In 2019 my husband and I decided to embark on a journey into hemp. To say we were inexperienced growers may be a kind understatement, but we were willing to take on the challenge. Cannabis is something that has helped me throughout my life to deal with chronic (excuse the pun) physical pain, and helped him to manage anxiety. We have both been strongly pro-cannabis for 20 years, and wanted to help de-stigmatize it as well as bring the healing properties of this plant to others.
We both grew up during the national climate of DARE, 3 Strikes You’re Out, and This is Your Brain on Drugs. To say that all of the propaganda we experienced was vehemently anti-cannabis would be another understatement. But nonetheless, cannabis eked its way into my life as a teenager in North Dakota. I was proud to be doing something perceived as counter-culture, and enjoyed challenging people’s beliefs on what was right and wrong; Not to mention LMAO with my friends.
Fast forward 10 years to me taking my first yoga class. I joined a friend of mine at a vinyasa yoga class provided by our workplace and followed the teacher’s direction for 60 mins. I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the class had finished and we were cleaning up, I noticed that my body felt very similarly to how it felt when I had used grass before. I was relaxed, euphoric, and sensed less tension in my muscles, joints, and mind. I consciously made that connection then and there, and have been practicing yoga ever since because of those benefits. Weed was something that had come and gone in my life over those 10 years, but was never habitual for me.
In 2008 I moved to Californiaand became slowly indoctrinated into the legal medical cannabis market. I had received a prescription from a physician for cannabis to treat my Restless Leg Syndrome and Nocturnal Myoclonus. (the leg cramps would start in the evening, and continue throughout my entire night of sleep - I rarely enter REM sleep, and I kick my legs once a minute all night long.) The doctor was overjoyed to give me the prescription, stating that (in 2011) there was modern, accepted, scientific proof of Cannabis being an anticonvulsant that would reduce muscle spasms. They advised I could expect temporary relief from those chronic symptoms. The recommendation was for a cannabis strain high in CBD. I was able to experiment with some different products and flowers to find what worked best for me. it truly helped to cease my leg discomfort and induce sleep
On our hemp growing journey I was surprised by the different responses we received from people as they found out what we were doing. I have to give Baby Boomers some props here, as many of them that we met or talked to were very pro cannabis normalization, and truly supported us. It felt like maybe the tides are turning for cannabis legalization and understanding its uses and abilities. But I was still surprised by how many questions people had for us about everything from Plants to CBD Isolates and everything in between. I still get those questions to this day, because it's been an unregulated and minimally studied market for so long, there aren’t a lot of modern scientific studies that offer clear insight. Nor is there much for trusted resources when it comes to cannabis information - A few favorite resources of mine are Leafly and Oaksterdam University. That problem is getting better slowly, but learning still takes a lot of research and sorting through endless self-proclaimed expertise.
Today I want to explain some of these things in an approachable way, to help you see if using hemp or cannabis products is right for you.
"What is Cannabis, CBD and THC exactly?"
Modern terminology varies greatly when referring to the Cannabis genus of plants. (Buds, Pot, Weed, Kind, Hashish, etc.) But Cannabis is the scientific name for the plant pictured below.
We strongly encourage you to omit the term marijuana from your vocabulary and replace it with cannabis.