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A 3-Step Plan to Combat COVID-19 | Corona Virus

With the entire world in a state of “on hold,” times are stressful—more stressful than usual.

We want to help. At Fusion Farms, we care about the well being of our fellows and want to do everything that we can to improve the situation.

That is why we are offering 30% off all of our CBD products. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy and use Fusion CBD products.

Because, let’s face it, though stress is a key factor in survival (you need adrenaline to get away from a tiger chasing you right?), too much stress is not good for your health.

Emotional stress (like the stress everyone in their right mind is experiencing to some degree right now) can weaken the immune system. Emotional stress that hangs around for weeks or months (sound familiar?) can also cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease.

While on the surface staying home from work may not appear stressful, there is a lot about it that is.

The Stress of Fighting COVID-19 from Home

Staying at home brings its own challenges.

Parents are faced with closed schools. At a time when schools across the country are closed, parents need to somehow keep their kids’ education moving forward, or at least prevent their kids from turning into screen zombies from watching Disney Plus all day. Many parents are doing this on top of figuring out how to work from home.

Stress for people who fall into one of the risk categories for coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on the limited information they have currently, people at higher risk for COVID-19 include people:

  • Aged 65 years and older
  • Who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • With chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • That have serious heart conditions
  • Who are immunocompromised
  • With severe obesity or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease.

Anyone in one of those categories or who is close to someone who is facing additional stress right now.

Uncertainty for employers and employees: There is an unprecedented level of economic uncertainty as people work from home are unable to work at all, and everyone waits for the world to return to normalcy.

Even with all of the above stress factors, there are many things people can do. We have created a simple, 3-step plan to follow to help you get through this pandemic.

Couple Cuddling On The Couch

Step 1: Breath and Relax

First things first, relax.

There are many things you can do to relax. In fact, we recently did an article about 8 things you can do to relieve stress. This article outlines a holistic approach with a variety of options like exercise, meditation, and CBD. You can read the whole article, but for your convenience, we pulled out a few of the most pertinent points.

  • Meditation: Medication is a great way to decompress. There are all kinds of mediation styles, including mindfulness and yoga, so one may be just right for you.
  • Exercise: Exercise is a great way to work off anxious energy and it’s good for you! In response to COVID-19, some gyms are even offering free at-home workouts online!
  • Be productive!: While it may be tempting to binge-watch every show on Netflix or Disney Plus, there are plenty of productive things that you can do during this time. Plus, if you are not also trying to work from home (which is the case for many in the service industries) you can take this opportunity to do things that you normally don’t have the time to do. This includes things like:
  • Cleaning the closet: Getting rid of unused items will give you a whole new lease on life!
  • Cleaning in general: Not only does a clean environment lift your spirits, but it also fits into suggestions by the World Health Organization for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. (More on this below.)
  • Read!: Take this opportunity to catch up on your reading or learn something new.

Consume Items High in Antioxidants

Make sure that while you are at home, you are eating healthily. Harvard Health Publishing report that anxiety may be correlated with lowered antioxidants in the body. So, eating foods high in antioxidants may help ease anxiety.

Foods high in antioxidants include:

  • Beans – Top antioxidant beans (in order) are: red beans, red kidney, pinto, and black
  • Berries – Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest
  • Fruit – Plums, oranges, dark grapes
  • Nuts – Walnuts and pecans. Walnuts have twice as many antioxidants as most other common nuts.
  • Vegetables – Artichokes, russet potatoes, and kale are top choices
  • Dark chocolate – the higher in cocoa content the better
  • CBD Oil –An anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Inflammation and low oxidation levels are both associated with anxiety. CBD supports the body naturally. It works with the endocannabinoid system which regulates homeostasis (balance) in our body.

Why is it important to avoid getting stressed out?

The last thing we want to do is to stress you out about being stressed out. What we do want to do is give you some good reasons to focus on chilling out and keeping your head.

It is a well-documented fact that excess stress leads to health issues. Stress also does the following.

  • It makes it hard to control your emotions. With everyone cooped up at home right now, being kind and calm is more important than ever.
  • Stress can damage your heart. According to the American Institute of Stress, the number of heart attacks and sudden deaths increases after major stress-inducing incidents, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. So during this pandemic, do what you can to keep calm.
  • Stress can make you gain weight. Ever heard of “stress eating?” Ever done it? Most of us have. With everyone staying at home and the refrigerator only steps away, this is more of a challenge than ever.
  • Stress weakens your immune system. There is a strong connection between the mind and the body. Stress puts high demands on the body which weakens the immune system. This makes one more vulnerable to colds, infections, and COVID-19.
Image of Someone Washing Their Hands

Step 2: Do What You Can

Although there are about 35 organizations working hard to develop a vaccine, at present one does not yet exist.

In spite of this, there is actually a TON you can do to keep you and your family safe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) offers this advice.

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Corona Virus Love & Support

Step 3: Be Kind

Be kind is its own step because, the truth is, it is incredibly important. It is so important in fact, that the World Health Organization even created a downloadable graphic about this specifically (see above).

Be kind to the family or roommates you are quarantined with. This is tough for everybody.

Be kind to your fellow citizens by following recommended guidelines to keep COVID-19 from spreading. This is a global team effort.

Be kind by reaching out regularly to friends, family, and coworkers. Let them know you care. Help them by giving them accurate information and encouraging them to do things they enjoy.

It is important to realize that as difficult as the COVID-19 pandemic is, society is in a better position than ever in history for dealing with a health crisis.

Connected Now More Than Ever

In previous times, society had nowhere near the medical capabilities we do today. not to mention the fact that earlier quarantines were far more absolute. With cell phones, Facetime, and a myriad of virtual platforms, we are more connected than ever.

Finally, there are currently over 44,000 known cases of COVID-19 in the US. It is important at this time to be kind to those individuals and families that are affected. Do not allow yourself or others to stigmatize any group of people. We are all in this together—finger-pointing is, well, pointless.

If you are interested in adding CBD Oil to your holistic wellness toolkit or the toolkit of your friends and loved ones, we just made it easier. You can take advantage of our 30% discount to get high-quality CBD products for you and your friends here.

In closing, Fusion Farms and Fusion CBD would like to wish you the very best during this time. We are here to help.

“In the end, it will be ok, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

Couple on Couch

Common Question: How Does CBD Make You Feel?

A common question for many is, “How does CBD make you feel?”

That’s not surprising. CBD is one of the many components of hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. And if there is one thing that most of us grew up learning it was: Cannabis = Marijuana = Getting High.

The fact is, there is a lot more to the cannabis plant than was formerly understood. There are a lot of naturally occurring components in cannabis that doesn’t get you high. The truth is that most components of cannabis don’t get you high and not all cannabis is marijuana.

What is in Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana?

Cannabis, which is the family of plants that both hemp and marijuana come from, contains over 400 chemical components. The primary components are cannabinoids and terpenes.

Terpenes are responsible for the odor in plants and have been shown in research to have their own benefits.

But the most notable components of cannabis are the over 60 different types of cannabinoids that it contains.

A cannabinoid is a chemical compound produced by cannabis flowers. What most people don’t know is that cannabinoids are also produced naturally by your body.

In fact, your body has an entire system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is basically a series of cell receptors throughout the body that regulate a variety of processes in your body. The ECS regulates various cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system functions inside cells.

The cannabinoid specifically responsible for getting people high, and unfortunately for giving cannabis a bad reputation, is THC. Marijuana is the cannabis plant that contains over .3% THC, the legal definition of marijuana. Most marijuana actually contains a much higher amount of THC however than the legal amount. For example, the average marijuana sold in Colorado where it is legal has a THC level of nearly 19%.

CBD, the cannabinoid most noted by researches for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, does not get you high. Fusion CBD produces our full-spectrum CBD oil from hemp. Hemp contains .3% or less THC, far less than the level required to get an individual high.

So, How Does CBD Make You Feel?

CBD users report feeling more relaxed, calm, less achy, and alert. Some research has found evidence that low doses of CBD actually help increase energy.

That being said, in actual fact, CBD doesn’t make you feel anything in particular.

CBD simply works with your body’s own endocannabinoid system to achieve homeostasis (a fancy word for balance). So really, it’s not a question about how CBD makes you feel. It is more about what CBD helps you not feel. It is more about what negative, unnatural feelings one may have going on, that CBD may help to take away by working with the body’s own natural systems.

Woman In Presentation

Study Done on How CBD Makes SAD People Feel

A 2011 study was done of 24 people with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and a group of 12 without SAD who acted as a control group. The purpose was to see if CBD would have a positive effect on SAD individuals who were given the task of public speaking.

Researchers compared anxiety levels of the SAD group after they took CBD, compared to the SAD group who got the placebo. Neither group knew if they had received CBD or the placebo. This was compared to a group of non-SAD individuals of 12 who took nothing at all.

Researchers found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in the users who took it prior to their speech performance. The placebo group experienced higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort. When comparing the SAD group that took CBD to the non-SAD group, who took nothing at all, there was almost no difference between them in their cognitive impairment and discomfort levels. Whereas the cognitive impairment and discomfort in the SAD group that took the placebo was much higher.

More research needs to be done in this area to be sure. Happily, other research appears to validate the 2011 student and offer further promise. A 2019 study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and CBD was done with a total of 11 patients. In the final analysis of this small group, 91% (10), experienced a decrease in PTSD symptom severity.

Is CBD Right For You?

It is important to remember that everyone is different. The body’s chemistry from one person to another is not exactly the same. For that reason, in order to really understand how CBD makes you feel, you have to give it try.

The good news is that CBD has been shown to be safe. According to the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

How CBD Has Helped Celebrities With Depression

The statements “That is so depressing,” and “I am so depressed,” are only a few letters apart, yet their meaning is greatly different.

Who hasn’t said the first and felt the second? That’s normal some of the time.

But sadly, for millions of Americans, including some of our biggest celebrities, the second, “I am so depressed,” is a normal feeling a lot of the time. This is why CBD, which does not have the severe side effects of so many of the pharmaceutical remedies available, has become a focus of interest by researchers and doctors alike.

If you suffer from unaddressed depression, we urge you to seek help. As you will see from the examples in this article, depression has been addressed successfully with a variety of approaches. Approaching depression holistically, making lifestyle changes and addressing the issue emotionally as well as physically can sometimes yield better results than one tactic alone.

Some people are using CBD as part of a holistic approach in dealing with depression. If you are considering CBD for depression, this article will give you information about current research on CBD and depression as well as examples of holistic approaches to addressing this issue. It is important to note that although research is promising, the FDA has yet to approve any drug or supplement containing CBD for this condition.

The following celebrities have been public about their own experiences with depression. Not only that, they have opened up about what they have done to cope with it, including using CBD, which we will share at the end of this article.

Canning Tatum

Celebrities Who Have Suffered From Depression

Celebrities who have suffered from depression include such well-known personalities as Kristen Bell. You would have heard her voice in commercials and seen her face in “Bad Moms”. Dealing with depression has been a multi-generational program in her family—both her mother and grandmother suffered from depression as well.

Channing Tatum. This American actor and singer was plagued with depression as a child. In an interview, Tatum said his depression and pain stemmed from the fact he had been taking drugs like Dexedrine and Adderall to help with learning disabilities, like ADD and dyslexia. But instead of helping, Tatum describes that it made him feel like a zombie: “It’s like coke or crystal meth.”

Jim Carrey. The man who has made so many of us laugh acknowledged on 60 Minutes that he had suffered from depression through much of his life. Even to the point of considering suicide.

Dolly Parton. This singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, suffered from severe depression throughout the 1980s. Even to the point of considering suicide.

Brooke Shields. Brooke went public with her struggle with postpartum depression in 2003. She was one of the first celebrities to talk openly about her struggle with postpartum depression. She later documented her struggle in her 2005 bestseller, Down Came the Rain.

At the end of this article, you will learn what each of these celebrities did to cope with depression. Although we have chosen to write about these five, the fact is, there are more. Other celebrities who have publicly shared their struggle with depression include Harrison Ford, Britney Spears, Emma Thompson, Owen Wilson, and many, many others.

Depression: What is the Cause?

The fact is, depression is a complex condition that involves many factors: environmental, genetics, hormones, social isolation, stressful life experiences, and physical health. Because depression is complex, the best approach for each individual in dealing with it varies as well.

The Chicken and the Egg Phenomenon

With a person who is suffering from depression, it is clear that there are imbalances in the body. The question is: what came first? An emotional trauma that affected the body and caused it to become imbalanced? Or, did a physical trauma occur first, causing the imbalance which then leads to feelings of depression.

The truth is, it is probably a little bit of both.

It is clear and well documented that life events, such as the loss of a loved one, can lead to depression which then leads to declining physical health. Conversely, we see examples of individuals who have developed depression from major physical events like having a baby.

What is Happening in the Body During Depression?

In the past, it was thought that deficiency of Serotonin, a chemical in our body that plays an important role in many of our bodily functions, was the cause of depression. Serotonin is mostly found in the brain, the blood, and the bowels (just remember the three Bs). However, researchers have determined that although serotonin plays a large role—it is not the whole story. Many other neurotransmitter imbalances have also been linked to depression.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are pharmaceuticals that cause an immediate spike in serotonin in the brain. They do not result in immediate improvement, however. It can take weeks for a person taking SSRIs to show improvement, if at all. So, there are other factors.

Though depression is not an inflammatory disease, researchers are finding certain people with depression, inflammation may play a role. This means that effective anti-inflammatories, such as CBD, could assist certain individuals.

Man Pondering

Long Term Depression Can Affect Brain Size

Not only does depression affect brain activity, but it can also even affect brain size as discovered by Dr. Manji, former Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology at the National Institutes of Mental Health. The part of the brain that is affected most by depression is the hippocampus. This part of the part plays a role in emotion and is the part of the brain that makes new memories.

This part of the brain, thankfully, can also recover. It can grow new neurons and connections—this is called neural regeneration. And, it can do so all of our lives, not just when we are young. This ability of our brains to change throughout our lives is called “neuroplasticity.”

Some researchers believe that the real reason that antidepressants work is that they stimulate the neural regeneration in the hippocampus. This may be why they take weeks to work—brain neurons need time to heal, grow, and form connections.

But SSRIs are not the only thing that helps with neuroregeneration. There is actually an array of lifestyle and nutritional choices that will help with this process. These include exercise, getting sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet (one absent of refined sugar).

How CBD Could Help Your Brain Grow

Research has found that the endocannabinoid system and the serotonergic systems relate and interact with one another. CBD actually activates a serotonin receptor called 5-HTIA. These particular receptors control many other neurotransmitters that have been linked to increasing neural regeneration in the hippocampus.

The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, a Cannabidiol product, for the treatment of seizures. According to research published in The Open Neurology Journal, the reason that this CBD product is effective for seizures is that CBD protects neurons in the hippocampus. That is the exact area of the brain that is smaller in individuals suffering from severe depression.

Actor Kristen Bell Smiling

How Our Celebrities Dealt with Depression

Earlier in this article, we gave examples of several celebrities that have bravely and generously opened up and shared their own stories about depression. Each of these individuals has dealt with their depression in different ways—and often in more than one.

Kristen Bell posted on Instagram that she deals with her depression with CBD, being positive—naming 10 things she loves for every one thing she doesn’t—hugging her family, doing something nice for a friend, activities like cooking and gardening, and meditating.

Channing Tatum experienced extreme highs and lows as a kid when taking medication for learning issues. He found that his emotional state and issues with depression improved tremendously when he stopped taking medication. So much so that he has passionately vowed he will never medicate his daughter, Everly.

Jim Carrey credits a healthy diet and natural supplements for his improved mental health. In a frank discussion about depression, Jim Carrey said that he no longer suffers from depression at all because he had been trying to create a character that he never was and he has now let that go.

Dolly Parton has said that most of her depression in the 80s stemmed from menopause and the inability to have children. Since that time, Dolly has become a champion for children. She established the Imagination Library in 1995 and gave a half a million dollars to the Fort Sanders Medical Center among other things. “Maybe God didn’t want me to have kids so that everybody else’s kids could be mine,” Dolly is quoted as saying.

Brooke Shields credits therapy, medication, and breastfeeding for helping her win her battle with postpartum depression. “The physical connection is what I really needed,” she said. “I think that was important to my recovery.”

Depression Statistics and Symptoms

Depression is not just a celebrity issue, it is a worldwide issue. The World Health Organization reports that an estimated 300 million people are affected by depression globally. Depression is the second most common mental health illness in the US, behind anxiety disorders. It is estimated that 16 million Americans live with major depression.

Depression refers to a wide range of mental health problems. According to mental health professionals, there are some specific markers and symptoms of depression that include:

  • A loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences
  • A low mood (feeling sad, worried, frustrated, tired, low self-esteem)
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability
  • Being socially withdrawn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor concentration and reduced attention
  • Pessimistic and recurring negative thoughts about oneself
  • Rumination (over-thinking or obsessing about situations or life events, such as work or relationships)

Telling the difference between normal and major depression can be a problem. Indicators that can provide guidance as to which one an individual is suffering from include being unreactive to circumstances—in other words, feeling low regardless of what is happening. In some cases, the person suffering from major depression may react temporarily to positive circumstances only to return quickly to a depressive mood and feelings.

Woman looking at a pill.

SSRIs, Depression, and Possible Side Effects

Serotonin is sometimes called the “happy chemical” because it plays a big role in our feeling of well-being and happiness. But that really doesn’t do serotonin justice. It actually does much more. There are about 40 million brain cells and most are influenced in some way by serotonin.

However, the 50-year-old theory that depression is caused by a deficit of serotonin, led to the creation of a class of drugs called SSRIs. These drugs have been dogged by unreliable clinical studies on the subject. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. These include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft among others. Those same unreliable studies that were used to validate the serotonin theory did demonstrate, however, that physical imbalances caused by extreme diet changes can lead to symptoms of depression in those who have previously suffered from it.

Possible side effects of SSRIs may include, among others:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Nervousness, agitation or restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts–especially among individuals below the age of 25

There are other types of antidepressants in addition to SSRIs. An older type of drug that are still used is called MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). These drugs increase the amount of serotonin and dopamine (which is associated with the brain’s pleasure and reward system) in the brain. They have been found to have even more possible harmful side effects than SSRIs.

When one considers these possible side effects, it is easy to understand why so many people choose to try natural alternatives before a pharmaceutical intervention for their depression.

Types of Depression

There are as many types of depression and there are many reasons for it happening in the first place.

These include Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and ‘Situational’ Depression.

No matter what type of depression you or a loved one may be experiencing, it is important to get educated on all of the manners in which it is addressed and work out the best answer for you.

CBD is not the first thing you would take in a crisis situation. For some, it is part of an overall holistic long-term program. Consult your doctor, especially if you are taking prescription medications with possible interactions.

Woman laughing and doing yoga on a beach

8 Natural Ways to Relax and Deal with Stress

Politicians are talking about it, celebrities are using it, and stores with CBD in the window have popped up everywhere. But what is CBD Oil actually? And can it REALLY help one relax? Can it ease stress which so many of us feel here in the U.S.?

Cannabis and CBD

CBD is a cannabinoid—a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Now, before you jump to the conclusion that CBD is a “pot-head” thing, read on.

Though people use the terms cannabis and marijuana interchangeably, the truth is, they are not the same thing.

Cannabis is a type of plant. Hemp and marijuana are each a variety of cannabis. Marijuana and hemp both contain chemical compounds called cannabinoids—in fact, they contain about 100 different cannabinoids.

The difference between hemp and marijuana is that marijuana contains much higher levels of the cannabinoid THC, the psychoactive component that creates the high. Hemp, on the other hand, contains a minuscule amount of THC, less than .3%. So little that it could never get you high.

Take away: Marijuana is a type of cannabis plant, but all cannabis is not marijuana. An analogy would be that although all golden retrievers are dogs, not all dogs are golden retrievers.

Cannabinoid Basics

Now you know that hemp and marijuana both contain chemical compounds called cannabinoids. But did you know that people contain cannabinoids too? Yes, humans and cannabis are cannabinoid cousins.

Cannabis produces phytocannabinoids (“Phyto” from the word “plant” and “cannabinoid” from the word “cannabis”). Humans, on the other hand, produce endocannabinoids (“endo” from the word “body”).

Not only does the human body produce its own cannabinoids, but it also has an entire system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of the following three elements:

  • Endocannabinoids produced by the body. These are fatty substances that are not water-soluble. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that carry “messages” to receptors and other parts of the body.
  • Endocannabinoid receptors on cells throughout the body. There are two types—CB1 and CB2.
  • Enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids in the body.

This system, though only just discovered in 1992, regulates some really major functions for the body. The ECS assists in regulating pain, the immune system, memory, mood, and sleep. The ECS is largely responsible for creating homeostasis, or balance, between the systems of the body.

Take away: Both the body and the cannabis plant produce cannabinoids. The cannabinoids of the body are part of the endocannabinoid system which regulates homeostasis (balance) in the body.

Cannabinoid Deficiency

Since the discovery of endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, researchers have also discovered that individuals can suffer from clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). Research done by Dr. Russo supports the theory that a deficiency in endocannabinoids leads to many physical ailments such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. Research is unclear as to the exact cause of the deficiency, whether it is a deficiency present from birth or acquired.

But whatever the cause of the deficiency, Dr. Russo suggests that we may be able to give our body’s endocannabinoid system a boost with full-spectrum CBD oil.

CBD in the body does not actually bind with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body. What it does do is delay the breakdown of the endocannabinoids our body produces. This allows the endocannabinoids in our system to work longer.

Take away: Cannabinoids, especially CBD, derived from cannabis may help relieve the symptoms of a deficiency of cannabinoids in the body.

Tincture Being Added To A Bottle

CBD Oil and Inflammation

Research indicates that CBD oil acts as an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is really important to understand and identify. While inflammation is a good thing in some cases, chronic unchecked inflammation leads to many unwanted conditions. You could say that inflammation is really the granddaddy of many of the ills we suffer from today. Asthma, arthritis, sinusitis are all diseases and conditions that include chronic inflammation.

Take away: By reducing inflammation, CBD can provide natural support to the body’s own defenses.

Anxiety in the U.S.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. They affect 40 million adults each year. Not only that, but they are also the most common mental health disorder of childhood and adolescence. Nearly one in three teens meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18. Nearly two-thirds of those suffering from anxiety disorders are women.

There are five major types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This disorder is marked by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension—with little or no reason.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is marked by recurring, unwanted thoughts and/or compulsions such as hand washing, counting or cleaning.
  • Panic Disorder. This disorder is marked by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. Physical symptoms may accompany these episodes and include chest pain, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder develops after exposure to a terrifying event in which physical harm occurred or was threatened.

In addition to a large number of individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, one survey showed that American’s anxiety levels in general increased between 2017 and 2018. 40% of respondents said that they felt more anxious than they had a year before.

Prolonged and persistent anxiety creates chemical changes in the body that can lead to impaired digestive function, insomnia, and heart disease.

Take away: Anxiety disorders and anxiety, in general, are a growing health issue in the United States for both children and adults.

Anxiety and Inflammation

It has become relatively common knowledge that inflammation is the underlying cause of many physical illnesses. What is less known is the association between inflammation and cognitive health issues. However, research is finding that inflammation and cognitive health issues like anxiety, depression, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, and autism are linked.

One study examined a group of people between the ages of 18 and 65 with an anxiety disorder. This study found that men in particular with current anxiety disorders had elevated levels of inflammation. The same research found that both men and women with late-onset of anxiety disorders had elevated inflammation levels.

A research paper published by the National Institutes of Health found that evidence from human studies “strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.” This paper, titled Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, took into consideration the results and findings of 49 studies.

In their clinical research, they found that CBD reduced induced anxiety in healthy patients, as well as those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Anxiety Disorder). In their conclusions the authors state:

“Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD…” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Seasonal Anxiety Disorder).

Take away: Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders….and (CBD has) an excellent safety profile.

Woman Relaxing

A Holistic Approach to Relaxing with CBD Oil

Stress is complex and can be traced back to multiple causes. Stress can be caused by a personal relationship, finances, job, or school. Likewise, genetic predisposition or underlying disease may also lead to stress or even an anxiety disorder. Or it may be something dramatic like a traumatic experience or the use or withdrawal from illicit drugs or medications.

Because of all of the factors that contribute to stress and anxiety disorders, a holistic approach is recommended.

Natural Approaches to aid Anxiety and Stress

Meditation: Meditation is a great way to gain composure over a racing mind. This makes stress and anxiety easier to manage. There are all kinds of mediation styles too, including mindfulness and yoga, so one may be just right for you.

Relaxation Exercises: If you find yourself tensing up without even realizing it, try intentionally relaxing. Sit or lay in a comfortable position and slowly tense and relax each muscle group.

Exercise: Exercise is a great way to work off anxious energy and it has the added bonus of being good for you! And research from animal studies even supports that!

Get toxic people out of your life

Almost nothing is more stressful than dealing with toxic people. In toxic relationships, one person often feels hurt by the other. Toxic people can sometimes be hard to spot, so it is important to identify how an individual makes you feel—if it is consistently worse—you may have a toxic person on your hands.

According to Psychology Today, it is important to see that the issue is not with you but with the toxic person. It is ideal to get all the toxic people out of one’s life. Sometimes that is not possible as in the case of work and family. One can lessen the impact of the toxic individual by spending as little time as possible around that person. Recognize and rise above the person’s behavior. Confronting such people with direct feedback and asking them not to say or do certain specific things you find hurtful can also help.

Engaging in Productive Behavior

Writing: Writing offers a safe way to express oneself. It can make anxiety feel easier to confront and deal with. There is even a 2016 study that shows that creative writing may help treat childhood and adolescent anxiety.

Time Management: Having too many commitments at once is stressful. These commitments, whether self-imposed or imposed by others, need to be managed so they do not become overwhelming.

Planning books and online calendars can help. Time management allows us to focus on one task at a time. Resisting the urge to say “yes” to every request can also reduce the stress of commitments.

Nutrition: Harvard Health Publishing reports that anxiety is thought to be correlated with a lowered antioxidants in the body. Therefore, adding foods with more antioxidants may help ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Foods designated as high in antioxidants by the USDA include:

  • Beans – Top antioxidant beans (in order) are: red beans, red kidney, pinto, and black
  • Berries – Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest
  • Fruit – Plums, oranges, dark grapes
  • Nuts – Walnuts and pecans. Walnuts have twice as many antioxidants as most other common nuts.
  • Vegetables – Artichokes, Russet potatoes, and Kale are top choices
  • Dark chocolate – the higher in cocoa content the better

CBD Oil: CBD Oil is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Inflammation and low oxidation levels are both correlated with anxiety. CBD supports the endocannabinoid system of the body which regulates homeostasis (balance) in our body.

Take away: The best approach to dealing with stress is one that includes a number of strategies—environment, mental, and physical.

CBD for Relaxation

A CBD Oil tincture can help promote relaxation. Using it sublingually is best. Hold it under your tongue for two minutes so that the mucous membranes in the mouth can absorb the oil’s active ingredients, allowing it to enter the bloodstream. This makes the CBD far more available to the body than normal oral consumption where the CBD capsules, edibles or beverages must pass through the digestive tract.

Relative to how much you use, we recommend that you start slowly and increase over a period of time (a few weeks or even months) to see what works best for you. One-milliliter, taken an hour before bed, works well for many people. Many people split that dose into two—one in the morning and the other at night.

It is important to stick with your CBD routine for a few weeks as you may not feel its effects right away.

Stress is considered highly treatable. We encourage you to help yourself, friends or family relax and deal with stress by learning more about the many natural ways to address it.

If you chose to integrate CBD into your relaxation routine, it is always a good idea to talk to your physician, particularly if you are taking any medications, before taking CBD.

Terpene-and-CBD

A Tale of CBD Oil and the Superhero Terpene

What is a terpene? And what does it have to do with CBD oil? By now you may have read or heard something about CBD which is why you are here reading this. Well, at Fusion CBD we want you to be an informed consumer. Because CBD has received acclaim from so many people for a variety of reasons, there is a lot of hype out there about it.

But is CBD a Superman type of hero, flying in solo to save the day? At Fusion CBD we think not. CBD is just one naturally occurring component of the hemp plant. It is a very important member of a team of super heroes, each with their own unique superpower.

Hemp Oil is FULL of super stuff – over 100 cannabinoids including CBD, antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, AND terpenes! All of these different “hemp heroes” work together to improve the effectiveness of the others. This is called the Entourage Effect. It even sounds like an upcoming Avengers movie.

That is why we sell full-spectrum (the whole hero team) instead of isolate CBD. CBD is still the “Superman”, but it alone does not bring the power of the group working together to win the day.

What is so special about the Terpene?

Terpenes are fragrant essential oils found in a wide variety of plants, flowers, and even some insects (but don’t let that bug you!). Terpenes offer more than just a pretty smell or flavor. They have been used to support the natural healing process of the body in alleviatiating a variety of non-optimal health symptoms.

Chemical analysis of terpenes has been an exciting field of research for well over 300 years. Terpene research is the foundation of more than 20 different Nobel prizes (beginning with Otto Wallach in 1910). It seems like they are definitely important enough to be a part of Team Hemp.

Based on the high degree of scientific interest in terpenes, it’s a subject that promises to continue to be developed in the future. Research has shown that terpenes help many of the same therapeutic properties of CBD. In the article “The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis” researchers found terpenoid-rich essential oils prepared from cannabis were both anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive (a fancy word for something that aids with pain relief.)

But the power and usefulness of terpenes do not stop there. According to research published in PubMed, there is accumulating evidence for the therapeutic benefits of terpenes found in cannabis plants rich in terpenes. According to the paper: “Terpenes’ medicinal properties are supported by numerous in vitro, animal and clinical trials and show:

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • antioxidant,
  • analgesic,
  • anticonvulsive,
  • antidepressant,
  • anxiolytic,
  • anticancer,
  • antitumor,
  • neuroprotective,
  • anti-mutagenic,
  • anti-allergic,
  • antibiotic and
  • anti-diabetic attributes, among others.

Because of the very low toxicity, these terpenes are already widely used as food additives and in cosmetic products. Thus, they have been proven safe and well-tolerated.” Oh yeah, Scientists also have preliminary findings that show terpenes may help with uncontrolled cell growth (tumors) and neuronal health. When you are using full-spectrum CBD hemp oil that includes cannabinoids and terpenes, you are really getting a one-two punch!

Types of Terpenes in Hemp Oil

All terpenes are not the same. In fact, there are over 100 terpenes that have been identified in the hemp cannabis sativa plant.

That is a lot of superheros, jeez. It might be hard to keep up with that many characters! However, it is not until terpenes occur in concentrations above 0.05% that they are considered to be of pharmacological interest, meaning that is when their super powers activate.

Below are some of the key terpenes found in hemp oil. These terpenes are specifically documented as being present in a sample analysis of hemp from our very own Fusion CBD farm. This analysis was done by ChemHistory–A Cannabis Testing Laboratory. The concentrates of the terpenes listed below range anywhere between 0.05% to much higher–0.89%.

In addition to being found in hemp, and specifically in Fusion CBD products, terpenes have other natural sources. In order to better help you spot and relate to our terpene team, we are including a short description of each terpene, their other sources, as well as their specific superpowers below.

Meet Fusion CBD’s Terpene Team

cbd terpenes black pepper

Β-caryophyllene

Known as Β-caryophyllene (.89% in our recent lab test), it is a well-known active principle of black pepper. That’s right, black pepper. What can this terpene do?

This terpene’s superpower: According to researchers in a paper published by the National Institute of Health, it has potential for being used in medical applications due to anticancer and pain relief properties. Damn Daniel!

In fact, this powerful terpene has many properties similar to cannabinoids and some researchers say it could actually be classified as a cannabinoid. We may have another Pluto debate on our hands – planet or dwarf planet?

cbd terpenes carrots

Geranyl Acetate

Introducing, Geranyl Acetate (.84% in our recent lab test). This rocking terpene is found in lemon grass, carrots, sassafras, coriander, and many other places as well.

This terpene’s superpower is that it displays a high amount of antifungal activity according to studies done by the National Institute of Health. That’s right, we are talking big league.

cbd terpenes eremanthus

a-Bisabolol

Let’s meet a-Bisabolol (.48% in our tests). “Bisabolo”, as she likes to be called, is found in the Eremanthus Erythropappus plant among others. I know, that is quite a name. They are native to Brazil. Check out the picture above if you have never heard of the Eremanthus Erythropappus plant. Heck, we have a hard time pronouncing it.

This important molecule has vereral potential superpowers. According to research, a-Bisabolol exhibits anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, antibiotic, and anticancer activities.

cbd terpenes ginseng

a-Humulene

Next up is a-Humulene (.31% in our independent test). This terpene, in addition to being in our full-spectrum CBD products, is also found in hops, sage,and ginseng. Ginseng has long been known for its medicinal and healing qualities. Why? Look no further than Humulene.

Hemulene’s superpower according to research is the powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving support it offers the body–pretty sweet. It is also helpful in promoting the healing of wounds.

cbd terpenes mango

Beta-myrcene

Up next is Beta-myrcene (.26% in our tests). Commonly found in hops, lemongrass, sweet basil, mangoes, and more. He has a scent that is fruity and earthy, a great combination for a terp. (Yeah, I just called him a terp.)

But this terp has a ton going for it. This terpene’s super power: according to research, this terpene possesses anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and anxiety relieving properties. Myrcene can also aid with sleep–so if you have a hard time getting to or staying asleep, you’ll want this little buddy on your side.

cbd terpenes guaiacum

Guaiol

This mostly tree-based terpene’s name is Guaiol (.23% in Fusion). It is commonly found in cypress pine and the guaiacum tree. It has a piney scent with a rosy undertone. But don’t let that nice smell fool you.

The potential superpower of Guaiol is no less than awesome. According to research conducted both on living organisms and in the lab, it significantly inhibits the growth of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also antibacterial. Cool. cbd terpenes cloves

Caryophyllene Oxide

Now, let’s meet Caryophyllene Oxide (.17% in our recent Fusion CBD tests). Cary Oxide (a good superhero name) is found in cloves, rosemary and hops. Yes, a number of these terpenes are found in hops, but that is a tale for another website to tell.

This terpene’s documented superpowers include its use as an antifungal treatment and also for helping to prevent blood clots.

cbd terpenes rosemary

Alpha-Pinene / Beta-Pinene

Alpha-Pinene (.11% in our tests) is found in pines and rosemary. It has the strong scent of pine. Beta-Pinene( .05 %) is found in parsley, basil, and hops.

Alpha-Pinene’s superpower is that it inhibits the breakdown of specific enzymes and may thereby aid memory abilities. One study done with mice also found it to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent against Acute Pancreatitis. Research also suggests that both Alpha-Pinene and Beta-Pinene possess anti-infectious bronchitis virus properties.

cbd terpenes bitter orange

Nerolidol

Not to be left out is Nerolidol (.11% in our tests). This terpene is present in ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, and lemongrass. But it really gets its name and reputation from “neroli oil” which is produced by the blossom of the bitter orange tree. But there is nothing bitter about Nerolidol.

Its superpowers are wide ranging and include its antifungal effect and antimicrobial activity. Also important for a lot of individuals interested in CBD Hemp Oils is Nerolidol’s potential to provide a stress relieving effect as documented by research done with mice.

cbd terpenes lemons

D-limonene

Lots of people know and use this next member of Team Terpene, D-limonene (.06% in our test). It is commonly found in citrus essential oils. It is one of the most commonly used terpenes. It is an ingredient in food, drugs, make-up, and detergents.

This terpene’s possible superpowers: in studies on rats, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and stimulate the immune system. Good combo move Limonene! It has also been shown in a study with mice to promote weight loss. In a study involving human cell cultures, it showed promise in cancer treatment. Sounds like a terpene we could all get to know and love.

cbd terpenes lavender

Linalool

Now, let me introduce you to Linalool (.05% in Fusion tests). “Lina Lool” (OK, we did that for fun) is found in many common flowers and spices including lavender, cinnamon, and mint. She has a pleasant smell that has made her quite popular. Lina Lool is used in 60-80% of cleaning and hygiene products. That’s a lot of products.

This terpene’s superpower: in addition to smelling fabulous, animal studies have shown it to possess pain, anxiety and inflammation relieving properties and is also an anticonvulsant.

CBD terpenes pine oil

Alpha-Terpineol

Alpha-Terpineol (.05% in our tests) is found in pine oil as well as other oils. But don’t let that seemingly dull back story blind you to its use and benefits.

This terpene’s superpower is that it can be used as a fragrance, for flavor, and cleaning. What you might not know is that it has also been shown in research to be beneficial medicinally. Scientific journals have published papers about its antimicrobial and antifungal effects. It is also acclaimed for its anti-inflammatory effect.

CBD terpenes valencia oranges

Valancene

Last, but not least, is Valencene (.05% in our tests). This terp gets its name because it is present in large amounts in Valencia oranges. Makes total sense, but it is also found in hemp. Hemp has a lot going for it.

Valancene’s superpower is that it gives off a citrus aroma which is known as a repellent for ticks and mosquitos. Heck yeah, I knew I liked this terpene. But there is also growing evidence that it may also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Terpenes Offer a Natural Alternative for Health

There you have it–the role of terpenes as a part of the overall benefit of full-spectrum CBD. That was a lot to cover, so we provided pictures and hopefully a few grins or a chuckle. We hope you learned something new.

It is important to note that terpenes are not approved by the FDA for treatment of any condition. They have simply shown potential in supporting the body’s natural defenses in the studies listed and linked to in this article. Many of these studies involved animal subjects so do not represent the effects that each terpene may or may not have in the human body.

We are fortunate that nature has provided tremendously important resources in hemp that will help us meet tomorrow’s public health challenges. A recent review reported that of the new drugs available on the market during the last 30 year, more than 35% of them have a direct natural origin.

Hemp offers colossal potential for enlarging the list of available natural medicinal compounds. We at Fusion CBD are working hard to provide a greenhouse full of genetic hemp variety to service this future need.

CBD-Hemp-Lab-Study

Raising the Standards of an Industry

When choosing an analogy for the CBD oil industry, the words Wild Wild West come to mind. It is the same for any new industry which has to find its legs in the beginning. Take the auto business for example. It struggled initially due to a lack of suitable roads. Every new area has hurdles to overcome.

Over a year has passed since the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018. This bill took hemp off the schedule 1 narcotics list and made it legal. At this point, many of the cowboys of the CBD industry are ready to put on a suit and tie.

But there are challenges.

Farmers and CBD products producers are adjusting to understanding and complying with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for production and promotion of products. This includes figuring out what FDA category CBD products fall into. This can be kind of tricky with a product that is so versatile. Kind of like the bystander in Superman who called:

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Superman!”

Except, in this case, it’s: “Is it a food? Is it a supplement? Is it a topical? It’s ALL of them!”

FDA and FTC employees are also struggling to understand this new industry so they can properly regulate it for the public’s safety.

For Fusion CBD the challenge has been welcomed.

“As the industry started to take shape we didn’t even know what we were navigating,” said Ed McCauley, co-founder of Fusion CBD. “We began developing products with an X-factor of the unknown regulations that would apply to CBD products.”

Over the past year, McCauley has been attending FDA certification classes to get fully up to speed on FDA safety regulations.

“Our goal is to be fully compliant with not just one, but all three of the non-pharmaceutical areas that the FDA monitors–food, supplement, and cosmetic.”

ED-Fusion-CBD-field

Fusion CBD on Being Compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)

Fusion CBD Founders Ed McCauley and Adam Kurtz, along with other reputable CBD companies in the CBD product industry, have embraced the extra work that comes with being cGMP compliant. cGMP refers to the current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the FDA.

cGMPs ensure that manufacturers have systems with proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.

“Though it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to get in all of the documentation needed to demonstrate compliance, it is really good for the industry,” said McCauley. “There are, unfortunately, a lot of fly-by-night CBD companies out there with mislabeled products. That is bad for consumers and all of us in the industry.”

It is important for retailers and consumers of CBD products to be aware of cGMPs. Consumers and retailers should know whether or not the CBD companies they are buying from are in compliance or working towards compliance.

McCauley said that they had not heard of any CBD companies receiving FDA inspections yet. He expects them to come soon, however. When they do, Fusion CBD will be ready. He predicts that failure of being FDA compliant will put a lot of companies out of the game.

The FDA Big Five – Key Elements of Quality

There are five key things that FDA inspectors look for when determining the safety and quality of a product. It is on these things that the cGMPs are based.

  • Identity
  • Purity – labeling with documentation
  • Potency
  • Composition
  • Limits for potential contaminant – third party testing

These items are reflected in product labeling and product descriptions. The FDA requires back up documentation for both of these. This documentation includes information from 3rd party testing as well as internal Standard Operating Procedure plans. And the plans that CBD companies and any company with supplements are numerous. A company in compliance will be able to show inspectors their Safety Plan, Sanitation Plan, Microbial Plan, Storage Plan among many others.

Hemp-CBD-Growing-Farm

So What are Current Good Manufacturing Practices?

Having Standard Operating Procedures clearly outlined is an important part of cGMPs for CBD product manufacturers. Current Good Manufacturing Practices for nutritional supplement companies include many areas.

Personnel

CBD product manufacturers must take measures to exclude from operation any personnel who are suffering from a health condition that could cause contamination. In other words, complaint companies will not have Sneezy Joe packaging up your CBD oil.

Personnel must practice hygienic practices like wearing protective outer garments, hair nets, being clean and washing their hands thoroughly throughout the day. Additionally, personnel must remove any jewelry or objects that might fall into the product. There will be no wedding rings (or gum) in the CBD cream.

CBD companies must have a qualified Quality Control person in place who will inspect and keep records. Records include how the company is following its Standard Operating Procedures and the training of the personnel involved. No records? No Good.

Physical Plant and Grounds

Not only do the personnel need to be clean and sanitary, so do the grounds and physical plant. FDA regulations and inspectors ensure that both are free of germs, toxins, and pests (can you say bugs and rats? Yuck!) The grounds and plant must also be protected from potentially contaminated neighbors. So if the CBD company is located next to 3-mile Island, that could be a problem. (For those of you on the young side, 3-Mile Island Pennsylvania was the site of a nuclear power plant disaster in 1979.)

Equipment and Utensils

Next up on the Current Good Manufacturing Practices hit parade is equipment and utensils. All equipment must be appropriate for use in the facility and not itself bring the risk of contamination. Equipment must also be installed, cleaned, and maintained per the operating manual. We don’t want any equipment leaking oil or gas into our products.

Production and Process Control System

As part of being cGMP compliant, CBD producers need to ensure that their product contains a manufacturing code identifying their company. CBD products must also contain a batch number so that if any problems arise, the specific batch of products in question can be isolated quickly and easily for the sake of safety, correction, and recall if needed.

Returned Supplements

Being compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices means that even the handling of returned products must be outlined in advance and documented. Quality Control personnel in the company must be involved to determine if the returned product can be salvaged. They also determine if the returned product perhaps implicates other products in the same batch that may have issues that need to be handled.

Product Complaints

One of the top reasons that producers fail to be compliant is the lack of a written procedure for product complaints. As with returned products, complaints must be reviewed by qualified Quality Control personnel. Records must be kept which include the name and description of the supplement, the batch number, the date and nature of the complaint, the reply to the complaint and follow up actions taken as a result. If you have ever made a complaint about a product, did you have any idea that your complaint was so well documented? It was if the company was in compliance.

Records and Record-Keeping

For companies that label their supplements with shelf life dates, records of the product must be kept for a year past the shelf life date. If no shelf life date is used in the labeling, records must be kept for 2 years beyond the distribution of the last batch of dietary supplements associated with those records. In other words, supplements, unlike wine, do not become better with age. They just become untraceable.

Hemp-CBD-extraction

A Challenge of Naming – “To CBD or Not to CBD, That is the Question”

One of the things that makes it challenging is the fact that many CBD companies, like Fusion CBD, actually produce full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum CBD products contain much more than CBD. They actually contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.

This issue is not talked about enough. It is important because CBD isolate, meaning CBD without the rest of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, is one of the active ingredients in the FDA approved drug Epidiolex. This drug treats seizures and is currently the only FDA drug containing CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD products and isolate CBD products are not the same and should not be regarded as the same thing relative to regulation.

Trouble Areas – Where Companies Fail on cGMPs

With all of the details and nuances of FDA compliance, there are a few that frequently trip companies up. They are:

  • Not having master manufacturing records or missing significant requirements from the records;
  • Not having criteria for product safety and quality for finished products. Also, failure to test all finished batches or at least a subset of finished batches;
  • For significant dietary ingredients, e.g. those that make of the bulk of the product, not establishing specifications for incoming material or failure to conduct identity testing;
  • Not having quality control review procedures. The other mistake on this is having quality control review procedures but not implementing a significant part of them;
  • No batch records;
  • Having significant plant deficiencies.

CBD Products and the Future

With the increased attention and regulation of this industry, the public can expect good products to stay on the market and improve, and bad products to disappear.

The clear winner in all of this is the consumer. The industry also wins because as consumer confidence in CBD products grows, so will the industry.

Companies like Fusion CBD attend conferences on best practices and freely share knowledge with others in the industry.

taking-a-bath-with-cbd-header

Rub a Dub Dub – CBD in Your Tub | How To Unwind

We have all been there. It’s been a long stressful day and now you’re home. What’s the best way to unwind? Should you take a long walk, pour yourself a glass of wine? Maybe you should just binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix. None of these is necessarily a bad choice, but perhaps there is a better plan. A plan you may not, given your busy life, have considered in awhile.

When was the last time you took a bath? (No, we are not suggesting anything about your personal hygiene.) We are talking about a bath from the perspective of unwinding for the day.

There certainly are a lot of stock images of women soaking in a bath. It is almost a female relaxation trope. Those images often include a glass of wine, perhaps a candle or flower petals, but is there anything to all of this?

In a survey done by Angie’s List, it was found that 90% prefer showers to baths. The demographic most likely to shower rather than bathe are men in their 20s. Bath people (no surprise) are women in their 40s. So it would seem there is some truth to the imagery. But no matter what the demographic, showers definitely outweigh baths by a considerable margin. Let’s face it, showers are simply quicker and more efficient for daily cleaning. Taking a bath, unless you are six, is generally something special and premeditated.

The History of the Bath

Baths have a bit of a hot and cold history (pun intended).

A lot of the trouble had to do with a lack of access to private indoor plumbing and even water. For this reason, in the ancient world, the public bath was commonplace. One of the first baths was the Great Bath of the Indus Valley Civilization dating back 3000 years. This was a massive structure (hence the name) and was a central part of the city. Archeologists believe it was used for special religious ceremonies as well as to purify and renew the well being of the citizens.

Where bathing was important, and it wasn’t necessarily everywhere, it was a community event. Only wealthy people could afford the luxury of private baths due to the cost and requirements of personal plumbing. Often grass and certain herbs were added to the baths to accentuate the experience.

While the east continued the long tradition of bathing, the process began to fall out of favor in Europe for two distinct reasons. First, the switch from wool to linen clothing. Linen was easier to clean and maintain. This meant that one could bathe less and change clothes more. Having a lot of linen was also a sign of social status so appearance eclipsed cleanliness. The lack of cleanliness wasn’t without consequence. Poor hygiene leads to illness. So much so that medical opinions at the time suggested that the odors of dirty clothes caused disease. (The germ theory of sickness had not yet been established.)

Community bathing had its own issues. It, unfortunately, led to public bathhouses becoming places for prostitution and other questionable activities. Those with access to water who could simply bathe at home did so using basins and washtubs.

Girl-in-bath-with-oils-relaxing-cbd

The Bath – Not Just for Cleaning Anymore

With modern indoor plumbing becoming a thing in most homes by the 1950s, more people were washing up more frequently. But what about the use of a nice bath for relaxing or even improving your wellness? While many grasp the basic concept behind the soothing power of a nice soak, here are some wellness benefits you might not have known.

Increasing your heart rate

While taking a warm bath is no replacement for a good workout, soaking in a hot bath will increase your heart rate. Don’t go crazy with the temperature and if you have a pre-existing condition, it may not be a good idea. However, a nice warm bath will give your heart some healthy low-impact exercise.

Breathe a little easier in the tub

Being in the warm tub can also help with oxygen and lung capacity. For this one to have the full effect you need to submerge your chest under the water as well. The warm water gets your heart beating faster and your oxygen intake will improve. Additionally, the steam can help clear your sinuses and chest.

Calm your busy brain and improve your mood

Soaking in a nice hot bath can help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also calm your central nervous system, reducing your levels of stress and improving your mood. A warm bath can increase serotonin levels, which is the happiness hormone. The human body is made mostly of water and that is why we are encouraged to drink plenty of it. But soaking in water is also extremely beneficial. We can enhance this by adding certain oils or salts to a bath or bathing in a natural body of water or pool, rich in naturally occurring minerals.

Essential-oils-for-bath-cbd

Adding Things to Your Bath

So a nice hot bath can help improve your wellness, calm your nerves, and help you regain balance after a stressful day. Are you already planning your next tub time? Is there anything you can do to make your next soak time even better?

Yes, there are some simple things you can do to step up your bath action. It may be something as easy as putting on some relaxing music, turning the lights down, and lighting some candles. There are also some things you can add to your bath water to increase the benefits of tub time.

Lavender

One of the most popular bath additives is the essential oil, lavender. It is very popular because of its delightful scent and its effect on people’s moods. Lavender has been found to relieve pain and inflammation. It has also been found to help with headaches. Finally, the smell itself is so pleasant, that alone can help elevate your mood.

Lemon oil

Aromatherapy has many adherents. If nothing else it can make your soak all that more enjoyable. Lemon as an essential oil has been found to have antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and detoxifying properties that can help your immune system according to a study from 2015. Keep in mind that citrus oils can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. Make sure you give yourself a good rinse before going out sunbathing.

Ginger

Do you like sushi? How about that yummy ginger on the side? You should eat a bite between each roll to cleanse the palate. You can also add it to your bath. Just add a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger to your bathwater. Many say that it can help with congestion and will also help soothe sore muscles.

Epsom salt

This is the standard one you hear about all the time. Epsom salt baths have been recommended and used for literally hundreds of years as a way to ease aches and pains. This is not the “salt” you put on your fries, however. Epsom is the place in England where it was originally discovered and is found naturally in springs. Add a half cup to your tub. Keep in mind if you have sensitive or irritated skin you might want to avoid this one.

Eucalyptus

While not for everyone due to its strong and sharp scent, it may be just the thing you are looking for. Many people are attracted to its strong fragrance and find it stimulating. Inhaling the vapor can open up your nasal passages similar to menthol or camphor. You don’t need a lot though. Keep in mind some people are allergic, so test yourself first.

CBD

CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant and has in many studies found to be helpful in maintaining health and wellness in its own unique way. It works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help maintain homeostasis. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD will not get you high. Adding it to your bath water or using a CBD infused soap might be just the thing you are looking for to bring your tub time to the next level.

A Final Word on Baths for Relaxation

We all want a way to unwind and relax at the end of a long day. Maintaining balance and harmony is something most people could use more of these days. Maybe you are a committed “bath person”. Based on a survey, if you are female in your 40s, you just might be.

Even if you don’t fit into that demographic (here’s looking at you guys) a nice long bath, with some added ingredients, might just be what you are looking for.

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Putting it into Perspective—Part 3 The Vitamins and CBD Industry Parallels

In our last article, we discussed how the human body stopped synthesizing certain vitamins when their day-to-day diet made it unnecessary. The fact was, our hunter-gatherer ancestors got an abundant supply of vitamins from the game they killed and the plants they collected. That diet made it unnecessary for these early humans to produce the vitamins themselves. But with the rise of agriculture, people began to consume more vitamin-poor starches like wheat and corn. Over the centuries, our diet has transformed even further. As a result, we’ve put ourselves at risk of vitamin-related diseases. Hence, the rise of the vitamin supplement industry in the 20th century. On the CBD side, it appears that the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant evolved to adapt to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) of mammals. Many individuals using CBD products have noted a marked improvement in their well being causing the rise of the CBD industry in the 21st century.

Vitamin and CBD Industries

The 13 vitamins were identified over time in the 1800s and early 1900s. One of the first supplements was created by Casimir Funk. Funk was the researcher who coined the term “vitamin” in 1912. He was followed by many other vitamin manufacturers in the early 1920s. Early criticism in the vitamin industry was based on some manufacturers making unscientific and outrageous health claims. This is not dissimilar to what we have seen of late with the CBD industry. In November of 2019, 15 CBD companies were sent warning letters from the FDA for this exact offense. The vitamin industry faced huge challenges at times throughout the 20th Century. In 1993, Mel Gibson even did a PSA encouraging people to write to their congressmen to protect their rights to take vitamin supplements. In 1994, thanks to trade organizations like the United Natural Products Alliance, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed, smoothing the way for the vitamin industry to expand. In spite of the sometimes rocky relationship between the vitamin industry and government regulators, things have improved vastly. As time goes on in the CBD industry, we expect things to smooth out as well. We anticipate more self-regulation by ethical CBD companies who are in this for the long haul. We also anticipate a greater understanding of the CBD industry by the FDA and FTC, enabling companies to conform to government guidelines. Following is a brief historical overview of the US vitamin industry and a breakdown of the 13 vitamins themselves.

The Government Promotes Good Nutrition and Vitamins

After much back and forth, a breakthrough for awareness and understanding of vitamins occurred in 1941. American men were being called for military service during WWII. It was found that one-third of them suffered from disabilities related to poor nutrition. In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened the National Nutrition Conference for Defense. The result was the first set of government-sponsored Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins and minerals. As a matter of fact, the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamins and Minerals (RDAs) was updated in 2019 for the first time in 30 years. There is not full consensus about the value of vitamin supplements versus trying to get all the needed vitamins from food. In spite of that, the FDA acknowledges that vitamin supplements are part of the health regime of millions of people and are helpful for people in certain categories. In spite of decades of promotion of these RDAs, more than 90 percent of Americans still fall short on at least one essential vitamin or mineral according to The Journal of Family Practice, September 2016. A study of more than 10,000 American adults, published by the same journal, found that people who take multivitamins are much less likely to lack essential vitamins and minerals. vitamin-supplements-and-cbd

The Vitamin Countdown

There are 13 essential vitamins—vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). These are nutrients that we need to get from outside our bodies. Here they all are. The first four vitamins, A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. This means that the body can store them. The next nine vitamins, C and all of the B vitamins are water-soluble. That means that the body does not generally store them. For this reason, you should try to get them regularly in your diet.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin A assists:
  • Normal vision,
  • The immune system,
  • Reproduction,
  • Heart,
  • Lungs,
  • Kidneys, and other organs to work properly.
Vitamin A is found in meat and dairy as well as fruits and vegetables. Lack of vitamin A can cause eye problems like night blindness and skin rashes. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 43% of Americans have a vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin D Benefits, Sources, and Deficiencies

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D:
  • Helps the body maintain strong bones,
  • Helps muscles to move,
  • Enables nerves to carry messages,
  • Enables the immune system to fight invading bacteria and viruses.
Few foods contain Vitamin D. The ones that do include salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms. The truth is that throughout history, the major natural source of the vitamin has been from sun exposure. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones. In children, this condition is known as rickets and in adults, it is called osteomalacia. Just in the last decade, the National Institute of Health reported that almost 42% of the U.S. population has a vitamin D deficiency. This number went up to 69.2% among Hispanics and 82.1% among African-Americans. Leafy-green-veggies-and-cbd

Vitamin E Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It helps to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals form when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. Cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun also expose people to free radicals. Vitamin E does the following:
  • Boosts the immune system,
  • Widens blood vessels and keeps blood from clotting within them,
  • Helps cells interact with each other to carry out many important functions.
You can get recommended amounts of vitamin E by eating a variety of foods including vegetable oils, nuts, and green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli. Vitamin E deficiency is linked to diseases where fat is not correctly digested like Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis. Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it. Vitamin E deficiency can also cause nerve and muscle damage. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 93% of Americans have an inadequate dietary intake of vitamin E.

Vitamin K Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin. It allows blood to coagulate. Vitamin K benefits:
  • Bone health,
  • Cognitive health,
  • Heart health by lowering blood pressure.
You can get your K from leafy greens like kale, oil and some fruits like grapes.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants boost the immune system. Vitamin C may:
  • Help high blood pressure,
  • Lower risk of heart disease,
  • Reduce gout (a type of arthritis),
  • Prevent iron deficiencies,
  • Help memory and thinking as we age.
Most animals can make vitamin C on their own. We humans, however, need to get it from our diet. Vitamin C is found in various fruits and veggies like broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes. Lack of vitamin C causes scurvy. Scurvy leads to symptoms like anemia, exhaustion, bleeding, pain in limbs, swelling, ulceration of gums and loss of teeth. Basically, scurvy totally sucks. Early sailors suffered from scurvy until 1747 when James Lind found that oranges and lemons were a cure for scurvy. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 39% of Americans have an inadequate dietary intake of vitamin C. vitamin-b1-and-cbd-food

Vitamin B1 a.k.a. Thiamin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

B1, the vitamin we discussed earlier in this article, allows the body to use carbohydrates as energy. In fact, all B vitamins help convert food to energy. B1 is critical for glucose metabolism. It also plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function. Vitamin B1 prevents complications in:
  • The nervous system,
  • Brain,
  • Muscles,
  • Heart,
  • Stomach,
  • Intestines.
There is a lot of Vitamin B1 in the outer layers and germ of wheat, oat, and corn. It can also be found in yeast, beef, pork, and nuts. Some fruits and vegetables contain B1 including cauliflower, liver, oranges, eggs, potatoes, asparagus, and kale. A lack of vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi, anorexia, mental problems, and weakened muscles.

Vitamin B2 aka Riboflavin Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Next up on the vitamin B part of our hit parade is vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is crucial for:
  • Breaking down food (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates),
  • Absorbing nutrients,
  • Maintaining tissues.
Vitamin B2 is found naturally in some foods and added to others. You’ll find this B vitamin in fish, meat and poultry, eggs and dairy, nuts and veggies like kelp and asparagus. Vitamin B2 deficiency is a significant risk when your diet is poor because the body does not store vitamin B2. Signs of deficiency include mouth ulcers and cracks in the corners of the mouth, red lips, tongue inflammation, dry skin, cracked lips.

Vitamin B3 a.k.a. Niacin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Every part of your body needs vitamin B3, more commonly referred to as niacin, to function properly. Niacin may:
  • Help lower cholesterol,
  • Prevent heart disease,
  • Ease arthritis,
  • Boost brain function.
Niacin helps convert food into energy by aiding enzymes. You can find niacin in chicken breast, tuna, beef, smoked salmon, peanuts and lentils. A deficiency in niacin is rare in first world countries. But it can occur along with alcoholism and anorexia.

Vitamin B5 a.k.a. Pantothenic Acid – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the most important vitamins for human life. Vitamin B5:
  • Is necessary for making blood cells,
  • It helps convert the food into energy.
Vitamin B5 is one of eight B vitamins. All B vitamins help you convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy. B vitamins are also needed for:
  • Healthy skin, hair, and eyes,
  • Proper functioning of the nervous system and liver,
  • Healthy digestive tract,
  • Making red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body,
  • Making hormones.
Whole grains are major sources of pantothenic acid. It is also found in quantity in liver and kidney, yeast, and egg yolk. Broccoli, peanuts, fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources of vitamin B5. vitamin-b6-and-cbd-supplement

Vitamin B6 a.k.a. Pyridoxine – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B6 helps the body perform several functions. It is important for the metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also aids in the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. According to science, vitamin B6 benefits the body in the following ways:
  • May prevent and treat anemia by aiding the production of hemoglobin,
  • May help mood issues due to its role in creating neurotransmitters,
  • May relieve nausea during pregnancy,
  • May prevent clogged arteries and promote heart health.
Vitamin B6 is easily gotten from foods like poultry, beef, and chicken. You can also get your B6 from veggies and fruits. One cup of garbanzo beans (say on a yummy salad?) will take care of half your daily requirement. Vitamin B6 deficiencies can result in skin rashes, cracked lip corners, anemia, numb hands or feet, and brain fog.

Vitamin B7 a.k.a. Biotin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B7, a.k.a. biotin is a critical part of a healthy metabolism and creating enzymes. Vitamin B7 strengthens hair and nails. Biotin is important to a number of systems including:
  • Skin,
  • Nerves,
  • Digestive tract,
  • Metabolism,
  • And cells.
Biotin is found in small amounts in foods like liver, cauliflower, whole-grain cereals, eggs, dairy, nuts, chicken, salmon, and carrots. Deficiencies are rare. If a deficiency does exist, it can cause confusion, nausea, muscle pain, changes in the skin and loss of hair.

Vitamin B9 a.k.a. Folic Acid – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B9 is also called folate or folic acid. Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. For pregnant women, this one is really important to get right so check with your prenatal doctor. Folic acid does the following:
  • Helps produce DNA and RNA (the body’s genetic material—it is really important during times of growth like pregnancy and infancy and adolescence),
  • Works closely with B12 to make red blood cells
  • It helps iron to work properly in the body.
Vitamin B9 is found in many different vegetables including spinach, dark greens, and brussel sprouts. It’s found in beans like lima beans and soybeans. It is also found in orange juice and milk. Deficiency of folic acid can cause poor growth, loss of appetite, inflammation of the tongue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and mental sluggishness. Women who don’t get enough folic acid during pregnancy are more likely to have children with birth defects. Studies show that pregnant women should get 600 mcg per day.

Vitamin B12 Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B12 helps make your DNA and your red blood cells. Benefits of B12 include:
  • Prevents anemia,
  • Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails,
  • May support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamin B12 can be gotten in animal foods like dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. Vitamin B12 occurs in these animal foods naturally. You can also get it from food that has been fortified with vitamin B12. Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are not common. With age, however, absorption may become an issue. A person who has had weight loss surgery or had part of their stomach removed may also have an issue. Drinking heavily can also cause a problem. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, heart palpitations, vision loss, mental issues, nerve problems, paleness, a smooth tongue, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas. Healthy-lifestyle-food-vitamins-cbd

Lessons Learned and Living Your Best Life

The bottom line is this: for those of us in the CBD industry, there is a lot that can be learned from the lessons of others. For the many individuals striving to live healthier and happier lives, education is important. In recent decades, lifestyle as an important factor in health is of great interest to researchers. About half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. We encourage our readers to get educated and take action. Where answers are not black and white, we encourage you to consult with your doctor, take a holistic approach and see what works best for you.
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Putting it into Perspective—Part 2 The Path of Vitamins and the Parallel with CBD

When one is learning something totally new, like the subject of the endocannabinoid system and CBD, it sometimes helps to use comparisons. These comparisons could be in completely different fields but share enough similarities so as to make a comparison helpful to understanding. When we are talking about CBD and the other 100 plus cannabinoids in the hemp plant, there are a couple of areas that could be compared.
  1. We can compare the endocannabinoid system and what CBD does in and on the body with other products that people use in and on their bodies.
  2. We can compare the brand new CBD industry with other new and/or regulated industries.
In this article, we will address the first one.

The Endocannabinoid System, Your Body, and CBD

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the system in our body that interacts with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced by both the cannabis plant and our bodies. Cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant are called phytocannabinoids (Phyto means “plant”) and were first identified in the 1940s. Then, in 1992, Dr. Mechoulam’s lab isolated the first cannabinoid produced by the human body. These cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids (endo means “inner”). The ECS is a foundational monitoring system that helps our body maintain balance. A white paper published by the National Institute of Health says this about the ECS system: “The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress.”

The Endocannabinoid System / Thermostat Analogy

As a “regulating” system—there are all kinds of analogies that can be used to explain the ECS. One could use the analogy of a thermostat in a house. When the air gets too cool, the thermostat kicks in and tells the heater to turn on. When the air gets too hot, the thermostat kicks into action and tells the air conditioner to blow cold air. One could say that the endocannabinoid is similar to a thermostat—when it detects certain conditions in the body, it kicks into action telling other parts of the body what to do. These functions all contribute to homeostasis, a big word referring to the internal balance of one’s body. If an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation. Today, experts believe that maintaining homeostasis is the primary role of the ECS.

Your Body and Vitamins

Vitamins are any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals and some plants—and essential means essential. Lack of some of the 13 vitamins will even kill you! Our bodies get the vitamins they need in two ways: making them or eating them. At one point, a long long time ago, our microbial ancestors probably made some or all of their required vitamins, but eventually, that ability was lost. We humans have probably needed vitamins for billions of years, even if we didn’t know it. In the context of history, the discovery of vitamins is recent. Discovery of the substances began in the early nineteenth century and ended in the mid-twentieth century. It was in 1912 that Casimir Funk originally coined the term “vitamine”, just a few decades before the discovery of cannabinoids. vitamins-and-chickens

The Discovery of Vitamins—a Team Effort

While Funk may have coined the term “vitamine” (which later dropped the “e” and became vitamin), the 13 vitamins were in fact discovered by a number of different individuals. As Dr. Simba wrote in his abstract: “The puzzle of each vitamin was solved through the work and contributions of epidemiologists, physicians, physiologists, and chemists. Rather than a mythical story of crowning scientific breakthroughs, the reality was slow, stepwise progress that included setbacks, contradictions, refutations, and some chicanery.” One vitamin was even discovered with the help of chickens. You read that right. Chickens.

How Chickens Helped us Discover Vitamin B1

Beriberi (pronounced “berry berry”) is a disease that causes people to lose the feeling in their legs and have trouble walking. The first account of the disease was given in the late 1790s and baffled scientists for a hundred years. In the 1880s, scientist Christiaan Eijkman found that chickens could develop a beriberi-like condition. He started studying these birds in order to find the cause of the disease. He thought it was some kind of bacteria for a long time. But then he discovered that a flock of sick chickens suddenly recovered from those same beriberi-like symptoms. Lightbulb moment. What happened? Why did these chickens get better?

It Was The Rice!

In the mid-1800s manufacturers began processing rice in steam-powered mills. This process stripped off the outer layer of the rice. This layer happened to be a pretty critical part of the rice though no one knew it. It turned out that the chickens Dr. Eijkman had been studying were being fed leftover processed rice. The rice came from a nearby military hospital in the Netherlands. “Then the cook was replaced and his successor refused to allow military rice to be taken for civilian chickens,” Dr. Eijkman later explained when he accepted the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research. Once the birds started eating unprocessed rice, they quickly recovered. Dr. Eijkman figured out that something essential must be in that outer layer. In 1912, the Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk called this mysterious compound a “vital amine,” which came to be shortened to vitamin. (An “amine”, in case you care to know, is an organic compound. It is derived from ammonia by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by organic groups.) In this case, the amines were vital to life. Later, researchers discovered that the outer layer of rice is rich in vitamin B1, which is also known as thiamine. girls-on-hils-cbd-vitamins-health

The Parallel Between Cannabinoids and Vitamins

It is interesting to note the close relationship and evolution in the chemistry of plants and living creatures. In an earlier article, we wrote about how scientists believe that cannabis evolved to adapt to the human body. That is the prevailing explanation for why the phytocannabinoids of cannabis fit perfectly with the ECS receptors of the human endocannabinoid system. Well, as it turns out, the human body also adapts to the diet it consumes. Where the human body was once able to synthesize vitamin C, now it cannot. Our primate ancestors lost the ability to make their own vitamin C about 60 million years ago. Their bodies didn’t need to make vitamin C because they regularly ate fruit. A wide variety of plants and animals still do synthesize vitamin C from carbohydrates like glucose. The only mammals that can’t do it are primates (including us!) and the guinea pig. And the moral is: use it or lose it, baby. In the next Putting in into Perspective article, we will dive a little deeper into vitamins themselves and take a look at some of the similarities the CBD and Vitamin industries have faced.
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Putting it into Perspective—Cannabis, CBD, and Change

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” ― Heraclitus Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher who lived around 500 B.C., spoke of the always-changing world. Because of his interest in wordplay, he was called “The Obscure”. So his most famous quote reflects the nature of obscure, “not discovered or known about; uncertain”. Today’s evolving discussions around cannabis, hemp, and CBD certainly fall into the category of obscure. Especially in the way that consumers, companies and the government approach the subject. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The current head of the Department of Health and Human Services is Alex Azar, sworn in by President Trump in January of 2018. The FDA Commissioner is Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D who has served on the post since February of 2018. These two gentlemen, especially FDA Commissioner Giroir, have the task of sorting through what the legalization of hemp and as a result CBD means to consumers and hemp producers. Needless to say, the explosion of CBD on the market has forced them to work out quickly what that means.

Hemp Regulation and the FDA

With the ongoing back and forth by the FDA on the regulation of CBD, it is important to keep things in perspective. For those of us living in the CBD world—both consumers and producers—this can be challenging at times. Part of keeping things in perspective means looking at them in context. “Context” in this situation means looking at where the hemp/CBD industry is in the context of history. It also means looking at CBD products in the context of other products. By looking at the challenges and triumphs of products that are similar to hemp and CBD in some respects, we can see how they came into their own. But first, let’s begin with the lessons of history.

CBD and Hemp in the Context of Time

The way that humans have used cannabis throughout the centuries has changed. However, it is important to note that the use of cannabis and hemp are not new to the human experience. It is only recently that science and research have started to catch up with what people seemed to have known for 1000s of years.

Timeline of the Changing and Expanded Use of Cannabis

10,000 years ago, it was used as a cord in pottery in the area of modern-day Taiwan. That is really a seriously long time ago. Think saber-tooth tiger and woolly mammoth long time ago. 8,000 years ago, cannabis seeds and oil were used in food in China. Did you know that hemp seeds are a great source of protein? More than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein—comparable to beef and lamb. 6,000 years ago, textiles made of hemp were used in both China and Turkestan. 5,000 years ago saw the first recorded use of cannabis as medicine in China. So thousands of years before man even knew anything about the body’s endocannabinoid system, cannabis, CBD and the other 100 plus cannabinoids, was observed to influence the human body. 4,000 years ago, cannabis is used medicinally and ritualistically in India. 3,500 years ago cannabis is cultivated in China for food and fiber. 2,000 years ago, cannabis is used as an intoxicant. In the millennia since, the use of cannabis spread from Asia throughout the world. Its uses have broadened to include such things as paper, plastics, and as a painkiller. Changing-Nature-of-Hemp-CBD

The Changing Legal Status of Cannabis

For most of history, there was no distinction between the two types of cannabis we discuss today—hemp and marijuana. There was basically just three different types of hemp—Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. It wasn’t until the 20th Century, with the influx us Mexican immigrants in the US, that the Spanish word marijuana even came into use in the US. Prior to that, it was simply known as cannabis or hemp. That all changed in the 1930s when Henry Anslinger began using the term marijuana to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. This was done as part of a public relations campaign to demonize cannabis and hemp. It ultimately resulted in the sale and use of cannabis—marijuana and hemp alike—becoming illegal. And so it was that cannabis, a.k.a. hemp a.k.a. marijuana became an outlaw. This was a big change for a plant that had been used for every purpose from medicine to food, to rope, and even for paying taxes in early America. It was not until December of 2018, with the passage of the Farm Bill, that its legal status changed again. With the Farm Bill came the legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp was now defined as cannabis containing 0.3% or less THC. THC is the cannabinoid that causes the “high”. Legally, marijuana is any cannabis plant with above 0.3% THC, though most are much higher with the average being between 10 and 12%.

The Changing Cannabis Plant

Even the cannabis plant itself has changed. Where we once referred to three types of cannabis plants—Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis—there are now literally hundreds. Like the wolf that has become a dachshund and hundreds of other breeds, cannabis too has evolved. Thanks to genetics and cross-breeding, there are plants with higher levels of some cannabinoids like CBD and CBG and lower levels of others, like THC. The result has been that some cannabis plants that look like “pot” are actually hemp, containing less than .3% THC. This has made the job of law enforcement tougher than ever in places where hemp is legal but marijuana is not. Change-Continues-Hemp-and-CBD

Change Continues

The Farm Bill of 2018 represented a huge victory for the many individuals who had been battling to legally use hemp products containing CBD and all of its natural components. Since that time, the FDA and FTC have been working out how the hemp industry and its products fit into their overall mission. That mission being the protection of public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. This is an important mission to be sure. It is a mission fully supported by Fusion CBD and all honest hemp farmers and consumers. Where it gets challenging is when the agency potentially overreaches in the name of “protecting” the public. Such was the case when last month the FDA announced a new public guidance. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable responded on their website that the guidance “severely overstates the health risks of hemp-derived CBD and that ignores much of the scientific evidence of CBD’s safety, in particular at dosage levels typically found in foods and dietary supplements.”  “Further, without sufficient scrutiny or public input, the FDA makes a broad statement that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), undermining its status as a food ingredient.”  “Combined with the FDA’s continued delay in sharing its long-promised timetable for regulatory action, yesterday’s announcements raise significant concerns for us the Roundtable. We will be discussing the next steps with our allies on Capitol Hill and will be sharing with you shortly a plan for political action.” – US Hemp Roundtable

This Too Shall Come to Pass

If it is any comfort, there have been plenty of beneficial products and ideas that have been fought or ignored to one degree or another throughout history—some of them in the not-too-distant past. In the coming article, we will discuss the challenges and victories of some of them.