oils

Many times you may see hemp companies add multiple carrier oils to a CBD tincture to ensure you are getting the most bioavailable (or absorbable) CBD. Oils that you will see working in tandem with each other are frankincense, olive oil, blackseed, hemp seed, vitamin E, and other antioxidant substances.


Ultimately, the best decision you can make is to buy your CBD tinctures from a trusted source. Verified retailers do the hard work for you and only carry third-party tested, premium CBD oil. They also provide all the information you need to know about each CBD product, from CBD concentration and cannabinoid profile, to extraction method, to geographical sourcing. All of this is in efforts to empower you as the consumer. After all, your experience matters the most.

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Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal: Supercharge Your Mornings With Hemp

Combining the health benefits of hemp and oats with the healing benefits of CBD, our ultimate hemp oatmeal recipe will help you start your day off right. Best of all, it takes just minutes to make.

Hemp oatmeal could supercharge your mornings and help you bet a healthier start to 2019.

With fresh New Year’s resolutions, many of us have pledged to start healthier habits. So, if you’re doing your due diligence to finally start eating healthier, you’ve come to the perfect place.

A bowl of oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and chia seeds added sits on a wooden picnic table near a folded flower print tablecloth. Hemp oatmeal can supercharge your mornings and help you eat healthier in 2019.

Hemp oatmeal can supercharge your mornings and help you eat healthier in 2019.

Today we’re giving you a simple recipe that fuses the nutritional goodness of oats with the superfood capacities of hemp and the benefits of CBD. We’ll also explain some of the health benefits from eating oats and hemp.


Oats are some of the healthiest grains available. They provide health benefits like weight loss, lower blood sugar, and even reduce the risk of heart disease. Having a balanced nutrient composition, oats are high in fiber and carbs, and are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals. Only half a cup of oats contains 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, with only 303 calories! This makes oats a super nutrient-dense food, providing you with a good ratio of nutrition to calories. In addition, oats are rich in antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, and lowers blood sugar. To add on to all of that, oats are very satiating and don’t require a lot to make you feel full.

Hemp, of course, is high in plant-based protein, contain good fats, and are also nutrient-dense. One ounce of hemp seeds contains nine grams of protein, twelve grams of fat, and two grams of fiber. It also contains all twenty amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids which our bodies do not produce naturally. Hemp is also extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through the use of hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and hemp oil. I commonly sprinkle hemp hearts into my food and smoothies; you can even mix chia and flax seeds with hemp hearts to create a trifecta of plant-based nutrition.

CBD offers a wide-range of health benefits as well, most notably it’s anti-inflammatory properties and the calming effect it can have on your body. Coming in as an oil or tincture, it’s easily incorporated into liquids in your dishes or even in your water.

Oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are mixed in a microwave-safe bowl. It takes just minutes to mix all the ingredients and cook our "Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal" recipe.

It takes just minutes to mix all the ingredients and cook our “Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal” recipe. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Ellijah Pickering)


Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown-sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shelled hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Fruit or berries and additional hemp hearts as a garnish
  • Your favorite CBD tincture


  • Add all dry ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Microwave for 2 minutes on high setting
  • Top with more hemp seeds and mix in CBD tincture
  • Can also top with fruits such as blueberries, bananas, or strawberries
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