That Good Good – A checklist for clean products.
Navigating the 2018 cannabis wellness market can be a bit tricky with new brands popping up and innovative products coming to market. A well-designed brand is more than a logo and a trendy box. All cannabis, hemp, and CBD products need to be lab tested. Whether you are new to using CBD products or have incorporated it into your routine, to tame your stress with relaxation or infuse your day with a plant-based boost you want to be sure you mark these 5 things off before you buy.
1. Pesticides – PASS
We are dealing with plants here… plants have pests. Well, we all have pests really… but some growers use pesticides to rid the plants of spider mites, thrips, aphids, moths, fungus, harmful nematodes and a host of others. The label should show that your flower, concentrate, or product has been tested and passed the pesticide test. People have been consuming it for hundreds of years…why should I be concerned? Your body is your vessel and cannabis works to recreate balance in your life. As the market continues to evolve many people are moving into the industry without much experience with agriculture or pesticides. With money involved and regulations evolving, some pesticide testing is more of an ethical decision. You know your health is worth the cost of testing. But do they?
2. Residual Solvents – PASS
The process of extraction entails utilizing a solvent to extract active ingredients from the plant material to produce cannabis oils, a resinous, sticky, glassy product. Extraction can be accomplished with many mediums including but not limited to carbon dioxide, acetone, ethanol, and butane. Even with carbon dioxide or solvent-less extractions, solvents are often used in cleaning the equipment and can end up in your final product. When the process does not fully remove the solvent, residual solvents remain in your products. Scary stuff! Can you imagine ingesting or inhaling these sometimes toxic chemicals? It is close to impossible to remove all residual solvents, however, testing will ensure your product falls below the parts per million (ppm) threshold for the solvent used. Ideally, you want the effects of the potent cannabinoids and not the residual solvents.
The level of water activity in any cannabis is critical to its microbial content. Samples should be tested for total yeast and mold, E. coli, Pseudomonas, Coliforms, Salmonella, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Mucor, Thermophilic Actinomycetes, to name a few. Both bacteria and fungi (i.e. mold) require certain conditions in order to replicate and present a health hazard. Inhaling or ingesting moldy cannabis can make you sick. Many plant-based foods have a high moisture content and are able to support robust microbial replication. Temperature, water activity, and route of administration impact the potential for plant-born hazards. Testing for microbial content is a recommended “better safe than sorry”.
According to Steep Hill Labs, 20-30% of the cannabis they see is contaminated by fungus or mold. There are at least 88 different species of fungi which cannabis can fall under attack.¹
4. Cannabinoid Profile – Potency
If you are new to cannabis or not interested in the “high”, potency testing will save you. Knowing how much THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN (and more) are in your products will determine how you dose yourself. Potency can be shown as mg/g, mg/ml, or %. Before you buy you should be clear on the cannabinoid profile and potency of your product. Different profiles will result in varied results, therefore, it is important to document each experience and use your labels to recreate pleasurable outcomes.
5. Terpene Profile
Terpenes are the cousin who knows three languages and has a full passport. They are equally important too, but harder to find in, CBD products. When you think of terpenes, think of aromatherapy the holistic healing modality. These cannabis’ terpenes determine the compelling aroma and flavor in each strain.
Around 200 terpenes and 100 cannabinoids have been found in cannabis, but only a few of these substances appear in amounts substantial enough to be noteworthy. The synergy of these compounds is what makes the plant special. An “entourage effect” magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components – so the impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. Family values, indeed.
Knowing your body and knowing your products is your responsibility. • Become an advocate for your health by learning about what is going in and on your body.
Is CBD for me? Why I started a CBD company.
Some people may wonder why I decided to start a CBD company.
In 2012, my husband was diagnosed with a malignant glioblastoma brain tumor. After 4.5 years of clean MRIs it came back, twice. With 20 rounds, and counting, of chemo under his belt, the last MRI was clean yet again.
Image on the right (March 2017) shows the regrowth in white (bottom left of hole). Image on the left (May 2017) shows clean MRI.
Cannabis has helped me return to optimal health and wellness after escaping the rigors of the executive suite in the healthcare industry.
Cannabis has helped my friends – mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, athletes, professionals, grandmothers, and grandfathers. Normal people turning to a different approach for a solution.
For me, it started in the summer of 2016. With the topic of cannabis rumbling around in California for many many many years, I was rather late to the table. But I was in healthcare, corporate America. And cannabis nor marijuana definitely is not talked about, or at least wasn’t being talked about in the hospitals I was in. Maybe because it could help the patients in the hospital. But that is another story. Regardless, it was on my mind. For my husband had seizures. Not grand mal seizures but petite mol. This meant that at random times, roughly once every 60 days, his face would begin to clinch, his arm would go numb, and his ability to speak clearly, and in sentences one could comprehend, would escape him. In the 60 minutes or so that would lapse, his brain would need to “reboot” as we call it. This isn’t something new. This is our normal.
Baseball was life. A World Series Champion at the age of 25, I now was watching as a 31 years’ young man, healthy, in a flash, from thriving to fighting for life. This changed my perspective on things. A year after we were married my husband was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor. No, I would rather not talk about the words associated with this diagnosis. Insert GBM or glioblastoma into Google search and the absolute worst shows up. Well we decided to not let the Google results sway what we thought was possible. Instead, we waited for the one year anniversary of clean MRIs and then we moved from St. Louis, MO to a warmer climate in Southern California. I picked up the pace with my career to help support us and he began to balance his quality of life.
For four years, we lived in eight week segments, with an MRI providing the reassurance that all was well. And then it happened, it showed up again. In September of 2016, the area of the brain known as the cerebellum, started to appear blurry on the MRI. It was strange because the original tumor was in the left frontal lobe, no-where near this area of new concern. Immediately, thoughts ran through our heads of the worst possible thing. It’s incredible the crazy thoughts you have in these circumstances. One thing I knew for sure, I needed to walk away from my 9-5. It wasn’t for me anymore. No longer did I want anything in my life to make me wake up and realize I wasn’t living my best self. I wasn’t doing what I loved.
Chris works for 101 ESPN radio out of St. Louis and balances his life with a weekday sports talk radio show from 11-1 PST. He enjoys golfing 3-4 times per week. He works out often, attempting at times to return to the ball field…..I’m kidding. Travelling and adventure are his escapes and provide a change to the day-to-day. Travelling also keeps us moving forward, not staying stagnant in our circumstances. Overall his quality of life is even keel, with his love for baseball still a high priority. I, on the other hand, rose out of bed at the crack of dawn and hustled, meeting upon meeting, confined to an office. I ran a clinical genetics laboratory and returned home after dark. I wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t long term. It wasn’t me. For months, I would bring home this message to my husband, “I’m only there for the money. I want my own company in the health and wellness space. I’m not health and wellness right now and I need to get back to it.” It drove me nuts. I knew how much working out meant to me, yet, when I got home from work the last thing I wanted to do was go to the gym. I knew recharging my mind was essential but I couldn’t let go of those projects at work with deadlines. They ran circles in my mind. My mind. The essence of my success in all things in life. I don’t like it altered – by anything. Until cannabis.
So in December of 2016 and in November of 2017, our worst nightmares happened, the tumor came back. I guess you can say we were prepared or semi-prepared after the MRIs started shifting in September. But you are never REALLY ready for that moment. We had changed to a ketogenic diet in September, and executed it poorly. We ate out often, not at the worst restaurants, but definitely not where we were sure it was grass-fed, antibiotic free, hormone free, and organic. We ate bacon. Man was it good, until it wasn’t. Until the cancer returned. This was the only change we made in four years. And this I believe triggered the return. Although we will never know for sure, we switched back to incorporate foods that were alive, heavy in the plant department, ensuring all meat was antibiotic and hormone FREE and ORGANIC. And we added cannabis. Good cannabis, clean cannabis, lab-tested cannabis.
By combining my knowledge obtained through an 8-year career in healthcare, networking with some of the greatest cannabis researches and cultivators, and of course, historic high school knowledge, I realized that while cannabis is still coming out of the darkness, the products we consume sometimes are riddled with pesticides, mold, fungus, mildew used or contaminated by the farmers during grow. Processed sugar, refined flours, and unhealthy ingredients counterbalance the beneficial properties of the cannabis products, rendering them “harmful”, in my opinion. Or, even worse, ingredients are not shown at all. How could a patient, or anyone for that matter, ingest this?
This would be my mission. To provide cannabis products – clean, pure, and free of toxins, with whole ingredients that matter. To improve the quality of life for anyone looking for a solution. Whether it was someone with an illness or someone stressed from everyday challenges of life, parenting, caregiving, or work. With a belief that self-care is the greatest form of healthcare, I decided to build a company with a drive from my soul, a hip vibe, a reason for existing, and a commitment to ingredients that matter.
Welcome to Mowellens.