Create and Curate

How To Titrate CBD

March 14, 2019

How CBD Oil Works: Find The Right Serving For You


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabis compound found in large amounts in the hemp plant. It can have significant medical benefits without any of the psychotropic effects of its cousin THC. CBD is becoming widely available and if you want to take advantage of its beneficial properties you will need to learn about the different delivery systems and understand how to measure quantities to determine the right serving amount for you.


CBD is an appealing option if you are looking for relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, sleeplessness and stress. There is also compelling clinical research using CBD as a potential treatment option for arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, PTSD, antibiotic-resistant infections, depression and chronic pain. CBD also has documented neuro-protective benefits due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be taken as a daily supplement for improved overall health.


How CBD Works


CBD works with the human endocannabinoid system which is responsible for keeping important biological functions in balance — things like managing pain, sleep, the immune system, digestion and more. Basically, we humans are pre-wired to use cannabinoid plant compounds in beneficial ways, making CBD an attractive treatment for many health concerns. 


Along with cannabinoids, there are other naturally occurring active chemicals in cannabis called terpenoids and flavonoids. These chemical components contribute a wide variety of therapeutic benefits such as, preventing seizures and muscle spasms, killing viruses and bacteria, preventing certain types of cancer, stimulating bone growth and dilating blood vessels. 


Delivery Systems For CBD


CBD is going to find its way into everything from energy drinks to pet food and it will be important to understand how the different delivery systems. There are patches, edibles, sublingual, vaping or smoking, creams and skin care. Each one of these will have a different onset and duration. Every body is different so, it is important to titrate, or determine the smallest amount of CBD you can use to get the desired results. There will also be varying personal responses depending on the quality and type of CBD and hormones.


Everyones endocannabinoid system is different. Some individuals have a more tolerant endocannabinoid system that responds only to high servings. Others will be more sensitive and react to low doses or their reactions may vary with the time of day or month. There is also a “biphasic response’ that can occur with CBD. A biphasic response is when CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in low amounts and  increases concentration, alertness and wakefulness. But, when taken at higher levels has the opposite effect. Making you feel sleepy and calm instead of focused and full of energy. Each individual needs to self-titrate and find their own best serving amount.


How To Find Your Best CBD Serving Amount


The rule is to start low and slow, and be consistent when you begin taking CBD. Finding high quality products that deliver consistent measurable amounts of CBD will make it easier to titrate and find your optimal serving amount and create a CBD schedule. Look for a provider who practices organic farming, uses state of the art distilling to extract the cannabinoid compounds and tests for quality and purity.


You also want to be using full spectrum CBD. When CBD is referred to as full spectrum or whole plant CBD, it means that the CBD contains other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD Isolate, on the other hand, is simply purified CBD that has been extracted from the hemp plant and isolated from the other cannabinoids.


From a consistency standpoint taking a soft gel or tincture will make it easier to measure amounts of CBD than taking edibles or transdermal patches. I do not recommend edibles for several reasons. Many purchased edibles have added sugar which is harmful to teeth and linked to increased inflammation. Edibles also vary in consistency and are harder to measure due to the fact that they get absorbed through the digestive system, resulting in a delayed response that can take hours. Inhalation (vaping) and sublingual(tinctures/drops) delivery systems will be more immediate and also contain more cannabinoids.


If you want to the most predictable results soft gels make it easy to start low and slow and titrate to your perfect amount and schedule. Quality soft gels can increase bioavailability up to 300% over oil based CBD tinctures. The CBD Softgels I use have a proprietary technology to increase absorption of the cannabidoil, making them fast acting and more bioavailable than other tablets and oils. They are also full spectrum, leveraging multiple botanical actives and other naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant. From a titrating standpoint you can start with organic CBD Softgels 10mg then titrate up to the 25mg Softgels. Or use a tincture and measure similar dosages.


How I Found My Perfect Serving Amount


I started taking10mg soft gels at night for a week, then added another 10mg soft gel in the morning for another week. I experimented for several weeks until I found what felt like the best amount to take at night to help me get restorative rest and also the right amount in the morning to help me focus and balance out my stress.


It took me several months to determine optimum servings and to learn how my body responds to CBD. Because this is a process and there is no exact formula that works the same for everyone, you need to take it low and slow and pay attention to your body. This information is intended to help you understand how CBD works with your endocannabinoid system and give you an idea of what it means to titrate servings. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor when adding a new supplement to your routine.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about CBD flooding the internet. Finding a trusted brand of CBD sourced from organic hemp and tested for potency and purity is your first step. Understanding how to titrate your best serving size and schedule is the second step. Learn more about the benefits of CBD and how to incorporate it into your wellness plan. 

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Why Natural Wine Is The Only Wine You Should Be Drinking

February 10, 2019

Wine is an elegant ritual. It can be an oasis of calm at the end of a hectic day, a celebration, a facilitator of romance, or an enhancement a lovely meal. I always say when you are looking for a partner or friend — if you find someone you enjoy drinking wine with at night, and look forward to drinking coffee with in the morning, you have a keeper.


In the world of wellness, wine and coffee can be tricky. A moderate amount can be beneficial to your physical and emotional health, and too much is bad for you. Quality also plays a crucial role. High quality, responsibly grown and processed beans and grapes deliver more benefits to you and the planet. Mass produced, highly processed coffee and wine can be chemical cocktails that light you up with inflammation.


My Wine Journey


Back in my early 20’s, I ran a wine program for a restaurant in Seattle. Aside from having enjoyed some delicious wine while traveling in Europe, I had very little knowledge of wine and the wine making process.  It was exciting to meet with wine representatives, sample wine, learn the nuances of different varietals and wine making styles, and pair wine with food. This was back in the early days of wine-by-the-glass programs; which were beginning to change the way people drank wine. Upgrading from crappy, bag-in-the-box house wine to something more delicious and food friendly was revolutionary. I was enthralled with how accessible wine was becoming for the average person.


These were exciting times for wine makers and drinkers. Amazing pinot noirs were just beginning to come out of Oregon, California was putting wine on the world map, and wineries were popping up in every state. It was time for me to pivot into the wine business. I got a dream job for a 20-something, working for a wine distributer. I was meeting with wine makers, learning how wine is made, tasting amazing wines, and taking that knowledge to restaurants and wine stores. 


My new found passion for wine, combined with my mad crazy food skills, meant I was ahead of the curve. I was curating elaborate food and wine pairings for people who were newly excited about wine.  People who never particularly cared for wine were getting sucked into the liquid sugar vortex of sweet sipping gateway wines like pink zinfandel and creating a new breed of wine drinkers. Wine was becoming the drink of choice.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)


Wine Today


Fast forward to today. Wine is completely mainstream. There is wine on tap, wine in cans, wine bars, wine in every convenience store in America, and a wine making industry cranking out billing of gallons of doctored up grape juice to quench the thirsty masses. Along the way, wine became a highly commercialized product — processed and tweaked to increase profitability and popularity.


Mass produced wine relies on an arsenal of up to 300 different chemical additives to keep their products consistent and profitable. But the real problem with wine begins with the grapes themselves. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group that supports organic farming practice and safe food, places grapes on their Dirty Dozen List. That means grapes are some of the dirtiest produce grown on the planet. More pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and chemicals are used on grapes than most other produce. Consider the surface area of a grape, the chemical applications that penetrate the skin, and how that all ends up in concentrated amounts in the juice that gets fermented into wine. Scary.


What’s Really In Your Wine Glass?


The wine making process gets even dirtier. Grapes are tricky. Every year the growth cycle of grapes varies. The natural flavors, level of sweetness and lifespan of grapes varies across vines; which makes capturing consistency near impossible. Enter sugar and chemical additives as a way for wine producers to circumvent the natural variations and create products that taste the same — bottle after bottle, year after year. The naturally occurring flaws in wine can now be doctored in the wine making process; making processed, chemically added, sugar enhanced wine, the norm.


Why Do I Have A Headache?


Most of us never even realized what was different about our wine. It happened gradually, and there was nothing on the wine label to tell you things had changed. If you are like me, you just assumed there was fermented grape juice in the bottle and maybe some added sulfites as a preservative.


Over the past decade, I began to experience more frequent reactions to wine. There were situations where, after a few sips, I would start feeling off. Other times, I would wake up at 2am with a screaming headache, or worse, spend a day feeling liked I had been poisoned. These reactions were completely random. I was experiencing them drinking wine at all price points, at restaurants, in friends’ homes, and when drinking wine from my own cellar. Sometimes wine made me feel horrible.


So, I drank less wine, because I was enjoying wine less.


As a wellness professional trying to meet people where they are in their wellness journey, wine kept coming into the conversation. I was continually talking with people who were experiencing negative reactions to wine, “wine-overs,” frustrated with belly fat “wine-waist,” and trying to understand why. 


I began to research organic wine; and the lid flew right off Pandora’s Box.


Organic wine means the grapes are organic, but the vinification, or wine making process, is a grey area. Organic wine is still allowed to add sulfites, use fining agents that contain animal products, fish and shellfish, add sugar and gluten, and other things I didn’t want in my wine. Again, there is nothing on a wine label that tells you exactly what is in the bottle.


What Is Natural Wine?


The only wine that is made with no added chemicals, no added sugar, uses grapes grown with biodynamic/organic farming methods, and is organic from grape to glass, is natural wine.


Natural wine is a broad term and covers many different styles of wine that are produced naturally. Some are unique and esoteric, others are more traditional and appealing to mainstream wine drinkers. Complicating things is the fact there is no labeling you can rely upon to help you select a natural wine. I personally want to make sure my wine is third-party tested for purity, because winemakers have been obscuring what is in wine for years.


Natural wine is what wine drinkers who care about their health are drinking. Wine consumers are frustrated with wine that is chemically laden to the point it creates off-the-charts inflammation in the body, and makes the drinker feel unwell. It is not the wine, but the chemicals that are so dangerous. Natural wine is the solution to processed wine.


If you have ever sipped local wines when traveling in Europe, you know the joy of natural wine with no chemical additives. You can drink wine that tastes of the place it is grown, is delicious with food, and doesn’t make you feel bad. Wine as it was made for centuries.


Most of us are too busy to hunt down natural wines, and it can be hard to find a large selection in any one place. They are becoming more available and receiving a lot of attention in the media right now. There are restaurants serving natural wines and both Food and Wine and Bon Appetite are writing about the natural wine movement. 

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)


How Do I Find Natural Wine?


I hope I haven’t ruined wine drinking for you. It can be one of life’s greatest pleasures to enjoy a wonderful bottle of wine. Look for wines from small organic family vineyards, where the grapes are hand harvested and responsible farming is practiced. You want wine that someone has tasted and can recommend. The good news is I have found several online sources for natural wine! The wines are tested for purity, and shipped to your door. These wines include a large selection of natural wine from small, biodynamic, family vineyards from all over the world. You can choose wine that is better for you, and the planet, and sip with confidence.


Natural wine meets you at the intersection of lifestyle and wellness. Once you taste clean-crafted natural wine, you will remember why you fell in love with wine in the first place.

Read more about natural wine  and learn other fabulous ways to live your best life. 

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What is CBD Oil and How You Can Use it to Improve Your Health

January 15, 2019

CBD is all the buzz these days, and everyone wants to know what it is and how to use it. Cannabis is showing up in everything from skincare to cocktails to pet supplies. Understanding the benefits of the different forms will be important as CBD goes mainstream and you consider adding it to your wellness arsenal.


There is a lot of confusing information about cannabis and its two main cannabinoids (plant compounds) — THC and CBD. Both are forms of cannabinoids, the active ingredients that occur naturally in cannabis.  One gets you high, the other doesn't. Learning the difference, and how cannabis is being used, both recreationally and medically, will help you navigate this new world of lifestyle medicine. 


What is it


Cannabis is a genus of the plant family Cannabinacea, and has been used medicinally for pain relief since 2700 BC. Cannabinoids are the main class of compounds found in cannabis. They work with the human endocannabinoid system which is responsible for keeping our most important biological functions in balance — things like managing pain, sleep, the immune system, appetite and more. Basically, the humans are pre-wired to use cannabinoid plant compounds in ways that benefit our major body systems.


The cannabis plant is one of the most pharmacologically active plants on the planet, with a whopping 400 plus active chemicals. The pharmaceutically active components in cannabis actually mimic the endocannabinoids in our bodies. This means they are beneficial for helping the body heal and restore itself and are especially effective for inflammation and pain.


Along with cannabinoids, there are other naturally occurring active chemicals in cannabis called terpenoids and flavonoids. These chemical components contribute a wide variety of therapeutic benefits such as, preventing seizures and muscle spasms, killing viruses and bacteria, preventing certain types of cancer, stimulating bone growth and dilating blood vessels.  There are also powerful antioxidants.


Active Ingredients


The two most commonly known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. 

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for cannabis’ primary psychotropic effects. THC also has medicinal properties that include anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and analgesic benefits. 


CBD (cannabidiol) has many beneficial medicinal properties and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-proliferative, anti-spasmodic and reduces anxiety. It is a nonintoxicant, meaning it does not have psychotropic qualities, or will not get you”high”.


CBD is a beneficial and versatile cannabinoid found largely in hemp which is a type of cannabis. Interestingly, it is naturally occurring and found in smaller doses in the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes broccoli and kale. It is most abundant, however, in hemp.




What makes CBD so important medically is that it has such strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and neuro-protective properties. This makes it a promising treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers disease, and all other neurodegenerative diseases that have a strong link to inflammation. CBD has also been shown to help regulate blood pressure and kill certain types of cancer cells, while simultaneously protecting healthy cells.


CBD has many benefits for the average user but is best known for its ability to reduce anxiety and provide a sense of calm. It has already been successfully used to help treat PTSD, and is known for its anti-depressant and anti-psychotic properties. CBD has antioxidant properties considerably stronger than vitamin C and E, so you will be seeing it in skin care products. As a powerful anti-inflammatory, with no known side effects, CBD is a useful over the counter option for pain management, and can help treat everything from arthritis to headaches.


What to look for


There are currently many companies selling CBD products online and in stores. It comes in tinctures, capsules and topicals. How you take it or use them will depend on the desired medicinal benefit you seek. Because CBD is not yet FDA regulated, it falls on the consumer to be an educated buyer — do not assume all products are of the same quality or that label claims are true.


When you are buying CBD, look for the volume or amount of CBD and do a bit of research to make sure high quality hemp was used in production. I suggest only buying CBD from reputable companies in the United States and avoiding overseas hemp that might be chemically treated. Each product you buy should be clear about its concentration amount. The concentration amount denotes the strength of the product, or how much CBD is contained in the total volume. I would only buy from a company that runs tests on its products so you know what you are getting and that the company cares about quality.


General dosing information


This is where things can get tricky. CBD works most effectively when taken or used consistently. The best results are obtained when it is used as a daily supplement, the same way you would take a vitamin.


The standard starting adult dose of CBD is considered to be1-2mg daily. This is a good place to start and determine if this is a satisfactory dosage.  You may want to experiment up to 3mg as a daily supplement. Higher doses, and other methods of delivery, can be researched for conditions like chronic pain and sleep disorders. And it is always recommended that you check with your healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine.


Cooking with CBD 


My fascination with CBD began with the extensive health benefits and then circled back to my sweet spot of using food as medicine. I found it fascinating that our bodies know exactly what to do with the beneficial plant compounds found in cannabis;  that we could easily tap into the powerful benefits by using CBD and avoid the “high” associated with THC.


The best way to add CBD to food was in the oil form or isolate crystals, and I came up with a few tips for incorporating it into recipes. I found it easy to measure and add CBD oil to soups, smoothies and salad dressings. CBD is fat soluble, so you want to make sure you are using it with some form of fat.  I used it in smoothies made with nut milks or kefir, and salad dressings with any type of oil. I added it with oil or butter to make blended creamy soups, and was careful not to overheat when warming — thereby  protecting the active ingredients.


Making a calming chi tea or hot chocolate was a natural place to add a few drops of CBD oil. I also found it worked well in pestos and other sauces. We don’t eat many sweets in our house, but I made a batch of macadamia, coconut power balls and added the CBD oil to the recipe with great success. The CBD isolate crystals are typically used in baking, and have less of a pronounced flavor than the oil or drops.


I also ordered some topical lotions online; that can be used to enhance the feeling of wellbeing and promote sleep. I purchased some capsules containing a combination of CBD and turmeric that can replace chemical, over-the-counter pain relievers that have nasty side effects.


I welcome the opportunity to explore the possibilities of CBD, with its multitude of medicinal benefits, into my kitchen and my life.


Visit me at The Culinary Cure for more information.

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