I first met Mike Robinson when discussing a previous High Times article on cannabis use and depression and was amazed by what he shared about his own life and the power that the plant had on him.
The former civil rights lobbyist and law professional has always had a passion for children, especially those in need. Robinson’s lobbying and legal work saw him advocating for children with different needs for over 20 years. He has also volunteered for charities aiding children and animals. Robinson also suffers from epilepsy himself and understands the limitations it can put on a person.
In recent years, Robinson has become the director of communications for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and is the founder of the Global Cannabinoid Research Center.
It was his work as the founder, director and in-person provider for the American Cannabis Compassion Alliance, which went to families across California and provided them with cannabis medication when in need. Robinson himself would travel the state from his Los Angeles by train to meet with patients. Due to his epilepsy, he was not able to drive himself.
Robinson’s work left him fielding calls and messages all day and night. Often, he would have his two phones on silent when going to bed. By chance, this one night in 2016 would be different.
While trying to sleep for a long train ride in the morning for work, he received a frantic message from a mother, Anne Mari, who found Robinson’s information through a Facebook search CBD and epilepsy. She was calling about her daughter, Genevieve.
Genevieve’s story extends beyond epilepsy and involves a painful misdiagnosis at age two. Anne Mari explained that she had taken her daughter to the doctor several times out of concern, but was turned away, with the doctor telling her she had nothing to worry about. However, when Genevieve suffered her first grand mal seizure at two years old, doctors said treatment would not reverse the brain damage she experienced due to frequent seizures.
After some time on medications, she began to be weaned off in 2015. However, things would not be positive for too long.
That night, Anne Mari messaged Mike and told him that she had been given a gram of CBD by a friend and wasn’t sure how to give it to her daughter, who has severe autism, epilepsy and O.C.D. Additionally, Genevieve suffered from frequent grand mal seizures and excessive “digging” into her own skin, among other awful side effects.
The results were so debilitating that she would only be allowed back in school if UCLA medical professionals signed off.
“Genevieve was going to be held back even in 8th grade after over a year of using oils, but the entire educational and therapy team made the decision with us that it was time to get her into high school,” Anne Mari explained.
Robinson fit the family into his schedule the next day.
“I was very concerned because the medication she was taking directly contradicted with CBD and could actually cause more seizures….They were psychotropic medications that an autistic child doesn’t need to be on. So I wanted to be there immediately, you know, to see what would happen,” Robinson recalled.
The next day, he arrived to find Anne Mari distressed as her daughter suffered another grand mal seizure. “When he got here that day,” Anne Marie recalled, “we had already been to the doctor that morning because she was so bad. A doctor was so troubled by Genevieve. She went to her purse, that of her own personal money. She took a $50 pill because she knew I was very financially strapped since her father died and she said, ‘I want you to get this kid to UCLA immediately and get a second opinion.’”
This dire situation led Robinson to feel a sense of urgency he had never felt before. He saw that the CBD Anne Mari had been given was around 80% potent and would be too strong to administer to a child orally.
Instead, Robinson went to his car and got a THC “rescue oil.” He gave the mother the standard warning that he is not a medical professional and that risks were present. In need of relief for her daughter, Anne Mari approved. They both said she responded immediately and was back on her feet.
What happened next brought tears to the whole house: Genevieve got up and walked to her room with an iPad. Mike turned to see Anne Mari crying. “I actually asked her not to call the police,” he recalled with a laugh. She was crying because Genevieve could barely stand, much less walk to her room, on the cocktail of drugs she had been prescribed.
Not only that, she was humming as well. Robinson learned that it was the sound Genevieve made when she was happy; a sound the family had not heard in ages. After losing her father at a young age and having to take numerous medications, Genevieve was finally humming her happy tune again.
Robinson checked in the next day and stayed in touch with the family, as he did with other families he worked with. But something connected deeper with Genevieve than other clients. The same would be said for him and Anne Mari, who slowly began to form a deeper bond.
The two took it slow at first. After three months of dating in 2016, Robinson visited for Christmas. He didn’t leave until the 10th of January.
“I came in and stayed for those two weeks and that’s when we became a family,” he said.
A few days after leaving, Anne Mari and Genevieve’s older sister, Fatima, would tell Robinson that Genevieve wanted him around. This was made clear by the videos of her referring to him as “Daddy.”
While California’s Prop 64 ended Robinson’s compassion service, there is plenty of good news to celebrate. Three years since the first meeting, the entire family now puts their faith in cannabinoids to treat their various conditions. Robinson reported, “Genevieve is off all pharmaceuticals. I’ve quit opioids. Anne Mari used to drink, and she just celebrated two years sober…all using cannabinoid medicine.”
In addition to excellent health news, Genevieve is in school and will turn 16 in August. Meanwhile, Mike and Anne Mari have gotten engaged.
Robinson explained how the family is doing much better these days. “We’re growing as a family. I think the love is just incredible.” He added, “It shines through because every element, as much as we have flaws and defects, we just shower with compassion and love from the inside. This whole family started with love. So, every time we have a problem, that’s what steps in and solves it.”
Today, the family continues to advocate for children in need and for education about the benefits of cannabinoid treatment. To learn more about Mike Robinson, Genevieve, and others using cannabinoid treatments, visit Mike’s Medicines, the blog Robinson operates.
The post Genevieve’s Journey: How Cannabis Helped Save a Life and Create a Family appeared first on High Times.
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. Typically 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?
We 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 side 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.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
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?
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 there, Cannawell.
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. We 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.