Entries by Shireen Stephenson

Guide to Hemp Oil Tinctures, Capsules, and Topicals

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before use.

Whole-Plant Hemp Oil is remarkably versatile. The plant’s cannabinoid-rich extracts provide considerable health and wellness benefits. However, with the diversity of products on the market, you may wonder which product type best aligns with your needs and preferences.

Although tinctures are quite popular with many first-time Hemp Oil users, there are many reasons you may prefer going in another direction. Knowing how tinctures, capsules, and topicals work can help you determine which Synchronicity™ product is right for you.

Appreciating the Synchronicity™ Whole-Plant, Full- Spectrum Difference for Tinctures, Capsules, and Topicals

The quality of the products you select will considerably impact your overall experience. We ensure the integrity of our tinctures, capsules, and topicals by cultivating non-GMO hemp. We also use no insecticides or herbicides. Once our hemp crops mature, we harvest nutrient-rich oils from their stalks, stems, and flowers.

While most companies tout the importance of natural hemp cultivation, many drop the ball by relying on chemical solvents and extreme temperatures to extract the cannabinoid-rich oil from harvested plants. Harsh extraction methods can strip the delicate hemp plant of its vital oils and phytonutrients.

Synchronicity™  products are never compromised by heat or harsh chemicals. With more than two decades dedicated to cultivating proprietary hemp plants, we understand how each plant element enhances product potency. Our commitment to quality demands attention to details other companies overlook.

Rather than relying on harsh extraction methods, our unique LipidTrans Infusion™ process preserves and transfers the plant’s many phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes to a heart-healthy oil (MCT oil). We process our popular Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil in small hand-pressed batches. This distinction sets us apart from the competition.

Selecting the Ideal Synchronicity™ Hemp Oil Tinctures, Capsules, and Topicals for Your Needs

Functional Remedies™ is a vertically integrated company. This means that we have full control over every aspect of production, from seed selection to product distribution. Our proprietary infusion process allows us to create top quality Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil tinctures, topicals, and capsules. While the best way to know how a Hemp Oil product may affect you is to try it, the following considerations may help you decide which Hemp Oil product best suits your unique interests.

When to Select a Full-Spectrum, Whole-Plant Hemp Oil Tincture

Synchronicity™ Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture is not a simple CBD oil. It’s far superior. Unlike the manufacturing practices utilized by other companies, our sustainable processes deliver supreme value.

Selecting one of our Hemp Oil tinctures may be your best option if you’re intrigued by one or more of the following examples of product versatility:

Determining Your Ideal Serving Size

Everyone responds to the cannabinoids in Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil differently. It’s perfectly fine to stick with the serving size recommendations on product labels. However, the ideal amount for you may differ from that of your neighbor.

Using a Hemp Oil tincture makes it easy to start with a smaller serving size. A few hours after using a Hemp Oil tincture for the first time, Ask Your Body™ if that amount needs calibrating. Using a Hemp Oil tincture makes it easy to increase your serving size gradually.

Crafting Your Own Cannabinoid-Infused Edibles

Creative types often enjoy cooking and baking with Hemp Oil tinctures. Use your tincture to add the health and wellness potential of CBD, CBN, CBG, and essential fatty acids to your morning coffee, breakfast smoothie, or hot cereal.

The convenient dropper cap makes it easy to know how many milligrams of plant phytonutrients you’re adding to each recipe. Plus, when you make your own cannabinoid-infused edibles, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re using a high-quality Hemp Oil. Hemp Oil tinctures can also be added to your favorite shampoo or conditioner to nurture and protect your hair and scalp.

Utilizing a Faster Cannabinoid Delivery Option

When you add Hemp Oil to your favorite snack or beverage, it can take up to two hours to notice the full effects. For faster results, Hemp Oil tinctures can also be used sublingually. Simply place the oil under your tongue and hold for 15-20 seconds before swallowing.

The sublingual method allows the blood vessels under your tongue to absorb the cannabinoids. Not only does the sublingual method preserve product potency, but it also delivers noticeable results in as little as 15-20 minutes.

The Advantages of Selecting Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Capsules

Synchronicity™ Full-Spectrum Capsules Contain the same high-quality Whole-Plant infusions as our popular Hemp Oil tinctures. The concentrated oil is encased in an easy-to-swallow gelatin shell. Available in concentrations of 25mg or 50mg of hemp phytonutrients per serving, Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Capsules are great if you’re intrigued by any of the following advantages:

  • Consistent, Pre-measured Daily Dosing

    Although Hemp Oil Tinctures are exceptionally versatile, many people prefer to use a pre-measured Hemp Oil product. Ideal for busy people who value convenience, Full-Spectrum capsules make it easy to add the health and wellness potential of Whole-Plant Hemp Oil to your daily routine. Since each gelatin capsule contains a consistent amount of phytonutrients, you’ll never have to worry about shaking bottles, measuring milliliters, or counting drops.

  • A Discrete, Portable Product Option

    Capsules may be the ideal option if you travel frequently. They’re also great if you plan on carrying your Hemp Oil with you throughout the day. With capsules, there’s no risk of bottle breakage or spillage. Since capsules are taken like any other over-the-counter pill or vitamin supplement, you won’t have to field questions from curious onlookers. This makes Hemp Oil capsules one of the most discreet product options available.

  • Avoiding the Flavor of Full-Spectrum Oils

    Many Hemp Oil users appreciate the therapeutic potential of Full-Spectrum products but don’t necessarily care for the way natural (or flavored) Hemp Oil tastes. If you’re worried about how the “earthy” or “grassy” flavor of industrial hemp may affect your overall experience, Hemp Oil capsules may be your best option. The gelatin capsule begins to dissolve within minutes of swallowing. So, you’ll notice the potential impact almost immediately.

Reasons to Consider a Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Topical

Using a Hemp Oil infused cream, lotion, or sports balm topically allows the CBD, additional cannabinoids, and wholesome plant nutrients to target specific areas below the surface of your skin. That level of absorption delivers a wide range of potential health and wellness benefits. Consider using a topical for the following concerns or to complement the therapeutic potential of tinctures or capsules:

  • Targeting Specific Joints and Muscles

    Hemp Oil products are popular with those looking for a safe, natural alternative for overworked joints. Hemp also reduces muscle tension and supports athletic recovery. Not thrilled with the prospect of ingesting Hemp Oil? If so, Hemp Oil tinctures can also be applied topically.

    Best of all, products specifically formulated for joints and muscles tend to also contain powerfully effective botanicals. Since applying Hemp Oil topically bypasses digestive processes, most people using Hemp Oil topicals find they work much faster than capsules.

  • Supporting Healthy Skin Function

    Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil delivers an impressive combination of active cannabinoids and plant terpenes to tissues below the skin’s surface. Current research suggests that phytocannabinoids contain skin-friendly nutrients. They restore balance to processes essential for skin health.

    Hemp Oil skincare products may be your best option if your current skincare routine isn’t delivering the results you want. If you’re looking for a natural product for a wide range of skin concerns, hemp is your best bet.

  • Resolving Concerns About THC Content

    Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil contains trace amounts of THC (0.3 percent or less). Moderate consumption of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil is unlikely to sound alarms during a routine drug test. However, many people don’t feel comfortable ingesting THC in any amount.

    Using a Full-Spectrum topical eliminates the risk of THC detection. With topical use, the cannabinoids don’t enter the bloodstream. That makes topical products the best Full-Spectrum option for anyone concerned about the potential implications of THC consumption.

How Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tinctures and Capsules Work

If you’ve been investigating the virtues of Hemp Oil, you’ve likely concluded that people use tinctures, capsules, and topicals for a wide range of seemingly unrelated concerns. They look to hemp to achieve positive results in physical and emotional wellbeing.

The interaction of hemp phytocannabinoids with ECS receptors produces those results. The ECS (also known as the endocannabinoid system) is the largest regulatory system in the body.

This essential messaging system helps regulate nearly every crucial function in the body, from your emotions to organ function and muscle movement. Current research suggests that the CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and other phytocannabinoids mimic the effects of important ECS messengers. In the body, these messengers relay urgent signals to their corresponding receptors.

Since internal and external factors can increase the need for these messengers, supporting ECS function with cannabinoid-rich Hemp Oil helps restore essential balance. Although research shows that CBD and other cannabinoids in Hemp Oil provide anxiolytic, analgesic, antispasmodic, and neuroprotective potential, individual effects differ.

How Full-Spectrum Topical Creams, Lotions, Serums, and Balms Work

Topical Hemp Oil products work similarly. However, rather than targeting ECS receptors throughout the body and brain, the cannabinoids interact with ECS receptors in every skin cell. This includes receptors that help regulate skin cell formation, inflammatory responses, collagen production, and moisture retention.

Based on laboratory test results, animal-based studies, and user testimonials, phytocannabinoids have the ability to restore balance to essential skin functions. They can address a wide range of chronic skin conditions and even reduce the visible signs of premature aging.

As the cannabinoids penetrate the surface of the skin, they also interact with receptors in the subdermal layers. This likely explains why so many Hemp Oil users report favorable results using topical products for joint and muscle support.

Tinctures capsules and oils

Experience a Potent True Entourage Effect™ With Synchronicity™ Hemp Oil Tinctures, Capsules, and Topicals

Whether you decide to support ECS function with Hemp Oil tinctures, capsules, or topicals, there’s something you should know. Many companies offer hemp-derived products with just one ingredient. That ingredient is CBD isolate, a white crystalline powder comprised of a single cannabinoid.

Although current research shows that CBD has the potential to deliver a wide range of benefits on its own, pure isolate powders have a major disadvantage. They don’t contain many of the plant elements known to contribute to a full Entourage Effect. Most hemp enthusiasts consider products made with Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil far more potent.

The Entourage Effect is a theory that explains how all the elements in hemp work together to magnify the therapeutic potential of the plant. You’ve likely encountered companies claiming that their Full-Spectrum products deliver all the cannabinoids in the same ratios as the original plant source.

However, any company using harsh extraction methods is likely selling “Full-Spectrum” products incapable of delivering a True Entourage Effect™.

For a True Entourage Effect™ from Whole-Plant, Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, visit Functional Remedies to view our collection of Synchronicity™ tinctures, capsules, topicals, and personal care products. While you’re there, consider browsing our blog, reading our FAQs (frequently asked questions), or scheduling a personalized, one-on-one session with one of our Hemp Oil consultants.

Additional Sources About Hemp Tinctures, Capsules, and Topicals:

Physiology.org. A Lingresti. (2016 September 14) From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology.

Healthline. S Ferguson (2019 August 01) CBD Dosage: Figuring Out How Much to Take.

American Cannabis Company. (2019 July 15) How Is CBD Oil Made and Extracted?

Healthline. T Kinman (2017 June 06) Sublingual and Buccal Medication Administration.

Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. T Biro et al. (The Endocannabinoid System of the Skin in Health and Disease: Novel Perspectives and Therapeutic Opportunities.

Project CBD. (2020) Terpenes and the “Entourage Effect”.

Choosing the Perfect Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product

People turn to Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil for a wide variety of reasons. The most common are physical discomfort (40%), mood tension (20%), and sleeplessness (11%). At Functional Remedies, we always stress the importance of choosing the best Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil product/s for your unique needs.

The ideal dose depends on several factors, such as weight, body chemistry, and physical condition. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for how much Hemp Oil you should use to see the best results. However, with a little experimentation, you can find what works best for you.

Just as there are optimal doses for various situations, there are also different methods of delivery. To get the full benefits from your Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil use, it helps to consider what the different products are and how they can work for you. The right product will integrate seamlessly into your day and provide the results you’re seeking. Here’s a rundown of nine of the products we offer and how each option can fit into your life.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #1: Tincture

This is, hands-down, our most versatile product. It provides an easily adjustable dosage, which is especially helpful when figuring out how much Hemp Oil to use. It’s also a great option for those who want to avoid swallowing pills. However, the benefits don’t stop there.

This tincture combines our exceptionally bioavailable Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil with a proprietary oil blend for maximum absorption. People find that it’s the fastest method of delivery. A dropper-full placed under the tongue is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, so you can feel the effects of it right away.

Some people also like to keep Hemp Oil tinctures on hand to boost their well-being as needed. A 2018 study showed that 300 mg of Hemp Oil can significantly reduce a speaker’s anxiety 90 minutes before a high-pressure presentation.

This tincture is also an easy way to add Hemp Oil to your diet. Simply stir a few drops into a morning smoothie, latte, or bowl of oatmeal. Some people find that a low, steady dose of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil throughout the day works best for them. Adding a little of the tincture to beverages, meals, and snacks helps them maintain that level of intake. If you’re interested in adding Hemp Oil to your diet, here are some delicious recipes to get you started.

Our tincture is available in peppermint or berry lemonade flavors. You can also choose a natural hemp variety that has no added flavoring. Depending on your dosage preferences, you can choose either a 500 or 1,000 mg bottle. A single drop from a 500 mg bottle gives you 12.5 mg of hemp phytonutrients.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #2: Capsules

For ease of use, you just can’t beat capsules. With this method of delivery, you won’t have to worry about spilling any of that precious Hemp Oil. Capsules also provide consistent, pre-measured dosing, which is especially convenient once you’ve found the right dose for your unique needs.

Our gelatin capsules contain the same Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil that we put in the tincture. A capsule takes about an hour longer to absorb than the tincture does. However, once you determine how Hemp Oil affects your body, it’s simple to plan your usage to fit your needs.

Some people find that Hemp Oil supports restful sleep, so they take a capsule an hour or two before they go to bed. By the time their head hits the pillow, their body will have absorbed high levels of hemp’s beneficial compounds.

Our capsules are available in 25 or 50 mg doses and in a 30 or 60 count bottle.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #3: Hand Sanitizer With Thieves Oil

In light of COVID-19, the use of hand sanitizers has increased exponentially. Many of us are using more hand sanitizer these days. At Functional Remedies, we felt that the ubiquitous alcohol gel could be improved upon. Not only can the average sanitizer dry the skin, but it also has an off-putting smell. Even worse, the high demand has led to substandard, toxic products hitting the market.

Our hand sanitizer not only contains germ-killing alcohol, but it also has aloe to soothe irritated skin. In addition, it’s enriched with Thieves Oil, an essential oil blend that has been used since the 14th century. The name comes from the claim that this mix of oils enabled thieves to avoid infection during the massive outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe.

While we can’t recommend using this mix of cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oil to support a criminal lifestyle, we’re intrigued by the research surrounding it. Studies suggest that it may be useful against a number of dangerous microbes. Some of the individual oils that it contains have been shown to have an inhibitory effect against stubborn methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Yet another study demonstrates that Thieves Oil also seems to inhibit various forms of Enterobacteriaceae and multi-drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Of course, our main passion is the multiple ways Hemp Oil supports physical and mental wellbeing, and that’s why we’ve also added 500 mg of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to our hand sanitizer. It provides another layer of soothing support as you fight infection.

As an added benefit, the essential oils in the Thieves Oil blend also provides a tantalizingly spicy aroma, making the hand sanitizing experience pleasanter than most.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #4: Body Butter

There’s nothing quite like a lush body butter to soothe dry, irritated skin. Our body butter nourishes dehydrated skin with shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, and a blend of soothing essential oils. Lavender, arnica, orange, and grapefruit essential oils give the butter a fresh, delicate smell. In all, each essential oil was chosen for its soothing effects on the skin.

To this rich base, we added 450 mg of our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, which is rich in phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, terpenes, and a full array of cannabinoids. The research is mounting about how Hemp Oil and CBD can support skin health. If you’re interested in more information about how Hemp Oil interacts with skin conditions such as acne, aging, autoimmune skin disorders, and atopic dermatitis, read our article on the benefits of hemp oil facial cream.

Try smoothing this body butter on rough skin before bedtime, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in the morning. Prefer to DIY? If so, combine our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil with mango butter, essential oils, and shea butter to make a luscious body butter at home.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #5: Body Lotion

For a lightweight moisturizer, our body lotion is your best bet. Use it to incorporate Hemp Oil into your daily skin pampering sessions. Jojoba, macadamia nut, avocado, and watermelon seed oils mingle with shea and cocoa butter to leave your skin smooth and radiant. Skincare ingredients such as squalene and glycerine add even more support for youthful, hydrated skin.

With 1,000 mg of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil per bottle, we recommend that you start by using a small amount. This way, you can get a good feel for how your body responds to Hemp Oil. Some of our customers find that our body lotion fits perfectly into their daily routine, while others prefer to use it periodically, as the need arises.

Our body lotion also comes in a convenient pump-dispensing bottle. Studies show that these types of bottles are the most popular — 67% of lotion users prefer bottles with pump dispensers to tubes, squeeze bottles, and jars. At Functional Remedies, we make skincare easy and convenient.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #6: Body Oil

Whether you’re using it for a deep massage or to slather on damp skin after a shower, this body oil adds luxury to your life. The base of our body oil is organic fractionated coconut oil, enriched with jojoba and sunflower oil. Those with sensitive skin will appreciate the fact that jojoba oil has hypoallergenic properties. Our body oil provides soothing relief for dehydrated skin, especially during the colder months.

Lavender, peppermint, and arnica oil pamper the skin, while vitamin E offers antioxidant protection.

Our body oil also contains 200 mg of Hemp Oil, making it a good choice for people who’d like a smaller dose or to use in combination with other Hemp Oil products. For an indulgent treat, add a little to your bath water to create a moisturizing and relaxing experience. You can also enrich your favorite body lotion with a few drops of this body oil.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #7: Facial Cream

Healthy, hydrated skin is radiantly beautiful, and we meticulously formulated our facial cream to give you that glow. It’s rich with nourishing ingredients, including aloe vera juice, rosehip seed oil, and rice bran extract. Advanced skincare ingredients such as ceramide, lecithin, and rosemary leaf extract give your skin a glowing resilience.

The fragile skin on the face requires extra care, and this antioxidant-rich cream saturates the skin in nourishing moisture. When you factor in the balancing, soothing effects of the 250 mg of Hemp Oil, you have a facial cream that protects and pampers.

Our facial cream can be used at any time in place of your regular moisturizer. However, its restorative effects are especially helpful for supporting the skin’s healing and regenerative processes at night.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #8: Youth Serum

This light facial oil serum contains 100 mg of Hemp Oil and is a great way to add hemp to your existing skincare routine. Argon, sunflower, and rosehip seed oil moisturize the skin. Meanwhile, sodium hyaluronate, rice bran extract, and squalene deliver advanced anti-aging benefits. In fact, studies show that regular use of squalene can boost collagen production.

Essential oils, including lavender and rosemary, provide gentle antioxidant support, while tea tree oil fights microbes.

The light texture of our SynchronicityYouth Serum makes it easy to add Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to your favorite skincare products. Smooth it onto your skin before slathering on your favorite moisturizer. You can also mix it with your favorite facial mask to boost its effectiveness. Here are several recipes for DIY masks that bring together our potent Youth Serum and familiar (yet powerful ingredients) you can find in your kitchen.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product #9: Sports Balm

We know: your sore muscles and joints are crying out for relief. You don’t just want a temporary solution to those dull aches and pains. You want a product that reduces the physical discomfort you feel and promotes the healing you need. Scientific research into topical CBD suggests that it can help do just this. Hemp has been shown to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and peripheral neuropathy, both of which are notoriously resistant forms of pain.

With that in mind, our sports balm contains a potent 2,500 mg of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. So, you can experience optimum benefits even from using just a small amount. Simply rub the balm into the affected area for localized results. Our sports balm includes popular pain-reducing ingredients such as arnica, peppermint, camphor, and menthol.

At Synchronicity™ we’re committed to bringing the best of the hemp plant to you. That’s why we developed our unique LipidTrans™Infusion Process. During the manufacturing phase, we carefully draw out the full array of cannabinoids, phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and terpenes from the hemp plant.

This creates an exceptionally bioavailable product. Many of our customers say that our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products are superior to the standard CBD products on the market.

Our manufacturing process speaks to our love for sustainability. We’re not interested in rushing anything to market. In fact, we spent two decades learning about hemp and studying the science behind its potency. We used that information to inform our work. Today, we offer the most effective Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products in the world.

If you have questions about any of our products, contact us. Join us in the hemp revolution and experience the Synchronicitydifference today!

Getting Enough Sleep: Can Hemp Help?

Can hemp really help you sleep longer and better? The answer is yes — and the science seems to agree. According to a study, participants who took CBD saw their symptoms of sleeplessness decrease by about 4.5%.

Still, considering that it’s something everyone must do, sleep continues to elude many of us. According to the Sleep Foundation, approximately 60% of American adults suffer from insomnia. Forget Sleepless in Seattle: the top five most sleep-deprived cities in America are Detroit (MI), Baltimore (MD), Philadelphia (PA), Cleveland (OH), and Memphis (TN).

In Detroit, more than 50% of the population get less than seven hours of shut-eye at night. Sleeplessness is more than a nuisance; it affects our lives in serious ways.

The good news is that there’s hope if you’re struggling to get enough sleep. Doctors have identified steps you can take to make your nights more restful and your mornings brighter. Here’s what you need to know to give yourself the gift of better sleep.

Why Americans Aren't Getting Enough Sleep

Many factors play into sleep disruption, making the solution to insomnia hard to pinpoint. People can struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep — or both. The cause of these problems could be physical, environmental, psychological, or some unique combination of these factors. That said, the culprits responsible for poor sleep generally fall into several categories.

Medical Causes

Chronic pain makes sleep next to impossible. Physical injuries, heart disease, and restless leg syndrome can all cause wakefulness. Something as simple as heartburn or frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom can also fracture your rest. Sleep apnea is another major contributor.

Meanwhile, many pregnant women experience trouble sleeping at night. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 70% of pregnant women grapple with sleep issues, with sleeplessness increasing in frequency during the third trimester.

Diet and Medications

Something as seemingly innocent as eating a large meal too close to bedtime can keep you awake. And, if you had spicy or fried foods at a dinner party, you’re less likely to enjoy sound sleep that night.

Alcohol may also disrupt sleep. That glass of Chardonnay may make you feel sleepy at first, but it can disrupt the sleep cycle later in the night.

And, what about coffee? Often, work deadlines tempt us to indulge in a cup of java or Starbucks Caffe Latte a little later in the day than we should. Then, we pay for that gamble by lying awake in the dark, staring at the ceiling as the minutes tick by. It’s well known that caffeine is a frequent contributor to sleeplessness. However, prescription or over-the-counter medication can also affect sleep quality.

Not surprisingly, nicotine can also disrupt sleep cycles — a study led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) found that the use of nicotine led to a 40-minute reduction of sleep per night.

Mental Health Issues

Stress, anxiety, and depression are sleep-robbers. And, the vicious cycle continues — a lack of sleep can make all of these conditions worse. People with lower stress levels report sleeping more hours at night and enjoying better sleep quality. In a study, 45% of participants who slept fewer than eight hours a night reported higher stress levels and symptoms of stress, such as anger, irritability, and anxiety.

Lifestyle Choices

We all know we should put our phones away to get better shut-eye, but how many of us check our social media and email accounts in bed? Having irregular sleep schedules doesn’t help, either. Working nights or swing shifts is another sure-fire way to scramble circadian rhythms.

Being overtired is often treated as an unavoidable part of modern life. People like to joke about how much coffee they drink, but the negative impact of sleep deprivation is real. In fact, sleeplessness has been linked to seven of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States, such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

As experts point out, all that missed sleep causes bigger problems than missing that 8 am meeting with your boss. The list of emotional, mental, and physical problems that are caused or impacted by insomnia is astonishing. Below are just some of the negative effects of sleeplessness, as identified by a study exploring the economic burden of insufficient sleep in five OECD countries.

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Being overtired is often treated as an unavoidable part of modern life. People like to joke about how much coffee they drink, but the negative impact of sleep deprivation is real. In fact, sleeplessness has been linked to seven of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States, such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

As experts point out, all that missed sleep causes bigger problems than missing that 8 am meeting with your boss. The list of emotional, mental, and physical problems that are caused or impacted by insomnia is astonishing. Below are just some of the negative effects of sleeplessness, as identified by a study exploring the economic burden of insufficient sleep in five OECD countries.

Physical

  • Physical Pain
  • Increased Inflammation
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Weight Gain
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders

Mental

  • Cognitive Problems
  • Memory Issues
  • Performance Deficits

Emotional

  • Psychosocial Distress
  • Reduced Quality of Life
  • Mood Disorders

Pug dog on bed while woman sleeps in background

The problems don’t end on a personal level, either. Society suffers as a whole, with increased numbers of traffic incidents, industrial disasters, and medical errors. Insufficient sleep also leads to tragedies. Some of the terrible events that have been linked to lack of sleep include the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, Exxon Valdez oil spill, and Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Fatigue precipitated by grueling long shifts led to every single one of these catastrophes.

If that seems tragic, it is. Not getting enough sleep tends to be dismissed as a minor annoyance. However, it’s actually a significant drain on social stability and order. People are literally dying for want of sleep.

Can Prescription Medications Help

Since sleeplessness is such a serious health issue, it makes sense that the medical community would offer solutions. Indeed, there’s a slew of prescription medications available on the market — to help Americans get more shut-eye. The problem is that they don’t seem to work very well.

According to Consumer Reports, some have been shown to increase total sleep by only 20 to 30 minutes, while others only give users a net increase of nine to ten minutes of extra sleep. Meanwhile, some popular sleep aids are wholly ineffective.

In addition, prescription or OTC medications often come with negative side effects such as drowsiness, mental fog, or dizziness. There have even been rare cases when sleep medications precipitated sleep-walking and all manner of strange behavior, such as driving a car without any memory of having done so. For others, sleep medications contribute to memory loss and hallucinations.

Still, another problem is that these sleep aids can be habit-forming. It’s not unusual for people to experience a rebound effect when they stop using them, making it even harder to get the quality sleep needed.

Clearly, we need better answers for dealing with sleeplessness. Fortunately, researchers have identified some key ways to improve both the quantity and quality of sleep. Here are some science-based tips for getting more shut-eye.

The Basics of Better Sleep

Although sleep deprivation can have some serious effects, fixing the problem doesn’t have to be complicated. According to the CDC, changing just a few of your habits can go a long way towards helping us all get better rest. Here are some good places to start.

First, establish a consistent sleep schedule. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day helps the body get used to falling and staying asleep. And yes — this applies even on the weekends. Eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime to give your body time to digest your food and prepare for sleep.

You should also do what you can to make sure that you have a sleep-supportive environment. See what you can change to keep your room dark, quiet, and cool. Light-blocking curtains or sleep masks can cut down on ambient light, while white noise can help muffle disruptive sounds. Some sleep experts recommend keeping the temperature in the bedroom as low as 64 degrees to facilitate better sleep.

Counting Sheep Isn’t the Only Way to Fall Asleep Naturally

It bears repeating: put away the screens. The melatonin-disrupting blue light, adrenaline-spiking news stories, and addictive social media videos can rob you of your beauty sleep. So, set an alert for an hour or two before bedtime. Then, when that alert goes off, put the smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs in time-out until the morning.

Even a little exercise during the day can prime your body for sleep at night. This can be a full, sweaty workout or as little as 10 minutes of brisk walking. Just be sure to avoid working out too close to bedtime. Giving yourself at least two hours to cool off is important.

Last, but not least, channel your inner child and take a bubble bath. Relaxing in a warm tub not only feels great but can also work as a sleep aid. Yes, the warm water raises your body temperature. But, when you get out of the bath, the drop in temperature triggers a cascade of processes in the body that promote sleep.

Studies show that the simple practice of taking nighttime baths can help you fall asleep more quickly, reduce wakefulness, boost slow-wave sleep, and increase your overall sleep quality. For an extra dose of fun and relaxation, add a soothing DIY hemp oil bath bomb to your tub!

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil and Sleep

Naturally, one of our favorite methods of supporting healthy sleep is with Hemp Oil. While studies on how cannabinoids affect sleep are still scarce, a review of clinical trials shows that cannabinoids have a pronounced effect on those with chronic health conditions. They reduce physical discomfort for patients and by extension, improve sleep duration and quality.

Considering the many conditions that contribute to insomnia, it makes sense that tackling chronic pain or anxiety would lead to better sleep.

Interestingly, the review also shows that cannabinoids consistently exert a positive impact on the sleep-wake cycle. Essentially, cannabinoids improve sleep quality and reduce sleep disturbances. Most of the research that’s available focuses on individual cannabinoids such as CBD, which brings up an important point.

At Functional Remedies, we take meticulous care in preserving all the powerful compounds in the hemp plant. There’s much focus on individual cannabinoids, such as CBD, but we developed our unique LipidTrans™Infusion Process to draw out all the different components of the plant, including a full array of cannabinoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Researchers continue to uncover how the different cannabinoids interact with the body, but it seems clear that all parts of the hemp plant are more effective when combined. To read more about this phenomenon, known as the Entourage Effect, click here.

If you decide to try Hemp Oil for sleep support, keep in mind that the tincture is absorbed very quickly, while capsules take about an hour to hit the bloodstream. So, plan your doses accordingly. Of course, another option is to use topical Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. Many people find that applying it to the skin is equally effective. But, what if you could combine topical Hemp Oil with aromatherapy, another natural sleep aid?

Hemp and Aromatherapy for Deep Sleep

Aromatherapy has been a staple of alternative medicine for centuries, and it’s easy to overlook it in favor of more modern solutions. But, that would be a mistake — research suggests that aromatherapy can play a key role in promoting better sleep.

One study looked at using lavender and chamomile essential oils to help patients sleep in the ICU, a setting that breaks just about every sleep hygiene rule in the book. The patients who received aromatherapy showed significantly less anxiety and slept longer. Meanwhile, a meta-analysis of several studies showed that lavender can reduce high blood pressure and anxiety in postmenopausal women.

To deliver the benefits of aromatherapy and Hemp Oil, we created a special topical oil blend, combining essential oils with 100 mg of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. At Functional Remedies, the Lavender Chamomile scent is especially popular. Our roller ball bottles make it easy to get a cooling dose whenever you need a breath of calm. Using hemp aromatherapy as part of your sleep routine is a great way to prime yourself for restorative rest.

The quest for better sleep can seem impossible, but it’s well worth the effort. Without adequate sleep, your wellbeing suffers. Once you come up with a blueprint to improve the quality and amount of sleep you’re getting, you’ll find that the individual steps aren’t too hard. With a little planning and support from hemp, you can get the sleep you need and wake up to a brighter, healthier morning.

For more information about our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Aromatherapy product line, please feel free to contact us.

Hemp for Cyclists: An Unfair Competitive Advantage?

Hemp and cyclists: can the partnership work? Apparently, yes. In recent years, the stigma of using hemp seems to have dissipated. More recently, the Canadian Cycling Magazine touted the benefits of hemp-derived CBD for enhancing muscle repair and healing. Even cycling coaches admit that hemp offers unmatched benefits for sleep and recovery.

That said, the competitive nature of sports often prompts athletes to resort to extreme measures to gain an advantage. We’ve all heard about the steroid scandals in baseball. And, many fans are still reeling from the fact that Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for using performance-enhancement drugs.

And yet, there’s often a fine line between what’s ethical and what gives an unfair advantage. Armstrong’s illicit steroids and blood transfusions left little room for debate. But, what about natural supplements that boost an athlete’s well-being and performance in legal ways?

The question is particularly relevant in cycling-related sports, where endurance, recovery intervals, and conditioning are critical. So, it’s only natural to ask whether Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil gives competitive cyclists an unfair advantage.

The short answer is no. In fact, the Canadian-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently removed CBD/hemp from its list of banned substances. If you’re wondering about WADA’s credibility, more than 600 sports organizations (including the International Olympic Committee) rely on WADA’s anti-doping code to craft drug policies and regulations. Still, given the sensitivity of the topic and the nuances surrounding it, we’ll provide further details below.

Cycling as a High-Risk, High-Endurance Sport

Before digging into hemp and its benefits for cyclists, let’s discuss the sport itself. While hemp can benefit all types of athletes, cycling is a particularly interesting sport to highlight. That’s both because of its strict anti-doping rules and the nature of the sport.

Cycling routinely ranks among the most high-endurance sports in the world, topped only by alternatives like distance swimming, Nordic skiing, soccer, and boxing. That’s because most road races are between 50 and 100 miles long, the high end of which takes professional cyclists upwards of six hours to complete.

An entire day on the bike, pushed to the limits of one’s physical abilities, also introduces a significant risk factor. As muscles begin to tire and attention begins to wane, the risk of injuries and accidents increases. Often, the winners of popular races aren’t necessarily the most powerful athletes — they just possess equal amounts of mental and physical ability. Tenacity also helps.

Combine all of these factors, and you have a sporting discipline that’s not for the faint of heart. Competitive cyclists need to orient their entire lifestyle towards staying in great mental and physical shape, and some turn to supplements for help.

4 Benefits of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil for Cyclists

One of these supplements appears to be getting more attention than others: CBD oil, along with its more complete and comprehensive relative, Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. The cannabinoids and other chemical compounds found in hemp offer a number of natural advantages that are increasingly relevant for competitive cyclists.

The science regarding hemp-based supplements is still developing, however. While each of the benefits below has been substantiated by at least one study, others are still waiting for confirmation of existing hypotheses. Still, the signs certainly point in the right direction, as we detail below.

1) Building Endurance for Long Races

Endurance athletes need to train. They have to spend weeks and months getting their body ready for an important race. Many athletes train for long hours; this means their endurance levels must last.

In recent years, two medical studies highlighted connections between cannabinoids and the energy levels necessary to sustain a hard workout:

  • 2007 study found that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating hormones responsible for stress and energy homeostasis. Thus, adding cannabinoids to one’s daily routine may lead to better energy balance in the body.
  • 2015 study discovered that the so-called runner’s high, a feeling of euphoria and sedation that helps endurance athletes transcend feelings of exhaustion, may be directly related to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. The study, performed on mice, showed positive results when the cannabinoids in Hemp Oil activated cannabinoid receptors in the body. Essentially, the activation of cannabinoid receptors precipitated a significant increase in the hormones responsible for the runner’s high phenomenon.

With hemp, you get an ideal scenario where energy balance-related factors can stave off exhaustion. This leads to better endurance for long practice runs, workouts, and track races.

Cyclists in race

2) Improving Recovery After the Race

As in any endurance sport, workout recovery is just as critical as athletic performance. And yet, a number of factors typically prevent athletes from achieving effective recovery management:

  • Poor regeneration practices
  • Stress
  • Deficiencies in diet

Researchers have studied how the chemical compounds in Hemp Oil exert a positive influence on the above factors. Their work highlights hemp’s positive effects on the recovery process.

2018 review of studies found CBD “effective for pain management, without negative side effects.” Meanwhile, the National Institute on Drug Abuse believes cannabidiol to be a reliable option for balanced mood support. And of course, terpenes, another type of compound found in Hemp Oil, may contribute to enhanced physical and mental wellbeing.

3) Managing the Stress Put on Joints

One aspect of pain management that’s particularly relevant for cyclists is the stress put on the joints from long hours of exertion in a single position. Knee pain, experienced by more than 90% of competitive cyclists, is only one example of this type of issue.

Of course, Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil is far from a wonder drug that magically alleviates joint and muscle pain. However, studies are beginning to suggest that it may be a safer alternative to common NSAIDs like ibuprofen, which (when used frequently) can increase the risk of heart attacks, renal damage, and strokes.

Many are instead turning to more natural alternatives like Hemp Oil. As outlined by Harvard Health, a recent study showed that topical use of cannabinoid applications may decrease physical discomfort, with minimal side effects. Meanwhile, another study demonstrated hemp’s ability to inhibit neuropathic distress. These benefits, if proven by further studies, may make a significant difference in managing joint pain and other common joint stressors.

4) Optimal Resting Ahead of the Race

We’ve discussed energy levels above, but let’s be honest. The single best way to get more energy before an important race — or even before a grueling training session — is to get a healthy night’s sleep. This is another area where Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil may be able to help.

  • 2019 study involving 72 test subjects found that 79% of the patients reported lower anxiety levels, and two-thirds reported better sleep, within the first month of taking a hemp-based supplement.
  • 2014 study found that CBD, a cannabinoid in hemp, improved the symptoms of sleep behavior disorder, often associated with daytime sleepiness and nightmares.
  • 2014 review of studies found that cannabinoids can promote wakefulness, preventing the daytime grogginess that can negatively impact athletic performance.

Beyond these direct results, some of the above-mentioned benefits are also related to this topic. Naturally, effective pain management and improved energy levels can also promote the optimal sleep needed to perform at full capacity on the day of the race.

Hemp for Cyclists: Do These Benefits Provide an Unfair Advantage?

Combine the above points, and the advantages Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil offers in relation to sports becomes clearer. This, of course, leads to the natural follow-up question many competitive athletes may have: Do these benefits provide an unfair advantage for athletes, in cycling-related sports like mountain bike racing and track racing?

The short answer, as mentioned above, is no. However, there’s more to that answer, which is why we want to break it down in further detail.

From an ethical standpoint, the benefits outlined above don’t provide an unfair or illegal advantage. Hemp or CBD products are readily available at department stores, supermarkets, and retail outlets. Both professional cyclists and the general public can purchase hemp or hemp-derived CBD products without a doctor’s prescription.

Unlike opioids or illegal blood transfusions, these products present no health or legal risks. Note: Blood doping or EPO blood transfusions involves the illegal use of the drug erythropoietin (EPO) to enhance the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the muscles.

However, it gets more complex. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD, a hemp phytonutrient, from its list of prohibited substances. Its American-based counterpart, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, promptly followed suit. Crucially, marijuana is still on the list of banned substances, as explained in the Marijuana FAQ published on the USADA website.

Check With the Appropriate Authorities When in Doubt

There’s a gray zone here, however. On the same website, the U.S. agency states that “WADA exempted cannabidiol (CBD) from this category. However, all other cannabinoids, whether natural or synthetic, are prohibited in-competition.”

The website doesn’t clarify whether cannabinoids found in Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil are included in that statement.

With that said, the USADA only prohibits cannabinoids in the human body at the time of competition. Thus, hemp products used for endurance build-up may still be legal as long as they clear the system before the race.

In other words, the rules remain ambiguous. This is, in no doubt, due to quality Hemp Oil products just making their way into the mainstream. When in doubt, always check with your competitive body regarding the rules and regulations. This ensures that you do the right thing, both ethically and within the rules of the competition.

The Reasons Why More Cyclists Don’t (Yet) Use Hemp Oil

The above complexities provide a good explanation of just why more competitive cyclists haven’t yet embraced Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. But, there are other reasons as well, which are important to keep in mind as you consider these products for yourself:

  • While the WADA and USADA have declared CBD legal, they have been explicit that any use is at the athlete’s own risk. That language alone has caused many professionals to stay away.
  • Hemp Oil, while thousands of years old, has only recently emerged as a potential solution for some of the health challenges experienced by Americans. Athletes may be wary, due to the newness of the product and the seeming lack of research substantiating its benefits.
  • Because of the recent advent of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products, it’s difficult to gauge the quality of most offerings on the market. More consistent standards will motivate athletes (and the sports industry in general) to embrace these new treatment options.

Find the Right Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Product for Cyclists

That last point particularly deserves further consideration. Finding the right Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil product is far from easy. Many businesses have rushed to join a rapidly growing industry. However, they don’t always deliver on their promises. Athletes looking into this option must know how to find the right products for their needs:

  • Understand your needs. Anti-inflammatory topicals like body butter make sense for pain management. However, tinctures may be more convenient for sleep and recovery.
  • Understand the industry. Know the differences between Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil and CBD Oil products. Do your own research on the ingredients.
  • Go for transparency. The company you trust should have the backing of medical professionals. It should also offer transparency in supply chain, farming, and manufacturing operations.
  • Look for credibility. Sometimes, credibility is easy to spot. Be wary of outrageous “wonder drug” claims. Choose companies that have established their credibility through third-party testing.

And of course, it never hurts to reach out to Functional Remedies about our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products and to learn more about this potential solution. Contact us if you’re ready to have that conversation!

Is Seasonal Depression Real or a Hoax?

Is seasonal depression real? A 2016 study says that seasonal depression doesn’t exist. And, major publications like Scientific American agree. However, Mark Aloia, a psychologist specializing in sleep medicine, says seasonal depression is real.

The truth may surprise you. Did you know that 60% of those who participate in trials for seasonal depression have NEVER been treated for depression? If so, that may explain the lack of consensus among health experts. In other words, if most sufferers never get treated, it’s easy to conclude that no seasonal modifier for depression exists.

But, ask yourself this: Do cloudy days and the changing of the leaves sap your mental energy? Conversely, do thoughts of summer beaches and spring flowers make you feel better? If so, you may suffer from seasonal or winter depression. There’s even “summer depression” (more on this later). According to the National Library of Medicine, 0.5 to 3% of individuals in America suffer from the disorder.

Seasonal depression is very real.

Not only does the National Institute of Mental Health consider seasonal depression a medical mood disorder, but there’s also a wealth of research — both neurological and psychological — backing up the impact of seasonal changes on our physical and mental wellbeing.

So, what is seasonal depression? How does it impact your brain and body? And, what can you do to help mitigate seasonal depression in your daily life?

What Is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of mood disorder that’s directly related to changes in seasons, sunlight, and weather. For most people with SAD, mood issues are cyclical and come and go around the same time each year.

Generally, these mood changes begin to occur in early August or September and continue until spring. However, there’s a rarer form of seasonal depression called Summer Onset Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) With Seasonal Pattern. It causes mood tension, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite during the spring and summer.

But, don’t most of us get the “winter blues”? Well, sort of. Winter does bring fewer hours of sunlight, which leads to a reduction in Vitamins C and D and other crucial sun-induced chemicals. This biochemical imbalance can cause many of us to feel less perky during the winter months. However, SAD goes well beyond the blues. The symptoms of SAD involve extreme mood changes that can interfere with daily life.

While the scientific community is almost completely in agreement that SAD is a very real disorder, there’s some disagreement on what causes it. A study points to SAD being associated with an extreme biochemical reaction to a reduction in daylight.

However, other research suggests that SAD may have more to do with how some people’s bodies respond to weather changes. Interestingly, there are even studies suggesting that summer SAD may be caused by post-holiday blues.

With so many unique factors converging together, how do you know if you have SAD? What if it’s just the “winter blues” or a post-holiday funk? The key is to understand what the main symptoms of SAD are.

Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

Like many mood disorders, SAD isn’t a one-size-fits-all disorder. You may experience a variety of symptoms when you suffer from SAD. In addition, there are differences in symptoms between summer and winter SAD. However, the most common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • The desire to be alone
  • Oversleeping or undersleeping
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or anxiety

Of course, everyone is unique, and you may have other symptoms related to SAD. The most important distinguishing factor between SAD and other types of anxiety disorders is that the former is related to the seasons. You’ll notice your symptoms come and go at relatively the same time every year, and you’ll likely be able to predict the onset of SAD symptoms quite accurately.

The Science Behind SAD

SAD is a relatively common mood disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 6.8% of U.S. adults suffer from seasonal depression. Furthermore, around 15% of the population suffers from sub-syndromal SAD (mild, non-clinical SAD). So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that there’s a wealth of research about SAD.

Specifically, SAD impacts multiple layers of the nervous system. Levels of serotonin — the chemical that controls mood — are lower in those that suffer from SAD. Our retinas are pre-wired to send signals to our brains when they come into contact with blue light waves from the sun.

This tells the brain to halt melatonin production and increase serotonin production. The raphe nuclei (the serotonin hub) is triggered fewer times during darker months. For some individuals, this lack of stimulation may be severe enough to cause clinically low serotonin levels, resulting in many of the symptoms that arise with seasonal affective disorder.

Additionally, lack of sunlight can cause disruption in the circadian rhythm, interrupt melatonin production, and even cause chaos for our dopamine and norepinephrine receptors. In other words, sunlight plays a critical role in our physical and mental wellbeing, but some people need more than others.

In Iceland, researchers have noticed that few residents suffer from SAD — their resistance to winter depression continues even after they move to new countries. This may be due to genetic wiring that releases adequate hormones and chemicals despite the lack of sunlight in winter.

Combating Seasonal Depression Naturally

We’re nature evangelists. And, we always recommend natural cures before resorting to allopathic medicine. However, extreme forms of SAD may require medication, and if natural treatments aren’t having any impact on you, consider a consultation with your psychiatrist or psychologist.

1) Lifestyle Changes

If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, you may find it challenging to integrate exercise into your daily life. However, making key lifestyle changes is a surefire way to help yourself feel better. The more outdoor exercise you can get (especially in natural sunlight), the less severe your SAD symptoms will be — even if you have to take baby steps at first.

Try to soak up all the sunlight you can during the winter. Even in the smallest doses, sunlight can alleviate many SAD symptoms. Remember, SAD is the result of biochemical imbalances in the body. Studies show that exercise is a powerful deterrent against the onset of SAD — just 20 minutes of daily exercise in the sunshine is enough to reduce the risk of recurrent depression.

In fact, a study of 202 adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) reported that 45% of participants who participated in daily supervised exercise achieved remission. After participating in regular, organized group exercise, they no longer meet the criteria for MDD.

Lifestyle Recommendations to Help You Cope With SAD:

  • Take a walk by yourself, with a friend, or with your pet in the morning or mid-day.
  • Drink your morning cup of coffee on the porch.
  • Open your blinds during the daytime or spend more time on outdoor activities during the winter.
  • Try to get at least 30-minutes of moderate physical exercise five days a week.
  • Consider taking up an active hobby such as sports, gardening, or woodworking.

The main point is to spend more time in the sunshine and more time exercising. You can do that any way you like. Don’t let guilt take over: You don’t need to run, sprint, or lift weights to “exercise.” If that’s your favorite way to get active, go for it. However, if you prefer gardening or taking a walk with the dog, that’s ok, too.

Don’t let the fear of not “going all-in” prevent you from taking those first baby steps or enjoying exercise the way you like it.

We know that SAD can be debilitating. You probably feel like exercise is the last thing you want to do right now. But, we promise it helps. And, once you get started, you’ll be hooked!

2) Dietary Changes

Choosing the right foods is key to not only combating SAD but also improving your overall quality-of-life. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Health experts say that 44 million Americans go on a diet each year.

However, 95% of them fail to achieve their objectives. In other words, dieting is one of the single hardest things you can do.

So, be kind to yourself. If you’re already struggling with low energy and sleeplessness, there’s no reason to jump head-first into a trendy diet that forces you to gorge on raw nuts, tofu, and broccoli scraps.

Start off slow. If you think you’ve been eating too much red meat (which has been shown to exacerbate depression in some people), cut down on those steaks. Does that mean you have to ditch meat altogether? No. Ask Your Body™, and go with what it tells you.

In other words, you don’t have to double up on blueberries, kale salads, and spinach smoothies. Simple changes can make all the difference. Pay attention to the following nutrients when designing your meal plan (or ordering take out):

  • Vitamin B12: Meats
  • Beta-carotene: Carrots, broccoli, peaches, sweet potato, pumpkins
  • Vitamin C: Broccoli, blueberries, peppers, strawberries
  • Selenium: Legumes, beans, low-fat dairy, seafood, whole grains
  • Vitamin D: Fish, sardines, mackerel, liver, egg yolks
  • Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish, flax seeds, nuts, leafy greens

3) Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Believe it or not, Hemp Oil may be your ace-in-the-hole for treating SAD. Beyond the wealth of anecdotal evidence surrounding Hemp Oil and mood disorder treatment, there’s a fair chunk of science backing up its efficacy.

First, your body has a complex biological system known as an endocannabinoid system.

Your endocannabinoid system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as a variety of other microbiological components. In fact, CB1 receptors are the most abundant neuro-modulatory receptors in your body. There are more endocannabinoid receptors in your body than all other receptors combined. So, it’s safe to say that your endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in your body.

From memory to metabolism, appetite, and the immune response, endocannabinoid receptors have been scientifically proven to be critical to physical and mental wellbeing. And, as the name suggests, endocannabinoid receptors respond to cannabinoids — the compounds found in the hemp plant.

In total, there are over 100 cannabinoids present in hemp. Obviously, the two most popular cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two yin-yang compounds get most of the media attention. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” you get from marijuana. Meanwhile, CBD is responsible for the stress reduction benefits of many natural health products. But, those are only two compounds in hemp. There are others, and each of them plays a synergistic role in our bodies.

Person covering face and looking depressed, sitting on leaves in front of brick wall

Hemp and Mood

According to research, Hemp Oil — which contains under 0.3% THC — can play a significant role in controlling mood. Mouse-based research suggests that Hemp Oil regulates serotonin uptake, and human studies suggest that Hemp Oil can help regulate mood. This all happens due to hemp’s interaction with our endocannabinoid system.

Those 100+ phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids) in hemp all play a synergistic role in our bodies. Research on the endocannabinoid system is ongoing, but there’s already convincing evidence that consuming a variety of these cannabinoids (as opposed to using isolates like CBD) creates a synergistic response that brings a wealth of benefits.

If you’re struggling with SAD or another mood disorder, supplementing with Hemp Oil may help alleviate your symptoms. Combined with diet and exercise, Hemp Oil has the very real potential to boost energy levels, reduce SAD symptoms, and help you regain control of your life during those frigid winter months.

4) Light Therapy

What happens when you work during the day when the sun is out? During winter, that’s entirely possible. In this case, exercising in the sun or opening blinds may not do you much good. Instead, consider using light therapy. Lightboxes can mimic sunlight and give your body the sunlight-driven boost it needs to function ideally.

Research shows that even short exposure to light therapy can help relieve mood disorders. In Alaska, artificial sunlight bulbs are a mainstay. After all, the state is famous for its long winters. In fact, residents in Barrow, the northernmost town in Alaska, don’t see the sun for 67 straight days in winter. Alaskans dub lightboxes “happy lights,” which measure at 10,000 lux (intensity of light) at 14 to 30 inches from a user’s eyes.

Are You Looking For The World's Most Holistic Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil?

Hemp is an incredible natural resource that plays a significant role in our biochemistry. But unfortunately, many hemp manufacturers strip the goodness out of their hemp plants through harmful manufacturing, farming, and extraction processes. Don’t get us wrong: CBD offers great benefits. However, taking CBD oil is akin to ingesting fruit & vegetable supplements every morning.

Supplements can help, but are they really better than eating a delicious salad filled with over 100 different veggies? We don’t think so. At Synchronicity, we specialize in cultivating the world’s most potent, holistic, and eco-friendly hemp.

We take that holistic hemp grown with a world-class, gold-standard genome and gently extract our patented Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil using a best-in-class, meticulous LipidTrans™ Infusion Process. Are you ready to experience what hemp truly has to offer? Contact us to join the hemp revolution today!

15 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress & Thrive

The holiday season is almost here. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, heralding the start of festivities that will extend into the first week of January. To many, the holidays are synonymous with happiness, togetherness, and celebration. Whether you look forward to Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, or other holidays, this time of year holds special significance the world over. Yet, holiday stress looms, threatening to derail our collective sense of joy.

Is holiday stress real? By all indications, yes. In 2019, almost 40% of Americans said they would skip the holiday season if they could. Meanwhile, 45.5% of Americans said that shoppers caused the most stress during the holidays. Not surprisingly, parents of young children reported high levels of holiday stress: 27% begin to feel stressed in November!

According to another 2019 study, 88% of people find the holidays to be the most stressful part of the entire year, with 49% of respondents saying that the accumulated stress makes it impossible to enjoy the festivities.

Below, we explore the reality of holiday stress and discuss holistic approaches to help you survive the holidays and enjoy time with your family.

What Causes Holiday Stress?

A 2015 Healthline study found the top three reasons for holiday stress were finances (47%), staying on track with health goals (16%), and selecting the “perfect” gift (15%). In 2020, the world has evolved in complexity, and people are subject to a wider range of stressors than ever before.

Some pain points never change, however. The holidays are expensive. Last year, the average American household spent $942 per person on gifts alone. That didn’t include the cost of holiday celebrations. Personal finances are a concern, and for many consumers, Black Friday adds to holiday stress — flash deals sell out in seconds, not minutes.

From a qualitative standpoint, conflict in interpersonal relationships is a top stressor during the holidays. At its core, stress is an emotional response to tense, dangerous situations. Yet, family get-togethers have a way of eliciting a similar response.

The problems start with travel. Airport delays and highway traffic intensify the holiday rush. Meanwhile, personality clashes around the dining table magnify the stress factor.

We choose friends, spouses, and significant others based on shared values, but we can’t choose our family members. Differences in opinion, especially regarding politics, are unavoidable. Given this year’s highly-contentious election, the 2020 holiday season will be a challenge for families with different political alignments.

For some, stress and anxiety are the product of deeper issues. The end of another year may accent feelings of negative self-worth or a lack of accomplishment. For others, mood disorders come into play. More than three million adults in the United States are diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder annually. They experience overwhelming symptoms during the winter months.

Whatever your challenges, it’s clear that holiday stress affects many. This year, there’s an additional factor to consider.

COVID-19: A New Wrinkle in the Holiday Equation

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic promises to multiply holiday stress across the board. Social distancing measures, coupled with business closures, threaten the holiday shopping tradition.

Family get-togethers are also in peril, due in part to travel concerns and quarantines. A growing number of families are taking a page out of the business world’s emergency response playbook by hosting Thanksgiving dinner over Zoom. However, that brings a new level of stress to the equation. For the first time in their lives, many adults will have to contend with loneliness and isolation this holiday season.

Even if your family is still planning a get-together, COVID-19 has deepened the political divide. Tensions prevail, tainting all social discourse and precipitating a tribalism that threatens unity. The pandemic underscores almost every issue in an already heated political atmosphere.

Notwithstanding the deepening polarization in the country, there’s still hope for reclaiming the holidays.

Americans have always transcended their challenges. As society evolves, new problems inevitably arise. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, your holidays can still be stress-free. Below, we explain how.

15 Ways To Deal with Holiday Stress

In reality, holiday stress is “death by a thousand cuts.” It’s an accumulation of many factors that compound your misery. The silver lining? There are many ways to help you thrive this holiday season. Here are 15 of our favorites.

1. Exercise

The human body was designed to move. According to the American Psychological Association, 40% of people say that exercise makes them feel happy, while 32% say it actively reduces their stress level. Physical health has a cascading effect on mental health; it’s intimately linked to a sense of wellbeing.

Exercise helps the brain release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which promote happiness and contentment. It also helps increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, boosting your energy level, focus, and mental acuity.

With the busy holiday rush, it’s easy to slip into an attitude of complacency. But, staying active can boost your mood and counterbalance increased caloric intake. There’s a reason “get ready for swimsuit season” returns 28,900,000 results in Google — physical inactivity and too many holiday desserts can contribute to (unwanted) weight gain. So, make time for exercise this holiday season. You’ll love the results!

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Food is undeniably one of the biggest draws of the holiday season. With juicy turkeys and decadent pies on the table, it’s easy to over-indulge. Many a diet has been derailed in late November, launching into free fall until the new year.

That’s not to say you can’t enjoy yourself — just indulge in moderation. Make sure delicious, sugar-laden holiday treats are supplemented by lean meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

You don’t have to relegate yourself to tofu and brown rice every day, but a diet rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and omega 3 fatty acids can help the body regulate cortisol production. Eating a balanced diet is a great way to fight stress and thrive this holiday season.

3. Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

For many, alcohol is a key part of holiday celebrations. Whether it’s brandy by the fire or a little rum in the eggnog, there’s something about the holidays that makes the wine flow more freely.

Alcohol is a depressant, however, which makes it a poor stress reliever in the long-run. It also causes the brain to release dopamine. Over time, chronic drinking actually leads to the depletion of dopamine. This results in more cravings for alcohol to reproduce previous feelings of euphoria.

While a glass of red wine can help your heart, managing your alcohol intake helps reduce overall stress.

4. Maintain Healthy Sleep Patterns

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. It helps the body repair damage to muscle tissues and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Being in a state of persistent stress has a real-world effect on the nerves similar to inflammation.

It also has a tangible effect on blood pressure and physical wellbeing. Getting yourself on a healthy sleep cycle allows the body to repair itself. Essentially, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for managing long-term holiday stress.

Hands holding glasses of wine

5. Be Generous

Stress is a survival instinct; it causes us to focus on the inward self and be reactive. The holidays often inspire an altruistic sense of giving, however. Donating material gifts in any form to a charitable organization is one way to give. Volunteering our time is another. The simple act of baking cookies for a neighbor or sending seasonal cards to friends turns our focus outward, breaking us out of survival mode.

6. Take Time to be Thankful

If you do feel the need to turn inward, make sure it’s under the guise of wellness. Taking a moment to focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season can help you realign your point of view. So, practice being thankful this holiday season. It can be an incredible stress reliever.

7. Pace Yourself

If you’re a social person, holiday stress comes from the barrage of commitments the holiday season brings. Between work parties, family celebrations, school functions, and friendly get-togethers, the holidays can elevate our stress levels. To help mitigate anxiety, respect your limitations.

It’s been said before, “The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint.” Learn to pace yourself to avoid mid-December burnout. It’s important for your own wellness that you learn how to say “no” and only take on the commitments you can handle.

8. Plan Ahead

The chaotic holiday rush often increases our stress levels. Engagements fill our calendar, and new ones pop up at the last minute. Going into the holiday season with a plan can mitigate the stress of the unknown. This holiday season, check out the online sales in early November to get a jump on the holiday shopping. With a little planning, your sense of mental well-being will skyrocket.

9. Be Easy on Yourself

Going into the holiday season with a solid game plan can certainly help alleviate stress. But, remember that plans can change due to unforeseen circumstances. While you have to be prepared, you also have to be adaptable. And, if things don’t go according to plan, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Holiday stress is often the result of unreasonable expectations. Forgiveness smooths the waters and helps eliminate tension.

10. Pick Your Battles

When politics or the subject of COVID-19 comes up at the dinner table, as they undoubtedly will, remember that you don’t have to engage with aggressive viewpoints. Pick your battles. The need to be right shouldn’t usurp your mental wellness.

Stress is a fight-or-flight response that’s hardwired into us. Humans are blessed with the willpower and self-awareness to override that dynamic and make purposeful, healthy choices.

11. Take Time for YOU

There will be a million obligations to take up your time and attention during the holidays. Remember to carve out some time for self-care. We all need to recharge our batteries regularly — it’s essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. This holiday season, remember to take a moment to disengage from the rat race, and spend time pursuing activities that refill your bucket.

12. Get Yourself a Gift

The holiday season is a time for giving. After you’ve taken the opportunity to practice charity towards others, be sure to take care of yourself. If you become overwhelmed with a plethora of mixed emotions, get yourself a gift for all your hard work. Think of it this way: the gift will be perfect. No one understands you better than yourself!

13. Look Forward

“This too shall pass.” Truer words have never been spoken. When you stop and take a look at the big picture, the holiday season is only two months out of the year. Once January hits, it will all be over. Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel gives you a positive focal point that helps break you out of a stressful feedback loop.

14. Live in the Moment

No matter what happens this holiday season, remember that it’s a time for celebration. Despite the multiplicity of stressors, unexpected joy awaits. You just have to look out for it. Even in the midst of the chaotic rush, take a minute to step back and relish the pleasure of the experience. Living in the moment is an unmatched feeling and one that can supercharge your joy.

15. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Living a well-balanced life is a natural stress reliever in and of itself. Finding the perfect balance between obligations and personal time goes a long way toward mitigating anxiety.

Sometimes, holistic lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient by themselves. To help foster a sense of wellbeing this holiday season, consider adding natural products like Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to your daily routine.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil is extracted from the entire hemp plant using a combination of gentle extraction methods that don’t alter the purity or strength of the resulting product. Because Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil uses the hemp plant in its entirety, it’s filled with beneficial CBD oils as well as more than 100 powerful cannabinoids, medicinal terpenes, and flavonoids.

Meanwhile, CBD in Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil can help your body handle mood imbalances. It can also alleviate chronic physical discomfort, high blood pressure, and other mood-related disorders. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil can promote calm this holiday season, and it also makes the perfect gift for friends and loved ones looking to reduce their stress levels.

Holiday Stress Relief

The holiday season shouldn’t compound our deepest worries and fears; it should be a time for unity and celebration. While holiday stress can seem overwhelming, a few adjustments can add to your enjoyment of the season.

Synchronicity’s ™ Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil and CBD products are here to help you navigate the busy times ahead. We offer a full line of stress relievers including tinctures, salves, topicals, and aromatherapy products to help you thrive this holiday season. For more information on our full product line, please contact us today.

5 Surprising Facts About Hemp & Heart Health

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before use.

Let’s talk about your heart. It’s an important but not necessarily pleasant topic. Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America. Every year, more than 650,000 Americans die from heart-related health complications. So, what’s the solution to this crisis? Should we look to allopathic or naturopathic medicine for answers? Some of you may even be curious about the connection between hemp & heart health and whether hemp is safe for heart patients.

The world’s deadliest diseases (like smallpox, malaria, and cholera) tend to originate from a solitary cause, but the heart is a special case. It’s both the most complex and vital part of the human body.

There are also many risk factors for heart disease. This can make heart health complicated, given just how many things can go wrong. Add to that the fact that heart medication often has significant side effects, and it’s no wonder that people are looking for alternatives.

To find answers about heart health, we turned to an expert. Dr. Joel Kahn, a preventative cardiologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University, recently became a Functional Remedies ambassador. An author of multiple books and treatises on heart health, Dr. Kahn has seen positive results from using Hemp products for relief. Now, he’s sharing his expertise with us, backed by science and personal experience.

Below, we reveal five surprising facts about hemp & heart health you likely didn’t know.

1) There's a Connection Between Cannabinoids and Blood Pressure Rate

High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for hypertensive heart disease, which causes chest pains, thickening of the cardiac muscles, heart failure, and heart attacks. Blood pressure tends to rise under stress, which is where a potential connection with the cannabinoids in hemp comes in.

In 2009, Brazilian scientists used rats to test this connection. They subjected a group of rats to stressful situations. In response, the rats experienced a measurable increase in their blood pressure and heart rates. Both, however, were lowered after the rats were injected with a dose of CBD, a central cannabinoid in hemp.

2017 study tried to reproduce these results with healthy human volunteers. These volunteers were also subjected to stressful situations. One group of volunteers was given a dose of CBD (the treatment group), while the other took a placebo (the control group). The measurably reduced blood pressure in the treatment group was statistically significant.

These are just two studies, of course. However, they both showed the same thing: hemp, and CBD in particular, plays an important role in lowering the blood pressure and decreasing the heart rate in stressful situations. Given that high blood pressure and rapid heart rates can lead to degenerative heart conditions, the connection between hemp and heart health may be a significant breakthrough if confirmed by further research.

Dr. Kahn, for his part, has seen similar results in his Detroit, Michigan, practice. When his patients use Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products from Synchronicity™, they obtain physical relief from symptoms related to stress. And, given the close relationship between stress and blood pressure, the connection to heart health becomes clear.

2) Hemp May Help Reduce Damage to the Cardiac Muscles

The swelling of cardiac muscles or the inner lining of the heart’s chambers is a serious condition. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, medications, and even autoimmune attacks are the likely cause of the swelling, which (if left untreated) can result in lasting problems and even death.

Hemp, due to a multiplicity of healing compounds, has shown great potential for reducing this type of swelling. The National Institutes of Health, for instance, classify cannabidiol (CBD) as “a phytocannabinoid … with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and chemopreventive” properties. That’s due to a three-step process that occurs when hemp interacts with the human body:

  • The 2-AG endocannabinoid binds with the CB2 receptor in the human body.
  • The immune system sends out fewer immune cells to attack.
  • This tends to lead to reduced swelling and physical discomfort.

When Dr. Kahn Speaks, the World Listens

2011 study on the subject appeared to confirm the positive effects of this chemical interaction. It calls hemp a “prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development” that deserves further study, thanks to its utility in treating a wide range of human diseases and disorders — including chronic heart conditions.

Again, more research is needed to confirm these findings. The human heart is a delicate but complex organ, and a single study may not suffice to conclude that hemp reduces the swelling of cardiac muscles. Still, given its relative lack of side effects (compared to prescription heart medication), hemp is an intriguing find that could result in significant breakthroughs for heart health.

Kahn’s insistence that any product he recommends to patients be supported by science is critical. If “America’s Healthy Heart Doc,” a world-renowned leader in natural and preventive medicine, advocates for Hemp Oil products, it’s worth paying attention. Studies show that low health literacy leads to negative outcomes for heart patients. So, set aside your apprehensions and learn how hemp can help you achieve optimal wellness. Choosing hemp may be one of the best decisions you make in 2020.

3) The Fatty Acids in Hemp May Improve Heart Health

Another, more established way of improving heart health is through omega-3 fatty acids. According to Healthline.com, these fatty acids provide wide-ranging benefits directly related to protecting the most vital organ in your body. These acids can:

  • Contribute to a significant reduction in triglycerides (up to 30%). High triglyceride levels, which can cause your arteries to thicken, are a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • Reduce blood pressure, which we’ve discussed above as another important control factor for heart health.
  • Contribute to the rise of HDL cholesterol levels, which medical professionals maintain reduce the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in your body.
  • Help prevent the formation of blood clots in the heart, and according to one study, provide “early protection against sudden death.”

More Studies Demonstrating the Power of Hemp in Reducing Degenerative Cardiovascular Disease

Woman running barefoot in grassy mountain meadow

And, that’s just the beginning. Other studies also show that fatty acids reduce swelling as well as prevent a build-up of plaque that hardens arteries. A 2017 study by the University of Illinois, using animal tissue, revealed a “cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits.”

Most of these studies, it should be said, have been conducted with fish oil, traditionally the largest natural source of fatty acids. However, hemp is an effective alternative to fish oil, given its similarly high fatty acid contents.

Medical experts like Dr. Kahn now consider Hemp Oil to be one of the world’s healthiest oils, thanks in part to its natural richness in omega-3 and omega-3 SDA. Some have even argued that Hemp Oil may soon replace fish oil as the preferred natural protection against some of the above-mentioned risk factors.

4) There's a Link Between Dietary Supplements and Heart Health

It may not surprise you to know that diet plays a major role in heart health. Specifically, eating a healthy diet is important if you want to protect yourself from degenerative heart disease. Dietary supplements, in particular, play a major role in that process.

Take a look at some of the tips the Mayo Clinic provides for a more heart-healthy diet:

  1. Reduce your portion size but eat more nutrient-rich foods.
  2. Eat more vegetables and fruits, which are natural sources of vitamins and minerals.
  3. Eat whole grains, which are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that regulate blood pressure.
  4. Limit unhealthy (saturated and trans) fats and increase your intake of healthier fats found in safflower oil, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  5. Choose low-fat protein sources like lean meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
  6. Reduce the sodium in your food, ideally to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day.
  7. Plan ahead by creating daily menus that allow you to make realistic changes.
  8. Allow yourself the occasional treat to balance things out and satisfy your occasional cravings.

But here’s the thing: sticking to this exact schedule, without any deviations, can be incredibly difficult. That’s why even the most health-conscious individuals among us turn to supplements to provide some of the nutrients missing from their regular diets.

You’ll want to be careful in the types of supplements you ingest, of course. Some, but not all, are beneficial for your heart. Talk to your medical professional, and you’ll find supplements that work for you.

In his search for natural supplements to improve his own health, Dr. Kahn tried Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil in capsule form. The results were impressive enough that he’s now the global hemp ambassador for Functional Remedies.

5) Hemp & Heart Health: Those Negative Effects You Read About Aren't True

If you’ve done your research on cannabis and ways to combat heart disease, you may have come across some medical research that portrays hemp negatively. You may be surprised to learn, however, that this research is not actually related to hemp.

A 2019 article by the Harvard Medical School, for instance, found potentially significant heart risks associated with marijuana and THC. For example, “people with established heart disease who are under stress develop chest pain more quickly if they have been smoking marijuana than they would have otherwise.”

However, the article makes it clear that these negative effects are related to marijuana, not hemp.

We’ve written extensively about the differences between these two strands of cannabis, of course. It’s true that they are related, but they’re far from the same thing. As one of our scientists explained in a related article,

“They’re two forms of the cannabis plant that are actually very different from each other. That difference is especially apparent in their chemical makeup. The main distinguishing factor centers on a lower proportion of THC and a much higher proportion of CBD in industrial hemp, compared to its marijuana counterpart.”

Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, meaning that the aforementioned negative effects of marijuana don’t actually apply to hemp and Hemp Oil products.

That’s important to keep in mind, as you consider adopting hemp into your daily routine. The risk factors for heart health, from what studies have shown, originate from marijuana, not hemp (as popularly thought).

Leverage Synchronicity™ Hemp Products to Protect Heart Health

The science and evidence surrounding the benefits of Hemp Oil for heart care is still growing. But, it’s important to understand that increasingly, medical professionals like Dr. Kahn have begun to recognize the potential of hemp in treating their patients.

Dr. Kahn specifically was intrigued by a partnership with us because of the quality of our products:

“I was drawn to Functional Remedies because I not only saw phenomenal results using their products myself and with my patients—but the company is also backed by strong science, a team with integrity, and delivers the highest quality products that set the industry standard.”

And it’s that natural element that especially drew Dr. Kahn in:

“Whenever I open a bottle of Functional Remedies Hemp Oil, it makes me feel closer to nature; like smelling fresh-cut grass. I don’t get the same experience with other Full-Spectrum hemp products on the market. Functional Remedies uses a different process of extraction that captures the whole family of compounds that are in this plant and you can tell just by smelling it.”

That whole family of compounds, of course, is what our Synchronicity line of products is all about. Our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products have been refined over two decades, delivering a multitude of benefits that range far beyond what CBD alone can offer.

The cannabinoids, polyphenols, terpenes, and fatty acids in our products work in synergy to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts — creating the True Entourage Effect™ we’re so proud of.

The medical community is still exploring the potential connections between hemp and heart health. However, our products can help in a variety of ways. Contact us to learn more about the types of products we offer, from tinctures to topical solutions, and how they may benefit your life and health.

7 Ways to Safeguard Your Joints as You Age

How important are joints? And, why should you safeguard your joints as you age? According to the Arthritis Foundation, at least 130 million global citizens will contract degenerative joint disease by the year 2050.

They say “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” That’s true in more ways than one. In our youth, the aging process seems gradual and imperceptible. We feel invincible in our 20s, but that doesn’t mean we’ll feel the same 50 years later.

Joints are naturally an important part of the body. Specifically, a joint is where two or more bones meet to facilitate movement.

The cartilage protecting the ends of the bones often degenerate with age. Cartilage consists of connective tissues that reduce friction between the bones during movement. Your body also produces less synovial fluid as you get older. Synovial fluid is the “oil” that facilitates smooth joint movement.

Once the joints stop working optimally, you may feel pain, swelling, or stiffness. Preventative joint care can help you stay healthy as you age. But what, exactly, does that type of care look like?

Below, we explore joint health, explain what happens to joints as you age — and offer tips on how you can keep them healthy.

One note as you begin to read: none of the joint care tips we offer are mutually exclusive. A healthy diet is important no matter your age. So, it’s never too early (or late) to take steps to treat your body (and joints) right.

In Your 20s: Eat a Healthy Diet

Let’s face it: when you’re in your 20s, your diet may be far from healthy. From espresso shots to pints of Ben and Jerry’s, it’s easy to develop poor eating habits.

The good news is that you don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet. Even small adjustments can make a significant difference in your joint health over the years.

The most vulnerable part of your joints is the cartilage that absorbs shocks between the bones, preventing them from grinding against each other. The food you eat in your 20s can help you rebuild cartilage.

Most health experts recommend a range of foods to strengthen cartilage:

  • fruits and vegetables, which provide antioxidants
  • low-fat dairy foods, which contain calcium and vitamin D
  • healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, and coconut oil

Berries, nuts, and oily fish can also accomplish similar goals. And of course, you can always consider a supplement to get the nutrients you need. Be sure to choose one that specifically supports joint health and includes calcium, vitamins C and D, and glucosamine.

In Your 30s: Stay in (the Right) Shape

Many people in their 30s have young children and/or full-time jobs that require much of their attention. They often have little spare time for physical activity.

This means an active lifestyle, previously supported by college sports and other extracurricular activities, tends to fall by the wayside. So, it’s important to take proactive measures to safeguard the joints.

Healthy joints require strong muscles and a healthy weight for support. Too much weight and too little muscle mass, and your joints may be in trouble a decade down the road.

That’s why it’s important to integrate exercise into your daily regime, starting in your 30s. Include exercises that train your core muscles, and don’t skip leg day. Leg exercises are an important part of a whole-body fitness program. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, consider performing simple exercises at home.

Weight training, of course, isn’t the only activity to try. If your job keeps you tied to your desk, be sure to take plenty of breaks to stretch your muscles. This helps avoid joint stiffness. The steps you take to safeguard joint health now can pay big dividends down the road. Low-impact exercises like yoga may also help.

If you’re a woman, your 30s is also the time when you begin to experience joint pain. If your joints are starting to ache, consider topical supplements to help mitigate any discomfort.

Cannabinoids, especially those present in Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, may be an optimum solution. In a 2018 study by The Arthritis Foundation, 67% of 2,600 respondents reported health improvements after using CBD supplements to treat their chronic joint pain.

In Your 40s: Check in With Your Doctor

Regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms, consider seeking medical advice on joint pain, underlying causes, and potential treatments in your 40s.

The most common form of joint pain is osteoarthritis (OA), which occurs when the cartilage in the bones breaks down. While it’s most common in the 60s and 70s (in fact, the CDC estimates that 33% of adults aged 60 and older have the condition), osteoarthritis can also appear in the early to mid-40s.

According to the CDC, 29.3% of adults aged 45-64 were diagnosed with arthritis from 2013 to 2015. Women had more incidences of arthritis than men (26% to 19.1%). In addition, arthritis affected non-Hispanic whites more (41.3 million) than non-Hispanic blacks (6.1 million).

Even if you don’t have osteoarthritis, you may experience joint stiffness. At your annual physical, report any symptoms or physical discomfort to your physician. They may give you some general tips or refer you to an orthopedist for a second opinion.

To prepare you for your doctor’s visit, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Physical therapy to facilitate ease of movement and avoid stiffness
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medication to manage physical discomfort
  • Potential topical treatments, which may include Hemp Oil in various forms, such as tinctures, balms, salves, and lotions

Other and more extreme measures, like cortisone injections or joint replacements, are recommended at later stages in life. However, you’ll want to avoid too many cortisone injections within a short space of time. The build-up of residue from those injections can damage the remaining cartilage.

In Your 50s: Listen Closely to Your Body

At this point in life, your joints will potentially begin to stiffen and wear down. That’s natural, but it’s important to know that you can take some steps to safeguard your joint health at this age. All the above tips, of course, still apply here. Exercise, a healthy diet, and regular check-ins with your doctor remain critical. But, beyond these basic tips, it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you.

Consider your exercise routine, as an example. It’s normal for your muscles to be a bit sore after you exercise. If your joints begin to hurt, however, that may be a problem. As sports medicine physician Dr. Dominic King of the Cleveland Clinic puts it:

“If you get sore after exercise in a way that makes sense for the activity you did, and the soreness easily goes away, you’re probably OK. But if you develop joint pain, it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.”

At that point, you may need to change your exercise routine. Weight training still matters, as we’ll detail below. However, impact-heavy activities, like running or competitive athletics, can pose a problem. Dr. Alexander McLawhorn at Stamford Health recommends low-impact activities like yoga and cycling to keep those joints active and muscles strong without damaging them.

Middle aged man jumping on snowboard

The same is true even with daily movements. A bit of stiffness after sitting down for a long time is normal at this age. If, however, you get stiff after sitting down for just a few minutes, you may need to talk to a doctor.

In Your 60s: Eliminate Unhealthy Habits

At this stage in your life, taking care of your joints is critical. If you want to safeguard your joints, be sure to form healthy habits that provide physical relief. A few of those habits, as described by the Cleveland Clinic, include:

  • Smoking cessation, which you absolutely need to quit to keep your joints healthy. Smoking can increase inflammation in your body and make it harder to recover from injuries. Smoking cessation may be a challenge, but it’s absolutely vital if you want to safeguard your joints.
  • Healthy hydration, including the replacement of soda with water. Your body’s joint cartilage is 80% water, and if you’re not hydrated, your body will pull from that storage, which will damage your joints over time.
  • Healthy eating, as we’ve previously mentioned. The Cleveland Clinic recommends a Mediterranean diet, which consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce physical discomfort.
  • Mindful exercise, including a thorough warm-up and cool-down routine. Without stretching your muscles or joints for at least five minutes, you may overtax them and get yourself in trouble.

The above steps aren’t easy. By this age, you’re pretty well set in your routines. Still, eliminating unhealthy habits can help you safeguard your joints as you transition into your 70s.

In Your 70s: Strengthen those Muscles, but Pace Yourself

In your 70s, you may experience stiffness in your joints. The cartilage that has supported them for most of your life has begun to wear down. First, it’s important to realize that this is absolutely normal and not a sign of bad health. Still, you can do something about it.

As pointed out by the AARP, a few extra pounds can actually be a good thing at this age. The organization cites an Australian study showing that a little extra weight can help you live longer. That weight, of course, has to be carefully managed.

Most importantly, it needs to consist of muscles instead of fat. Being severely overweight is still an issue and will put extra pressure on your joints. Note that, each extra pound you carry translates into four pounds of extra pressure on your joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 90% of those with knee OA (osteoarthritis) struggle with obesity.

In addition, your joints may become increasingly stiff as their water content drops by as much as 55%. You become more injury prone, and your bones become more brittle.

Careful muscle building is the single best way to protect your joints at this age. Talk to an expert about the kinds of exercises you can do to safeguard your joints without overtaxing your body or increasing your risk of injuries.

In Your 80s: Talk to Your Doctor About Potential Treatments to Safeguard Your Joints

As you reach the golden years, joint pain may be inevitable. While a healthy diet still matters, safeguarding your joints is less about exercising (which becomes more difficult) and more about managing pain and staying limber.

Your doctor will have the best medical advice on how to accomplish that. They’ll likely avoid prescribing pain-killing medication unless absolutely necessary. Instead, they’re likely to recommend light physical therapy and topical treatments.

One option to look into at this stage, if you haven’t already, is Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. Tinctures and topical treatments are non-invasive and offer many natural benefits. Talk to your doctor about your options, and educate yourself about how to stay pain-free and limber.

Leverage Synchronicity™ to Safeguard Your Joints as You Age

Joint care is a topic that’s always relevant, no matter your age. In your 20s, you may not think about it much — but the actions you take can make a significant difference later. By the time you reach your 80s, you have to make sure that you get the right treatments to manage your pain and continue moving around.

Regardless of what stage or decade you’re in, it always makes sense to make good choices about diet, exercise, supplements, and topical solutions.

Our joints may change over time, but the underlying science of what they need to support the body typically doesn’t. Follow a plan, and talk to medical professionals to continue protecting your joints as you age.

As part of that journey, you may want to consider adding Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to your daily regime. Available in many forms, from tinctures to balms, its potential benefits are increasingly backed by science. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health received research grants to study the analgesic properties of the more than 110 cannabinoids and 120 terpenes in the hemp plant.

So, don’t wait: start by informing yourself about the facts and myths related to Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. Then, browse potential solutions in our product line. And of course, you can always contact us for questions and more information about the relationship between joint care and Hemp Oil.

Oil Cleansing for Acne-Free, Glowing Skin

Have you tried the 15-minute Tik Tok oil cleansing challenge to get acne-free skin? The good news is that it can work. But, the bad news is that using the wrong oils can do more harm than good.

However, there’s hope: adding Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to your oil cleansing regime can increase your probability of attaining acne-free skin.

By all indications, acne is probably the most common skin condition in the United States. According to the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology Association), up to 50 million Americans struggle with acne annually. That’s about 1/6 of the population.

So, if you long for clear skin, you aren’t alone. In fact, acne is such a concern that Dr. Pimple Popper’s Youtube videos get anywhere from two to three million views each.

However, if you’ve ever struggled with oily skin or blocked pores, you’re probably a little wary of putting oil on your face. For this reason, you use skin cleansers regularly. After all, many commercial cleansers promise clean skin, free from any trace of oil. Even those with dry skin try to avoid putting oil on their face because they’re concerned about clogging their pores.

Still, not all oils are comedogenic or pore-clogging. Different oils affect the skin in very different ways. In fact, using the right oils to cleanse your skin may just be exactly what you need to attain hydrated, smooth, and glowing skin.

Below, we share how you can stop worrying about oil and harness its potential to purify and soothe your skin.

Oil Cleansing for Acne-Free Skin | Why You Should Oil Cleanse

One of the most important ways the skin protects itself is through its outermost layer, called the skin barrier. Also known as the acid mantle, this thin sheet is made up of a mix of protective substances, such as amino acids, natural oils, and the healthy bacteria that make up your skin biome.

This vital shield works to help the skin maintain proper pH levels, protects it from environmental damage, and keeps the moisture balance needed for healthy skin.

Unfortunately, it’s not too difficult to damage the skin barrier. Extremes in temperature, harsh chemicals, dry air, and other environmental assaults can break it down, leaving your skin vulnerable. If your skin sometimes feels raw, tight, and irritated, you know what it feels like when your skin barrier has been compromised. In the winter, biting cold and low humidity levels can further degrade the skin’s protective barrier.

Why You Shouldn't Use Soap on Your Face

When the skin barrier has been damaged, it leads to inflammation and irritation. This compromised condition is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to a number of skin conditions. In fact, skin barrier dysfunction is generally considered the first step in the development of atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Clearly, it’s important to take good care of the skin barrier to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. However, one step that most people include in their beauty routines may instead weaken this protective layer.

Most people use a surfactant, such as soap, to cleanse their faces. Don’t get us wrong: thorough cleansing is necessary for healthy skin. It’s important to remove accumulated dirt, oils, and makeup at the end of the day. However, research has shown that washing with soap and water can disrupt the skin’s barrier function. Even worse, this damage may be cumulative, weakening the skin’s resistance progressively as time goes by.

What Is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is a way of gently removing impurities without disrupting the skin barrier. Instead of using surfactants such as soap to scrub away dirt, potentially breaking down the delicate skin barrier, this method uses nourishing oils to remove buildup without causing irritation.

It’s true that some commercial oil cleansers contain small amounts of surfactants. However, the oils in those cleansers have a buffering effect and can help protect the skin. There are also many commercial products that don’t contain any surfactants.

However, if you’d like to take the natural DIY route, you can easily make your own surfactant-free cleansing oil at home, tailoring the mix to your skin’s needs (more on that later).

The basic concept of oil cleansing centers on the fact that oil can bind to surface impurities. So, when you apply beneficial oils to your skin, they will gently dislodge and bind to impurities such as day-old makeup, sunscreen, and dirt. Then, you can simply wipe away the oil, leaving behind clean, glowing skin.

Historical records show that humans have been using oil to cleanse the skin as far back as 3100 B.C. Before soap came into common use, people relied on oil for cleansing.

Ancient peoples in Egypt would sometimes scrape the oil off the skin with a flat, dull bone blade. This had the effect of cleaning and exfoliating at the same time. Fortunately, oil cleansing is a much easier process in modern times.

How to Oil Cleanse

Simply pour about a tablespoon of cleansing oil into your hand and apply it to your dry skin. Gently smooth the oil all over your face. This not only feels wonderful but also helps lift sunscreen, makeup, and dirt from your face; it can even remove some waterproof mascara.

Take your time with this step, massaging the oil into your skin using small, circular motions. This motion helps dissolve impurities and targets pores that are clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.

After a minute or two, you can remove the oil, along with the dirt and pollutants that were on your skin. If you’re using a commercial oil cleanser with a surfactant, add water to your face and gently rub to emulsify.

Then, rinse off with warm water or wipe away with a soft, wet washcloth. You’ll know if your store-bought cleansing oil has a surfactant because the usage instructions will tell you to add water to remove the oil.

Rinsing After Your Oil Cleanse | Water Temperature Matters

If you’re using a homemade oil mix or store-bought oil without a surfactant, wet a soft washcloth with very warm water. You don’t want the water uncomfortably hot, which can irritate the skin. However, cool water is ineffective in removing the oil completely. So, make your rinse water quite warm.

Still, you should be able to hold your hand comfortably in the water without getting burned. Hold the wet, warm washcloth on your face for about 30 seconds, then rinse it again under the warm water.

Gently wipe the oil away, but avoid scrubbing your skin. If you still have oil residue on your face, rinse the washcloth and repeat the process.

Some people like to use an oil cleanse as a part of a double cleansing regime, a technique popular in Korean beauty routines. The oil cleanse is the first part of the process (to remove impurities), followed by washing with a traditional cleanser to remove every trace of oil. This is helpful if you find that your skin has little tolerance for oil.

However, if you have dry skin, you may find a little oil residue deeply hydrating and soothing.

Oil Cleansing Tips for Acne-Free Skin

Oil cleansing can be beneficial for all skin types. However, to get the best results, there are a few things to consider. First, everyone’s skin is different. While many people find oil cleansing to be the ticket to glowing skin, it may not work for everyone.

Give your skin a week or two to adjust to the new cleansing routine. If you experience breakouts or your skin feels dehydrated (some oils may actually dry the skin), adjust the oils you’re using. If that still doesn’t work, you may want to opt for other cleansing methods.

You’ll also need to figure out how often to use oils for facial cleansing. Dermatologists generally recommend oil cleansing no more than once a day.

Because oil cleansing is such a deeply hydrating way to cleanse the skin, it can be a soothing addition to your evening routine. However, if your skin is very oily, you may want to limit the oil cleansing to every other night or a few times a week. Experiment to see what your skin responds to best.

Finally, the oils you choose will make a big difference in your results. Different oils affect the skin in different ways. Tailoring the mix of oils you use to your skin’s needs can make all the difference in how well your skin takes to oil cleansing.

Woman looking through fingers at camera

The Best Oils for Oil Cleansing | What Oil Is Best for All Skin Types?

Most recipes for oil cleansing are a simple mix of equal portions of two different oils. Some dermatologists recommend starting with one part castor oil, which is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. This oil has antibacterial and astringent properties, which makes it a very effective cleanser. It’s excellent for acne-prone skin, but be aware that it can be drying.

If you find that your skin feels tight or dry after oil cleansing, reduce the amount of castor oil in your oil blend.

Next, add one part of another oil. There are several options to choose from, depending on what your skin type is. For skin that needs extra moisture or anti-aging support, good choices are olive oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, or rosehip seed oil.

If your skin tends to be oily or acne-prone, opt for grape seed oil, jojoba oil, or Hemp Seed Oil. Note that Hemp Seed Oil is different from Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil because it comes from the seed, not the leaves and flowers, of the hemp plant.

Add Essential Oils to Get Clear Skin Fast

Once you have your base oil blend, you can use it as-is or add a few drops of essential oil to boost the potency and soothing effects of oil cleansing. Lavender is a good choice for all skin types.

Roman Chamomile essential oil is particularly good for oily or acne-prone skin. Meanwhile, jasmine is soothing for sensitive or dry skin. Remember that essential oils are potent, and a little goes a long way. Start with just a drop or two. If you have very sensitive skin, it’s probably best to skip this ingredient altogether.

Be sure to use high-quality oils that are made for facial use. Look for organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined oils. And, once you’ve made your mix, store it in an amber glass bottle to protect the antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins in the oil. A dropper bottle is a good way to dispense oil into your hand without making a mess. Be sure to avoid touching the dropper to prevent contaminating the oil.

Boost Your Oil Mix With Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Another powerful way to boost the luxurious nature of oil cleansing is to add Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. The CBD and other beneficial compounds found in hemp can help support skin health in surprising ways.

If you’d like to learn more about hemp’s topical benefits and how it can benefit skin, read our posts on hemp’s anti-aging and anti-acne properties.

In all, adding a few drops of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture to your oil blend is a great way to apply balancing, nourishing compounds to the skin.

We recommend adding Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil to the oil mix in your hand, rather than adding the mix to a full bottle of Hemp Oil. This way you can easily adjust the dose to find what works best for you. Plus, if you find that your oil mixture needs to be calibrated, you can easily make changes without ruining an entire bottle of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil.

Experience the Synchronicity Difference to Get Clear Skin Naturally at Home

Now that your cleansing oil has been super-charged with all the extraordinary properties of the hemp plant, use it as you would any cleansing oil. Take your time and massage the oil into your skin, so the phytonutrients, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and terpenes can soothe and nourish your skin.

At Synchronicity™ we are careful to preserve all the potent, synergistic compounds of the hemp plant. Our unique LipidTrans™Infusion Process gently draws out the powerful components of the hemp plant without damaging them. This enables us to create a bioavailable oil that provides a wide spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, and other health-supporting substances.

We’ve been following the science of hemp and what it can do to support vibrant health for more than two decades, and we truly believe that our products deliver the very best that hemp has to offer.

Take a look at our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil line of products and see what they can do for you. For more information, feel free to contact us. Have you tried a facial oil cleanse? If so, share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook.

10 Essential Online Resources for Mental Health

How important is mental health? Type the phrase “online resources for mental health” into the Google search bar, and you’ll get 988,000,000 results. Overall, mental health impacts our ability to develop positive habits that promote physical wellbeing. Thus, its importance can’t be over-emphasized.

That said, it’s not without irony that the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed 2020 The Year of the Nurse in January. At the end of Q1, March came in like a lion, bringing with it the scourge of a viral pandemic.

There’s general agreement that 2020 will go down in history as a watershed year. A Google search for the phrase “2020 has been a difficult year” nets an astounding 1,860,000,000 results.

Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the wellbeing of global citizens and devastated the economies of nations. Consequently, millions find themselves struggling with mental health challenges.

Fortunately, there are many online resources for mental health that can offer necessary support and assistance during these trying times.

Understanding the Six Components of Mental Well-Being

Before diving into our list of online resources for mental health, it helps to define the elements of positive psychological well-being.

Doing so can help us identify deficiencies in mind, body, and spirit at any given point in time.

The six components that contribute to positive mental health are:

  • Autonomy: A positive sense of identity is an essential ingredient in mental wellbeing.
  • Environmental Mastery: Going with the flow and refusing to be a victim of circumstances empowers the self.
  • Life Purpose: Rejecting flawed belief systems and pursuing a fulfilling life establishes a strong sense of purpose.
  • Personal Growth: Taking on new challenges creates a sense of excitement and strengthens the spirit.
  • Positive Relationships: Developing positive relationships creates opportunities for practicing affection, empathy, and intimacy.
  • Self-Acceptance: Acknowledging one’s humanity is undoubtedly critical to mental wellbeing.

Why Our Mental Health Suffers

However, just knowing which factors contribute to mental distress is only half the picture. It also helps to know what causes our mental health to suffer. As you may have guessed, a combination of factors may contribute to reduced mental wellbeing:

  • Biological Conditions: Chemical imbalances in the brain can negatively affect one’s mental health.
  • Experiences: Current stresses as well as memories of childhood abuse can carry lasting consequences.
  • Genetics: Unquestionably, family history matters. Having family members with anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder increases your own risk of mental health issues.
  • Isolation: Not surprisingly, prolonged periods of isolation can negatively impact mental health.
  • Medical Conditions: Dealing with chronic health problems can lead to despondency and increased stress.
  • Substance Abuse: Excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs negatively impacts both physical and mental health.
  • Traumas: Traumatic brain injuries may lead to mood tension and depression.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic malaise, we find three of the above factors —experiences, isolation, and medical conditions — dominating the national conversation on health and wellbeing.

Additionally, news headlines continue to highlight increased substance abuse during this period, making four of the above seven factors likely candidates for contributing to declining mental health among the general population.

Your Guide to Online Resources for Mental Health

Has COVID-19 increased your feelings of isolation? Fortunately, the Internet keeps us connected to the rest of the world.

Of course, entertainment zones like Netflix and online shopping platforms like Amazon have their place. However, those seeking more meaningful assistance also find the Internet a valuable resource.

Below, we offer a list of the top 10 online resources for mental health. The good news is that many of these mental health resources are free, which is particularly helpful for millions of unemployed workers experiencing financial hardship.

1) ADAA

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is a global non-profit organization. For more than four decades, it has been “dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research.”

The ADAA website offers more than 19,000,000 pages of helpful information related to anxiety and depression. In addition, more than 1,800 ADAA professionals provide valuable information in the form of blog posts, web content, and webinars.

Unquestionably, the ADAA website remains one of the leading online resources for mental health. As a matter of fact, it receives over 11 million web visitors each year.

In particular, there are extensive sections on the following mental health topics:

ADAA also offers a monthly newsletter (“Triumph”) which features additional resources, new data, and updates about anxiety, depression, and co-existing disorders. The newsletter also provides helpful tips for coping with these disorders.

Finally, and perhaps most important of all, is the Anxiety and Depression Forum, where you can meet others facing similar struggles. Knowing that you aren’t alone can be an invaluable aid in your healing.

2) APA

APA (American Psychiatric Association) is one of the best online resources for mental health. It also offers a national directory of psychiatrists. Note, however, that the directory is an opt-in service, so it isn’t representative of the actual number of psychiatrists working in your area.

Generally, the APA doesn’t offer referrals to psychiatrists, but the website can help in your search for one.

Of greater value than the online directory is the extensive library of mental health topics that offer in-depth information about issues such as:

As you can see, this partial list of mental health topics is particularly relevant to those affected by the pandemic. Each section offers blog posts, FAQs, news links, and other resources. In light of COVID-19, information is updated to keep abreast of new healthcare trends and developments.

3) GLBT Near Me

According to a Reuters report in March 2020, gay and transgender individuals have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population. This is due to the fact that this group also has a higher risk of cancer and HIV.

These illnesses frequently weaken immune systems, consequently making members of the GLBT community more likely to contract COVID-19.

At GLBT Near Me, you’ll find a massive database that offers a collection of more than 15,000 GLBT resources, including the closest youth groups, support services, and community centers.

For more accurate results, use category filters like:

  • Bars
  • Clubs
  • Bookstores
  • Businesses
  • Community Centers
  • Health
  • Hotline
  • Legal
  • Political
  • Recovery
  • Seniors
  • Sports
  • Youth

This organization offers two distinct hotlines for its clients. Specifically, the GLBT National Hotline serves people of all ages, while the GLBT National Youth Talkline is specifically geared towards individuals who are 25 years of age and younger.

The organization’s tagline says it best: “If there’s nowhere else to turn, you can turn to us.” For privacy purposes, the National Hotline website offers a link that immediately transports users to a blank page in the event someone walks in unexpectedly.

4) Help Yourself Help Others

This website offers a self-screening service for individuals or military personnel and their family members. Help Yourself Help Others lets you take a mental health “snapshot” to reveal thoughts and behaviors that may be associated with a treatable mental health conditions.

If you’re experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, consider completing the online assessment. Or, you can dive into screenings for specific issues, such as:

Finally, as the title of the website indicates, you can also help those you care about. If you’re worried about the well-being of a close friend or family member, complete the “Stop a Suicide” screening process. You’ll learn how to recognize the symptoms of suicidal behavior and how to begin a conversation with a loved one about getting help.

5) MedlinePlus

Another government organization offering information relevant to COVID-19 and mental health concerns, MedlinePlus provides statistics and research related to mental health. It begins by explaining the importance of mental health in every stage of life and then proceeds to describe the various mental disorders from which our society suffers.

Structured like a road map, the website can be used to identify challenges and find effective solutions for them. Of course, any section that doesn’t apply can be skipped. Both internal and external links offer the opportunity to follow specific paths of interest.

The outline of your journey is laid out as follows:

  • Start Here: Provides links to general information about emotions and how they affect your health
  • Diagnoses and Tests: Provides links about mental health screenings and what they entail
  • Related Issues: Provides ancillary support for improving mental health
  • Specifics: Offers guidance for anger management, loneliness, and self-esteem issues

One man comforts another

  • Statistics and Research: Helps you stay current with medical advances and practices
  • Clinical Trials: Offers information about clinical trials related to mental health concerns
  • Journal Articles: Discusses the latest studies in the mental health field
  • Find an Expert: Offers links for services in the mental health industry
  • Miscellaneous: Provides additional links for:
    • Children
    • Teenagers
    • Women
    • Seniors
    • Patient Handouts

6) NAMI

In operation for more than 40 years, this is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization in operation today. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) began in 1979 when a small group of concerned families gathered to discuss and develop strategies for raising awareness and increasing support for individuals with mental health conditions.

There are two ways to reach out to NAMI:

  • Telephone: Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST
  • Email: Send an email to [email protected]

NAMI provides a nationwide peer-support service that’s entirely free and offers information, resource referrals, and support to people affected by mental health conditions. This includes patients, caregivers, mental health providers, and the general public.

Those seeking more online resources for mental health are encouraged to visit the HelpLine Online Knowledge and Resource Center, which offers an extensive library and FAQ section.

Note that NAMI doesn’t provide advice, mental health counseling, advocacy services, or referrals to health providers or attorneys.

7) National Council on Aging

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), 25% of seniors experience some form of mental disorder, including depression, anxiety, and dementia. In light of COVID-19 and due to quarantine rules, many seniors are experiencing more of these symptoms.

Fortunately, the NCOA website offers ideas, strategies, and solutions.

For 70 years, the NCOA has been successfully advocating for the rights of American seniors. In the area of behavioral health, the NCOA provides the following resources:

  • Advocacy: In 1965, the NCOA supported legislation to establish Medicare and Medicaid programs. Today, the organization continues to advocate for seniors by lobbying to protect key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Collaborative Leadership: The NCOA has helped form senior support systems like LeadingAge, Generations United, and the National Institute of Senior Centers.
  • Economic Security: The NCOA founded the Senior Community Service Employment Program in 1968 and Senior Hunger Initiative in 2014, two of many valuable programs to assist seniors in staying financially independent.
  • Healthy Aging: The NCOA organized the Health Program Institute in 1990 and the Better Choices, Better Health program in 2009, which promotes self-management of chronic conditions.
  • Innovative Services: The NCOA supported the founding of Meals on Wheels, developed the Foster Grandparents model, and continues creating new programs to enrich the lives of seniors and their communities.
  • Senior Centers: In 1963, the NCOA formed the National Advisory Committee, which focused on establishing quality senior centers across America. Today, the organization remains active in supporting senior centers.

In the area of mental and behavioral wellness, you can view previous webinars by NCOA speakers and learn about other behavioral health programs for seniors. You can also browse the Resources Library, which contains over 2,500 documents on a variety of mental health and social topics.

8) Office of Minority Health

A subdivision of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services since 1986, the Office of Minority Health attends to the needs and concerns of minority groups in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on July 24, 2020, that certain racial and ethnic groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Add this information to the fact that many minorities face other inequities — in the workforce, economy, and social sphere — and their risks of contracting the virus multiplies.

A quick overview of the website reveals six important sections:

  • Cultural Competency: Dedicated to accessible care and services for people of diverse languages, beliefs, and practices
  • Knowledge Center: Provides an online library and opportunity to sign up for a newsletter
  • My Health: Provides access to MyHealthfinder, which offers personalized health tips based on age and gender.
  • News: Highlights healthcare trends that affect racial and ethnic minorities
  • Population Profiles: Provides information on diverse demographics and statistics on racial or ethnic groups
  • Spotlight: Focuses on COVID-19 news as it pertains to racial and ethnic minority groups

9) Office On Women's Health

As a subsection of womenshealth.gov, the Office on Women’s Health offers a mental health section geared towards the needs of women. The website is divided into six major sections, each of which is filled with relevant and helpful information about:

The website’s mental health resources page offers two more directories of external links: one for government services and another covering general mental health information.

10) SAMHSA

A branch of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, SAMHSA is an acronym for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It provides a wealth of information concerning physical and mental well-being.

The organization operates 24/7 year-round and offers a toll-free national helpline (1-800-662-HELP) in both English and Spanish. SAMHSA specifically focuses on helping individuals and families struggling with substance abuse or mental disorders.

While SAMHSA doesn’t offer counseling services, it can direct you to local organizations and treatment facilities that do. All of its services are free of charge, which is especially helpful for individuals who are under-insured or have no health insurance. In addition to booklets and guides you can download, SAMHSA can also help you find treatment for:

Other national helplines SAMHSA operates 24/7 include:

In 2017 alone, SAMHSA received more than 800,000 calls from people seeking help. Unquestionably, that number has increased significantly in 2020.

Secure Your Mental Health With Synchronicity's Exclusive Line of Products

Finally, you may already have some excellent mental health resources on hand, especially if you’re using our Synchronicity™ Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture and CBD products.

Not sure about hemp or CBD? Research shows that quality CBD products like our Synchronicity™ Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture can ease mood tension. Meanwhile, another study from 2010 concluded that CBD can ease the symptoms of social disorders.

We certainly aren’t advising you to toss out your prescriptions which contribute to your mental wellness. However, we recommend consulting your primary care physician before adding CBD or hemp products to your daily routine.

Presently, many of our customers find that hemp enhances rather than interferes with their prescriptions. While more studies are needed to establish hemp’s therapeutic efficacy, the high number of positive anecdotal experiences from our customers indicate that hemp contains properties that promote mental health.

If you’ve experienced an enhanced level of mental wellness by using our products, we would love to hear from you. Be sure to share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook!