One Unexpected Way Hemp Can Enhance Your Endocannabinoid System

One Unexpected Way Hemp Can Enhance Your Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all vertebrate animals. Since its discovery in the early 90s, researchers and scientists have only started to uncover all of the functions of the mysterious system.

If we compare the systems in the human body to software applications, then the ECS would be the operating system that allows them to communicate and controls when and how the applications respond.

The ECS acts as a modulator for all the other systems in the human body. It searches for imbalances that it can correct. While much research is still needed to fully understand how the system works, we know it consists of receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. We also know the ECS plays a role in these and many other natural functions:

One Unexpected Way Hemp Can Enhance Your Endocannabinoid System

Kristina Etter

Kristina Etter

@CannaJournalist

Terminology Disclaimer

Before I go any further in explaining this, let’s get a little basic terminology out of the way.

• Endocannabinoids are endogenous cannabinoids produced in every healthy human body. To date, we know of two endocannabinoids produced in the body, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). However, it is widely believed there are others that haven’t been discovered yet.

Cannabinoids, also known as phytocannabinoids, are derived from plants. Cannabinoids are found in hemp, cannabis, and a wide variety of other plants, spices, and herbs. Regardless of where they are sourced, they elicit a particular response in the body by binding with receptors. THC and CBD are cannabinoids exclusive to the cannabis sativa plant variety.

Fueling the ECS

Just as your muscles need protein, your endocannabinoid system needs basic dietary requirements to function correctly. Believe it or not, endocannabinoid deficiency is a clinical disorder.

So what does the ECS need to fuel its balancing act? The answer probably isn’t what you’d think.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, a well-respected cannabis researcher, and physician contributed an article to Leafly that reviews natural ways to enhance our ECS. The first item he lists is essential fatty acids — omega-3 and omega-6. While the western diet isn’t short on omega-6, most of us don’t consume enough omega-3 through a natural diet. Dr. Sulak recommends increasing our omega-3 intake with foods like eggs, walnuts, hemp seeds and oil, and others.

Hemp Seed Oil

The hemp seed itself does not contain cannabinoids, because the cannabinoids are formed in trichomes produced on the flowers and leaves of hemp and cannabis. Interestingly, the oil pressed from hemp seeds is rich with a perfect balance of essential fatty acids necessary for endocannabinoid production.

In fact, research has suggested that omega-3 deficiency may impact the inflammatory response, pain perception, and other vital physiological processes. Other studies suggest a diet low in omega-3s may affect brain function and cannabinoid receptor activity, too.

The good news is hemp seed oil is readily available and has been considered safe for consumption by the FDA for years. However, in light of the recent legal changes regarding hemp, we can expect to see this market grow exponentially as consumers learn about its nutritional value.

How to Easily Add Hemp Oil to Your Diet

Let’s face it, many healthy diet changes suck. Nobody likes to add gritty protein shakes or granola bars that remind us of eating bark and twigs. Most of us also refuse to pay three times the amount for a healthy alternative of a product we use daily.

Here is a couple of hemp, and hemp oil, products I found that won’t break the bank and could significantly impact your health and wellness.

Good Hemp Beverages

With a slogan like “Better Products for Your Everyday Living,” Good Hemp aims high with its brand of hemp oil-infused beverages. These beverages contain no cannabinoids, only the beneficial oils pressed from hemp seed.

If you’re an energy drink kind of person, Good Hemp offers a hemp oil beverage for you. CannaHemp comes in three flavors, mango, blueberry, and original. It is packed with 50mg of hemp seed oil, natural flavors, and organic caffeine.

Like the bubbles? Good Hemp Fizz contains 50mg of hemp seed oil, prebiotic fiber, and natural flavors like mango, blueberry, and citrus twist.

Looking for a little more? Good Hemp 2oh! is a 20-calorie, naturally flavored water containing 10mg of THC-free CBD hemp extract. Available in six flavors, these bottled waters are an easy replacement for something you use every day — water.

Humming Hemp

This company produces an entire lineup of hemp snacks and foods made from hemp seed. Humming Hemp has several options for blending a little hemp nutrition into your day, from cooking oils to deliciously flavored granola bars (I highly recommend the pumpkin seed & spice and the honey cinnamon — they will get you high on flavor alone!) and flavored snackable hemp hearts that are great on dish — sprinkle them on a salad, on your pastas, anything that you’d like that extra special crunch!

Of course, you can find hemp hearts, hemp milk, and hemp oils at many grocery outlets and health food stores, and they provide the same nutrition. It’s also good to note that hemp oils are not intended for high heat, so don’t plan on doing any kind of frying or the like with hemp oils. However, they are great for salads, sauces, and lower-temperature meals.

The Value of Cannabis & Hemp Unrivaled

One thing is for sure, whether you’re consuming the leaves, the flowers, or the seeds, hemp and cannabis have a long list of health-boosting potential. In fact, in theory, healthy consumers could maintain their health by simply adding a little hemp oil to their diets. On the other hand, cannabinoids from the mature plant may one day prove to help with symptoms of various conditions.

However you look at it, hemp is a multi-purpose plant packed with promise.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them, I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. Please see my full disclosure policy here.

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Top 6 New Cannabis Products I Tried in 2020

Top 6 New Cannabis Products I Tried in 2020

Few people in the United States are going to look back on 2020 with fond memories. Even if you’ve been spared by COVID, the anxiety surrounding the economic struggles and election chaos has taken a toll on everyone.

Fortunately, living in Colorado, the cannabis industry was quickly deemed essential by the powers that be, and thus, the cannabis industry continued to press forward. But, not only did it continue, it flourished. Five new states legalized cannabis by ballot, and Colorado reported record cannabis sales for 2020.

Since my husband and I are cannabis patients, we were thankful for the essential designation, and since I work as a journalist covering the industry, the work must go on! Here are a few new cannabis products we tried this year and loved!

Top 6 New Cannabis Products I Tried in 2020

Kristina Etter

Kristina Etter

@CannaJournalist

UPDATED

March 2020 Update — this article now only has 5 products. I mentioned a Delta-8 THC product at the end, but have recently retracted my support for these products, so I am no longer supporting ANY D8 product. To learn why I changed my stance read: I Stand Corrected — The Truth about Delta 8 THC

Coda Signature Fruit Notes

Coda Signature has always been one of my favorite cannabis edibles companies. In fact, I rank them the best edible in the state of Colorado. Their chocolates are beyond divine, and I’m a self-proclaimed chocolate snob. Yet, this year… Coda Signature knocked my socks off again… and this time with a new line of gummies.

Fruit Notes by Coda Signature are super soft, fresh fruit gummies with unexpected flavor profiles that absolutely delight your taste buds. They have flavors like Mango & Chile Lime, Cherry & Sasparilla, Pineapple & Jalapeno, and many others. All-natural, gluten-free, and vegan, these are genuinely the guilt-free sweet treat you’ve craving. Available in different THC:CBD ratios, I use the 1:1 combo for a genuinely functional level of relaxation and de-stressing.

Seed & Smith Dart

I stopped using vape pens a couple of years ago. I just couldn’t find one I really liked that didn’t use additives like PG (polypropylene glycol). After watching both of my parents die from lung cancer, I am finicky about the products I put in my lungs. Frankly, few vape pens, pods, or cartridges lived up to my standards. But a few weeks ago, we were introduced to the Seed & Smith Dart.

First, you can’t help but love the little pods that look like Darth Vader’s helmet. They hold 500mg of either a live resin or a THC distillate with reintroduced terps. Now, I typically shy away from distillates because I prefer the healing power of a full-spectrum. However, the distillates were flavorful and didn’t produce any of the typical adverse effects from vape cartridges, like burning throat or nasty chemical flavors.

The battery itself holds a charge for quite some time, and the draw is smooth. Best of all, the discreet little device produces impressive billows of vapor.

I’ve only found a couple of drawbacks so far. First, the pods are not printed with the strain, and they are easy to get mixed up if you get more than one. **I stand corrected. Seed & STEM’s PR rep reached out to me today and low and behold, on the back of the tin container they come in, are two tiny little stickers that you can use to label the cartridge! Amazing!

Secondly, while the shape fits great in your hand, use caution when putting it in a pocket. I lost mine when it accidentally slipped out of my coat pocket, getting into our Jeep.

Wyld Gummies

Relatively new to the game, I sought out Wyld cannabis products in Pueblo simply because their logo is deer antlers. I know, it’s a ridiculous reason… but hey, credit where credit is due. I live in the country, I like deer, and I love these gummies!

Unlike the Coda Signature gummies, these gummies have a soft, creamy texture. These are only available on the recreational side of the market, so dosing is limited to 100mg per package, making them a little pricey for medical patients, but a few times a year, they are a great change of pace.

GPen Connect by Grenco Science

Without question, this is my most favorite product we’ve discovered this year. You can review what I said about the GPen Connect by Grenco Science in an earlier blog, but now, after a year of use, I’d like to provide a few additional comments.

First, we are still on the first coil, and this thing is still running like a champ. The battery seems to be losing a little steam, as it needs to be charged about every other day now, but all in all — this is the best electronic nail I’ve ever used.

One little downside — it wastes product. Unfortunately, the melted product can and does drip through the device like reclaim. This makes it necessary to clean your rig relatively often to clean out the sludge, and it means that the product is lost as it drains through the coil.

CanLock

So this was an unexpected birthday present I received out of the blue this year. Storage is so incredibly important for cannabis consumers. Left out, cannabis loses terpenes, and cannabinoids can oxidize over time and actually change. Exposed to air and sunlight, THC will convert to CBN, so proper storage is critical unless you want all your flower to be sedative.

The CanLock provides effective, affordable vacuum-tight storage to protect your bud, savor the flavors and the aromas. Available in several patterns and sizes, there’s one to suit nearly everyone’s needs. Keep your buds fresh and the odor concealed with a CanLock.

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Dr. Dabber Boost EVO

Dr. Dabber Boost EVO

Dr. Dabber Boost EVO

Engineering

Super Simple Design

My Final Word

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Introducing Seed & STEM

Introducing Seed & STEM

Introducing Seed & STEM

As a forty-something woman, I accept the fact that I am not a stereotypical cannabis consumer. I am looking for more from my cannabis products than just getting high to escape reality, and I don’t want to listen to a random 20-something sell me a product because “it got them sooooo stoned.” I stopped reading (and writing) cannabis strain reviews and descriptions years ago, and because of my involvement in the cannabis industry for the last several years, I am a little more advanced than the Average Joe when it comes to finding the cannabis content I want.

I am not a girlie-girl, I’m a grown-ass woman that has lost interest in the standards girls keep. So, I do not want to read about what varieties of cannabis are best for hooking up. I do not want to read about cannabis manicures or about CBD-infused lip plumpers. I couldn’t care less about what music pairs well with Bubba Kush, I don’t need a dab bucket that cooks slabs of shatter, and I am not interested in using any products that claim to increase libido —I think the world is oversexed and overstimulated as it is.

So, that’s why I created Seed & STEM… real cannabis news for real cannabis women.

I want to know about practical cannabis products that promote safety and responsible consumption. I want to know how people are using cannabis with intent. I want to learn about the science and technology making our industry better and how these innovations impact the end-consumer. As a mature woman, I am interested in cannabis consumption with purpose.

Women & Weed

Women are making waves in cannabis.

As the cannabis industry continues to make advances across the nation, I know that I am not alone. Women everywhere are discovering the benefits of hemp and cannabis, not just for consumption but also for the environment and improving the world we live in. From oils to fuels, clothing to building supplies, medicines, and even foods, hemp is indeed a plant of many uses.

Many women are pioneering incredible solutions in the cannabis industry. Others are taking accountability for their health and wellness, while others find ways to live longer in the face of a terminal illness. These are the stories with substance. These are the stories that change perspectives and end stigmas.

In my role as an editor in the cannabis industry, I have met hundreds of women who are leading the charge to bring new light to cannabis consumption. I want to tell their stories.

Kristina Etter

Kristina Etter

Editor in Chief

Product Reviews

Relatable, Reliable Reviews

No offense, girls, but I don’t want to watch YouTube product reviews that show more of your cleavage than the product. I don’t need scantily clad women in booty shorts and bikini tops selling me products I don’t need, and I definitely don’t want read glowing product reviews paid for by the manufacturer. I want real, unbiased opinions from someone I can trust.

Far too often, people skew their opinions for personal gain. I mean, that’s the whole idea behind celebrity and influencer endorsements, right? Celebrities don’t shoot commercials for free, and influencers don’t mention products for nothin’. However, far too often, opinions are fabricated to make more money.

I won’t do this. In fact, I dropped out of marketing writing because it made me feel ‘icky’ using psychology and emotional manipulation to sell a product. I refuse to endorse a product I haven’t used personally, and I will speak the truth. If I like it, I’ll tell you what I liked. If I don’t like it, I’ll tell you what I didn’t like. But I’ll never sell you a product I don’t personally like and use, and I will disclose all affiliate links that I earn a commission from.

Cannabis News

No Fluff, No BS News You Can Use

If you’re like me, you don’t care whether or not Miley Cyrus is smoking weed or what new CBD product Kim Kardashian is putting in her gift bags. Pop culture is nothing more than brain-numbing fluff designed to keep masses distracted. So, unless Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart announce a secret love-child, I’m really not interested in celebrity news. (Unless of course, Snoop, B-Real, or Tommy Chong come along and want to talk shop.)

On the other hand, I want to know about the politics impacting the cannabis and hemp industries. I want to know about the science and research happening around the world. I want to hear about the companies making a difference in their communities and how cannabis tax dollars are being used around the nation. I want to hear about new products, new processes, new regulations, and new standards.

I want to hear about medical miracles. I want to see how cannabis and hemp are changing our world. I want to hear about the possibilities.

Content for Cutting-Edge Cannabis Consumers

I am a tech-savvy, well-educated, no-bullshit, cannabis-consuming woman. And I am sure there are others like me.

If you’re tired of the same ol’ “Top 10 Reasons You Should be Taking CBD” articles…sick of the bottomless pit of pop culture nonsense… and fed up with fabrications for funding… then pull up your big girl panties and click follow on my new publication, Seed & STEM — no bullshit cannabis news for the more sophisticated consumer.

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The Many Faces of THC

The Many Faces of THC

One of the biggest perks to being a journalist and writer in the cannabis industry is that I frequently get the opportunity to try new products — many before they hit the market. With a niche in cannabis technology, I often get the chance to use and evaluate new tech gadgets, like the tCheck, Gpen Connect, and even the new DAVINCI vaporizer.

As an experienced cannabis consumer living in a legal state, I also have sampled a broad range of products available in Colorado — mostly out of curiosity. I will seek out products with interesting new features, such as nanoformulations.

The Many Faces of THC

Kristina Etter

Kristina Etter

@CannaJournalist

Through my career and involvement in the cannabis industry, I have had the opportunity to learn that not all forms of THC are created equal. So, let’s explore the variations and what consumers can expect from each of them.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most widely known and infamous cannabinoid because it is the compound in cannabis, creating the euphoria cannabis consumers love. However, what many don’t realize is that there are many forms of this exciting compound.

We can look at this cannabinoid as the raw, natural form of tetrahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid is the acidic version of the compound and is found in the raw plant material. THCa, in this form, is non-psychoactive. Many hemp and cannabis advocates swear by consuming raw cannabis leaves or even juicing them, as THCa is purported to carry a wide range of health and wellness benefits.

This is the form of THC most everyone is familiar with because when you put flame to dry cannabis, the heat converts most of the THCa to Delta-9-THC. This conversion is referred to as ‘decarboxylation.’ Most home cannabis bakers use this process to increase their butter and oil potency by heating cannabis before they extract it. Most legal cannabis producers use Delta-9-THC to make various products like edibles and beverages.

Delta-9-THC binds with the CB1 receptors in our brains to create the iconic effects of cannabis. THC works very similar to anandamide, an endocannabinoid produced by the human body, that scientists call “The Bliss Molecule.”

This form of THC does not exist in the plant itself. Instead, when someone eats Delta-9-THC, enzymes produced by the liver metabolize the compound. This process changes Delta-9-THC to its more potent metabolite, 11-Hydroxy-THC.

Because it takes digestion, this causes a delayed effect from edible products, but this form of THC packs a punch when it does kick in. Often, this gets consumers in trouble. A THC overdose won’t kill you, but it can be terribly uncomfortable for the duration.

*Note: When you’ve overconsumed a THC edible — do NOT eat fatty, greasy foods. THC is a lipid, so it binds with the fat calories in your digestive system. Therefore, the more fat calories in your system, the more THC you will metabolize.

The THC Newcomers in the Cannabis and Hemp Industry

Update: My retraction of support for Delta 8 THC began in January of 2020, when I was hired to interview Josh Swider from Infinite CAL Labs and learned the devastating truth about these synthesized cannabinoids. The more I dug into the subject, the more I didn’t like what I was learning. Find out more about what I learned and why I feel betrayed by Delta-8 products.

This form of THC is a newcomer to the legal market and the dark horse of the hemp industry. Delta-8-THC is psychoactive, but the effect is much lighter than Delta-9-THC and creates less paranoia than its more infamous predecessor. Naturally, as with all cannabinoids, more research is necessary to determine the medical potential for the cannabinoid, but preliminary studies are promising.

For the record, I am not opposed to the cannabinoid itself – I am opposed to the way it’s created and misrepresented.

Delta-8-THC in the legal hemp industry presents an interesting conundrum. As the hemp legislation is written, all cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal. However, in hemp, Delta-8-THC is produced in tiny amounts. Therefore, many producers use a synthesis process to convert CBD to Delta-8-THC to produce enough of the cannabinoid for commercial purposes. And the DEA is beginning to question the legality of this process.

Another cannabinoid that is not present in the plant itself and requires laboratory processes to create, THC-O-Acetate, is still relatively difficult to find in the legal market. Last year, Honest Marijuana, a legal cannabis company here in Colorado, let me try their new products: a THC-O vape pen, pain cream, and infused honey.

Unlike Delta-8, THC-O is not produced naturally — it is a cannabinoid made from THC, using chemicals to alter the cannabinoid. THC-O is said to be about 3x as potent as THC and is supposed to create a more psychedelic, spiritual effect.

My experience wasn’t extraordinary with THC-O, but you can read all about it here. Long story short, THC-O felt more like a rave drug than a natural compound.

THC is Not the Big Bad Wolf

While THC has received a bad reputation based on outdated stereotypes and myths, THC can be consumed with responsibility. As science continues to uncover the mysteries in the various compounds in cannabis, expect to see more in terms of THC’s medicinal uses in all its forms.

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