My Journey from Wine to Weed
Restoring Balance with Cannabinoids
**As Seen in A Balanced Glass**
After a decade of US and international wine industry experience, I chose to leave the industry I love.
Throughout my wine career, I remember working many long days and nights. I was feeling the constant pressure to entertain or have a glass of wine, even though my body and mind were exhausted. I love a good glass of wine and absolutely loved the work that I was doing, but by the end of the week, I was drinking almost every night, both because of the demands of my career and also to manage stress.
I also found it almost impossible to do a cleanse or even find a week away from wine. Every time I would try, I would look at my calendar and realize I had a tasting, a wine class, or an event booked. I was envious of my non-industry friends who were able to diligently follow their detox protocols, but I also realized how lucky I was to have the opportunity to taste wines from all around the world, which was a big perk. This was the dilemma – do I do what’s best for my health and cut back? Or seize the opportunity to taste unique, amazing wines? I always chose wine.
However, in January 2017, I witnessed a gruesome car accident near my home in Sausalito, California, and while trying to work through this trauma, I was having a tough time sleeping. Instead of turning to alcohol or pharmaceutical drugs, I wanted to find a holistic way to heal myself, and started researching cannabis. Surprisingly, I came across many similarities between cannabis and wine including growing practices and sensory evaluation techniques, but the ways in which cannabis works with our internal systems is what ultimately led to my career change.
Cannabis consists of hundreds of different molecules including terpenes and phytocannabinoids—a cannabinoid or group of chemically similar compounds that are synthesized by plants such as CBD or THC—that work together to deliver enhanced therapeutic effects. When consumed, the entourage of phytocannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis interact with cannabinoid receptors that are found in the body. It’s almost as if this plant was made for us, which is exemplified by the nature of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
All humans and mammals have an ECS that helps maintain homeostasis. This biological system is composed of different endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that are expressed throughout the body. With the discovery of the ECS, researchers realized phytocannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are able to stimulate these different receptor sites, keeping our systems in check by regulating appetite, mood, memory, inflammation, and more.
When living with constant stress, researchers discovered that our bodies can experience endocannabinoid deficiencies, which can greatly impact our health. To restore homeostasis, cannabis can be used as a supplement to rebalance the ECS. Think of phytocannabinoids as you’d think of vitamins. By implementing a cannabinoid therapy regimen, you can use cannabis to help fill the gaps and replenish your body with what’s been lost to avoid burnout and exhaustion.
In addition to CBD and THC, there are over one hundred phytocannabinoids that are unique to cannabis, each offering different benefits and characteristics that interact with the ECS. For example, THCV (Tetrahyrdocannabivarin) is a great option for those seeking weight loss as it suppresses the appetite. CBN (Cannabinol) works wonders for those who are looking for a good night’s rest. The good news is, many cannabis companies are beginning to focus on these lesser-known phytocannabinoids, which could potentially offer a better solution for targeted healing.
While wine will always be my first love, cannabis has played an important role in enhancing my self-care. If you’re not big on THC, that shouldn’t scare you away. There are so many other phytocannabinoids and terpenes that can benefit your mind, body, and soul. Remember, everyone reacts differently, so have an open mind and don’t be afraid to experiment.
(The Herb Somm photo by Heather Tafolla)
Not sure how to approach cannabis? Here are four ideas to consider:
Know what’s legal.
Cannabis use is still considered illegal in some states and countries outside of the United States. Before exploring cannabinoid medicine, be sure to read up on the current legal status of cannabis based on where you reside. The good news is, hemp-derived CBD products are becoming readily available in most places, making them a safe place to start. Just be sure to do your research to ensure you are purchasing reliable products from trusted brands.
Speak with your healthcare provider.
If you’re thinking about using cannabis for the first time and are taking other medications, it’s imperative that you speak with your healthcare provider to limit the risk of dangerous drug interactions. If your primary doctor is not familiar with cannabinoid medicine, there are other resources that can guide you including the American Cannabinoid Clinics or a cannabis coach who works with international clients.
Do your research.
With more and more clinical trial results reaching the public eye, it’s a perfect time to read the most up-to-date research on cannabis as it’s constantly evolving. Look into what’s been discovered in other countries, such as Spain and Israel, who’ve conducted some of the most extensive cannabis studies, exploring the plant’s medicinal properties.
Start low, go slow.
Cannabis is an individualized form of medicine, which means it’s not “one size fits all.” To find a product that works best for you, start with a low-dose and safely experiment with different products and cannabinoid ratios to find your perfect balance. For more beginner tips, click here.
With love and support as you begin your cannabis journey,
The Herb Somm
About the Author:
Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm. She is an educator, host, and writer specializing in cannabis, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. In addition to her work in the cannabis industry, Jamie has over a decade of wine industry experience and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Having represented a wide array of organizations and wineries, she is best known for her literary work and producing high-end events. She was also named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheHerbSomm