Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

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Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?

Today we’re going to talk about Hemp vs. Marijuana. With the rising legalization of all forms of cannabis, things can get a little confusing sometimes.

I’m Jessica with Ministry of Hemp, America’s Leading Hemp Advocate.

Today we’re going to talk about hemp and marijuana. With the legalization of both of these industries, there’s a lot of information popping up, and with more information comes more MISinformation.

So today we’re gonna talk about how they are both similar and totally different! Let’s get to it.



Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications – indica and sativa. While marijuana can be a member of either the indica or sativa families, hemp is only a member of the cannabis sativa family.


Cannabis contains a variety of different cannabinoids. The two most dominant are tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, and cannabidiol, known as CBD. While both have been shown to have benefits to the human body, THC, has psychoactive effects, which means you “get high,” while CBD does not.

While hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less, marijuana is abundant with THC, different strains can contain anywhere from 5-35 percent THC.


Marijuana is grown for medicinal and recreational purposes. Due to its psychoactive properties, marijuana is usually consumed by smoking, vaping or in edibles.

Hemp, on the other hand, has over 25,000 possible applications such as dietary supplements, skincare and body products, clothing and fabric, and even paper, construction, and fuel!


Hemp is legal to purchase in all 50 states and is legal to ship in the U.S.

Marijuana, however, is not legal in every state at this point. It’s still illegal in many states, some have only legalized medical marijuana, and some states have both legal medical and recreational marijuana.

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2018 Hemp Report Reveals Huge Expansion To US Hemp Acres

2018 was one hell of a year for the hemp industry with hemp acreage more than tripling across the United States. These impressive facts can be found in the 2018 U.S. Hemp Crop Report, released late last month by Vote Hemp.

2018 was one hell of a year for the hemp industry. Besides the triumph that is federal legalization, hemp more than tripled in acreage across the United States.

These impressive facts can be found in the 2018 U.S. Hemp Crop Report, released late last month by Vote Hemp, a leading hemp advocacy organization. When it comes to this recent report, Erica Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, told Nebraska’s KTIC Radio news:

“We’ve seen hemp cultivation significantly expand in the U.S. in 2018, with over triple the number of acres planted in hemp compared to last year and the addition of 4 more states with hemp programs. Now that we have lifted federal prohibition on hemp farming, it’s time to invest our energy in expanding hemp cultivation and the market for hemp products across the country so that all can reap the benefits of this versatile, historic American crop.”

Just months ago, experts were claiming sales of hemp products may reach $2 billion by 2022. However, with this current hemp report and the optimism federal legalization brings, there’s a good chance that number will grow rapidly. The truth of the matter is many more people are opening up to CBD and other hemp products as the stigma around the plant falls away. The more people to do so, the more demand will naturally appear.

A herm farmer inspects his crop in a massive greenhouse densely packed with industrial hemp plants. The 2018 Hemp Report from Vote Hemp revealed that US hemp acres tripled between 2017 and 2018.

The 2018 Hemp Report from Vote Hemp revealed that US hemp acres tripled between 2017 and 2018.

Similarly to last year’s report, we’re going to take a look at the leading states and see the progress they’ve made since 2017.


Comparing Vote Hemp’s 2018 report with last year’s hemp acreage reveals incredible growth in just one year.

Overall hemp acreage increased from 25,713 to 78,176, with the total number of hemp growing states up to 23 from 19 states. The total number of hemp licenses issued across all states more than doubled, from 1,456 in 2017 to 3,546 in 2018. More universities also got involved with hemp research. In 2017, 32 universities took part in hemp research, while 40 had hemp research programs in 2018.

In addition to the sheer increase in U.S. hemp acres between 2018 and 2017, the top hemp growing states also shifted from year to year. Colorado was the top hemp growing state in 2017, with 9,700 acres grown. At the time, we expected the state to maintain its lead into the future. Instead, an unexpected contender came forward to claim that prize in 2018.


The 2018 hemp report revealed a historic year in hemp growing. Not only have certain states made incredible progress but the entire country tripled its hemp output, along with more than doubling the number of licenses issued.

In 2018, 5 states made huge leaps when it came to hemp acreage. By observing their individual success, we can get a sense of how other states can make the best of the recent Farm Bill and increase their hemp production in 2019 and beyond.

#5 – Tennessee – 3,338 Acres

Tennessee made a significant leap this year in terms of their involvement in the hemp industry. The state went from farming 200 acres of hemp in 2017 to a staggering 3,338 this past year.

The reason for this leap is due to Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture allowing for more industrial hemp projects and licenses to be issued. Part of the reason for their permissive attitude has to do with the state’s rich history with the crop.

#4 – Kentucky – 6,700 Acres

Though Kentucky no longer ranks as high on this list, they’ve more than doubled their hemp production within the last year. Kentucky has been a leading state for much of the industry’s recent endeavors due to the fact that it was one of the first to embrace pilot hemp programs. Despite the state’s conservative history, many former tobacco farmers now grow hemp. The state’s legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were instrumental in passing nationwide hemp legalization through the Farm Bill.

#3 – Oregon – 7,808 Acres

It comes as no surprise to see Oregon ranking high on our list. For some time, it’s been one of the most forward-thinking cannabis states across the country. Even before the 2018 Farm Bill, Oregon’s lenient hemp growing program allowed any farmer or business to apply to grow or handle hemp.

Last year, Oregon ranked in at #2 for producing 3,469 acres of hemp. This year, their efforts have given them nearly 8,000 acres.

#2 – Colorado – 21,578 Acres

Last year, we claimed, “for years to come, it seems as though Colorado is going to lead the hemp industry.” Though we were wrong, there’s no doubt the Centennial State gave its best effort in trying to stay true to our claim. Colorado more than doubled its hemp acres from 2017’s 9,700 acres of hemp.

#1 – Montana – 22,000 Acres

In 2018, Montana took the grand prize not only in most acres of hemp grown but in how much expansion its made since 2017. In the year prior, the first year that Montana allowed hemp, the Treasure State grew a mere 542 acres of hemp. This past year, they’ve more multiplied their hemp production by more than 40 times!

This increase is truly an incredible feat not just for the state but the industry as a whole. The interesting part of it all is Montana didn’t change their rules or regulation to cause this growth. The same license was necessary each year and cost around $450.

Yet, due to a massive increase in the number of farmers desiring to grow hemp, Montana ranks number one on this year’s list.

Seen from the shoulders down, a farmer in a black hoodie gives a thumbs up while posing with a basket of freshly harvested hemp.

The 2018 Hemp Report reveals incredible growth in the hemp industry, from total acres grown to massive expansion in individual states too.


It’s truly mindblowing to think about how far the hemp industry come just since 2014. Throughout that time, we went from a complete prohibition to over 75,000 acres of the plant being grown across the nation.

It should be noted the other states which have made tremendous progress throughout 2018:

  • Pennsylvania went from 36 acres in 2017 to 580 acres in 2018.
  • Maine went from 30 acres in 2017 to 550 acres in 2018.
  • Nevada went from 417 acres in 2017 to 1,881 acres in 2018.
  • Vermont went from 575 acres in 2017 to 1,820 acres in 2018.
  • Wisconsin went from no acres in 2017 to 1,850 acres in 2018.
  • North Carolina went from 965 acres in 2017 to 3,184 acres in 2018.

These numbers reveal the ongoing and inevitable rise of this industry. Though experts long predicted a U.S. hemp boom, this Hemp Crop Report comprehensively shows how rapidly the hemp industry is rising.

With total hemp legalization underway across the United States, there’s no telling how much progress is coming. All we do know is it’s bound to be another milestone year in 2019.

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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.


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”).


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 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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Ministry of Hemp Podcast Episode 1: Learning About 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?

Ministry of Hemp Podcast Episode 1: Learning About 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 402-819-6147.

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.

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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.


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.



  • 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.

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

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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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.


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.


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.


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)


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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