End of Psilocybin Prohibition? Health Canada receives proposed regulations

A BC company is pushing to regulate magic mushrooms and recently submitted a proposal to Health Canada. TheraPsil is a non-profit organization that advocates for safe access to medicinal mushrooms. They believe that the use of psychedelics should be between a doctor and a patient. Using the first federal cannabis regulations as a guide, they […]

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MindMend: 5 reasons to try microdosing psilocybin for your brain

Looking for an alternative way to boost your well-being or enhance your mental state? The practice of microdosing psilocybin is relatively new, so new that Grammarly still doesn’t think it’s a word. This article will open your eyes to a new method to improve cognitive ability, safely. Here are 5 reasons to try microdosing psilocybin […]

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Higher Profile: Bradley King, Life Coach With A Higher Calling

For the past five years, Bradley King has been a successful global life coach, inspiring and encouraging clients around the world. Two years ago, after a client shared that cannabis helped them deal with life’s issues, King found his own life being coached, with his sessions diving deeper and able to move forward more quickly than anything he’d ever witnessed prior.

King soon realized just how many of his clients were self-medicating with cannabis for various disorders, and that it was as much a part of their lifestyles as it was his.

According to Life Coaching Press, the life coach industry in the U.S. officially crossed over as a valid option to mainstream therapy in the 1980s. The industry exceeded the billion dollar mark in 2017, with the International Coach Federation listing more than 50,000 members, worldwide.

Life Coach Press reports that more corporations are now hiring life coaches, rather than traditional mental health counselors, to assist employees through tough patches and/or work related stressors. This, they say, is due to the negative stigma of old-school therapies that can last years. Life coaching was developed to provide a path forward with more immediate results.

Listening Differently

“I remember the first time a client let it slip that he used cannabis and it helped him,” King shared. “Our sessions had been awkward before that, because of his anxiety issues, and I asked if he would be more comfortable if he smoked a little. I had just recently started smoking again myself, after a long break, and I asked if it was alright if I take a hit or two, as well—to maybe help him feel more comfortable.”

Bradley King said he’s a big believer of micro-dosing – keeping smoking to a minimum for optimal effect—especially during coaching sessions.

“We didn’t overconsume and chatted slowly. The session changed,” he continued. “This client was typically anxiety-driven, but after taking a hit or two, he calmed down substantially and opened up more than he ever had before.”

At the time, King was offering a ten-session package, and during the first four sessions, the client seemed to be stuck. With King admitting that it wasn’t entirely the client’s fault.

“I started listening differently,” he explained. “My sessions became deeper – more spiritual. It really opened my eyes, and I knew this was something I had to offer others.”

Bradley King is now known as the Cannabis Coach on social media, with his roots firmly planted in the methodology of a life coach.

Courtesy of Bradley King

Medicated, not High

“Many of my clients have admitted to overmedicating with cannabis,” King shared. “I can tell right away when a client has smoked or ingested too much,” he said. “They ramble and rant. They may even become more anxious, and the session fails. It’s hard to get them back, but it also creates a learning moment at the top of the next session, when I remind them that I’m not a therapist, I’m only here to guide them down a path to reach their life’s goals, and focus is everything.”

Too much THC can trigger anxiety, and Bradley King said that unfortunately many of his clients suffer from the malady, sharing, “They say, ‘I’m smoking and smoking and smoking, and I’m not getting any better!’ I always share information on micro-dosing first.”

Sessions might include a discussion on the use of tinctures, using products topically, and how much THC is enough for his client’s personal needs. Not as a medical professional, but as a life coach, helping them add to their sessions, moving forward, while getting the most out of cannabis use in their daily lives.

He also discusses the benefits of using cannabis consistently every day, and how regular dosing relates to long-term benefits, while adding to the coaching experience—including the differences between a CBD rich cultivar and one high in THC.

CBD, the Chill Pill

Cannabidiol (CBD) high cultivars have been found to reduce anxiety more substantially than high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cultivars, especially when over medicating via smoking. 

In a paper published by the University of Washington, authored by none other than Susan A. Stoner, PhD, Research Consultant (true story), she surmises that due to the high percentage of THC in modern-day weed, tolerance becomes an issue, with the endocannabinoid system playing a role in brain function, where anxiety, fear and stress is concerned.

From the paper, “Endocannabinoids appear to modulate highly interactive stress and reward networks, consisting of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), dopamine system, and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. These networks establish the balance between distress and well-being. Like social interaction and exercise, marijuana intoxication produces a sought-after state of calmness or contentedness, mediated by interactive anxiolytic effects of increased cannabinoid and oxytocin receptor activation and rewarding effects of elevated dopamine.”

Stoner also makes the point to say that “cannabis withdrawal is associated with lower ECS tone, partially medicated by release of stress hormones and reduced dopamine levels.” 

In other words, just as in using pharmaceuticals for increased brain function, when using cannabis for mental health issues, stopping cold-turkey presents negative effects, causing the patient to possibly dive deeper into depression and/or anxiety symptoms, including panic attacks.

CBD, on the other hand, Stoner states, “appears to have robust anxiolytic effects without anxiogenic effects at higher doses. In fact, the anxiolytic effects of CBD in humans were first demonstrated in the context of reversing the anxiogenic effects of THC.”

Stoner sites twenty-three human studies showing that dosing with 300-600 milligrams of CBD, taken orally, reduces experimentally induced anxiety in patients without anxiety disorders; and reduces anxiety in patients with diagnosed Social Anxiety Disorder. 

Bottom line, King insists on moderation when medicating with cannabis high in THC for anxiety and related emotional issues, and that finding and knowing your dose for the level of help needed is key.

Higher Profile: Bradley King, Life Coach With A Higher Calling
Bradley with his husband Tom/ Courtesy of Bradley King

Bradley King: The Cool Weed Coach

The most successful life coaches fulfill a niche in the field and are able to command six-figure incomes. And, like Bradley King, they’ve become social media influencers. Some with rock-star-like followings.

From his social media postings, many new clients might be compelled to session and wanted to get high with the celebrity weed coach, but King said he’s all about educating his clients on how cannabis works with our bodies and our psyche, as part of a life coaching experience; helping them get beyond whatever trauma or obstacles that brought them to him in the first place.

“My knowledge in this area is personal, as I’ve witnessed trauma myself. I was sexually raped when I was 16 years-old,” he shared. “I dealt with anxiety, PTSD, depression—and attempted suicide a few times. I was unable to cope with life, and fell into the trap of abusing drugs and alcohol at a very young age.”

To complicate an already difficult situation, King said he was also dealing with the fact that he was gay. He became sober just prior to turning 17, but it would take four more years to come out of the closet to his parents, at 21 years of age.

“I met my husband when I was 22, the year after I came out,” he continued. “I had walked through a few fires at a young age, and got through it with what felt like an old soul—ready to help others, if given the opportunity. Four years later, I became a certified life coach.”

Today he and his husband have a nine year-old son they adopted via fostering. Aside from the stigma of being a gay father, King’s professional focus is on breaking the stigma of the stupid stoner.

“That’s really what this is all about for me, breaking all the stigmas now,” he surmised. “The world needs to know that you can be married, have a child, a nice house—and a mental disorder—all the while being a productive member of society, medicating with cannabis.”

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How to Microdose Weed at Work Like a Boss

Any cannabis consumer can tell you that being too stoned is a terrible feeling, especially when you have important things to do. Wouldn’t it be amazing to experience the benefits of cannabis without being too high to function at work? With microdosing, you can. 

Microdosing is a technique that involves consuming the lowest dose of a drug that creates a perceptible effect without producing whole-body effects. While microdosing has typically been associated with hallucinogens like LSD, many experts believe that consuming small amounts of cannabinoids can provide all of the benefits of the plant without the intoxicating effects. In fact, studies show that microdosing can help treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain sometimes even better than higher doses of THC. 

Studies on Low Doses of Cannabinoids

In a study published by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, participants experienced greater stress-relieving effects from 7.5 milligrams of THC than 12.5 milligrams. Participants reported increased negative mood after consuming the higher dose, suggesting that lower doses may be more effective in reducing emotional stress for individuals with anxiety disorders. 

In another study published in 2012 in The Journal of Pain by Elsevier, patients with advanced cancer who were unresponsive to traditional painkillers were given nabiximols, a THC and CBD compound, at various doses. Patients who received the lowest dose experienced the greatest reduction in pain compared with those who received higher doses.

(Austin Distel/Unsplash)
Microdosing involves consuming cannabis to deliver therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in minimal amounts. Because each person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) response is unique, microdosing involves trial and error and consumers should start at very low doses a few days before work and note how long it takes for effects to be felt.

For patients who suffer from conditions that impair their ability to work, microdosing can be a useful tool in reducing pain and improving overall mood. Jane, 43, is a paralegal in New Jersey who microdoses to cope with her health issues.

“I have an autoimmune disease called Crohn’s disease and it causes a lot of pain and inflammation so I microdose cannabis so I can work,” she said. “Always learn what dosage works for your needs. It’s a trial and error situation but when you finally get it right the benefits are astounding.”

Because the goal of microdosing is to reap the therapeutic benefits of weed without actually getting stoned, dosage can be a bit tricky. There’s no universal dosage that works for everyone and finding the magic number depends on your tolerance, consumption method, and your endocannabinoid system. To avoid accidentally get stoned on the job, a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD may be a good place to start. CBD is known to minimize THC’s undesirable effects such as paranoia, heart palpitations, and impaired thinking, which makes it a helpful additive in avoiding a negative reaction.

Optimal Microdose Options

For more seasoned consumers, a typical microdose can range between 2.5 and 10 milligrams of THC. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to control exactly how much you consume. There are a number of methods available for microdosing cannabis, but some may be more precise in terms of dosage than others. 

  • Edibles are a good option for this reason, and they’re also discreet enough to use in the workplace. For example, verano offers low-dose capsules in multiple THC and CBD-filled formulas for consumers across the microdosing spectrum. Kiva Confections also makes mints that are ideal for microdosing with 2.5 milligrams of THC that can provide the perfect afternoon pick me up while at the office. 
  • Tinctures are a common choice for busy working individuals because they’re easily concealed, plus they have the added benefit of fast delivery. When applied sublingually, tinctures are delivered directly to the bloodstream and can begin acting within just 15 minutes. Or, if you want to mix a few drops in with your coffee or on top of your lunch, tinctures will be absorbed in the same way as an edible. Several brands like Select and Care By Design make THC/CBD tinctures designed for microdosing with ratios ranging from 1:1 to 18:1. 
  • Smoking or vaping are also options, though these can be more difficult to do at work. Because vapes produce a less potent smell, they are much more discreet for use in the workplace. For consumers vaping flower or oil cartridges, it’s best to start out with just a puff or two and then assessing how you feel. 

Chris, 27, is an NYC-based microdoser who works in marketing for higher education. He said, “Some people go on cigarette breaks, I rip my THC pen a few times. Aside from serving as a much-needed break between screen time at my desk or one of the countless interactions with a client, when done responsibly, a minor rip of my pen can reset my mood and expand my perspective, allowing my focus to flourish.” 

(Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash)
Microdosing at the workplace can be done discreetly by taking very small amounts of cannabis from an edible, tincture, or vape pen.

The key to successful microdosing is taking it slow. You’re at work and you have a job to do. Start with very low doses and give yourself a few days to gauge the way your microdoses are affecting you before upping your dosage. And, as with any new medication, make sure to consume responsibly and on a regulated schedule. Make sure you’re giving yourself accurate dosages each time and keeping tabs on how much you’ve consumed to avoid become intoxicated. 

Most importantly, know the rules in your workplace and the laws in your state or province governing cannabis use to avoid getting yourself into any legal trouble or disciplinary action. Do not take chances with your job if cannabis is prohibited at the workplace or if your job duties require you to be substance-free. 

When done correctly, microdosing can be a beneficial way to reduce pain or anxiety, improve focus, and remain sharp throughout the workday. Whether you’re a lifelong stoner or you’re curious about trying cannabis, microdosing at work can help you get stuff done like a boss without the buzz. 

Feature image: Microdosing involves taking a small amount of cannabis, less than the amount than it takes to get stoned. Studies have shown that pain-relieving and stress-reducing effects of cannabis were experienced at lower doses. (Marvin Meyer/Unsplash)

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Magic Mushrooms: The next legalization frontier

As cannabis reform inches its way across the world, many activists, advocates, doctors, and scientists are now looking at another currently-illegal substance with potentially game-changing applications- magic mushrooms, aka psilocybes. Across North America, that push has already begun in a very big way- Denver and Oakland have already made headlines for decriminalizing magic mushrooms- and […]

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