ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
While now is the time to do what you want, how you want, when you want, the Full Moon on the 7th indicates that you will still be interested in being with others. This creates a lovely balance. On the 20th, you will be able to focus on money and increase your income. Humanitarian endeavors open up and allow you to feel part of a team.
TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)
The first part of the month is a time of preparation and work. After the 20th, you hit the ground running, and you don’t allow anyone or anything to get in your way. Focus on your career and finances, and watch these two areas grow. Throw your energies into your career, and move upward, particularly if you are offered an advancement.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)
Your horizons expand as new opportunities present themselves. If you have a chance to travel, particularly to somewhere you’ve never been, go for it. Your social life is active as well, so enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. By the 20th of the month, you may need more solitude and privacy in order to recharge your batteries.
CANCER (June 21 – July 22)
Focus on your home and family the first week of the month. That’s the time to handle all domestic or real estate matters. After that you’ll be able to put your attention on your career. Around the 20th of the month your friendship circle is highlighted, so make time for some social activity. Balance all this activity with time alone.
LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)
As new opportunities present themselves, you will begin to re-think your core beliefs. As your clarity grows, you’ll be able to put new ideas into action in your career, particularly around the 20th of the month. Throw yourself into partnerships, whether business or personal. Give others the same attention you would give yourself.
VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)
You are a psychic detective this month, looking beneath the surface at what is really going on, particularly where money is concerned. By the 20th, you see the big picture, and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Throw yourself into your job, and focus on how you can serve. This is the month to keep the big picture in mind.
LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 22)
Relationships are always important to you, and you are focused on both business and personal interactions. However, the Full Moon on the 8th encourages you to put yourself first and do what you want to do your way. Your love life and your children are a major focus in April, so leave time for fun and enjoyment.
SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Your home and family come first to you now, so spend time on domestic issues. You will want private time alone the first week of April, but as the month progresses you will want to get back out there and be with people, particularly after the 23rd. Your job will keep you busy all month, so combine business with pleasure when possible.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)
It’s time to party this month, so make plans to do so, especially if there is one special person in your life. You may be bored easily now, so plan short trips, meetings with friends, and any fun diversions to keep boredom at bay. As we approach the end of the month, you’ll be able to put more of your attention on your job.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – January 19)
Whatever you put your attention on grows, so throw yourself into money-making ventures this month. In addition, focus on your home and family, even if that means staying home watching reruns of your favorite shows. Your job should move along well, and if you are involved in a new project or venture, it will be enjoyable.
AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
It’s your turn, Aquarius, so put yourself first and do things your way. You are ready for fun, so focus on your social life. If you have children, they should bring you lots of happiness now. You are not only a humanitarian; you are a visionary. During the first week of April, you get a glimpse of the big picture, and want to follow it. Do it!
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
Pisces, you build a castle in the air, and once a day you must return to it to add another room. Your home is your castle, your sanctuary, your haven. You can throw yourself into that castle this month and barricade the door in order to get the privacy your body and soul crave. Use your time alone to get to the heart of all issues.
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Closing Loops in Cannabis Cultivation
The soil food web powers the life of plants; when we model this natural order, we can grow cannabis in a perpetual closed loop system. When we create the proper environment, we can grow the nutrients our plants need in our gardens, without having to purchase synthetic varieties of nutrients. These principles can be applied indoors in no-till living soil containers, and outdoors in living soil. They can also be applied from small home grows to large-scale operations, by way of regenerative farming practices.
The soil food web powers the life of plants.
The first step is to create and mimic the natural soil food web: the network of microorganisms serving to decompose organic matter, and fix nutrients and minerals into available forms for plants. The benefits of growing regenerative cannabis include carbon sequestration, less labor inputs, lower financial inputs, and a clean, healthy, beyond organic end product. Nature has created a perfect system that when bypassed, as conventional agriculture attempts to do, negates these benefits and creates unnecessary problems. Rather, by modeling nature’s designs and rhythms, we can develop regenerative cannabis farms that are healthy for the environment, the plant, and the end user.
Let’s take a look at how one might approach each stage of plant growth to close the loop and perpetuate the cycle:
5-10 days. The initial stage of growth begins in a living organic soil medium that is alive and teeming with nutrients, fungi, minerals, and microorganisms. It is ideal to start the plant in its final home to avoid stress, although many people transplant for space reasons. Here, we experience our first inputs that will remain cycle after cycle. The soil for germination will have either a seed or clone that will then be transferred to another container from their initial nursery.
2-3 weeks, 18 hours light. Plants remain in the same soil. Water, mulch, and amendments may be applied. Seedlings may be transferred to a new container where they will remain for the rest of their life cycle.
3-15 weeks, 18 hours light. Plants remain in the same soil.
Water, mulch, amendments, and integrated pest management (IPM)
may be applied. For indoor no-till container gardens, worms may be applied. Cover crops can be planted to provide natural nutrients for the plant. Crops are cut and clippings may be applied as mulch and also serve as organic matter for the soil food web.
8-11 weeks, 12 hours light. Plants remain in the same soil. Water and amendments may be applied.
Plants are harvested. Roots can remain in soil to serve as organic matter for microbiology or removed and composted for a quicker turnaround.
Plants are dried and cured before being processed or consumed. Plants may also be harvested for fresh frozen purposes.
To continue the cycle, the next round of seedlings are planted in the same no-till container. If we can create an ecosystem focused on feeding the soil and turn away from the chemical dependent pH/NPK* model of feeding the plant, we will establish the optimal outcomes for the earth, the people, and the equity of all.
*NPK is fertilizer (nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium)
Cannabis, Parkinson’s, + The Great Outdoors
One of the most notable effects of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is its impact upon mobility and muscle control. Impeded mobility can make daily activities difficult, especially those involving physical activity and exertion. A lack of physical ability—or of confidence in one’s physical ability—can reduce the amount of time enjoyed in the great outdoors. Studies are showing that time spent training the body through cues and coaching can help to overcome mobility issues, resulting in more time outdoors. Studies are also showing time spent outdoors leads to a lower risk of Parkinson’s and can result in improved quality of life for those living with the disease. Programs such as ParkFit have been developed as part of research studies aimed at showing how treatment programs can help PD patients get outside and stay active. Cannabis has also been shown to help with symptom management, helping to ease patients who have been sedentary into a more active lifestyle, allowing for more outdoor activities.
Parkinson’s Effect on Daily Life
Two of the most incapacitating symptoms of PD are gait and mobility problems, which are often difficult to treat.1 In spite of the potential benefits, many PD patients do not meet recommended levels of physical activity, largely as a result of these issues.2 “Higher age, being female, and lower physical capacity were the most important determinants of reduced daily physical activity.”3 Studies have also found a greater sense of autonomy as well as stronger physical performance was correlated with maintaining mobility as we age.4 It is then reasonable to surmise that impeded mobility in PD patients could create a cyclical situation in which mobility impedes autonomy and physical performance, further impeding mobility and thereby continuing to lower quality of life.
The Science on Parkinson’s, Physical Activity, and the Great Outdoors
While more men are diagnosed with PD than women, and the fatality rate for males is higher, the working conditions in many male-dominated jobs can also prove beneficial to reducing the risk of PD.3,5,6 Due to the nature of the working conditions, these jobs also require men to work outdoors more, exposing them to more sunlight, which could help to lower their risk of Parkinson’s. Sunlight is the main contributor of vitamin D in humans, and “Inadequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased risks for neurodegenerative diseases.”6 In studying this relationship, researchers found that men who work outdoors are at a lower risk for PD, likely a result of increased exposure to vitamin D.
Additionally, freezing of gait (FOG) is a common condition of PD, and when combined with complex transfers and movements such as walking through doorways, rising up out of a chair, or turning over, may be among the most limiting aspects of mobility.7 Researchers are finding aspects that trigger FOG or other mobility symptoms are not as impactful in natural environments, suggesting a biophilic reaction. Patients who experienced freezing when walking through man-made or “built” elements did not experience similar triggers or freezing when passing through natural openings and hedges, reiterating the necessity for a biophilic environment for people with PD.8
Talk with your physician about ways cannabis and the great outdoors mIGHT be able to help improve your physical fitness and increase the amount of time you spend enjoying outdoor activities.
Studies on cueing therapy, or the use of rhythmic stimuli to cue certain behavior actions, find cueing could help PD patients overcome FOG and mobility issues. One study examined a multimodal cueing device which allowed patients to choose a cue that was a desirable totem, and use it to navigate through situations where they would otherwise freeze, fall, or succumb to mobility issues. During treatment, patients saw an improvement in overall mobility but that improvement decreased over time once the cues ceased, suggesting that regular cueing could help patients overcome daily hindrances.1
These types of ongoing treatments and studies on programmatic efforts to manage and delay symptom onset have also lent themselves to the idea of coaching as a way to overcome daily challenges to be active and get outdoors. ParkFit is one of the largest of such studies, observing nearly 600 patients over a two-year period.9 Daily physical activity was compared with a 30-minute activity guideline, and 92% of the sample spent 98% of their day on “sedentary to light-intensity” activities.2 ParkFit was developed using behavioral motivation techniques to encourage increased physical activity. Evaluations of the program found the program was effective in almost all subgroups at promoting physical fitness and led to more time spent on outdoor activities.10-12
Cannabis, Parkinson’s, and The Great Outdoors
As has been discussed at length in this issue, cannabis has been shown to be effective at helping to manage the symptoms associated with PD, including spasticity, tremors, and muscle cramps that can lead to mobility issues, FOG, and decreased quality of life. Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it a promising complementary option for programs such as ParkFit, helping to ease PD patients into new activities at new intensity levels. Cannabis can also help with the social anxiety that might accompany overcoming physical impediments. It is important to remain cautious when using cannabis in unfamiliar settings, especially if you’re new to the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Talk with your physician about ways cannabis and the great outdoors may be able to help improve your physical fitness and increase the amount of time you spend enjoying outdoor activities.
1. Nieuwboer A., et al. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2007;78:134-140.
2. Dontje M. L., et al. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2013 Oct;19(10):878-82. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.05.014.
3. Miller, I. N., & Cronin-Golomb, A. Movement disorders: official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 2010; 25(16), 2695–2703.
4. Portegijs, E. et al. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2014; 62: 615– 621.
5. Devore, Chuck. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2018/12/19/fatal-employment-men-10-times-more-likely-than-women-to-be-killed-at-work/#5fecf0df52e8
6. Kenborg, L., et al. Occupational and environmental medicine.2011; 68(4), 273–278.
7. Danique L.M. et al. International Journal of Neuroscience, 2017; 127:10, 930-943, doi: 10.1080/00207454.2016.1275617.
8. Ottosson, J.,et al. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2015; 12(7), 7274–7299.
9. Bloem, B. R., Munneke, M. Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. 2011.
10. van Nimwegen M., et al. BMC Neurology. 2010;10:70.
11. Speelman, A. D., et al. Physiotherapy. 2014; 100(2), 134–141.
12. Kolk, N. et al. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2014; 20. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2014.10.004.
Cannabis, Parkinson’s, + The Great Outdoors
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