Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Category: Hemp CBD Oil

Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion Moisturizes While Relieving Pain

Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion offers pain relief with full spectrum hemp extract and a creamy, herbal, bright scented twist. We loved the unique creamy texture and wonderful smell of this lotion.

Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion offers pain relief with full spectrum hemp extract and a creamy, herbal, bright-scented twist.

CBD can help reduce inflammation and soreness and offer general pain relief. Topical CBD products can offer numerous benefits. However, Curaleaf Hemp offers something extra with this unique skin lotion made from high quality ingredients.

We’d love this lotion even without CBD. Our reviewer was tempted to use it on her entire body, but the instructions recommend limiting the application area. It works best for people with pain hot spots or specific areas of inflammation. The lotion itself is made with some of the best lotion ingredients including essential fatty acids like shea butter, as well as coconut, argan, and sunflower oils. Another health and skin protectant powerhouse ingredient is aloe vera.

In addition to 300mg of CBD, lemongrass and rosemary are two herbal aids that increase the anti-inflammatory properties of this delightful topical. Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion is wonderful for folks who enjoy a bit of aromatherapy and herbal remedy with their CBD pain relief. They also offer an option with menthol for those who prefer a cooling sensation.

A photo of Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion in lemongrass and menthol scents, decorated with fresh herbs.

Our reviewer loved the creamy texture and relaxing scent of Curaleaf Hemp CBD lotion.

Curaleaf Hemp paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on for our full review of Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion.

CURALEAF HEMP CBD LOTION MAKES EASING PAIN MORE PLEASURABLE

With Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion we didn’t have to worry about sticky, wet hands; it absorbed quickly. And the scent and relief lasted even after washing our hands within an hour of application. The label advises application up to 4 times per day. Our reviewer used it about 2 times per day and found relief lasted for a few hours.

With an old knee injury that tends to flare up after a day on her feet, our reviewer was able to massage about a nickel sized dollop onto her swollen tendons and around her knee cap with ease before going to bed. We also think it’s great after a warm shower. After about 5-10 minutes, she reported feeling a slight tingling sensation and that her leg felt more relaxed. Our reviewer even noticed her leg wasn’t as tight the next day while doing her morning stretches.

Typing, texting, and the beginnings of carpal tunnel and arthritis are a part of modern life. In the mornings before work, our reviewer enjoyed rubbing about a dime sized portion of the lotion into each of her sore, tight wrists and hands, relieving pain and relaxing appendages before a day at the office. We think this lotion is great for a hand or foot massage too.

They use full spectrum, U.S. grown CBD hemp extract in all Curaleaf Hemp products, and they provide a helpful breakdown on how topical CBD works on their site. Curaleaf made a name for themselves as providers of top-quality medical cannabis products, and we’re happy to report they’ve brought the same care to their Curaleaf Hemp brand.

Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion with Lemongrass (Ministry of Hemp Official CBD Review)CURALEAF HEMP CBD LOTION OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Curaleaf Hemp CBD Lotion is an excellent moisturizing product that uses high-quality full spectrum CBD hemp extract to ease soreness and inflammation within minutes of application.
  • Strength: 300mg/4oz jar
  • Price: $44.99
  • Customer Service and Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Standard shipping starts at $4.99.
  • Independent Test Results: Available on request.
  • Scent & Texture: Lemongrass with rosemary, argan oil undertones, infused into a creamy, whipped lotion.
  • Ingredients: CBD oil / Full Spectrum Hemp extract with Aqua (distilled water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearyl Glucoside, Tapioca Starch Modified, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Aroma (Lemongrass), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Caprylate.
  • Other: They also offer a menthol scented CBD lotion and topical pain-relief patches.

Curaleaf Hemp uses CO2 Extracted, U.S. Grown hemp in all their products. We also love their unique CBD tincture formulations, each designed for a specific need.

 

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The Unstoppable Success Of The UK’s First CBD Restaurant

The Canna Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant in Brighton, England. It’s also the UK’s first restaurant to infuse their dishes with CBD and other cannabinoids.

The Canna Kitchen is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that opened at the end of 2018 in Brighton, England. It’s also the UK’s first restaurant to infuse their dishes with CBD and other similar cannabinoids.

Interest in all things hemp and CBD-related is booming in the UK. As a result, this restaurant immediately became a sensation, with acres of coverage in the British press.

A rich vegetarian stew or soup garnished with sour cream, sprouts, and pita chips with bread and hot sauce on the side. The Canna Kitchen uses the finest ingredients to create delicious, healthful vegetarian and vegan CBD-infused dishes.

The Canna Kitchen uses the finest ingredients to create delicious, healthful vegetarian and vegan CBD-infused dishes. (Photo: The Canna Kitchen)

Brighton has long been regarded as one of the UK’s most bohemian and forward-thinking cities. It makes perfect sense for this location to be the origin of what promises to be a groundbreaking development in the world of food and CBD. We spoke to the founder of The Canna Kitchen, Sam Evolution, about the evolution and execution of his one-of-a-kind CBD restaurant.

THE UK’S MOST BOHEMIAN CITY IS THE IDEAL HOME FOR HEMP AND FOOD

“I’ve been involved with hemp for over eleven years,” said Sam Evolution. “Owning businesses that specialised in creating hemp-based products such as dermatological creams and food products.”

Like many people involved in this relatively new industry, Evolution has a strong appreciation for just how revolutionary CBD and hemp can be for the world at large.

“I’ve always been inspired by the rich history of hemp,” Evolution agreed. “Particularly its potential to revolutionise agriculture, industry and health.”

But when it came to combining CBD with a sit-down restaurant concept, the idea came from some good old-fashioned home testing.

“The initial idea came about a year ago when doing some personal experimentation with friends, involving food and flavonoids from the plant,” Evolution said.

Then the idea came to combine cannabinoids with high quality organic foods, which led to the complex and exciting menu The Canna Kitchen offers today.

HEALTHY AND WELL-BALANCED VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN DISHES INFUSED WITH CBD

These dishes includes a classic vegan buddha bowl, featuring seasonal roast root vegetables, homemade hummus and fresh salad, with a CBD-infused tahini cream drizzled across the top. Or the canna sandwich, which offers a choice of harissa tofu or haloumi, on locally-sourced sourdough bread, paired with a salad and CBD dressing. For dessert, you can finish off your meal with the canna Snickers bar, loosely based on the well-known chocolate bar, put together using homemade cake, layered with date caramel on top of a hemp brownie biscuit base, then coated with dark chocolate and nut sprinkles.

“Our mission is to change the way people think about the cannabis plant.” — Sam Evolution, founder of The Canna Kitchen

From a personal perspective, Evolution has had impressive results using CBD.

“I’ve found that CBD to be extremely effective at helping to manage pain,” he told us. ”It decreases aches in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties and interaction with the bodies endocannabinoid system. Many people report assistance dealing with stress and anxiety, and some find it can help with sleep.”

CBD RESTAURANT IS FIGHTING AGAINST UNHELPFUL STEREOTYPES

The misconception that CBD and hemp are tied up with a darker drug culture is something Evolution and The Canna Kitchen are keen to dispell. Indeed, the mission statement on the website states clearly, “We at The Canna Kitchen aim to redress dated stereotypes mislabelling this extraordinary natural resource purely as a recreational substance.”

This meant taking a cautious approach when it came to the legal sides of setting up a CBD-based restaurant.

“I had to present my plans concisely to local authorities, and my approach was very carefully considered,” Evolution said.

A dish of greens at The Canna Kitchen, the UK's first CBD restaurant. Hemp-based ingredients at the UK's CBD restaurant are source from crops grown organically in Spain and Switzerland.

Hemp-based ingredients at the UK’s CBD restaurant are source from crops grown organically in Spain and Switzerland. (Photo: The Canna Kitchen)

The hemp used in preparing the dishes used at The Canna Kitchen is also carefully sourced. CBD business-owners must have a delicate touch in the UK when it comes to working with this product, as the authorities remain wary of its legal status.

“Our hemp is grown for us organically in Spain and Switzerland,” said Evolution.

“And we ensure any trace elements of THC are within legal limits,” showing just how careful the UK hemp-user must be when working with this plant.

THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD IS OF EQUAL PRIORITY

But it’s not all about the potential health benefits of CBD. Evolution made it clear that the ideas and flavour balance behind the food are equally important:

“Our food is contemporary and fresh, using locally sourced and organic produce wherever possible. Our mission is to change the way people think about the cannabis plant by creating beautiful vegetarian dishes which are tastefully complimented with its infusion.”

The process wasn’t easy, at least not at first.

“There was certainly an amount of trial and error in the beginning,” said Evolution. “Finding balance between flavours has been the most challenging aspect for us but we now feel that we have a good understanding of this, and we’re continuing to experiment in new and interesting ways.”

A FULL MEAL PROVIDES A RELAXING DOSE OF CBD

But how much CBD could you expect to consume over the course of a meal? Evolution estimated this at “between 20 and 30mg of CBD, depending on the drinks that are ordered and any sides.”

For the average person, this is enough to gain a beneficial effect, whether the goal is simply relaxation, or for something more substantial such as pain reduction.

Indeed, their website has a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer: “The optional infusion of cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and CBN with food, may lead to a sense of relaxation, peace and well-being.”

A decadent CBD-infused chocolate brownie a la mode, on a white plate decorated with a hemp leaf drawn in cocoa powder. The Canna Kitchen is the UK's first CBD restaurant, and it's making waves for their delicious vegetarian food.

Thanks to the runaway success of the UK’s first CBD restaurant, The Canna Kitchen is already planning to expand. (Photo: The Canna Kitchen)

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR UK’S FIRST CBD RESTAURANT

When it comes to future plans, Evolution is cautiously optimistic, taking care not to move too quickly, despite the success so far.

“We are in talks currently with potential partners and investors,” he said. “And we’re planning to roll the idea out over the UK in franchise form.”

It’s clear that The Canna Kitchen won’t be the last CBD restaurant to open in the UK. We’re already aware of numerous cafes popping up offering similar products. The UK is finally waking up to the eco-friendly nature of hemp and the helpful effects of cannabinoids, and the public demand is set to grow and grow.

Visit The Canna Kitchen

The Canna Kitchen

14 Duke St, Brighton BN1 1AH, UK

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Elxyr CBD Softgels Make Cannabidiol & Turmeric Easy To Swallow

Elxyr CBD Softgels provide a flavorless and easy method to taking your daily dose of CBD, with the added benefits of turmeric.

Elxyr CBD Softgels provide a flavorless and easy method to taking your daily dose of CBD, with the added benefits of turmeric.

These softgels from the Elxyr Company combine the outstanding health benefits of cannabidiol and curcumin, the main natural compound in turmeric. Some research shows that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and may several have other positive benefits. Of course, the Elxyr Company also offers softgels without turmeric in two strengths.

Because they are in a soft gel format, they don’t have the taste or smell of natural CBD. Softgels offer a simple way to take this popular supplement. With softgels, it’s easy to give yourself a reliable dose. They can be taken with other vitamins or supplements anytime. Beginning with CBD-rich hemp strains grown in the U.S., they use a patent-pending water soluble formula to increase absorption.

Elxyr CBD Softgels in two strengths, both with and without turmeric. The bottles are posed against a natural, leafy background.

Elxyr CBD Softgels come in two strengths, both with and without turmeric.

The Elxyr Company paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on to learn more and see our official review of Elxyr CBD softgels.

ELXYR USES NANO-CBD FOR HIGHER BIOAVAILABILITY

Elxyr CBD softgels stand out from other CBD brands through their increased bioavailability. The Elxyr Company uses a patent-pending formula for these softgels which they say makes them many times easier to absorb than others. Produced through a nano-emulsion method, the molecules of CBD in this formula are much smaller than normal. That means you should feel more of the effects of these capsules than others.

The inclusion of turmeric in Elxyr CBD softgels further stands out from the competition. Turmeric is known for promoting digestion, improving blood-sugar control and cholesterol, among other effects.

Their full spectrum CBD extract comes from non-GMO hemp grown in the U.S. using organic growing methods. We appreciated seeing lab results for their products right on the website, though these images were a bit hard to read. We’d like to see more recent results available online, as well.

Elxyr CBD Softgels with Turmeric (Ministry of Hemp Official CBD Review)ELXYR CBD SOFTGELS OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Elxyr CBD Softgels with Turmeric combine the health benefits of CBD and turmeric in a familiar and easy-to-take softgel package.
  • Strength: 25mg of full-spectrum CBD per capsule, plus 10mg of curcumin
  • Price: $94.99 for 30 softgels
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Free shipping.
  • Independent Test Results: Online.
  • Flavor & Scent: The soft gels have no smell or taste. It’s easy and discreet to take Elxyr CBD softgels anywhere.
  • Key Ingredients: Full Spectrum CBD and Curcumin.
  • Complete Ingredient List: CBD oil / Full Spectrum Hemp extract plus Curcumin in Polysorbate Emulsifiers, MCT Oil and Beta Caryophyllene in a Gelatin shell made from Bovine-derived Gelatin, Glycerin, Sorbitol and Water.
  • Other: Also available without turmeric in 10mg and 25mg softgels. The Elxyr Company offers a generous, 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

The Elxyr Company uses U.S.-grown hemp in all their products. They also offer CBD tinctures and CBD pet products.

 

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CBD In Canada: Why Can’t I Easily Get Legal CBD In Canada?

In October of 2018, Canada became only the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize recreational cannabis. However, access to legal CBD products remains extremely limited in our northern neighbor.

In October of 2018, Canada joined a very niche club, becoming only the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize recreational cannabis. However, if you thought that meant the streets would be paved in green leaves up north, you would be wrong.

Canada is divided into provinces that, like the states in the U.S., have their own laws and regulations separate from federal rulings. That means that although the Cannabis Act applies to all of Canada, depending on where you live your ability to purchase cannabis may differ. As the law rolled out some infrastructure problems made the transition a little bumpy, with supply chain issues and confusing regulations. When it came to accessing CBD products, in particular, consumers were really confused.

WHAT IS CBD?

If you looked at a cannabis flower or leaf underneath a microscope you would see hundreds of tiny little hairs sprouting up called trichomes. Compounds of cannabis, called cannabinoids are produced and stored on the plant’s trichomes. There are over 100 different cannabinoids including THC and CBD. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) that makes people feel “high.”

CBD, in contrast, has no psychoactive effect and instead has been embraced for a range of medical and therapeutic uses. Used in the drug Epidiolex, it is prescribed and sold at great cost to treat epilepsy. As interest has grown a huge range of products have come onto the market exploding in popularity, crossing genres from wellness products to skincare, to beverages.

An activist holds a "Cannabis for Canada" sign at a 420 celebration. Despite legalization of recreational cannabis, it's still difficult to obtain legal CBD in Canada.

In October 2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”).

IS CBD LEGAL?

This is where things get tricky. CBD has had a complicated journey towards legislation in the U.S. with different states determining it to be either legal or illegal, with the final say often coming down to how it was produced. CBD derived from hemp has generally been considered permissible while CBD from marijuana has not.

With the passing of the Farm Bill, it was thought that all hemp derived CBD would be totally legal but a press release from the FDA threw more confusion into the mix with a warning that CBD cannot be added to foods, that health claims would be rigorously tested, and a suggestion that in the future they would “consider whether there are circumstances in which certain cannabis-derived compounds might be permitted in a food or dietary supplement.”

One of the sticking points seems to be that although there are studies showing CBD can alleviate feelings of social anxiety, and that it reduces inflammation and works as a pain reliever, medical claims made by CBD producers and manufacturers are untested and not regulated federally.

As reported by Ministry of Hemp, in some states CBD products are sold out in the open in major grocery chains and yet in other states, people are still being arrested for selling CBD products.

AN OVERVIEW OF LEGAL CANNABIS IN CANADA

The new official rules in Canada allow members of the public to possess and share up to 30 grams of legally acquired cannabis and grow up to 4 plants per residence for personal use. That provision that the cannabis must be “legally acquired” states that it must come from an approved provincial or territorial retailer. It’s also of note that in the official announcement mentions of CBD products specifically are missing.

The Cannabis Act states that “Other products, such as edible products and concentrates, will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force and federal regulations for their production have been developed and brought into force.”

It seems that the Canadian government is going with a soft launch focusing on psychoactive cannabis containing THC with plans to address CBD and other cannabis products at a later date.

A photo of an altered Canadian flag flying against a blue sky. The typical maple leaf is replaced with a hemp or cannabis leaf.

After Uruguay, Canada is the second country in the world to legalize recreational use of cannabis. However, legal CBD in Canada remains difficult to come by.

Coupled with this slow rollout is the fact that government officials and lawmakers have not made a distinction between products containing THC and CBD, as Trina Fraser, partner at Brazeau Seller Law, in Ottawa, Ontario explained:

“CBD, in and of itself, falls within the definition of “cannabis” in the federal Cannabis Act.  As such, it is regulated just as all other cannabis products containing THC. Hemp farmers can grow hemp for the purpose of CBD extraction, but the plant must be sold to a federally licensed processor to conduct the CBD extraction, and then the CBD is subject to the same rules as all cannabis extracts.”

CANADIAN CANNABIS LAW CAUSES CONFUSION OVER CBD

Fraser explained that there was a proposal to permit natural health products containing CBD, but it seems the process was stalled and never completed.

As CBD products do not have the same effect as THC consumers believe falsely that they are always legal. “There seems to be a pervasive misunderstanding as to the legal status of CBD,” said Fraser.

“Mary” from Ottawa [name changed to protect from possible prosecution] is one such confused consumer. She uses CBD to control her anxiety and told us that life without it is immeasurably worse. “I really need my CBD products, they help to keep me relaxed and to deal with symptoms of PTSD, but I really don’t understand whether or not I am allowed to legally purchase them. I order offline from a US company and they mail it to me. I have always received it with no problem, but I find I am anxious until I get my package,” she said.

WHAT ARE LICENSED PRODUCERS?

Steven Looi, Director of Origination at White Sheep Corp and an industry expert from Toronto said that “CBD is treated the exact same way that THC is treated, in fact, all cannabinoids receive the same treatment in Canada. CBD is illegal unless it comes from a licensed producer.”

Health Canada claims that to become a licensed producer in Canada applicants must go through a screening process that is the toughest in the world for cannabis producers.

Consumers cannot legally purchase cannabis from any other producer.

“I really need my CBD products, they help to keep me relaxed and to deal with symptoms of PTSD, but I really don’t understand whether or not I am allowed to legally purchase them.” — “Mary,” a Canadian CBD consumer

According to Statistics Canada there are over 100 licensed producers registered in Canada, although there may not be that number currently producing and selling their products.

Only those people with a prescription for medical marijuana can purchase CBD and only through companies authorized by the MMPR — the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. Of those 100 licensed Canadian producers, only 23 have been registered under the MMPR and are able to sell directly to the public. Therefore legally purchasing CBD in Canada, even if you have a prescription, can be very difficult.

CHANGE IS COMING FOR CANADIAN CBD CONSUMERS

Changes are coming soon though in conjunction with ongoing public consultation, slated to be completed by the end of 2019. “All sorts of new product types will enter the legal marketplace and permit the legal sale of many products that are currently only available illegally,” said Fraser.

A vial of CBD oil and the flowery top of a hemp plant sit on a wooden tabletop. Experts expect access to legal CBD in Canada will improve in the coming year.

Experts expect access to legal CBD in Canada will improve in the coming year.

However, although it may seem that all of this uncertainty will be ironed out by years end, purchasing CBD in Canada will still require effort, despite the new laws. Legal CBD products will continue to only be available through authorized retailers and products will carry security features on the packaging like cigarettes and alcohol. There will also be strict limitations in place in terms of the health claims producers can make. Health Canada follows the legislative lead and also makes no distinction between CBD from hemp or marijuana.

Looi pointed out that “For folks going the legal route for a CBD, legalization will give them greater access, and more products. For folks that always sourced their meds in the black market, not a whole lot has changed.”

Once edibles and other cannabis products are legalized Looi said Canadians will have access to some of the same types of products that are currently flooding the American market.

“Canadians will have better access to a proliferation of CBD products. Marketing, storytelling and promotion will encourage many new consumers to purchase products featuring CBD,” he said.

As with any emerging industry, there are certain to be teething problems both in Canada and the United States. Unfortunately for CBD users in Canada, the much longed for legalization has not automatically made CBD accessible for all.

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Cannabis & The NFL: Using CBD & Cannabis In Professional Sports

While the NFL still bans players from using cannabis and CBD, attitudes in other professional sports are beginning to change. Former players, doctors and others are working to let pro-football players and other athletes use CBD and medical cannabis.

With more research shining light on the impact of injuries and treatments of injuries from professional sports, more athletes are coming to the same conclusion: the key to their well-being lies in the cannabis plant.

Professional sports are some of the most well-loved activities of American culture. The mega-arenas of NFL are filled with thousands of ravenous fans screaming for the players to smash into each other as hard as they can, all waiting with nervous energy in hope that their team wins. Watching professional sports can be an exhilarating experience, matched only by adrenaline fueled events such as skydiving or cliff jumping. They also provide fans with an opportunity to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Many fans make their favorite teams a part of their personalities.

Something that tends to get lost in the excitement and joy of being a sports fan are the players themselves. People take their favorite athletes for-granted, never really knowing the extent of dedication and arduous work they do to perform well in the field, octagon, or court. These athletes quite literally give their life to their sports, missing holidays and important family events all to train and play in the sport they love. 

NFL BANS ALL FORMS OF HEMP AND PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS

Athletes are constantly straining their bodies with their workouts and with the impacts absorbed in play. With the constant strain on their body, they sustain considerable damage to their muscles, joints, and sometimes even to their brains. The long-term implications of these injuries are extremely dangerous and can even be life-altering.

A professional football player dives for the end zone while holding a football, dressed in a helmet and other typical gear. Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Unfortunately, the NFL has banned the use of psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) in all capacities. This also includes all products that are derived from the cannabis plant, whether it’s for recreational or medical use. Currently, the players are drug-tested during the start of the off-season training camps, usually for THC. They are subject to random drug tests, but for the most part, are only tested once per season. With regards to CBD, the NFL’s rules are very murky. CBD supplements can also sometimes cause positive drug tests. As a result, players simply refuse to take CBD products, with the fear that they could lead to suspension due to the severity of punishments regarding cannabis.

Below, we will explore the impact of injuries sustained by athletes in the NFL and how the medications prescribed to treat them create a vicious cycle. We’ll also look at how an NFL player and a doctor put their careers on the line to fight for medical cannabis treatments, and how other sports organizations are dealing with the relaxing regulations around all forms of the cannabis plant.

THE TRUE IMPACT OF FOOTBALL ON PLAYERS’ HEALTH

In a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 110 of 111 tested former NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease that is caused by constant impacts to the head area, something that NFL players are no strangers to. Some of the symptoms are memory loss, impaired judgement, depression, anxiety and impulse control issues.

It’s important to note that the only way to test for CTE is if the subject is diseased. Meaning, that the median age subjects in the study were 67 years old, with a median participation in football for 15 years. The sample that they tested were more representative of an older generation of football players, where impacts were harder, and equipment dramatically worse. But this is no defense for the modern game of football, where there are still many players who suffer traumatic head trauma. Players like Chris Borland and Jahvid Best were forced to walk away from the game due to repeated concussions and fear of further neurological damage.

Football helmets sit on a football field. Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

This idea of head trauma has been around for a long time, we have just never really had a name for it. Modern scientific studies and popular movies like “Concussionhave propelled the problem to the public eye. Chronic pains caused by concussions aren’t the only long-term health problems professional athletes face, they can also face long-term damage to muscles and to their joints (especially the knees), which are all treated by prescription drugs.

What this creates is a vicious cycle, where athletes’ bodies are constantly being whittled down by their sports, and their team doctors prescribe them to highly-addictive anti-inflammatories and painkillers, many including opioids. Many athletes get addicted to these drugs, some cases as extreme as taking over 100 pills per week, and many carry these addictions with them outside of their playing careers. This effectively not only breaks down their inhibitions, but also their well-being and family life.

RETIRED FOOTBALL PLAYERS ADVOCATE FOR CANNABIS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

Clearly this is a serious & widespread problem, and a lot of professional athletes are speaking up and fighting for better & healthier methods to cope with the damage of sports. Possibly the biggest proponent of medical cannabis treatments is former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Selected as the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Monroe played in the league for seven years, where he saw playing time for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens.

One of the top offensive tackles of the game, Monroe retired after being released by Baltimore at just 29 years old. At the time of his retirement he had the highest paying contract on the Ravens and was widely speculated that he was released for his medical cannabis advocacy. In a letter to The Players’ Tribune, Monroe explained his decision:

“I’m only 29 and I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some. But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future. The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.”

Since retiring, Monroe has been extremely involved in advocating for cannabis medical treatment for athletes. He was the first active NFL player for cannabis treatments and has worked with many organizations to try and spread the word for cannabis as a viable medicine such as the “When the Bright Lights Fade” campaign.

The campaign features other NFL players such as former pro bowl Quarterback Jake Plummer who face a similar situation to Monroe’s. Created by the non-profit Realm of Caring, they aim to convince the NFL to change the narrative around medical cannabis and are working with researchers at John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania to study the impact of cannabinoids on former and current football players. Monroe has donated $80,000 to the campaign and has continued to actively support many different campaigns fighting for the use of medical cannabis.

THE TRAILBLAZING DR. SUE SISLEY

Another key player in the fight for medical cannabis is Dr. Sue Sisley, who has spent the majority of this decade researching and supporting the medical efficacy of psychoactive cannabis.

Like a lot of us, Dr. Sisley was a skeptic of the medical effects of cannabis, but after working with veterans at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, she saw for herself the medical power of the plant. After her first-hand experience, Dr. Sisley decided to dive head on into the medical marijuana scene. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Dr. Sisley has been part of the first ever government-funded study into the effectiveness of treating PTSD with marijuana. She also took part in the first attempt at treating an NFL player with medical cannabis, outlined in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary series on the plant. She’s even been appointed the role of Medical Director for Nuka Enterprises who produce the 1906 brand cannabis edibles. She does all of this while continuously providing medical care to patients in her private practice (who she runs with her mother, Hanna Sisley). Dr. Sisley is nothing short of remarkable.

Over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified. — Former NFL player Eugene Monroe

While mostly researching the effects of cannabis in veterans, she has also started to do work with athletes, including NFL player Mike James who we mentioned above. She believes that cannabis can be the solution to the opioid and painkiller addictions that run rampant through the NFL.

When asked about the biggest setback that is preventing medical marijuana to be administered to willing patients, Dr. Sisley told us that “the government has systematically impeded studies that reveals the effectiveness of the different application methods of cannabis.”

Without these studies, scientists and doctors are left in a world of chaos when dealing with cannabis. Not only does the impediment of these studies effect the research of application methods, but it effects the research into the plants themselves. With thousands upon thousands of strains, doctors do not know which are more effective with which disease or which ones are good for medical use and for recreational use.

Dr. Sisley also says that there is “no oversight” within behind the cannabis markets yet, at least none that are effective. This, we know, leads to quality control issues within cannabis products. Even the governments’ own approved farm, specifically used for clinical trials, located in the University of Mississippi, has its own quality issues.

Basically, without the support of the federal government, there will always be a lack of understanding behind the medical efficacy of the cannabis plant. This means that veterans and athletes will be left on their own if they seek medical cannabis help.

CANNABIS & HEMP NOW AVAILABLE TO MORE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

The UFC is another major sport organization that has had players speak up on the medical effects of cannabis. Fighters such as Yair Rodriguez and Nate Diaz are advocators for the neuroprotective properties of CBD. In an infamous post-fight press conference, Nate Diaz vaped CBD oil. He told the press that it helps him recover from fights. That particular fight was UFC 202, where Diaz fought for the Welterweight championship belt against Conor McGregor, was a five-round bloodbath. It only shows just how important CBD can be to athletes such as Diaz, where they face can face extraordinary injuries in their sport.

Ice Hockey players embrace on the ice during a game. Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

As a result of Diaz’s advocacy and changes to World Anti-Doping Authority Standards, the UFC removed its restriction on CBD at the beginning of 2018. Other major sports leagues such as the NHL and MLB have also allowed players to take medical cannabis treatments, as they tend to focus on cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs rather than federally-banned substances.

The NFL can learn a lot from these other leagues. After all, Football is the most dangerous of America’s major sports. Football not only has higher rates of injury, but the injuries that can be sustained are often much more serious.

A GREENER FUTURE FOR CANNABIS & CBD IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

In a country that is slowly changing the narrative around the cannabis plant, we hope to see major sports leagues join the change in order to preserve the health and well-being of their players.

With more states legalizing the use of recreational or medical marijuana (such as Michigan) we can only hope that the federal government will start to ramp up its support too. Without backing from the federal government, the cannabis industry and the community around it are forced to fend for themselves, and researchers are left to depend on private donors to fund studies into cannabis.

But, despite all of these setbacks, the cannabis revolution marches on. With advocates like Dr. Sisley and Eugene Monroe working so hard to promote access, we’re confident in the future of cannabis in professional sports.

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Inesscents CBD Salvation | CBD Body Care Review (VIDEO)

Our video blogger Jessica reviewed three different products from Inesscents CBD: CBD Salvation Hot Freeze Skin Salve, CBD Salvation Balance Beauty Serum, and their just released Colloidal Oatmeal & Lavender Soap.

Today I’m going to be reviewing some products from Inesscents.

Inesscents was one of the first organic body companies in the country, started in 2000.

Inesscents has a variety of body care products including skin care, soaps, and relief & recovery salves. All of their products have ingredients that are sustainably harvested, organic, and fair trade certified.

Inesscents sent me three different products to try out: CBD Salvation Hot Freeze Skin Salve, CBD Salvation Balance Beauty Serum, and their just released Colloidal Oatmeal & Lavender Soap!

I have been testing these products out for about a month now and I gotta say, I’m impressed! Not only does the company have great business practices that I look for personally, such as ethically &  sustainably sourced ingredients, but they have formulated some really wonderful things with some of my favorite ingredients such as hemp oil, calendula, arnica, chamomile, helichrysum, frankincense. Just so much good stuff.

A photo showing a person holding Inesscents CBD Hot Freeze Skin Salve.

Inesscents CBD Hot Freeze Skin Salve felt great on Jessica’s sore muscles.

Inesscents offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

CBD SALVATION HOT FREEZE SKIN SALVE

I regularly use CBD topicals on my neck, shoulder, and back. I love topicals that have a cooling or warming sensation to them. The cooling effect is the most immediate and longest lasting. The cayenne in this gives it a nice subtle warming undertone that is really pleasant. I’ve been using this daily and it’s really nice and smells great too!

CBD SALVATION BALANCE BEAUTY SERUM

I use both jojoba and hemp oils regularly in my skin care routine,  so I started using this daily. It has so many amazing ingredients in it that I have used in my skincare, so having them all in one product is a nice serum packed full of goodness. Hemp is non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores. You’ll really notice how much your skin soaks it all up and how hydrating it is! The calendula and chamomile are extremely soothing, and tamanu oil helps combat redness. This serum has a nice light herbal aroma that’s not strong at all and doesn’t linger on your face.

CBD SALVATION COLLOIDAL OATMEAL & LAVENDER SOAP

I was really excited to try this soap out. I have some areas of my skin that are more sensitive so I try to use soaps that have ingredients that are calming. Not only is the hemp oil in this great for so many things like rashes and dry skin, but the colloidal oatmeal and lavender are both really soothing ingredients. The soap has a very light natural lavender fragrance. Not too strong and definitely not an unnatural fragrance, it doesn’t linger on the skin which is also nice!

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Ananda Touch Bliss Oil Enhances Intimacy With Full-Spectrum CBD

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil enhances intimacy and pleasure with the power of CBD. Bliss combines full-spectrum hemp extract with other natural ingredients to create more fulfilling and more powerful sexual experiences.

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil, the new sexual lubricant from Ananda Hemp, enhances intimacy and pleasure with the power of CBD.

CBD is a powerful natural compound found in hemp that won’t make you feel high, but does create numerous positive effects for consumers. We’ve experienced CBD tinctures, and tried CBD in capsules, gummies, and even popcorn. However, Ananda Hemp’s latest product breaks new ground for our review team and the industry as a whole.

Bliss Oil is a special CBD formulation designed to enhance erotic intimacy, from Ananda Hemp’s new “Ananda Touch” line of products. Ananda Touch Bliss Oil combines full-spectrum hemp extract with other pleasure enhancing ingredients to create more relaxing, more fulfilling, and more powerful sexual experiences. Bliss Oil uses only plant-based ingredients and it’s free from dangerous ingredients sometimes found in lube. However, because Ananda Touch Bliss Oil is oil-based, it’s not safe to use with condoms or other safer sex supplies.

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil from Ananda Hemp, seen against a background of rosy pink bath salts. Ananda Touch Bliss Oil is designed to enhance bloodflow and reduce pain. Used as a lube, Bliss Oil makes erotic encounters slippery and more fulfilling.

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil combines CBD oil with other natural ingredients that increase bloodflow and enhance sexual pleasure.

Ananda Hemp paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Our reviewer reported that using Ananda Hemp Bliss Oil felt arousing and exciting. Curious to learn more? Read on for an overview of Ananda Hemp and our full review.

ANANDA HEMP TAKES TOP QUALITY HEMP INTO THE BEDROOM

Ananda Hemp only makes high-quality, carefully formulated CBD products, and they’ve brought the same care to Bliss Oil. They work with experienced former tobacco farmers in Kentucky to grow their hemp, and carefully guide their crops through every stage from seed to final product. We appreciate their dedication to transparency, with clear, careful labelling and third-party lab results available for every product. Through their involvement with the US Hemp Roundtable, Ananda Hemp are also leaders in promoting legal, sustainable hemp growing throughout the country.

Bliss Oil combines full-spectrum CBD oil with pleasure-enhancing natural ingredients like peppermint and cacao.

Bliss Oil combines full-spectrum CBD oil with pleasure-enhancing natural ingredients like peppermint and cacao.

When it comes to Ananda Touch Bliss Oil, it’s important to follow directions. While you can certainly apply directly and immediately use as a lubricant, cannabis-enhanced sexual products work best when they have a chance to absorb into the skin first. Ananda Hemp recommends applying at least 15 minutes before you want to engage in most sexual activity, so the best practice is to spread it on your genitals and then enjoy some cuddling, foreplay, or other light stimulation for a while. You can easily apply more Bliss Oil, or another lubricant, to keep things slippery later.

Ananda Hemp Bliss Oil can enhance any sexual experience in anyone, whether you’re with a lover or just enjoying yourself. CBD, working in concert with Bliss Oil’s other natural ingredients, increases blood flow and reduces pain. This makes your skin more sensitive and leaves you feeling ready to feel good. Even without direct stimulation, we noticed a sudden spike in sexual arousal about 15 to 20 minutes after application. Orgasms felt more intense, and pleasure lasted longer. It even felt easier to get excited again afterward.

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil (Ministry Of Hemp Official CBD Review)ANANDA TOUCH BLISS OIL OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: When used as a lubricant, Ananda Touch Bliss Oil from Ananda Hemp increases blood flow, reduces pain, and enhances sexual pleasure.
  • Strength: 250mg of cannabinoids per 2 oz. bottle
  • Price: $60.00
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Free shipping available for Bliss Oil.
  • Independent Test Results: Online.
  • Sensation & Texture: Bliss Oil has a light but very slippery texture, and creates mild but noticeable cooling and tingling sensations when applied to the skin.
  • Ingredients: CBD oil / Full Spectrum Hemp extract with Coconut Oil, Organic Cacao Seed Butter (Theobroma), Peppermint Essential Oil, Black Pepper Essential Oil, L-Arginine in MCT oil, Cetearyl alcohol, and Phenoxyethanol.
  • Other: 10% of every purchase of Ananda Touch Bliss Oil goes to support the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Ananda Hemp offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

Bliss oil is not compatible with condoms or other safer sex supplies. Ananda Hemp uses Kentucky-grown hemp in all their products. Our reviewers are also big fans of Ananda Hemp’s other products, including their CBD oil and Spectrum Gels.

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The Best Valentine’s Day CBD Gifts: Our CBD Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Add relaxation, stress relief and even romance to your holiday with Ministry Of Hemp’s Official Valentine’s Day CBD Gift Guide. We’ve gathered special offers on some of our favorite CBD products.

Make Valentine’s Day healthier, more relaxing, and even more romantic with this CBD Valentine’s Gift Guide.

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.

There’s nothing worse than being too stressed to enjoy time with our loved ones. CBD seems to balance the human endocannabinoid system. CBD reduces pain and symptoms of anxiety, which can help us feel more relaxed and open to our loved ones on this special day. Even if you’re spending the day by yourself, CBD is the perfect choice for self-care.

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

RECIPE: CUPID’S CBD FIZZ FROM CURALEAF HEMP

Valentine's CBD cocktail from Curaleaf Hemp: Cupid's CBD FizzCBD drinks are a great choice for entertaining and, when it comes to CBD-infused alcoholic beverages, might even counteract some of the negative side-effects of drinking since CBD reduces inflammation. Of course, it’s always important to drink responsibly and in moderation, so save the elevated cocktails for when you’re ready to stay in for the night.

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

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients in a shaker with no ice for a dry shake for no less than 10 seconds
  • Add ice to the shaker and give a final shake
  • Pour the liquid into a lowball glass
  • Garnish with a rose petal

CuraLeaf Hemp Valentine's Day CBD CouponCuraleaf Hemp CBD Valentine’s Day Coupon

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off all Curaleaf Hemp products until Valentine’s Day.
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code CURALOVE at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2019)

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

We’ve got lots more great Valentine’s Day CBD gifts for you. Click below to jump to a brand, or read on to see all the Valentine’s Day CBD deals. We’ve provided everything you need to take advantage of these sales.

Ananda Touch Bliss Oil (Ministry of Hemp Valentine's CBD Gift Guide)Ananda Hemp

  • What’s the deal? Get 20% off Ananda Touch Bliss Oil when you order before February 15!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code blissfulday at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Until February 15, 2019.

Bliss Oil is Ananda Hemp’s new intimate oil, designed to enhance sexual pleasure. Check out our official review of Bliss Oil! We’re also big fans of Ananda Hemp’s Spectrum Gels and their CBD tinctures.

Sunday Scaries (Ministry Of Hemp Official Valentine's Day CBD Guide)Sunday Scaries

  • What’s the deal? Get 10% off Sunday Scaries CBD products, which are formulated to reduce anxiety!
  • Do I need a coupon code? Use coupon code ministry at checkout.
  • When is this deal available? Anytime. It cannot be combined with other offers, however.

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.

THE BASICS OF THC AND CBD

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.

CBD BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

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.

THC BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

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.

HOW CBD AND THC WORK TOGETHER: 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.

LEGALITIES AND LIMITS OF THC IN CBD PRODUCTS

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.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. THC

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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Despite Cannabis Legalization, Access To Legal CBD In Uruguay Is Challenging

Access to CBD in Uruguay remains difficult, despite the South American country’s overall progressive leadership on cannabis law reform. That could be starting to change this year.

Access to CBD in Uruguay remains difficult, despite the South American country’s overall progressive leadership on cannabis law reform.

December 2018 marked five years since cannabis became legal in Uruguay. After Law 19.172 was approved — enabling the State to regulate the cannabis supply chain, from growth to trade – Uruguay seems to have founded a true benchmark in the world, becoming the very first country to legalize recreational and medical cannabis.

Taken under Pepe Mujica’s government – which was considered a role model for leftists in Latin America – this brave step towards regularization represented more than a juridical benchmark. By walking through the wooded capital of Montevideo, it is possible to realize that the legislation has also set a new moral paradigm in the Uruguayan society.

It is not rare to spot a family smoking together at the ramblas (Montevideo’s riverbanks), or even turn the TV on and unexpectedly come across a popular morning show discussing the benefits of cannabis with its audience. The stigma around cannabis definitely belongs to the past.

Progressive in several other aspects (such as legal abortion, affirmative action for the trans community and gay marriage), Uruguay’s policies may sound ideal to many people. But with regards to cannabis, the implementation of Law 19.172 still faces substantial issues: the pioneer country in legalizing marijuana still moves slow when it comes to regulated medical cannabis and legal CBD products.

CANNABIS LAW REFORM BEGAN IN 1970S

Although it was only with Law 19.172 that Uruguay gained a comprehensive, effective legal instrument for the regularization of cannabis, the country first adopted a more tolerant posture towards drugs in 1974 – curiously, during the Uruguayan Military Dictatorship. Over forty years ago, the Law 14.294 already exempted from legal penalty all the individuals carrying, using, or giving away up to 40 grams of marijuana.

Damian Collazo, a grower with CLUC, one of Uruguay's first cannabis clubs, examines plants in their cannabis farm. Although recreational cannabis is legal, access to CBD in Uruguay is limited. CLUC cannot legally sell CBD products.

Damian Collazo, a grower with CLUC, one of Uruguay’s first cannabis clubs, examines plants in their cannabis farm. Although recreational cannabis is legal, access to CBD in Uruguay is limited. CLUC cannot legally sell CBD products. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Beatriz Miranda)

By 2012, when Pepe Mujica’s cabinet presented to the Congress the first draft of Law 19.172, the pro-cannabis discussion had already gained sufficient ground. In 1998, Law 17.016 allowed citizens to consume a somewhat larger amount of marijuana (compared to 1974); in 2000, President Jorge Batlle assumed a pro-legalization position; and in 2010, the Congressman Lacalle Pou presented a bill allowing citizens to grow cannabis for personal use.

Since 2013, Law 19.172 stipulates that Uruguay’s government is in charge of regulating all the import, export, growth, harvest, production, acquisition, distribution, storage and trade of cannabis and marijuana-derived products.

Diego Olivera is the President of IRCCA’s key board, the Uruguayan Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis. Created with Law 19.172, IRCCA is in charge of supervising the cannabis’ production process, formulating public policies, providing scientific data on cannabis and coordinating scientific cooperation.

Like most pro-cannabis Uruguayans, Olivera evaluates the five-year-period of regulated marijuana as a positive one.

“We are convinced that we adopted the right model,” he said.

On the other hand, he does admit: the regulated medical cannabis market remains a challenge for Uruguay.

LEGALIZATION IN URUGUAY: A MATTER OF PUBLIC SECURITY

Unlike Canada, which legalized medical cannabis in 2001, and recreational cannabis only in 2018 (clearly focusing on a public health strategy), the legalization in Uruguay turned, in principal, to the public security issue.

Olivera said:

“In 2012, 2013, the public discussion evolved very much around security. But this was not an agenda for Uruguay until the 21st century. The public security debate did not really take part of the Uruguayan culture. The cannabis regulation appeared as a response, a strategy to fight the narco-traffic.”

Indeed, Law 19.172 foresees a cannabis regulation strategy that promotes public security, public health and individual rights, altogether. But, due to a greater concern with security, recreational cannabis — and its users, consequently — have been the priority on the last five years. Thus, Uruguayans still wait for a more democratic access to regulated medical cannabis.

Today, Uruguay offers three legal options for the access to recreational marijuana: buying up to 40 grams out of four weed varieties (with higher or lower THC levels), offered at 17 authorized pharmacies; growing up to 6 cannabis plants at home; or becoming a member of one of the 114 cannabis clubs. On the other hand, a patient who suffers from refractory epilepsy, for example, can only find one legal CBD product at Uruguayan pharmacies: Epifractan.

Although Law 19.172 was approved in 2013, Epifractan, a Cannabidiol extract, sold in concentrations of 2 percent and 5 percent, has only been on the market for a year. The only available CBD medicine in the pharmacies, however, is financially inaccessible to many of its users (the 5 percent formula costs up to 200 dollars).

For purchasing imported CBD products, Uruguayan patients have to clear several bureaucratic hurdles, like obtaining a special prescription and an authorization from the Health Ministry. Beyond that, shipping these medicines is still quite expensive, and the government doesn’t provide any bureaucratic or financial assistance for this transaction.

With so many obstacles to access regulated medical cannabis, an unofficial market of CBD-derived products has developed in Uruguay in the last years. Sustained mainly by a network of friends and relatives, these users, or patients, represent over half of the medical cannabis’ consumer market in Uruguay.

CBD IN URUGUAY: MOST PEOPLE BUY UNAUTHORIZED OR HOMEGROWN CBD

According to a research by Monitor Cannabis Uruguay, two thirds of users access CBD-derived products (oils, lotions, etc.) by buying it from unauthorized artisanal producers, by receiving it as a gift (from friends or relatives) or by producing it from their homegrown marijuana.

Maria José Milles and Damián Collazo have been involved with the production of cannabis at least since 2014, when, along with approximately 20 other people, they founded CLUC (“Cultivando Liberdade Uruguay Cresce”, which means “By Growing Freedom, Uruguay Grows”). CLUC is one of the first registered cannabis clubs in Uruguay.

Although none of them knows people who buy Epifractan in the pharmacies, they do know Uruguayans who produce artisanal Cannabidiol oil themselves.

“We cannot sell homemade CBD oil to other people, but we produce it ourselves and give it as a gift to people we know … I personally make it for myself, but also for my mother and a few friends,” said Milles, who is in charge of CLUC’s administration and accounting.

Gardener and agronomist, Damián Collazo takes care of the seeding of ten different cannabis varieties at CLUC. According to him, there are CLUC members who also produce CBD oil to treat serious diseases.

“One of our club managers produce it and give it to her mother, who has cancer,” he told Ministry of Hemp.

For Diego Olivera, there is a mistaken presumption among users that cannabis is a “magical substance,” capable of healing almost everything. He also warns for the risk of self-medicating with a product that was not tested, and whose efficacy and safety isn’t guaranteed.

Diego Olivera, President of IRCCA, in his office with a thermos and mug of mate. IRCCA regulates cannabis in Uruguay, and Olivera anticipates a much greater diversity in hemp and cannabis products in 2019.

Diego Olivera, President of IRCCA. IRCCA regulates cannabis in Uruguay, and Olivera anticipates a much greater diversity in hemp and cannabis products in 2019. (Ministry of Hemp / Beatriz Miranda)

CANNABIS & HEMP IN URUGUAY: A HORIZON FOR FREEDOM

The year of 2019 promises to be better for CBD in Uruguay and medical cannabis users overall. In November 2018, Canadian group Aurora (one of the licensed companies that produce cannabis) inaugurated Uruguay’s first production center for medical cannabis. Aurora’s medicines are expected to be launched in February this year. What’s more, 32 groups already have IRCCA’s authorization to research and produce medical cannabis.

Eduardo Blasina is the director of Montevideo Cannabis Museum, founded in 2016 as an effort to demystify cannabis. Also, he is a partner of Symbiosis, one of the first companies to have won the government’s bid to produce marijuana. Right now, Symbiosis is working on two medical products: a refined CBD oil and a “raw” (the whole extract). They hope to launch both near the end of 2019.

At the moment, Uruguayan political party IR — a member of Frente Amplio, the left-wing political coalition that is in power right now — is working on a bill that reclassifies CBD-oils as phytotherapeutic compounds, instead of medicines. Inspired by Colombia’s and Czech Republic’s laws, the bill aims to facilitate the access to regulated medical cannabis products by allowing smaller producers to become regular sellers.

Considering that, so far, only international companies have been able to meet Uruguay’s rigorous requirements to produce medical cannabis, this bill could mean a more democratic official CBD market.

Diego Olivera is optimistic about the future of medical cannabis: “This year will clearly witness advances in research. We hope to prioritize accessibility, turn the market more dynamic, and invest in other cannabic industries, such as food and cosmetics,” he said.

Despite all the remaining challenges, Blasina also thinks that the implementation of Law 19.172 is at a good pace. He is happy with the legislation, and supports that Uruguay can’t miss the great opportunities ahead:

“More than cannabis tourism, we should invest in ‘tourism of freedom,’ which stands for the idea ‘you smoke if you feel like.’ As a progressive country, we really have the potential to become a multicultural society.”

For more information about cannabis & CBD in Uruguay:

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