More on CBD

Pain relief. Inflammatory relief. Anxiety relief. Digestive relief. Insomnia relief. Stress relief. 

That’s the word out there on the wonders of CBD, but none of it is substantiated beyond the rare study and spontaneous but broad anecdotal evidence. Just like other supplements, the effects must meet the satisfaction of the federal agencies that oversee these substances and claims. As of this writing, the federal government does not accept them as valid. (....For the protection of the consumer, of course, but note: the state/federal legality is still a quandry.) Many studies are underway at this writing for scientific and legal review. Let’s gather some concrete information, then we can talk about our experiences.

Excerpt from the Hindawi Journal of Toxicology   Volume 2018, Article ID 8143582:

Cannabis sativa is a unique and complex plant with respect to its constituents and physiological properties…. Despite the fact that humans have utilized the C.sativa plant medicinally for millenia, its chemical profile and complex pharmacology have yet to be fully elucidated.”

“Cannabinoids are chiefly known to act on the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.   ….CB1 receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system but are also found in peripheral tissues, including those of the pituitary gland, gastrointestinal system, reproductive system and immune system. CB2 receptors are found in the central nervous system (neuronal microglia cells, brain stem cells, and cerebellum) as well as peripherally in tissues such as the spleen, thymus, tonsils, mast cells, and reproductive system.”

From the U.S Hemp Roundtable general literature:

“Cannabinoids are compounds that are native to plants and humans. Hemp contains phytocannabinoids (phyto = plant), one of which is cannabidiol, or CBD. Our bodies also make cannabinoids called endocannabinoids (endo = within) that support proper function of several key operations, including the digestive system, central nervous system and even your immune system.

CBD is the most commonly known phytocannabinoid in hemp, but there are other substances known as terpenes and flavonoids that contribute to hemp’s chemical profile. In addition, hemp offers protein, essential amino acids, ALA Omega-3, fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals.”

NYT Magazine  excerpt from The ABDs of CBD by MoisesVelasquez-Manoff   May 19, 2019:

“ CBD works is less clear. It seems to interact with multiple systems: increasing the quantity of native cannabinoids in the human body; binding with serotonin receptors, part of the “feel good” molecular machinery targeted by conventional S.S.R.I.s; and stimulating the GABA receptors, responsible for calming the nervous system. With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level.

This biochemical promiscuity is one reason CBD seems so promising, according to Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai, in New York. Modern neuroscience often tries to target one pathway or receptor, Hurd told me; that approach is easier to study scientifically, but it may not address what are often network-wide problems. “The brain is about a symphony’” she says. And CBD she suspects, can “bring the entire symphony into harmony”.”

Former NFL Running Back Ricky Williams 

quoted in Massage & Bodywork magazine Sept/Oct 2019:

“I remember my first massage using a CBD salve. After the massage, I felt my whole body was awake and alive and vibrating. I realized this could be really powerful for people therapeutically. It was a profound experience for me.”

                              +     + +     + + +     + + +

So ultimately, we have to guess about dose, efficacy, use and where each of us might be in the strength or vitality of our unique native endocannabinoid systems. This system produces endocannabinoids and enzymes to support and regulate optimal function in the body’s various systems and is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Stress or trauma sets the wheels in motion and the endocannabinoid system is a first responder. Beyond the endocannabinoids we make for this system, when we introduce hemp or marijuana, the CBD or phytocannabinoids in those substances will go to those sites, hence the effect on our systems. 

There is the question of absorption in topical application. When determining how a substance makes its way through the many layers of skin, there are several factors - higher fat solubility matters, as does molecular weight, and whether or not the formula is full spectrum and contains raw or gently heated CBD. Raw formulas do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Our full spectrum CV Services plusCBD is approximately 49% essential fatty acids, for example, and the gold formula is gently heated, so this facilitates penetration to the bloodstream despite a high molecular weight. The truth is, there are many CB receptors in the skin, so that the phytocannabinoids effectively signal through the pathways - stepping stone neurotransmitters - and whether the blood stream shows evidence of absorption is a reasonable study for the future.

CAUTION: For those on pharmaceutical medications, please be aware that CBD can inhibit or neutralize the function of some liver enzymes, and since all pharmaceuticals are broken down in the liver, you want to check with your physician or pharmacist to see what contraindications might exist. 

What our clients have reported:

“This works beautifully for my old dog who has hip dysplasia.”

“I started the drops expecting to have better sleep. I slept through the night and was then delighted to find it changed my IBS for the better.”

“The gummies are my “go to” for anxiety. Easy to dose and keep track of.”

“ My knees aren’t screaming after walking six blocks.”

CV SERVICES is the main brand we carry for ingestibles, and their literature regarding CBD from their hemp grown in the Netherlands states:

“A growing body of scientific evidence and controlled studies is supporting its health-related properties, including:

  • Antioxidant properties on par with or greater than Vitamins A, C, and E

  • Calming qualities similar to melatonin and magnesium and ability to support mood, sleep, and brain health

  • Ability to help promote metabolic wellness similar to cinnamon extract or chromium

  • Healthy inflammation response support

  • Broad-spectrum nutrition; rich not only in phytocannabinoids, but also fatty acids, terpenes, plant-derived sterols, chlorophyll and naturally-occurring Vitamin E”

Something Personal

The Labyrinth at Kripalu

I am home, about to recount last week’s experience in the labyrinth.

Tonight it is unusually dark, the sky shrieks out one rumbling crescendo after another, the atmosphere dense with rain not yet formed, and my sweet cats are with me as I write, bearing up even though the lightning show is erratic, intense, pitching light like a hundred fast balls at my front door, my windows to the east, kitchen windows at the back and all directions at once, like an exploding, saw-edged, uncontainable halo. The moon is full, but no lunar eclipse will be seen tonight, no moon or moonlight at all visible. Rain falls, dumps buckets and the earth sends up her scent: musky fertile soil and flowers letting go of beauty held without vanity, the urgency of worms making sure they will not drown where drainage stops as wet meets the deeper floor of clay. Millions in the kingdom among moss and mushrooms take their cue to propagate and thrive. The earth revels in the wildness and power of her own expression.

This is the kind of night you may choose to stay close, gather the love around you, or run to be thick in the mix the heavens have delivered. The natural world this late night could not be more opposite than that of the July morning spent walking outside Kripalu, seeking.

I trusted spirit had something for me, if I just took time to receive the gift - whatever it might be. 

The air was clear and light, the dew cool and plentiful, the sun not yet lifting over the treeline. Birds erupting with song did not diminish the vista of quietude and serenity before me.

I sought out the labyrinth to set intention and walk with purpose to shift my grieving, woeful mind and heart. I was pursuing and yet confused by the active connection one inevitably feels to the dead who are most beloved and ubiquitously present still. He died sixteen months ago. I have spent many moments each and every day since in communion, in battle, in love, in denial, bitterness, hopelessness, gratitude, shame, in desperation, confusion, exaltation, forgiveness, in joyful remembrance and deeper sorrow that I have ever known. But too much it is the same thoughts, slightly different storytelling with the same ending, characters switching leading, supporting, good guy and bad guy roles. The script just wears itself out from rewrites, rejects and insufferable dialogue. What was I doing here? What fix was there?

I could not say “You no longer dwell in my heart.”

So I didn’t, because it would have been a really stupid lie - a lie devoid of compassion for him and for myself.

At the entrance to the labyrinth, I cried because I was unsure what the hell I wanted. How to set intention when you’re a blubbering mess and fear letting go...then a little clarity came in.  I heard myself say, “You will always dwell in my heart. Let us exist freely, at peace now.” Before I knew it, I just stepped into the labyrinth, walked on, one foot in front of the other. Oddly, time was not part of the experience; it just fell away. I did have moments of distraction, disquiet and effort to stay with intention, but my other-worldly auto-pilot was stronger.

And the unfolding, the unburdening, the unwinding just happened.  With help, I am sure. (Thanks, from my core.) 

I came out of the labyrinth like a car with a tune-up, carwash, detailing, alignment and new programming. The fading scripts drift by now but do not snag me for long. I do feel freer, and I do feel more at peace. If there is any gravity in my expectation, it is that he is free also.  I do feel that too.


Life goes on; frequent are the moments when the veil between worlds feels thin. Since the labyrinth I actually feel freer to love what was, not to suffer the past like a tragedy.

I believe all pings and pokes not of this plane come in the frequency of love. 

I am grateful. 

Summer Life

July days at Kripalu

Here in the Berkshires, summer is resplendent in nature: generous fair weather skies, undulating mountainscapes with infinite colors of blue and green that change with the day’s light, so many trees, weeds, shrubs, berries, wildflowers like fire burst red poppies and pollinators of all sizes from tiniest wasps to hummingbirds. Each finds the flower awaiting transport of its fertile dust...“who were made for each other”.

It takes me back to my childhood in eastern Massachusetts, where shady woods and sunlit meadows, creeks and wetlands surrounded me - home to so much flora and fauna. Poplars with clickety-clack leaves, milkweed with luxurious silk that carried the seeds far and wide, tall fragrant grasses, lush mosses, pussy willows, wild blueberries, blackberries, hazelnuts and skunk cabbage, ferns, black-eyed susans, Queen Anne’s lace, pine, maple, oak, birch and for a time, innumerable majestic elms. Trout, hornpout, sunfish, muskrats, foxes, rabbits, skunks, deer, snakes, frogs and toads, dragonflies and ladybugs, June bugs, fireflies, monarch butterflies and swallowtails, ducks, pheasants and songbirds in droves: it meant we were an audience rapt with earthly delights and heavenly beauty that was unlimited, as far as we could tell. Once, carried on my mother’s back, we two kept silent and still as an enormous black snake wrapped its way around the base of a grand tree. This snake was bigger than me, and I was too young to think it was anything but supernatural. Watching polliwogs grow to full fledged amphibians amazed me. Observing the neighbor’s dog leap up repeatedly out of the meadow’s high cover, disappear, only to bounce higher and higher still, was enough entertainment to keep us laughing until dusk and home for dinner.

But I digress. I am here studying with Lee Albert in his advanced class of Integrated Positional Therapy, which is a system that balances muscles, retrains long and short imbalances, and delivers pain free living with a self wellness plan. Sounds improbable, right? But it makes so much sense, we understand a great deal more with each exposure to these techniques. As part of the module, we are doing clinics for anyone on staff here at Kripalu, and it is a really gratifying experience. Last clinic I was assigned a person from Santa Fe doing an extended program here - years before, she’d suffered a car accident and hadn’t felt right since. Good results! Remarkably, a dozen folks from the last training are in this class too - osteopaths, physicians, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, yoga teachers and even consultants, finance and business people….

I am so grateful to be here. The schedule is intense, but somehow there is time to enjoy the grounds and the offerings that enhance the spiritual experience of Kripalu.

Walking to the lake for an early morning swim before breakfast and class, I waded in and soon was sharing the placid water with nineteen Canada geese, four in one of the families were still a bit young, losing the last of the ruffled down on their necks. Dragonflies came and went. I swam. The geese swam. A swallowtail butterfly appeared at the shore, and I felt the call to move on with my day. I felt the demands of gravity and land leggedness as I left the water. A chipmunk started darted about, biting out a tiny patch of grass to grab the snack there while the swallowtail continued her aerial switchback dance. The chipmunk sat quietly while its jaws moved at the speed of light, then ran off. The geese sunned themselves and I dried off, set to return through the woods and up the hill to Kripalu. The one butterfly circled me and went on. As I walked the wooded path, a frog leapt from directly in front of me to the shallows and grasses at my side. This morning was wonderful, a cameo in nature to remind me: we are not separate. All belong. We all belong.

…. And I do believe we replenish the whole with time spent present in nature. 


Is CBD safe?

Is CBD safe?

Generally, as plant-lovers and lay people, we like to think so - if the hemp is organically grown, extracted via supercritical CO2 extraction, kept intact as full spectrum, not overheated or combined with ingredients of questionable source or value and not consumed in mass quantities.

But how do we know what we are getting? That is not easy to discern, and at eviama we really ask the hard questions when vetting a product to sell to the public. We want to support sustainable agriculture as well as proper and sustainable formulation and manufacturing practices. That’s our mission.

And we do have good news regarding a specific line of CBD hemp oil extract; one company dared to do the exacting hard work that brought this about.

Since June 2018, CV Services achieved the designation “Generally Accepted As Safe” (GRAS) after going through a process verified by AIBMR Life Sciences. That firm conducted independent FDA-compliant toxicology tests and reviewed the GRAS self determination for CV Services Gold Formula and provided the scientific data which showed No-Observed Adverse-Effect Level.

Solely at this writing, and first in the US to attain this regulatory status, CV Services already had our appreciation: consistently they’ve been dedicated to traceability and transparency to ensure quality and safety from seed to shelf. So, we know now that CV Services brand’s naturally occurring, full spectrum hemp-derived CBD is safe - tested and proved.

Important to note: no other company promoting CBD can piggy-back off this same study - they have to do the toxicology testing on their own, because technically, it is unlikely they could demonstrate their hemp source is bioequivalent to the CV Services extract. More studies from other companies would be a boon for the industry, it is true - but what about green, local and sustainable brands that do not have the resources to jump through these regulatory hoops?

We want to support the small organic farmers and producers, too. That is why we have a few options for you at eviama, holding to our standards and keeping it small.

What about all the other CBD brands and products?

If we know anything about hemp-derived CBD, it is that an ever growing array of vendors has expanded the hype and the novelty market. That CBD is showing up everywhere should give us pause to consider who is not so serious about much more than cashing in on the craze. We have watched many fad ingredients and isolates cycle through major brands, getting consumers whipped up into a frenzy that leads to misunderstanding and not as much benefit as promised.  That’s happening with CBD - often the isolate, not the full spectrum extract, is used, and who knows the extraction method or if the soil was exploited….Hemp is a bio-accumulator, so if industrial hemp was grown on a former brown site, you don’t want clothes or medicine made from it. Additionally, the trend can bring out the tinkerers who think liposomal and nano-emulsion technologies are perfect for altering CBD for the sake of absorption and delivery. We aren’t so sure!

Is a commercial shampoo a helpful way to encounter CBD? Well, just hold on a minute. You can use a few drops of CBD (which you know to be from a good source) in a little jojoba or argan oil and finger-comb or brush that through your hair. You can add a few drops to your handful of conditioner. Simpler, more straightforward….

Much more to say about all this - next time we’ll talk about the body’s own endocannabinoid system, what else is in hemp oil and what we think full spectrum, hemp-derived CBD can do for us.

Thanks so much for listening.

Reduce Reuse Recycle?

Ever wonder if we can overcome the tyranny of plastic?

There are so many reasons why we need to wean ourselves: because the source is fossil fuel, because the chemistry has always been imperfect at the very least, toxic at the worst, because we are making everyone eat plastic, from tiny organisms to whales to ourselves - all in peril.

I know there are folks out there adamant about using no more plastic bags, and that is one very important contribution to a healthier planet. We should all aspire to this! But let’s go beyond that and take a close look at where we stand with the ubiquitous fossil fuel helpmate/menace we call plastic.

My attempts overwhelmed me the first day I promised to be fully mindful and try to use only those articles of plastic that could be/would be recycled. Here’s what happened; and at the end of this you’ll find resources for recycling plastic and lots MORE.

Floss and brush teeth:

  1. floss is plastic, neem toothpaste is in a plastic tube and toothbrush is natural bristle with recycled plastic handle

  2. Dr. Hauschka face wash container is glass but pump cap is plastic

  3. All Dr. Hauschka face, body, hair products come in glass, plastic, metal, some recyclable but at least plastics are phthalate free.

Breakfast smoothie:

  1. the protein powder is in a plastic tub, with a plastic scoop

  2.    the frozen wild Boreal blueberries are in a plastic bag

  3.     the Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds are in a plastic bag

  4.     dried tumeric and cinnamon are in glass jars but dispensing cap is plastic

  5.     fresh parsley and spinach in compostable bags

  6.     water is stored in glass, but the distiller has a plastic outer body

  7.     hey! the refrigerator body and interior is mostly plastic

  8. ...and while I chose a blender with a glass vessel, the base is plastic and all the wires are coated with - you guessed it - plastic.

Getting dressed:

  1. Tunic is linen, scarf is fair trade cotton and wool, but leggings do have fibers that are fossil-fuel origin. The boots are leather and rubber, but the zipper on those boots? Plastic teeth, uh-huh.


I think I have to stop here. The idea is that we need to start asking of the people who design, develop and produce what we buy, the goods that we depend upon, all that seems innocuous, but is not - for something different. Specifically, different and sustainable materials, thoughtful eco friendly solutions that consider cradle to grave impact. Modelling, asking ourselves and raising kids to question the practical steps on a path to a sustainable future for all species and our earth - and to think, to use our voices, to act and to become scientists, researchers, engineers, policy makers and voters who can guide the world to a safer plastic free, peacemaker future.

And make our way - to become the people we want our kids to be...perhaps, a peaceable revolution to embrace.

City of Philadelphia Recycling Program

Curbside recycling details and special programs (such us illegally dumped tires) information can be found at Philadelphia Department of Streets/recycling. Philly does not take plastic bags or styrofoam, but lots of information below will help you with all Philly doesn’t do.

Additional donation places and what they will take:

Mom’s Organic Market

  • Plastic bags

  • Natural cork

  • Jeans

  • Batteries

  • Compost

  • Cardboard

  • Food squeeze pouches

  • Brita filters

  • Glasses

  • Snack bags

  • Shoes

  • Health and beauty packaging

  • Cell phones

  • Bar wrappers

  • Drink pouches

  • Holiday lights

  • Denim

Target, Walmart, Acme, Shoprite, Lowes, Price Rite

  • Plastic bags (any kind from food bags to plastic bag packaging)


  • Plastic bags

  • Cardboard

  • Plastic bottles


     Recycles refrigerators and will pay you $75

United States Environmental Protection Agency



    Located in many Walmarts, will accept cellphones and tablets


Recycling kiosks in their stores

Cellphones and other electronic devices

Old kitchen appliances - inquire - they will take them!

AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and others

Your phone carrier will take and recycle your old cell phones


Compact fluorescent bulbs

Broad Street Ministry here in Philadelphia

Clothes, personal care items and food

Planet Aid

Clothing and shoes

Locations of bins:

LOS Pericos Grocery 1715 S 7th St Philadelphia PA 19148                

Oregon Market 320 W. Oregon Ave Philadelphia PA 19148                

BP1850 Columbus Blvd Philadelphia PA 19148

Salvation Army and Goodwill

    Toys, (clean) clothes, tape, CDs, furniture, books, appliances, technology, rugs

Green Drop

           Charitable donations: Lightly used clothing and kitchen appliances + + +

  for locations and more info

EZ Clean Up Junk Removal