CBD- who, what, where, when, how, why
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CBD is hard to ignore these days. it is simply everywhere. from every wellness shop, boutique, restaurant, and hair salon. your mom has started to take it and your dog can get in on it too. it comes in so many forms from lollipops to deodorant. so wtf does it all mean? well, we will try and break it down for you as simply as we can.

first off, let me explain CBD is not a cure all, but simply a powerful plant, like many plants, that help your nervous system. anyone that claims as such is selling you something they shouldn’t. it is still a plant, and a beneficial one at that. it has great anti-inflammatory properties and might help you relax, but like any herbal medicine- you have to pay attention and monitor yourself. look at it as part of the process, not the full on remedy. there is also much research to be done and CBD is blowing up so fast it is hard to keep up with the regulations and even the studies. take things slow and enjoy the process of seeing what it can do for you. the information below is simply a guideline. we aren’t scientists or legal experts- we might be wrong too as we navigate the studies. we research articles, studies, advice from herbalists, and brands. BUT you must do your own research too…and understanding CBD is the first step to being able to navigate the future of it and find the info and help you are seeking.

WHO?

animals with an endocannabinoid system can benefit from CBD. (click on link to learn more)

CBD can interact with some medications. either enhancing it or the opposite. this has to do with the liver enzymes and the way the body metabolizes medicines. if you are taking any medications consult your doctor before taking CBD.

CBD can affect everyone differently. some say they feel it right away. others claim they feel nothing. for some it might cause more anxiety, others say it takes it away. dosing and quality are going to play a part in all of this!

WHAT?

all CBD is definitely not the same. we highly suggest buying from a brand that is being transparent about where their CBD comes from by providing lab testing. now, learning to read these tests is a whole other thing….but if a brand is providing such they are risking their liability! buying from your local bodega is not suggested. we currently sell LEEF and TONIC CBD. what I love about these brands is they both cultivate their own hemp on their own farms. LEEF in northern California and tonic in upstate New York. find a brand you trust, admire, and know is giving you a quality product.

WHERE?

up until recently, the United States was importing it’s hemp since it was lumped together with marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. though the hemp industry use to be a thriving one in the US. up until recently, your hemp seeds were probably coming from Canada and your hemp rope necklace from 1998 might have been imported from China or Europe. thanks to the new federal farm bill of 2019 hemp is no longer classified as a drug. this new farm bill makes industrial hemp legal in the US to grow and cultivate. lots of good can come out of this for farmers and industry. it is kind of a big deal it is now LEGAL, i think anyway !

yet, there are still some issues in this ever changing legal environment surrounding hemp. NYC is cracking down on the use of CBD oils in food and beverage in restaurants and cafes. this is due (from what i have read) to lack of transparency on packaging and the information available to the consumer. if you order a coffee with CBD in it, you aren’t exactly getting any info on what kind of CBD they put in there or how much- basically the consumer has no control. there are several reports from around the country as well from consumers to retail shops getting in trouble. do your research for your area!!!! until these laws get straightened out there will be a lot of gray area.

WHEN?

well, that is up to you! experiment with timing. 30 minutes to an hour before bed for sleep. i can take it in the afternoon and still benefit from a deeper sleep. CBD is helping you reach homeostasis, so depending on how your body metabolizes it will depend on when you need to take it. some say everyday for about a month, others say only as needed. i believe this is something that is a personal preference and might not be enough research on it yet to fully understand.

HOW?

how you take CBD can make a difference. bioavailability is a big topic now. not only does your body process the different forms depending on how you take it, all CBD is also not created the same. some tests are now revealing some products on the market hardly has any CBD in it at all. remember when we said find a brand you trust- yeah. that’s why! full spectrum is also the sure way to go. research shows CBD works better in conjunction with other cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and nutrients also present in the hemp and marijuana plant. there is a lot of info out there as well claiming you need the THC as well, but if you don’t live in a state where THC is legal- hemp derivced CBD is what we get. hemp naturally only has .3 % THC- the legal limit.

below we are breaking down the different forms of using CBD and how it might help you.

  1. EATING. this includes gummies, candies, drinks, cookies, honey, olive oil, capsules etc. eating CBD is going to pass through the digestive system and then through the liver. this can reduce the amount of CBD present in the bloodstream. some research says it can have longer lasting effects though. other research points to taking with fatty acids to help with absorption., which is why tinctures are mixed with things like coconut oil, hemp oil, or suggest taking with food.

  2. SUBLINGUAL/UNDER THE TONGUE. the suggested way to get it into the bloodstream with possibly higher bioavailability. the mucous membrane under the tongue absorbs the CBD bypassing the digestive system getting into your bloodstream faster. the enzymes in your mouth being the only bypass for the CBD.

  3. VAPING: vaping is a sure fast way to get CBD into your system. but this too has it’s issues. not all vape pens , vape oils, and CBD are created the same. regulations on these are poor, think about the issues with JEWELS. vaping can also be more potent therefore resulting in some side effects you might not want. again, make sure the brand you buy is safe and transparent. and start with small puffs.

  4. TOPICAL : applying CBD topically is great for pain, inflammation, acne, and skin. when applying topically the cannabinoids do not reach your bloodstream, but can help decrease pain and other ailments on the skin. CBN + CBD are more permeable to the skin. it is suggested to apply liberally and the CBD attaches to the CB2 receptors near the skin.

  5. SMOKING: smoking hemp is now a thing. some say it will just give you a headache, especially those in states where marijuana is legal (haha!). others love the relaxing effects. again a personal story.

WHY?

why should you take CBD? once again…. a personal question. there are many possible claims of benefit. inflammation, anxiety, pain, appetite, immunity. anything relaying to the central nervous system is possibly set up to benefit from CBD. but again, remember it is up to you and maybe your doctor to figure out why you should or shouldn’t take it. CBD won’t hurt you. But until more regulations pop up and more research is conducted, we are on our own. there are tons of articles out there. i’ve read a lot of them. i’ve researched what herbalists, brands, blogs, and laws are stating and claiming. i have read and heard contradictory claims and some in line with one another. finding a balance for you and understanding yourself is your best bet!

the brands we carry in the shop are brands we believe in. they have a story behind their product, are transparent about what they are selling, sourcing, and we are a big fan of female run brands too !

photo via broccoli magazine

other sources we like

the ABC’S of CBD

HEMP BOUND

anne rocchio
Q + A WITH COURTNEY O'REILLY FROM VIBRANT SOUL ASTROLOGY
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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having my natal chart read from Courtney O’Reilly of VIBRANT SOUL ASTROLOGY. Courtney has been into the shop a few times now to do mini readings, so you may have met her or already worked with her (be sure to sign up for the next one!!). This was my first time having a natal chart done. Courtney had given me a mini reading a few months back at the shop- and I was totally intrigued to learn more.

I have always taken my horoscope with a grain of salt. Relishing when it seemed spot on and brushing it off when I couldn’t relate. But my time with Courtney taught me that astrology is actually math and what work you are willing to accept and implement when the timing is right! I learned so much more about my rising + moon sign, something I have never really dug into, but it helped explain so much more and broadened my perspective outside of just being an aries (my sun sign) and learning more about myself in the process. It all clicked and expanded so much about certain phases of my life and also aspects of my personality. She even mentioned the shop has a horoscope too! I never thought about that. (Something to dive into another time!)

We all know our sun signs and probably have like 5 apps on our phone for horoscopes ( I definitely only have like 3), but have you had your natal chart read? Are you curious to learn a little more about astrology before doing so? Or simply to understand more about your rising + moon signs? I did a little interview with Courtney to find out more about astrology in general for the skeptics or the unfamiliar!

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1. how did you discover astrology was your calling?



Honestly, by accident! I had always been astro-curious, but had no idea how complex it all was. A friend had taken a class and was like, "Hey, I really think you would love this" - so I was like, alright, I'm in, let's see what this is about! That was Rebecca Gordon of My Path Astrology's beginner's course. It was all over from there, haha. I couldn't get enough. It was like it had cracked my world WIDE open, no going back. So I signed up for Rebecca's intermediate course, then privately mentored with her. Somewhere in within the intermediate course I was like... huh... I think I'm supposed to DO this. 




2. what is the biggest misconception people have about astrology?


That astrologers are psychics, that we're fortune tellers, that we are making random things up. Also that astrology is a religion. Certainly an astrologer can be a psychic or medium, though it is not necessary to be an astrologer. Astrology is not a religion. It's the study of the planets and how their movements affect our lives here on Earth. Another mentor, Susan Miller, is a devout Catholic. She would argue that god created the universe and gave us the gift of astrology as a tool to help us on our journey. I just love that.

Here's the thing, anyone can learn astrology! It takes dedication and lots of study, as astrology is really all math, then you must learn how to translate the symbology. So, I like to say that we are also translators. We are looking at the way planetary beings are relating to one another mathematically via angles, then translating the symbology into English to make it accessible. Astrology is the study of possibility, we all have free will and get to chose what to do with those possibilities. In this way we are co-creators with the universe.




3. you recently gave me a natal chart reading and we talked about the eclipses and what these can hold for my future in 2019 - but that i need to put the work in too. i thought this was interesting and a really good point - one that people don't often think about what THEY can do. can you elaborate on that a little bit?


Yes! I'm so glad you asked. As I said above, astrology is the study of possibility. We study the current climate to get an idea of where opportunities are ripest, where it's best to place focus, and areas where there may be a challenge you're working through. In this way astrology is such a helpful tool; you get to zoom out to take a look at the big picture - then make more conscious decisions about your trajectory from a place of clarity based on the current climate. It's so important to remember that we have free will. Nothing is written in stone, you are co-creating with the universe with every choice you make. This is happening whether you chose to use astrology or not - so why not utilize this brilliant tool that's available to us?




4. what are the main differences between your sun sign, rising sign, + moon signs?


The three: sun, moon and rising, are the base of our personality from an astrological perspective. Understanding them offers so much insight into our unique operating system. The sun is what everyone knows, right? It's like "what sign are you?" - everyone knows that. What they're really asking is, "where was the sun when you were born". The sun represents our ego, our vitality and how we want to shine in the world. The moon represents the subtler side of ourselves, our emotional processing, what we need to feel nurtured and how we care for others. The ascendant, or rising sign - same thing, is a mathematical point, it's Earth's horizon. So the rising sign is the sign that was coming up on Earth's horizon as you we're born. The rising sign is your perspective on the world around you, the lens through which you view the world. If you read horoscopes, always read for both your sun and your rising sign, you'll get so much more out of them!




5. what is the best advice you have for people when they are reading their horoscopes or charts?


Don't get freaked out. Haha! It's A LOT of information, and there is a lot of garbage on the internet. Seek out a trained astrologer for a reading. It will give you a solid foundation from which to build your understanding and continue learning. In regards to horoscopes - always read for your sun AND rising signs!




6. what do you suggest for someone looking to learn more about astrology or become an astrologer themselves?


Do the work to really learn the math. Don't bypass it. The tedious memorization of the math and all the symbols is the foundation, so if you skip that part you're going to be a weak astrologer. Please don't do that, it's what creates confusion and it's a disservice to the subject and yourself. Once that foundation is laid is where it gets really fun, but most don't realize it's a LOT of learning before you get to the point of offering readings professionally. Find a class, find a mentor, read books; it's a never ending learning process! I love recommending my mentor Rebecca's beginners course (mypathastrology.com), but check out NCGR and ISAR - both offer training programs as well as classes and workshops and likely have a chapter in your area. Happy learning star bbs!

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Thank you Courtney! So insightful to learn more about this tool and how we can use it.

Check out Courtney’s website and instagram! And definitely book a reading if you have not done one yet!! or just to get another perspective from a previous natal chart reading.

anne rocchio
daily feels- pre order NOW!
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our new book is AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! CLICK HERE TO BUY

READY FOR SHIPMENT OR PICKUP AFTER OCTOBER 26.

TO PICK UP AT THE SHOP USE CODE PICKUP FOR SANS SHIPPING FEES.

Are you checking in on your daily feels?

This book is to be used as a tool to check in on your wellness routine and how it may or may not be helping you. There are 2 months worth of pages to write down and assess your daily habits and ingestions. At the end of each week asses your patterns and correlations.

Owning a wellness shop in NYC and getting to know my customers and what they are seeking, I have come to realize just how many of us are run down, anxious, stressed, and in various kinds of pain looking for solutions naturally to ease our symptoms and/or become healthier. I believe the heart of learning how to help ourselves is through knowledge and understanding our own habits and reactions and ultimately how we are feeling all day long.

Any given herb or supplement may not be for everyone, and natural remedies also need to be monitored. There are a plethora of options on the market now to help us maintain our own wellness naturally, amazing as it is- it can also be overwhelming to know if something will work or not. So are we keeping the tabs when we change our diet, add supplements, herbs, adaptogens, even exercise to our routines?

Understanding how we are feeling on a daily basis along with the ways we are seeking wellness might help you to realize where some of these “feels” are coming from. What works for you or does not and guide you to recognize patterns and changes leading you on a path to know yourself physically + emotionally.

You hold your own power.

xx

annie

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anne rocchio
HERBS FOR ANXIETY WITH SWEET BEET ACUPUNCTURE
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Since carrying more herbal remedies and CBD, I have discovered just how many of us are overcome with anxiety, stress, insomnia. I too have felt the wrath the past few months- more than usual. The rat race of NYC is real ( and so are the rats). Heart racing before a big meeting or deadline, waking up in the middle of the night with a list of things to do running through your brain, mind foggy with so much to do and no place to begin. Perhaps some of this anxiety is really deep rooted stress. (see below for a ted talk about making stress your friend) Then there is severe anxiety- the panic attack kind. The scariest kind. If you are suffering from panic attacks- please seek a professional to help you find the proper medical care you need and deserve!

There are all kinds of anxieties. Social, separation, phobias…. we each have our triggers and patterns. Recognizing those triggers and using some helpful tools like herbs and services and professional help can help us to cope in better ways. Or maybe it’s just about moving to the country. Either way!

Today we have borrowed some content from Jacqueline of Sweet Beet Acupuncture. I love the information Jacqueline provides on her blog and instagram - a mix of eastern medicine, self healing, and spiritual guidance. I am always left inspired and with momentum. Jacqueline is a Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Holistic Fertility Coach hailing from Los Angeles. I felt inclined to repost her content as I am all about information to gather a better understanding of ourselves and our bodies + minds. I have personally found her suggestions and knowledge useful and inspiring and wanted to share it with you all as well ! If you are based in LA - definitely go see her for a session and to learn more!

Without further ado- read below on some herbal remedies for your anxiety.

HERBS FOR ANXIETY

Anxiety is one of the most common reasons people turn to herbal medicine. Both because herbal remedies can provide fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals and a milder effect on the body. But I find the topic is often oversimplified.

We can't simply use herbs symptomatically for anxiety, it's important to have a full understanding of what the herbs do, how they work in the body, as well as who they work best for. So I'm going to explain how sedative, adpatogenic, and nervine herbs work to improve anxiety, which herbs to look for, and who they're most appropriate for.

 

Quality

First things first, the quality of the herbs you choose is of the utmost importance. Ideally always shop for organic products and fresh ingredients. Low quality herbs may have little to no effect or in some cases may even make anxiety worse, so always go with trusted brands or work with a licensed herbalist. 

 

Sedatives

Just like with pharmaceuticals, there are herbs that have a sedative effect on the nervous system. They calm us down and make us sleepy. In fact, these are most commonly the ones people think of when they think of herbal anxiety and insomnia remedies, such as valerian, passionflower, hops, or poppy.

Sedative herbs definitely play a role in herbalism and they are helpful for many people. They're especially helpful during periods of crisis or severe insomnia, or they can also act as quick acting relief during a panic attack or severe anxiety.

Keep in mind these herbs have a down-regulating effect in the nervous system, including the brain. Therefore they should never be used in higher than recommended doses, at any point during pregnancy, and in many cases they shouldn't be used long-term.

Just like their pharmaceutical counterparts, sedative herbs act like a bandaid for emotional discomfort. Without addressing the underlying condition it's hard to find much relief.

Adaptogenic and nervine herbs on the other hand are much better at restoring the nervous and endocrine systems that are strongly effected by stress and anxiety, therefore reducing or reversing the damage done by stress hormones and improving how our bodies respond to stressful situations.

 

Adaptogens

These are herbs that actually adapt to what your body needs from them, meaning they adjust their function based on what's going on in the body they land in. Many of these herbs can invigorate energy if you're feeling fatigued, but also calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep. Several adaptogens also have hormone balancing and immune boosting effects.

Often the word adaptogen just gets thrown around without much differentiation between the individual botanicals and why one may be more beneficial for you than another. Let's take a look at some of the most popular ones:

  • Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng: one of my top choices for fatigue and/or insomnia, low immunity, anxiety, and specifically for Adrenal Fatigue. It really focuses on nourishing the Qi (energy) of the body. Compared to some of the adaptogens listed below, this is a really balanced, safe herb that is typically well tolerated by most people, even during pregnancy.

  • Rhodiola: this herb also tonifies Qi, in fact in a lot of ways it's very similar to Eleuthero, however, it may be a bit too invigorating for some people. In fact, it's contraindicated for bipolar disorder and other manic conditions.

  • Astragalus: another Qi tonic that's also great for low energy and low immunity, but it may trigger headaches for some people. It's also not typically an herb I turn to for treating anxiety.

  • Maca: this is considered Peruvian ginseng, so once again a lot of the Qi tonic functions, but many people use maca for it's focus on hormone balance. Some people claim is improves anxiety and irritability, but I don't ever use it for that.

  • Ashwagandha: an Ayurvedic herb that is particularly good for both hormone balance as well as anxiety.

  • Holy Basil: another Ayurvedic herb that is often used for anxiety, it's also a culinary spice that has a lovely peppery basil taste.

My Adaptogen Alchemy herbal tincture contains Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, and Holy Basil, a grounding daily blend for battling anxiety.

 

Nervines

As their name implies, these herbs have an effect on the nervous system, particularly by calming and restoring it after periods of stress or trauma. Some of them may seem mild and quite innocuous, when in fact they can have a powerful effect on the body, especially when used regularly.

Some of the most popular nervines are chamomile, oatstraw, skullcap, and lemon balm, all of which are in my Chill Out Tea blend, which is an excellent cup to enjoy before bed.

The nice thing about nervines is they are restorative, so they don't have a strong sedative or invigorating effect. That means you won't necessarily notice a huge difference from just one cup, but if you get in the habit of drinking nervines daily they have an ability to deeply restore the nervous and endocrine systems, improving how the body functions and responds to stress in a cellular level. In other words, they can actually bring a sense of calmness and help to prevent anxiety.

Despite being gentle in nature, most nervines are still not really recommended in pregnancy, except for oatstraw, which not only calms the nervous system but also supplies nutrients to the reproductive and digestive systems.

 

Customized Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is holistic in every sense of the word, not only are herbal remedies chosen depending on the unique person they are being prescribed to, but especially in Chinese medicine herbs are used together as part of a formula which is constructed to be completely balanced to the body to have the maximum effect.

In many cases with anxiety I prefer to use custom classic herbal formulas for my patients that address their specific pattern. In these formulas many of the herbs may not be used specifically for anxiety, but when used together they can address the underlying conditions that are causing the anxiety in the first place.

If you would like to work with me to address your anxiety with a customized herbal formula, schedule an appointment or send me a message.

STRESS- YOUR FRIEND A TED TALK

anne rocchio
carrot spirulina balls by cassandra of cognitive function
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It’s Saturday night at 12pm do you know where your midnight snack is?

Lol in all seriousness though, this is it. She’s here, she’s sweet and she’s ready to do things to your taste buds.

We have elevated today’s experience with the addition of cardamom. These have a vastly well rounded depth of flavor, add in that mouth feel and you’ve really got your new go to.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Gluten Free Oats

  • 1 - 1/5 C. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes 5 Dates (Soaked)

  • 2 Carrots

  • 1/4 C. Pistachios

  • 3 T. Hemp Seeds

  • 2 T. Spirulina

  • 2 t. Cinnamon

  • 1 t. Cardamom

  • 1 t. Fresh Ginger

  • 1/4 t. Fresh Turmeric

  • 1/8 t. Orange Zest

  • Pinch of Salt

Top with:

  • 1/2 C. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

  • 3 T. Hemp Seeds

The method: 

Remove pits from dates and soak in warm water for 10 mins. Peal and grate carrots, ginger, turmeric and zest orange. In a high speed blender (I just use my vita mix) add dry ingredients and pulse until pistachios are broken down into small nibs. Add soaked dates, carrots, ginger, turmeric and orange zest and blend until fully combined. If mix is too dense add 2 -3 T. of your date water and blend. Roll into 1" balls - toss in blended coconut and hemp seeds. Refrigerate for an hour before serving then enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes  Cook Time: 5 Minutes  Total Time: 20 Minutes

thanks cass for sharing! COGNITIVE NUTRITION

anne rocchio
WELCOME TO SUN COLLECTIVE
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the little shop that could.

our shop isn't about just selling you stuff. it's about community, knowledge, and change. we won't sell you something without the best of intentions. we won't fake it till we make it. we are real, honest, and aren't falling for the bullshit and won't make you either. we hope to empower you, help you, and maybe even make you laugh. there is even a shop dog... the best muppet dog there ever was- wylie.

we curate for women by women, but welcome everyone. we specialize in clean beauty, CBD, femme products. products with a story and an intention- always. going back to what is natural and purposeful.

we hope to update this blog with stories, products, ideas, and chock it full of information for you! come back soon! 

xo- annie

anne rocchio