Recipe: CBD Avocado Chocolate Pudding

What would you do if you heard a nutritionist tell you to eat some chocolate pudding? Well, that’s what’s happening here with this healthy chocolate pudding recipe. Not only is it filled with healthy fats and cocoa, both of which help keep your endocannabinoid system running the best it can, but it’s also really easy to add a boost of CBD into as well. It’s great as a dessert or even as an indulgent breakfast. 

Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

Makes 2 servings 

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate almond milk, at room temperature.
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted 
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 personal servings of CBD powder or CBD oil
  • Pinch of salt

Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Spoon avocado into a food processor or blender. Add milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, melted chocolate, bananas and salt. Blend until smooth. Add in CBD and blend again for 10 seconds. Spoon pudding into bowls and cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour and serve chilled. If the consistency is too thick, add additional almond milk until it reaches the desired consistency.

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This Week in NASA History: First Use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle – July 31, 1971

This week in 1971, Apollo 15 became the first mission to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle. via NASA

IC 1795: The Fishhead Nebula

To some, this nebula looks like the head of a fish. However, this colorful cosmic portrait really features glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds in IC 1795, a star forming region in the northern constellation Cassiopeia. The nebula's colors were created by adopting the Hubble color palette for mapping narrow emission from oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur atoms to blue, green and red colors, and further blending the data with images of the region recorded through broadband filters. Not far on the sky from the famous Double Star Cluster in Perseus, IC 1795 is itself located next to IC 1805, the Heart Nebula, as part of a complex of star forming regions that lie at the edge of a large molecular cloud. Located just over 6,000 light-years away, the larger star forming complex sprawls along the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. At that distance, this picture would span about 70 light-years across IC 1795. via NASA

Viewing the Mediterranean Coasts of Tunisia and Libya from the Space Station

The Mediterranean coasts of Tunisia and Libya and the Italian island of Sicily across the sea are pictured as the International Space Station orbited 260 miles above north Africa. via NASA

Star Forming Region NGC 3582 without Stars

What's happening in the Statue of Liberty nebula? Bright stars and interesting molecules are forming and being liberated. The complex nebula resides in the star forming region called RCW 57, and besides the iconic monument, to some looks like a flying superhero or a weeping angel. By digitally removing the stars, this image showcases dense knots of dark interstellar dust, fields of glowing hydrogen gas ionized by these stars, and great loops of gas expelled by dying stars. A detailed study of NGC 3576, also known as NGC 3582 and NGC 3584, uncovered at least 33 massive stars in the end stages of formation, and the clear presence of the complex carbon molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are thought to be created in the cooling gas of star forming regions, and their development in the Sun's formation nebula five billion years ago may have been an important step in the development of life on Earth. via NASA

NASA Pilot Rich Rogers: "All Good Things ..."

For NASA Wallops Flight Facility research pilot Rich Rogers, July 26 brought an end to one of the things in his life that he has greatly enjoyed – flying Navy and NASA aircraft. via NASA

CBD Shows Early Promise for Aging Pets

Mandy was 16 years old, which would have made her 112, depending on which scale you use, when she tried something new for her crippling leukemia.

Chronic leukemia in dogs is heartbreaking to see. Its symptoms can include a loss of appetite, lethargy, anxiety, increased thirst and urination, and swelling in the abdomen. Mandy faced a hard end, which would’ve eventually made for a hard decision for her owner, Christine Leogrande, from Utica, New York.

Leogrande sought pet products that would ease Mandy’s discomfort and pain and help promote a healthy life so their cherished time together could continue. Looking for guidance from experts, Leogrande turned to her veterinarian, who mentioned CBD oil to her, as had people in a rescue group she belongs to. Hopeful for results, she ordered CBD oil drops and began trying them.

Leogrande says the difference in Mandy has been noticeable. “It has increased her appetite, and made her less restless and less anxious,” she says. “It may be helping with her mobility as well.”

Leogrande is not alone. A growing number of pet owners are looking for products infused with CBD. And a growing number of retailers are rising to meet market demand. These retailers, many of them online, offer an array of pet products with CBD, including tinctures, capsules, powders, chewies and treats. 

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in 1994, Americans spent $17 billion on their pets. By 2017, that number grew to $69.51 billion. The APPA estimates that spending could surpass $96 billion in sales by 2020, setting the stage for an increased demand in natural pet products.

Pet owners are hopeful CBD could be beneficial to help manage pain from arthritis and other conditions, reduce epileptic seizures, alleviate separation anxiety, expand mobility, improve cognitive function and lessen insomnia. As CBD breaks into the mainstream, some of the earliest adopters have been dog owners and their pups. They won’t be leading the pack for long, though. As more research surfaces, a variety of pets may benefit.

“Vets everywhere are dealing with pet parents reaching out to them for information,” says Dr. Casara Andre, a veterinarian and founder of Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting, based in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. “We were seeing this huge need and tried to address that need in our community. 

There are so many positive stories and anecdotal evidence about using cannabis in veterinary medicine.”

For many pet owners whose animals suffer from debilitating diseases or conditions, CBD-infused products may offer a shot at helping to alleviate their loved ones’ pain and discomfort. And new research is increasingly coming to light.

Emerging Evidence 

One example of such research is a new study called “Efficacy of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy in Dogs,” led by Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. McGrath initially decided to pursue this line of research after receiving frequent calls from clients and other veterinarians with questions about CBD.

Based on her study, McGrath found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.

Although more research may have been done on the benefits of CBD for dogs with seizures, these benefits may also project positively for our feline companions. Humans, dogs, cats and other animals all have common endocannabinoid systems in their bodies, which have receptors that are responsive to CBD. Seizures are caused by disrupted electrical activity in the brain, and CBD has been demonstrated to restore order to these neural pathways.

Although cannabis pet products come in a variety of formulations, Andre recommends choosing a tincture or liquid formulation to start. “Tinctures are the easiest products to work with because they allow pet parents and the veterinary health care team to start really low and creep up slowly in dosage based on how the pet responds,” she says.

How can pet owners get their pets to take CBD? Some early adopters use a CBD tincture or oil and apply a few drops under their pets’ tongues. This method of delivery is intended to optimize the CBD’s bioavailability, which means it will be more readily usable for the animal.

However, some pet owners may have trouble prying open their pet’s mouth and getting the pet to cooperate. In this situation, another option is to add drops of CBD oil onto the pet’s food. Pet owners can also give their pet a treat with CBD already incorporated. Keep in mind, however, that because CBD added to food or treats has to pass through the digestive tract, it may need longer to take effect. Consult your veterinarian before beginning a CBD regimen for your pet.

Stephanie Farrar, owner of The Canine Cookie Company, an online wholesale and retail operation with a brick-and-mortar store in McKinney, Texas, recently developed a dog treat that contains approximately 15 mg of CBD per cookie.

“People are giving me feedback that their dogs are moving again; they’re not in pain; their arthritis is not the issue that it was,” Farrar says. “The CBD pet product category is growing by leaps and bounds.”

And, Farrar says, that’s probably good news for aging pets.

“Our store does birthday cakes for dogs who are 12, 14, 15 years old and higher,” Farrar continues. “You don’t have to write your friends off.”

Longtime pet owners know the heartache of seeing pets aging with discomfort, particularly arthritis, which causes the animals to move slowly and with great difficulty. They can even hurt to the touch.

“Dogs age just like we do,” Farrar says. “They get arthritis, they get aches and pains; they get dementia too. They get some of the other problems that we get as humans. By calming them and relieving their inflammation and their pain, you are making for a happier dog. It’s about quality of life.”

Farrar’s own dog, Wally, is nearly 14 years old. “We thought a year-and-a-half ago we would have to put him down, because his arthritis was crippling,” she says. “We had a daughter in Colorado and we started buying CBD and bringing it home for Wally. We started to see vast improvement in Wally. That is when I became bent on making my own CBD pet product.”

Desperate to find something that could help Wally, Farrar was ecstatic with what she observed from CBD. 

“Your pet is your best friend,” Farrar says. “You won’t get that kind of unconditional love from anyone but your pet. We love our pets, and we would do anything for them. Just like they’d do anything for us.”

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of CBD Snapshot. Never miss a story; subscribe today!

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CBD and the Future of Skin Care

Morrocan Argan oil, coconut oil, activated charcoal: The beauty industry isn’t a stranger to buzzy products that promise natural solutions to everyday skin and wellness issues. It should be no surprise that CBD is the next not-so-secret ingredient to garner interest. 

Indeed, CBD has begun to stake a claim in the world of beauty and skin care. The hemp extract’s reputation is growing as a natural and gentle possibility with potential application for a wide range of skin conditions. People with acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea are giving it a try, as are those with dryness and others looking to prevent signs of aging.

As interest grows, retail behemoths such as Sephora and Neiman Marcus are granting shelf real estate for CBD and hemp seed oil-infused products. Entrepreneurial supermodels are even rushing to develop their own products.

Wall Street analysts predict enough growth that CBD beauty products now represent a standalone category rather than a subcategory of the natural beauty market. But word-of-mouth and early stage research is just that, and those who have been studying the natural benefits of CBD advise users to take caution as they would with any new beauty product.

Natural Solutions

A 2017 article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that pharmaceuticals containing cannabinoids might be powerful weapons in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. In one cited study, eight of 21 patients who applied a cream containing endogenous cannabinoids twice a day for three weeks found that it “completely eliminated” severe itching on their bodies.

“CBD is thought to be beneficial for beauty and skin care because of its anti-inflammatory qualities,” says Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist and author of Smart Medicine for Your Skin. “Cannabinoid receptors have been discovered in keratinocytes, or skin cells, and other parts of the skin, such as the sebaceous glands, hair follicles, small nerves and immune cells. CBD works on them as part of the skin’s endocannabinoid system.”

In other words, CBD may ultimately be proven to support health and beauty on multiple levels throughout the body. And by simultaneously delivering aid to your skin and enhancing your mood, according to some users, CBD has the potential to redefine what it means to look good and feel good. If confidence is sexy, then a beauty product that may also aid anxiety could be effective on multiple levels.

Of course, it’s always smart to be cautious and realistic when considering a new skin care product or adding it to your daily routine. Dr. Robert Dellavalle, a professor of dermatology and public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-author of the 2017 study, says CBD products for skin care are quickly entering the mainstream, but he fears that some people are viewing heavily hyped CBD products as almost a panacea for all skin diseases. 

“We’re getting to the point now where there’s so much enthusiasm that it might be a little bit of an overshoot in terms of what people are expecting,” says Dellavalle, who also works as a consultant for Altus Labs, which focuses on researching the relationship between the endocanna- binoid system and skin conditions. But, he adds, “I think there’s a lot of promise.”

Beautiful Possibilities

Although rigorous research regarding CBD’s role in the treatment of skin diseases is still largely forthcoming, CBD has also sparked excitement in cosmetic applications. Wall Street analysts estimate that cannabidiol-infused beauty products will represent 15 percent—or $25 billion in revenue—of the $167 billion skin care market. 

Similar to the reported results with various skin irritations and diseases, CBD has proposed benefits for those with acne scars, signs of aging and otherwise uneven or blemished complexions. Because of the omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp, from which CBD can be derived, Jacknin says, “users often find that their skin is beautifully moisturized and radiant” when using cannabidiol-infused skin care products.

Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist, adds that the properties of CBD can help prevent or reverse the signs of skin damage—such as premature aging or uneven skin tone—caused when stress, air pollution and UV rays break down cells and collagen.

For those with sensitive skin, CBD could be an alternative to traditional topical ingredients, Shainhouse says, such as alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), which exfoliate dull skin layers, and topical retinoids, which can both exfoliate the skin and encourage creation of new skin cells.

“Those acids and retinoids can irritate our skin and can take time to tolerate,” Shainhouse says. “CBD causes no irritation and lacks a ramp-up time for tolerance.”

Among the beauty brands expanding into alternative ingredients is Evio Beauty Group, which is working with one of its investors, Aurora Cannabis, to roll out several CBD- and hemp-based products. Founder and CEO Brandi Leifso is optimistic.

“We’re noticing a rise in feel-good wellness that reduces anxiety and stress, and that makes you feel good,” Leifso says. “CBD has the ability to gently and effectively calm anxiety. It’s safe and well-tolerated by most people who are looking for an alternative.”

Proceed With Caution

When Rosemary Donahue, a digital wellness editor for Allure, replaced her regular skin care products with CBD-infused products for a month, she noticed less frequent breakouts and an overall more even skin tone. But anecdotal reports rarely tell the whole story.

“It’s just going to be up to the consumer to make smart decisions about the companies they want to support and the products they feel are intelligent buys,” Donahue says. “Personally, I look for products that are sourced as ethically as possible, and I want a product that has CBD in it for a reason, rather than just as an added gimmick.”

She and other experts foresee a healthy horizon for CBD beauty and skin care products as more people try them. With research in its beginning stages, for many, the effectiveness of CBD for their needs rests largely on trial-and-error.

Although the FDA has stepped up its scrutiny of CBD products, experts urge consumers to exercise caution with their purchases. Some retailers have been found inflating claims about their CBD products or even promoting CBD products that actually contain no cannabidiol at all.

“Be mindful of where you procure your products,” says Katie Sandler, a holistic wellness retreat organizer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “With CBD flooding the market these days, you want to look for a trustworthy product. As always, do your research and ask for certificates of analysis to confirm a product’s bona fides.”

The industry is just getting started and there are kinks to be worked out by the FDA. Still, Jacknin remains hopeful for the staying power of CBD for the beauty world. 

“The future is wide open for the use of CBD beauty and skin care products here in the U.S. and internationally,” she says. “As more countries legalize CBD, I think we will see other exciting cannabinoids being used in beauty and skin care in new and different ways in the near future.”

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of CBD Snapshot. Never miss a story; subscribe today!

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Hubble Snaps a Galactic Potpourri of Particles

The sharply angled perspective in this Hubble image of spiral galaxy NGC 3169 makes it seem as if we, the viewers, are craning our necks to see over a barrier into the galaxy's bright center. In the case of NGC 3169, this barrier is the thick dust embedded within the galaxy's spiral arms. via NASA

This CBD Company Relies on Partnerships to Fuel Its Success

5 Ways CBD Could Help Your Pet

It’s not only in the world of humans that cannabidiol (CBD) is making waves. More and more pet owners are also starting to use CBD for their pets. Pet-specific CBD products are more commonly found on the shelves of vet offices and pet boutiques alike.

But is it safe? How can CBD help your pet? What do you need to look for when buying a safe CBD product for your four-legged friend? Continue reading to learn more. 

CBD for Pets: The Basics

Did you know that not only humans have an endocannabinoid system (ECS)? All vertebrates, including your cat and dog has one. This means that not only do their bodies produce their own endocannabinoids, but they also have all the cannabinoid receptors in place to interact with plant cannabinoids such as CBD.

Because of this, your pet can also benefit from all the potential health benefits of CBD that you do. Just as adding CBD oil to your health and wellness plan may help your body to create a sense of balance, so too does it create a sense of homeostasis in your pet’s body and potentially help treat a variety of different ailments.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Pets

Although research specific to using CBD for pets is in its infancy, the intended effects and benefits of CBD for many of the conditions listed below are well-recorded in both animal studies and human clinical trials. 

Because many of these symptoms manifest pretty much the same way in both humans and pets, the anecdotal evidence from pet owners and veterinarians makes sense. It’s just a matter of time before the scientific evidence bears out.

Let’s take a look at the different symptoms and ailments CBD can potentially help your pet with.

1. Anxiety

The anti-anxiety effects of CBD are commonly known and many pet owners are turning to CBD oil for helping their pets cope with things such as anxiety and reactivity. Although studies on treating canine anxiety with CBD are few, human trials have repeatedly shown that it can be highly effective with reducing the symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

2. Arthritis

One area in which research has grown extensively regarding CBD for pets is with regard to osteoarthritis. One study in particular found CBD to be both effective and safe for treating this crippling disease in dogs. Not only did the study show a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity in the dogs that were given CBD, but there were also no reported side effects. Researchers suggested a twice-daily serving of 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of weight to aid with pain relief and increased mobility. 

3. Epilepsy and Seizure Control

It’s estimated that up to 5 percent of dogs suffer from epilepsy or some kind of seizure disorder. For owners of pets with epilepsy, the condition can be incredibly distressing and debilitating to the animal. CBD for epilepsy and seizure control has been studied extensively, with evidence dating as far back as 1980 showing that CBD has powerful anticonvulsant properties. Luckily, researchers are now also investigating the use of CBD for canine epilepsy, with a preliminary study from Colorado State University in Fort Collins showing that CBD can significantly reduce the frequency of seizures.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation is a major cause of pain for many animals. In an attempt to help relieve symptoms of pain, veterinarians typically prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, these have recently come under the spotlight due to concerns around their safety, particularly in aging dogs that have compromised immune systems. Long-term use of NSAIDs are associated with a variety of side effects including issues with the gastrointestinal tract, liver function, renal failure and even death. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are widely reported in scientific literature, which can make it a safe and side-effect-free alternative to NSAIDs for many pet owners.

5. Pain

For many pet owners, CBD seems to be a safe and effective option for helping to relieve painful conditions. Just as with humans, pets can suffer from something known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency in which their bodies become deficient in cannabinoids. This causes the ECS to become unbalanced, not only reducing the body’s ability to effectively deal with pain signals, bu also inducing many of the ailments that cause pain. By supplementing with CBD, cannabinoid levels are increased, which helps to restore balance to the ECS system while simultaneously helping to reduce pain.

What to Look for When Buying CBD for Your Pet

CBD products for pets come in a variety of forms. These can range from CBD oils and tinctures, to CBD-infused treats and even topicals such as gels and creams. A topical might be great for localized relief, and a CBD treat might be the easiest way to give your pet a daily serving of CBD.

However, it is important to choose a product that is safe. Animals, in particular cats and dogs, are highly sensitive to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it can actually be toxic to them. When purchasing CBD for you pet, take the following tips into consideration:

1. Buy a product made specifically for pets.

Human products can include other ingredients and flavorings that might be harmful to animals.

2. Buy organic.

Refined or poor-quality products can contain harmful toxins, heavy metals and pesticides that are sometimes used in industrial hemp farming.

3. Consider a high-quality broad-spectrum product.

As mentioned, even a little bit of THC can be toxic to animals, so avoid a full-spectrum extract. However, with all the THC removed in broad-spectrum extracts, your pet can still benefit from what is known as the entourage effect.

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Seeing the World With a Drone

A drone moves high above downtown Reno, Nevada on the afternoon of June 23, 2019 as part of NASA’s TCL-4 (Technology Capability Level) operation. via NASA

Beyond CBD: My Fundamentals for a Healthy Lifestyle

There’s no question that I’m a huge fan of CBD. It’s been a game-changer for my husband dealing with chronic pain from his autoimmune disease; it’s been amazing for me with stress and focus; and I’ve seen it change my patients lives by helping them cope with their anxiety and binge-eating. But, it can’t do all the things we want it to do unless we’re supporting our body and our endocannabinoid system (ECS) with additional healthy choices. 

When it comes to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, I have three rules that I consider to be the fundamentals to health. These fundamentals set you up for success when it comes to health, wellness and energy, but they also ensure that your ECS is optimized. 

Fundamental 1: Healthy Diet 

I like to think of CBD like any other nutritional supplement. It doesn’t matter how many vitamins you take if your diet isn’t great. 

The best way to look at food is to make sure that it’s a whole food, meaning it contains ingredients you can understand. Make sure each day if filled with lots of fresh produce, good quality protein, healthy fats and the occasional indulgence. Hydration is also key as it can help you stay energized, stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent you from snacking when you’re not really hungry.

Fundamental 2: Sleep

Sometimes my nutrition clients are surprised when we talk about things outside of food and exercise, but sleep is equally important. Sleep is your body’s time to recover and restore. Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation in the body, a weaker immune system, depression and even weight gain. Getting those seven to eight hours a night does so much for your body. 

A lot of people struggle with sleep issues, and it’s really important to set yourself up for success when it comes to sleep. Going to bed at close to the same time helps tell your body when it’s bedtime. Making sure your room is dark and on the colder side is also proven to help with sleep quality. Blue light from screens can also interfere with the ability to fall asleep, so if you work late, put on a pair of blue blocking glasses or read before bed instead of scrolling through your phone. 

If sleep is still tough for you, try adding a small dose of CBD before bed. Many of my clients think that a drink or a cocktail in the evening helps them sleep better, but that’s actually not the case. The quality of your sleep declines when you drink alcohol—save it for the nights it’s really worth it. 

There’s so much more we can work on aside from just taking CBD and it’s amazing that, with some small changes to your diet and lifestyle, plus adding in a good quality CBD, how much better you can feel. 

So tell me, what’s the toughest part for you when it comes to healthy habit?

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50 Years Ago Today: Apollo 11 Command Module Recovered After Splashdown

The Apollo 11 Command Module is hoisted aboard the USS Hornet, the prime recovery vessel for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. via NASA

Could CBD Help Relieve the Symptoms of Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects one in every 59 kids in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC). Autism, though more common in children, affects both children and adults with varying symptoms that include monotonous speech, behavior disturbances, trouble regulating emotion and inappropriate social interaction. It’s more prevalent among boys and men compared to girls and women. According to the CDC, there is presently no medication that can neither cure ASD nor treat the core symptoms (restrictive, social and emotional reciprocity, repetitive behaviors) associated with the disorder. However, many medications that come with considerable side effects are available to manage some of the symptoms of people living with ASD. In view of this, many parents with ASD dependants have turned alternative medicines for hope.

The Rise and Popularity of CBD as an Alternative Treatment Option

Research indicates that CBD, due to its non-psychoactive effects, may be helpful in treating many health disorders that include epilepsy, seizures, pain, nausea, depression, autism and more with little or no side effects. The popularity and acceptance of alternative medicines in the U.S. have grown over the years. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, (NCCIH), more than one-third of Americans use complementary and alternative medicines, including CBD, for varying reasons. The last few years witnessed a surge in the number of CBD users’ in the U.S., based on scientific research correlating many health benefits. Cannabidiol—better known as CBD—is one of the main components of the cannabis plant. Together with THC, these two compounds are the two most well-known cannabinoids identified in the plant. According to the CDC, CBD does not result in the euphoric feeling associated with THC because it works on different parts of the brain.

But the research is still in its infant stages, which leaves a popular question for many concerned parents: Does CBD improve the quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorder?

CBD and Autism: Does It Work? 

Many scientific investigations are ongoing to test the effects of CBD on people living with ASD. However, some parents with ASD-dependent children have testified that the use of CBD oil helps improve the quality of life of their children. One of these includes results from a study conducted in Israel among parents with ASD dependant kids. The study involved the administration of CBD oil for 66 days under the supervision of some health workers. Based on the results obtained, many parents claimed to see improvements in their kids’ Autism co-morbidity symptoms. Co-morbidity symptoms include self –injury, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, sleep disorder and anxiety. However, the study did not provide information on the long-term effects of using CBD. According to Stephanie Gosk of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, parents with ASD kids claim that their kids’ quality of life improved with the use of CBD products. 

There is presently no evidence that CBD products enhance the quality of life of an adult with ASD.

How Does it Work? 

CBD affects the cannabinoid signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system present in the brain. The cannabinoid signaling system is vital in regulating memory, pleasure, thinking, concentration, awareness of time, appetite, pleasure, sensory processing, pain, and body movement, in addition to brain development. CBD, based on numerous studies, seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect and a neuroprotective effect on the brain, which makes it an attractive subject of research. 

Studies indicate that the endocannabinoid system equally responds to external cannabinoids that include CBD, or phytocannabinoid apart from the endocannabinoid produced in the body. CBD, when introduced into the body, has the potential to reduce the symptoms of many disorders that include the following:

  • Depression
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Opioid withdrawal

Low amounts of endogenous cannabinoids might result in Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, which could make a person prone to conditions that include multiple sclerosis, migraines, autism and more. CBD is known to increase endocannabinoids in the body, promote homeostasis in the body, reduce inflammation and the sensation of pain without the side effects associated with conventional drugs. 

Clinical Evidence

There is presently no clinical evidence that shows the benefits of CBD on ASD in the U.S. However, clinical trials are currently continuing to test the claims made by parents of children with ASD. One of such research, funded by the Holistic Research and Education Foundation, is currently ongoing at the University of California, San Diego The clinical trial seeks to ascertain the following on the use of CBD in treating severe autism in children.

  • If it is safe and tolerable
  • If it helps with the symptoms of Autism
  • If and how it alters neurotransmitters
  • If and how it improves brain connectivity
  • If it alters the biomarkers of neuroinflammation

The investigation is conducted by Dr. Doris Trauner of the San Diego School of Medicine and her team. 

What’s the Bad News? 

The use of CBD in treating the symptoms comes with some inherent side effects. According to Trauner, some common side effects include: 

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsy
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Some severe side effects reported include:

  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and irritability

CBD products come in varied forms with varying chemical combinations. This might make it susceptible to pharmacodynamic drug-drug interactions. In addition, the National Institute of Health, (NIH) urges restraint when using CBD with some drugs because of the potential effects on the body’s organs, mainly the liver. As always, consult your doctor before introducing CBD to you or your child. 

CBD Tolerance

Based on the limited information available on the long-term effects of CBD on the body, CBD users may develop a tolerance over time for continued usage. This may result in reduced effects on the CBD from the same dosage. Larger serving sizes may eventually be required to maintain desired results. 

The use of CBD has come to stay. However, while the promise looks good—especially where there is no better alternative from conventional medicines—it’s important to remember the pitfalls of using something that has, as of yet, no legal or scientific backing.

What’s your experience with CBD? Tell us in the comments below!

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Christopher Kraft at Flight Console

Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., who died July 22, 2019, created the concept of NASA's Mission Control and developed its organization, operational procedures and culture via NASA

After CBD Helped Them, This Entrepreneurial Family Launched a Thriving Business

Joy Smith hurt her should in the noblest of ways.  She was on her way to a three-week trip to Cameroon, Uganda and Tunisia to speak at a women’s conference and help launch a library at a refugee camp. While lifting a suitcase filled with books, she strained the surrounding muscles and ligaments. She persevered […]

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Visions of Apollo 11: Command Service Module Orbits the Moon

This image shows the Command Service Module orbiting the Moon as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface. via NASA

A Brief History of Hemp

Hemp has been cultivated and used by cultures worldwide for more than 10,000 years. Historically, it’s been an essential part of everything from pharmaceuticals and clothing to paper and religious ceremonies. The hemp seeds that come to America on the Mayflower, once planted and harvested, were used for boat lines and sails.  The tax and […]

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HDR: Earths Circular Shadow on the Moon

What could create such a large circular shadow on the Moon? The Earth. Last week's full Moon -- the Buck Moon -- was so full that it fell almost exactly in a line with the Sun and the Earth. When that happens the Earth casts its shadow onto the Moon. The circularity of the Earth's shadow on the Moon was commented on by Aristotle and so has been noticed since at least the 4th century BC. What's new is humanity's ability to record this shadow with such high dynamic range (HDR). The featured HDR composite of last week's partial lunar eclipse combines 15 images and include an exposure as short as 1/400th of a second -- so as not to overexpose the brightest part -- and an exposure that lasted five seconds -- to bring up the dimmest part. This dimmest part -- inside Earth's umbra -- is not completely dark because some light is refracted through the Earth's atmosphere onto the Moon. A total lunar eclipse will occur next in 2021 May. via NASA

CBD Spotlight: Nicole Jeffords Paints a Healthier Future

When arthritis pain zapped Nicole Jeffords, it greatly hindered her hands-on work. Painting portraits, writing short novels and editing all became more difficult.  Jeffords, who resists taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs unless it’s a must, discovered CBD about two years ago and now raves of the results she has found from extract tinctures and […]

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Moonquakes Surprisingly Common

Why are there so many moonquakes? Analyses of seismometers left on the moon by the Apollo moon landings reveals a surprising number of moonquakes occurring within 100 kilometers of the surface. In fact, 62 moonquakes were detected in data recorded between 1972 and 1977. Many of these moonquakes are not only strong enough to move furniture in a lunar apartment, but the stiff rock of the moon continues to vibrate for many minutes, significantly longer than the softer rock earthquakes on Earth. The cause of the moonquakes remains unknown, but a leading hypothesis is the collapse of underground faults. Regardless of the source, future moon dwellings need to be built to withstand the frequent shakings. Pictured here 50 years ago today, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands beside a recently deployed lunar seismometer, looking back toward the lunar landing module. via NASA

Apollo 11 and Landing Site 2 in the Sea of Tranquility

This photographic illustration compares the size of Apollo 11 Landing Site 2 with that of the metropolitan New York City area. via NASA

Here’s What You Need to Know About Traveling with CBD

With summer comes family gatherings, holiday activities and travel plans. However, for an increasing number of people using CBD as a way to relieve a myriad health and wellness issues, one very important question emerges during this time: Can I travel with my CBD?  CBD and Travel For many people, CBD is not only something […]

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Soyuz Heads to the Launch Pad in Black and White

In this black and white infrared image, the Soyuz rocket is seen as it transported to the launch pad by train, Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. via NASA

Shadowed Moon and Mountain

On July 16 the Moon celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 with a lunar eclipse visible from much of planet Earth. In this view part of the lunar disk is immersed in Earth's dark, reddened umbral shadow. Near the maximum eclipse phase, it just touches down along a mountain ridge. The rugged Tyrolean nightscape was recorded after moonrise south of Innsbruck, Austria with a dramatically lit communication tower along the ridgeline. Of course eclipses rarely travel alone. This partial lunar eclipse was at the Full Moon following July 2nd's New Moon and total eclipse of the Sun. via NASA

Recipe: CBD Cookie Dough Bites

As a dietitian I’m always looking for recipes that are quick, simple, packed with protein and most importantly, delicious. I found a version of this recipe years ago and have fine-tuned it to be even more nutritious and boosted with the potential benefits of CBD. These cookie dough bites are a total grand slam in […]

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Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Talks to Apollo 11 and Artemis 1 Launch Teams

Then and Now: Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins talks to Apollo 11 and Artemis 1 Launch Teams in Firing Room 1 at Kennedy Space Center. via NASA

The Dangers of Vaping CBD: Fact vs. Fiction

You have probably seen or used a vaporizer with an oil cartridge. These easy-to-use portable devices are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to take CBD. Widespread interest in both vaping and CBD continue to grow. In many states, vaping CBD is legal, which makes it an enticing option for those with busy […]

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Apollo 11: Descent to the Moon

It had never been done before. But with the words "You're Go for landing", 50 years ago this Saturday, Apollo 11 astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong were cleared to make the first try. The next few minutes would contain more than a bit of drama, as an unexpected boulder field and an unacceptably sloping crater loomed below. With fuel dwindling, Armstrong coolly rocketed the lander above the lunar surface as he looked for a clear and flat place to land. With only seconds of fuel remaining, and with the help of Aldrin and mission control calling out data, Armstrong finally found a safe spot -- and put the Eagle down. Many people on Earth listening to the live audio felt great relief on hearing "The Eagle has landed", and great pride knowing that for the first time ever, human beings were on the Moon. Combined in the featured descent video are two audio feeds, a video feed similar to what the astronauts saw, captions of the dialog, and data including the tilt of the Eagle lander. The video concludes with the panorama of the lunar landscape visible outside the Eagle. A few hours later, hundreds of millions of people across planet Earth, drawn together as a single species, watched fellow humans walk on the Moon. via NASA

50 Years Ago Apollo 11 Launches Into History

At 8:32 a.m. EST, July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Florida on a mission to the Moon. via NASA

How Dr. Oz Came to Appreciate Alternative Medicine

Despite his traditional training as a heart surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz features segments on his long-running daytime talk show that would fall under the alternative medicine umbrella. Recent episodes, for example, have explored the health benefits of turmeric, an Indian herb, as well as how apple cider vinegar can improve skin. Oz says one source […]

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Apollo 11 Launches Humans to the Moon

Everybody saw the Moon. Nobody had ever been there. Humans across planet Earth watched in awe 50 years ago today as a powerful Saturn V rocket attempted to launch humans -- to the Moon. Some in space flight guessed that the machinery was so complex, that so many things had to go right for it to work, that Apollo 11 would end up being another useful dress rehearsal for a later successful Moon-landing mission. But to the Moon they went. The featured video starts by showing astronauts Aldrin, Armstrong, and Collins making their way to the waiting rocket. As the large and mighty Saturn V launched, crowds watched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA and on television around the world. The events that unfolded over the next few days, including a dramatic moon walk 50 years ago this Saturday, will forever be remembered as a milestone in human history and an unrivaled demonstration of human ingenuity. This week, many places around the world are planning celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon. via NASA

Artist Russ Arasmith's Visions of Apollo

Artist Russ Arasmith's vision of Apollo was a potent vision of the program that shows in the works he created. via NASA

17 Wellness Ideas for the Healthy Naturalist

1. Spread calm.  Three drops each of lemon, lavender and rosemary in your essential oil diffuser can help you relax.  2. Stretch when you’re stressed. 3. Create a mini wellness retreat. One night each week, soak your feet in lemongrass-infused Epsom salt to reduce inflammation. Light a lavender-scented soy candle and read a few chapters […]

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The Space Station Crosses a Spotless Sun

That's no sunspot. It's the International Space Station (ISS) caught passing in front of the Sun. Sunspots, individually, have a dark central umbra, a lighter surrounding penumbra, and no solar panels. By contrast, the ISS is a complex and multi-spired mechanism, one of the largest and most sophisticated machines ever created by humanity. Also, sunspots occur on the Sun, whereas the ISS orbits the Earth. Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one's timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the Sun lacked any real sunspots. The featured picture combines two images -- one capturing the space station transiting the Sun -- and another taken consecutively capturing details of the Sun's surface. Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low. via NASA

CBD Spotlight: Marnie DeWulf Embraces the World Anew

The day after Thanksgiving in 2016, Marnie DeWulf suffered a grand mal seizure. She lost consciousness and her muscles contracted violently. When the seizure struck, DeWulf was being treated for depression and anxiety, chronic pain associated with autoimmune issues and Type 1 diabetes. “Every time I went into a doctor’s office, they were trying to […]

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The Eagle Rises

Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this stereo view from lunar orbit. The 3D anaglyph was created from two photographs (AS11-44-6633, AS11-44-6634) taken by astronaut Michael Collins during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. It features the lunar module ascent stage, dubbed The Eagle, rising to meet the command module in lunar orbit on July 21. Aboard the ascent stage are Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first to walk on the Moon. The smooth, dark area on the lunar surface is Mare Smythii located just below the equator on the extreme eastern edge of the Moon's near side. Poised beyond the lunar horizon is our fair planet Earth. via NASA

Hubble Peers at Galactic Cherry Blossoms

The galaxy NGC 1156 resembles a delicate cherry blossom tree flowering in springtime in this Hubble image. The many bright "blooms" within the galaxy are in fact stellar nurseries — regions where new stars are springing to life. via NASA

Lack of FDA Guidelines for CBD Sales Causes State-by-State Issues

Keeping track of ever-changing CBD and hemp regulations across the U.S. can be rather daunting. Lucky for us, Hemp Industry Daily created a state-by-state regulatory map for consumers and business owners alike. Hempure has also put together a helpful guide to regulations in each of the 50 states.  Farmers across the nation have expressed enthusiasm […]

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Delivering Saturn Test Hardware to Marshall in July 1964

In July 1964, the first Saturn V S-IVB, or third stage test hardware, was delivered to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center via NASA

How CBD Gets From the Cannabis Plant to Your Cabinet—And Why It Matters

With the rise of popularity in cannabidiol (CBD) products, people are becoming more interested in the quality of the products they use: where their CBD comes from, how it is manufactured and how pure it is. As with most things, not all CBD oils and products are created equal. Just like olive oil can come […]

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How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Modern expectations are incredibly high. We’re expected to perform at our peak at work and home, not to mention hitting the gym and finding some self-care time too. It’s highly unrealistic that even well-rested people can maintain these incredible demands, but what about people who struggle with sleep? How can anyone accomplish their goals if […]

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Growing VEGGIEs in Space

Leafy greens are growing in space! via NASA

4000 Exoplanets

Over 4000 planets are now known to exist outside our Solar System. Known as exoplanets, this milestone was passed last month, as recorded by NASA's Exoplanet Archive. The featured video highlights these exoplanets in sound and light, starting chronologically from the first confirmed detection in 1992. The entire night sky is first shown compressed with the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy making a giant U. Exoplanets detected by slight jiggles in their parents-star's colors (radial velocity) appear in pink, while those detected by slight dips in their parent star's brightness (transit) are shown in purple. Further, those exoplanets imaged directly appear in orange, while those detected by gravitationally magnifying the light of a background star (microlensing) are shown in green. The faster a planet orbits its parent star, the higher the accompanying tone played. The retired Kepler satellite has discovered about half of these first 4000 exoplanets in just one region of the sky, while the new TESS mission is on track to find even more, all over the sky, orbiting the brightest nearby stars. Finding exoplanets not only helps humanity to better understand the potential prevalence of life elsewhere in the universe, but also how our Earth and Solar System were formed. via NASA

Survey Finds 22 Percent of CBD Users Have Replaced Pharmaceutical Drugs with CBD

A recent Consumer Reports survey found that more than one quarter (26 percent) of Americans have used CBD during the past two years. Of those Americans who have used CBD, 22 percent reported that they have used CBD to replace at least one pharmaceutical drug. Talk with your doctor before using CBD in conjunction with […]

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Jupiter Abyss

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this view of an area within a Jovian jet stream showing a vortex that has an intensely dark center. via NASA

Birds During a Total Solar Eclipse

What do birds do during a total solar eclipse? Darkness descends more quickly in a total eclipse than during sunset, but returns just as quickly -- and perhaps unexpectedly to the avians -- just a few minutes later. Stories about the unusual behavior of birds during eclipses have been told for centuries, but bird reactions were recorded and studied systematically by citizen scientists participating in an eBird project during the total solar eclipse that crossed the USA in 2017 August. Although some unusual behaviors were observed, many observers noted birds acting like it was dusk and either landing or flying low to the ground. Radar confirmed a significant decrease in high-flying birds and insects during and just after totality. Conversely, several sightings of normally nocturnal birds were reported. Pictured, a flock of birds in La Serena, Chile flew through the air together during the total solar eclipse that crossed South America last week. The photographer captured the scene in frames from an eclipse video. The next total solar eclipse in 2020 December will also cross South America, while in 2024 April a total solar eclipse will cross North America from Mexico through New England, USA. via NASA

Total Solar Eclipse Darkens the South Pacific

On July 2, 2019, skywatchers in the beach city of La Serena, Chile, looked up at 4:38 p.m. local time to see a black circle in the sky. via NASA

The Galactic Center in Radio from MeerKAT

What's happening at the center of our galaxy? It's hard to tell with optical telescopes since visible light is blocked by intervening interstellar dust. In other bands of light, though, such as radio, the galactic center can be imaged and shows itself to be quite an interesting and active place. The featured picture shows the inaugural image of the MeerKAT array of 64 radio dishes just completed in South Africa. Spanning four times the angular size of the Moon (2 degrees), the image is impressively vast, deep, and detailed. Many known sources are shown in clear detail, including many with a prefix of Sgr, since the Galactic Center is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. In our Galaxy's Center lies Sgr A, found here just to the right of the image center, which houses the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole. Other sources in the image are not as well understood, including the Arc, just to the left of Sgr A, and numerous filamentary threads. Goals for MeerKAT include searching for radio emission from neutral hydrogen emitted in a much younger universe and brief but distant radio flashes. via NASA

Crescent Saturn

Saturn never shows a crescent phase -- from Earth. But when viewed from beyond, the majestic giant planet can show an unfamiliar diminutive sliver. This image of crescent Saturn in natural color was taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2007. The featured image captures Saturn's majestic rings from the side of the ring plane opposite the Sun -- the unilluminated side -- another vista not visible from Earth. Pictured are many of Saturn's photogenic wonders, including the subtle colors of cloud bands, the complex shadows of the rings on the planet, and the shadow of the planet on the rings. A careful eye will find the moons Mimas (2 o'clock) and Janus (4 o'clock), but the real challenge is to find Pandora (8 o'clock). Saturn is now nearly opposite from the Sun in the Earth's sky and so can be seen in the evening starting just after sunset for the rest of the night. via NASA

8 Minute and 30 Second Eclipse

The total phase of the July 2nd solar eclipse lasted about 4 minutes and 30 seconds at the point of maximum eclipse. On the surface of planet Earth, that was about 600 nautical miles north of Easter Island in the Southern Pacific Ocean. But from 37,000 feet above, on a charter flight intercepting the Moon's shadow, the Moon could be seen to completely block the Sun for about 8 minutes and 30 seconds. With a tailwind at the mid-eclipse intercept point, the plane was traveling around 488 nautical miles per hour chasing along the Moon's shadow track. From above the clouds this wide-field image of the totally eclipsed Sun and shimmering solar corona over the wing records the spectacular view from a window seat on the sunward side of the aircraft. via NASA

Earth's Glow, the Moon and a Starry Night

This was the view as the International Space Station orbited 256 miles above the Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Hawaiian island chain. via NASA

La Silla Eclipse Sequence

The road to the high mountaintop La Silla Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert also led in to the path of July 2nd's total solar eclipse. Recorded at regular intervals before and after the total eclipse phase, the frames in this composite sequence include the moment the Moon's dark shadow fell across some of planet Earth's advanced large telescopes. The dreamlike view looks west toward the setting Sun and the approaching Moon shadow. In fact La Silla was a little north of the shadow track's center line, so the region's stunning, clear skies are slightly brighter to the north (right) in the scene. via NASA

In the Shadow of the Moon

On July 2 denizens of planet Earth could stand in the Moon's dark umbral shadow during South America's 2019 total solar eclipse. It first touched down in the Southern Pacific Ocean, east of New Zealand. Racing toward the east along a narrow track, the shadow of the Moon made landfall along the Chilean coast with the Sun low on the western horizon. Captured in the foreground here are long shadows still cast by direct sunlight though, in the final moments before totality began. While diffraction spikes are from the camera lens aperture, the almost totally eclipsed Sun briefly shone like a beautiful diamond ring in the clear, darkened sky. via NASA

Dogs, Anxiety and the Fourth of July

CBD has become an increasingly popular remedy for pet owners looking to treat their animal’s anxiety, inflammation, pain, gastrointestinal issues, seizures, and for overall immune support. In fact, sales of CBD pet products quadrupled last year to $32 million from $8 million in 2017, according to the Brightfield Group. Although always passionate about health and […]

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NASA's First Rover on the Red Planet

This 8-image mosaic of the Sojourner rover on the surface of Mars was acquired during the late afternoon on Sol 2. Sojourner arrived aboard the Mars Pathfinder on July 4, 1997. via NASA

Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly Across Titan

If you could fly across Titan, what would you see? To find out and to better explore this exotic moon of Saturn, NASA recently green-lighted Dragonfly, a mission to Titan with plans to deploy a helicopter-like drone. Saturn's moon Titan is one of the largest moons in the Solar System and the only moon known to have a thick atmosphere and changing hydrocarbon lakes. After development, building, testing, and launch, Dragonfly is currently scheduled to reach Titan in 2034. The featured animated video envisions Dragonfly arriving at Titan, beginning its airborne exploration, landing to establishing a radio link back to Earth, and then continuing on to another trans-Titanian flight. It is hoped that Dragonfly will not only help humanity better understanding Titan's weather, chemistry, and changing landscape, but also bolster humanity's understanding of how life first developed on our young Earth. via NASA

Taking to the Skies: Orion Test Brings Moon, Mars Missions Closer

A launch abort system (LAS) with a test version of Orion attached soars upward on NASA’s Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test atop a Northrop Grumman provided booster on July 2, 2019, after launching at 7 a.m. EDT. via NASA

Orion "Go" for Launch

A test version of NASA’s Orion crew module is ready for rollback at Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. via NASA