Rain pelts my car windshield as I navigate through Friday night traffic in Los Angeles. I call Gina and tell her I’m running 10 minutes late but she’s calm and unfazed. “Take your time bruh, no rush. I’m already massively high.” And for a good reason: She’s about to embark on a monster three-month tour with Gabriel Iglesias.

When I finally arrive at Gracias Madre, a hip, plant-based restaurant in West Hollywood, Gina is all smiles. Our table is situated toward the middle of the outdoor patio and our casual sweatshirts stand out amongst the bougie birthday parties and tinder dates taking place in the immediate periphery. We first fall victim to chips and guac but are then able to enjoy some flautas, have a deep conversation about the purpose of comedy, and explore how cannabis helps with cluster headaches.

Given the legalization and medical advancements in the cannabis space, why do you think some people’s perceptions of pot still haven’t changed?

My husband laughed when I told him I was being interviewed by High Times. But it was a nervous laugh. People still have such resistance to marijuana because it changes your mood. But they don’t think about the other things that change your mood like coffee, sugar, tea. People drink chamomile tea to “relax.”

And alcohol.

Alcohol makes you do stupid things. Weed makes you do nothing. It takes you out of your own way. You just be, you just exist.

We spend so much time in our heads. I’m filled with anxiety, constantly over things. I was suffering from terrible panic attacks, awful insomnia, all this stuff. I took everything over the counter I could, never wanting to take sleeping pills or be prescribed any kind of Adderall for focus issues. And then I discovered the power of marijuana.

Stephanie Girard

How did you discover it?

Somebody gave me an edible. Now, mind you, I had been around people who smoked my whole life. I had smoked once or twice before but never got into it. I never liked smoking.

The bigger issue for people with weed is, they know you can smoke it, and smoking has such a negative connotation in any form. It’s not the edible form or topical cream that bothers people, it’s the smoke. It’s all about how we perceive things.

And how we have been conditioned to perceive things.

Absolutely. People have been conditioned to believe that potheads—I don’t even like the term ‘pothead’ because it’s so negative—that people who smoke marijuana or use marijuana however they use it do so in some dark alley wearing creepy hoodies like meth addicts. Just being little weed gremlins. Like offering sex acts for weed. Cannabis users aren’t crackheads.

What’s crazy is people are never as judgmental about alcohol as they are about pot. I had a friend of mine who, when I told him I have a vape pen and take edibles, was like, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe you do that.’ Meanwhile, he was on his third vodka soda. And I’m like, ‘are you really judging me? You’re poisoning your body in a much more dangerous way than I am. Alcohol is sold to us by advertisers on how sexy and sophisticated it is. Have you ever seen anyone trashed be sexy and sophisticated? No, you act like a douchebag, you probably get punched in the face, or you cause some other havoc. Have you ever in your life had anyone who has smoked or taken marijuana in any other form wreck havoc other than maybe picking a bad movie to watch?’

It’s just funny the negative views people have toward cannabis and they ignore the more serious addictions. You have a snickers bar every day but you wanna judge me for putting THC in my lemon water so I don’t bash my head against the wall with stress?

(NOTE: We promptly ordered two mezcals.)

Back to how you first discovered pot.

I had smoked in the past, but never seriously, probably because my dad sold cigarettes for like 13 years. He worked for Reynolds tobacco and I grew up hating anything you had to smoke. Again, I tried cigarettes as a kid because I was curious, but thought it was gross and was like ‘I’m never doing this again, this is nasty.’ I associated weed with all of that. I was ignorant. I apologize, weed.

You’re just like everybody else. Looping it all together.

I was basic. Then as I got older, the more I got offered pot, the more I was curious about it.

Flash forward years later, a friend recommends weed to me to help with cramps. So I took an edible. Almost instantly it helped with my insomnia and cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are sometimes called suicide headaches because they’re so painful. So I got my medical card and I become obsessed with the different forms of THC. Capsules, gummies, teas, medical relief creams / topical relief creams, which are amazing. My favorite so far is the capsules, because I’m still not a fan of actually smoking. But the only problem with any kind of edible is the amount of time it takes to hit your system, so you have to time them out right. Sometimes, it’s laying on top of a bunch of food that got there first, and sometimes I haven’t eaten yet. One time I took one, it didn’t hit, I doubled up, then it hit, and I puked all night.

Gina Brillion Knows How To Make You Listen Through Comedy

Stephanie Girard

You got into comedy when you were 17. What advice would you give a young woman coming up in comedy today, based on your own experience?

I always tell comics, whether young or not, get on stage as much as possible. To the younger female comics, never accept a ride from someone who isn’t your close friend and be very clear with your intentions and where the line is. Don’t blur the lines, because you’ll get yourself into situations where you’ll feel awkward saying “no” and the other person takes that as a “yes.” That’s the only thing I would tell young females getting into such a male-dominated business because although I have a lot of brothers in comedy, there’s almost an equal amount of creeps out there who will take advantage of somebody who’s not aware.

I was a street smart kid, so one or two things happened before I wised up and was like OK.

“I know the game.”

Right. I didn’t know the game before, but now that I know it…and look, I know it doesn’t have to be gender specific in that I know men get harassed too, I know that men also get assaulted. But, it’s just more prevalent amongst females or to females that it happens. You hear more about women getting harassed than you do about men getting harassed. And maybe that’s because not enough men come forward, or it doesn’t happen to as many men.

There’s a nonprofit organization called 1n6. And that figure says one in six dudes has been sexually assaulted. So it is a relatively high figure, but to what you’re saying—a lot of people don’t talk about it because of the social stigma associated with it.

There’s a bit of shame in every sexual assault. Societally, men feel more pressure not to come forward because they’re embarrassed of what happened to them and what people might think. When really, all people think is “oh my god, that’s terrible.” Which is the same way everybody should be treated when they’re a victim of sexual assault.

I’m a victim of sexual assault myself. You don’t want pity. You want to know that somebody understands you. And I’m not one of those people that blasts my #metoo story everywhere…I believe in the movement, I do….I just don’t want to be another person throwing out my story. Not to say everyone’s doing it for likes or attention, but…I have my story, and that’s all you need to know. I empathize with the movement because I’ve been through it. I understand it. Of course, I understand being a victim of sexual assault. I’m a female existing in life. Are you kidding me? We’re verbally assaulted half the time, we can’t leave our apartment buildings!

That’s fucked up.

Oh, it’s terrible. It’s terrible that there’s a double standard with sexual assault, that men don’t feel right coming forward. It’s terrible that there’s any kind of double standard like that. It’s terrible women have to go through it, but we just deal with it. It’s literally such a regular part of life.

Is there a chance that in the future, it won’t be a regular part of life?

I think that’s the hope. I think where we will see that is Generation Z. Not the Millennials. The Millennials are the ones fighting for that change, Generation Z will be the generation that implements what the Millennials fought for.

It seems there’s a certain level of tolerance amongst Millennials that hasn’t been there in previous generations.

Tolerance to me has such a negative connotation. The Millennial generation has nailed acceptance. It’s why they annoy the previous generation. Because the previous generation— and it’s something I’ve talked about in my act—spent years repressing all the stuff Millennials are fighting for now. That’s why they get on our nerves because they’re fighting a fight that internally, we never had the chance to fight or had the guts to fight.

If we were to promote more individual, free thinking (which is scary) instead of “going along with the masses,” we’d get to that Generational Z mentality faster.

We’ve spent so many years repressing all of that. I think that’s a big part of the resentment a lot of my generation or the generation before my generation has for Millennials. Because while we believed in “keep your mouth shut, keep your head down and do your job,” Millennials are just fighting for the things we should have been fighting for years ago. We look at them as entitled because they’re asking for things we never thought we had the rights to.

Is there a greater purpose to comedy, to telling jokes, other than just the give and take of creating laughter and receiving energy from a set?

There is definitely, for me, a deeper meaning and a deeper purpose. I’m not by any means or in any way trying to change anybody’s view on any subject whatsoever. I just want people to join together and understand that we don’t have to be on the same side to exist together. And I want that feeling for all of my audiences. I want them to leave a show looking at the fact that they might be just like me, Puerto Rican and from the South Bronx, and laughing with somebody from the Midwest who’s never even been to the South Bronx.

I want people connecting on our joined experiences, not dividing and spatting over stuff. You can’t make a person change. Change is up to the individual. I can’t make you change who you are, even for the better. You have to want that change for you.

Completely agree.

It’s so much deeper than ‘oh, I just tell jokes.’ No, you don’t just tell jokes. Tonight you saved somebody from going to a bar and getting drunk who’s been sober for a year. Last night, somebody was so upset they didn’t have money in their bank account, they came and they laughed and got over their upset, and maybe went home and were like ‘you know what, I’m gonna figure this out.’ You don’t know what you’re doing up there and how you’re saving people.

There have been times when I’ve been in tears, not wanting to exist anymore and I would just force myself to watch comedy and force myself to watch something funny. Remind myself of what my dream was and how important it is.

And this is the problem: a brilliant comic makes this look easy. Brilliant comedians make comedy look so easy. People don’t understand the work that goes into it, so it’s easy to trivialize what we do up there. And there are some garbage comics that definitely solidify that thought of “just entertaining a crowd”…I only say it’s garbage because it doesn’t elevate you in your career. 

And that’s what keeps you stuck at comedy level one. When your only concern is ‘are they laughing?’ When you graduate from ‘are they laughing’ to ‘are they listening?’ That’s a big deal. ‘Are they listening’ is much more important.

Gina Brillion Knows How To Make You Listen Through Comedy

Stephanie Girard

What’s after “are they listening?”

I know a lot of comics will read that and say ‘well that’s dumb, you’re a comic, you’re supposed to make them laugh.’ That’s so level one thinking. What I mean is, when you become so comfortable on that stage, when that stage is your second home, you don’t need a laugh per second. You get the audience. You are their friend. In their head, they are talking to a friend. They are responding to a friend telling a story up there. So what happens when you tell a friend a story? They’re not laughing every second.

They’re listening.

Once they’re invested and you insert these little jabs that lead up to a big punch…that’s when you know that you’ve got it. When you’ve gotten to that level where you know the laughter will come. I’m a comedian, I know what I’m doing. But am I patient enough to lead the audience to the laughter the way I want to lead them there.

You’re like a laughter sherpa.

Yes. That’s wonderful. Leading you up the mountain of comedy.

But yeah, totally a deeper meaning to comedy. You see it in all the greats. The reason why they were great was because they were impactful.

Do you think they were cognizant of how they were being impactful?

At some point, yes. In the beginning, of course, every comic just wants laughs. That’s comedy 101–that’s level one standup. All you wanna do is make ‘em laugh, and you should! At that stage, you better be making them laugh because you haven’t formed yourself on stage yet. So in order to get to that place, you have to put in that leg work. You gotta suffer a little bit. Because to get to that next level, you have to ask yourself “what am I saying?” This is in terms of writing. When you’re just starting.

That’s a really well-put understanding of the process and being able to see why someone is at the level he or she is at.

Most of the reason why a lot of performers do not grow, specifically comedians, is ego. Most of it is ‘I’m so great, why isn’t this happening for me?’ or ‘I’m so great, I don’t understand why that guy’s getting a break when he’s not as good as me.’ Spoiler alert! You’re not as good as you think you are, bro. You’re so busy trying to figure out why magic things aren’t happening for you, you’re not investing in yourself.

Follow @ginabrillon and check out her site for tickets and tour dates.

The post Gina Brillion Knows How To Make You Listen Through Comedy 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.

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?

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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.

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