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How Green is Costa Rica? Cannabis and conservation in the land of ‘Pura Vida’

My goodness I have learned a lot on this trip.  It has been amazing to learn how Costa Rica is becoming a pioneer in using renewable and clean energy to power their country. Using primarily hydroelectricity and wind power they have been able to  power their electricity for 300 days this year on renewable energy alone.  By 2020 they aim to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world. In addition to investing in and using renewable energy there are also programs that encourage Farmers to plant trees instead of cut them down and these farmers are than compensated for growing trees .  This not only offsets the carbon footprint but also creates ecosystems and habitats for Native wildlife . However when it comes to human Wildlife Conflict, for example Jaguars and pumas eating cattle, the government does not have a Compensation Program in place and this causes  problems  for people in rural areas who depend on their livestock to earn a living .  This was a problem I also studied in Kenya and Tanzania where rural farmers and herders are not being compensated for  livestock and crops lost to wildlife and therefore retaliatory killings of predators is a common and unfortunate outcome. For this reason better compensation programs need to be put in place to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Speaking of human-wildlife conflict, in speaking with one of the locals in Monteverde it was explained to me that there is a small group of eco-conscious individuals who are trying to do away with the annual Christmas festival fireworks, because they argue that it is traumatic for the animals and they flee the surrounding forests taking weeks to return. She admitted that the festival brings the town together and brings much joy to the children, and while the parade is noisy with all of the drums, it’s really just the fireworks display that they would like to see desist in the future. And she makes a good point, many of the animals in the area ate nocturnal and very sensitive to sound and I’ll get those firework booms scare the shit out of them, but again the local wildlife isn’t often taken into consideration when planning the annual fiesta de navidad.

20181205_124556I noticed that recycling is encouraged and made easy with recycling facilities located throughout towns. And while I did see (but not use) some straws, I also noticed that some, not all, were indeed compostable and biodegradable. Also.  Biodegradable is toilet paper! For this reason, and because it clogs their sensitive sewage systems, toilet paper is not throw in the toilet, but instead in the trash. Which I admit is a really hard habit for folks from the USA to break, but when you think about it it’s a lot easier to process waste when there’s not a bunch of soggy toilet paper in there. I also did still see litter along the side of the road and on the sidewalks but was pleased to see that the wildlife Reserves, parks and hiking trails were mostly free of litter but I did still pick up whatever I saw. And one thing that I noticed is that everywhere in the world people throw their beer cans along the side of the road. Grrr.

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Coke bottles and beer cans

As for cannabis, on my first Uber ride from the airport I asked the driver what the deal with weed was in Costa Rica and he explained that while it is illegal, there is a sort of accepted tolerance for it amongst authorities and there is certainly a market, albeit a black market for it. According to several people I asked,  police won’t arrest you for it they’ll just tell you to put it out. Howe ver its important to keep in mind that how police treat Ticans (locals) is probably different than how they treat tourists, so on the popular coastal town, its best to use caution when procurring pot. I was told the weed would be shit down there and I saw 2 different stashes, and while one was about what you’d expect from non-legal weed, (brownish, with seeds) the other nugs looked like they came straight from a Colorado dispensary, I was impressed! And let me tell you, both got me high. I do so love being a weed tourist wherever I go.

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Sloth IronWoman Challenge and Toucan Rescue Ranch

It all started with an email. An email from Toucan Rescue Ranch announcing the 4th annual Sloth Ironman Games. My initial reaction was, “How cool! They are hosting an Ironman Games at the Ranch! I’d consider doing that.” Then upon reading further, I realized, no, its an Ironman Games FOR the sloths. Well thats even more epic. Apparently its a fundraising campaign they do to celebrate International Sloth Day on October 20th and it’s a week of 4 different sloths ‘competing’ against each other in 4 sloth inspired games, including the 1 meter dash, hibiscus eating contest and the adorable poop off. (I highly encourage you to check out these videos by following Toucan Rescue Ranch on Facebook and Instagram, you won’t regret it.) Anyway, I was certainly amused by that and absolutely looking forward to it, however I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of doing my own Sloth IronWoman challenge as a way to raise money and awareness for sloths. At this point I’d already booked the trip and the marathon in Costa Rica, so I had the hardest activity planned. Or so I thought. After thinking long and hard about what events I wanted to tackle, I settled on climbing, running and….zip lining. 44629761_10155622654106993_1277123991642832896_n                       Fuck ya. So in October with my best friend Tessa and my dog Lucky Duck, I climbed the Iron Nipple, a 13,000 ft mountain in southern Colorado. That was no easy climb let me tell you. The snow was deep and the rocks were..well, rocky. But it was an absolute adventure and I’d do it again for the sloths! A month and a half later, I find myself running 40 kilometers through the Cloud Forests of Monteverde, climbing never ending hills, slipping and sliding down a vertical muddy..I’m not even going to call that a trail..jogging through the jungle and small Tican towns, sloshing through rivers, again..for the sloths. Because sloths can’t run for themselves! 7 hours and 22 minutes later, I could officially say the second challenge of the Sloth IronWoman Games was accomplished. (This run was also the final race of my 7 month International High Five Challenge, but that’s a whole other blog.) 2174F-042So the climbing was done, the running was done, now came the fun part…zip-lining through the canopy where I could get a sloths eye view of the cloud forest and boy was it exhilarating. Opting to go for the SuperWoman zip line at the end, I hurtled face first into the clouds and once i got over the fear of crashing head first into a tree, i allowed myself to look down and soar over the trees as the wind and the mist kissed my face. As cliche as it sounds, all i could do was sing, “I believe I can flyyyyyyyyy”. Like, how can you not when your literally flying through the air. And of course I didn’t slam into a tree, instead a very skilled and flirtatious guide gracefully brought me in safely and got me out of my squirrel suite harness. Nobody said zip-lining was sexy.

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With the zip line course done, I could officially say that I had completed the Sloth IronWoman challenge. Now all that was left to do was go see these sloths that I was running, climbing and zipping for. Obviously because I was visiting Costa Rica, I HAD to book a tour at Toucan Rescue Ranch, which is convienlty located a cheap Uber ride just northeast of San Jose. On the final day of my trip, I got to see a puddle of sloths, a peeing sloth, a basket of 5 week old baby sloths, a sloth eating a green bean, sloth high school, sloth preschool, a sloth thats afraid of the rain and a solitary three-toed sloth. Ya, it’s as magical as it sounds. I also got to see toucans, a tayra, Mexican Hairy porcupines, a kinkajou, a miniature version of a honey badger (they also didn’t give a fuck) and an otter that likes to play with tourists and butterflies. There were also birds of prey, Amazon green parrots and macaws and spider monkeys oh my! As a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center, Toucan Rescue Ranch’s primairy goals are to release animals back into the wild and to educate children, park rangers, tourists and even the police force about the importance of conservation and keeping animals IN THE WILD. While they have some permanent residents who cannot be relesed due to injury or affinity for humans (such as previous pets and hand raised orphans), many of their animals get the proper care they need to recover and can be returned to the forest at the TRR Release Site. They also have a breeding program for Keel Billed Toucans and several owl species and have successfully released several generations back into the wild.  It’s truly amazing and important work that they do and I am immensely grateful to everyone who donated to TRR and supported me on this challenge.

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A basket of baby sloths
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Sloths doing cute sloth things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leading up to my trip to Costa Rica,    I upped my fundraising promotion by creating a Running for the Sloths page on Facebook where people could donate directly to Toucan Rescue Ranch. With a goal of $300, I was thrilled to see that goal surpassed thanks to donations from friends, family, strangers and anonymous donors alike. I figure if I’m going to do these crazy adventures, I may as well do them for a cause, for a reason. Because it’s not like I run for fun. So by tying it in with a charity, I can be doing these things with purpose, and the great memories and experiences are certainly an added perk 😉 But also, this is a way to get people involved in creating a better world. A world with more sloths! A world where people give more to charities than they do to Starbucks and Netflix, where $5 here to save the trees, $10 there for clean water access, $50 for humanitarian efforts across the globe, where people openly give as they are able. And people can show their support and their commitment without running 40 kilometers through the jungle. Im just saying, thats how committed I am to healing the planet, but folks can do it from home by simply donating to any of the various charitable organizations that I have ran for since June including Polar Bears International, Surfrider Organization, Lakota Way Healing Center, Humane Society, Elephant Crisis Fund and Toucan Rescue Ranch or any cause that is near and dear to your heart. I enjoy challenging myself, I enjoy adventures, and I enjoy exploring and healing our planet. I am excited to see where 2019 will take me and what else will inspire me! As always, thank you for following along on this journey. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay high!

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And finally, a peeing baby sloth.

The Adventure Begins

IMG_20181204_165439_400So, why you ask am I running 26.1 miles through the Costa Rican jungle this weekend? For fun? No, not really. Because sloths can’t run for themselves that’s why. Because someone needs to say “hey! Pay attention! Sloths need saving and I’m willing to do what it takes to save them!” My goal is that by committing to these crazy athletic adventures, people will take notice of what I’m doing and the causes I’m doing it for, like raising awareness about the plight of sloths and polar bears by doing marathons and half marathons respectively. If you would like to support what I am doing without getting out of your chair, you can donate to any of the various organizations that I run and adventure for. This month, my focus is raising money for Toucan Rescue Ranch and The Sloth Institute as well as educating people about the importance of rainforest protection. And sloths. You can donate via Facebook on my Running for the sloths fundraiser page. I’m so close to reaching my goal and with your help, I just know we can achieve it. Do it for the sloths! And follow along on my rainforest journey and Stoner Safaris over on Instagram @highcoachlia. Lots of fun, mostly true facts about Costa Rican wildlife coming at ya. Off to the Cloud Forest tomorrow!! Cheers friends!

That time weed put me in the ER…

So mary-jane and I got into our first fight. For the first time in over 5 years, we had a disagreement, it got a little violent, I ended up in the ER, and I realized I needed to re-evaluate my relationship with her because obviously it was no longer healthy. Wait, what! A stoner confessing that weed made her sick! No one wants to hear or admit that, especially when you love cannabis as much as I do and especially when you see how amazing of a medicine it is. But just like anything, too much of a good thing can be harmful, and I learned that the hard (and expensive) way. Let’s back up to the beginning shall we?

Long story short, I have been doing a lot of energy work and self reflection since turning 30 this past summer and some of the side effects of that can be physical. For example, after running a half marathon and taking a sacred hike in the Black Hills at the end of August, my body (violently) let me know that I could not longer eat red meat, like steak, after a lovely birthday dinner with friends. Not entirely by choice, I have been mindful to not consume large amounts of meat since then. Another example is, my body no longer tolerating the same amount of cannabis that I had been previously consuming. 3 weeks after being in the ER with the steak incident as I call it, I was once again wearing a hospital gown reporting similar symptoms, frequent vomiting, stomach pains and nausea, lethargy and relief when taking very, very hot showers or baths (for me, CBD baths of course). Well all of those, especially that last one, are symptoms of something doctors are calling cannabis hyperemesis, aka, ‘weed sickness’.  Trust me, when the doctor said that, if looks could kill, he would have needed CPR. No stoner wants to hear that their ganja, their medicine is what’s making them sick. And you definitely don’t want to be told you have to lay off it for a month when your in pain and nauseous in the hospital. Yet this was the second time in a month that I ended up in the ER, in need of fluids, so maybe it was worth doing a little more research. I concluded that the doctor is not wrong. (He doesn’t know why he’s right, but that’s because they don’t teach the endocannabinoid system in medical school. anyway)

Basic anatomy lesson, all humans a other mammals have an endocannabinoid system, one giant puzzle inside of us. It’s found in our brain and throughout our body in what are called CB1 and CB2 receptors (among other things). It regulates everything from temperature to mood to appetite to memory function. Its ultimate goal is to bring the body to homeostasis, which means balance. You can remember that because there’s OM in it. (I just realized that myself). So we have this system, this puzzle, and we produce puzzle pieces to keep it running smoothly, we call these endocannabinoids (endo-body, cannabinoid). When we do not create enough of these puzzle pieces to complete the puzzle, our bodies and minds struggle, with diseases like epilepsy, alzheimer’s, and mood disorders to name a few. In these cases, introducing external cannabinoids, those found in plants, primarily in the cannabis plant, can serve as replacement pieces to complete the puzzle. That is why epilepsy, cancer and senior patients respond so well to cannabis oil treatment. By consuming cannabinoids they are rebalancing their body and mind. Cannabis is pretty much like meditation in plant form. Anyway, cannabis works great when there are missing puzzle pieces. But what about when the puzzle is complete, all the pieces are in their place, everything is running smoothly, but you just keep trying to add more puzzle pieces. You’re going to mess up the puzzle dude. And that exactly what I did. I was consuming more than my system needed or could process and it ended up making me sick. Like, really sick. And in hindsight, I had been sipping on the vape pens and taking mad dabs for a while leading up to it. So I admit, I was abusing my relationship with Mary-Jane, and therefore I needed to re-evaluate my consumption habits. So, mostly due to being really sick, I didn’t smoke for 3 days, and then I had a little edible, and then i had a little bedtime bowl and that seems to be working nicely. I even had a small post workout dab, and that was fine too. I feel it’s healthy to take a look at habits now and then to make sure that they are still serving their proper purpose, and if they’re not, adjust them accordingly. Again, it doesn’t mean I have to quit weed forever, heck I didn’t even quit for a week (she’s literally my longest relationship) but lowering my tolerance and consuming less is allowing me to re-develop an appreciation for my medicine.

So if you ever find yourself with persistent, violent vomiting followed by hot showers, and you’re convinced it’s food poisoning or a blocked intestine, or a sensitivity to cheese.. I recommend you hydrate, take electrolytes, go to the ER if you must (usually a good indicator that it’s time to go to the ER is when you repeatedly ask yourself if you should go to the ER. but get ready for the bill. stupid hospital bills) and lay off the weed for a couple of days. When you start back up, start low and go slow. It’s amazing what even a short break can do for your tolerance. My single evening bowl gets me high as a kite and its lovely. The takeaway from this is 1. Our endocannabinoid system is really important and we have to properly take care of it, just like the rest of our body 2.It is possible for weed to make you sick 3. Don’t panic, hydrate, stop dabbing and try higher CBD strains instead. Remember, our goal is to stay happy, high AND healthy. That’s what I call hOMeostasis.

Let’s Talk Plant Medicine. Part 1

Nature will always be our best medicine, whether that be physically getting out in nature to detox and destress amongst the trees, as the Japanese do with their forest bathing, or using the unique components that make up so many incredible plants and animals to create cures for countless ailments. But not everything has to be smoked or put into a pill in order for us to consume and receive the benefits of mother nature. Currently, the topic of ‘plant medicine’ is trending, so I want to take a moment or two to go over exactly what that means and detail 5 of the more common herbal remedies that are popping up in wellness aisles everywhere, as well in your local dispensary in 1906 New High Chocolates!

Ashwagandha –  What is it? It’s a berry producing plant in the nightshade family found in India and China as well as Nepal and Yemen too!

Whats its good for? It’s an “adaptogen,” for starters, meaning that it can help your body manage stress, so that’s good. Its been shown to lower blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol, boost brain function and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression and memory loss. Ashwagandha also helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells and tumors aka it kills cancer.

How do I take it? Capsules found at your local Lucky’s Market or in 1906 High Love chocolates, an arousing blend of dark chocolate, cannabis and stimulating herbs. Oh la la!

Fun fact! “Ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse”.

Cannabis What is it? Colorado’s state plant and everyone’s favorite medicine.

What is it good for? THC, CBD and the number of other cannabinoids found in cannabis have a plethora of benefits for body and mind including stress and anxiety reducing, pain relief, anti-fungal, promotes bone growth and brain health, makes everything better, also a known cure for cancer, anti-epileptic, I think you get the gist. Our body has an endocannabinoid system and when the body does not create enough endocannabinoids, they need to be supplemented by cannabinoids, found in, you guessed it, cannabis! Which is why cannabis has proved to be such an effective treatment for a variety of ailments. So again, if cannabis legalization is on the ballot in your state, please vote yes! Make it medical, make it rec, make it accessible, make it legal!

How do I take it? Literally, however you want. Smoke it, dab it, vape it, eat it, put it in your…wherever. Lotions and tinctures are ideal for folks conscious of getting too high or smoking. Take a trip to Colorado and check out a dispensary and you will see all the ways in which you can consume cannabis. Also found in a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD in all 1906 Chocolates.

Fun fact ! Only female cannabis plants produce those big beautiful buds that we love to smoke, the the whole plant has cannabinoids and can therefore be used as medicine from leaf, to bud to stems.

Corydalis – What is it?  It is a pretty flowering plant and the root is used for medicine.

What is it good for? Known in traditional Chinese medicine to be good for fibromyalgia and pain relief, it is almost as good of a pain reliever as opium, without any of the negative and addictive side effects. Particularly good for chest, abdominal and menstrual pain. Cool!

How do I take it?  Teas, capsules, supplement section at Lucky’s Market and often times as part of an herbal concoction including a variety of other plant medicines. Also found in 1906 Midnight chocolates for a less earthy way to consume. Sweet dreams!

Serious Fact!  NEVER take during pregnancy as it is a blood vitalizer and can be fatal to the baby.

Fun Fact!  I don’t know how to say this word…

Magnolia BarkWhat is it?  Bark from a kind of tree in China.

What is it good for?  A number of things including anxiety, stress and depression, headaches and inflammation, menopause, protects against cancers, helps sleep…sounds like a good plant to me.

How do i take it?  Any number of ways that are available in the supplement aisle of your local health food store, and also in 1906 Calm chocolates. Don’t you feel better already?

Fun Fact! When magnolia bark extract and ginger extract were combined and given to mice, it had antidepressant effects on the mice. Then again, i’m not sure how you test that the mice are depressed in the first place. Maybe Mouse #42 was just having an off day.

TheobromineWhat is it?  Chemical compound found in the cacao plant.

What is it good for?  It’s a vasodilator, so good to get the blood pumping and noted to get blood flowing to chilled hands and feet as well as the brain and inflamed joints.

How do I take it? Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate. But don’t over-do it on the 1906 GO Beans, because in addition to cannabis and theobromine, there is also a good amount of caffeine in them too. Go baby go!

Fun fact – Very similar to caffeine, albeit one is a vasodilator and the other a vasoconstrictor, they go hand in hand like PB&J and work best together. 

 

As with any new food or supplement, always do your research and consult your friendly family fish-ician before making any serious changes to your diet and wellness regimen. Whatever sense you are craving, taste it with 1906 New Highs.

 

References

https://www.nootropedia.com/theobromine/

https://shenclinic.com/pages/the-whole-truth-about-corydalis-with-respect-to-dr-oz

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/corydalis-an-herbal-medicine-for-pain-with-some-thoughts-on-drug-development/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-magnolia-bark-89477

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits

All cannabis knowledge came directly from my brain.

Living Flow

I am excited to share the latest project I have had the opportunity to work on, Living Flow. A large part of my wellness journey the past couple years, in addition to cannabis, has been meditation. I have found it an extremely useful tool in not only mitigating stress and anxiety but also raising my appreciation and overall quality of life. Just like with fitness, I found it easier to practice when I committed to a group, especially a group with positive energy. After 2 years of meditating regularly with this particular instructor, he finally decided to make his mediations accessible to more people by putting them online. By creating Living Flow, anyone can access unique goal focused series or soothing guided meditations. I have found these techniques very helpful, I utilize them regularly at my You Canna Be Well workshops and I want to share them with you. Free courses are available at livingflow.com and daily inspiration and ponderings can be found @livingflowapp on Facebook and @livingflow on Instagram too.

How do I love my Dipper? Let me count the ways.

Apparently there are 10 reasons I love dabbing with my Dipper. As I started making the list, the points just kept coming! So here it is, You Canna Be Well’s Top 10 Reasons You Need a Dipper.

#1. Concentrates without the sketchy set up. #tossthetorch

#2. I can hotbox my tent and dab in nature without having to worry about starting a forest fire.

#3. No wasted dabs! I only use what I inhale, so I don’t waste my hit on coughing or hot nails.

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#4. Sleek, conspicuous design has me feeling classy.

#5. A portion of the sales of their Ocean Blue Dipper goes towards ocean conservation. Save the seas!

#6. The dual function of loadable vs dippable dabs. One is great for on the go and the other is a fun party trick when dabbing with friends.

#7. Different temperatures allow me to control my experience. I tend to go for low or medium temp dabs to really savor the flavor of the terpenes.

#8. It rips like a motherfucker. I hotboxed the hell out of my tent (and sleeping bag) in a thunderstorm one time, it did not disappoint.

#9. Dipper makes concentrates, or hash, accessible to more people. Not everyone wants to buy a fancy rig or enail or vape kit or sip on a cartridge filled with god knows what. I like knowing exactly what I am dabbing and being able to control exactly what size of a hit i want.

37831849_10211358258064491_3891868955819638784_n#10. The whole Dipper team is just amazing. Everyone I have ever worked with in the company has had amazing energy and we have always had a good time. I am also incredibly grateful to them for sponsoring my July High Five Race, which was a 10K trail run in Avon followed by climbing my very first 14-er for a good cause the next day at the ass crack of dawn.

So thank you for fueling my crazy adventures Dipper! You keep me high enough to not only climb mountains, but enjoy the trek as well. If I have convinced you that you now require one of these fabulous devices, you can get 10% off using coupon code High5 at http://dipstickvapes.com. Happy dabbing, and remember, toss the torch!

Addicted to Good Days

I have never met a product or company so appropriately named. These chocolates certainly do make it a good day, whether that be by energizing me, curing a belly ache, or turning my frown upside down on rough days. I now understand why people love their coffee so much. If I could eat my Good Day Energy beans from a mug that said I love Good Day Energy, I would. Their whole line includes Energy, D3, Turmeric, Calm, Sleep and Probiotic. My go tos are Energy for daily use, D3, or ‘happy chocolates’ for down or difficult or any days and also turmeric, for when I eat too much cheese (damn you lactose intolerancy!). Good Day Chocolates can be found at your local healthy food store ie. Whole Food, Alfalfas, Sprouts and Lucky’s, etc but I’ll give you a tip, they are cheapest at Lucky’s Market. So now you know. )Or you can be like me and order in bulk. Which I really should start doing…This product contains zero THC or CBD, it’s just an all around delicious and adorable supplement chocolate. Try them today for whatever ails ya! Make it a Good Day!

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Canadian Adventure 2018 and Race #2 of the International High 5 Challenge

Oooooohhhh Canadaaaaa….you are top notch. I just returned from a most wonderful and much needed vacation to Banff, Alberta where I spent 6 action packed days hiking, running and climbing the Canadian Rockies. Whether it was hiking 5 miles along the waterfalls at Johnston Canyon or running 13.1 miles (21.1 kilometres that is) through the city of Banff and the national park itself, or climbing Mt. Norquay via Via Ferrata, my best friend, my folks and I discovered western Canada in a very unique way. I had 2 main purposes for this trip. 1. Complete my first international race of the High 5 Challenge and 2. learn about Canadian cannabis, or Canannabis as I like to call it. The third purpose was to see a bear, a moose and a bighorn sheep, only one of which i saw, but it looks like i’ll be going back next year, so better chance then! The trip was a success in accomplishing me goals. I learned so much about conservation, wildlife and cannabis and I got in enough steps to last me til my next birthday (which is coming up!). I’d like to share with you what I learned about our wonderful neighbor to the north.

 

Canada + Cannabis = Canannabis

20180619_124725It took my 2 days to find some weed.            I was impressed with my skills of procuring herb on the DL, since i am typically accustomed to going into a regulated shop to purchase my medicine. But Canada is not recreationally legal yet, so without a Canadian MMJ card, I was unable to purchase at a dispensary (which would have been difficult anyway since there were very few but more on that in a second). So I had to get weed the old fashioned way…asking friendly folks around town. Turns out Canada is full of friendly folks and it took no time at all to meet someone who was happy to find me some ganja. What I found most ironic was the fact that I succeeded in my quest by speaking Spanish, as my new friend was from Chile. Talk about international! As I was only in town for 4 more days, I decided against buying $60 of weed (which i totally could have smoked through if someone had challenged me) and was quite content with a large nug that was gifted to me. However, lacking any papers or pipes, I had to get creative on how best to smoke it, so I made my first apple pipe and smoked out of that! Talk about a healthy stoner! Let me tell you, it worked great! But then I hid it outside and by the next morning the rabbits had eaten it and were passed out in the yard staring at the clouds. Jk. But i did end up smoking 3 apples during my trip and I have to say, it may be one of my new favorite ways to toke. I was quite impressed with the canannabis. Don’t know much about it besides it was some good weed, but i feel like it may have been a sativa…because it was not ideal for a bedtime bowl. It was great for the race though and thats what i really needed it for. The nug was just the perfect amount to last me until my last day and being high in the mountains Canadian style sure was enjoyable.

 

Compass Cannabis Clinic – On the more legitimate side of things, medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. So they have certainly taken their sweet time in fully committing to mary-jane. Scheduled to become recreationally available by this fall, I missed the it by just a couple of months. However, that didn’t stop me from checking out Canmore’s sole dispensary, Canmore Cannabis Clinic. There I met Michele, who co-founded the clinic with her partner Brad in April 2018. In chatting with her, i learned so much about the past, present and future of Canannabis. Each province regulates weed differently; in Alberta it is monitored by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and even then, each city can have different tolerances and policies. For example, Banff is far less tolerant of cannabis shops than Canmore, possibly because it is located directly within a national park. Michele said Canmore had been very receptive to them opening up shop on Main Street. Located in a lower level unit, right next to a candy store, Canmore Cannabis Clinic is your one stop shop for all of your medical cannabis needs. Except for the actual weed that is. Unable to currently carry products containing THC, the clinic offers a variety of hemp derived CBD products, including topicals, capsules and tinctures as well as a large selection of ancillary products such as Pax, Firefly and Levo (and Stashlogix soon hopefully!). They also have a visiting medical marijuana doctor who comes in every other Friday for appointments as well as an in house cannabis educator to help people determine what form of medicine is best for them. If you are lucky enough to be a Canadian, your mmj appointment is covered by your insurance! Not a Canadian? No worries! You can still get your prescription, you just have to pay for the doctor visit, which is about $120. Not bad for a 3 month access pass to quality cannabis. Both physical and mental ailments qualify and Michele said that many people use cannabis primarily for pain and anxiety, which i found fascinating, because Colorado, as advanced as we are in this industry, still does not believe anxiety, depression and other neurological disorders can be helped by cannabis. Anyway, I learned that flower and tinctures are the most common forms of medicine and the concentrate and edible games are virtually non-existent (at least on the legal market).

The process is simple enough. First, you make your appointment with the medical marijuana doctor to discuss what you are medicating for and they will then give you a 3 month prescription for cannabis. After your appointment, you go into the next room and have a chat with the cannabis educator who will teach you all about indicas, sativas, cbd and other cannabinoids, as well as various ways to ingest as well, such as vaping, smoking or making your own butter and hash (which is ultimately what You Canna Be Well does). The clinic will then put you directly in touch with the grow company and they will ship herb directly to your doorstep! How neat! Every 3 months, the prescription must be renewed. Seems like a pretty legit system in my opinion, however the lack of edibles would be difficult for me as I am now accustomed to a wide array of weed treats. But it sounds like once Canada goes full recreational, a lot of opportunities and businesses will pop up, and I won’t be surprised if Colorado and California companies expand north. For example,  I found it amusing that empty Foria and Leafs by Snoop boxes were displayed, almost as if to show how delicious fully legal cannabis could be. And I recommended she look into several Denver based CBD and ancillary products that I think would fit in nicely on her shelves. To learn more about their store and services, you can check out their website here: https://www.compasscannabis.ca and give them a like and a follow @compasscliniccanada. My sole souvenir of the trip, save a couple of crystals, was a sweatshirt from there and a transdermal CBD patch, which eased my back pain and post-race soreness. I was very impressed with the professionalism and knowledge that was presented at the Clinic and I truly think that Canada is on the proper path for a well regulated and diverse canannabis market.
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Banff Half Marathon – Race Day!How I stayed HIGH-drated : sativa apple bowl, 4-5 Good Day energy chocolates, Highly Edible Fruit pucks 50ish mg, 1:1 wana 50-80 mg, MM transdermal patch right on my knee that was giving me some trouble. And lots of Apothecanna and Evolve transdermal pen.

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We lucked out with beautiful weather, not too cold, not too hot, sunny, absolutely perfect running weather. The race started on the edge of the town of Banff and wove alongside the highway on a paved path through Banff National Park, along the lakes and streams, through the tall pine trees and back into town, over the worn stone bridges and back into town. Despite keeping a consistent pace the entire 21k, Tessa and I managed to put on a turbo burst of speed for that last .1k as we sprinted across the finish line like a particular Jamaican sprinter. Who also admits to being a cannathlete.. Anyway, we finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds, (which may be a personal best for me),  received our medals and grabbed our well earned fruit and muffins and went to cheer on my mother, who was also doing the race! We caught her at the final kilometer and I ran alongside her as she finished the race with determination and her last bit of energy. (Granted we had gone on a 5 mile hike the day before..). I am just filled with so much pride everytime i finish a race with my mum. She’s just so damn inspiring. And she trains for this shit, whereas I have a far different training approach. I was also thrilled to have matching You Canna Be Well 420 racing jerseys with my sponsors on the back! She is just as much a cannathelte as I am, thats for sure. So after getting our pictures taken and grabbing some must have donuts, we headed back to the hotel to recover in the hot-tub. With a much needed apple bowl of course. Racing as a cannabis athlete and having that conversation with people both on and off the course was a reminder as to why I am racing to change the stoner stereotype and I am incredibly grateful to the companies who are supporting me on this journey including 1906, Stashlogix, Living Flow and DabSolutions. This particular race, I was running for 2 causes, The Harmony Project and Polar Bears International. The Harmony Project was the organization affiliated with the Banff Marathon and proceeds from the race were benefiting their ongoing projects, which focus on educating men and women about consent, which is a pretty relevant issue right now. They are doing amazing work, which you can learn more about here: http://ywcabanff.ca/programs-services/bow-valley-harmony-project/ . I was also racing for the polar bears! Because, if you couldn’t tell, i really like animals and give a shit about conservation, and polar bears seemed appropriate as i was racing in the great white north. So, if you would like to donate $13 for 13.1 miles or $21 for 21.1 kilometers or any amount really to Polar Bears International, you can do so by clicking here : https://www.facebook.com/PolarBearsInternational/  .

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Bunnies, sheep and eagles! Oh my!

I just about lost it when I saw the bunnies in Canmore (the town we were staying in). It looked like the 4-H club was going cage free, there were adorable little gray and white, and black and caramel bunnies all over town! It was wonderful! But not natural and i hypothesized that pet rabbits were over bred and released into the wild and would you believe i was right! They are now considered a pest and are being ‘removed’. Which i understand from a conservation perspective. But they were just the cutest little bunnies. I even booped one on the head as it ate a dandelion out of my hand. So that made me very happy walking about town and spotting the wildlife, which also included funny prairie dog squirrel looking rodents aka Columbia Ground Squirrels. Which apparently relish pea pods. So that’s cool.

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Then there were the bighorn sheep that we saw on Mt Norquay, while we were being sheep ourselves and scaling the mountainside. I spotted several ewes who appeared to be shedding their winter coat and they meandered along the rocky paths below us grazing on sparse mountain shrubbery. Convinced I would see more sheep I kept me eyes peeled for the remainder of the via ferrata (I probably should have kept my eyes forward since i was walking along a cliff, but i was determined to see more sheep!) I asked the universe to show me 3 more sheep but alas I saw no more as we hiked down the steep ass mountain. Exhausted and finally starting to feel sore from the race the day before, we start driving back to the hotel when all of a sudden we spot a sheep on the road! And then another, and then a third! And that was when I realized the Universe is always listening…she granted me 3 more mangy sheep and boy did that just make my day. They really are stupid looking animals with minimal intelligence i feel, but damn are they good climbers.

Finally, seeing a pair of bald eagles soar overhead as I was scaling a sheer mountain wall was pretty neat too. I’m going to have to look into what twin eagles mean… I was then convinced that one was then perched on a nest on a nearby mountain top until i stared at it for 8 minutes straight and it didn’t move. Not once. So i guess it was just a rock. But that was one bird looking rock. Also while climbing, i had a genius idea that I should move to Canada and start a safari company and call it Moose Caboose. And only look for moose. I think that’d be pretty fun. Life goals. Next trip I plan on seeing multiple bears, one beaver and a male moose with a massive rack. From the safety of a gondola. But Canada sure does have some neat wildlife.

Top Reasons I love Canada

Seemed like most of their restaurants were straw-less. Way to care about the planet eh!

Everyone says ‘eh’ and has a fun accent, just like me!

I’m convinced im going to see awesome wildlife around every bend.

The roads are so smooth and the parks are free. Because their government prioritizes that shit.

The water is so damn blue!!!

Most of their seasonal workers are Australian. And most of the rest of the population is Canandian. Those are my 2 favorite kind of guys!

I guess what I’m saying is don’t be too surpirsed if I spontaneously drive 18 hours to Banff and stay up there for a little bit. But don’t worry Colorado, I love this Rocky Mountain High too much to leave you for long 🙂 Having said that….where in the world should I race next?!

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Mountain Biking 101 with Stashlogix

This past weekend, You Canna Be Well spent an idyllic fall morning with Skip Stone, the founder and CEO Stashlogix, learning about one of his favorite ways to stay happy and healthy, mountain biking! After spiking our cider with some medicated spiced goodness from Sweet Alchemy, we sat down with Skip and learned the basics of exploring the mountainside on 2 wheels.

20171019_104725If hiking isn’t your thing because you don’t like traversing long distances on foot, but you still want to adventure in the Rockies, then mountain biking might just be for you! A badass way of exploring the Foothills and surrounding peaks, mountain biking allows you to tackle those tough trails in record time, while just barely giving you the ability to out speed a startled moose or mama bear. Now, thanks to these tips I learned from Skip, I feel more confident about renting a bike and exploring more of the Foothill’s amazing trails! So, here are the most important things I learned plus a few fun facts.

 

Skip’s Top 5 Tips to a Good Day of Riding

  • Make a rectangular box shape with your arms, chest and the handlebars and postion your upper body/ shoulders over the handlebars. This gives you a solid grip and good position on your bike.
  • Biking must haves include a helmet (protect the noggin!), gloves (in case you skid), good shoes and plenty of water (and weed).
  • When going uphill, really lean into the front of the seat and lean forward to give you that added pushing power.
  • DO NOT RUN OUT OF GAS! “But it’s a bike silly” you say. Yes! But your energy is your fuel. Running out of breath, water, and stamina or getting injured can leave you stranded miles from your car or trailhead and if not with a buddy, can leave you in a pretty precarious situation. So always let someone know ahead of time where you plan on going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Wait until you are at the trail to get elevated! If you get high before you are dressed, the car is loaded or you get to your destination, you may never make it out on a ride! Loosing motivation, forgetting something important at home, and getting lost are all very real stoner problems you must consider.

Other fascinating things I learned…

  • Right of Way- Horses go first, then hikers, then bikers. Bike to bike traffic – uphill has right of way to keep that momentum going!
  • Because trails aren’t typically rated by skill level like ski runs are, it’s important to do some research before you head out on your adventure. Download a mountain biking app such as Singletracks or pick up a slightly used guide book to help you safely navigate those twisty mountain routes. Some easy and fun trails to check out around Boulder and Denver include Marshall Mesa, Green Mountain and Betasso Preserve and a typical ride is around 10-12 miles. Remember to calculate there and back and don’t forget to check your fuel levels!
  • Prairie dogs make a “ba-dump” noise when you run over them with a bike. And then scurry off, presumably with no internal bleeding.
  • Skip once almost hit a bear cub on a trail. While mama bear was watching. That would have been a bad day for Skip.
  • A brief history of mountain biking – The sport of mountain biking was simultaneously developed by 2 groups of adventurous hippies in the 60’s and 70’s in California and Colorado, Marin Country and Crested Butte respectively. OG mountain bikes were hand built and pieced together with parts that would allow riders to traverse rocky, uneven, and steep terrain. Joe Breeze is credited for producing the first mainstream mountain bike in Cali in 1978. Over the next several decades, mountain biking rose out of obscurity into the mainstream, alongside other so called ‘rebel’ sports, including snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing and surfing.

While we went with the intention of going on a nice bike ride, we ended up spending the morning carving and smoking out of a pumpkin bong and playing another favorite stoner activity, ping pong. I also got a sneak preview of some new Stashlogix products, set to hit stores soon! So give them a like and a follow on the social media and stay up to date so that you can be the cool kid rocking the latest in stoner must have accessories.

I hope these tips encourage you to get out and try something new! You never know, mountain biking just might be your cup of tea! Just don’t forget your Stashlogix! Because, if that bear catches up to you it might snag your snacks. Or your weed. And you do not want a stoned bear on your hands, believe you me. Happy trails!

Interested in learning more about the amazing individuals, brands and sports rocking the Boulder/Denver cannabis adventure scene? Follow You Canna Be Well on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our monthly events and weekly 420 fitness classes, held at Break the Stigma Fitness in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Stay happy, stay healthy, stay high friends!