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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Sufferers Turning to CBD

BY: Jayson Cote

Also referred to as Willis Ekbom Disease and RLS, restless leg syndrome is a chronic condition that affects about ten percent of American adults.  The condition is known for causing pain and discomfort and can interfere with important daily activities.  Despite the fact that it’s not a remarkably rare condition, there’s still much about it that’s unknown by the medical industry, which makes it uniquely difficult to treat. [Source]

As our society has begun to gravitate toward a more holistic approach to wellness, we’re finding that there may be some natural options that are capable of providing relief.  One such possibility is cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.  

For those who might not be aware, CBD is the dominant compound in the hemp plant, and it has a unique way of interacting with the body which separates it from other plant-based products.  Further, it’s legal and widely available, and has been shown in studies to potentially help with everything from chronic stress to various inflammatory conditions.

First, however, let’s look closely at the condition itself to better understand what it is and why it occurs, to understand how cannabidiol may play a role in managing it.

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

What’s unique about restless leg syndrome is that it’s not technically a pain condition.  Of course, that doesn’t make it any less capable of interfering with one’s quality of life.  A problem with this is that it leads many people to underestimate its severity and impact.

RLS creates a feeling of insatiable restlessness in the legs, and this is due to a dysfunction of the nerves.  As a result, the legs must move consistently to shake off the feeling, so to speak.  It’s a frustrating and uncomfortable sensation that is difficult to find relief from.  Those who suffer from it tend to jerk their legs in a way that feels involuntary, and they shake their legs whenever they can to manage the feeling of restlessness.  Restless leg syndrome symptoms seem to worsen when a person is laying own or sitting for long periods, and this can cause it to interfere with sleep. 

We know that restless leg syndrome affects more women than men, for reasons unknown.  It tends to affect adults but can develop during childhood.  It can lead to some potential complications including sleep deprivation and mood disorders that result from the constant feeling of frustration.

How a Person Develops Restless Leg Syndrome 

At the moment, there is no known cause for restless leg syndrome.  Like many chronic conditions, it seems that there may be genetic factors that are passed down through families which contribute to its development.  If a person has one parent who has the condition, they are more likely to end up with it later on in life.

Restless leg syndrome is ultimately a disorder of the nervous system, due to faulty nerve signaling throughout the legs.  It’s believed that this may be due to a misfiring of dopamine receptors which cause hyperactivity-related sensations through certain nerve channels.  Further, it’s believed that those who have Parkinson’s Disease may be more likely to develop RLS.

We also know that certain conditions can damage the nervous system, as well as various forms of substance abuse and certain medications.  Therefore, those who fall into these categories may be more at risk of developing RLS.

Diagnosing Restless Leg Syndrome

To diagnose this condition, a doctor will make sure that you fall within the right criteria.  There is no physical diagnostic method, so the doctor will ask you a series of questions and examine your legs and neurological system to make sure that no other conditions are present.  They will also need to rule out nerve damage to accurately diagnose RLS.

Treating Restless Leg Syndrome

There are no specific treatments for restless leg syndrome, but doctors will likely prescribe a muscle relaxant which can calm the nerves within the legs.  There also a chance they could opt for a psychiatric medication under the presumption that RLS is caused by neurological conditions or neurotransmitter imbalances.

It’s also worth noting that some have claimed that acupuncture has helped them manage their symptoms.  Acupuncture does not require a referral from a doctor.

Cannabidiol for Restless Leg Syndrome

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, which is a class of compounds that directly bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body to simply regulate existing bodily processes, rather than force specific actions to occur.  The endocannabinoid system to which these receptors belong is in charge of homeostasis, and achieves it by regulating the function of every bodily system.  This means that CBD strains, such as in cream form, may help regulate the nervous system and neurological system, while balancing chemicals in the brain that play a role. 

What Studies are Displaying

More research is being conducted on the actual effects of CBD.

  • Study #1: CBD influences the dopamine receptors in the brain.  It seems that medical researchers have found that CBD has unique potential to help RLS specifically.
  • Study #2: We know that there are cannabinoid receptors within the nerves of the legs which respond to administration of cannabidiol, meaning that they respond to cannabinoid intake from CBD.
  • Study #3: CBD is commonly used for stress-related conditions and to aid in sleep, which may be able to help those who are dealing with the indirect effects of RLS.

Using CBD for Restless Leg Syndrome

If you wish to take CBD for RLS, then speak to your doctor and let them know of any medications you are taking.  It’s ideal to take CBD daily for the best results, as this gives the endocannabinoid system all of the support that it needs.  For RLS, we recommend applying a topical directly to the legs daily and using an internal method as well such as tincture for additional systemic support.

Final Thoughts

Restless leg syndrome can be a difficult condition to live with, but there are possible options that can tremendously help.  If you want to give CBD a try based on the studies linked above, ask your doctor about the best way to go about incorporating it into your treatment plan.

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CBD for Mild or Severe Eczema

BY: Jayson Cote

Eczema is a chronic skin condition, also known as atopic dermatitis.  Roughly 35 million Americans suffer from this condition, according to the National Eczema Association, which can affect people of any age, race, or sex.  Eczema is quite uncomfortable, and often painful.  Along with that, the appearance of eczema can lead to feelings of insecurity over one’s appearance.

There are various treatments for eczema, but if you’re the type of person who appreciates a more natural and holistic approach, you might want to consider giving cannabidiol (CBD) a try.  It’s the leading compound in hemp, which may be able to offer unique properties that have the potential to tackle eczema in a more deeply rooted way.

What Exactly is Eczema?

Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin.  In other words, it results from the immune system mistakenly sending cells that attack healthy skin cells, causing them to become red, dry, itchy and flaky, eventually peeling off.  Eczema causes dry patches of the skin which can occur anywhere on the body.  This can remain localized to one area or spread throughout, depending on the unique case.

It’s considered a chronic condition, meaning that it’s assumed that a person who has eczema will have it for life.  That doesn’t mean that symptoms and flareups can’t be managed.  Many children who have eczema actually grow out of the condition as they get older and their immune system strengthens.

Typically, an eczema sufferer will experience flareups, followed by intermittent periods of seeming dormancy.  Flareups result from exposure to certain triggers, like weather changes, hormonal changes, exposure to an allergen or psychological stress.

Why Does Eczema Occur?

Most doctors will tell you that there’s no known cause for eczema, but that it may be inherited genetically.  Typically, though, eczema is an indicator that the body is dealing with an inappropriate inflammatory response.  The inflammatory response occurs when the immune system believes that the body is under threat.  

Therefore, this would imply that something is going on within the body that is compromising the immune system.  Eczema has been linked to underlying conditions affecting the digestive tract, in which inflammation throughout is so taxing that the immune system struggles to operate properly.  It seems that consuming foods to which the sufferer is allergic can cause eczema to develop as well.

Is There a Cure for Eczema?

There is no known cure for eczema, but many have stated that they managed to get rid of their symptoms long-term by making healthier choices including cutting out foods to which they are intolerant.  Also, it seems that managing stress levels can play a significant role in controlling flareups.

There are treatment options which address the symptoms rather than the root cause.  Most commonly, a dermatologist will recommend a topical which reduces inflammation of the skin, alleviating the symptoms.  For more severe cases of eczema, internal methods may be necessary, including oral medication and anti-inflammatory or steroidal injections.

What Can Cannabidiol Potentially Do for Eczema Sufferers?

Now, let’s get into the potential link between CBD and eczema.  To understand, we first have to get into the unique way in which CBD is utilized by the body.  Being a cannabinoid, CBD binds with cannabinoid receptors located throughout the various bodily systems to achieve regulatory effects that improve the behavior of bodily processes.  This regulatory effect addresses the underlying mechanisms involved in conditions like eczema, as well as the symptoms themselves.

The endocannabinoid system features cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, as well as the actual layers of the skin.  This means that utilizing CBD for eczema specifically may be able to regulate the physical symptoms of eczema on the skin, as well as the underlying inflammation that is determined by the immune system.

Studies on CBD for Eczema

As additional research gets funded and put to good use, we are now seeing what the potential effects of cannabidiol are for this type of skin condition.

  • Study #2: CBD was tested on immune function by medical researchers.  It was determined that cannabidiol has the potential to regulate overall function of the immune system, which may have a positive impact on those with inflammatory conditions of various kinds.
    *Source –
  • Study #3: Earlier, we discussed the role that stress seems to play in the development of eczema.  Stress releases cortisol, which, in high doses, activates the body’s inflammatory response.  We know that CBD has the potential to regulate cortisol levels so that a person may be able to feel calmer, both physically and mentally.
    *Source –

Taking CBD for Eczema

Let’s get into the best way to use CBD specifically for eczema and psoriasis, whether your case is mild or severe.

Step #1: Speak to Your Doctor
It’s very important that you have a conversation with your doctor prior to trying to treat eczema on your own, whether it be with CBD or something else.

Step #2: Choose the Right Delivery Methods 
We recommend using both a topical and an internal method such as a CBD oil or CBD cannabinoid cream for the best results.  The topical can tackle the specific symptoms on the skin by providing concentrated doses of cannabidiol directly to the problematic areas of the body.  Meanwhile, the internal method may offer regulatory effects to the body’s inflammatory response.

Step #3: Opt for a High Strength
We suggest going with a stronger-than-average milligram concentration for this specific issue.

Step #4: Daily CBD Usage is Key
It’s highly advisable to take CBD daily for the best results.  Daily administration gives the endocannabinoid system what it needs to perform properly, so that it may regulate the functions of the body that are affected by the condition.

Show Off Your Lovely Skin Again! 
Eczema can be a distressing and chronic condition, but there are ways to manage it.  Science now shows us that cannabidiol may be one of several options available.  Again, as we cannot stress this enough, consult a physician as to what CBD carrier oils may be good for YOUR condition.

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CBD Dosage Guidelines

BY: Jayson Cote

If you’ve ever purchased a CBD product before, you’ve likely read the label carefully to make sure that you know exactly what it is that you’re taking, and the proper method for taking it.  All CBD products should come with instructions according to universal regulations, which means that whether you’ve got a vape oil, a tincture, an edible, a topical or a different hemp product altogether, that label should tell you what the proper serving size is, and how it’s best to consume it.

One crucial bit of information on any CBD package is the CBD dosing guideline, which is based off of tier dosing guidelines developed by the NIH.  We will be talking about what this means.  Maybe you’ve wondered how crucial it is that you stick to the exact amount listed on the product’s label.  Well, allow us to answer all of your questions.

What is a Dosage Guideline?

A dosing guideline simply refers to the dosage amount listed on a product’s label, as determined by the manufacturer.  Some dosage guidelines are more complex than others.  For instance, a bottle of CBD oil may simply suggest that you take a dropper’s worth at a time.  Meanwhile, an edible’s label may suggest that you take a certain number of pieces according to your body weight, or your specific reason for taking CBD.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a guideline, which means its purpose is to provide guidance.  This means that it’s not a hard rule that you have to take the exact amount as recommended by the manufacturer.  This is just a standard dose that seems to work well for most.

Dose vs. Milligram Strength

Let’s quickly break down the difference between dose and milligram strength, because many people get these two things confused.  The dose is the amount of product you take per serving.  The milligram strength, meanwhile, is the concentration of CBD in the product’s formula.  Therefore, a standard dose of, say, a 100mg tincture will be much less potent than a standard dose of a 1000mg tincture.

Why Companies Provide Dosing Guidelines

Companies provide dosing guidelines for two reasons.  One is that it’s required.  Two is that companies want you to have a successful experience with hemp, and their team of experts know what the general dosage amount is to ensure that success.

What Customers Should Know About Dosing Guidelines

The thing is that in many cases, dosing is a bit more complicated.  For one thing, a few factors determine which dose is ultimately right for you.  

One is your body weight.  The more you weigh, the higher your dose should be.

The other factor is your particular needs.  For instance, let’s say you’re taking CBD for stress.  A small dose may be great if you’re dealing with some temporary, minor stress following a long day at work.  But that same dosage may not do the trick if you’re having a full-blown panic attack and want something that will help you quickly calm down.

Furthermore, we are finding more that everyone has their own inherent tolerance to cannabinoids.  Therefore, a standard dose may work for your best buds, but for you it barely does anything.  Or a standard dose may make you feel sleepy because of a sensitivity that you have to CBD.

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that when examining the dosing guideline of a product, you should also consider these other factors before committing to it.  The good thing about CBD is that it’s nontoxic.  Therefore, you can increase your dosage without risk of toxic overdose due to the cannabinoid content.

Speak to Your Doctor

The best way to ensure that you take the proper dosage is to speak with your doctor.  Ultimately, companies do not have the authority to give you medical advice.  But, your doctor does.  Your doctor should know your full medical history, current symptoms and, most importantly, any medications that you’re taking.  Then, he or she can help you come up with the perfect dose to take daily that will simultaneously give you relief and work with your unique situation.

Adjust Gradually as Needed

The other thing to keep in mind about dosing is that it often needs to be adjusted.  We recommend taking the suggested dosage amount for two weeks daily and chart the effects.  Once the two week is up, you can decide if any adjustments need to be made.  

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William A. Spilo: Heli Ski Guide & CBD Luxe Co-Founder

BY: Juan Esteban

William A. Spilo: Heli Ski Guide & CBD Luxe Co-Founder

#1 Tell me about starting out as a skier vs. making it a career.
I started skiing at age three on the East Coast. My family would take trips to Vermont and Massachusetts. It wasn’t like what you see today where kids live in ski towns. It was weekend trips and a holiday or two until we moved to New Hampshire for high school and it became every day. I moved to Colorado in 1988 to pursue college, but instead I was sent around the world snowboarding, training and doing competitions and never really looked back.

I got flown to Asia to set up a snowboard program that will be in the Olympics this year, went to Europe, drove a van from Canada to Costa Rica to work on surfing for a year, guided trips to Nepal, Iceland, Chile, Croatia and more. Snowboarding has been really good to me.

#2 Today you guide professional athletes and filmmakers in some of the most remote mountains in the world. What is that like?
It’s a great way to see the world with like-minded people, great culture. We have a fun global community, but it is a niche and it’s small. Being in Alaska is the epicenter of big-mountain skiing. Anybody worth their salt in the ski film industry has to have an Alaska segment. They are the most picturesque and extreme fluted mountains I’ve ever seen.

I’ve spent a lot of time in a helicopter. It’s hard to get jaded in such an incredible machine and the instant gratification it provides. You see a distant mountain and suddenly you’re five minutes from skiing it. There’s so much intensity and camaraderie, it is extremely fulfilling and rewarding. We get dropped off by the heli and meet at the bottom.

#3 Have you witnessed a lot of injuries as a professional athlete and guide? What qualifications do you have to have?
My certifications include Avalanche Level 1-3, AMGA crevasse rescue, wilderness EMT, incident command and more. I’ve been really lucky for the amount of time in mountains and number of movies and aggressive clients and never had any serious injuries with clients. Common injuries are sprained and torn ligaments and knees and dislocated shoulders for boarders, bringing lots of inflammation. Pharmacology is what most people have resorted to.

Most people I deal with have a steady NSAID routine, taking ibuprofen every day, which is why the CBD is great. The NSAIDs are really hard on the liver and kidneys; the tradeoff is tremendous.

#4 How has CBD changed your outlook on modern medicine?
With 45 years of being around Cannabis, back in the day, everything was really hush-hush. I never talked about grass when working or with anyone I worked with. Now I recommend CBD to everyone I meet. I’m shocked at the efficacy of CBD for inflammation and pain.

Getting my neck fused was a pretty big deal. I have a plate and six screws in my neck, both shoulders redone, left knee done twice and plastic put in my face. None of those are from crashes; those are all maintenance. All of my surgeries have been maintenance: shoulders tearing apart, losing feeling in my extremities, they told me I could be paralyzed. What I find is that it relieves a lot of my back pain, tension-related issues and it is very relaxing; it gives me more of a serene state. I used to have to take tons of pharmaceuticals to not get the same relief.

#5 Could you use traditional Cannabis and do your job?
When I am working, I can’t smoke. If an accident happens, they test you, and accidents happen all the time. Plus, the level of what we are doing is so intense, you need to be firing on all eight cylinders, and I find that when people smoke they get more scared and hesitant, and hesitation kills in the mountains. The difference between life and death is all about split-second decision making, making clear and educated choices.

#6 Why did you want to start making these CBD products?
I have to go to gym a minimum of four days a week, heat up and stretch just to get my hands near my feet. I think in my early years my balls were a little bigger than my skill. What’s nice is that CBD allows me to get off the NSAIDs, and I can feel it in my stomach after ibuprofen or Aleve for weeks — it’s not worth it. I wanted to be able to share that with others who are going through the same pain and problems I live with.

I feel like at the end of the day, I’ve done something positive for people. If there is one person who can use their product and get off an opiate or other pill, that’s a real benefit…it’s something that means a lot to me personally.

#7 What kind of products is your company making and how are they different from what is on the market?
We start with Organic hemp grown in Europe and processed into a pharma-grade isolate in the U.K. This is organic according to U.K. standards, which are higher than in the U.S. It is the highest grade of CBD you will find, with no heavy metals, pesticides or molds. Ninety-nine point nine percent pure CBD, nothing less.

We put 125 mg of CBD into our natural sublingual spray that is not diluted with chemicals. Available unflavored and mint flavored, we have more flavors coming soon and a day/nighttime formula too. Capsules and cartridges are launching in December too, with a topical pain stick in the beginning of 2016.

#8 How does Cannabis fit into Colorado culture?

It seems like Cannabis culture is part of everything; it’s an alternative lifestyle pastime and so is skiing, so the integration is there. A lot of people that enjoy Cannabis enjoy skiing and lend themselves to the ideals. That independent adventure… it’s a solo sport. It’s you and the mountain with a lot of headspace. I think people who enjoy headspace enjoy Cannabis as well.”

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Rising Interest & Excitement over CBD

BY: Juan Esteban

Rising Interest & Excitement over CBD

“If your interest is peaked concerning the many phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids) found in cannabis – including those that have no psychoactive properties (like CBD or Cannabidiol) – then you are not alone!

More and more people, around the country and around the world, are looking at natural and alternative ways to treat and prevent various ailments.  More people are searching for CBD and Cannabidiol according to Leafly, a national resource on all things cannabis.

As well we should!  Plant-based medicines, including that of hemp/cannabis have been around and used effectively for thousands of years.

Remember, CBD products when coming from hemp (regulated by State departments of agriculture and chartered in the 2014 federal Farm Bill) – are already ‘legal‘ to purchase and sell in all 50 States (versus CBD coming from plants that are classified as marijuana).  We have customers all over the country, that are using and seeing success with our That’s Natural premium CBD-rich hemp oil products.  You can see what they are saying here.”

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CBD as a Treatment

BY: Juan Esteban

More medicines are being researched and developed around the world for the treatment of various ailments and diseases using the non-psychoactive cannabinoid called Cannabidiol (CBD).

Much of the pioneering research has come from scientist and professor Raphael Mechoulam.  Because of the regulatory freedom to experiment with cannabinoids (take note Congress and U.S. federal government), Israel right now is recognized as the global center for research with cannabis.

Cannabinoid receptors have been found not only in the brain, but also in other bodily tissues (in the Endocannabinoid System) – suggesting several potential applications of many of the cannabinoids found in cannabis/hemp.

When researching a product with CBD, it is very important to ask these four critical questions, to protect yourself and your loved ones.” That’s Natural!

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4 Key Questions to ask about CBD

BY: Juan Esteban

4 Key Questions to ask about CBD

“It’s imperative that you know what to ask your supplement-provider.  With any product – whether it is your food, your medicine, your body-care products – it is your right to know exactly what you are getting.  After all, whatever you put in and on your body, becomes part of YOU.  That’s Natural is so excited to be a part of the medicine freedom revolution, and we want you to know some questions to ask when it comes to your CBD, or Cannabidiol supplement.


1. Where is the hemp grown?

Why care?  Well, since hemp flowers, stalks, and leaves are what are used to extract the CBD, it is important that you know where that hemp is grown.  Many supplements use hemp from other countries, mainly from Europe and China and often claiming Organic and GMO Free with no verification, just un-verifiable claims..  Some of these countries may have very different and less stringent agricultural polices and practices than the United States.  You have a right to know your farmer – and know who is growing the hemp that is used for your CBD oil supplement.

2. How is the hemp processed?

Knowing what process is used to extract the oil from the hemp is also important.  Sometimes, producers use harsh solvents (including butane) to extract the oil from cannabis.  Although many times they claim that there is no residue, That’s Natural advocates against the use of such a harsh chemical.  Another, much more safe food-grade method is using supercritical CO2 extraction, which only uses CO2, which does not leave any harsh or dangerous residue.

3. What else is in the CBD oil?

Most all CBD supplements, whether they are oral or topical have some type of “carrier” – whether it is an oil, a cream, a salve, a paste, etc.  Just like it is important to check the label when you purchase a food product – knowing the other ingredients are a key part of knowing exactly what is in your CBD oil.

4. How much CBD is really in this?

This can get tricky.  There are a lot of suspicious claims being made by manufacturers. And almost always, when companies advertise deep discounts on product, or large amounts of percentage of CBD for discounted prices, the customer should definitely do extra research.  We have done our own cost calculations for what it costs per mg of CBD as an average, for us.  If manufacturers are advertising large percentages by volume of CBD, it would be a good idea to ask for third-party-verification of both “cannabinoid content” and “Cannabidiol (CBD)” content.  Just because a label has a percentage on it, does not mean that it is a percentage by volume of CBD – it may be a percentage of something else.  Look for the fine print, and ask for verification of what the company is claiming.

At That’s Natural! we want you to make informed decisions.  We provide the information you need, open transparency!  We believe in our product, its quality processing and pure ingredients.  We hope you give us a try!” That’s Natural! CBD

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CBD & Sports

BY: Juan Esteban

CBD & Sports

There is increased interest in having world class athletes tested for CBD. The immense pressure to compete internationally at peak levels in many sports leads world class athletes to explore all legal means to gain training advantages.

Having competed in track and field at a world class levels for ten years, I know the exact pressures and do know that CBD, more specifically, well tested CBD oils, are in fact a benefit to overall health. In my sport the demands of training meant 100 miles plus weeks of running both on the track and off the track on intense road runs. The pounding of the artificial track surfaces, and miles and miles of cement roads, does impact the muscles tissues.

Recently, the attention of researchers and consumers is focusing specifically on properties of CBD oil that is extracted from hemp.

CBD replaces much of the supplement mega dosing I was undergoing during a decade of world competitions in track and field. There is tremendous stress, both emotionally and physically, that is caused by international sports and a fan base that do want to see athletes perform at their natural best. Hemp based CBD oils, to go even further, are a natural supplement no different than many of the legal supplements I was tested for throughout the 80’s at mandated drug testing sessions.

For recreational athletes and for the average person putting in daily workouts, I believe CBD oils are a natural extension of vitamin supplementation to allow for natural and legal physical performances. Fortunately, for the average person seeking to have a better life in performing their workouts, CBD oils, below specific THC levels and hemp based, are legal in the United States, plus perfectly safe, and non-addicting.

We are on a revolutionary course in physical maintenance. CBD oils are the point for change; a change that is long overdue.

Author Brian Theriot is a former United States world class middle distance runner and 1984 USA Championships Bronze Medalist 800 meters, personal bests of 1:45 800 meters, 3:36 1500 meters, and 3:56 for the mile. He competed internationally throughout the decade of the 80’s and is the first sub 4 minute miler in world history to play college football at age 32. Brian graduated UCLA as an NCAA champion and team captain in track and field.

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About Will Spilo

BY: Juan Esteban

About Will Spilo

I’ve been a big mountain snowboarder and International Heli Ski guide for the past 20 years and in that time have sustained numerous injuries. From the constant use of NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, Advil, Aleve, etc.) to the prescribed pain meds, I was desperate for an alternative to fight my pains and inflammation. After intensive research and recommendations from my doctors, chiropractors, and acupuncturists I tried CBD! Initially I was pleased with the results but I felt that the concentrations and content of the products I tried were lacking the true potential of CBD.

It is for that reason my business partner and I started B.E. Labs and CBD Luxe. We found a 99.7% pure crystallized CBD isolate with a 100% absorption rate with absolutely no trace elements. It was through this discovery and development that we now have a CBD product line exhibiting the true efficacy and potential of CBD.

Our products carry our commitment to the highest quality in the purest state, delivered in the most effective and convenient manner. We hope they provide the relief you need to tackle your next adventure, no matter how big or small.

I implore you to try our products and enjoy the benefits of CBD today.

William Spilo


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Ex-NFL Player Says Weed Helped Him Kick Pills, Suicidal Thoughts

BY: Juan Esteban

Ex-NFL Player Says Weed Helped Him Kick Pills, Suicidal Thoughts

“I’m getting myself back.”

Former All-Pro offensive lineman Kyle Turley has said he sustained over 100 concussions in his playing days, but it’s the argument around which drugs should be used to treat the subsequent pain that he’s truly concerned about.

Turley, who played for the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs during his decade-long NFL career, has become an equally loud critic of painkillers and proponent of medicinal marijuana since his retirement from the game in 2007. During an appearance on “Highly Questionable” on Thursday, Turley opened up about his past suicidal tendencies, which he blames squarely on pharmaceutical drugs.

“My relationship with pharmaceuticals brought me to where I am today,” he said. “About eight months ago having had an episode where I really just got to my lowest point in life. Thoughts of suicide, depression, anxiety were mounting, never going away.”

“Suicidal and homicidal tendencies became a part of my daily living, in that I couldn’t be around a knife in my kitchen without having an urge to stab someone, including my wife and kids,” he added. “That was highly disturbing to me.”

These thoughts of suicide confused him. He thought to himself, “I’ve got it all. So why am I sitting around contemplating suicide all the time wondering if this life is worth living?”

Turley takes a break during summer training camp with the St. Louis Rams in 2004.

Turley said he isn’t taking pharmaceutical drugs anymore, and that his life is exponentially better as a result. “I’m getting myself back.” For that, he credits marijuana. Turley remembered that on the day of his induction into the Hall of Fame at San Diego State, he stepped out onto a balcony to smoke marijuana, only to have a sudden desire to jump.

“If it weren’t for cannabis I don’t think I would have made it back to my hotel room,” he said.

This is where we should note that Turley spoke to “Highly Questionable” as part of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, which is dedicated to the advancement of marijuana research. He has a stake in this game. Also, Turley is not a medical expert, simply an advocate for a treatment that he believes worked better for him than the pharmaceutical drugs that led to rampant abuse around the league.

There could be other reasons for his suicidal tendencies aside from pharmaceutical drugs — like, sadly, those 100 concussions he said he suffered during his playing career. Those are enough to do the job. But interest in whether marijuana could either reduce painkiller abuse among NFL players or even counteract the effects of CTE has become an increasingly popular question of late. Former NFL player Nate Jackson credits smoking during his playing career for keeping his “brain clean.” Bennet Omalu, the doctor who discovered the first case of CTE in an NFL player and the basis of Will Smith’s character in “Concussion,” recently joined the board of a medical company researching whether marijuana could help treat brain injuries.

Whether marijuana can play a role in making football a safer sport remains questionable, at best. There is still much research to be done, and it’s doubtable marijuana or any other drug will ever make the inherently dangerous sport safe. But Turley said Thursday that shouldn’t stop us from learning as much as we can.

“This [marijuana] could potentially prevent and postpone any damage done from concussions,” Turley said. “There is no excuse for us to say we don’t know enough anymore about a plant that has grown from the ground for thousands of years and used as medicine around the world.”

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