“Face of Cannabis” by Colorado-based artist and photographer Nichole Montanez is a touching and thought-provoking series of black-and-white images depicting children who have benefited from medical marijuana. Since launching the project over five years ago, Montanez has photographed 284 children and 11 adults, including five current NFL players and one former player, a senator, and two veterans. Beginning with about 80 images, “Face of Cannabis” now consists of 105 photographs — and counting.

The project started in 2013, inspired by Montanez’s niece Hailey (aka “Teapot”), who in 2008 was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy characterized by frequent, prolonged seizures as well as behavioral, developmental, and speech delays. After Teapot began to have seizures as an infant, Montanez became aware of Charlotte Figi, another Colorado-based youth with the same syndrome who was having success with CBD.

12-year-old Emily at her family home in Glendale, California. Emily suffers from Dravet Syndrome and had her first seizure at five months of age/ Nichole Montanez

While working as a graphic artist and designer for The Gazette, Montanez photographed Figi in May of 2012 for an article on the subject of medical cannabis. Soon after it published in 2013, Sanjay Gupta‘s Weed documentary series began airing on CNN, and as a result, more families were moving to Colorado for access to medical cannabis. Soon, other states looking to pass similar legislation asked Montanez to photograph their children, too.

“Watching states one by one pass laws was a great thing to witness,” Montanez tells High Times. “But the greatest thing for me was being here at the center of the movement and having a front row seat to wellness. There is no cure and cannabis is not a miracle. But I have watched it ease the suffering over and over again. And that’s really what it’s all about. The chance to answer that lingering question, ‘What if this works for my child?’”

13-year-old Tyler gets a tour of the CW Botanicals lab to see where his oil is made in Boulder, Colorado, October 22, 2015/ Nichole Montanez

To create her digital photographs, Montanez brings the studio to the children, most often with a simple dark backdrop and a carefully positioned stationary light. “Technically and artistically, the project presented a few difficulties,” she explains. “I knew I couldn’t use flash photography. The majority of kids included in the project have catastrophic epilepsy, and light can be a seizure trigger.”

As there was no single studio, Montanez shot everywhere from family homes, fire stations, and hospital beds to the inside of SUVs, state capitols, parking lots, and shopping malls. “Many of the portraits were spontaneous and under low-light conditions. My one light was often less than ideal,” Montanez says. “But I learned to adapt early on and let go of the notion that I was in control of any part of this. Every portrait was child-led, and I was happy to walk away with at least one usable frame.”

Seven-year-old Emily in San Antonio, Texas, September, 2015. At the time, CBD was illegal in the state of Texas. Children like Emily were at the forefront of the movement/ Nichole Montanez

Montanez says that the most difficult part of the project is unquestioningly when a child dies. But there are also reasons to remain hopeful. For Montanez, the project was never just about cannabis. “It was always about children,” she says. “As I see the industry grow and CBD goes mainstream I’d really love it if people would always remember the children. They are the ones who made it all possible.”

“Face of Cannabis” is on view August 3, 2019 at La Bodega Gallery in San Diego. Next year, it is scheduled to travel to Lowell, Massachusetts and Grand Junction, Colorado. There is also a hardcover book version of the project published in December, 2018, which one of Montanez’s child subjects calls “the seizure yearbook.” See more photos from “Face of Cannabis” below.

Sydni/ Nichole Montanez

Sydni suffers from Doose syndrome. She began having seizures at four years of age. Sydni’s was the first “Face of Cannabis” portrait, taken August 31, 2013.

Reggie, Cora, Maitri/ Nichole Montanez

14-year-old Reggie (left) suffered from Dentatorubral-Pallidoluysian Atrophy, a progressive brain disorder. His family relocated to Colorado from Florida to try CBD. Cora (center) was born with Macrocephaly-Capillary Malformation and began having seizures at five months of age. She lives in Colorado with her family and began using CBD in 2014. Maitri (right) began having seizures at 5 1/2 years of age. She moved with her mother to Colorado from Vermont in 2014 to try CBD.

Jennifer and Haley/ Nichole Montanez

15-year-olds Jennifer and Haley walk up the Virginia state capitol stairs following a “Face of Cannabis” photo shoot in May, 2015. Haley suffers from Dravet Syndrome and had her first seizure at five months of age. Jennifer, too, suffers from epilepsy and briefly moved to Colorado from Virginia in 2013 to try cannabis. She found relief from THCa and returned to her home state to fight for cannabis reform. Both girls, along with their mothers, were among the children instrumental in changing medical cannabis laws in the state of Virginia.

Scout, Brooklyn, Robby/ Nichole Montanez

Scout (left) was born with cortical dysplasia. He suffered his first seizure at 10 months of age. The cause of the seizure was a lesion on the right side of his brain. A cyst was later discovered on the left side, and he underwent surgery to remove both of those when he was three years old. Scout lives in Idaho and took part in a “Face of Cannabis” photo shoot to help raise awareness and attempt to change laws. Brooklyn (center) suffered from intractable epilepsy and began having seizures at three months of age. Robby is pictured at the right.

Kaitlyn and Kennedee/ Nichole Montanez

Kaitlyn holds her three-year-old daughter Kennedee at their home in Fountain, Colorado, October 22, 2014. These would be the last photos of her. Kennedee’s parents had just initiated hospice and taken their daughter home. Walker Warburge Syndrome had already claimed the life of her older sister at the age of two months. When Kennedee was born with the same syndrome, she was sent home on hospice, but she had survived. Her parents credit CBD for quality of life during her last year.

Caden/ Nichole Montanez

12-year-old Caden walks down an alley in downtown Colorado Springs, November, 2015. Caden suffers from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. His mother moved with her two young sons to Colorado in 2013 to treat Caden with CBD. The family has since returned to their home state of Georgia where laws have been changed to allow use of CBD in children with epilepsy.

Maddie/ Nichole Montanez

Nine-year-old Maddie stops to feel the pavement in an alley in downtown Colorado Springs in October, 2015. Maddie suffers from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. She and her mother moved to Colorado from North Carolina to try CBD.

The post Artist Photographs Pediatric Medical Marijuana Patients appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.


11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Hemp Oil For Dogs

Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.