Jun, Corona, and Society is Bullshit

My goodness! I hope you are well! What interesting times… I know, I know…another article about the Coronavirus and all its implications. Don’t worry, this isn’t that.

Wow, how beautiful to be able to write freely without worrying about professionalism or grammar, lol. I’ve landed this sweet job writing for a significant hemp company, so I’ve had to be on top of my game. 

Tragically, I’ve got no Jun brewing at the moment…although I hope to change that very soon. Gosh, I just wish there was another way to get a SCOBY other than buying one on Etsy and it coming in a plastic bag. Oh well.

Anyway, not to be tone-deaf, this whole situation is a significant shift in many ways. I’ll spare you my thoughts on most of it, like people losing jobs and all because you can read about that sort of stuff anywhere – let’s talk about something, not on the news. Ever heard of the concept of Yugas?

Yugas are an Eastern belief, wherein the Earth/Cosmos perpetually cycle through ‘Yugas’ (ages) of which there are four- golden (Satya), silver (Treta), bronze (Dvapara), and dark Kali). There are a couple primary schools of thought within the Yuga-believing community. On the one, more popular side, they assume a 1:2:3:4 ratio, meaning that the Golden Age would last only a fraction as long as the dark age.

However, fascinating evidence proposed in this article suggests that each age has the same duration – that being 2,700 years. Of course, in between, there is 150-year dusk, and then 150-year dawn, giving 300 years of ‘in-between’ time for each age, roughly bringing the total for each period to 3,000 years. 

The bottom line is that the Kali Yuga (dark age in which we are currently in) may be ending around 2025. Now, keep in mind that according to Vedic prophecy, the ‘in-between’ periods of the Yugas are associated with cataclysmic mass events that wipe virtually all traces of human civilization off the planet. 

Here are some of the predictions for the Kali Yuga as found in the Bhagavata Purana (created about 3100B.C.):

  • Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength, and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of Kali’s age.
  • In Kali Yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man’s good birth, proper behavior, and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only based on one’s power.
  • Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction, and success in business will depend on deceit. Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to their expertise in sex, and a man will be known as a brahmana just by his wearing a thread. 
  • A person’s spiritual position will be ascertained merely according to external symbols, and on that same basis, people will change from one religious order to the next. A person’s dignity will be seriously questioned if he does not earn a good living. And one who is very talented at juggling words will be considered a learned scholar.
  • A person will be judged unholy if he does not have money, and hypocrisy will be accepted as a virtue. Marriage will be arranged simply by verbal agreement, and a person will think he is fit to appear in public if he has merely taken a bath.
  • A sacred place will be taken to consist of no more than a reservoir of water located at a distance, and beauty will be thought to depend on one’s hairstyle. Filling the belly will become the goal of life, and one who is audacious will be accepted as truthful. He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert, and the principles of religion will be observed only for reputation.
  • As the earth thus becomes crowded with a corrupt population, whoever among any of their social classes shows himself to be the strongest will gain political power.
  • Harassed by famine and excessive taxes, people will resort to eating leaves, roots, flesh, wild honey, fruits, flowers, and seeds. Struck by drought, they will become completely ruined. 
  • The citizens will suffer much from cold, wind, heat, rain, and snow. They will be further tormented by quarrels, hunger, thirst, disease, and severe anxiety.
  • Because of the bad qualities of the age of Kali, human beings will become shortsighted, unfortunate, greedy, lustful, and poverty-stricken. The women, becoming unchaste, will freely wander from one man to the next. 
  • In Kali-yuga, men will develop hatred for each other, even over a few coins. Giving up all friendly relations, they will be ready to lose their own lives and kill even their own relatives. 
  • Uncultured men will accept charity on behalf of the Lord and earn their livelihood by making a show of austerity and wearing a mendicant’s dress. Those who know nothing about religion will mount a high seat and presume to speak on religious principles. 
  • Servants will abandon a master who has lost his wealth, even if that master is a saintly person of exemplary character. Masters will leave an incapacitated servant, also if that servant has been in the family for generations. Cows will be abandoned or killed when they stop giving milk. 
  • Cities will be dominated by thieves. The Vedas will be contaminated by speculative interpretations of atheists. Political leaders will virtually consume the citizens, and the so-called priests and intellectuals will be devotees of their bellies and genitals.

Isn’t it amazing to ponder the sort of world one would have to live in to consider these statements ‘far-out prophecies?’ Yet, all of these things are prominent parts of our daily lives. 

Anyway, I don’t mean to get too into the ethereal. Just saying, total societal collapse within the next 10 years is likely, in my humble opinion. You can use a wide variety of factors to assess this end result, whether it be the rate at which we dump plastic in the ocean or how quickly rainforests are disappearing. 

I’m pretty sure I already caught COVID-19 a month or two ago. I tend to be very healthy and rarely get sick – nothing runs in my family, whether it be high blood pressure, cancer, or whatever. But this time, it was the sickness from hell. The most remarkable aspect of the illness was the intense dry cough – it lasted for over 10 days. I’d never experienced anything like it. My own Mother reported a nearly identical experience, both in timing and symptoms. However, she lives on the other side of the U.S. It seems that this virus was going around long before it was on mainstream consciousness.

I count my blessings multiple times a day. To have lost my job amid all this dramatic change to every facet of our lives? Good God. I got word five days ago that a close friend of mine passed away. The stay-at-home order was to be her death sentence. She was 38, brilliant with a Master’s Degree and a promising career, but also a lesbian, overweight, permanently on thyroid medication, recently had her heart broken (twice), and was dependent on benzodiazepines, opioids, and amphetamine. 

Did I tell her to reconsider her drug use? Of course. Anyone who’s known an addict on any real level knows that’s a fool’s errand. It’s but a microcosm of the more significant problem we face as a society. Everything is so fucked up. What will we do? Is there anything we can do? More and more, I resort to an old quote by my friend Frank at Golden Coast Mead:

‘”Keep your sphere of concern within your sphere of influence.”

It occurred to me that as my girlfriend is up in Idaho raising our three-year-old daughter alone for the time being, that I have no excuse for not enacting the greatest self-care routine of all time. It’s incredible how we can be so bad at time management. It just dawned on me that, oh my god, I was able to afford my own yoga mat, I’ve had the blessing of some good yoga teachers, two of my roommates just moved/got kicked out, so there are spare rooms to practice in, I have so much time and freedom…..I’ve been blown away at how yoga evolves daily.

Yoga is fantastic, and I will continue to do it alone… to avoid the ego party that classes can be.

What I’m most curious about is what everybody else thinks. Do you think we will overcome this, evolve, and become a technologically advanced society? Or will there be mass destruction, suffering…and then peace..?

Palmetto Harmony CBD Oil Review


Simply put, Palmetto Harmony is the best, most potent, most effective CBD oil I have tried out of about 12 different brands. I asked them how they make their amazing oil, and unfortunately I’ve deleted the email that specified the exact phenotype of high-CBD cannabis they use, but I do remember their proprietary extraction technique.

They take the bomb diggity cannabis, put it in some kind of special machine, and run heated MCT oil over the herb while under pressure. When tasting Palmetto Harmony CBD oil, it’s incredibly unique. It has a cleanness about it, straightforward, to the point, yet light and soft. My tongue tells me I’m getting MCT oil and cannabinoids – nothing else. The taste is pungent and grassy – easily recognizable as cannabis to anyone familiar with the magical plant – yet not overpowering or harsh. It draws one’s attention to the mouth, where a complex interplay of flavors flesh out, ultimately resulting in a divine state of bliss as the inevitable calmness and relief descends upon you.

You may think I’m playing it up, but seriously, Palmetto Harmony has done an impeccable job. I’ve given this CBD oil to my dog and my wife, and they both love it. My Aussie only needs a few drops (unless complete sedation is the desired effect). She’s 10 now (that’s like 70 in human years yeah?) and we constantly take her on 5-10 mile hikes where she swims endlessly in Idaho’s Alpine lakes, making Michael Phelps look like a chump. Needless to say, at the end of the day she tends to hobble a bit, and struggle a bit when standing up or jumping. Palmetto Harmony CBD oil seems to put the spring back in her step, and from what we can tell does a wonderful job at alleviating her doggy inflammation and soreness.

I’ve also found that a few drops is about all I need to turn a bad day around. Even if it’s something as innocuous as CBD, I don’t enjoy taking substances that simply treat symptoms – but damnit, this oil works so f***ing well to alleviate my anxiety, lift depressive thoughts, and seems to initiate a butterfly effects of sorts, changing my crap day into a lovely one. Essentially, if I feel a bit ‘off’ and don’t have the time/energy to meditate for 16 hours or be the physical embodiment of Iyengar, Palmetto Harmony CBD oil has been a tried and true remedy to lift my spirits.

I spent nearly two years working for a site where I did extensive reviews of nearly 200 different CBD companies – Palmetto Harmony is the only one I know of that uses such a cool extraction process. Most use either CO2 or ethanol, and even then they usually source industrial hemp from overseas (which is vastly inferior to high-CBD cannabis in all ways).

This is not to mention that Palmetto Harmony is named after a little girl who experienced unbelievable benefits to her health condition after using CBD – and the founders realized that since nobody else is doing it right, it was up to them to create an actually efficacious CBD oil. Well done duders.

Although I’m not 100% certain, I’m pretty sure the founders are women, so take that for what you will. Personally, I feel that most businesses these days exhibit overly masculine practices, and lose sight of much that women seem to inherently perceive and practice.

The only negative thing I have to say about Palmetto Harmony is that I experienced a crushing sadness when my bottle ran dry. CBD tends to be insanely cost prohibitive, but I gotta say, this is the only company I would feel comfortable giving my hard earned money for a CBD product.

Palmetto Harmony is legend. Gold. Untouched. Epic. Real.


NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil Review

This CBD oil review will be for NuLeaf Naturals – a sleek CBD supplier based in Colorado, USA.

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The first thing that struck me (other than how warm and friendly the customer service was) was the packaging – NuLeaf Naturals utilizes Miron glass – a primo brand of biophotonic glass. It’s usually safe to assume that if somebody packages a product in Miron glass – they care a lot about what’s inside.

The science of biophotonic glass is fascinating and ancient – it’s anything but pseudoscience. It looks black at first glance, but when held up to the light it reveals itself to be ultraviolet. Miron glass is specially designed to admit only a very specific spectrum of light – one that kills unwanted microbes and enhances the curative/vibratory properties of light.

It sounds trippy, but I’ve had the pleasure of tasting the exact same honey stored for years in regular glass vs. Miron glass, and the difference is stunning. I’m a huge believer in Miron.

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I believe NuLeaf Natural uses high-CBD cannabis for their CBD oil – although after they updated their site I can’t see them specifically stating that anywhere. I believe the law states that CBD has to come from the stalk – so using the flowers of high-CBD cannabis is technically illegal (even though it makes a much better product).

Their oil tastes amazing – the terpenes really shine. It’s almost like having some great kush in liquid form. It’s $100 for a 725mg CBD bottle – pretty standard for the industry. I gotta say – I felt really, really good when I took this CBD oil. There’s something about it that’s really uplifting and soothing – I almost wonder if it’s THC.

I don’t say that lightly; my wife had a pretty interesting experience with this product. She has had maybe three beers in the last five years – and that’s it as far as intoxicants go. She is super purist in her lifestyle and diet. So, she is very, very sensitive to drugs and medicines and herbs. When she tried a couple dropper-fulls of NuLeaf Naturals, she basically had a psychedelic experience.

She said she felt extremely uncomfortable, and didn’t enjoy having an unexpected trip forced on her while she had to watch over our one year old daughter. She swore off this oil after that experience – to my dismay, as I absolutely love the stuff. It’s a reminder about how different everyone is.

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Our dog Rosemary absolutely loved this CBD oil. Most CBD oils we give her make her seem really sleepy, sedated, and relaxed – but the NuLeaf Naturals had her blissed out on life. She was bouncing around the backyard, putting her nose in everything and playing like she was a puppy again.

Who knows if it’s THC in there or not, but regardless it is pure magic. I think the trick is to not be overzealous with the dosing, and probably just start out with jut a few drops.

I plan on spending my money on NuLeaf Naturals, which I can’t say for almost any other CBD oil. It’s something that’s really useful to have on hand for bouts of inflammation, pain, anxiety, sadness, malaise, and a myriad of other things. I am in love with product and am elated at the opportunity to have tried it! Highly recommended.

Fun Facts About Cannabinoids and CBD

I am certainly eager to get the CBD Jun finished. My theory is that the microorganisms in the jun culture will metabolize the CBD in a unique way – creating metabolic byproducts that surpass the medical benefits and potency of any product currently available. But who knows? Time will tell.

Did you know cannabis is not the only plant that contains cannabinoids?

Here’s a few more:

  • Kava (Piper methysticum)
  • Liverwort (Radula marginata)
  • Black Pepper (Piper nigerum)
  • Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
  • Chinese Rhododendron (Rhododendron anthopogonoides)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Helichrysum (Helichrysum umbraculigerum)
  • Electric Daisy (Acmella oleracea)
  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Truffles (Tuber melanosporum)


Who knows how much of a role the cannabinoids in these plants play a role in their medicinal benefits. The endocannabinoid system is wildly complex and affects virtually every aspect of health.

There’s a school of thought now that people can actually suffer from something called ‘endocannabinoid deficiency.’ It’s so widely believed that it even has an official name: Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD). 

Here’s just a few of the illnesses that some think might be caused by a deficiency of endogenous cannabinoids (such as anandamide and 2-AG).


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)




Motion Sickness




It’s a pretty trippy thought. What could cause us to be deficient in endocannabinoids?

Well, the world is full of crazy toxins. When you really start to think about it (which is technically still legal) we are absolutely swimming in poison. Anyone who has built a modern house knows that petroleum products are the name of the game, and virtually every building material for floors, walls, roofs, seriously almost anything – are either made from or soaked in cancer-causing chemicals.

It’s not much of a surprise to people these days that our hormones, neurotransmitters, and vitamin/mineral levels are completely out of whack – what would make endocannabinoids any different?

Cannabis certainly is a magical plant – and it is a bit annoying when things that are obviously healing become heralded in the scientific community after ‘studies prove their benefits.’

Examples would be yoga and meditation, which have received scientific recognition in recent years for their health benefits. While many say ‘wow! so it’s good for you? sweet! I better try it!’ there remains the fact that people have been practicing for eons, and did not need science to tell them what they already know.

Not to sound pompous, but I digress.

Cannabis is quite magical, in my opinion, for its ability to specifically target and heal the endocannabinoid system. Similar to pine pollen, which has a unique ability to heal and regenerate hormone levels, while combating high estrogen levels due to xenoestrogens (from plastics, mostly).

Different plants do different things. We are so disconnected from nature these days that holistic approaches are rarely understood or practiced. But, the CBD trend is certainly a step up from the last several decades of pharmaceutical dominance.

Pharmaceutical companies are patenting the shit out of anything cannabis related that they possibly can, and paying very close attention to the research done on cannabinoids. Could be good or bad – but, when pharmaceutical companies are involved, it’s rarely a good thing.

I quit consuming THC a couple of months ago, after nearly 10 years of daily usage. I’m certainly starting to get to a better place, but after trying CBD for the first time a couple weeks ago I realized what all the fuss was about.

It reminded me of the first time I tried pine pollen – before having such an abundance of DHEA and testosterone-boosting compounds making me feel, well, awesome, I had never really thought my hormones were causing me problems.

After taking pine pollen, I became fascinated with hormones, and learned of the war being waged on them. The average testosterone levels of a man in his 30’s these days is comparable to that of a man in his 50’s only a few decades ago. Ya.

So, after supplementing with CBD, I realized my endocannabinoid system could probably use a fair bit of help.

Now, many will say CBD is completely harmless. I disagree, there are some risks.

Risks and Side Effects of CBD Oil

The primary concern is the inhibition of CYP450 enzymes. 

CYP450 metabolizes something like 80% of the drugs people consume, and this includes caffeine (and sometimes alcohol).

Although the interactions are poorly understood at this point in time, I have personally experienced difficulty falling asleep after taking large amounts of CBD throughout the day with my normal amount of caffeine. I have to be extra careful not to have caffeine after about 2pm, or I will be guaranteed to be awake until midnight, at least (which is unusual for me, I usually fall asleep easily and sleep very well).

The theory is that by inhibiting CYP450, the excretion of caffeine is slowed, and so the effects will come on slower, and last longer.

With alcohol, alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase do all the metabolizing in social/occasional drinkers. However, in chronic drinkers/alcoholics, CYP450 kicks in to help metabolize alcohol once the main pathways become overburdened.

Drinking on CBD is definitely different – honestly I found it to be significantly less enjoyable. CBD is supposed to help with alcoholism – I can certainly see how this would be true. It mitigates the rewarding aspects of getting drunk, and helps the user have more self control since the dopamine release/pleasure isn’t so overwhelmingly awesome.

Other drug interactions (i.e. pharmaceuticals) are potentially much more dangerous, and should be undertaken very cautiously.

Of course, grapefruit and St. Johns Wort have similar inhibitory action on CYP450, so it’s not that weird for CBD to have this effect.

CBD also inhibits the activity of p-glycoprotein – and this one worries me in particular. From what I understand, p-glycoprotein helps to remove xenobiotics (weird shit and toxins) from your cells. So, reduced activity of this drug transport molecule could potentially mean slower elimination of environmental toxins from your body.

That’s the worst of it, really. Other side effects usually include dry mouth, sedation, and mild low blood pressure.

You really have to weigh the risks with the benefits. Most of the time, with a reasonable dosage with occasional breaks, CBD seems to be incredibly safe and well tolerated. Many studies have shown people taking 1.5mg+ every day for over a month with little to no side effects.

Enough of the scary shit, here’s some more fun facts.

Cannabinoids and CBD – Benefits and Tidbits

One experiment (while in my opinion highly unethical – like most despicable experiments where mice are treated with no respect for life) showed that when giving a potent cannabinoid receptor antagonist (basically, a drug that completely blocks your own body’s cannabinoids from working) newborn baby mice failed to latch and breastfeed – and died soon as a result.

Anandamide (you know, the ‘bliss molecule’) is crucial for the healthy implantation of a young human embryo in the fetus. This is basically evidence that anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid, is part of the first line of communication between a mother and her unborn child.

Not to mention that in women, anandamide levels are highest during ovulation.

For a long time, people thought endorphins (literally meaning endogenous morphine) were responsible for ‘the runner’s high.’ As it turns out, endorphins are too large to pass the blood brain barrier. Researchers now believe cannabinoids like anandamide may be the primary causal factor behind the runner’s high.

Additionally, those with high levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide have been found to be much more immune to trauma and PTSD. This is probably because anandamide plays a central role in helping us to forget painful, negative memories.

Anandamide is something you definitely want more of – it helps us feel pleasure, for crying out loud. That’s what it’s all about, yeah? Joking.

What’s cool is there are ways to boost anandamide levels, taking CBD being one of them. Anandamide is metabolized by an enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), and so taking FAAH inhibitors directly boosts anandamide levels.

Here’s a few ways:

  • N-acylethanolamine (from cacao)
  • Maca (Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum chacon)
  • Palmitoylethanolamide (from cacao)
  • Oleoylethanolamide (from cacao)
  • Guineesine (found in black pepper)

Basically, as we all know, cacao is the shit.

Also, your body cannot make anandamide without arachidonic acid (AA), a substance found almost exclusively in animal foods (although it does exist in moss and algae) which poses a theory to why many vegans are so cranky. Ha.


Peace out.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD)

My people….how I have missed you. Life is a clusterfuck of bliss and pain, with all that other stuff sprinkled in the middle. I love you all.


CBD Jun is in the works….but until then, here’s a list of the top five health benefits of CBD!

1.) CBD Treats Anxiety

I have dealt with crippling anxiety for such a long time, that it almost just became a normal part of my everyday life. It was only once I started overcoming this issue that I realized the intensely negative effects that the constant high levels of worry and stress hormones were having on my whole being.

I’ve tried quite a number of things for anxiety (yoga and meditation remain the most effective and sustainable, but sometimes it is quite a challenge to make the time), including:

  • Theanine
  • PharmaGABA
  • Kava
  • Valerian
  • Passionflower
  • Rhodiola
  • Schizandra
  • Magnesium Oil
  • Shilajit

Honestly, nothing has come close to CBD in consistent effectiveness. My partner (who hasn’t touched so much as a joint in nearly ten years) swears by CBD for her anxiety. She is an absolute hard-core purist – and if she believes in CBD, then holy shit… Let us take a look at the possible mechanisms behind this wonderful benefit…

CBD is an allosteric modulator of the GABA-A receptor. Essentially, CBD helps the GABA receptor to receive endogenous GABA more efficiently. GABA is the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter – meaning it slows everything down.

Drugs like alcohol, xanax (alprazolam…a highly non-recommended pharmaceutical!), and GHB (no, it’s not the date rape drug. That’s alcohol.) all have potent GABA increasing activity.

CBD activates PPAR-gamma receptors. Activation of PPARy receptors increases dopamine levels (as well is inhibiting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress).

CBD increases anandamide levels. Anandamide is commonly known as ‘the bliss chemical’ and is important for regulating pleasure, pain, sleep, appetite, and much, much more. Cacao is renowned for its ability to increase levels of this wonderful compound. It is likely that CBD achieves this by competing with anandamide for Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABP), the transports molecules for endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide.

Increased anandamide is also an effective treatment for depression, which leads us to the fact that…

2.) CBD Alleviates Depression

Being depressed sucks. People say ‘just exercise’ or ‘just smile.’ All that comes to mind is kicking them in the mouth, or wishing they would just die.

When depression is at it’s worst, about the last thing in the world anybody wants to do is something that is good for you – regardless of how much you think it might help. The simple acts of getting out of bed, eating, and bathing oneself can feel like Herculean tasks in this state.

It can be brought on by a huge number of life events, whether it’s grief from the loss of a loved one or important relationship, getting fired, hating your job, feeling trapped, having too much fun (i.e. abusing drugs), etc. etc.

The good news is it may be as simple as squirting some tincture in your mouth to get a leg up on the crushing oppressive feelings.

The main theory is that CBD alleviates depression by activating the 5-HT1 receptor. The 5-HT1 receptor is pivotal for regulating the antidepressant effects of SSRIs as well as the recreational drug MDMA (ecstasy).

My personal opinion is that it is in part due to CBD’s interactions with 5-HT1, but I think the myriad of other subtle benefits gained from using CBD all contribute to an overall feeling of betterment.

3.) CBD Enhances Adenosine – and Synergizes with Caffeine 

I drink too much coffee. Hey, that’s life, and it could be worse. Got shit to do. I’m sure you do too.

Caffeine is significantly different from many stimulant drugs (amphetamines, cocaine, etc.) in that it does not directly stimulate the release/prevent the reuptake of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine (at least not to a considerable degree).

Caffeine is an antagonist at the adenosine receptors; essentially, caffeine is molecularly almost identical to adenosine – and sneaks right into the same receptor, blocking adenosine from getting in.

Adenosine is a nifty little molecule that has a variety of functions in the body. It assists with energy production by helping to form chemicals like adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and triphosphate (ATP). ATP helps to increase muscle mass, strength and power.

[fun fact – if your body stopped producing ATP for more than four seconds, you would drop to the floor dead.]

CBD is also an inhibitor of adenosine reuptake. This effect may partially explain the stimulating effect CBD can have at low doses.

It’s important to know that nearly all the caffeine you ingest is metabolized via the CYP450 enzyme pathway, and CBD is known to inhibit these very enzymes. The theory is that CBD slows the metabolism of caffeine, meaning that you run a higher risk of laying in bed wide awake if you take your normal amount of coffee along with a potent dose of CBD (this has happened to me more than a couple times).

Pro tip: Don’t have any caffeine after 12pm if you’re taking CBD as well, especially if it is over 100mg of CBD.

4.) CBD Relieves the Symptoms of Arthritis, Inflammation, and Pain

We all deal with pain. Well, you young kids might not – but just wait a few years, it’s coming. Yoga and massage certainly helps, but I doubt anyone reading this doesn’t wish they had something non-toxic and non-addictive to help with pain once in a while.

Ibuprofen? Don’t even think about it. NSAID deaths are the 15th leading cause of death in the United States. Yup – drugs like Aleve kill more people every year than pancreatic cancer.

I have a slight curvature in my spine, and my right leg is one or two inches shorter than my left. I barista full time, write full time, and parent full time – so needless to say, my shit hurts.

I’m completely unwilling to turn to opiates (as warm and fuzzy as they can be) due to the addictive nature and horrible side effects (not to mention what it’s supporting). Tylenol and the like are poisonous, and unfortunately I cannot get blackout drunk every night to take the pain away.

The first time I took CBD, the very first thing I noticed was a dulling of my hip pain that plagues me on a daily basis. It wasn’t completely gone, but the sharp edges had been dulled down, and it was at a tolerable level. Very nice. How does CBD help with pain? Who really knows, but here’s some possiblities:

CBD activates transient receptor potential (TRP) channels (TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPA1, and TRPM8). When you pop acetaminophen/paracetamol (Tylenol), it is metabolized by FAAH, and becomes the novel drug AM404. (AM404 also binds to cannabinoid receptors) Essentially, Tylenol is a pro-drug of an cannabimimetic substance. Your mouthful for the day.

Anyway, TRP receptors are major players in pain sensation. Capsaicin from chili peppers binds to these receptors.

CBD actives Glycine receptors. Glycine receptors are ion channels that inhibit nerve activation. Additionally, anandamide is a positive allosteric modulator of the glycine receptor. So, since CBD increases anandamide levels, we see a one-two punch happening with this receptor. Bye bye pain. Who doesn’t need more of something that inhibits the transmission of pain signal up the spinal cord?

Considering the innumerable effects of CBD, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which one is helping with pain. I believe that it’s an upward cycle – CBD  reduces pain, less pain reduces anxiety, less anxiety results in better sleep, better sleep results in more energy, more energy results in better relationships, better relationships result in more stability, more stability results in more time for yoga, more time for yoga results in less pain……

5.) CBD Fixes Digestive Issues

Farts, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, you know the drill.

But, did you know that the intestines are lined with countless cannabinoid receptors? Many people do not produce enough endogenous cannabinoids – a condition known as endocannabinoid deficiency. If there are not enough cannabinoids in your body to promote optimal functioning of your intestinal cannabinoid receptors, shit might go down – literally.

I quit smoking cannabis a couple months ago – on top of acquiring some rapid increases in my stress levels from being a parent and working so damned much. Somehow between all that I developed the most putrid gas for over two weeks. It seemed that no matter what I ate, I had disgusting farts.

Just trying to paint the picture.

I definitely was not expecting this benefit from CBD, but I have noticed a dramatic increase in my digestive strength, and have not experienced the same diarrhea and flatulence that were becoming uncomfortably common for me.

While digestive issues vary wildly from person to person, most of us have one kind or another. However, if it is constipation that is the issue, I would not count on CBD to fix that. CBD seems to be very drying, and it is this excess dryness/aggravation of vata that tends to cause constipation.


Long story short? Try CBD, homie. For real.

I mean….without cannabinoids, a newborn baby will not suckle at their mother’s breast. This stuff is important.


Much Love.





Coconut Oil, Diabetes, Parasites, Candida, and Alcoholism – with an Attitude

Blood sugar is some serious biz. I grew up eating the most horrible diet – Hamburger Helper, Vienna Sausages, frozen corn dogs, bologna, wonder bread, Country Crock, canola oil, Froot Loops, pasteurized factory farm cow’s milk, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and on and on. These days I wouldn’t touch any of those things with a ten-foot pole. The good part is I’ve got a lot of contrast between feeling real shitty, and feeling full of vitality from a processed S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) and a whole-foods, organic, DIY diet, respectively. I feel blessed to have come this far where I can now not only enjoy the fruits of my labors from intensive studies and experimentation to find what works for me (I’d like to give a special thanks to Ayurveda for my personal empowerment), but also be able to provide my young daughter the kind of diet our ancestors might have eaten. Not this processed, chemical filled garbage that lines the shelves of countless grocery stores throughout the US. How the hell did we get here, anyway? Oh yeah, ignorance + greed. Classic.

I’m stoked to write about coconut oil today. Can I be a douche and say ‘It’s totally changed my life”? “I could fill pages with the health benefits of coconut oil.” Well shit, that’s exactly what I plan to do, right here, right now!

Cigarette smokers and sugar lovers, pay special attention. Most of us living i industrialized nations have totally out of whack blood sugar levels. It’s sort of like a ride at Magic Mountain for the majority – here’s my vague understanding of how it works:

Consume carbohydrate (bread, pasta, sugar, alcohol, etc.)
The carbohydrate is broken down into glucose by the liver
The pancreas secretes insulin
Insulin travels throughout the bloodstream and acts as a ‘key’ of sorts, opening up the cell to receive glucose, and thus continue functioning (imagine the cell is a car, and glucose is gasoline. Living in Oregon gives me a great ability to finalize this analogy, as it’s one of two states where it’s illegal to pump your own gas. So, a gas attendant must pump the gas for you. Knowing that, imagine the gas attendant is the insulin. Shit did I just over complicate things?)
Once the insulin unlocks the cell, glucose goes inside and allows life to continue as normal

So, here’s the problem as I understand it. We, as humans, are not really evolutionarily adapted to thrive on carbohydrates. A majority of our diet (theoretically) should actually be healthy fats, with protein coming next, with carbs being the smallest piece of the pie. How many of us eat like that? It’s usually the opposite, me thinks.

Over time, this over-consumption of carboyhyrdates exhausts the pancreas and the aforementioned process. The cells become insulin resistant, a sort of desensitization process, and even though the glucose is there – they refuse to receive it.This is how diabetes develops. Many even consider Alzheimer’s “Type 3 diabetes”; the reasoning being that so many brain cells become insulin resistant, become unable to receive life-giving glucose (the brain’s primary energy source), and subsequently atrophy and die.

Ok, ok, enough of the depressing shit. Here’s where it gets good. Coconut oil can reverse diabetes in a matter of days, if not hours. Seriously. No, I am not selling coconut oil. I am just an avid fan of personal empowerment and sticking it to the man. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the men in black suits show up at my doorstep any minute now for sharing this information.

Coconut oil, as you may have heard, is rich in something called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s). They differ from the fats found in things like butter and olive oil in that they bypass the lengthy metabolic process required to extract energy from those food sources. Upon ingestion, MCT’s are immediately converted into little energy packets known as ‘ketones’ by the liver. What is the fuss about ketones? They give the finger to insulin, entering even the most insulin-resistant cell with ease. This means that if you’ve been binging on carbohydrates for your entire life (God Bless America!!) and have a body rife with insulin-resistant cells, the ketones from coconut oil can bring these cells back online within minutes. An immediate blood sugar balancing effect (that sustains for about 8 hours [or just 3 with straight MCT oil]), a massive resurgence in coginitive abilities, and drastically lowered craving for carbohydrates can be expected. This is not hearsay; actual diabetics who measure their blood sugar levels on a regular basis have experimented with coconut oil, and found it to be even more effective than prescription blood sugar medication! This is why I scratch my head when the American Heart Association declares coconut oil unhealthy for the heart. AHA! I get it! It’s a conspiracy! Haha. Fuckers.

Those nicotine heads out there – do you know what cigarettes do to your blood sugar? (No judgement, I smoked for a long time.) Nicotine triggers a massive glycogen dump from the liver, which is immediately turned into glucose, spikes blood sugar (often providing an all-you-can-eat buffet for Candida), which appears to the pancreas as an emergency, tons of insulin is released, blood sugar plummets, and my friends there you have your roller coaster of doom.

Here’s more – the acetic acid that is produced as a metabolite of ethanol consumption is a highly preferred source of fuel for the brain. Many alcoholics will actually experience the ‘coming to life’ of many brain cells while drinking, as the insulin resistant cells can no longer absorb glucose, and have resorted to acetic acid as their lifeline. As ketones have the same ability, coconut oil is currently being studied as an extremely promising cure to alcoholism.

Lol isn’t this great?

Continuing, we’ve all heard of candida, parasites, blah blah, We’ve all got ‘em. Coconut oil is the only substance on the planet that I know of (other than human breastmilk) that contains lauric acid. When metabolized by humans, lauric acid becomes an incredibly effective antiviral, antiobiotic, antiparasitic, and antifungal. When first starting on coconut oil, you've gotta take it slow. Maybe one tablespoon a day. More than that, and overwhelming nausea may engulf you. It is not fun. But, it is a good thing. Candida releases something like 72 potent toxins when it dies, so when you board the coconut oil train (depending on how unhealthy your microbiome is) you could experience a massive die-off of unhealthy microorganisms that can make one very uncomfortable. The benefits are well worth it, IMHFO. I’m up to about 4-5 tbsp. per day, and it feels good – real good. Your immune system will be shouting ‘thank you, thank you!’

Just to get a little Ayurvedic on your asses, coconut oil is very cooling, and pacified both vata and pitta. For those of us that run hot, and tend towards irritability and anger, coconut oil is your BFF! Coconut oil is also the essence of the coconut – or ojas. Ojas is some interesting stuff, and I encourage you to read about it if you haven’t heard of it. Anytime we use one of our 5 senses, we utilize ojas to do so. Semen has tons of ojas, which is why I practice semen retention (more on that in a later post). Meditation and yoga, and related practices, require a lot of ojas. Watching movies or listening to music uses ojas. It’s good stuff, and the more the merrier.

What else is cool is that a lot of the food we eat contains a plethora of fat-soluble nutrients – say you eat a chicken breast, steamed kale, and some potatoes. There’s a lot of stuff in there that you need fat to absorb, but the light drizzle on the kale or chicken is not going to cut it. Gobbling down a tbsp or two of coconut oil with nutrient dense meals is going to drastically boost nutrient absorption levels, which has far-reaching implications.

And hell, it’s affordable! There’s not much one can say that about these days. The signs at gas stations in California come to mind that are posted by the air pressure machines that say ‘air and water are not free.’ Gets me every time.

Make sure to buy unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO). Bronner’s is tried and true, but there’s tons of great brand out there. Try to get it packaged in glass, of course. Unless you’re a fan of refined oil packaging (plastic)? Hey to each their own. Ha I’m such a dick sometimes.

Also, there are two main types of coconut oil (as far as the unrefined stuff goes….who cares about the refined crap?)

Most commonly available is the kind pressed from dried coconut. This has a much stronger coconut flavor.
Less common is that which is pressed from fresh coconuts. I really enjoy it, and it does seem to be more potent, although it tends to contain more chunks and shit which I’m not big on, especially when oil pulling.

And hey, if you want to (literally) never need to see a dentist again in your life, check out coconut oil pulling! It works. Whiter teeth in a couple days, bro. Kiss tooth sensitivity goodbye. Cavities? Yep you can heal those. Believe it.

I wrote this on my busted ass iPhone screen so plz excuse any typos.



It’s been a long time ya’ll. How goes it?

I felt joy for the first time in my life about 2 months ago. As I held my newborn baby girl, I watched as her face cracked into a smile for the first time. A supernova, melting heart, bliss, ecstasy, the most powerful wave of energy I’ve felt in my life (and I’ve done a lotta drugs….). When she smile – I got to learn what joy is. I thought I already knew, but come to find out joy is something that had always been absent from my life. My daughter has healed me in some inexplicable way. She has motivated me beyond belief. I will always be there for her, no matter what. Anything she needs, all she need do is ask. Unless, of course, it’s advice about menstruation

I have been given the greatest gift a man could ask for – an incomprehensibly beautiful daughter. Never in my life did I imagine I would become a parent. I always talked about how much I did not want children, but through my dedicated usage of the pull-out method, my partner became pregnant.

Onto the health stuff!

Let’s start with MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane. OptiMSM is a great brand to try, and I do encourage you try it. MSM is a source of organic sulfur, which has largely been removed from out diet. Many believe it is part of a conspiracy, and that in the 50’s the government intentionally removed sulfur from the agricultural cycle by substituting artificial fertilizer for manure. Remove sulfur, and a huge amount of diseases manifest. I used to think this was total bullshit, until I heard that Bayer is attempting to buy Monsanto for $66 billion! That means one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world will control one of the largest food companies in the world. Can I even call Monsanto a food company? They certainly control much of the food supply, yet are also connected with the production of things like Round Up and Agent Orange. Unreal.

I’ve read before that MSM helps people to overcome all sorts of maladies, including substance abuse. I can’t for sure say that is true, but I can attest to the fact that this is the first time I’ve taken MSM with any regularity in large doses, and somehow I have beaten all my chemical dependencies (except caffeine). I encourage you to do your own reading about MSM. While it is weird for those organic earthy purists out there to consider taking a crystalline white powfer as part of a daily routine, the fact is that sulfur is simply absent from our food – yet our bodies need it!! Check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

Another thing I attribute much of my recent healing to (besides the epic nature that Oregon is saturated with) is Yerba Santa. I harvested quite a bit of this San Diego native plant, air dried it in bundles over a couple months, then tinctured it at a 3:1 ratio in spring water and organic vodka. For reference, most herbal tinctures are at the most a 1:2 ratio, this means 1 part herb to 2 parts solution. This stuff is ultra potent. Yerba Santa has been used for a very long time by Native Americans for things like pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and chronic cough. It has mucopolysaccharides that assist the respiratory system in expelling all the unwanted gunk out of your lungs. It is an absolutely incredible stop-smoking aid. It is claimed that Yerba Santa helps in some way with the water element in the lungs which are associated with grief and despair – common causes of tobacco addiction) which helps one to expel repressed emotions that may be causing substance abuse (and other) disorders.

Anyway, to the point, I have a limited quantity of this stuff available if anyone would like to purchase some. I will sell a 2oz. tincture to anyone that wants it for $30 (including shipping). I accept Venmo or cash/check in the mail. I’m not the salesman type, but after what I experienced from using this plant I developed a strong desire to share it. I have 8 that I can sell.

Tragically, I have not been making Jun for over 6 months now. It became too overwhelming with all the drug abuse and my life falling apart and whatnot. I have tried 2 new kinds of Jun since moving to Oregon – ‘Soma’ and ‘Herbal Junction.’ Soma is pretty good, comes in a swing top bottle, but pretty much tastes like every other watered-down Jun that I’ve tried. Herbal Junction, on the other hand, is by far the best commercially produced Jun I have ever tried. Besides the stuff I’ve made myself, it is the best. Herbal Junction is accredited, more or less, with bringing Jun to the west. There are legends of the owner being gifted heirloom scobies, as well as making the Jun anaerobically (as opposed to aerobically, which is the norm, and the method I use myself). I don’t know if that is true – but this stuff is incredible. As far as the herbs go, it’s fairly weak, and it’s $5 for a pretty tiny bottle – but it’s almost always perfectly carbonated, just the right balance of sweetness, and incredibly potent effects that one expects from authentic Jun.

I’ve been into taking a drop of this iodine called ‘Iosol’ every 3-4 days lately. Iodine is another thing that our body requires, yet here in the west we get very little (if any) of. Iodine is especially important for pregnant/breastfeeding women, and offers a lot of protection from radiation. If you research this stuff and decide to try it, make sure your selenium levels stay up through consumption of Brazil nuts or another good source. Selenium helps to balance iodine intake and prevent your thyroid from going out of whack.

NAC, or N-Acetyl-cysteine is another I want to preach about for a moment. If you take acetaminophen (tylenol) or drink alcohol, pay special attention. NAC is the direct precursor to glutathione, one of the most powerful endogenous antioxidants we produce. Acetaminophen, alcohol, environmental toxins, and various other pharmaceutical drugs massively deplete glutathione levels. Indeed, if you are rushed to the hospital with alcohol or Tylenol poisoning (a leading cause of death for young children in the US) they will straight up inject you with NAC. This stuff is incredibly affordable, and is great to have on hand. Taking a gram or so a couple hours before consuming alcohol results in a drastically reduced hangover. Don’t believe me? Try it, it’s a cheap experiment. Avoid taking it after drinking though as this actually results in increased toxicity.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned ILHWA ginseng on here before, but I want to give it a quick shoutout. It was instrumental in helping me to recover from the amphetamine induced adrenal fatigue (can you imagine withdrawing from amphetamines and being too tired to even hold your baby girl?). I’m not in the mood to go at length about, but I really encourage you to check it out. Honest to God, it’s one of the only efficacious herbal products I’ve ever tried.

I’m done for now. Life’s epic, It’s insane. It’s so worth. I love all of you.
I don’t sell any of this stuff (well obviously except the Yerba Santa), I just seek to get the word out on stuff I really wish people knew about. FOX News sure as hell isn’t going to run a special about it.

I will end with a collection of photographs I’ve taken over the recent months.

Babies, Brews, Bottles & Bacterium

What an insane ride we are all on, yes? One could literally perceive the Earth as an amusement park ride, where we are all strapped in for life, like it or not, hurdling around the sun at break-neck speeds. Or, I could just think I’m sitting here typing on the computer. Ah, perspective..

I’ve been on the fence about what kind of information I want to share on here, so I have been absent for a while trying to sort that out. I had a subscriber who I identified as my ‘best friend’ in high school, who in hindsight was nothing but a bully. My mom always warned me of how toxic he was, but hey, who listens to their parents?

As I type that last sentiment, I feel some interesting feelings I’ve never felt before. Less than a month ago, my partner and I found out that she is pregnant! It was definitely shocking, but we are overjoyed about it. Or I should say I am, as she hasn’t had much space for anything except feeling nauseous and throwing up these last few weeks (interspersed with bits of joy!). It’s hard to imagine what morning (read: all day) sickness is like – I’ve heard it compared to having an alcohol hangover all day, every day, for weeks on end. Sounds pretty awful if you ask me. One day of a hangover and I’m ready to end it all (can’t do alcohol, eek!). For me, nausea is one of those things that is really hard to remember how truly awful it is, until I am nauseous myself. I’ve had a couple moments in the last month where I felt sick for a few minutes, and was able to intensely empathize with my partner and what she is going through. Otherwise, though, I feel like a helpless, useless, and often annoying (lol) bystander. Of course, me thinking I am the herb and health guru, I had every answer and remedy in the book to ‘cure her’. Ha, the painful lessons we learn. I’ve realized the best thing I can do is be there for her when she needs or asks for anything, take good care of myself, and try to be emotionally supportive and kind 100% of the time (shit it’s hard but I’m only human). Oh and give massages. Prenatal style, yo.

Even though there are massive amounts of chaos in our lives…me with the DUI I got right after finding out she was pregnant (trying to numb those pesky feelings…..and then driving…don’t do it, kids), not really having any money to speak of, and being homeless (I had planned to move to Oregon on September 20th, and as such moved out of my place. When I found out she was pregnant that was no longer an immediate option, but I had already moved out of my place and spent all my money fixing up the car)…..and her with the family drama, and shit having to be pregnant!! I am overcome with a profound sense of peace and acceptance with the whole situation. It feels natural. I feel very, very lucky that it happened with this particular girl, as there is nobody else I would want to be the mother of my babies. We have our issues, sure, (jk we’re perfect) but I can tell she is going to be a phenomenally nurturing, supportive, caring and affectionate mother. Luckily, we also share similar lifestyle goals, and still plan to head up to the Pacific Northwest before next summer. Summertime in San Diego is a bitch and we are not down for it anymore. Raising a child somewhere that trees grow, with less pollution, lower cost of living….you get the idea. Don’t tell anyone how great the PNW is though because we want them to stay down here. Lol.

I feel more anxiety about job interviews and egotistical yoga classes than I do about having this child. The whole interview process (and the involvement of ego in yoga, for that matter) as it is, is rather unnatural; child rearing, on the other hand, is arguably what we are designed to do on many levels. I read a great quote that said “Adults don’t make children, children make adults.” The amount of changes I have already experienced in my inner world are truly remarkable (not trying to toot my own horn). I have struggled for most of my life with infidelity and lustful, flirtatious behavior – even while in ‘committed relationships’. Something about seeing my partner get pregnant just made it all click – I realized I was abusing sex, and not at all treating it or viewing it as the infinitely sacred, very special act of Love and Creation that it really is. There are a lot of things bastardized in similar fashion in our culture though. It’s quite hard to find the line where personal responsibility ends, and brainwashing begins. But I digress, my commitment to my partner is rock solid. I feel able (for the first time ever, sad as it sounds) to interact with women on a purely platonic level. I can only imagine the further healing and change this experience will bring to my life, considering we are only about 10 weeks in so far!!

The Jun is going wonderfully. Other than it being homeless thanks to my situation, some extremely significant progress has been made. Have you all seen the label my partner designed?


I love her.

I remarked to my girlfriend the other day that I think I have finally solved all the problems that have been confounding would-be Jun entrepreneurs for years. In my mind these problems are:

1.) Achieving proper carbonation levels (especially when it sits on a shelf for an extended period of time). Too much = hand grenade & lawsuit. Too little = flat disappointment and loss of repeat business. Think of GT’s kombucha…every single time you open one of those you can count on it to be perfectly carbonated.

2.) Making it profitable, mainly due to the exorbitant cost of quality raw honey (can’t complain really, those bees work so hard!! A bee makes, on average, 1/12th tsp. of honey in its entire life.)

3.) Keeping the ABV below .5% (ah government how we love you….)

4.) Creating a shelf stable flavor profile that is both sweet and sour (too sweet and it’s pretty much just kombucha or soda. Too sour and it’s vinegar. An ideal balance….well that’s heaven).

5.) Utilizing a business model that is both logistically AND financially feasible for all parties involved (distribution companies generally take 30-40% of the pie….retailers do the same…so how much pie are you left with? Very little, certainly not enough to feed your whole family. This is why businesses try to scale up so ridiculously much. Ordering 100,000 bottles is significantly cheaper than ordering 100 bottles. The problem, as my hydroponic tomato farmer friend pointed out, is that sustainability is not scaleable).

How you ask?! Well maybe you didn’t ask, maybe you don’t really care at all, and you don’t even know how you ended up on this hippy dippy site. Regardless, I will divulge the details!

1.) It takes a ridiculous amount of trial and error, but using something like a hydrometer is crucial, as well as taking notes on ratios of ingredients used. A hydrometer basically tells me how much residual sugar is in the brew. When I first mix together the guayusa, several pounds of raw honey, and spring water in the 2 gallon jar, I scoop out a 1/2 cup and pour it in a beaker (it comes with the hydrometer). Then, I just drop the hydrometer into the Jun (it basically looks like a big glass thermometer, but at the bottom is a bulb filled with a precise amount of metal beads. It is designed so that when you put it in water, it floats at 0 – so our measurements are basically the weight of a liquid in relation to pure water), let it bob up and down a few times, then take the reading. There are 2 or 3 different units of measurement on the hydrometer, it doesn’t really matter which one is used. I mark down the measurement in the journal, and let it do it’s thing for a week or two.

Once 10 days or so has passed and I feel it’s ready to bottle, I take a wooden spoon and mix it up to give it an even consistency. Otherwise it will be very sour at the top, and very sweet at the bottom. After mixing, I repeat the same process (after sanitizing all equipment of course!!!!), filling the beaker, taking the measurement. This information doesn’t make much sense at first, but it is extremely useful – allow me to attempt and explain exactly why. (The following numbers are totally random and just for the sake of explanation.) Say when the Jun was first made, before fermenting, the hydrometer read the specific gravity at 40. Then, when preparing to bottle it 10 days later, the SG dropped down to 20. After putting the Jun in bottles, one waits to see what happens with the carbonation. Was it explosive and volatile after just a couple days of bottle conditioning? Well, next time we know to bottle it at a SG of, say, 10. Alternatively, did the Jun sit for a week in the bottle, never reaching any significant level of carbonation? Well, next time we will bottle it with a SG of 30. Since the specific gravity is basically telling you how much sugar is left in the Jun, it becomes possible to fine tune this amount to achieve perfect carbonation. This is how the pros do it with champagne; the initial brew is fermented to extreme dryness (no sweetness left in the end product), and then a very precise amount of sugar is added during the bottling phase, and is referred to as a ‘primer’. They have determined exactly how much sugar it takes to get that familiar ‘pop!’. It can be frustrating at first, as Jun is no cheap experiment, but a month or two of this will have you making the most effervescent magic imaginable (as long as you are also using proper, airtight glass bottles).

The other part of carbonation that has to be played around with is how much empty space is left in the bottle. More empty space = more air, which = more carbon dioxide. When the Jun is bottled, it continues to ferment and release gases, ultimately forcing the carbon dioxide into the Jun and causing carbonation. If there is less empty space in the glass, than there is overall less potential carbonation possible. Again, experimentation and note taking are key.

2 & 3.) So, both of these problems essentially have the same solution. For the first two and a half years or so of making Jun, when bottling I would do approximately 80-90% straight Jun out of the jar, and 10-20% fresh juice or herbal infusion. This would look like having a 16oz. bottle with 14oz. of pure Jun, and 2oz. of ginger juice or hibiscus tea. Nowadays, the ratios are quite a bit different. I do anywhere from 40-60% Jun, and 40-60% herbal infusion. This has a ton of positives:

– Enables one to include an actual therapeutic, medicinal, efficacious dose of herbal medicine; instead of an extremely low dose with little to no real perceivable benefits.

– Cuts the intense, overwhelmingly sweet nature Jun can sometimes have (and of course this preference depends on the individuals palate, good luck trying to please everyone). The Jun is able to breathe and expand into the abundant herbal infusion, creating a more balanced brew overall.

– Allows space for more variety, and subsequently much more exciting flavor combinations. Instead of just chamomile, we can make lavender chamomile vanilla. Even though schizandra is great on it’s own, it’s even better with rose and hibiscus.

– Makes the Jun go twice as far!! This is huge. This technique is the difference between 20 16oz. bottles from 2 gallons, and 40 16oz. bottles.

– It’s a much more complex, connoisseur, sit-down-and-enjoy, let the flavors overwhelm, enter, and change your life sort of experience, rather than just ‘really sweet kombucha-esque drink’.

Since the Jun (and therefore the residual sugar) are being ‘diluted’ (hate that word, anyone got a better one?) with such a huge amount of herbs, there simply isn’t enough sugar in each bottle to generate a noticeable amount of alcohol. Consider that when I was bottling with the 80%Jun/20% herb ratio, I had it lab tested and it came back at 1.5%ABV, there is simply no way it is over .5% with the new herbal recipe.

(P.S. – I recommend cold infusions for most herbs, schizandra is one exception though)

4.) So, the main thing I realized with this issue, is that Jun needs a whole hell of a lot of honey. 2lbs. per gallon, at least, is what I recommend. It may sound like a lot, but there’s reasons. Adding this amount of honey allows there to be a potent sour note at the end of fermentation, but since we put in so damn much, there is still a little bit of unfermented raw honey in there, giving it that very desirable honey taste. A SCOBY can only eat so much, ya know? You’ve gotta be able to taste the honey in Jun or it just isn’t the same. I learned that the hard way after making several -very- dry batches of Jun. I hope I am explaining this thoroughly enough – basically just make sure to add enough honey that the ‘full spectrum’ effect is achieved. Doing 1lb. of honey per gallon just isn’t enough – in the week or so it takes to ferment, the SCOBY will have easily consumed the whole lot, and there will be no honey flavor left for us – just tart!

5.) The basic idea is that I am going to get my start by selling at a single farmer’s market. The benefit of the FM is that I am not paying anyone to distribute my product, shelve it, or sell it. 100% of the money (except for market fees, which are generally either 8-10% of sales, or a flat fee between $50-200) goes in my pocket. This means I can offer a better price, and also get face time with the people that are interested in buying the Jun. If it was to sit on a retail shelf, I would never get to talk to people and share my passion for the magic of Jun with them. I don’t have to worry about a retailer mishandling the product, or leaving it out of the cooler either.

In a fairly short amount of time, I would most likely be able to build a steady base of repeat business, as well as constantly attracting new customers. Once I would achieve this sort of success at one market, I can then get into another, now doing two farmer’s markets a week. This can continue until the point where I want to be in more farmer’s market than is physically possible. That would be the point when I could hire a friend to come and pick up the canopy, tables, signs, Jun, etc., have them go and sell at the market, and pay them an awesome wage. I get to not only make money by basically doing nothing, but also provide someone else with a cool job making good money, selling something they can feel good about. The point at which I am generating an income that can provide for myself and my family is the point at which I would maintain the markets I have, fine tune them, and just coast. There is also the possibility of having a large list of customers that simply order directly from me on a regular basis, making the need for even a farmers market much less.

In a year, or years, down the road, I am open to selling the Jun at certain small scale, local health foods stores and co-ops – though I would never want to get involved with a company like Whole Foods. Anytime homogenization and mass production is expected of me…well, I ain’t gonna play that game. I am not into the cookie cutter reality. Furthermore, if I had to make enough Jun to stock even 10-20 whole foods (and believe me, as much as they pride themselves on being ‘local’ friendly, if you can’t put your stuff in every single one of their stores, they really don’t want you), on top of the farmer’s markets, I simply would not be able to maintain the same integrity and quality. Like GT of GT’s kombucha, those are two things I am never willing to sacrifice on. Did you know even at the scale he is producing, all his kombucha is still made in glass? Apparently it’s an epicly huge warehouse full of 3 gallon glass jars, and GT himself is involved in production on a daily basis. But here is where the line that divides Jun and kombucha becomes apparent – sugar is cheap. Mass production is doable. ‘Nuff said I suppose.

Another idea floating around is a bottle return program. I would need to actually start vending at the markets to run an experiment on this one, but the point is generating as little waste as possible. We also plan to use recyclable labels (so many glass & plastic bottles have non-recyclable labels).

Speaking of bottles, that’s the biggest and most important change in the Jun of late. We have switched from the 16oz. swing top bottles (RIP, I’ll miss you) to 4oz. tonic style bottles. I am super stoked about the switch – it’s an enormous game changer. When people look at the swing top bottles, the first thought in most peoples’ minds is ‘alcohol’. It’s hard to separate such a powerful, lifelong conditioned association. Alternatively, when people see our new bottle, they thoughts are more like ‘elixir’, ‘potent’, ‘medicinal’, and ‘tonic’. At least I think….I’m not a [certified] mind reader. Also, as insanely potent as the Jun I make is, consuming 16oz. can make even me (the super tolerant guy who’s abused lots of drugs) feel a bit ‘cracked out‘. It’s unbelievably strong stuff, and demands respect. A common occurrence would be for myself or someone else to open a 16oz. bottle, drink half, then try and save the rest for later. It’s never as good when it’s opened and then left out like that; the carbonation dissipates, the flavors oxidize, and the tartness increases to an unpleasant level. With the 4oz. serving size, it’s much easier to pace one’s self, without sacrificing the quality of the experience. Drink a 4oz. shot, then if I want more, grab another. This way I usually end up drinking 2-3 shots a day, which is still only 12oz., significantly less than I used to drink. Somehow it feels like more though, and it’s so fantastic having every single sip brimming over with flavor and carbonation. The smaller bottles are so, so much easier to manage, transport, store, and cool. Not only can I now offer the Jun to a wider demographic (had to charge $12 for the 16oz., the bottle alone cost $3-4! Yet I can offer the 4oz. for $5, as the bottle is less than a dollar. And shit, sharing it & getting it into peoples’ bodies is the point!), but I am also to able charge more per volume. People would frequently have heart attacks (figuratively speaking) when I’d inform them of the $12 price tag for 16oz., yet now 4 of the 4oz. bottles would cost $20, and no one bats an eye! It’s almost double the price, yet somehow the perceived value is much higher. And hey, they just look really cool.


In closing, I want to share an exciting revelation in my personal hygiene. We have all heard of the myriad of health benefits that come with ingesting Apple Cider Vinegar – but have you ever used it on your hair, face, and body? I have said goodbye to body wash for good, and only use shampoo once in a while when I really need it. Check it out…

Each hair on your head has something called an acid mantle, with an average pH of 5 (slightly acidic). Most hair care products are alkaline, which damages the acid mantle and creates frizziness, roughness, and unmanageability. Simply pouring some ACV in your locks while in the shower, massaging it in thoroughly, and giving it a good rinse will give you the smoothest, most cooperative hair you’ve ever seen. After a while, due to my job, grease and grime will build up and I need a shampooing for a good oil cleanse. For daily use though, it’s the ACV for me. I’m even more fond of it’s magical effects on the face and body. What I do is take a clean washcloth, apply a small amount of ACV, and rub my whole face with it – I get everywhere; the rims of my ears, above my eyelids, all the little nooks and crannies. I continue like this over my whole body, applying more ACV to the washcloth as needed. I give extra, extra special attention to my armpits. I am careful around the b-hole and sensitive parts; using too much has caused it to dry out and be itchy in the past. Lol! After that’s done, I rinse my body off, clean the washcloth, wring it out, then rub my whole body again to make sure all the ACV is washed off. Neglecting this last step has resulted in carrying a slight vinegar odor throughout my entire day. Not the worst thing in the world, but your girlfriend might not like it. What’s really cool is this method of washing actually encourages the natural, healthy microbes that live on your skin and protect you to thrive, while simultaneously eliminating the unwanted, odor causing bacteria. Contrast this with soap & body wash that kill everything. Using ACV on a regular basis has drastically improved my body odor, even when going a day or two without showering. As a solvent, it pulls toxins from the pores (I get a potent sense of well being when rinsing off the ACV), and leaves my skin beyond soft. When I used to use soap, after even one day I would smell rank. Try it for yourself and see if it doesn’t change your life!

Hot & Cold

The intense, heated energy of the summer is upon us. Well, at least on me. I don’t know where you all live, but I’m in a damn desert. Not the most ideal climate, considering I am predominantly a Pitta. I’ve been downing as many coconuts and watermelons as I can afford. Seeded watermelons, by the way, I don’t know how the heck seedless varietals became so popular. What would you think of a man who could not produce a seed? Are fruit really any different?

Considering the sweltering heat, a cooling Jun was in order. I got a few herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, including peppermint, elderberry, and hibiscus. My partner (who is brilliant and always giving me original ideas) mentioned that cold-infusions were the way to go with many herbs. Now, I’ve heard of cold-brewed coffee, as I’m sure you have. It’s touted as being less acidic, smoother, tastier, and much more caffeinated. Personally, I despise the way coffee makes me feel (HOLY SHIT about sums it up), but once in a while my lover and I enjoy a small glass together. They even put it on nitrogen, which gives it a vibey mouthfeel and a pleasant creaminess. I digress, who knew cold-infused herbs would be the best thing since JFK?

Fire is tricky, and anyone who has made green or black tea can elaborate on the caution that must be exercised with the water temperature to avoid making it overly astringent. Then of course there is all the talk about raw foods, and heat destroying sensitive enzymes and nutrients. I’m not a raw foodist by any stretch, but just pondering that these things are in the collective conscious.

Why the hell do I feel so scatterbrained today? It’s not important, you guys still love me right? Oh lord am I seeking validation here too? Ha just kidding guys, I’m actually perfect.

So, moving right along to the point, I tried all the herbs I had – 1/2 a cup each of elderberries, peppermint, hibiscus, and damiana each in their own quart jar of spring water. I gave them a little shakearooni, and put them in the fridge overnight. About 24 hours later, I took the mason jars out of the fridge, grabbed my nut mylk bag (they are the best strainers – reusable produce bags are also excellent for this purpose), and prepared to taste the essence of these herbs. I was absolutely blown away how incredibly delicious, delicate, and complex each of the infusions was. Hibiscus was far less astringent, more sweet, and a deeper color of red than its heated counterpart. The peppermint was PHENOMENAL; there is no comparison between hot and cold with this one. All the volatile oils remain fully intact with the cold brew, so you feel it the moment it hits your tongue, and it stays with you on the entire journey down your digestive tract. It is impossible to describe how delectable and cooling the mint is when made this way. The damiana was fantastic, but I have never made it hot so I have no reference point. The aphrodisiac qualities were fully present though!! And the elderberries…..goddamn you, elderberries. Well, I shouldn’t say that, it’s my fault. I’d like to blame it on my girlfriend for not informing me better, but that wouldn’t be very responsible of me. I now know that elderberry is incredibly potent, and only small amounts should be consumed. Me, being Mr. Excess, put a 1/2 cup of elderberries in a quart of water, and at first I thought it was phenomenal. The color was beautiful, and the taste is much smoother and more bright than boiling it. So, being all excited about it, I made a full 3 gallons of elderberry/mint infusion to mix with the Jun before bottling. All went well, until I drank the first bottle several days later. I felt intensely nauseous, and could not finish the Jun. That was the first time I have ever consumed Jun and felt anything but wonderful in my intestines, so I knew something was very wrong. Apparently elderberries contain a compound that produces cyanide when you digest them – nice!!! So, I ended up having to pour over 20 bottles of Jun down the sink. I need Shakespeare up in here to write me a play about this. This is how we learn though!

Even Guayusa tastes far superior (imo) when cold infused. I am very curious to continue exploring this…I have found however that schizandra berries do better with heat, so this technique definitely does not apply to all herbs.

In other news, I went to a new spring recently in the San Gabriel Mountains called ‘Falling Springs’. It’s quite lovely, the ice cold spring water is bubbling out of Mother Earth, and we get to collect the water only moments after it sees light for the first time. It’s a real trip to think of where we are in our modern society…just about everyone I know would not hesitate for a second to trust water coming out of their faucet, or if not that then filtered water in a bottle from the store. This is what people are used to. Now, bring them up to the spot where I collect water, they will take one look at the fact that I am bottling water that comes out of the ground and ask me what the hell I am thinking drinking water that could be contaminated by who knows what. Isn’t it fascinating? We have been tricked into mistrusting our Mother. She filters then water for us, fills it with Love, Life, Energy, minerals, magic!!! Yet 9 out of 10 people seem to prefer the ultra-filtered, dead, empty water at the store. Reverse osmosis water is toxic, and leeches minerals from the body, yet this is what nearly every bottle of water you can buy is filtered with. RO works by blasting water through multiple plastic membranes with successively smaller holes in each layer, ultimately creating water with an approximate pH of 3-4. The water I collect from the mountains is 7.9 – ideal for our bodies. People always think I am one crazy bastard, taking all my 5 gallon glass carboys on a 3 hour mission ‘just’ to get water. Prior to our heavily industrialized world, humans never consumed chemical laden water squirting out of a metal spout; I mean jeez people think spring water is dirty – what about all the pipes that water goes through on the way to the house? I’m going to post a link to this website where you can find a spring near you again just in case I have any rad new readers. Check out the picture of this particular one –


In other news, I recently discovered that simply by filling a dirty bottle with ~1/2Tbsp. of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), filling with hot water and allowing to sit for 12 hours, all the gunk that accumulates over months of bottling again and again will dissolve. Baking soda creates such an alkaline environment that all the organic matter dissolves into it. This was a godsend when the guy at the brewstore told me, as there is really no bottlebrush perfect enough to fit inside the swing top bottles.

I’ve also purchased a sanitizer called Star San, which brings the pH down under 2, killing virtually everything. Cleanliness is so, so important. I half-assed it for so long, being a hippy, and would often not even wash my hands before touching the scoby, using the same logic I do when eating something off the ground. Now, I still eat shit off the ground, but my scoby gets the extra special treatment. Why make her work harder to ward off invading bacteria when she could be devoting that energy to making medicinal compounds? Especially when I am bottling so much, and selling this stuff to all different people, I become responsible for passing on any unhealthy microbes that I may have inadvertently cultivated. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Ayurvedic Fermentation

Ayurveda is the most ancient system of medicine on the planet, estimates state that it is anywhere from 3,500 to 40,000 years old. The Greeks were known to study Ayurveda extensively, ultimately birthing allopathic medicine. Many also believe that Traditional Chinese Medicine has similar roots. I have been absorbing as much information on Ayurveda as possible lately, as it makes more sense to me than anything else I’ve come across. I’m sure many of you already have a good understanding of Ayurveda, but for those new to the concept allow me to summarize the basic concepts.

Every single human being is comprised of a unique balance of three doshas; vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata is air + ether, and is the quality of movement in the body. Pitta is fire + water, and is responsible for metabolism. Kapha is earth + water, and is the source of structure and lubrication. Most people are predominantly a combination of two doshas, but some exhibit a single dosha very strongly, while even more rare is the tridoshic diagnosis. Vata individuals are thin, creative, spacey, learn things quickly but also forget just as fast, and are prone to anxiety, fear, and insomnia. Pitta types are medium bodied, passionate, eat a lot but don’t gain weight, get a lot done, and are prone to irritability and anger. Kapha manifests as larger & bigger boned people. They are grounded, calm, gentle, and patient, but are prone to possessiveness, obesity, and greed. Determine your doshic balance here.

Anyway, what’s cool is that every type of food either aggravates or pacifies a certain dosha. Aggravated doshas create ama, a toxic substance at the root of all diseases. Imbalance will manifest in a variety of ways, depending on which dosha is out of balance. For example, spicy food, fermented food (yes that means Jun!!), and citrus all aggravate pitta. Personally, I am predominantly a pitta individual. That means when I drink Jun, it actually aggravates the fire quality that is already so strong in me. It has to be mitigated by something that is cooling, to counter the heating effects of the Jun. Aloe vera, dill, cucumber, and coconut are all great choices. What’s fantastic about Ayurveda (which in Sanskrit translates to ‘science of life’) is that it’s like simple math; figure out your doshic balance, and you have a clear roadmap to figure out which foods are best to eat/not eat, simply by educating yourself on the energetics of food, herbs, and spices. Furthermore, the seasonal changes, lifestyle habits, and environment also have a profound impact on our doshic balance. With the knowledge given by Ayurveda, one is empowered to take their health to the most optimal place possible.

It’s a little bit of a bummer that raw honey, guayusa, and the fermentation are all heating and increase pitta. I am envious of those of you predisposed to need these substances. After learning of this, I decided to take a little break from drinking Jun. Coincidentally, around the same time, I’d had a few bad experiences that led me to decide to stop drinking alcohol (beer, wine, mead, whatever), and even alcoholic herbal tinctures. What happened was pretty shocking – I had withdrawals. I realized that I had actually developed some mild alcoholism…it just sort of snuck up on me. Jun felt innocent enough, but realistically it does contain anywhere between 1-3% ABV, so drinking it on a daily basis is really not a good idea. Moderation, eh? I had intense cravings for alcohol and sugar for over a week, but now it’s been close to a month since I drank any alcohol and I feel much better for it. When I have Jun now, I generally just drink less. It’s so potent with the Guayusa that it’s better that way anyway.