In 2012, at the age of 52, Beverly Soucy had scheduled her first mammogram ever, then presented with a persistent pneumonia, having to cancel and reschedule the procedure twice.
“My instincts told me something was wrong, but I was thinking I was in for a heart attack or something – I never dreamed it would be breast cancer,” she shared. “When I finally did the mammogram, I was on my way out, and the doctor chased me down the hallway, asking me to humor him and return the next day for a biopsy.”
The humorless biopsy quickly turned into 12 separate needle explorations into her breasts, found to be riddled with cancerous masses, and a diagnosis of Lobular carcinoma. This type of cancer is found in the lobules, the milk-producing glands, and is said to be the second most common form of breast cancer, affecting 10 percent of women in the U.S.
“Getting that diagnosis changes you,” she shared. “Everything stands still. I felt as though I went through the double-mastectomy, numerous painful procedures and treatments, then reconstruction surgery, all in a daze. It felt as though my brain was pushing everything I went through to another place, to protect me – or I would have just crumbled under the weight of it all.”
Soucy said she came home from the mastectomies with a bag full of prescription meds, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percocet, and more. The first time she took the Oxycontin, she said she “went mental.”
“I think many people just sink into the pharmaceuticals to push back on the reality of what they are going through,” she pondered. “All the pills take your spirit away, until you are just wallowing in a pharma-induced haze.”
Soucy shared that her saving grace was when a dear friend, who had just gone through prostate cancer, arrived at her door with a bag of brownies, cookies, and olive oil – all infused with cannabis.
“I had smoked cannabis since high school, but the last time I had a brownie in my teens it was not a good experience. It was an old-school brownie – full of stems and seeds,” she laughed. “I thought I was going to die! And I surely never thought I’d ever eat one again, that’s for sure.”
Her friend had dropped the bag of edibles by while she was sleeping, with a request she call him for instructions.
“Well, of course I ate an entire cookie before he arrived!” she laughed. “So, he brought a book to read, sitting by my side to keep an eye on me. But, it wasn’t a bad trip – maybe because I needed it to heal. I had a lovely euphoric feeling, and the pain was completely gone. But more importantly, the plant spoke to my mental capacity, it cleared my mind from the pharma, and allowed me to focus on the situation at hand, not escape.”
Each morning, Soucy said she’d take one dropper of the olive oil, and would be pain-free, with no need for the pills, lasting five to six hours, until she took another dropper-full. The recovery period after the mastectomy that was estimated to take six months, took a mere five weeks, with Soucy back to work in record time, ready for the reconstructive surgery – with her surgeon amazed.
Soucy’s day job is restaurant management, but her experience compelled her to work at the hospital. After having an informal meeting with staff about the importance of ingesting healthy fare to promote healing, she was hired to work in the kitchen.
“The worst thing about the hospital stay was the food – how in the world are you supposed to heal when you are fed empty, salty foods?” she exclaimed.
Make food thy medicine, and medicine thy food – Socrates
“This experience changed me forever, and I began making my own remedies with plants – just as my ancestors had,” she shared. “It was as if their spirits were within me, pushing me in this direction, as I began foraging medicinal plants in the woods by my home. Plants I’d always judged as weeds – dandelions, mallow, birch bark, and plantain.”
Her lineage includes apothecaries from her father’s side of the family who migrated from Ireland, landing in Western Maine, where she makes her home today.
Both sides of her family lived off the land, with her mother’s side working as potters, weavers, cooks, and caregivers outside the home, and her grandmother on her father’s side selling remedies in a shop.
“My grandmother’s sister sold herbs, remedies and read tea leaves for customers. They could whip up formulations for colds, fevers, and broken hearts,” she laughed. “If you were dumped by a boyfriend, you went to Grammies and she’d make a ‘potion’ of honey, tea, homemade blackberry brandy, and horehound. They weren’t witches – they made healing tonics.”
“Everything in my stash means something to me,” she shared. “I’ve always felt I’m an old soul, born in the wrong time. The 1940s speak to me, and it shows in my stash. My grammy gave me pink dishes, jewelry, and seashells from her travels.”
The cigarette box, now repurposed for joints, is another gift from grammy. The vape pens are from Kandypen; and the flower is Maine Blue Cheese, grown last summer in her own garden, testing at 21 percent THC.
“The pearls were a birthday gift from my dear friend, Brent and his husband, Peter,” she explained. “The pipe is a gift from Afghanistan, brought back from my cousin Stephanie, who just returned from two tours. The stones are from a beach in Southern Maine, found during a particularly tough day – my first day back to the beach after the cancer treatments ended.”
A cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment is never easy, and Soucy said losing both breasts changed her forever in many ways.
“On the way back from one of my many reconstructive surgeries, I passed a sign on the side of the road, ‘Be of Good Courage.’ I never knew I was brave,” she surmised, “but that sign stayed with me. I’ve always been independent and lived alone, never had kids – bought my first Harley just out of high school, ran businesses, played guitar. I knew I had guts and a big mouth, but I never knew I could stand on my own two feet, alone – until my cancer experience. When my friend brought over the medibles and oil, I had no idea what would happen to me next – mentally and physically. I learned that it’s alright to ask for help, and to accept the changes that follow.”
The post What’s in Your Stash? Beverly Soucy, Owner of Western Mountain Moss & Apothecary 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.