Last December I introduced you to my friend Jane, who found a healthy path through the Keto Diet. In that post, we talked about several items from the New Hope Network Blogger Box that Jane considered great finds for inclusion in her new eating plan, like Nutiva MCT Oil. We also talked about the new wave of CBD oils that have hit the market in a HUGE way, highlighting one of my favorite companies, Barleans. Since then, the CBD conversation has only grown because of hemp’s change of status within the 2018 Farm Bill from a controlled substance to an agricultural product.

“This change will revolutionize the hemp industry, including CBD products, which had been living in a legal gray area for decades,” say experts from the website Made By Hemp. “With the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farmers are going to have the ability to participate in USDA programs for certifications for competitive grants [and] will also be able to have certifications such as ‘organic’ with the new law.”

So what exactly will this mean in the larger world beyond the sale of CBD oils, which unfortunately have as many imposters out there as credible suppliers? According to an article in April’s issue of Delicious Living Magazine (DLM)–the third installment in a three-part publication on CDB oil–hemp is poised to become a planetary gamechanger. Author Todd Runestad provides this astounding fact: “The hemp plant has 25,000 uses.” Whoa. Further Runestad says, “Hemp…has the potential to be a player and disruptor in industries ranging from nutrition and transportation to fashion and agriculture. It could even help save us from the climate crisis.”

Explain.
Okay…

Example One: Transportation can be greened-up with this sustainable green plant. Hemp can be added to concrete, for instance, and will make roads last an estimated 10 years longer because hemp expands and contracts with the temperatures. There have even been cars and planes that have ditched many of their plastic parts in favor of hemp—and that plane (75% hemp instead of plastic) has been designed to run on hemp biofuel.

Example Two: The clothes on your back may someday be made of hemp to a large degree. Cleaner than cotton to produce and using only a fraction of the water, hemp actually improves the soil and the ecosystems in which it is grown, according to Morris Beegle, a hemp advocator and educator.

Example Three—and I saved what I feel is the best for last: Farming could take a big turn if hemp becomes the newest commodity crop. In addition to its many uses (read: many market buyers), hemp is drawing the young folks back to the family farm and revitalizing small farming. It’s impact on the land is small and beneficial, especially compared to the main commodity crops wheat, soy, corn and rice. Runestad’s research found that hemp “requires few inputs to grow and is naturally pest resistant. It’s an ideal crop for organic farming and regenerative agriculture. As it grows, hemp absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.”

And here’s my favorite fact from Runestad’s article: Noting that Project Drawdown (LOVE this initiative) says that 10 of the top 25 climate solutions will involve farming practices…and that would mean farming practices like growing hemp. Runestad writes that fiber made from hemp “could be used to make an eco-friendly version of virtually everything you see in the room you’re sitting in right now.” Oh my.

Hemp could be a planet-saver, no doubt, especially when you think about how many ways it can benefit our lives: environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, clean energy, shifting the commodities market to greener products that don’t need pesticides to turn a profitable yield.

And then there is the personal health factor. Hemp’s new stardom in the world of supplements as CBD oil has been met with both enthusiasm and skepticism. It sure is pricey, and apparently it ain’t all the same. So what is the deal? Why do certain CBD oil brands seem to work for a lot of people—helping them sleep, easing their aches and pains, calming their anxiety and improving their moods—but other products are no better than snake oil?

To find the answer, let’s backtrack a bit to DLM’s first article on the subject from their February issue. Runestad began his review of this complicated hemp situation with a thorough look at what CBD really is (This is not THC-laced marijuana, BTW—to quote Runestad: “nobody is getting stoned on CBD.”) and how it can work in our bodies.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a component of the hemp plant. “Cannabinoids work on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which keeps your body in balance—what researchers call homeostasis,” explains Runstad. Through the endocannabinoid system, high-quality CBD oil can help “modulate inflammation and reduce the perception of pain.” So people who are super stressed, have high anxiety, sleep problems or experience pain from the impacts of chemotherapy or arthritis may find great relief from taking a reputable CBD supplement.

This first installment on hemp is worth a read in its entirety. It contains a handy definition-of-terms section and a brief look at case studies and potential benefits. It’s a great introduction to this new, promising product.

But of course, one of the best ways to know if CBD oil will work for you is to try it. Admittedly this can be expensive, but because of the way CBD works with individuals, in the end, it may be the only way to know if a particular CBD oil can help you.

I was lucky enough to have several samples from different companies show up in the winter-quarter Blogger Box. Since Barleans was a familiar company, one from which I already buy products that I feel are trusted, that was an easy start, and my daughter’s boyfriend Buddy, who has some issues with anxiety and muscle and joint pain was the willing guinea pig. If you recall, he gave Barleans a thumbs up.

But Barleans was not the only CBD oil sample included in the box. So, both Buddy and my daughter Heather gave a couple of the others a go. Heather and Buddy both have muscle and joint pain because of their profession in landscaping, mostly. And, as I said, Buddy has to work hard to keep his issues with anxiety and even depression under control because he has had some recent personal losses in his life. Dark old winter doesn’t help either.

Blogger Box Products: Plus CBD Oil Gummies and Myriad Wellness CBD stick

For each of them, there was one CBD product—but not the same CBD product–that stood out, which sort of backs up the idea that what works for one person might not work for another. Buddy used PlusCBD gummies and took them exactly as directed. He felt there was significant relief in physical pain, but what he noticed more than anything was his mood shift—no fatigue at the end of the day, no SADD depression, a more positive outlook. Even his co-workers noticed.

Some of the reason for Buddy’s success with PlusCBD surely comes from its quality and company integrity. There are several components that PlusCBD feels help the company produce a top-of-the-line supplement:

  • They maintain full traceability from “seed to shelf.” The company states that PlusCBD Oil™ products “are carefully manufactured with our team handling every step of the process from when the EU certified hempseeds are planted in the ground to when the final hemp CBD supplement is put on the shelf.”
  • PlusCBD Oil follows all guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and is available for audit, making them fully transparent. They even send them off to an independent lab to test for “cannabinoid potency and [to] make sure there are no pesticides, molds, bacteria, residual solvents, or heavy metals.”
  • Finally, PlusCBD Oil is “the only hemp CBD supplement brand with published toxicology work to support a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Independent Conclusion, as well as human clinical research data backing efficacy of the products.

For Heather, relief came from a handy, easy-to-take-to-work hemp stick by Myriad Wellness. Heather’s main issue is arthritis in her hands—hands that continually squeeze pruners, shovel soil, pull weeds, etc. Having this totally portable, temporary relief in her pocket at all times was a big improvement on her workdays, especially now that spring is here and the work is really kicking into high gear.

According to Runestad’s research, quality CBD Oil products are produced by what could be described as a holistic approach to hemp, meaning they are made using “full spectrum extraction.” The best way to explain this is to look at a healthy diet and the idea that there isn’t one magic food, but rather a healthy combination of a variety of foods that work together to produce the best nutrition. Many companies such as Myriad Wellness believe that all parts of the hemp plant work together—isolating only one part doesn’t yield the most effective product.

So Myriad Wellness ensures that their CBD oil “contains the same compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes found in the raw hemp material.” On their website, Myriad Wellness explains that “high-grade industrial hemp contains dozens of cannabinoids, including CBD, CBDa, CBG, CBN, and many more. It also contains many terpenes and terpenoids, the volatile aromatic molecules that give hemp its unique smell. Lastly, industrial hemp is packed full of flavonoids (useful for countering inflammation), fatt”Hy acids, minerals and more.” All of these elements of the hemp plant can provide benefits to our health and wellbeing. Individually, the effects of each compound may be fairly minor. But together, various components found in the hemp plant are thought to interact with one another, magnifying the therapeutic benefits of each individual component. Some researchers call this phenomenon ‘the entourage effect’.

Myriad Wellness guarantees that their products are full spectrum CBD extracts. At Myriad, they follow “the lead of mother nature.” By keeping their products as close to their natural state as possible.

So perhaps the “recipe” I’m offering here is for a better life and mitigated climate change through hemp. We’ll see, I guess. For now, I think the best thing we can all do is embrace information—sort out the myths from the facts, find the best sources and then help each other learn.

As I have continued to study the possible ways we might all save the planet from its present course toward disaster, one undeniable fact has emerged—from the Ecochallenge at Project Drawdown, to sustainable living communities like Dayempur Farm, to farmers markets, to community gardens, to home school groups, to grassroots collaboratives, we are going to have to rely on each other, get along, find common ground, use less, fix more, waste less, recycle everything we can no longer use, share more at the neighbor level—not the government or corporate level—to survive. We are going to have to realize that we are a part of the natural world, not in constant conflict with it for the upper hand. Because in the end, if we go up against Nature, Nature will win, I’m pretty sure.

Portions of this post were provided by New Hope Network. I am a member of the New Hope Influencer Co-op, a network of health and wellness bloggers committed to spreading more health to more people.” Many thanks to Todd Runestad for his excellent reporting. Runestad is the Ingredients & Supplements Editor at New Hope Network. Art credits: New Hope Network.

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