Our new Apoteum-Ambassador Robin has been in a wheelchair since a motorcycle accident, does intensive wheelchair bodybuilding and is a role model for many athletes because of his great determination. In an interview with our editor Larissa he shares how CBD helps him in his life.

What experience have you had so far with CBD and how does it help you?

So far, I have only had short-term experience with CBD, but it showed its effect really soon. Due to a motorcycle accident and the resulting paralysis, I often have nerve pain (phantom pain). My spinal cord, in contrast to other wheelchair users, is still intact, but I have suffered a nerve root tear in the hip – and pelvic area, which is responsible for my paralysis. The pain in the nerves (phantom pain) usually appears before a strong change in the weather and pierces like knives without warning in different areas of my paralyzed legs. I’ve been taking Ibuprofen for the pain for five years. The application varies on some days from 1 to 3 tablets a 600mg. The maximum was once 7 Ibuprofen, because I could not stand the pain, but that ruined my intestinal flora. Since I’m worried about the long-term intake of such chemicals, I’m always on the lookout for alternative products and try them out, that’s how I got to CBD. So far, I only consumed a small bottle of 10 ml, at irregular intervals. Despite the rare intake, my sleep was clearly much better after each intake.

What fascinates you about wheelchair bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding for me is one of the most challenging and fascinating sports. Bodybuilding is not just a sport, it captures the entire everyday life. It starts in the morning when getting up and ends with bedtime. Even sleep is very crucial and therefore the positive effect of CBD is interesting for me. In my opinion, bodybuilding consists of three areas. Training, nutrition and mindset that only lead to a successful result in combination. In training, there are no excuses and it is always a challenge, because you have to muster up the will to go beyond your limits with each workout. If you do not go beyond your limits, no muscle growth is to be expected. This is where nutrition comes into play. Even if you are exercising excessively, it is not possible to think about muscle growth without excess nutrients. This is how training and nutrition work together like a cog wheel. In order to balance muscle growth and nutrition, a strong mindset is a prerequisite to teasing the maximum out of his body. Bodybuilding doesn’t only strengthen muscles, but also the mind.

Are you currently using our Hemp Protein?

Since my competition diet is slowly getting into the “hot phase”, I am not yet allowed to use the protein due to the fats it contains. After my competition first a regeneration phase waits for me, so that the body can recover from the exertions. Here, the hemp protein will certainly support me well, so that I can go back into the building phase strengthened.

You have an important competition coming up in April, which kind of competition is it?

On 27.04.2019 the Masters and Junior Championship will take place.

On 28.04.2019 the Rheinlandpfalz championship takes place.

On both dates, I compete in the handicap class.

What difficulties do you face in sports?

For me, some things are more exhausting, but there are not really any difficulties. I do not compare my current situation with people who can walk. If some weights are too heavy for me, I open my mouth and get the weights. No one has ever refused to help, on the contrary, the people are very helpful and often approach me by themselves. It is your own performance which determines how your environment reacts to you. If you have a negative and repellent appearance, you are unattractive to people. It is your inner attitude, your attitude, that makes the difference. Sometimes weights are wildly scattered around in the gym, and here, too, I’m no different than others. I push them aside as well or put them in the right place as other people do. Just because you have a disability, you should not immediately see yourself as a victim. If it allows the disability, you can remove the stuff just as much as other people do. Yes, it may sometimes be more strenuous and annoying, but on the other hand it is like a kind of training for everyday life. If I can not sit on some equipment because another device is too close, or I have a poor sitting position in it, I’m just thinking of another exercise that can train the muscle I wanted to exercise with this device as well. Many paths lead to the goal, sometimes you just have to rethink and look for other ways.

What do you expect from the cooperation with Apoteum?

I expect from the cooperation with Apoteum that the products will be effective and that I may, with a natural product, reduce, and in the best case even withdraw from chemical products entirely. I also like to learn something new and enjoy taking on challenges. I like the collaboration in the form of online marketing, but only because I stand behind the product.

Which products do you currently use?

I currently use the Gold hemp capsules, the CBD oil at 2% and the hemp balsam.

Is naturalness of importance to you in bodybuilding? If so, why and how do you live that?

For me, naturalness in bodybuilding is important, but I do not give up entirely on industrially produced supplements. As with all things in life, finding a middle ground is important. So, I balance between natural and industrial resources. Extremes, no matter what are never good. We should train our senses to feel when the body needs a break from a thing, be it food, thought or action. Many people live unconsciously and do not pay attention to the signals of their body. The body can be challenged, but you should give it time to regenerate, and give him gratitude. The body is a tool that communicates with our mind. Our mind expresses itself with the help of our body in the material world. For this reason, we should treat our body with respect, be grateful to it, and pay attention to its signals.

Do you have tips for other (wheelchair) bodybuilders?

My tip for all people: Set goals, otherwise you will always start projects, but never bring them to an end. Or you will drive haphazardly through your life and at some point, regret not having done more. Know your why, then it comes on its own. Set goals with a noble motivation. If you set yourself superficial goals, you are more willing to give up than goals that are dear to your heart. Another recommendation from me: less whining, more toughing it up, and acting. In no city in the world are monuments of grumblers. Look for role models and see exactly why they have become successful, but do not try to compete with them. Just try to be better today than yesterday. Do not point your finger at others, focus on yourself. Do not rely on others. You are responsible for your life, and everything you invest in your life will eventually pay off.

We have made it our mission to inform you critically and neutrally about all important aspects of CBD and hemp products. Every day we get many questions about our products and we will try to answer your questions bit by bit here in our Apoteum Blog. One of the most frequently asked questions that reach us on a daily basis is the following: Will you get high from CBD? We can calm you down right away: No, you will not. What makes you high when you smoke marijuana is the THC contained in cannabis.

There is so little THC in CBD products that it is not even detectable anymore. The EU regulates that it must be below 0.3% in CBD products, and our Apoteum products are well below that limit, so there is no psychoactive substance included in our CBD products. You will thus not get high from CBD, but all other good ingredients from the hemp plant are being preserved with our extraction method. Good news, then. Because our products do not contain THC, they are also available legally and are not classified as drugs.

The WHO attests in a report that CBD had “no influence on the mental or psychomotor performance” of the participants in a study carried out. Another great news for CBD users is that CBD does not cause any dependency – as the World Health Organization confirms in its report. It has even been proven that women can consume CBD without any worries during pregnancy. For products with THC, the picture looks a bit different. Although THC, like CBD, does not cause physical dependence, 5-10% of all regular users develop mental dependency. So you see, you will not get high, nor will you have to be worried about developing a dependency. CBD also has no negative side effects and influences you in no way negative in your everyday life. You can safely go to work and drive a car.

Pesticides like Monsantos glyphosate are widely used in agriculture all over Europe. Pesticides are used to keep unwanted herbs, certain molds and insects from infecting the fields. The use of pesticides is extremely widespread and has become more and more popular over the course of the last century. But why?

Monocultures. Monocultures are trending, but at the same time they aren’t sustainable. Keeping a certain diversity on the field makes the plants more resistant to being infected by insects and other pests. Unfortunately, the rise of monocultures has also led to an increase in the use of pesticides.

Only in the last few years has the public become aware of the possibly extremely dangerous effects of pesticides on human health. Numerous studies suggest that round up, Monsantos glyphosate product, is very likely to be a carcinogen, thus having a terrible effect on human health.

No wonder that numerous progressive NGOs and citizen initiatives have tried to convince the EU commission to ban glyphosate from our fields. Without success. This is a classic David vs. Goliath situation. Bayer-Monsanto is one of the worlds largest companies for agrochemicals. Losing the European market would cut into their profits, and let’s be honest – that’s all they care about.

Not only does glyphosate have a possibly terrible effect on human health, its also proven to negatively impact our bees, which we so urgently need, and our imbalance our entire eco system.

Many farmers have chosen to use natural and organic means to get rid of pests now but for them it is extremely hard to keep up in a competitive market. This shows: there’s only one way – we need progressive legislation to protect the planet, our eco system and humans alike.

As Apoteum we are concerned with sustainability and most of all human health. We get our Scandinavian Hemp from Sweden, because they are one of the most progressive nations regarding pesticides.

Sweden introduced a progressive tax for pesticides as early as 1984. They were the first country worldwide that introduced such a tax. The tax was then used for “agri-environmental programs aiming to reduce pesticide application and to promote integrated pest management.” Swedens goal was the “reduction of residues in surface water or food and the establishment of farming techniques that are less dependent on chemical pesticides” and they succeeded: The use of chemical pesticides dropped significantly between 1984 and 2009, only to see a little increase until 2012.

Source: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/4/378/pdf

Scandinavia still has a long way to go and we have to continue to fight for a healthier environment. For now however, our Scandinavian Hemp has the best opportunity to grow and prosper in Sweden, so that we can produce high quality health products for all of us.

Have you ever wondered how cannabidiol (CBD) elicits its natural balancing effects? To understand what CBD does, let’s take a closer look at the human body. CBD works in tandem with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system just like the circulatory system that pumps blood through your veins or the respiratory system that fills your lungs with air. The ECS plays vital functions for the body – yet it was discovered merely 30 years ago! In fact, the ECS was discovered because scientists were curious about the effects of cannabis on the brain. Without the hemp plant, who knows? Maybe we would still have yet to discover the ECS and how CBD works.

But what exactly does the ECS do? Simply put – it is a network of receptors that pair with molecules called endocannabinoids, which are synthesized by the body to regulate various body functions. These same receptors in the body also bond with phytocannabinoids, which come from plants instead of being made by the body. And yes, you guessed it! Hemp naturally produces many phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one phytocannabinoid out of more than 113 that have been found in cannabis. CBD and the other phytocannabinoids produce varying effects on the body.

The bodily processes that the ECS helps to regulate are many. The ECS regulates sleep, appetite, digestion, motor control, mood, immune function, reproduction, reward pathways, memory, pain, and more. Today, scientists are still learning about the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in our health.

CBD in particular has been found to interact with a variety of different biological targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitter receptors. In the United States in 2018, the first drug made of CBD has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of two epilepsy disorders. This is a major step towards recognizing the healing properties of the hemp plant and bringing it to the mainstream.

There is still much research to be done on CBD and the ECS. For example, we have yet to discover the mechanism by which CBD elicits its effects. But we have come far in a relatively short amount of time. The future looks bright: scientists are now conducting more and more studies regarding CBD. We are excited to learn more about this special molecule in the near future and will keep you updated!

 

Sources:

Aizpurua-Olaizola O, Soydaner U, Öztürk E, Schibano D, Simsir Y, Navarro P, Etxebarria N, Usobiaga A (2016). “Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa Plants from Different Chemotypes”. Journal of Natural Products. 79 (2): 324–31. doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00949. PMID 26836472.

Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Zarandona, Iratxe; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2016). “Targeting the endocannabinoid system: future therapeutic strategies”. Drug Discovery Today. 22 (1): 105–110. doi:10.1016/j.drudis.2016.08.005. PMID 27554802.

“FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy”. US Food and Drug Administration. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.

Jurkus R, Day HL, Guimarães FS, Lee JL, Bertoglio LJ, Stevenson CW (2016). “Cannabidiol Regulation of Learned Fear: Implications for Treating Anxiety-Related Disorders”. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 7: 454. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00454. PMC 5121237. PMID 27932983.

Sunday afternoon in Vienna. A shock for sustainable small businesses like ours. Minister Hartinger-Klein (FPÖ) wants to ban sales of foods and cosmetics that contain cannabinoids. The minister refers to an EU-regulation concerning novel foods in her press release. The EU commission refutes the interpretation of this regulation, that the regulation would deem the selling of Cannabinoid containing products illegal. Only products that were artificially enriched with CBD would fall under this regulation. Natural products like ours could hence still be sold. The minister contradicts this opinion. Costumers and sellers are left insecure.

For many companies in Austria this would mean that they would have to let countless employees go into an uncertain future. Moreover, customers of sustainable small businesses like ours would face negative consequences. Costumers would most likely only be able to get the healing CBD products in pharmacies for much higher prices. There seems to be no logical reason behind the legislation, especially as it would still be allowed to smoke CBD products. Drinking it as tea, however, wouldn’t.

The press release leaves a bitter aftertaste. It seems like the FPÖ-Minister would, once more, take the side of big pharma, instead of speaking up for the health of the Austrian population. Just recently she was in the press because of her going back on the legislation concerning smoking in restaurants.

The situation is uncertain, not only for employees but also for people who are depending on the positive effects of CBD products. CBD offers many patients a sustainable and gentle alternative to chemical concoctions and offers them relieve. Luckily, we are still able to export our products and ship them to customers in other European countries

We are calling on Minister Hartinger-Klein to ensure clarity and to reconsider her position regarding hemp products.