You’re at your friend Gina’s house. It quickly turned from a nice, afternoon brunch into a full-blown Tupperware party only it’s not Tupperware — it’s essential oils. And she’s not just telling you how nice they smell in lotions, but she’s telling you they cure cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and stuff. And she’s not just trying to sell them to you, but she’s trying to get you onboard to sell them, too. So you politely break the news to Gina that she’s been wooed by some kind of essential oil pyramid scheme.

Everyone has one friend who went there. Into the strange world of multi-level marketing that also taps into the human being’s most sensitive spot — their health. Netflix’s new series, Unwell, touches on this dark side of the wellness industry. Netflix’s Goop, released earlier in the year (with Gwenyth Paltrow) explored the same kind of topic but from more of a curious perspective. Unwell, on the other hand, is more about what happens when things don’t go as the wellness company told you they would.

The first episode of Unwell is all about essential oils. Without going into too much detail, Netflix covers it from a lot of different angles. In one story, a woman has great success getting her autistic daughter to sleep better after seeing an aromatherapist and choosing some essential oils for smelling and inhalation. In another story, a young family becomes very wealthy selling courses on essential oils and incorporating them into everyday life. And in another story, a woman uses essential oils as they were advertised to her, develops a horrible rash all over her body, and actually ends up becoming allergic to them from excessive use.

If anything, in Unwell, Netflix errs on the side of caution. We’re not going to blabber on too much about essential oils, but on the underlying message of the show. What in the wellness industry keeps us well, and what makes us unwell? We all know there’s good research on the therapeutic uses of essential oils, but how can there be people out there advocating their use in a way that would be harmful? As consumers, who do we trust and how do we keep ourselves from getting swept up in the world of wellness marketing?

The wellness industry is an industry.

An aromatherapist drops essential oils onto her wrist.

Before we throw our hands up in the air and beg to know, how could they do this to us, we have to remember something. Industry is industry. We can talk about the difference between life saving drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. We can talk about the difference between oil and the oil industry. And just the same, we can talk about the difference between wellness products and the wellness industry.

For example, essential oils have been used therapeutically for millennia, long before DoTerra and Young Living were around. The aromatic properties of plants have been captured and used as sleep inducers, to calm anxiety, to manage pain, and even to deal with psychological disorders or bad juju.

As Netflix points out in Unwell, there’s a lot of discrepancies between what Young Living and their representatives tell you to do with essential oils and what an aromatherapist might tell you to do with the exact same product. The aromatherapist who appears on the first episode of Unwell says she never recommends the internal consumption of essential oils. 

Those who represent Young Living and other essential oil brands are not typically qualified to give medical advice about how to use essential oils. And because of the structure of a multilevel marketing company like Young Living, it’s not really in their best interest to disclose some of the potential safety concerns of using essential oils. On the other hand, medical professionals like aromatherapists don’t represent the essential oil companies themselves, but represent their own medical practise. It’s almost always in their best interest to disclose safety information to their patients. 

In unregulated industries, the onus is on the consumer.

Like we just pointed out, there’s nothing wrong with essential oils. When used correctly, they are safe and can improve and enhance health. But if you use essential oils the wrong way, you confront toxicity issues. Every single therapeutic in the world has side effects, even plant therapy. So it’s important to know those before you use any wellness product. It’s equally as important to know what you’re using it for.

Essential oils are not regulated by any specific world or national authority. Health Canada doesn’t regulate the sale of essential oils, and this is typically because they’re not considered to be therapeutic. Essential oils are usually only regulated when used in food or pharmaceutical products. But outside of that, anybody can buy essential oils off the shelf.

Without this kind of oversight, the onus is entirely on the consumer to make safe decisions about what they consume. This is a good thing too, because the government shouldn’t regulate every single aspect of our lives. But where does that leave consumers? How should consumers know how and when to consume a wellness product?

Cannabis and CBD — knowing how to navigate the cannabis industry

Two hands pass each other a cannabis joint.

Surprise surprise, it happens in cannabis too. It’s because wherever there’s an inch and a human, the human will magically transform that inch into a mile. If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you advocate CBD and cannabis use. We obviously advocate it, too. But the way some individuals or companies leverage off the spread of misinformation about cannabis actually undermines the breakthrough scientific research going in about cannabis in the world.

Does cannabis have the potential to dramatically alter someone’s quality of life or treat a range of medical conditions? Absolutely! At the same time, touting cannabis as a way to cure everything is just another way to capitalise on a portion of the population that is insecure about their health.

In taking it to the next level, there are even cannabis product manufacturers that manufacture a sub-par or contaminated product and sell it as the real deal. These low-quality products are sold with the same premise of therapy that other high-quality products are sold.

You absolutely should be skeptical when shopping for cannabis products. There are a lot of questions you should ask a product manufacturer or stockist to know the quality of your product. This includes asking about ingredients, the source of the cannabis, and any analytical documents that show cannabinoid content and the presence of contaminants.

Discrediting alternative wellness practices is part of the problem

Part of the problem of ongoing misinformation in the wellness industry is that many wellness practices are discredited entirely as being ineffective. Take essential oils, for example, which by the medical industry in general, are discredited as not having much therapeutic potential. This attitude also leans people into the idea that they are also not powerful. Which couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to essential oils.

The same is also true of herbal medicine. There are many stories of botched self-medicating with herbs. They come as a result of some general consensus that because they are herbs, they are all safe and have minimal impact on the body. It’s simply not true.

If alternative wellness practices were treated with the same integrity and respect as modern medicine, we likely wouldn’t be in this dilemma with the wellness industry. We often don’t recognise simple herbal extracts like essential oils as having extremely powerful pharmacological actions because they are never presented to us that way. They are presented as gentle gifts from nature — take as much as you want! In fact, they are potently antimicrobial, and can even disrupt the microbial balance of skin if used excessively or undiluted.

But pharmaceutical drugs are treated just the opposite. They are considered so powerful, you have to qualify with certain pathophysiology to take it. That’s not to say essential oils should be regulated the same way, but some credit given to their power, and therefore, their potential to do harm if not used correctly. This can be extended to any product that can be used with the intention of producing a therapeutic or pharmacological effect in the body.

Learn about what you’re taking and consult the appropriate professional

A bottle of cannabis oil with a dropper and cannabis leaf

Maybe you’re sitting on the couch scrolling through channels and you see an ad for a multivitamin. The way they’re talking about, it looks like something you should take. Before pouring your trust into a television commercial, you can do a little research yourself about the active ingredients and whether they are useful for you. You can also easily find safety information about many wellness products and how to use them without danger.

You might even consider seeing a nutritionist to see if you really need to take any vitamins. You can consult an aromatherapist before consuming essential oils, or ask for more guidance on how you can use them in your life. Go see a cannabis-friendly doctor if you want a professional opinion on how cannabis might be able to help you with your affliction.

Yes, the onus is on you, which is not something humans are used to when it comes to their health. Humans are accustomed to being told what to do about their health by a doctor, which in most circumstances, is okay, because the medical industry is heavily regulated. But in the world of herbal medicine and aromatherapy, there is no such regulation. Which means doing your own research and consulting a professional you trust are imperative to you getting the best experience out of your wellness products — and without getting ripped off. 

The moral of the story is: treat herbs and essential oils and other wellness products like they are powerful medical agents. Treat them as if they will have a dramatic impact on your body. Wouldn’t you do a bit of research and enquiry about anything that would have a dramatic impact on your body?

Everybody knows and remembers the infamous video of Arnold Schwarznegger smoking a joint with a bucket of fried chicken to celebrate his 1975 Mr. Olympia title. A lot of things came out of that video — like the knowledge that the particular fried chicken Schwarznegger ate during that video was some of the best he ever had in his life. Oh, and of course, the big kerfuffle about whether or not cannabis was conducive to bodybuilding or muscle sports in general. 

A lot of different rumours have made their way around since then. First, there’s the whole cannabis and sperm count thing, which a lot of people thought also meant that cannabis also lowers testosterone (myth). Then CBD birthed itself into the cannabis industry and things changed again in the relationship between cannabis and muscle sports.

It’s probably not as simple as “cannabis is bad for your beef” or “cannabis is good for your guns”. It’s never that simple — especially when cannabis is the subject at hand. In the absence of good (or any) scientific research about cannabis and muscles, how do we go about this? 

Well, there are a few ways. Let’s have a look at them.

Cannabis maybe increases serum testosterone levels?

Contrary to the belief that cannabis lowers sperm count because of lowered testosterone (it seems to have some other mechanism), there’s some evidence that testosterone levels might be higher in regular cannabis users (both men and women).

There were a handful of studies conducted in the 80s and 90s on this topic but then was abandoned until the last few years. The overall consensus is that higher testosterone levels are associated with recent cannabis use. But there’s no understanding of how long this effect lasts.  There’s no evidence that the increase in testosterone has a cumulative effect.

So far in the scientific understanding, testosterone doesn’t seem to be a very big player in the conversation about body-building and cannabis.

Mental focus and agility.

Focused woman lifting heavy weights at the gym

This is where things get… a little more complex. Cannabis affects different people differently. For some, the effect of a rich sativa strain gets the mind focused and agile. For others, cannabis turns the mind into an imaginative playground which has all the stability of soup. 

Some people might not feel comfortable with their ability to lift extremely heavy, and therefore dangerous, weights while they’re high. That impaired motor control effect. Others might feel that cannabis gives them the focus and stamina they need to do the job perfectly.

With all this subjectivity in the cannabis experience, body-builders should be thinking about their own minds, bodies, and their own typical reactions to cannabinoids. It’s probably important to think about dosage too (for an in-depth guide on dosage, check out our dosage chart). A 10 mg hit of THC might put you in the zone, but any more than that could push you over the edge into the who-needs-training zone. For safety, as well as your own physical performance, it’s really important to consider these things on a personal level. 

If you’re the kind of person who melts into a ball of jelly after using cannabis, that doesn’t mean cannabis can’t help your workout. You would just be introducing it at different parts of your day.

Relaxation and recovery.

An exhausted man rests after lifting heavy weights

This is where cannabis really seems to shine when it comes to bodybuilding — or any kind of professional athleticism in general. Athletes are understanding more than ever that rest is equally as important as training. And without rest, good training just doesn’t happen.

If training has been particularly difficult or caused pain or inflammation, cannabis can help. Topical and orally consumed cannabis can both help to reduce pain and inflammation, and essentially assist the body in its winding down process.

Those who like to use cannabis recreationally might find a lot of joy in smoking cannabis before doing some night time stretching to rejuvenate the body and the muscles. And for others, cannabis might be the ticket to a good sleep, opening up the door for good training tomorrow.

When it comes to bodybuilding, CBD is different to THC.

CBD doesn’t come with any of the cognitive effects of THC, which for bodybuilders, means it’s very different. For example, unless you take a very big dose of CBD, it’s not likely to impair your motor control or your memory. 

Most importantly, in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. It’s therefore recognized that it doesn’t have an effect on your physical performance, but it might have a positive effect on your mental performance.

At lower doses, CBD is somewhat stimulating, may improve mental focus, and is unlikely to hinder your physical performance at all. Some athletes use CBD before training as a way to prime the muscles and avoid inflammatory responses to training. It also provides pain relief in the event of injuries or sore muscles.

Some professional athletes use CBD before game day as a way to level out the mind, reduce any anxiety or fear, and get on with the competition. There’s no reason why bodybuilders and muscle junkies shouldn’t take advantage of what CBD has to offer in terms of attitude, mental performance, and overall wellbeing.

Never one size fits all.

The moral of the story is that there’s unlikely to be a rule book on how to use cannabis successfully in bodybuilding in the near future. But as we mentioned, there are at least some things you should very clearly think about. Like whether or not cannabis makes your mind wander or brings it back into focus, or whether you typically get lazy or excited after using cannabis.

When you find your sweet spot and it’s working, roll with it! And then share with us in the comments how you use cannabis for bodybuilding! We’d love to hear from you. 

Pregnancy is a sensitive time — not only does mum have extra needs while she’s turning gametes into a human, but there’s the little human to think about. In the world of medicine and pharmaceuticals, there’s an entire scheduling category for pregnancy. It means that one of the ways pharmacists cateogrise drugs is by how they affect pregnant women. Because it’s serious, sensitive, and there’s a wee-little life at stake. So what about cannabis use during pregnancy? 

Cannabis, until now, doesn’t have a schedule with respect to pregnancy. Science has confirmed that the active compound in cannabis, THC, can move through the placental barrier and into the fetal bloodstream. But the evidence for what happens after that, or later on in the child’s development, is limited. For that reason, cannabis remains a no-no during pregnancy — but not because we know it’s harmful. It’s more because we don’t know that it’s not harmful.

That doesn’t mean that cannabis use during pregnancy is altogether uncommon. You’d be surprised how many women use cannabis during pregnancy for a variety of different reasons.

In this article, we’re going through some of the known dangers and known benefits of using cannabis during pregnancy, as well as some of the reasons that make this topic a hard one to research. Let’s check it out.

Why is cannabis use during pregnancy so understudied?

A pair of hands touch a pregnant belly.

One of the first things that pharmaceutical companies typically have to do before releasing a medicine is assess its usefulness or caution during pregnancy. The medical industry acknowledges that pregnancy is a particularly sensitive time for both mum and baby, and not all medicines are conducive to a healthy pregnancy.

Why does cannabis lack this research?

To begin with, the body of scholarly cannabis research as a whole would have been much richer if we hadn’t abstained from cannabis research during prohibition. The second reason is that, since prohibition, cannabis was scheduled among the most dangerous drugs on the planet. The general consensus was that cannabis wasn’t good for anybody, ever.

Finally, collecting data about cannabis use during pregnancy, even now, is difficult because of the stigma associated with cannabis. For example, in this Californian study, researchers found that pregnant women were twice as likely to screen positive for marijuana during a drug test than they indicated in self-reporting. It’s obvious that there is some fear associated with revealing to your doctor that you use cannabis, especially if pregnant. In some parts of the world, screening positive to a drug test during pregnancy warrants a child abuse charge.

So it’s really important to talk about these limitations in research, which boil down to three main points.

For one, we never bothered to do such research in the past, although cannabis was used to assist child labour. Secondly, before we knew anything about cannabis, we labelled it as dangerous, and never fully acknowledged its therapeutic potential. And thirdly, the stigma surrounding it is still so strong, even in the legalization era, that some pregnant women are still too terrified to report cannabis use to their doctors. 

These are essentially the reasons why we can’t say with any certainty whether cannabis is dangerous to an unborn baby. And that’s a big problem – especially since there are still so many soon-to-be-mothers out there using it. 

What the science says.

One animal study that took place in 2012 investigated the effects of cannabis use in very early pregnancy. They found that it only took very slight changes in endocannabinoid levels to affect embryonic development. Activation or inhibition of endocannabinoid signalling at the CB1 receptor in pregnant mice altered the rate at which new placental cells formed and migrated. Scientists haven’t replicated these results in humans. However, because of the similarities between the endocannabinoid systems of mice and humans, researchers concluded that cannabis use during early pregnancy could negatively affect embryonic development.

In another study conducted at the Christchurch School of Medicine, researchers took to studying women well into pregnancy. The researchers made an association between cannabis use during pregnancy and a detectably lower birth weight. Overall, babies of cannabis-using mothers weighed in, on average, 90g less than the babies of non-cannabis-using mothers. They considered this a statistically insignificant result. 

It’s worth comparing the Christchurch study to another one conducted in 1986. In the 1986 study, researchers found that white women who used cannabis regularly during pregnancy were more likely to have children with a lower birth weight than black women who used cannabis regularly during pregnancy. 

And lastly, in a study that compared alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use during pregnancy, researchers found no association between cannabis use and symptoms of psychosis in offspring.

How culture and socio-economics plays into the research 

Jamaican man and woman in cultural clothing

The aforementioned 1986 study is particularly interesting, because it shows a difference between races. Now, after cannabis legalization, we can definitely see a difference in the way that different races use cannabis. 

Another interesting study took place in 1989 by Dreher, and is often cited in relation to cannabis use during pregnancy. It was conducted on Jamaican women, many of whom smoked cannabis regularly. In fact, in Jamaica, it is common to smoke cannabis among members of the community as a way to strengthen bonds and connections.

Interestingly, researchers found that children of cannabis-smoking mothers displayed cries that were shorter in duration, they were more hoarse, and had a more variable frequency. It is thought that cries with these characteristics present in children who were exposed to perinatal risk, and they often express developmental disorders. 

However, the study observed this in cannabis-smoking mothers. If cannabis was delivered in a tea or otherwise, newborns expressed normal cries.

Dreher then went on to investigate further into the later development of children of cannabis-smoking mothers in Jamaica. Exposed neonates showed no significant birth weight differences compared to non-exposed neonates. When the infants were assessed for neonatal behaviour, there was initially no difference between the exposed and non-exposed. However, 30 days later, when assessed again, exposed infants’ scores were significantly higher on reflex and autonomic stability than their non-exposed counterparts. They were found to be less irritable and more social.

It’s important to realise the different cultural perspectives about cannabis use around the world, and how they manifest in different socio-economic situations. For example, in Jamaica, a  woman who smokes cannabis is more likely to have a tighter social circle, and is less likely to be socially or economically challenged.  However, in the USA, cannabis use is linked with lower educational achievements and a higher dependence on social welfare.

We can therefore consider the different socio-economic factors that play into the research results. According to the data presented, Jamaican cannabis-smoking mothers are more likely to come from higher socio-economic demographics. American cannabis-smoking mothers are more likely to come from lower socio-economic demographics. This might help to explain some of the variation in results, and how other factors play in.

Cannabis use during labour and midwifery

Needless to say, cannabis isn’t typically prescribed during child-labour. However, there is a lot of historical evidence that shows it was once used successfully during child-labour. Ethan Russo alludes to this kind of cannabis use in his book, Cannabis Treatments in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: A Historical Review.

It was also commonplace before prohibition for cannabis tincture to be stocked on shelves. It was most commonly prescribed for menstrual pain, morning sickness, and child-labour. 

How to make a real-life decision about your real-life baby

An urban woman holding her child on an urban, cobblestone street.

Okay – the jury is well and truly out. There are a few more studies out there, but they generally represent the same mixed bag of results. So it seems it’s really not that easy to measure the effects of cannabinoids on an infant. We do know that the endocannabinoid system is part and parcel of the fetal developmental process, and given that, cannabinoids must alter that function, even if only very slightly. 

So how do you make a decision?

The evidence suggests that there is only a really small likelihood your child will suffer if you ingest cannabis from time to time to deal with morning sickness or anxiety. However, that’s still just a suggestion. Plus, does having more make it worse? We don’t know.

It’s really important to weigh up the evidence, even if there’s not much of it. What are you using cannabis for, and how does that ailment stack up against the potential dangers? This is how you have to stack up the evidence.

Finally — you must talk to your doctor. A cannabis-friendly doctor should be able to guide you through those choices so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your baby. Don’t be shy to have conversations with experts and professionals. And if in doubt, cannabis can always wait until after childbirth.

Today’s article is a guest post by the extraordinary Carly-Rae Cooke from Ordinarily Honest cannabis advocate, blogger, and modern yogi.

Carly Rae Cooke Ordinarily Honest My Supply Co Contributor | My Supply Co.

So here we are — at home isolating, living out this 2020 pandemic life. While I know that we’re all experiencing it a little differently, I thought I’d share a glimpse into one of my days + how I’ve been using cannabis to elevate my days + ease into my nights.

8:30am ish — I scream at Alexa to turn on some tunes.

Roll out of bed, boil water, roll back into bed. Once the water boils, I make my coffee + turn on the news. I’m trying to avoid a lot of the COVID chatter, but I like to keep tabs on what’s going on — a few mins of morning news seems to be working for me, so far. I scroll through IG, put a story post up + scroll through FB — let’s see what’s going on in the social world.

10am — My tummy starts to rumble — it’s smoothie time. I make a berry smoothie w/ vanilla protein powder + mix in some 3:1 indica CBD drops. These drops are ideal for easing into my a few hours of adulting — they bring a sense of relaxation + no head high.

10:10am — Adulting = emails, scheduling + meetings!

I’ve got a few exciting projects in the works, so I send some emails, add some things to my calendar (so many giveaways!) + wrap it all up with a Zoom meeting!

11:11am — I don’t consider myself a super spiritual human, but

I see 11:11 all the time. And, when I do I feel this weird sense of calm. Sometimes I make a wish, sometimes I just close my eyes + sit in the calm for a bit. Whatever it is, I dig it + offer up this moment of calm for you to share whenever you need it.

1pm — I decide to decarb some cannabis,

to have it ready to go for my attempt at making cannabis oil later on in the week. I was surprised how simple it was! I used this recipe from Leafly!

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2:30pm — Time to get creative!

I feel a bit of a lull coming on + decide it’s time for another coffee. This time — a sativa cara—melt coffee. Don’t knock it till you try it.

Each candy is 10mg — I cut one in 1/2, cause I’m not looking to get too lifted, just needing a creative kick start.

With the cara—melt mixed in, the coffee has a slight cannabis taste + all the sugary caramel goodness! I dive into making playlists + shooting some yoga content. I like to work on playlists while I do yoga, to see how the songs vibe with the movements.

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3pm — I realize I haven’t really eaten yet + throw some leftover rice in the microwave.

I give up on the idea of having a shower today.

4pm — Family Facetimes + check—ins.

My mom screens my call, but Gram answers while pouring herself a happy hour glass of wine. We chat, my gramps pops on, and Gram shows me her garden. Then I dive back into creating.

5:30pm — I decide that I’ve done enough creating for the day,

so I begin putting my apartment back together. I leave my bed in the living room for some chill TV time later on (I don’t have a couch + yoga mats aren’t that comfy).

6:45pm — I spend some time cruising Pinterest,

brainstorming for blog posts + jotting down any ideas that come to mind. Tunes on.

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8pm — Bath time!

If I could, I would spend all my time in the bath — it’s like a big, warm, wet, hug (OK, not the best visual — but, if you aren’t a bath person, I urge you to give it a try). I crank the hot water + add in some CBD bath salts. While the water is running, I roll a joint for later + enjoy a 10mg THC fuzzy peach. With the candles lit, music on, and my tried + true “guacamole + rice cracker dinner in the tub” — I am ready to chill. I start to feel the fuzzy peach buzz after about 40mins or so.

taking a bath

9pm — I climb into bed + pop on an episode of Shameless.

9:45pm — Feeling way ready for some sleep.

I grab the lavender indica joint I rolled earlier. This strain was a suggestion, for sleeping, from the team at My Supply. I absolutely love the taste of the lavender cannabis + it brings the perfect balance of body/head high, easing away any muscle cramps or tension. I take a few pulls + wander to my mat for some random, slow, stretching + moving.

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10:05pm — Bed time.

I fill up my water jug, finish up my lavender joint + tuck myself in. Right before my head hits the pillow, I take a few drops of the indica 3:1 oil that I used earlier in the day — I find the drops really help to keep me zzzz—ing all through the night.

And that’s a wrap! I’ve been using cannabis for just under 2 years now — initially, I was scared of the “high” but slowly, with education + support, I’ve been able to work it into my day to day + am thriving on a high note. If you’re curious about the cannabis products that I use or how I’ve integrated time into my life — leave a comment or send me a note!

This featured post has been written and shared by courtesy of Carly-Rae Cooke, founder of Ordinarily Honest and a 200hr registered yoga teacher based in Vancouver, BC. She founded Ordinarily Honest to offer a refreshing and down-to-earth approach to yoga; steering away from spirituality and keeping the focus on movement and breath. All classes are cannabis-friendly and offer the perfect space (virtually, for now) to relax and decompress. They also feature carefully crafted playlists to enhance the experience.  Check out her Daily Dose online classes, live stream class schedule (classes regularly include cannabis brand pop-ups and samples) and learn more about the inspiration behind Ordinarily Honest.

CBD isolate made its way into the cannabis market with somewhat of an… anticlimax. Originally, CBD isolate (and THC isolate) paved the way for highly accurate pharmaceutical cannabis formulations. For example, cannabinoid isolates make it possible for companies like GW Pharmaceuticals to manufacture products like Sativex. Essentially, it allows for very exact formulations and cannabinoid ratios.

But dispensaries also stock CBD isolate, and there are a lot of people who have no idea how to use it. It doesn’t really make taking CBD any easier — you’d need to have a really sensitive kitchen scale to measure out doses of CBD isolate. Most kitchen scales can precision measure a minimum of 100 mg.

While CBD isolate doesn’t necessarily make it easy to dose straight out of the container, it is a perfect base ingredient for making DIY CBD products. It’s also much more versatile than using ready-made CBD oils as it gives you complete freedom when it comes to the concentration of your homemade product.

So — basically — yes, there are 101 things you can do with CBD isolate. Naturally, there isn’t enough word-space in this article to cover them all. But here are 5 fun DIY CBD products you can make with CBD isolate.

1. CBD-infused lip balm

Lips painted with coloured lip balm, and golden teeth.

Whether you get sore, dry, and cracked lips, or whether you just want something indulgent to use throughout Spring and Summer, this all-natural CBD-infused lip balm should get your lips smacking.

Aside from being way cheaper to make than to buy in stores, you can also make this lip balm in batches — which means you can give them away as gifts. 

This is the kind of lip balm that goes into cute little containers that you use with your finger. It’s harder to find the stick type (unless you buy them wholesale). It’s much easier to find little lip balm containers in home stores, cosmetic stores, or even the pharmacy.

This recipe makes roughly 15 tiny lip balm containers.

What you’ll need to make CBD-infused lip balm:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 10 – 15 drops essential oil of your choice
  • 500 mg CBD isolate (this is half a 1000 mg container)
  • Lip balm containers
  • A pipette

The method:

  1. Create a double boiler by putting a small saucepan or pyrex measuring glass inside another small saucepan half-filled with water.
  2. Melt the beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter in the double boiler until it’s all turned to liquid.
  3. Remove your oil/wax mix from the saucepan and continue stirring it while it cools down a little. 
  4. Once your mix has cooled slightly, but is still liquid, add your CBD isolate. Continue mixing until it is completely dissolved.
  5. Add the essential oil of your choice. Mix in well.
  6. Using the pipette, fill your little lip balm jars. Allow to cool with the lid off, at room temperature.

Now, to add a little spruce to your jars, you can design a cute label. You can even write the ingredients. Then distribute lovingly to your friends and family.

2. CBD-infused honey

A jar of homemade CBD honey

This is one of the coolest and easiest recipes in the world. If you love to put a teaspoon of honey in your tea or spread it on toast, CBD-infused honey is the easiest way to get a daily dose.

Did we mention that it’s really easy?

It’s so easy that if you want to add some complexities, it’s still easy. For example, you can add rose petals or lavender to this honey to give it an extra level of artistry. 

For plain CBD-infused honey

To make CBD-infused honey, create a double boiler. As the honey warms and melts, add your chosen amount of CBD isolate and mix until it is completely dissolved. Then put your honey back in the jar and let it cool!

For extra artistic CBD-infused honey

If you want to add lavender or rose petals, use the following method:

  1. Add one jar of honey to a double boiler.
  2. When it melts, add 2 – 4 tablespoons of your chosen flower (or half of each).
  3. Allow to simmer on low heat in the double boiler for up to 2 hours.
  4. Strain your mixture and press the flowers to release all of the honey.
  5. While your mixture is still hot, add your desired amount of CBD isolate and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  6. Allow your honey to cool. 

3. CBD-infused dog treats

A bowl filled with CBD-infused dog treats.

If it wasn’t already fun enough making CBD-infused treats for humans, it will be extra fun making them for your furry companion.

Remember — animals are much more sensitive to CBD than humans, given their tiny bodies and high-functioning endocannabinoid systems. So measurements and dosing are really important for this recipe.

To make things easier, you should first dissolve your CBD isolate in coconut oil. Here’s the method:

  1. Measure 8 tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt the coconut oil until it is a liquid.
  3. Add 1 gram of CBD isolate to your melted coconut oil and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat and store your CBD-infused coconut oil in a clean, sterilized container.

Now – for making the dog treats, you’re only going to need 1 tablespoon of your CBD-infused coconut oil. That means each batch of dog treats contains ⅛ gram of CBD (or 125 mg). This recipe makes a total of 15 treats. Each one contains 8mg of CBD.

What you’ll need to make CBD-infused dog treats

  • 1 tablespoon CBD-infused coconut oil (that you prepared earlier)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup peanut butter

The method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160℃ (325 ℉).
  2. Put your oats in a food processer and pulse until it has a light, powdery texture. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the mashed banana, peanut butter, and CBD-infused coconut oil.
  4. Stir in your oat flour and knead until you have a soft dough. 
  5. Lightly dust a surface with flour and using your hands, make a ¼ inch thick circle with your dough
  6. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut your dough into 15, 2 inch treats.
  7. Put on a tray and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden.

Every time your furry companion needs a little bit of extra support, you can gift them with one of your homemade CBD-infused dog treats.

4. CBD-infused gummy bears

A bowl of homemade gummy bears.

Everybody wants to learn to make a CBD-infused treat that isn’t brownies, right? And again, this recipe only requires half a gram of CBD isolate, so you’ll still have half a gram left for other DIY endeavours. 

CBD-infused gummy bears are a fun way to get CBD into your body, and of course, they’re heaps of fun to make. You have complete freedom over your flavour and colour choices. And of course, you’ll also have the ultimate say when it comes to the CBD dose.

This recipe makes a total of 50 gummies, each with 10 mg CBD isolate. You can scale this up or down, depending on how powerful you want them to be. To calculate a suitable CBD dose, you simply have to divide the total amount of CBD isolate used in the recipe by 50. If you decide to use 1000 mg CBD isolate, each gummy will contain 20 mg. If you decide to use 2000 mg CBD isolate, you’ll end up with gummies that each contain 40 mg CBD. If you decide to use 250 mg CBD isolate, each gummy will contain 5 mg of CBD.

What you’ll need to make CBD-infused gummy bears

  • 500 mg CBD isolate (using the method above, you can choose any amount)
  • A gummy bear mold
  • ½ cup pureed fruit of your choice
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 8 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
  • A pipette

The method:

  1. If you haven’t done it already, puree the fruit you wish to use in a food processor or with an immersion blender until it’s completely smooth.
  2. Pour water into a small saucepan and place it on the stove without heat. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water and set aside for 2 minutes. Do not mix, stir, or apply heat.
  3. After 2 minutes, start stirring the gelatin mixture. It will be very thick at this stage. Turn the stove on to low-medium heat.
  4. Continue stirring until the mixture has become liquefied.
  5. Pour liquefied gelatin mixture into your pureed fruit and mix well.
  6. Add CBD isolate and continue mixing until everything is well integrated.
  7. Working fast, use a pipette to fill your gummy molds.
  8. Place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

Don’t forget that the total number of gummies you yield divided by the amount of CBD isolate you used is your dose per gummy. Enjoy the taste of home-made, CBD goodness.

5. CBD-infused pain ointment

A jar of herbal ointment arranged with flowers.

Of all the cool things you can do with CBD isolate, this recipe is the most elaborate. This recipe doesn’t just rely on CBD as the analgesic component of this pain ointment. It also includes ginger essential oil and St John’s Wort infused oil — which are all easy enough to acquire online. 

Ideally, this CBD-infused pain ointment would be used to treat neuralgia-style pain. Whether it’s neck, back, sciatic, or even arthritis-related, this pain ointment may relieve symptoms and provide some relief.

This recipe makes one 125-150 mL jar of ointment. 

What you’ll need to make CBD pain ointment:

  • 500 mg CBD isolate (half 1 gram container)
  • 28 g beeswax
  • 115 g St John’s Wort-infused oil
  • 10 – 20 drops ginger essential oil (depending on the potency and heat you want to achieve)

The method:

  1. In a double boiler, melt your beeswax until it is a liquid.
  2. Add the St John’s Wort-infused oil into your melted beeswax and stir until it is completely mixed.
  3. Add CBD isolate and stir until it is completely integrated.
  4. Remove your mixture from the double boiler and allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled but is still a liquid, add ginger essential oil. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into jars.

You can apply this salve to any part of the body experiencing nerve pain. Because this is a salve, it isn’t suitable to use on burns or open wounds. It should just be used on healthy skin, where the pain is nerve or muscle related.

If CBD isolate didn’t seem like a useful thing to have in your medicine cabinet before, we bet that now it does. With 1 gram of CBD isolate, you can make multiple different CBD products that would otherwise have cost an arm and a leg to purchase separately. On top of that, you can become an aficionado at making some of your own herbal medicines at home. 

We hope you enjoyed making some of these CBD isolate products. Which did you like the best, and what other products have you made with CBD isolate? Let us know in the comments!

We hope you’re thinking of spoiling a cannabis-loving mom this Mother’s Day. If there is a special mother in your life (she doesn’t have to be yours) who also loves cannabis, we have 3 awesome, cannabis-inspired, Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Even if you’ve left it to the last minute, you should be able to throw these gifts together quick enough. With some ingredients you could pick up at your local dispensary, online, in the grocery store, or in the local health food store, you can make these kick-ass gift ideas.

Plus, if you’re locked in because of coronavirus, you might as well get creative, right?

We know that cannabis-loving moms are diverse — there are cannabis-accountant-moms, cannabis-mountain-climbing moms, and cannabis-stay-at-home-moms. So the best way to honour all the groovy mothers this Mother’s Day is to shower them with cannabis gifts.

Let’s get cooking.

1. A cannabis baking basket: For the mom who loves to cook

A gift hamper with home-made cooking items.

If you know a cannabis-loving mom who would be much better at baking the brownies than you, why not prepare her some raw ingredients for cannabis cooking? A cannabis baking basket could contain any of the following things:

  • Homemade cannabutter
  • Homemade, cannabis-infused oil (e.g., sweet almond, MCT, olive, grapeseed)
  • Cannabis infused alcohol 

It’s not especially hard to make any of these things at home, especially with online access to awesome cannabis (the pleasure of being alive in 2020). Everything else can be purchased at your local grocery store.

Making cannabutter is as easy as first, decarboxylating your cannabis, then slow-cooking it in butter for a few hours. It’s more or less the same story for the oil. To safely infuse alcohol, you should simply just cold infuse buds in a bottle of alcohol. Canna-mom can start consuming it in a couple of weeks!

Side note: To decarboxylate cannabis, coarsely grind it up and spread it out on a lined baking tray (you can use aluminium foil). For good measure, you can slightly crumple another piece of aluminium foil and put it on top of your ground cannabis. Bake it on 100℃ for 45 minutes. It should look lightly toasted, and a slightly darker colour than what you started with.

How to make cannabutter and canna-oil

The easiest way to make cannabutter or canna-oil at home is using the double boiler method. If you have a slow cooker or a magic butter machine, these make it even easier — but alas, not everybody has one. So here are stovetop instructions:

  1. Make sure you decarboxylated your cannabis.
  2. Measure out your desired dose of cannabis and grind it up. Think about how many cookies a whole stick of butter would make. Be sensible, now. 
  3. Add your butter or oil to a saucepan and create a double boiler (a pot inside another pot that has water, warming on the stove).
  4. When the butter is melted, and/or the oil is warm, add your cannabis.
  5. Cook on the lowest heat for up to 12 hours. The longer you cook it, the stronger it is. Your butter or oil should never boil or burn, though.

Put all of your home-made cannabis-infused ingredients into a pretty hamper, and say Happy Mother’s Day. She’ll probably even repay you with delicious, cannabis-infused treats.

Check out our range of strains at My Supply Co. to get cooking with. If you’re in Vancouver, BC, you can get same day delivery. The rest of Canada gets Xpress Post shipping.

2. A home-made cannabis topical: for a sensual mom

Body cream bottle rests on woman's body on a rocky shore.

Remember when we mentioned all of those cannabis-mountain-climbing moms? Or even cyclist moms, moms with pain, or even canna-moms who would love the idea of lathering cannabis all over themself. This is the Mother’s Day gift idea for that mom. 

Ah, so now, I will impart to you my super simple, base recipe for a cannabis ointment.

Now, you need three main ingredients to make an ointment:

  1. Beeswax. If you want a vegan option, you can go for carnauba wax, but that’s much harder to find. Beeswax is usually available at a local health store.
  2. Oil of some sort. To keep things super cannabis, we recommend you choose hempseed oil as the oil component. Any oil that is a liquid at room temperature will suffice, though. Examples include grapeseed oil, MCT oil, and sweet almond oil.
  3. A cannabis component. If you can’t be bothered making the kind of oil infusion we mentioned above, you can simply use a bottle of THC or CBD oil (or you can use a double cannabinoid, THC:CBD oil by Twisted Extracts). You could also use CBD isolate.

And a fourth, optional product: fragrance or essential oil. This is where you can get super creative and personalized for that special Mother’s Day gift.

How to make cannabis ointment

This recipe makes 1, 120 g  jar of cannabis ointment.

There’s no strict rule on cannabinoid content. If you have a 1000 mg bottle of CBD oil, you can use all of it, half of it, or even just one quarter of it. The choice is yours. Typically, 8 mg/mL is considered an effective dose for pain and inflammation. That would mean adding the equivalent of 480 mg of cannabinoids. In a 1000 mg bottle, that would be around half the bottle. But don’t blow your brains over it.

If you’re using CBD isolate, you can easily dissolve it into salve during the process.

You can use up to 80 mL of oil in this recipe. You can choose how much of this is cannabinoid-rich oil, and how much of this is carrier oil (options mentioned above). If you decide to add 15 mL of cannabinoid oil, you simply need to add 65 mL of carrier oil to make up a total 80 mL of oil. Mix your oils before you start, and ensure they are carefully measured to 80 mL.

Another piece of advice: make sure your jars are completely dry before pouring.

To make the ointment:

  1. Heat 15 g of beeswax in a small saucepan using a double boiler method.
  2. When the beeswax melts, add your oil mixture (it should be a mixture of cannabinoid oil and carrier oil).
  3. Stir it, ensuring that you mix well (if you’re using CBD isolate, now would be the time to add it). Continue to stir for one or two minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan and continue mixing for a few more seconds.
  5. Pour into jars and allow to set with the lid off at room temperature.

In addition, you could also add essential oils. However, you would need to add this while the mixture is cooling down. Otherwise, essential oils will evaporate and the aroma will be lost.

To do this, continue mixing once you have removed the ointment from the double boiler. Continue mixing as the mixture cools down, constantly checking with your hand. This can take as long as 2-3 minutes. Before it begins to set, add 15-30 drops of essential oils of your choice. Pour into the jars as per the method.

For essential oil ideas:

  • Chamomile calms irritated skin
  • Peppermint is cooling on the skin
  • Camphor is warming on the skin
  • Lavender can help with sleep and anxiety

Make a cute label with your ingredients and a special note. What a sweet, easy to make, thoughtful, cannabis-inspired gift for a special lady.

3. A cannabis seedling: To celebrate all mothers

A close up of cannabis seedling leaves.

There’s no cooler way to say “mothers are awesome” than to give a cannabis seedling. This is an especially cool gift if you know a canna-mom who’s been wanting to grow but never quite gotten around to it. Or a mom you even think would be awesome at it, but for some reason, hasn’t done it yet. It’s a Mother’s Day gift with a little extra affection.

Plus, it’s  the season for planting, Canada.

In any case, this will be the gift of experience. It’s kind of like a puppy – but it’s way less dramatic and disastrous if it doesn’t “work out”.

It’s a way of acknowledging how good moms are at taking care of us (little people, who are still children anyway), the world — the next generation! It’s all about that really. Thanking mums for bringing in the next generation.

By letting them spawn their own generation of cannabis.

An awesome mom is likely to grow dope cannabis, right? 

You can simply germinate a seed (which only takes a few days). Then place the seed in a pot, wrap up the pot in wrapping paper, and say Happy Mother’s Day. It should sprout tiny leaves by then, but if not, will in the following days. You could even sprout a few seeds in there for good measure.

A seed is the gift of life, something we can all thank, in part to our mothers. Mother’s Day is a chance to recognize that and take time to be grateful for mothers and motherhood. A loving, personalized gift is a way to congratulate mothers around the globe. Even if COVID-19 makes it all a little strange and awkward this year (maybe there won’t be any Sunday lunches), giving a gift can make you feel that much closer.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful, quirky, heroic, amazing canna-moms out there. We hope you get showered in awesome canna-gifts.