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Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

Lately, Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil has been making headlines for its therapeutic effects. But many are wondering what the hype is all about. Simply put, CBD naturally aids and nourishes the body’s Endocannabinoid System. Though you’re likely unfamiliar with it, this biological system is found inside all of our bodies. So instead of introducing synthetic substances that oftentimes involve side effects, CBD interacts naturally with the body’s systems.

The Endocannabinoid System

Despite its integral role in maintaining a healthy and balanced body, many are unfamiliar with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and what it does. This biological system is an important communication network. It’s composed of cannabinoids (naturally occurring chemicals) and receptors throughout the body. Additionally, more and more scientific research is beginning to show the vital role the Endocannabinoid System plays in supporting various vital biological tasks. This may include the regulation of appetite, mood, memory, immune function, energy, and sleep patterns.

Dr. Vincenzo di Marzo, Research Director at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council in Italy, has been studying the Endocannabinoid System for over 20 years. As one of the world’s leading cannabinoid scientists, he explained, “The endocannabinoid system so far is the only endogenous system of chemical signals that is involved in everything.”

The system’s widespread impact may be due to its overarching goal of homeostasis. In other words, the ECS is activated to help keep things functioning just right.

Endocannabinoid system creates balance

Cannabinoid Receptors

The Endocannabinoid System is comprised of cannabinoid receptors located all throughout the body. They were first discovered within the human body by scientists in the 1990s and are found on almost all vital organs and immune cells. Type 1 (CB1) are found primarily in the brain, central nervous system, connective tissues, and related organs. Type 2 receptors (CB2) are found in higher concentrations in the immune system and related organs. These cannabinoid receptors work much like a lock and key. They respond to our environment and thus, in turn, initiate various changes in response to said stimuli. 

Cannabinoids

If the ECS receptors are the lock, then cannabinoids are the key. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger various physiological actions. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which help with cell growth, inflammation, and regulating the nervous system. These endocannabinoids stimulate key receptors to help balance responses in the body. Certain endocannabinoids, such as Anandamide (aka the bliss compound) and 2-AG, are integral to our mental function, stress management and immune health.

Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, and Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most widely known. However, 85 other phytocannabinoids have been identified. These chemical compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system functioning. They boast many therapeutic benefits and when cannabinoids work together these benefits are greatly enhanced. This synergy, found in Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD is referred to as the “entourage effect.” It’s also why we recommend whole plant CBD products over CBD isolate.

Maintaining a Healthy Functioning Endocannabinoid System

No matter what function the ECS is playing throughout the body while performing its different tasks, the goal is always the same: homeostasis. So supporting your body’s Endocannabinoid System will benefit your overall health and well-being. There are several ways you can promote a healthy functioning Endocannabinoid System.

  1. Exercise
  2. Reduce Stress
  3. Daily CBD Supplement
  4. Sleep
  5. Healthy Diet

With a variety of CBD products available, individuals can choose a product that fits best with his or her lifestyle and personal needs. Similar to taking a multi-vitamin, a daily CBD supplement is a simple way to support the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids and give your Endocannabinoid System a boost. Maintaining a healthy ECS, in turn, results in an overall healthier you. 

Cheat Sheet

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS): A network of receptors spread across our body that help regulate homeostasis across all other major body systems

CB1: ECS receptor primarily found in the brain and central nervous system

CB2: ECS receptor primarily found in the immune system and related organs

CANNABINOIDS: Key to unlocking ECS receptors throughout the body. Two types of these naturally occurring chemical compounds

ENDOCANNABINOIDS: Natural cannabinoid found within the human body

PYTHOCANNABINOIDS: Natural cannabinoid found in the hemp plant

CBD: A major cannabinoid found in Hemp plants which has no psychoactivity but plays a major role in supporting health and wellness, and promotes homeostasis

THC: A major psychotropic cannabinoid found in high amounts in the Marijuana plant that can get you high but also has several medicinal benefits

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Stress and Overwhelm: 5 Natural Products that Help

Most of us know what it’s like to feel stressed and overwhelmed by everyday life. And many of us struggle to make time to do the things that can help relieve the symptoms. Exercise, diet, and relaxation can play a prominent role in reducing stress and overwhelm. Not just physically but mentally as well. There are also many natural products that humans have used for centuries to help ease symptoms of stress and overwhelm.

1. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are herbs, plants, roots, and mushrooms that help you ‘adapt’ to emotional and physical stress naturally. When we’re physically or mentally stressed, our bodies go through what’s known as GAS – General Adaptation Syndrome. When you’re experiencing GAS you go through 3 stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Adaptogens work by helping you stay in the resistance phase longer so you don’t crash in the middle of an event, crisis, or task. In other words, adaptogens help you keep going when you need to the most.

2. CBD

For starters, let’s take a look at how CBD works on stress. See, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and our ECS helps regulate things like our mood, memory, metabolism, appetite, sleep, stress levels, and immune function. Studies have shown that CBD appears to reduce our stress response which means it’s a great option for stress and overwhelm. Something to keep in mind is that the benefits of CBD will build-up over time so making it a daily habit is key! The more consistent you are with it, the more likely you are to benefit from an overall feeling of calm, balance, and a centered mind. With this in mind, we created a line of proper lifestyle CBD products that give you plenty of options to suit your needs. Shop our products here >>

3. Valerian

Valerian is an herb that’s been used for centuries to help with nervousness and sleep disturbances. Known as “nature’s Valium”, valerian is one of the most widely recognized natural remedies for sleep disorders and inducing feelings of tranquility. Valerian can be taken as a tea. However, the scent can be off-putting to some individuals, so capsules and tinctures may be preferred.

4. B Vitamins

Sometimes dubbed “happy vitamins,” B vitamins can help improve energy and reduce stress levels. A deficiency in B vitamins can include symptoms like irritability, depression, fatigue, and erratic mood which can make your stress levels spike. So how do you ensure you’re getting enough B vitamins? Eat a well-balanced diet that includes foods like meat, fish, fruits, veggies, dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, etc. However even with a well-balanced diet, deficiencies can still happen, so there are also lots of B vitamin supplements you can incorporate into your regimen.

5. Chamomile tea

There are countless health benefits to chamomile. Due to its relaxing effect, chamomile is a great natural resource for those managing feelings of stress and overwhelm. In fact, one 2016 study indicated that long-term chamomile use safely and significantly reduces moderate symptoms associated with stress. It also aids in digestion, relaxes muscles, and can help encourage sleep. And while it is most commonly consumed in tea form, chamomile capsules can be just as beneficial in reducing anxiety.

As always, Proper Hemp Co. recommends discussing any new supplements or medications with your doctor before beginning a regimen. 

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10 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress And Overwhelm

We’ve all heard of the negative effects long-term stress can have on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Chronic stress throws the body out of balance and can wreak havoc on the body and mind. It can lead to exhaustion, depression, weight gain, sleep disruptions, and eventually disease. The good news is there are countless ways you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating even a few of these simple stress reduction suggestions into your daily routine can have profound effects on your overall health and happiness.

1. Exercise

I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on this list. The positive effects exercise has on our physical, mental, and emotional health is well known, yet many of us don’t do it enough or at all. An easy way to change that is to start small – for example – your starting goal can be to exercise 1-2 times a week. What does exercise mean? Whatever you want it to mean, but we recommend choosing something that’s fun for you. At Proper, we getting out in nature for a hike with our dogs. If that’s not your thing or you don’t have access to trails, you can start an online fitness program. It can also be as simple as a 20-minute walk once a week. The point is to start small and increase the frequency and intensity of your exercise regimen to keep you challenged and motivated.

2. Listen to music

Music is a powerful tool in lowering stress. Turning on your favorite tune can do wonders for boosting your mood and overall well-being. In fact, some studies even show that music has the ability to increase pain tolerance. So go ahead, blast your favorite tune, or for a more calm experience, play slower, ambient music.

BONUS- Dance it out to your favorite song and get your heart rate up.  

3. CBD Supplements

Incorporating a daily CBD supplement is a great addition to your wellness regimen. There’s a growing amount of research that shows that CBD can help reduce stress and overwhelm. CBD supports your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) by providing balance. Wonder why that matters? Your ECS plays an important role in regulating your mood, digestion, brain function, immune system, and more. When CBD interacts with your body’s ECS, the sensation is an overall feeling of calm and balance. Proper Hemp Co.’s CBD products were created to support your body’s ECS the proper way! Our organic hemp extract (the foundation for all our products) is carefully processed to retain hemp’s superpowers AKA hemp’s naturally occurring chemical compounds like cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, lignans, and phytonutrients.

4. Meditate

Anyone can practice meditation and it won’t take you long to reap the benefits. If you’re new to the practice, guided meditation apps are a great place to start and many have free plans. We’ve been meditating for a few years now and still love to use our meditation app. When starting out keep in mind that meditation gets easier and better the more you practice. The key is patience and consistency. Start with an achievable goal and you’ll be reaping the benefits of a quieter and calmer mind in no time.

5. Laugh

Laughing ranks as probably one of the last things we want to do when we’re stressed to the max. (Because really, what’s funny about feeling like you’re on the verge of snapping?) But science has shown that laughter can boost your immune system and lower blood pressure. So take a few minutes out of your day to watch hilarious YouTube videos, put on your favorite comedy, or read a funny book.

6. Create a morning routine

Starting your day off right can set the tone for the rest of the day. Doing something as simple as making your bed means you’ve accomplished the first task of the day. Once you complete that first task it’s easier to complete more. Start small with a single change you’d like to incorporate into your morning routine. Whether you choose to kick your day off with a quick morning yoga practice, lemon water, or a walk around the block, creating (and sticking to) a morning routine can help you be more productive and lower stress levels.

7. Write it down

For some, getting our emotions out can be extremely therapeutic as it provides an opportunity for self-reflection. While consistent journaling is often the most effective, even sporadic writing that goes into detail about your feelings and thoughts surrounding stressful events can help reduce the stress you’ve been feeling. A gratitude journal is another option that has been shown to help increase optimism and emotional resilience, and therefore overall wellbeing. The simple act of writing down three things you’re grateful for each day will cultivate gratitude and result in a greater sense of happiness.

8. Take a nap

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your physical health and result in a myriad of health issues, lead to depression, weight gain, decrease sex drive, and more. Now for most of us, taking a quick afternoon nap at work is not an option. But even if you can’t fit a 20-30 minute power nap, you can still do it on weekends. Schedule in a little extra shut-eye midday on Saturday and Sunday, then strive to get the recommended 7-9 hours during the workweek. Some quick tips on how to set yourself up for that deep and restful sleep during the week- cut back on screen time an hour before bed, take a sleep aid, write a quick to-do list for the next day so your mind is clear, and lastly, create a dark, cool environment in your bedroom.

10. Talk to someone

Sometimes venting and simply getting things off our chests can really help. Whether it’s a good friend, a counselor, or a family member, spending time talking and empathizing helps us bond with others. Try setting a timer for 5 minutes and rant to a friend about what’s causing stress in your life. After those 5 minutes ask your friend to help you redirect your focus to the positives in the situation and action items. This will help lift the heaviness by giving you a different perspective on your issues and also help you make changes when needed.

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The Entourage Effect

Did you know the hemp plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids? While Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most known cannabinoid, it isn’t the only beneficial part of the hemp plant.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

The hemp plant contains many different elements–terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and, of course, cannabinoids. While each cannabinoid has its own unique benefits, they are especially powerful when working together – synergistically. This creates what’s often referred to as the “entourage effect.”

Holistic health has long touted the benefits of “whole plant medicine”. This concept encourages the use of all the ingredients found in plants rather than isolating specific ingredients or parts of a plant to create products. By retaining the compounds in their natural state we get a multiplying effect. The elements work to amplify one another, resulting in a more effective product.

Breaking it all down

Cannabinoids are like the key to unlocking the receptors of the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). These chemical compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system functions and trigger various physiological actions. 

Flavonoids are found in plants and are present in many foods we consume daily. These compounds give plants (including hemp), fruits, and vegetables their color. They also work with Terpenes to produce flavor in plants (like hemp), fruits and vegetables. There are approximately 20 flavonoids found in hemp. They’ve been shown to have several health benefits due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Terpenes are another group of natural chemicals and are what give plants and fruits their distinct smell. With over 100 different terpenes found in hemp, these aromatic oils have been shown to aid cannabinoids (like CBD) in passing through the bloodstream easier. And while they play an important supporting role to the other elements of the plant, terpenes have their own therapeutic effects, including the calming effect they have on the body.

How this affects CBD products

To enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect, you’ll want to look for full and broad-spectrum CBD products. These two types undergo fewer processes in the extraction process and retain all the natural compounds found in the hemp plant (cannabinoids, flavonoids, oils, and terpenes). The difference between the two lies in the cannabinoid THC. Full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, while broad-spectrum CBD products–like those offered by Proper Hemp–contain zero THC in their formulas.

Proper Hemp Co.’s broad-spectrum CBD extract is made up of 85% cannabinoids. Of this 85% cannabinoid content, CBD makes up 90% of the cannabinoids present. We preserve all of the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids and synergistic compounds. This includes cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), and over 40 naturally preserved terpenes. 

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Nip it in the Bud: Common Misconceptions About CBD

With a variety of products ranging from skincare, food, supplements, elixirs, and more, CBD is, well, everywhere! And while the market continues to grow, there are still a lot of unknowns and misconceptions about CBD. Here are a few of the most common myths about CBD.

#1 CBD will get you high

Though CBD and THC are both well-known cannabinoids with several similarities, they do affect your mind and body differently. THC can get you high to an intoxicating level, while CBD cannot. US-grown hemp, used in CBD products, contains less than 0.3% THC, while cannabis can have up to 30% THC in it.

#2 High doses of CBD are better than low doses

Just like with everything else, your body’s unique chemistry will determine which dose is best for your unique needs. Dosing is affected by factors like weight, metabolism, health, and product quality. When looking for a CBD product, look for a formula that is full or broad-spectrum rather than one that is high in milligrams. Full and broad-spectrum formulas are rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and cannabinoids which work together to help your body absorb CBD better. 

BONUS – Nanoemulsified CBD products, like most of our products, are up to 5x’s easier for your body to absorb making them more effective than standard CBD formulas. This means you need less of our product to get the same results.

#3 All CBD is safe

CBD is a new industry and new laws that regulate the safety of CBD products are being passed on a state level. With different levels of protection in each state, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind to make sure you’re selecting CBD products that you feel safe and confident about. So what’s the easiest way to look for a reputable CBD product? 3rd party lab testing. When looking for a CBD product make sure you can access the product’s certificate of analysis or COA. COA’s are lab tests performed by an independent 3rd party that test the contents of CBD products to make sure there are no heavy metals, pesticides, or residual solvents. Proper Hemp Co. uses good manufacturing practices (GMP) to ensure that all of our products are made with consistency, safety, and control quality standards. Our products are then tested by a third party to ensure accuracy and safety.

#4 Single-compound, CBD Isolate is best

CBD Isolates are just as the name suggests–CBD that is isolated from all other cannabinoids. During the extraction process, all cannabinoids and additional plant compounds (oils, flavonoids, terpenes) found in hemp are removed leaving the purest forms of CBD. While the benefits of cannabinoids can be experienced individually, CBD works best when the natural compounds in the plan are left intact. The cannabinoids, oils, flavonoids, and terpenes found in the hemp plant work together in harmony to help your body process and absorb the most out of your CBD product. This is known as the “entourage effect”. This is why whole-plant CBD products–both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum formulas–are recommended over CBD isolate.

#5 CBD makes you drowsy

Although CBD does have calming and relaxing properties when used correctly, CBD should not make you drowsy. If you feel drowsy after taking CBD, your dose may be too high. Try cutting your dose in half and keep reducing your dose until you feel balanced and calm, not drowsy. Got a question about dosing? We’re here to help! Call us at 888 760 6653, or shoot us an email [email protected]

#6 CBD will show up on a drug test

Drug tests screen for THC, which a lot of full-spectrum CBD formulas have trace amounts of. Although the amount of THC found in full-spectrum formulas isn’t going to get you high, trace amounts of THC can build up in your system with daily use and have the potential of showing up in drug tests. An alternative to this is broad-spectrum formulas like Proper Hemp Co.’s products. Broad-spectrum formulas have all the same benefits as full-spectrum formulas with one main difference – there is no THC. The absence of THC means it won’t show up in drug tests.

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7 Facts About Proper Hemp Co.

As CBD continues to grow in mainstream popularity, the number of CBD companies–and products–continues to grow as well. So how does one choose? Below are seven facts you should know about Proper Hemp Co.’s CBD and why we’re a safe and great choice for you.

1. Proper Hemp CBD is made with broad-spectrum CBD

Proper Hemp CBD products are broad-spectrum. This means we retain all the natural compounds found in the hemp plant that create the beneficial “entourage effect’ when consumed.

Our broad-spectrum hemp extract has 85% Cannabinoids, of this, Cannabidiol (CBD) makes up 90% of the Cannabinoids present and includes cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), as well as over 40 naturally preserved terpenes.

2. CBD with zero THC

We preserve the full-spectrum of non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids in our products. So we’re THC-free around here. While many CBD products still contain the legally allowed 0.3% THC content in their products, we remove all traces of THC. Although 0.3% is a trace amount, when consumed daily, this trace amount can build up and potentially show up on drug tests. For that reason, our products are a great option for anyone that has concerns around this. 

3. We make products that work!

At Proper, effectiveness is of the utmost importance. This is why we spend the bulk of our time researching and meeting with labs and manufacturing facilities to learn about the safest and most effective production methods available. Today, we use cutting-edge nanoemulsion technology, that allows us to reduce the size of the CBD particle to a nano-size which is easier for your body to absorb. In fact, this increases absorption by roughly five times than formulas that are not nano-emulsified.

4. Co2 Extraction Method

While there are a few means for extracting CBD oil from the hemp plant, Co2 extraction is the preferred method for producing pure, potent, safe CBD oil. This extraction method preserves the hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the hemp plant, which creates the most complete form of CBD extract.

5. Natural + effective products

To ensure our products are exemplary, we are meticulous in selecting only the highest quality ingredients, using organic hemp US grown. Proper Hemp Co. products are all-natural, formulated without mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, urea, DEA, TEA, or phthalates.

6. We stand by our products

We believe firmly in the quality of our lab-tested, cruelty-free products, and stand behind them. You can access our certificates of analysis here >

7. Sustainability

We’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible. We do this by using glass bottles that can be recycled, metal lids for our bottles, vegetable ink for our boxes, and our product boxes are made with hemp cardstock. If you look closely at our packaging, you’ll notice the small specks of tiny hemp fibers. Since it only takes 100 days to grow hemp (versus the 100 years it can take to grow the timber to make cardboard), we knew from the beginning we wanted our packaging to be just as natural and eco-friendly as our products themselves.

Proper's recycled hemp packaging

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FAQs About Proper CBD Infused Coffee

Combine two of the most powerful plants on the planet for a cup full of antioxidants. Proper CBD Infused Coffee takes away the morning stress and post-coffee jitters.

In fact, caffeine happens to be a very good carrier molecule for CBD and increases its efficacy. The CBD helps to modulate the negative aspects of coffee such as the jitters or crash. It also reduces the acidity, which makes it much easier on the gut for a lot of people. Proper Hemp’s CBD Infused Coffee by Doma really is a high-quality dose of CBD that retains all the benefits of CBD, made better by the delicious delivery system. Keep reading for the answers to a few frequently asked questions about this delicious product.

How much CBD is in each cup of coffee?

An average cup of our infused coffee, if brewed according to instructions with 10 grams of coffee per 6-8 ounces of water, yields about 15 mg of CBD. We played with dosage quite a bit to find the right dosage for the amount of caffeine in the beans. We like to drink two cups in the morning. With about 16 ounces of water and 20 grams of coffee, these two cups yield about 30 mg of CBD.

During the infusion process, we also dose up the CBD by about 20% of what is advertised to make sure that customers are getting a solid dose. That’s why our bags test above 600 mg per bag.

Does the CBD get diminished from the boiling water?

In actuality, the hot water is required to release the CBD from the bean. This is why we don’t recommend using a cold brew. Using water just off the boil, 195-200 degrees, to brew your coffee is optimal. We prefer to use a french press to brew our CBD infused coffee, though some like a Chemex type pour-over. Both options work well with a stainless steel filter. Avoid using paper filters during the brewing process since paper filters can capture and trap the CBD.

If the beans are infused and not coated in CBD oil, how is that process done?

The infusion process is a proprietary one that our infuser has been perfecting for almost five years. (This and the fact that DOMA Coffee is a premium coffee, are two big reasons for the cost). Within 48 hours of DOMA roasting the beans, they are transported from northern Idaho to our infuser in Colorado. The process is complex but essentially, heat is used to express the oils from inside of the freshly roasted beans. Then Proper’s broad spectrum CBD extract is introduced. Once the beans cure, the CBD is pulled back into the bean with the natural oils.

How long do the beans last?

We recommend using our CBD Infused Coffee within six months. However, we’ve used coffee that we infused over 15 months prior and it was shockingly good. (The coffee snobs in us were pleasantly surprised!) Something curious happens post-CBD infusion as it increases the CO2 off-gassing in both duration and amount. What we have found is the off-gassing keeps the beans fresher, longer, because it continually drives the flavor degrading oxygen out of the bag’s valve.

As demand has increased, we are now preparing to roast and infuse every month to a couple of times a month. That means we’ll be getting batches to customers and retailers within a few weeks of roasting to maximize freshness.

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