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.
Five Benefits of Sweet Almond Oil for Skin Care
Cleopatra liked to bathe in a luxurious mix of sweet almond oil, honey and the milk of a young donkey. The Romans believed almond oil could help reduce wrinkles. The Persian-Greek medicos recommended it for softening dry skin. Originally grown in the Mediterranean region of the Levant, almond trees were cultivated in Greece and Italy. They became an important source of commerce in Central Europe during the Middle Ages, and herbalists soon realized the benefits of using almond oil on the skin. John Gerard, the English botanist, wrote that: “The oil of almonds makes smooth the hands and face of delicate persons…” The ancients had excellent reasons for applying rich and fatty almond oil to their skin. Almond oil contains several antioxidants, including vitamins D and E, as well as essential minerals and fatty acids that help the skin in several ways. Why not follow the lead of the wise Romans and Persians by trying this plant-based oil? Learn more about how it can benefit you, and why it is a key ingredient in our topical oil, One For All.
1. Cleanse Your Skin with Almond Oil
Cleanse your face with almond oil before going to bed each night. Joanna Vargas, a celebrity makeup artist, explains, “Oil cleansers break up makeup on the face in a gentle way instead of stripping the skin so skin won’t feel irritated after.” Oil-based cleaners work because the molecules in the oil react with your body’s natural oil, which shares a similar composition.
2. Almond Oil Makes a Wonderful Moisturizer
Almond oil contains a large amount of Olein Glyceride Linoleic Acid, a rich fatty acid, so it softens and rejuvenates the skin and helps prevent wrinkles. This soothing and calming oil will soon make your complexion look brighter if you use it every day. Dermatologist Soma Sarkar recommends using several plant-based oils on your skin, and she especially recommends almond oil as a moisturizer for dry skin. Spending long periods in the sun causes skin damage as we grow older. Almond oil helps prevent the harmful effects of UV radiation, and it slows down the aging process, according to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Avoid tough and leathery skin by moisturizing with this natural oil and using UV creams in the sun.
3. Almond Oil Helps Skin Problems
Suffering from red, itchy and flaky skin can be a nightmare. The topical application of almond oil may provide some relief, partly because it contains Vitamin D, which has a “healing effect on the skin.” Almond oil has been used to treat eczema and psoriasis for centuries. Zeeshan Ahmed states in his study published in Complementary Theories of Clinical Practice that the ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco-Persian schools of medicine used it to treat these skin conditions, and that the mineral-rich oil has inflammatory properties that result in a calming effect on the skin.
4. Almond Oil May Minimize Stretch Marks
Applying certain natural products to the skin during pregnancy may reduce unsightly stretch marks. Dr. Alyssa R. Golas at NYU Langone Health recommends almond oil, according to an article in the Australian version of PopSugar. The smooth, lightly scented oil is well-absorbed by the skin, and it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.
5. Almond Oil Helps Reduce Under-Eye Circles
Who wants to see ugly dark under-eye circles when they wake up? These circles have several different causes, including allergies, heredity and asthma. Natural aging and lack of sleep are some other reasons for shadows under the eyes. Massaging the delicate skin around the eyes with a few drops of moisturizing and anti-inflammatory almond oil every night will soon chase those circles away!
The Woods Heal: Why Forest Bathing?
“You’re surrounded by steam rising off the mineral water in a claw foot bath, rose petals floating on the surface. Scents of pine from the surrounding forest, the dense trees providing your privacy. You’re naked. You don’t hear a sound, other than birds chirping, a squirrel scuffling on the trees above you. All your senses are awake and alive. You’re experiencing the ultimate recharge.”
“I’m in,” my friend says. “Where do we do this… forest bathing.”