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Managing Test Anxiety-Can CBD Help?

October 13th, 2021 by Hannah Laing

CBD & Test Anxiety

Table of Contents

My Experience With Test Anxiety

We schedule the things that we write about quarterly.  This quarter when the three of us (Brandy, Cara, and myself) were planning out our blog schedule and looking at potential topics to help people learn more about CBD, the topic “CBD & test anxiety” came up, and I knew this was my time to shine. Currently, I am in my senior year at Grand Valley State University as a Health Communications major and I feel intimately acquainted with my foe: test anxiety.

At this point in my life, I have been a student for 17 years of my 21 years of life and there has yet to be a year that I do not struggle managing my test anxiety. As a young child, I used to get so stressed about tests that I would spend hours doing the math to figure out how different test scores would affect my grades. I would memorize every study guide from top to bottom, and if the test was hard I would pull on my hair and pick at my scalp for the entire duration of the test. I used to have this weird test ritual, (especially for chemistry,) where I would take a deep breath, crack all of my joints (to my classmates’ horror), and chew gum in an attempt to avoid my anxious hair pulling. What was arguably even worse than taking the test, was the anxiety I experienced when tests were being handed back. As soon as I turned a test in, I would check my grades daily, religiously, in hopes that my grade would be entered into the grade book. If a teacher hand graded, I was always desperate while I waited for the teacher to pass the tests back. I would feel like I was waiting for the Grim Reaper.

I feel the need to note that I’m a good student who gets good grades, but my track record never guaranteed that sacred “A” grade. So much of my young years were centered around school and grades, it became a measure of my own self-worth.  This pattern of extreme stress and worry for each test continued until I graduated high school. I had a 4.3 GPA, but I look back with nothing but regret over the hours lost to anxiety and the stress I put myself through. Test anxiety was unavoidable for me then, but that is no way the case now.

Deep Breathes Actually Matter

One of the very first things that others told me to do with regards to my test anxiety was to take a deep breath. If you’ve ever been a person in a state of panic, you know how in=credibly hard it is to “just take a deep breath.” I used to scoff that comment off as something people say when they don’t know how to help. How do you help a good student to stop being terrified of tests, an essential part of being a student? Well…it turns out that taking a deep breath is actually really good advice. I read an article on PubMed, my favorite database for medical journals/research, that discussed the effects of deep breathing on attention and stress. People much smarter than I am have done research on the effects of deep breathing and there is a clear correlation between breathing deeply and the reduction of negative affects. I have since included a few deep breathing exercises to calm and center myself before any test. I will breathe in while counting to 4, in my head of course.  and breathe out while counting to 8. I will repeat this 4 times and then depending on if my hear still feels like there’s a mini earthquake in my chest, I may continue by breathing in to the count of 8 and out to the count of 8. I will also repeat that 4 times or until my heartbeat slows. Once I have quieted the typically frantic drum pumping blood in my chest, I also typically like to do a few stretches in my chair. If I am uncomfortable, I will fixate on how my back is bothersome instead of the test questions in front of me. Just a simple back twist while holding on to the back of the chair while turning to stretch/crack my lower back often does the trick. I’ll bring one leg up to my chest in the chair and pull it in and then stretch my other leg similarly. I may look like I am preparing for some sort of physical activity for a very stationary task of taking a test, but the mental gymnastics required to get the right answer, for me, requires physical preparations. Sometimes that routine just isn’t enough though.

Tests And CBD – Introduced to CBD

Since going to college, I learned about CBD through one of GWL’s staff members, Cara. I have known Cara a long time.  Before I came on staff at GWL,  Cara introduced me originally to Green Wellness Life, and my academic career was irrevocably changed. Cara had sent me a few of GWL’s blogs to read when I was a freshman at the University of Arizona. I was struggling with stress and anxiety in my journalism class (it was an advanced class known for some of the hardest journalism tests in the whole department). I did not know this when I signed up for the class, but quickly learned it was going to be harder than ever for me to be able to take this class without pulling my hair out.  Literally. I needed a new plan and Green Wellness offered some assistance.  Below are two of the blogs Cara sent me regarding stress and some possible insight.

Dealing With Stress – Now what?

After reading both of the above articles, I picked out a few products to try out to help me manage my test anxiety. I ended up choosing a water soluble CBD drink mix  and CBD gum as a booster. I wanted something I could take the morning of that would act quickly to help calm any shakiness or worry that would cloud my ability to study and focus. The drink mix that we carry is from cbdMD and comes in either lemonade or fruit punch. Each packet is 25mgs of broad spectrum CBD to help me relax without any THC. The gum that I used in Arizona was the MedCBDX gum that is 10mgs of isolate CBD per piece of gum. Now I prefer to chew the Medterra gum which has 20mgs of CBD per piece with added ingredients like B6, L-Theanine, and L-Tyrosine to further aid in calm and clarity.

medcbdx gumI use both products before every test I take today, as my own personal “it’s gonna be okay” cocktail. I genuinely feel that both the gum and drink mix have assisted me in my quality of life as a student and improved my performance in my academic career.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to stoichiometry, while simultaneously fixating on the fact that if more than 3 questions are wrong your grade will drop a letter.  It’s stressful. Trust me.  Sometimes I find myself thinking about what my life would have been like as a younger student had I known what I know now. Hindsight is 20/20 and now so are my test scores (I’m very much  kidding). If you struggle with test anxiety like I do or if you are curious about CBD boosters, we are always here to help guide you. Give us a call at 1-888-772-7875 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm EST), or fill out our online contact form.  You can also click the “live chat” button at any time!

Author’s Note:

While writing this, it is currently midterms week at GVSU and I cannot emphasize enough how stressed I have been. I mean nightmares about failing college type stress, and I am more thankful than ever for my test anxiety go-to’s. My senior level health care management class has a 7 page long study guide of questions. Wish me luck!

 

 


Celebrities & CBD

May 25th, 2021 by Hannah Laing

CBD Celebrities

People have been working to sell products, well, as long as they’ve been making them. From bakers on the streets touting that their loaves were the lightest and the freshest, to the 20-30 emails in your inbox right now offering you the latest deals, the art of getting you and I to buy products is a big business!  It began in the 1800s, and has developed in all sorts of ways from word of mouth to print to radio to television and internet. In order to watch a cute cat video on YouTube or scroll through your Facebook feed, you’ll have to watch an ad. In today’s global marketplace there is more competition to sell products than ever before. Enter, the celebrity celebrity. 

As consumers, we have all kinds of experiences with celebrities – some good and some bad. Thanks to social media channels, we know that Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t eat bread. And Michael J Fox has a dog named Gus. The more we know about these people, the more we feel like we connect with them. That definitely makes celebrities more valuable in terms of advertising dollars. Add to that, the new influx of “minor” celebrities.  Reality TV Contestants, You Tubers, Tik Tok dancers – you name it, they can sell it. Even more so if we believe that they are vested in what they are selling. 

What does this have to do with CBD? In 2020, the global market for CBD was just over $429 million.  It’s expected to be 5x that by 2026. That’s a lot of reasons for celebrities to get involved in this market, both as paid spokespeople and as CBD entrepreneurs. Some celebrities, like Jim Belushi, have spoken out on their belief in cannabis as a healing tool.  Belushi stated that his mission in the industry is “to break even – because the purpose, the power of this plant, serves the greater good.” Belushi is hardly the only one. 

Celebrity Owned Cannabis Companies

  • Tyson Ranch CBD is a cannabis/CBD company founded by Mike Tyson in 2017. The company is a packaging and licensing company – they partner with marijuana growers in California and distribute through California dispensaries. With names like “Knockout OG,” and branded lighters and gym bags it’s pretty clear that they target sports enthusiasts and a young, male audience that are looking for more than the neutralizing benefits that hemp can offer.
  • Joe Montana is the Managing Partner in the venture capital firm Liquid 2 Ventures.  Based in San Francisco, they’ve supported a wide variety of cannabis companies, from Digital Media Networks to Insurance Providers. They cover a lot of non-traditional ground, both in and out of the cannabis space.
  • It’s possibly not that shocking that Seth Rogan is in the industry as well, at least if you’ve seen any of his movies.  What is interesting, though, is that he’s working to make an industry overrun with hip-hop references more “mom and pop” friendly with his Houseplant cannabis brand. They deliver marijuana to your doorstep, at least in certain areas of California. 
  • Martha Stewart is also in the industry – and she’s on the CBD side, so her products, manufactured by Canopy Growth can be shipped all over. Her line, launched in 2020, offers softgels, liquids, topicals, gummies, and even pet products.  Not surprisingly, the packaging is gorgeous and the gummies come in such gourmet flavors as black currant, rhubarb and persian lime. Yum. 
  • Kristen Bell is all over my Facebook feed with her new CBD skincare line, Happy Dance. Apparently Facebook has nailed my interests.  I love CBD Skincare and I think Kristen Bell is about the cutest.  It’s a win.  Bell reportedly was involved in all steps of creating the brand, from sourcing to formulation – even partnering with a not for profit organization for the manufacturing process. 

This list of celebrities in the market is far from complete – there are many more interested in  a piece of the cannabis pie: 

  • Carlos Santana
  • Nicole Kidman
  • DJ Khaled
  • Jay-Z

Bad Apples

For every household name that is interested in CBD and cannabis, there’s another that’s being called out as a supporter without their approval. Usually that comes in the form of a fake celebrity endorsement.  Tom Hanks, Dr. Oz, Blake Shelton, and Clint Eastwood have all called out companies using their names without consent.  Eastwood even filed a federal lawsuit. Here at GWL, we have gotten many, many calls from customers asking for the “Blake Shelton” oil or the “Dr Oz” softgels.  They don’t exist, friends.

What Should You Buy? 

We love that there are celebrities out there as passionate about the cannabis world as we are.  Do they make great products? Sure, some of them do.  Is that a reason to buy them? Not so much. We want you to buy the product that’s best for you, with lab results to assure you that they are properly labeled and effective. Maybe that product is a delicious gummy from Martha Stewart and maybe it’s not.  If we’ve learned one thing about this field, it’s that there is no one size fits all.  The CBD experts at Green Wellness Life are happy to help you on this sometimes confusing and overwhelming journey.  Just reach out to us! You can call us toll free at 888-772-7875, email us at support@greenwellnesslife.com,or press the live chat button.  We’re here to help – even though we don’t have a celebrity spokesperson! We do have some pretty cute kids and pets, though. Those always help!

Sources


What is Delta-8?

March 29th, 2021 by Hannah Laing

D-8: What is it?

Delta-8 THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects. That means the two are largely the same compound, with slight atomic differences. The vast majority of Delta-8 products aren’t extracted from cannabis. Instead, producers convert plant-derived CBD into Delta-8 THC using a chemical process called isomerization. The process combines CBD with a solvent, acid and heat to cause the reaction that turns CBD into THC.

So why would this be important to know? Because Delta-8 THC, like the closely related Delta-9 THC, is intoxicating. Yes, that’s right: it gets you high. Unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC is fully legal. Well, sort of. 

The legality of D-8:

As of writing this, D-8 THC is technically legal. However, this is due to a loophole in the 2018 farm bill. According to this legislation, hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC were excepted from the list of controlled substances. That means it is legal to use and distribute such products provided it has THC within the allowed limits. Since delta-8 THC is derived from hemp, which has negligible THC traces, it’s technically legal on a federal level. 

Now this is where the legality of D-8 THC gets unclear. The same bill that stipulates that any hemp-derived product with less than 0.3% THC is legal is currently under review by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). This review is meant to address the 2018 farm bill removing the crop as a federally controlled substance. The rule emphasizes that “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols” remain controlled substances. But there’s no agreed upon definition of what “synthetically derived” means. The DEA might rule that converting CBD to D-8 THC is a process of synthetically deriving THC, and it might decide to allow D-8 THC to maintain its current legal status. Nothing is currently settled and clear. 

Keep in mind that states also have a say in the legality of D-8. As of writing, 11 states have outright banned the sale of D-8 THC: Utah, Rhode Island, Montana, Mississippi, Iowa, Idaho, Delaware, Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.

Who would sell it?

With the potential risks of selling large amounts of D-8 THC, it seems like most vendors would steer clear of the substance to avoid falling into legal trouble, right? So then why is it the hot new item for many CBD sellers and wholesalers? The short answer? Money. Over the last year, there has been an increase in the number of sellers and producers of CBD products, especially isolates (due to their lack of THC and consequent full federal legality). This increase has led to an oversupply of CBD products and isolate, which has driven down prices. The decrease in prices has left many CBD retailers and wholesalers scrambling to make up for lost revenues. Enter D-8 THC, with much higher prices. In January, Delta-8 cost about $1,400 per kilogram, while CBD isolate was selling for about $550 per kilogram. This difference in price is exactly the type of revenue life-saver that many wholesalers and retailers were looking for. Couple this monetary incentive for sellers with the attractiveness of a legal “high” for many consumers, and you have the next big item for the CBD industry. So, while some avoid D-8 out of fear of legal repercussions, others are rushing in and hoping to make up for lost revenue. 

Potential dangers?

While it is important to keep in mind how safe CBD products are for you (often being tested more than your city’s water before hitting shelves), there are a few caveats when it comes to D-8. Most large CBD brands are transparent with their testing results, with many using 3rd-party labs for testing. D-8 THC, however, often lacks these testing results, with the final product’s quality and ingredients being unverifiable. This lack of transparency, along with the process of converting CBD products into D-8 THC (which is not a simple one-to-one conversion) and the possible addition of other chemicals for flavoring, leads to a product that could be potentially dangerous. 

What about us?

Just as we recently avoided the potential legal dangers of selling vape products, we are avoiding legal trouble with the DEA by not selling large amounts of D-8 THC, complying with the 2018 farm bill’s stipulation that no product can contain more than 0.3% THC. This will allow us to help our customers in the way that we set out to do: by improving well-being, health literacy, and by helping our customers to deal with their problems in a natural and holistic manner. Our goal from the very start was to help people, not get them high. We stand by this. 

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to say “hi” to us, feel free to reach out on social media, over the phone, or through email. You can even stop by our storefront to see us in person now!


Hemp Laws on the Horizon

February 22nd, 2021 by Hannah Laing

Let’s get political: Hemp laws

It’s time to do a thing that seems risky in the United States: talk about politics. Before you close your browser and try to forget that electoral politics exist (for sanity’s sake), take a few deep breaths and read these next words: I am not going to talk about the election or political parties. What we will be focusing on is the new administration’s policy regarding CBD and, to a lesser extent, cannabis in general. 

Currently

Let’s start with a couple key points:

  1. First, before we begin, I think it is important to understand where we are now, as of February 2021, fifteen states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized cannabis and marijuana.
  2. Two of those states, South Dakota and Montana, have delayed voter-approved legalization with hearings in court and funding withdrawal, respectively.
  3. Federally, THC is illegal, while CBD and hemp-derived products (from the body of the plant, not the flower or seeds) are legal. This distinction will come into play later.
  4. States that have fully legalized cannabis and marijuana and twenty-seven states have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.

So Is federal legalization on the way? Let’s take a look at the political environment surrounding cannabis.

The Potential Future of Cannabis Legislation

The stance of the current administration is positive. The vice president is from California, a state that recognizes marijuana as recreationally legal, and also regards other cannabis products as fully legal. As for the president, he has neither been a vocal advocate or opponent of federal-level legalization. It is important to note, however, that some of his appointees have track records that are favorable to cannabis: Assistant Secretary of HHS Dr. Rachel Levine and former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to head HHS. 

Not just the White House – Marijuana Reform Bills In Congress

One of the largest developments in news relating to federal-level legalization comes from Congress. Senate majority leader, Charles Schumer, has brought forth reform bills that seek to federally de-schedule marijuana, reinvest tax revenues from sales into communities, and expunge criminal records for possession. This bill, known as the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, passed in the House of Representatives last year, but failed to pass in the Senate.

It is likely that, given another vote, it would pass both houses. If it did so, not only would all cannabis and related products be federally legal (recreationally and otherwise), but research could be conducted in universities without the red tape that currently exists, banks could loan money to businesses eager in operating in the cannabis industry, and farming and shipping would become far easier as legal status at state level would no longer be a concern. 

In addition to this, Schumer has also stressed the importance of making sure that the FDA does not overregulate the industry upon legalization, allowing businesses to operate without excessive government interference. It is unlikely that Biden would veto any of the above proposals if they were to make it to his desk. 

USDA’s Final Rule on Hemp In limbo?

Upon entering office, the Biden administration put out a memo asking all federal agencies to “consider postponing” all rules that have not yet taken effect for 60 days. One of these rules is the USDA’s final rule on hemp, which largely affects harvesting, processing, and growing across the United States. Some of the regulations included within the USDA report are: 

  • an expanded harvest window time from 15 days to 30;
  • alternative options for disposing of or remediating hemp that tests above the compliant THC level;
  • an increased standard of negligence from 0.5% to 1% THC. This means hemp that tests above 0.3% but below 1% THC will not be considered a negligent violation, but it will still need to be disposed of or remediated.

It will take some time before consumers and farmers can know the regulations that will govern their industry, due to the postponing of rules such as these. 

Hemp Laws: Where CBD stands (and why legalization of marijuana is in your best interest)

Fortunately, CBD is federally legal. Regulations and logistics can be complicated at times, but businesses can operate (and some thrive) so long as they follow regulations. But a lot of related industries (and research) are hindered by federal scheduling of cannabis and marijuana.

  • Feel like CBD helps you with pain, but would like more information on why that is, medically? Federal scheduling of cannabis and marijuana places a lot of red tape around universities and institutions that want to use the substance for research purposes.
  • Wish your CBD products were cheaper? Banks fear loaning money to farms and manufacturers that deal with cannabis due to federal policy, thus restricting business growth.
  • Want products that are safe and include the ingredients that they claim? The FDA cannot approve anything that would be in opposition to federal law. So, even if you do not want to use marijuana, the de-scheduling of cannabis (with high THC content) benefits you as a CBD customer. While separate in terms of use, they are legally and economically related.

Stay Informed

Rules and regulations governing cannabis in the United States seem to constantly change, especially in the past few years. We might even have federally legalized marijuana within the next year. Anything could happen. Here at Green Wellness, we will work to keep you updated and aware of all the major news and information that we believe you need to make healthy and informed decisions. As always, If you’d like to learn more or have additional questions, press the live chat button, call us at (888) 772-7875 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST),  fill out our online contact form, or visit our storefront if you’re local!


CBD Benefits For Pets

February 15th, 2021 by Hannah Laing

Pets and CBD

Many of us use CBD daily as a supplement to help us with recurrent problems. What if we could do the same with our pets? Well, as surprising as it may be, there are more similarities between humans and pets (when it comes to CBD) than one would first assume. For example, did you know that your pet has a similar endocannabinoid system to the one found in your body?  Here at Green Wellness Life, we believe in informed decisions and using all available knowledge to better our lives and the lives of our pets. 

Your Pet’s Endocannabinoid System

Just like the human body, the body of your cat or dog has an endocannabinoid system. In fact, ECS are widespread in mammals, and your pet is no exception. However, despite the knowledge that most mammals possess an ECS, little else is known about how they function in animals commonly interacted with in our daily lives. Currently (and understandably), most research into animal ECS focuses on canines. We really want to know more about man’s best friend!

But hold on. If we don’t know that much about the ECS in other mammals, how can we be confident using supplementary CBD? There was a key word in that question that clues us into how we can supplement the diets of our furry friends safely: mammals. Humans are mammals, just like dogs and cats, and our ECS works the same way, chemically. Therefore, with a little caution, we can infer that supplementary CBD will act on the system in a similar manner. We will have to do this until more studies on mammalian ECS are published. 

Full-Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

Most anecdotes from pet owners (and many veterinarians) state that full-spectrum products work best with their pets. While CBD isolate products will have some effect (and are better for anxiety in pets), the entourage effect from multiple cannabinoids found within full-spectrum products is best suited to interact with your pet’s ECS.

That doesn’t mean that a full spectrum product is always the best fit for you and your pet. Full spectrum products, human or pet alike, can be beneficial when addressing pain, inflammation, and the wear and tear of old age. Moreover, the same reasons a person would take a broad spectrum tincture, your pet might want to do the same. Broad spectrum pet tinctures can be beneficial when trying to find similar benefit to a full spectrum product but without those trace amounts of THC. The Social CBD pet tinctures are a higher strength, 750mgs, to account for the likely increase in serving size to find the same benefit.

Moreover, isolate tinctures may be more beneficial when looking for mood stabilization. Medterra Pets CBD tinctures are an isolate and also 750mgs to account for the likely higher serving size needed to find benefit, similar to a full spectrum product. 

Tips on how to best help your pet

Before taking any action, talk to your veterinarian. While they may not be as informed on how CBD can help your pet, asking them questions about your pet’s body and how it functions can never be a bad thing. In the process of learning more about your pet, your veterinarian may decide to look into CBD to see what the potential benefits are! Here are some tips to keep in mind when helping your pet with CBD:

  1. Ensure you are using a high-quality product.
  2. Start small we recommend 1mg per every 10 pounds to start.  CBD must be given daily to see full benefits.  After 5 to 7 days at the lowest serving size you can increase by doubling if your pets are not experiencing relief.  You should continue this process increasing every 5 to 7 days until benefits are found.
  3. You can administer CBD to the gums, or ingesting CBD through treats, capsules or oil in their food. 
  4. Keep in mind placing the CBD oil on food if your pet isn’t a good eater will not allow for the greatest absorption level, therefore, decreasing the best result.  So choose delivery mechanism based on your pets habits. We can help for those difficult pets, so reach out.
  5. Monitor your pet closely and record the effects in a journal. Even if there are small differences, you will be more likely to notice them if they are written down.
  6. Consult with an expert or veterinarian who has experience in the field.
Pretty simple, right? 

 Just keep in mind that your pet has a system like yours. If you wouldn’t put it in your body, then why would you give it to your pet? I have found that this is one of the easiest rules to follow regarding CBD for pets. In fact, most CBD products for pets have been rated for humans as well (I say this as I shamelessly think of the CBD peanut butter in my pantry that was manufactured for dogs. I don’t own a dog.). 

Woof

We all love our pets. If you have an issue and you’re unsure of whether or not CBD can help, feel free to contact us. We would love to help out a fellow pet-owner, especially in our area of expertise. Even if your pet is doing great and has no issues whatsoever, we would still love to see cute photos of your dog or cat (or other) on our social media accounts! 

As always, If you’d like to learn more or have additional questions, press the live chat button, call us at (888) 772-7875 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST), or fill out our online contact form. We cannot wait to see you and your furry friend!  Here are a couple of GWL’s staff babies!

Green Wellness Life Pets


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