Herbalism and the sleep secret

by Nov 26, 2019

Unlike your average sleep period, the formulation of Equanimity didn’t happen overnight. It took many months of trial and error before we hit on the proper balance of herbs nestling in our brown bottles.

And of course, it’s taken longer than that to get cannabis into the mix as well. Medicine Box selected from several diverse schools of plant wisdom to create this product, so in gratitude, we’d like to share what we’ve learned in this journey with you as well.

Equanimity helps you sleep

Piecing the herbal puzzle together

When you’re in the cannabis business, you’re always learning. Much of Equanimity’s creation came from a fertile R&D period which started with cannabis oil extraction, but spiraled out to include local herbalists, Israeli chemists and a little bit of benevolent chaos thrown in for good measure.

My initial workbench was a supercritical CO2 extraction machine. The base was a cannabis cultivar I had grown for years. Patients who smoked it — even those with extremely high tolerances — often reported back on its sleep-inducing qualities. Concentrating this plant, I reckoned, harbored extraordinary medical potential. Working with my good friend Saulo Alejandro, we managed to create a powerful extract using a proper balance of time, heat and pressure. However, while we did that, I was also learning more about the terpenes of the cannabis plant, and the powerful synergies they formed with various soothing herbs. I immediately sensed potential in bringing all of these ingredients together, an intuition echoed by my friend and mentor Michael Hollister. During our New Moon Conversations, Michael and I would share botanical information, whether it was results from my formulations or new directions to take Equanimity.

Of course, the tincture didn’t have that name yet. We were rushing to get everything out the door for our company’s premiere at the 2016 National Cannabis Industry Association trade show. This distressed some of our collaborators at the time — one of them was a master herbalist with a chemistry background, and she recommended a six-week extraction period for the herbs, whereas we only had less than two months. The collision of entrepreneurial drive with the gradual methods of herbalism caused some difficulty, but upon the very first time I tried the prototype, I recognized how huge a difference the cannabis concentration in unison with the collection of herbs and terpenes made in the finished product. A couple years after the intial NCIA conference, we connected with an Israeli plant scientist who tweaked the original formulation with a food source that increased the tranquility factor immensely.

The decision to go with Equanimity as the name for the tincture came just before the conference. Looking over the notes, sketches and plans that made up this new creation. The common thread of all of our research pointed to a calmness and rest that could follow the user throughout the day and night. So even though Equanimity went through two major formulation shifts since its beginning on the workbench, that initial vision has carried on.

The herbal frontier

The American Herbal Products Association considers cannabis to be an herb. And so do we. In popular usage, herbs have enhanced any medium they’re added to. Cannabis, of course, does the same, and it possesses the same terpenes many herbs do. One example is lemon balm, a key source of beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in abundance in the cannabis cultivar used in Equanimity. By lighting them, steeping them or cooking with them, humans liberate the renewing forces in herbs. And the same entourage effects apply with all herbs — otherwise, Equanimity would not possess the effects that it does. 

Of course, it doesn’t stop with just Equanimity. For the combination of these herbal terpenes with cannabinoids that until recently were off-limits harbors vast potential for any number of human difficutlies. Next year, Medicine Box will premiere another product which continues with the same exploratory procedures I initiated on that workbench back in 2016. In addition, we’ll also present the CBD formulary Michael used with me to assist in weaning me off of Prozac. Mind you, these new products only have so much to do with sleep, but they all have to do with cannabinoids, herbs, and terpenes, and how they intersect with the endocannabinoid system throughout the body. 

Plant wisdom. Mindful Innovation. For as long as we’ve had civilization, we’ve been tinkering with what’s grown out of the ground, and no matter what we think we know about these plants, there’s always something more they can teach us. Moreover, they can empower us to take control of our own well-being and recognize that the solution often lies no further than what lies in one’s own back yard.  The late, great ethnobotanist Terence McKenna once urged people to “follow plants, not gurus.” That statement makes even more sense to me now that I’ve started working with them, learning from them and mindfully using them. Artfully combined, they can answer all the questions you care to throw at them. WE at Medicine Box are grateful to be in their service.



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