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Is Green Tea a Fad or a Real Health Boost?

MONDAY, June 24, 2019 — Green tea is a popular health trend, with many people sipping in hopes of deriving benefits from the brew.

There’s nothing wrong with that, dietitians say — green tea is a healthy drink loaded with antioxidants. But the jury’s still out on many of its purported health benefits.

“Clinical trials related to green tea are still in their early stages,” said Nancy Farrell Allen, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Fredericksburg, Va. “I say drink it, enjoy it. It’s not going to hurt, and it might have worthy benefits to it. But nutrition is a science, and it takes time for our understanding to evolve.”

Green tea’s potential health benefits derive from catechins, which are powerful antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, said Chelsey Schneider, clinical nutrition supervisor at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Cancer Center in New York City.

One catechin in particular, known as EGCG, is found at higher levels in green tea than in either white or black tea, she said.

“This compound can be even stronger than vitamin C and E, which are very, very strong antioxidants,” Schneider said. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells.

Green, black and white tea all come from the same plant, said Allen, who is a spokeswoman for the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition.

Green tea is made from the leaves of the mature plant, while white tea is made of leaves plucked early in development. Black tea is made from green tea leaves that are laid out and covered with a damp cloth, she said.

“They dry and blacken and ferment a little, giving black tea that darker, richer flavor,” Allen said. But this process also reduces levels of catechins in black tea.

Weight loss has been associated with green tea, with experts suggesting that its mixture of caffeine and catechins can enhance a person’s metabolism and processing of fat, according to the University of California-Davis Department of Nutrition.

But it appears that folks have to drink a lot of green tea to get substantial weight loss benefits and carefully watch the rest of their diet, UC-Davis says.

Green tea also has been tied to heart health.

For example, green tea was shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol in a 2018 study of more than 80,000 Chinese published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Evidence suggests catechins in green tea also could lower risk of heart attacks, help blood vessels relax and reduce inflammation, UC-Davis says.

Green tea even has been associated with a lower risk of some cancers.

The American Cancer Society says studies have linked green tea to a reduction in ovarian cancer risk. And UC-Davis said experimental models have shown that green tea might reduce risk of a variety of other cancers.

But a 2016 evidence review by the Cochrane Library concluded that there is “insufficient and conflicting evidence to give any firm recommendations regarding green tea consumption for cancer prevention.”

Schneider said the research is limited. “Some small studies say green tea can maybe be preventative for certain cancers, like breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic and oral cancers, but there aren’t so many conclusive human trials that support that,” she said.

Green tea also might help keep your brain younger. A 2014 study in the journal PLOS One found that Japanese who drank more green tea had significantly less decline in brain function, although researchers couldn’t rule out the possibility that these folks might have other healthy habits that helped keep them mentally sharp.

One caveat with all of this research is that it tends to take place in Asian countries, where people drink much more green tea. There might be significant differences for Americans.

And the way you take your green tea could diminish any potential positive effects, Schneider added.

“A lot of people are adding processed white sugar to their green tea, which really makes something beautiful and healthy into something unhealthy,” she said.

Adding milk or cream to your tea also might not be a good idea.

“There are some studies that say having milk in green tea can actually block the effects of you absorbing the antioxidant,” Schneider said. “If it was me, I’d drink it straight up.”

More information

The University of California-Davis has more about catechins.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Green Space Good for Your Child’s Mental Health

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Living near a park, forest or other green space may protect your children’s mental health later in life, a new Danish study suggests.

Children who grow up in these natural surroundings have up to a 55 percent lower risk of developing a mental disorder as an adult, researchers found.

Further, the protective effect grows stronger with more years spent living near nature, said lead researcher Kristine Engemann, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark.

“We found that association was stronger when we calculated a cumulative measure of green space from birth to age 10 compared to measuring green space at one single year,” Engemann said. “This indicates that the positive association builds up over time, and that being exposed to green space throughout childhood is important.”

For the study, Engemann and her colleagues gathered registry data on all Danish citizens, as well as data on all residents registered as suffering from a psychiatric disorder.

The investigators then used satellite data to assess the amount of green space near each person in the registry, from birth up to age 10.

Though the study could only show an association, the researchers found that high levels of green space present in childhood was linked to a lower risk of a wide spectrum of mental problems in adulthood, even after adjusting for other risk factors like financial and social status, the stress of urban living, and any family history of psychiatric disorders.

The psychiatric disorders most strongly associated with living near parks or forests were substance abuse disorders (52 percent decreased risk) — including cannabis (44 percent) and alcohol abuse (55 percent) — and neurotic or stress-related disorders (40 percent), Engemann said.

Her team also found that green space appeared to lower the risk of personality disorders, bipolar and mood disorders, and schizophrenia.

These results show that the urban environment is “an important environmental risk factor for mental health,” Engemann said.

“Ensuring access to green space and enhancing opportunities for a diverse range of uses, especially in densifying urban environments, could be an important tool for managing and minimizing the global burden of disease increasingly dominated by psychiatric disorders,” Engemann said.

Continued

The natural world appears to benefit both the body and the mind in growing children, Engemann said.

People raised in an urban setting “have been found to have higher neural activity linked to stress processing, which could lead to higher risk of psychiatric disorders in adults,” she noted.

“Green space is also known to enhance psychological restoration, affect brain structure through positive associations with amygdala integrity, and could mitigate negative effects from the socially dense and noisy city environment that heighten stress,” Engemann said. The amygdala is a region of the brain focused on emotions.

Neighborhood greenery can also decrease air pollution, bring neighbors closer together, and encourage people to be more physically active, she added.

The findings were published Feb. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kids regularly exposed to green space benefit from a wide array of sensual stimulation, touching and smelling and observing all the plants and animals and features there, explained Alice Honig. She’s a professor emerita of child development at Syracuse University in New York.

They also have a chance to burn off excess energy by running and playing, Honig added.

Children can benefit from these environments even if they live in a big city, said Honig, author of the book, “Experiencing Nature With Young Children.”

“Suppose you’re an urban parent who can’t afford a car. Find out where the closest parks and swimming pools and botanical gardens in your community are on a bus line or train line,” Honig recommended. “Even if you live in New York City, there are some pretty wild parks in the Bronx. I learned to ride a bike in one of those years ago.”

Schools should also be able to help parents find green spaces near them, Honig added.

Policymakers and local officials ought to keep these findings in mind when setting aside space for parks and other public features, Engemann said.

“For city planners, our results suggest that green space might contribute large health benefits across the population, and maintaining or even increasing green space in residential areas could potentially lead to significant health benefits,” she said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Kristine Engemann, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Alice Honig, Ph.D., professor emerita, child development, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.; Feb. 25, 2019,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Green Garden Gold Review

Like many brands in the CBD industry, Green Garden Gold offers an assortment of edibles, tinctures, pet products, topicals, concentrates, and then some.  To be considered one of the best CBD brands of 2019, you have to pretty much offer the entire variety of products as well as include your transparency in terms of how your manufacturing process works, as far as I’m concerned.  Today in this official Green Garden Gold brand review, I’ll delve into why this company checks all the boxes and shouldn’t be overlooked when you make the decision to buy CBD products online.

The Green Garden Gold Brand Reviews for 2019

The message this company gives is fairly clear, they design products to enhance “total body wellness.”  With price ranges from $ 24 – $ 280, just about all tastes and budgets can be accommodated at this one stop shop.

First, I applaud them for sharing their quality controls with the world, which is something the top brands are doing to show that they source the best full spectrum hemp.  In this case, the hemp is organically grown in Colorado.

The third party testing can be asked for by anyone – YES – EVEN YOU – so don’t be shy.  You’ll find that the results will show you that they are free of mold, heavy metals, pesticides, and other notable contaminants.

What I Liked About This Brand

I read on another site that veterans get 40% off.  That’s always a stand up thing to do, and I know of at least one other brand doing this.  These are the people who most likely need these products the most, so it’s important to make sure they can get affordable treatments.  Plus, they served our country and deserve every discount they are offered!

When I perused their best sellers list, I was surprised to see that their capsules were listed as the #1 selling product.  Normally, it’s the CBD oils sold in tinctures that are the top sellers, so I’ll have to reach out to them to see if there is more to the story.  I will say that capsules are very discreet, and they make no bones about that in this video below.  Rather than tell you myself, I figured I’d share this video, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Sold in 900mg, this is much higher than the Every Day Optimal capsules, which only go up to 50mg.  This set off an alarm with me so I had to dig into the product label and learn more.  Turns out, there is a blend of hemp extract that makes up 470mg and then 30mg of cannabidiol (CBD). This still only adds up to 500mg, so I’ll have to reach out to them and see why this is advertised as 900mg, as there are certainly going to be consumers out there that are confused. If I’m confused, and I do follow this space for a living, then I’m sure there are others.  Stand by, and I’ll post my answer soon.

Green Gold Capsules

Yummy Gummies CBD Edibles

Next on their best sellers page, they list the Yummy Gummies CBD edibles.  The edibles space is a growing space, and people like all the playful marketing behind the gummies especially.

Priced at $ 9.99 for a package of two gummies, this is a nice pack you can travel with or take on the go.  There are 60mg in the package.  (30mg each.)  Once again, I’ll let their marketing heads tell you more about it in this video:

VG Blended CBD Oils

Usually the top selling product with these companies, we finally get to the CBD Oils.  Using CO2 extraction, Green Garden Gold uses USDA Certified organic Colorado hemp extract the is blended with vegetable glycerin (VG) and natural flavoring.  Drop this under your tongue, or use one of these CBD vape pens to get a faster result.

Available in 4 sizes, 3 dosages, (up to 1,000mg)  and a few different flavors, like strawberry, blueberry, and more.  This is yet another item I’ll let the company tell you about in this below video.

While there are many brands that sell stronger dosages, (this brand goes to 4000mg , but then again some of the top brands like this one sell only up to 300mg.)  I don’t downgrade any brand for selling lesser dosages of CBD, but I may make note of that when judging their offering of products as some people do shop for other people in their household and we all have different needs and ailments.

Doggy Be Good CBD Pet Products

I’m a dog lover myself, having two of them in my house. If you are in the same boat, you’ll love the fact that they have one of the best offerings of CBD products for dogs out of all the brands out there.

Here is a list of what you’ll find in their pet section, which they call “Doggy Be Good.”

Joint Formula for Dogs 

CBD Capsules for dogs.

CBD Oil For Dogs

Place a dropper in their food and let the entourage effect take action.

Doggy Be Good CBD Oil Treats

Organic and made of whole wheat flour, these contain 2mg of CBD in each treat.

Gluten Free CBD Treats

These are 2mg per treat and made with gluten free peanut butter.  Yum!

CBD Weight Management Products

This is a category not many companies have delved into, so I was really curious to see this.  I haven’t personally tested these products, but when I can, or have someone to do so, I’ll come back with a more encompassing update.  What they offer is below:

CBD Ketones

Dairy and lactose free.  Vegan.  

CBD MCT Powder

Provides energy while increasing your ketone levels.  

CBD Probiotic

This is the first ever CBD probiotic I’ve ever seen.  Aids with digestion and the immune system. 

Other Products

Again, they have a HUGE selection of products, and some of them I’m just going to list right here, others you should just visit their website and check them out because it’s really the Apple Store of CBD.  So much there!

CBD Muscle & Joint Rubs

They sell a Hemp Oil Salve and a CBD Gel for pain.  (See our top pain products here.)

Skin Products

They only make two skin products, sold together as day and night serums, aptly called “Sunrise” & “Moonglow.”  Using hemp oils for your face as well as powerhouse skin care ingredients like squalane, sunflower seed oil, and eucalyptus leaf oil, I’m excited to get my hands on these serums.

Real Terpenes + CBD

Not many companies have terpenes for sale, but you can buy them at Green Garden Gold.  The terpenes made from cannabis get you the entourage effect, and there are three varieties you can buy online:

  • Indica
  • Sativa
  • Hybrid

All have 500mg fo CBD from their pure isolate CBD. 

Pure Isolate CBD

Lastly, but certainly not least…..you can get CBD crystalline in the purest form possible – a whopping 99.9 percent!  Sold in three sizes in collectible jars, you can consume this as an edible or use it with a rig.

Conclusion

Wow.  What.  A.  Brand.  Need I say more?  Sure, there are some parts of this Green Garden Gold review that I have to come back and update simply because of the sheer amount of products they offer, but I’m really looking forward to that more than loathing it.  This company is a well-oiled hemp machine!

Buy Here.

Green Garden Gold Review

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Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Green Growth Brands to Open CBD Shops in Malls

I’ve been commenting on how CBD has arrived for many years, and with last year’s U.S. Farm Bill passing, it didn’t just arrive, it showed up and crashed the party.  Yet another sign that CBD oils are here to stay as a staple in our society is the fact that Green Growth Brands is opening stores in malls across the U.S.A.

Green Growth Brands and Simon Properties to Open More than 100 Stores

Simon Properties, the largest mall owner in the entire country, announced yesterday that over 100 stores will be selling products infused with CBD.   In a partnership with Green Growth Brands, based in Ohio, the official number is 108 locations slated to open up in malls such as The Galleria in Boston, and Roosevelt Field Mall in New York.

“We are constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge new concepts,” John Rulli, president of Simon Malls, said in a press release. “We are committed to adding new and dynamic retailers and uses to our shopping destinations, and the GGB shopping experience is exactly the type of innovation our customers want and expect from us.”

The first location is set to open in under one month in Indianapolis’ Castleton Square Mall.  Later this year, the remaining locations will follow.  In addition to the Green Growth Brands setting up stores, it’s other brand, Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy, will also open up shops featuring products intended for body care.

Green Growth Brands Official Site, which I hadn’t seen before, is impressive. It tells a story, has a lot of interesting reads, and really shows me they are here to stay.

Sawgrass Sawgrass Mills Mall is a part of the Simon Properties Mall Portfolio.

Additionally, in a separate announcement, Barney’s, the gigantic department store, is opening up a cannabis shop in it’s Beverly Hills location.  It will be called “The High End.”

Green Growth Brands is being extremely aggressive with opening stores, as they are in talks with other mall operators to hit a target of 300 stores.  With the goal of raising brand awareness to their CBD products, this is by far the most aggressive move in retail that this industry has ever seen.  While there are vaporizer companies in malls, such as VaporFI, there has never been a movement like this with CBD.

The announcement, which I first read on CNBC, did mention that CBD is still banned from being added to food and drinks.  This poses a major problem for many establishments who are already operating businesses using CBD additives to their food and beverages.

With 108 stores already in the works for Simon Properties, (whose largest property is Sawgrass Mills Mall) I’m excited for this opportunity to unfold.

Who is with me?

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Green Roads Review

Are you currently looking to find top-quality CBD products from brands that you can trust? Or maybe you’re looking for one run by a licensed pharmacist? How about a pharmacist willing to test all of his products and share the results?  Today, in this Green Roads CBD oil review, you’ll find out what our staff at the 420 Times thought of this brand.

A 20 year veteran pharmacist created this company in 2011 in Florida. Now, Green Roads is a spectacular business and they are one of the biggest CBD manufacturers throughout the US.

The Truth about Green Roads

Green Roads is a unique company selling high-quality CBD oil. Their oils include crystalline isolate CBD and full-spectrum CBD oil.

What does this mean to the consumer? It means you’ll experience benefits from cannabinoids and terpenes, when added together to create the amazing results that pure CBD has to offer.

At this time, no other brand is offering this combination. It shows us that Green Roads is not only a dominant player in the market, but they intend to offer the best products to their customers bar none.

Interpreting CBD Colors: What Does the Color Mean Regarding CBD Oil?

The colors of CBD oil falls in a range of dark brown to gold. Green Roads, on the other hand, mixes their CBD with vegetable glycerin which creates a white murky color. This combination used for vaping or sublingually is perfect for those looking to experience the stress relieving and pain diminishing benefits.

Unfortunately, the vegetable glycerin combination leaves something to be desired. Some people believe that this oil doesn’t taste too great. We’ll let you be the judge.

CBD Oil Smell

Mostly, the CBD oil sold by Green Roads is tainted with a slight smell of vegetable glycerin.

According to many current and former users, when compared to other CBD oils, the Green Roads version is a lot less tart. But at the same time, the vegetable glycerin taste is quite strong and the smell also contains its characteristics.

Lastly, for those concerned, the vegetable glycerin used by Green Roads is kosher grade.

Green Roads Products: Gummy and Froggy CBD Candies

Some of you not only want the highest quality edible, but you also want something fun, different, and fresh, right? Just about every CBD company is making gummy bears at this point and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Green Roads has taken a different path. They created CBD Froggies instead which is definitely a nice unique and different pace.

The candy is huge to and comes in a four pack. Your options are to get 25 mg or 50 mg frogs, and each pack has four candies in them. They also sell individually wrapped candies as well, so if you want to test them out you can get a 25 mg for $ 4.99 and a 50 mg for $ 6.99 instead of ordering the bulk package.

A Terpenes Tincture Anyone?

Terpenes are all the rage today and Green Roads has taken notice. That’s why they currently sell terpene tinctures in a bottle for your enjoyment.

They chose an interesting way to name their terpenes as well. They are named after each cannabis strain that it’s extracted from. So, the terpenes from the Strawberry AK strain are named what? If you guessed Strawberry AK Terpenes then you guessed correctly.

Is There a Reason to Add Terpenes to CBD Oil?

Recently scientists have realized that your experience will become enhanced if you add terpenes to the CBD oil. By adding them, you create a more relaxed and energized product that you get by simply placing CBD under your tongue. So, the terpenes definitely do provide benefits and make the experience that much better.

Getting Green Roads Lab Results Is so Simple

Green Roads knows they make high quality products and they want their customers to know this as well. That’s why they place a QR code directly on the bottle on the outside of the packaging. Just use your phone to take a picture and you’ll immediately pull up results of the lab tests for said product.

Now you don’t have to waste your time going online and digging through results on a website. You can see the results right away on your phone without any hassle whatsoever. And based on what we’ve seen, Green Roads is performing the latest testing for toxins and potency because they want to continue delivering high quality products.

Are Their Gummies New and Improved?

Besides the frogs, Green Roads has taken it upon themselves to create even more new and improved gummies. The latest additions to their product line include relief toads, fruit bites, and gummy bears.

These products are very small and bite-size. And they sell them in a childproof jar, which is obviously very important.

As far as flavor goes, the relief toads and the fruit bites have a tasty fruity flavor. On the other hand, the gummies have a sour taste. So whether happened to like sweet or sour, they definitely have you covered both ways.

They made our list of the top CBD gummies of 2019.  Read all about it!

Green Roads Return Policy

They have a simple and straightforward return policy. If you are unhappy within the first 30 days, you can return the product for a full refund. It’s that simple.

But here’s the thing…

Green Roads takes their testing seriously. They post all of their results online and test for potency and purity. So you know that this company is doing right by each and every one of their customers.

In fact, all of the hemp used in their products is certified organic and shipped straight from Colorado. So they use quality clean hemp, which means all of their products are high-caliber and deliver the goods.

Hemp needs to be grown in an area that is clean because it’s a soil remediator. This means it pulls impurities and toxins directly from the soil. The East Asian companies selling hemp have dirty soil, which doesn’t leave a lot to be desired.

Important Things to Know about Green Roads

They use the best CO2 extraction method, which means their CBD meets the gold standard. Their manufacturing process is perfect and passes muster every step of the way.

As you can see, their high-quality potent products are clean and created using the best extraction methods. This company is one you can definitely trust.

Other Things to Know

All of their products are tested and the results are posted online. Besides the products we’ve mentioned, they also sell coffee, tea, concentrates, syrups, and pet products.

Their CBD oil is a mixture of crystalline isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil. Their products range from 100 mg to 1500 mg doses, they are made using kosher vegetable glycerin and terpenes of a proprietary blend.

Their pain cream contains 150 mg of CBD in a 30 g bottle. The NFL Alumni Association endorses this product, it’s made in America, and it retails for $ 40.

Lastly, their gummies consist of assorted flavors, have 30 gummies in each container, and each containerhas 300 mg of CBD and retails for $ 54.99.


Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Lean Green Ninja Team: Back in 2D

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The loveable subterranean leatherbacks get a sharp reboot in Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It’s been 34 years since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s pizza-chomping, crime-fighting heroes in a half shell made their first appearance in Mirage Studios’ comic books. This September, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael will be starring in their fourth animated series, which has stirred excitement in die-hard fans all over the world. Exec produced by animation veteran Andy Suriano (character designer on DuckTales, Mickey Mouse, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars) and Ant Ward (TMNT, The Penguins of Madagascar), the new 26-episode show has fans champing at the bit.

The 2D-animated Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has been in development since the fall of 2016, finds our cool, redesigned heroes continuing their adventures in the mysterious world hidden deep in the sewers of New York City. This time around, Raphael (voiced by Omar Miller) is the leader of the gang, and Leonardo (Ben Schwartz) is  the “self-proclaimed coolest” of the boys. Donatello (Josh Brener) is still the genius, and Michelangelo (Brandon Mychal Smith) is the youngest and the family jokester. April O’Neil (Kat Graham), their human friend,  is now a young African-American girl. Splinter the rat sensei is voiced by the amazing Eric Bauza, while John Cena plays Hidden City’s mutant warrior and alchemist Baron Draxum.

“We wanted a show that kids everywhere would enjoy,” says Ward, who was also supervising producer on the Nickelodeon’s TMNT series that ran from 2012 to 2015. “The goal was to make something that took itself seriously when needed and had fun at the same time. It is a bit whimsical — and is both comedy forward and action forward.”

ANT WARD

ANT WARD

We didn’t want to do straight comedy or straight action … Of course, threading that needle — balancing the two elements — is a hard challenge. We also wanted to go where the other shows and movies hadn’t gone before.”

—   Exec producer Ant Ward

“We didn’t want to do straight comedy or straight action,” adds Suriano. “Of course, threading that needle — balancing the two elements — is a hard challenge. We also wanted to go where the other shows and movies hadn’t gone before. This gave us the opportunity to explore a different side of New York City. The 2001 incarnation was such a strong and beloved adaptation, and we felt we needed to create something entirely new.”

Going for the Euro Vibe

Since both Suriano and Ward are huge fans of European comic books and graphic novels, fans may see homages to the works of Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mézières and Jean “Moebius” Giraud in the new show. “Andy and I had never worked together before, but we had the same references and affection for certain European comics, which are slightly different from the superhero stuff you find on the shelves in the U.S. They have this energy, life and vibrancy on each panel, and they seemed to fit perfectly with a 2D-animated series.”

Unlike some of the previous incarnations, each one of the brothers has his own distinct design and costume: softshell Donatello sports a hi-tech bo staff, Leonardo is a red-eared slider with an odachi sword, Raphael is a snapping turtle with tonfa sticks and a jagged shell, and Michelangelo is a box turtle who uses a kusari-fundo (weighted chain) as his weapon! “We felt as if each brother’s look needed to reflect their personalities,” says Suriano. “The question was what shape language would best bring out the characters. The goal was to offer a unique take on familiar archetypes.”

The creators also played around with the dynamics of the brothers. “We wanted to shake things up, so we thought this gives us the opportunity to really develop Leonardo’s character, for example,” explains Ward. “He has been the lone, stoic leader. We figured, what if Raphael wasn’t the angry guy … he is the oldest brother, and the eldest usually ends up being the leader of the pack. That frees up Leonardo to be the kind of character who doesn’t want to deal with leadership! We play up the familiar sibling rivalry in unexpected ways.”

Andy Suriano

Andy Suriano

We felt as if each brother’s look needed to reflect their personalities. The question was what shape language would bring out the characters best. The goal was to offer a unique take on familiar archetypes.”

—   Exec producer Andy Suriano

The team is also very pleased with their new feisty April. “We love her,” says Ward. “She is strong, confident and definitely a key member of the team. You don’t want to mess with her. We wanted to make a real character that the Turtles could joke with and have fun adventures with. She has a definite strong point of view in every story that we tell with her.”

Suriano also loves the new version of Splinter. “We added a lot of dimensionality to who he is as a person,” he notes. “As we start the show, we see more of the father figure rather than just the ninja.” “I absolutely love our Splinter,” adds Ward. “Eric Bauza is amazing, and he brings so much whimsy, warmth and wisdom to the part.”

As usual, New York City is the playground for the pizza-loving heroes, but this time around, there is more to the Big Apple than meets the eyes. “The modern sides of cities like New York, Paris, London is always changing,” explains Ward. “They are always building and reinventing themselves, and we wanted to reflect that in the show. We wanted to celebrate the cultural melting pot aspects of the city, too — beyond Hell’s Kitchen and the dark alleys of the comic book. We wanted to bring new dimensions to create a show that popped rhythmically with this dynamic energy.”
The creators also spent a lot of time developing the subterranean world that co-exists in the Turtles’ universe.  As Ward puts it, “We are huge fans of epic fantasy landscapes, and a key element of the show is the hidden city beneath New York. It’s a mystical secret world that is a big part of the their world.”

Cowabunga Down Under

While the designs,  pre-production, storyboards, recordings and final color fixes are all done at Nickelodeon in Burbank, the animation production is handled by Flying Bark Studios (Blinky Bill, Maya the Bee: The Honey Games) in Sydney, Australia, which use Toon Boom Harmony to deliver the 2D animation. Although the show is script-based, the team also works closely with the board artists to bring each episode to life. “I know a lot of people say this, but everyone really contributes when it comes to producing the show,” says Ward. “We like to keep our doors open, and we truly value our crew’s opinions and encourage the team to work together and contribute.”

Ward and Suriano are quick to mention that this new Turtles experience has been one of the highlights of their careers. “I have been doing this for more than 20 years now, and I get to work with a lot of great, new storytellers.” As Ward puts it, “It’s been a great honor to be part of the franchise again. It opens up a world of creativity, and it’s fun to be part of the whole new side of this franchise that has never been seen before.”

They are also both aware of how passionately fans feel about their green heroes. “We are creating something that is entirely new, but we are respectful of the fans because we love the Ninja Turtles,” says Ward. “For over 30 years, fans have had different reactions and opinions about each of the new incarnations … It’s all about being respectful to their opinions, but steering the course for what we’re doing.”

Suriano agrees. “We are very ambitious, and we were pleasantly surprised the Nick has been so supportive of the lofty goals we set for ourselves. We have met most of them, so we’ve surprised ourselves as well. The challenge is always finding the balance of ambition and what you can actually achieve. We’re trying to push ourselves and challenge ourselves to do things we have never done before in our careers!”

Ward says in today’s world where there is so much animated content to be viewed, it’s even more important to offer something that is not just the same old thing. “We have worked on a lot of shows before, and there’s a lot of great content out there. But the fact is that there is a lot of content that is very similar. The same formulas have been established. We wanted to step back and strive to do something different. Everything that we do is kind of immortal now thanks to the internet.  If people like the content, it can stick around forever. That pushes creators to work harder to offer better content to stand out in the crowd.” Or as the green guys would say: “Don’t be afraid to be totally, super rad, dude!”

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will premiere on Nickelodeon in September. A panel featuring the show’s creators and voice cast is planned for Comic-Con in July.

Animation Magazine

Green Spaces a Mental Balm for City Dwellers

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 — A splash of green in an urban landscape can lift the spirits of city residents, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed the mental health of people who lived within a quarter-mile of vacant lots in Philadelphia before and after those lots were converted into green spaces, as well as people who lived near vacant lots that were not greened.

People who lived near the greened lots had a 42 percent decrease in feelings of depression and a nearly 63 percent decrease in self-reported poor mental health, compared with those who lived near non-greened lots, the findings showed.

“Dilapidated and vacant spaces are factors that put residents at an increased risk of depression and stress, and may explain why socioeconomic disparities in mental illness persist,” said lead study author Dr. Eugenia South. She’s a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Emergency Care and Policy Research.

The researchers said their findings could be important for U.S. cities, where 15 percent of land is vacant and often filled with debris, trash and weeds.

“What these new data show us is that making structural changes, like greening lots, has a positive impact on the health of those living in these neighborhoods. And that it can be achieved in a cost-effective and scalable way — not only in Philadelphia, but in other cities with the same harmful environmental surroundings,” South said in a university news release.

The findings were published online July 20 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

According to study senior author Charles Branas, “Greening vacant land is a highly inexpensive and scalable way to improve cities and enhance people’s health while encouraging them to remain in their home neighborhoods.” Branas is chair of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City and an adjunct professor in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology at UPenn.

“Revitalizing the places where people live, work and play may have broad, population-level impact on mental health outcomes,” he added.

There’s growing evidence that revitalizing vacant lots in cities improves residents’ health and safety by reducing crime, violence and stress levels.

For example, another recent study by the same team of researchers found that greening vacant lots led to a 29 percent decline in gun violence in surrounding areas.

More information

The National Recreation and Park Association has more on the health benefits of green spaces.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

This Weed In News, May 5: Pelosi Pushes Marijuana, ME Policymakers Override LePage, IL Senate Green Lights Industrial Hemp

The wild power of cannabis reform was on full display for the week of April 30 – May 4, 2018. Nancy Pelosi suggests marijuana and yoga is a great substitute for opioids; elected officials in Maine reject Gov. LePage’s contempt for legalization; the Illinois Senate votes to legalize industrial hemp, and a new study indicates […]
Marijuana

Living Near Green Space May Make for a Healthier You

MONDAY, April 2, 2018 — Planning a move in the future? You might want to make sure there are parks nearby.

Research suggests that people who live near parks and green space are happier and healthier.

For instance, one study in the journal Health & Place looked at the relationship between parks and various health factors among women in the United States and Australia.

Australian women with more parks near their home were more likely to meet physical activity guidelines and less likely to be overweight or obese. American women who lived near parks were less likely to watch TV four or more hours a day.

In both countries, living near parks was also linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height.

Mental health also seems to benefit from time spent in parks and similar green spaces.

A separate study in Health & Place found that the more time people spent in green spaces, the higher their scores on scales that assessed mental health and vitality.

Of course, you don’t have to live next to a park to reap the benefits. Moving to a greenbelt area isn’t always possible.

It should be possible, though, to regularly visit parks and green areas within a reasonable distance of your home.

  • Check with your community’s recreation department, or stop by city hall, to learn about area parks and trails.
  • Check your state government’s website for similar information.
  • Check out the Nature Conservancy website (nature.org) to find protected areas in your region that are open to visitors.

And when you’re ready for a bigger adventure, go to findyourpark.com. The website is sponsored by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. It has state-by-state information on national parks.

There might be some closer than you think.

More information

The National Recreation and Park Association has more on the health benefits of green space.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

The Green Solution Story: Kyle Speidell on How His Family Went to Pot

Today, The Green Solution is one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensary chains, and it’s expanded into four other states so far, with big plans for future growth. But co-founder and CEO Kyle Speidell, who recently spoke to us about the launch of Blazin’ Hit Radio , the ambitious new online home of former KS 107.5 favorites Larry and Kathie J, who are hosting a welcome-back party for listeners on Friday, September 22 (details below), notes that TGS is, at its heart, a family affair. Indeed, he and his three brothers have helped develop the operation over the past seven years into what seems poised to become a signature cannabis business from coast to coast.

“I have a twin brother, Eric, and we’ve worked together for the majority of our lives,” says Kyle, who’s originally from the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area but was raised in Northglenn from the age of five. “We owned a real estate company and started flipping houses and doing development pretty much right out of high school and into college.”

The real estate biz was going well until “the bubble of ’08, ’09,” Kyle continues, “and that’s where Eric and I thought of pivoting. Eric went to the Marine Corps for a little while, and I kept doing real estate, and my other brothers, Brad and Nick, were doing their own things. Nick was in the Marines, too. He did three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In this photo, the brothers Speidell — Eric (from left), Brad, Kyle and Nick — are seen promoting Operation Care Package, which benefited troops overseas and veterans closer to home.

In this photo, the brothers Speidell — Eric (from left), Brad, Kyle and Nick — are seen promoting Operation Care Package, which benefited troops overseas and veterans closer to home.

Then 2010 rolled around and, Kyle says, “We started hearing a lot of rumblings about the cannabis industry. I’ve always been intrigued by cannabis, and I’ve partaken for the majority of my adult life, but the risks of getting into the business were heavy, just huge” thanks to the threat of a federal crackdown on the medical marijuana industry — concerns that have re-emerged following the appointment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an anti-pot zealot. “But the one thing we had going for us is that it was actually riskier to be in the real estate market back then. We wondered, ‘Is it worth playing the game and waiting it out — seeing if in five years we can make it through? Do we take the small amount of money we’d made in real estate up until that point [less than $ 100,000] and put it into an opportunity that could be very valuable?”

In the end, Kyle and Eric decided to go for it under the theory that “worst-case scenario, we could start over in real estate when the market picked up. We thought, what was there to lose?”

Fortunately, he goes on, “we started working with Northglenn, which was one of the more liberal cities in Colorado when it came to cannabis — one of the few at that time that had marijuana laws on their books. We fought hard for a store there, went through a bunch of zoning hearings, and ended up getting awarded one of the two licenses at that time and started our journey. We bought a warehouse downtown; they were cheap then. I think we had only about a hundred lights in that first grow — but we made it work.”

They also tried to avoid spreading themselves too thin, Kyle stresses. “We stayed put in our Northglenn store for about two years and learned a lot. We learned about regulations when House Bill 1284 came to be, and that gave us some certainty. And as the cannabis industry gained more momentum around patients, we saw that there was a potential to make this a viable business.”

A Green Solution grow house.

A Green Solution grow house.

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Finally, in 2013, “we bought another two stores and another grow,” Kyle says. “That gave us what we felt was a great presence in Colorado — and that’s when we started understanding what our brand was and who we needed to be. It scared us from a business standpoint not knowing at the federal level what to do and how to accomplish it. But luckily, we had been very compliant in what we did with the City of Denver and our stores in all the other jurisdictions — and that allowed us to be some of the first stores in the world, I guess, to go recreational. We had two stores open up for recreational sales on January 1, 2014 — two out of the first nine or twelve. And our other two stores ended up becoming recreational a short time after that.”

During this transitional period, Brad and Nick joined the team, too, “and we realized that we had to shift the culture of cannabis,” Kyle recalls. “Now there was an opportunity to be a part of everyday life, like your liquor store or grocery store or local mall. You can visit it frequently, and you can have a brand and have people believe in your brand. So we started promoting our accolades to land more licenses. We got licenses in Aurora, we bought another grow in Denver, we won a lottery in Adams County where we had another store. We then purchased a few more stores and eventually got to where we are today, which is twelve stores with roughly five more opening in the next twelve months.”

Kyle calls this sequence of events “absolutely amazing — and it was really done organically. We reinvested every dollar back into the business, unlike many other brands that we started out with — brands that had a lot of cash or capital to expand their operations swiftly. So we’re kind of the hometown success story. We’ve been able to take something small and make something amazing out of it. And it’s been a blessing to have my family come along on this journey. We’ve had the opportunity to grow together personally and professionally — and I think that comes down to trust. Our vision was aligned very early on, and because we haven’t had shifts in ownership, and there haven’t been shifts in regulation issues or setbacks that other companies have had, we’ve been able to stay true to our vision and mission along the way and haven’t veered from it. I think that’s the reason we’re here today.”

He’s especially excited that marijuana has become a topic that no longer must be avoided in polite company. “Before 2010, you didn’t even speak of what you did when you went to a pipe shop. You just bought your pipe and moved on. So to be able to openly discuss it has been such a change, and I’m proud that we’ve been pioneers in wanting the culture to thrive.”

Specializing in a product people want has certainly helped. “Cannabis is better in every way from alcohol and tobacco and all these other drugs, like opioids,” he allows. “I feel like they’ve made me a better person and allowed me to focus on the things I want to and need to — and I’ve had the opportunity to grow with it in my career.”

The challenges facing the Green Solution have changed, too, with the company now fighting against the biases some customers have against chains.

TGS doesn’t conform to the worst stereotypes of such businesses, Kyle insists. “When you think of fast-food chains, you think of low quality and high volume — and you think they’re in it for just quick bucks and the bottom line. But to us, a chain means sustainability. It means more consistency and more quality. One thing you can’t do being a mom-and-pop is deal with regulations the way we do. You can’t improve your profits as you lower the price for consumers, you can’t create better packaging that is more cost-effective while still growing the business. And we’ve been able to do that. Because we have multiple profit centers, we’ve been able to reinvest to maintain the quality and consistency that our brand is built off of.”

Customers “may feel like, ‘Oh, the prices aren’t dropping the way they were and the quality isn’t changing and the brand isn’t getting better,'” he concedes. “But over time, you’ll see that TGS is innovating, paving the way to allow the success of this industry — because without it, you’re not able to grow the opportunity for others, not able to allow the consumer to have a better product. There’s a reason we pay the prices we pay today for things — because they can be mass-produced. There’s always going to be the mom-and-pop shop that’s going to be higher priced or that want to home in on specific things. But we want to be a brand that really accomplishes quality and consistency and a presence the industry can be proud of.”

The Green Solution recently earned multiple prizes at an award ceremony hosted by Dope magazine.

The Green Solution recently earned multiple prizes at an award ceremony hosted by Dope magazine.

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Not that the Green Solution is ready to rest on its laurels. “Everybody has to understand that we’re still fighting for this every day,” Kyle says. “It’s a right in Colorado, but I was recently in Florida, and you can’t get cannabis there yet. You can’t go to Maryland and get cannabis like you can in Colorado. And that means we have to make this sustainable. You have to make it regulated, and the only way you can do that is make it so we can test it better — have purer and better products all the time. Safer products and cheaper products for consumers so they can have a long-term relationship with it. And if we don’t do that, this will fall by the wayside, just like anything else.”

With that philosophy in mind, TGS is pushing beyond Colorado’s borders via franchising agreements and more.

“We currently have two stores open in Illinois and many other manufacturing facilities in Oregon, Nevada, Florida and Illinois, too,” Kyle explains. “We have the only approved, FTC-compliant franchise in the country for cannabis, and we sell our franchises for that exact purpose — to expand the culture and adapt what we’ve learned to new states and cities. There’s no reason a new market should start where we were in 2010 —absolutely no reason. They should start where Colorado is today, which is the most advanced market in the country. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to raise the bar again, and we want to continue raising the bar in any state we go to.”

By year’s end, he adds, “we’re hoping to have about ten stores in Florida, and we hope to open up new stores in other states as well.”

From little things, big things come.

The “They’re Back” Party with Larry and Kathie J takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, September 22, at Tracks, 3500 Walnut Street. Admission is free for attendees age 21 and over, and those who show the doorman that they’ve downloaded the Blazin’ Hit Radio app will receive a free shot. They’ll also be able to register to win a $ 2,000 gift card to The Green Solution. Visit the Celebration Week page for more details.

Toke of the Town