CBDA oil tincture in a dropper held above a bottle.

Exploring the Benefits of CBDA in Hemp Products

Exploring the Benefits of CBDA in Hemp Products

Leaf411 member Myriam’s Hemp shares insights on CBDA and the importance of hemp consumer education

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

We recently talked with Myriam’s Hemp Co-Founder and CEO Diana Peña about the company’s wide range of hemp products. The brand offers hemp topicals as well as tinctures featuring CBD, CBG, CBN and CBDA, as well as an Enhanced CBD Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) packed with hemp plant compounds. Myriam’s Hemp also creates custom blends for customers with unique terpene profiles. 

Diana Peña, Co-Founder and CEO of Myriam’s Hemp

Diana Peña, Co-Founder and CEO of Myriam’s Hemp

When we asked Diana which of the cannabinoids she felt was most underrated, she was quick to respond.

“People are paying more attention to the different cannabinoids found in hemp and how they deliver different results. However, the product that we’ve always carried at Myriam’s Hemp and that I still think to this day that doesn’t get enough attention is CBDA,” said Myriam.

We’re guessing that many of you have never heard of CBDA (it’s different than CBD!) and thought it would make a great topic for today’s blog post after talking with Diana. We’ll also share tips for finding hemp products that truly deliver the CBDA and other cannabinoids they claim to contain.

Hemp is more than just CBD: Understanding hemp’s beneficial compounds

Usually when people discuss hemp, they’re talking about CBD (cannabidiol), but in fact, the hemp plant contains hundreds of plant compounds including other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and essential fatty acids (a good fat!).

Understanding different cannabinoids can make all the difference when it comes to finding the best hemp product for your needs, whether you’re seeking relief or boosting overall wellness. In fact, you might have even tried a few of the minor cannabinoids—for example, CBN (cannabinol) or CBG (cannabigerol), though chances are that you’ve not heard as much about CBDA.

Two people looking at product test results showing beneficial hemp compounds.

CBDA: The precursor to the more well-known CBD

CBD itself is no slouch, with many people finding that CBD is a powerful tool when it comes to health concerns.

But did you know that CBD doesn’t start out as CBD in hemp/cannabis plants? In fact, the compound starts out as CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) which is found in fresh raw hemp and cannabis.

When CBDA is exposed to heat over 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit), it converts to CBD. The scientific term for this process is “decarboxylation.” Typically, decarboxylation occurs either during the extraction process or when someone smokes, vapes or cooks with the hemp flower, heating it up to over 110 degrees Celsius.

However, some hemp extraction techniques don’t involve heat. When these extraction techniques are used, CBDA may remain in the hemp product.

Whiteboard drawing of CBDA’s molecular structure

Is CBDA better than CBD?

CBDA works differently in your body than CBD. How? CBDA has a different mechanism of action. Instead of binding directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors found in the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBDA acts on COX-2 receptors which play a role in inflammation as well as 5-HT receptors which produce serotonin.

CBDA’s different mechanisms of action means that it provides different and wide ranging results which are currently being researched to better understand its potential. CBDA may also be far more potent than CBD when it comes to managing nausea and vomiting based on research that Dr. Ethan Russo shared in a review published last year.

While most research shows that THC is best for nausea, someone could start with CBDA if they are adverse to THC, or if they live in an area where cannabis is not legal. Our Leaf411 nurses suggest CBDA is best for anticipatory nausea. 

CBDA may help in other ways as well. At Myriam’s Hemp, Diana hears from customers who say that CBDA works well to help with multiple concerns.

“Some people have various ailments—they’re not just dealing with anxiety, but have anxiety, inflammation, pain and mood swings all happening at the same time. Those are the customers we hear from who tell us that CBDA has been especially helpful for them.”

CBDA is thought to be more water-soluble than CBD and in turn is more bioavailable, meaning that CBDA can be more effective at lower doses compared to CBD. This might address how it may be “better” or more effective than CBD. The lower doses can help people avoid side effects that may come with higher doses of CBD and it can be more cost effective.

At Leaf411 we suggest there may be a potential to use CBDA as a first line treatment option due to the lower doses needed for possible symptom relief. There is less research on CBDA metabolism so we always suggest  approaching it with caution. If THC is a barrier to a new cannabis user, CBDA could be an option as well due to easier access and again lower doses which could mean less side effects and drug-to-drug interactions.

Three arrows on the ground pointing in different directions, indicating choices about which hemp product is best.

How to make sure you’re getting high quality CBDA

Hemp products containing beneficial amounts of CBDA can be challenging to find. Obviously, when you shop for a CBDA product, you’ll want to make sure that it contains the cannabinoids being advertised.

How do you do that?

Look for companies that regularly test their hemp products via an independent third party laboratory. Test results will be provided as a product Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing the different percentages and amounts (usually milligrams per gram or “mg/g”) of cannabinoids in the tincture, edible, topical or other product. For example, the first page of Myriam’s Hemp COA for their CBDA tincture batch #2138 is shown below listing cannabinoids found in their tincture.

Five stars lined up on a tabletop, indicating high quality.
Screenshot of the top portion of Myriam’s Hemp CBDA Certificate of Analysis. The COA also shows results for terpenes and potential contaminants, and is available on the product page.

Screenshot of the top portion of Myriam’s Hemp CBDA Certificate of Analysis. The COA also shows results for terpenes and potential contaminants, and is available on the product page.

Some manufacturers like Myriam’s Hemp go beyond the basic tests to also include lab results for potential contaminants like solvents, heavy metals and molds. This voluntary extra level of testing helps ensure product purity for consumers.

When it comes to Myriam’s Hemp full spectrum CBD tincture, the brand even includes lab results showing the amount of beneficial terpenes in the oil.

Beyond independently lab-testing every lot, Myriam’s Hemp has built a long-term relationship with an Oregon organic hemp grower to ensure consistency and reliability in the plants that are grown for the brand. This attention to detail really sets Myriam’s Hemp apart from other hemp brands that may get their raw materials from the cheapest source, with little regard for product consistency.

Exploring Myriam’s Hemp’s full range of products, including the new Sunshine Orange flavor

 In addition to CBDA, Myriam’s Hemp also offers tinctures featuring CBG, CBN or CBD and Enhanced CBD Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO), along with CBD balms and pet CBD. 

Tinctures are available in unflavored olive oil, natural vanilla flavor or the new natural Sunrise Orange flavor. When ordering a tincture, you also have an option to add a terpene boost designed to promote specific effects, including calm, focus, energy or immunity.

The company can also formulate custom blends with unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles personalized to individual needs. For more information about how to customize your product, click on this link.

Freshly picked oranges in a fruit crate, mirroring Myriam’s Hemp’s newest Sunshine Orange flavor.

A personal connection to the healing power of hemp and cannabis

Talking about CBDA, COAs and product quality can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. At Leaf411, we understand! All of our Leaf411 staff have been there before, not sure where to start with investigating the therapeutic potential of hemp.  

In fact, Diana shares a similar story as our own co-founder, Katherine Golden, RN, when it comes to a family member’s health concern that brought Diana to the hemp space. 

In 2013, Diana’s mother Myriam was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor which launched the family on an exhaustive search for alternatives to manage Myriam’s pain and improve her quality of life while facing a terminal condition. The family’s journey ultimately led to the creation of Myriam’s Hemp with a focus on providing consistent product quality and transparency to other patients and consumers who were also seeking plant-based alternatives. 

From their own experience seeking out plant-based alternatives for an ill family member, the Myriam’s Hemp team knows that education is incredibly important when it comes to targeting specific cannabinoids to health goals.

Two hands holding a paper doll family, reflecting caring and connection.
Example of CBD journaling taken from Myriam Hemp’s Facebook page.

Example of CBD journaling taken from Myriam Hemp’s Facebook page.

How much CBDA, CBG, CBN, or CBD should you take?

While Diana is comfortable talking about the unique features of each of their hemp products, when it comes to dosing, she is thankful to have Leaf411 as a resource to share with consumers. 

“We provide a lot of education on our website and provide general information about starting low and going slow with hemp products,” said Diana. “However when it comes to individual questions about dosing, we refer consumers to the Leaf411 nurses who have the education and research to lead the consumer in the right direction.”

Some consumers reach out to Myriam’s Hemp wanting a thorough medical consultation, but Diana notes the cost may be prohibitive to many people.

“We have some really great doctors we can send people to, but to be honest with you, some of them are very expensive, up to between $600 and hour and $750 an hour. A lot of people can’t afford that,” Diana says. “Leaf411 helps fill the gap by providing free clinical guidance to patients who might otherwise be left to try and figure out everything on their own.”

Myriam’s Hemp supports Leaf411 as a business member to ensure the public has access to clinically-sound guidance at no cost, as one of many ways the company supports consumers. 

In fact, Diana points to the brand’s customer support as another element that really makes Myriam’s Hemp stand apart from the competition. 

“We get feedback from customers saying that other companies do not provide the same level of help and information that we provide,” Diana says. “I’m always happy to hear that type of feedback, because we have worked hard to make sure our own staff is really knowledgeable and able to help.”

Myriam’s Hemp also offers a Compassion Program for veterans, seniors, and people who may struggle with the cost of plant medicine, based on the belief that “good health should never be out of reach.”

Let our expert Leaf411 nurses help with your hemp questions

Our Leaf411 hotline nurses are knowledgeable about the wide range of hemp products available today, and are ready to answer your questions about the best options for your health and wellness needs, whether that’s CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN or other cannabinoids. Our nurses also help with dosing, identifying potential medicine interactions and troubleshooting when a hemp product isn’t providing the anticipated effects. Best of all, our service is FREE to callers, built on the belief that cannabis education should be accessible to all. Call 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

Also, if you share our belief that knowledge is power when it comes to plant-based medicine and want to support our mission, we encourage you to visit our fundraising campaign at: https://www.classy.org/campaign/leaf411/c350217  

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.

Smartphone with “Q & A'' displayed on screen. Leaf411 hotline RNs are ready to answer all your hemp and cannabis questions.

side view of mature woman with closed eyes sitting on sofa and holding joint with legal marijuana

Finding Low-THC Cannabis Strains

Low-THC cannabis can be a powerful option for relaxation and relief

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Many mature cannabis consumers wax poetic about the old days when they could smoke an entire joint for relaxation without ending up too high.

Yet as states legalize cannabis, cultivators have prioritized breeding high-THC strains that can quickly intoxicate a user with just a few puffs. Not everyone is looking for the intense “high” that these high-THC strains often deliver, though. 

Additionally, low-THC cannabis flower strains allow users to consume more of the other beneficial plant compounds, including terpenes and plant flavonoids, without going overboard on THC. While some patients do need high-THC products, we’ve found that many people achieve maximum relief with minimum intoxication when using lower-THC products, based on the caller feedback we receive at Leaf411.

How do you find low-THC strains in a marketplace that prioritizes high-THC flower? We were thrilled to see our Leaf411 business member Where’s Weed tackle this question on their blog, including recommended low-THC strains along with a search feature to find these strains near you.

Click here to read the Where’s Weed’s article, 5 Low THC Strains You Should Try

side view of mature woman with closed eyes sitting on sofa and holding joint with legal marijuana

To know exactly what you are purchasing, always ask the budtender about the product’s test results showing the cannabinoid potency. Why is that?

Even though a specific strain’s name (like Blue Dream) may be the same from one dispensary to another, the plant’s genetic structure along with the environment in which it is grown defines its final form. A plant with similar genetic makeup, when grown in a different environment (for example, in a different region or under different greenhouse conditions) will bring out a different trait from the plant’s genetic code resulting in a unique color, shape, smell and resin production. 

Remember, too, that our cannabis-trained nurses can help with any questions you have about cannabis potency or use. Call the FREE Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat with us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Takoma Wellness Center medical dispensary counter displaying cannabis flower.

An Insider’s View on Washington D.C.’s Best Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Takoma Wellness Center medical dispensary counter displaying cannabis flower.

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP

Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

We recently caught up with Stephanie Kahn, BSN, for her perspective as a cannabis nurse and Takoma Wellness Center medical dispensary co-founder. Stephanie shared her insights from leading Washington, D.C.’s longest running legal medical dispensary and what she wished every new cannabis patient knew before visiting a dispensary.

(Note: This blog post was edited on 9/9/21 to more accurately reflect Washington, D.C., cannabis regulations.)

Takoma Wellness Center’s logo is a blue hamsa with a red heart in the palm.

Step into Leaf411 member Takoma Wellness Center medical cannabis dispensary in Washington, D.C., and the first thing you’ll notice is the hamsa, a hand-shaped design that is believed to offer protection and good fortune, that traces back to ancient Mesopotamia.

The hamsa symbol is fitting, given that it shares a long history that runs parallel with cannabis. The cannabis plant can also be tracked back thousands of years ago when it was used medicinally, including in Mesopotamia. The hamsa symbol also holds an important place in the Jewish culture shared by founders Stephanie Kahn, BSN, Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn and their son Joshua Kahn.

Stephanie Kahn in front of a wall displaying a large hamsa collection at Takoma Wellness Center.
Front door of Takoma Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C.

With a background in healthcare and the spiritual community, the Kahns already had extensive experience helping patients before entering the cannabis industry. One cannot help but think of Takoma Wellness Center’s extensive hamsa collection as a symbol of their caring and hope for the patients who visit the store.

Takoma Wellness Center’s Cannabis Shopping tips, which are covered in the article.

Navigating Washington, D.C.’s unique cannabis landscape

Takoma Wellness Center holds a unique spot as the oldest and longest running legal medical dispensary in Washington, D.C. While cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the plant is legally sold for medical use in the nation’s capital, and possession of small amounts for personal use has been decriminalized.

District residents also support adult use (recreational) cannabis; however, Washington, D.C., is unique in that it’s not a state but a district that is ultimately governed by the US Congress. So far, Congress has blocked the district’s efforts to create a legal adult use cannabis marketplace.

U.S. Capitol dome with U.S. flag flying in front in D.C., where medical cannabis is legal.

District of Columbia dispensary Takoma Wellness Center accepts out-of-state MMJ cards

Cannabis cannot cross state lines, but marijuana medical cards can in a few states as well as in Washington, D.C. Medical dispensaries in the district accept valid medical cards from any state with a legal medical cannabis program, when that person is visiting the district and buying medicine in-person. (Dispensaries are not allowed to deliver or ship product across state lines due to ongoing federal prohibition that regulates all interstate commerce.)

For Takoma Wellness Center which is located only a few blocks from the Maryland state line and approximately 10 miles from Virginia, this means that over 50% of their customers come from outside the district, mostly from neighboring states. As nearby state marketplaces evolve, however, the mix of patients continues to change.

“We used to get a lot of patients from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but as their own state programs have improved, there’s less need for their residents to travel to find cannabis medicine that works for their needs,” Stephanie says.

Of course, the capital is also a popular place for people from around the country to visit. For patients who are unable to bring their cannabis medicine with them when traveling, finding a trustworthy local source like Takoma Wellness Center can be a godsend.

Building a medical dispensary around the needs of cannabis patients

Takoma Wellness Center was built around not only providing a wide range of products but also exceptional service to patients, with patient consultants (similar to budtenders) who spend time educating visitors on different options. That commitment has remained even during pandemic challenges.

“Prior to the pandemic, we would spend a lot of time with our patients. That all changed last year with restrictions and the need for social distancing,” Stephanie says.

“A lot of the changes were positive. We were allowed to implement online ordering, curbside service and delivery. The downside, though, was that we were not able to spend the same amount of time in store consulting with patients.”

In response, Takoma Wellness Center developed virtual consults and protocols for patients to check in outside, reducing the time most people needed to spend inside the store. Stephanie says that their relationship with Leaf411 has also helped, with Leaf hotline nurses who are able to guide patients on the phone while looking over Takoma Wellness Center’s extensive online menu.

Patient consultant stands next to Takoma Wellness Center’s cannabis flower display, ready to help patients with questions.
Graphic with a quote from Katherine Golden, RN, Leaf411 CEO saying, “Based on the calls we receive from Takoma Wellness Center customers, we can tell that their staff really care about helping patients only purchase what they need, saving them money and reducing buyers remorse by providing resources like Leaf411.”

What are the top reasons patients turn to medical cannabis?

Takoma Wellness Center serves patients who are seeking alternatives for a wide range of conditions.

“Pain and anxiety top the list, when it comes to the information that patients share with us. We have patients visiting us who have autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS), Lyme disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer pain and chemo side effects, who are seeking relief,” Stephanie says.

“We also have a couple of pain doctors in the area who are suggesting cannabis as an alternative to opioids for some of their patients. In my mind, this is a very positive development,” Stephanie says, though she also acknowledges that many other pain clinics continue testing patients for THC, with positive THC tests disqualifying them from continuing with prescription-based pain medications.

Tag with an idea lightbulb and tag saying “tips and tricks” in front of a green background.

Advice for both new and experienced cannabis patients

Stephanie has spent years helping patients understand the ever-changing cannabis landscape, with Takoma Wellness Center’s product selection informed both by Stephanie’s cannabis nursing background and years of experience hearing from patients on what has worked best. She’s also seen common missteps that new patients make on their first dispensary visit and has some general advice to share.

“A lot of cannabis naïve patients come in wanting to try edibles first. However, we really encourage them to first try tinctures instead. It’s much easier to adjust your dose with tinctures, which is especially important if you’re starting low and going slow,” Stephanie says.

She also sees both new and experienced cannabis users missing out on the full potential of plant medicine when they only focus on finding the highest-THC products.

“Whether the patient has been buying on the street for 30 years or they’re new to cannabis, we often see them looking for the highest THC product when a ratio product containing a balance of THC and CBD might actually provide better relief,” Stephanie says. “Obviously we’re not going to force education on them, but we do encourage patients to explore different product types and often have discounts to make it easier to try new things.”

When trying new products, Stephanie suggests that patients resist the urge to “stock up,” since cannabis products cannot be returned to the store.

“We’ve had customers who are brand new to cannabis who want to buy a half-ounce of cannabis flower or an extra-strength tincture because they believe it will be better than regular strength. While we’re not going to deny them that purchase, we do try to educate them and explain what the problems they might encounter,” Stephanie says.

Stephanie as well as Takoma Wellness Center staff also suggest that patients start low and go slow, understanding that everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different.

“The dose that works best for your friend may either be not enough or way too much for you. The best way to find your ideal dose is to start low and go slow, building up to the dose that works for you,” Stephanie says.

Framed photos and news articles covering Takoma Wellness Center’s work in the Washington, D.C. area.

Looking for the best local, family-owned D.C. dispensary with deep ties to the area?

Today’s patients and consumers have more options than ever when it comes to shopping for cannabis medicine. Many are eager to support local businesses that are making a difference and building a sustainable, equitable cannabis industry.

Takoma Wellness Center’s ties to the community run deep. Both of Stephanie’s parents grew up in Washington, D.C. within blocks of the medical dispensary’s current location. It was her parents’ experience using cannabis on doctors’ recommendations that inspired the Kahns to open a medical dispensary. As Stephanie says, “The story of medical cannabis in our city is personal to us—it’s also our family story.” (Read more about their story here.) 

Stephanie is humble when it comes to ways the dispensary reinvests in the community. When asked, she shares that Takoma Wellness Center hires from the community, offering full health benefits, paid time off and above minimum wage pay. The dispensary has also participated in National Expungement Week and supports various community groups and programs. 

Takoma Wellness Center has earned Washington City Paper’s Best of D.C. Best Dispensary award for five consecutive years thanks to its commitment to patients and the community, as well as its vast product selection.

Also, as a Leaf411 business member, Takoma Wellness Center also helps ensure that cannabis education is freely available to all patients, regardless of where they live. 

Katherine Golden, Leaf411 founder and CEO/ED says, “Based on the calls we receive from Takoma Wellness Center customers, we can tell that their staff really care about helping patients only purchase what they need, saving them money and reducing buyers remorse by providing resources like Leaf411.”

Check our fully-vetted Leaf member directory for the best cannabis stores and brands

Thousands of cannabis brands compete for your attention and dollars. How do you sort through all the options to find incredible businesses like Takoma Wellness Center? We suggest starting with our Leaf Member Directory located under our Resources tab on our home page, to find cannabis and hemp CBD companies located throughout the United States. We carefully review all our supporting members and are confident in referring members of the public, our callers, friends and family members to these businesses.

Remember that the non-profit Leaf411 is a resource available at no cost to you, the public. Whether you would like help understanding an online dispensary menu, or have questions about product dosing or potential interactions with other medications, our cannabis-trained nurses can help. Call the Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT. 

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


A bee gathers nectar from a New Zealand tea tree flower

Manuka Honey-Infused CBD: A Natural Wellness Boost

Questions about CBD and Manuka honey? Our blog has answers about the potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of these two powerful natural compounds 

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Hemp CBD is showing promise for managing a wide range of health concerns, from inflammation and pain to stress and sleepless nights. Some hemp brands are even adding familiar ingredients like melatonin, turmeric, skullcap and other natural compounds to create products tailored to these different needs and preferences.

On this front, one of our members, Bespoke Extracts, recently launched an updated Manuka honey-infused CBD tincture and topical cream. Their product launch piqued our interest in the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that both hemp and honey share.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream with 1,000mg broad spectrum CBD per jar, and Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Tincture, available in a a 60ml bottle with 1,800mg CBD isolate per bottle (30mg CBD per serving), or a 30ml bottle with 1,000mg CBD isolate per bottle (33 mg CBD per serving).
Manuka honey used in Bespoke CBD products has a thicker consistency and richer color.

What makes Manuka honey different, and why quality matters

Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate certain species of tea tree plants in Australia and New Zealand. The honey has a different appearance than you may be used to, with a thicker consistency and cloudy yellow color thanks to the bees’ diet. The bees’ diet also appears to give Manuka honey extra oomph when it comes to potential health benefits, but like with any other ingredient, quality matters. 

“We import premium grade UMF 15+ Manuka honey directly from the source in New Zealand,” says Danny Pollack, Bespoke CEO. “There aren’t many other companies combining CBD and Manuka honey to begin with. Among the products that are available, ours is on the higher end when it comes to UMF grade, setting us apart from the competition.”

These new products join Bespoke’s line of hemp products containing CBD, CBG and CBN.

Danny pointed out the Manuka honey base is also very flavorful—his favorite way to consume it is in his tea. 

“We offer several different flavors in other Bespoke hemp tinctures, including berry and citrus flavors. They taste great, but you still get that little bit of an aftertaste—that earthy hemp flavor that is off-putting to some people,” Danny said. “However, with the Manuka honey tincture, you really get the sweetness of the honey without that aftertaste of hemp. It smells and tastes great.” 

Indeed, Manuka honey not only tastes good, but is also gaining attention for its unique chemical profile and health potential above and beyond other types of honey.

Close up Manuka honey CBD cream being applied to a minor abrasion on a woman’s knee.

Benefits of honey for healing

Last summer, Leaf411 co-founder and CEO Katherine Golden, RN, learned firsthand about the healing power of honey when she volunteered with the City of Denver’s COVID testing program for the homeless population. 

“The other nurses and I also volunteered in the day clinic which provides general medical care for the homeless. The most requested treatment was wound care. It was fascinating to see the use of honey sheets in the clinic to promote rapid healing,” Katherine said. 

In fact, honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years to treat skin wounds and bacterial infections, though research has only recently begun to fully understand the underlying mechanisms.

Wooden frame from a beehive, full of honey with light shining through.

While honey may look like a simple product, studies have found that it’s quite complex, made up of over 181 different substances including natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, polyphenols and even hydrogen peroxide. Together, these ingredients have measurable antibiotic potential, as described in an International Journal of Microbiology article:

“Many factors have been shown to contribute to the antibacterial activity of honey, such as its high viscosity, mostly due to a high sugar concentration and low water content, which helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. In addition, the mild acidity and hydrogen peroxide content have obvious antimicrobial effects.”

Other research has shown that honey may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can serve as a useful tool when managing coughs and GI issues, and also may help with mouth sores that occur as a side effect from radiation therapy.

What level of Manuka honey is best?

Of course, not all honey is the same. The bees’ diet, along with environmental factors, impact honey’s antibacterial properties. 

Even within the world of Manuka honey, quality matters, with a UMF grading system used to indicate the potency and antibacterial activity of the honey. The UMF rating can range from 5 to 25+, with a higher number indicating more of the beneficial compounds are present. You can learn more at this link.

Bespoke Extracts uses premium UMF 15+ Manuka honey sourced directly from New Zealand, which contains optimal levels of leptosperin, methylglyoxal (MGO), and other compounds that are unique to this product and contribute to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

How to use Manuka honey infused CBD for wellness and recovery

Both hemp and Manuka honey share anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so it’s not surprising to see the two ingredients appearing more frequently together in products geared toward wellness and recovery.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Tincture, available in a 30ml bottle with 1,000mg CBD isolate per bottle, or a 60ml bottle with 1,800mg CBD isolate per bottle.

CBD Manuka honey tinctures work much like other traditional hemp CBD tinctures, providing more generalized relief from chronic conditions like pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety. 

  • Most people will feel effects within 30-90 minutes, with effects lasting 4-6 hours.
  • If you are new to CBD, it is best to start with the lowest dose possible (we recommend 5mg). 
  • Not feeling effects yet? We suggest sticking with the same dose for at least 3 days  Before increasing your dose.
  • Build up your dose by adding 5mg  every 3 days and slowly work your way up until you achieve symptom relief. 
  • If you are experienced at using CBD tinctures, you can start with your current dose or even a little less and work up from there. Not all products are created equal and taking a little less to start helps avoid potential side effects.
  • Some people may find that CBD tinctures cause drowsiness, diarrhea or appetite changes. We suggest first trying new CBD products at home when you don’t have a busy schedule, just in case you have any of these side effects.

Honey, just like CBD and many other natural compounds, may interact with other medications, in particular anticoagulants like clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin), as well as certain anti-platelet drugs. If you are unsure whether your medications will be affected by CBD-infused Manuka honey, call our Leaf Nurses at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for answers to your questions, at no cost to you.

Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream with 1,000mg broad spectrum CBD per jar.

The combination of Manuka honey and CBD in products like Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused CBD Cream allow for anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief without side effects that can possibly occur with ingestion. Topicals also provide a good option for targeted relief on the go, helping to relieve itching and soothe sunburns and other minor burns, as well as providing gentle relief for achy joints, muscles or other painful areas. 

  • Apply CBD Manuka honey topical cream to the affected area. Most people feel relief within 15-20 minutes, with the effects lasting several hours. 
  • Keep in mind the other ingredients in any topical products you use. Bespoke UMF15+ Manuka Honey Infused Manuka Cream also includes natural menthol and peppermint oil, so you should expect a cooling effect.

In fact, one thing we really appreciate about all of Bespoke’s products, including their CBD, CBG and CBN lines, is that they include a full list of ingredients and Certificates of Analysis (COAs) on their website. 

Bespoke also offers discounts for frontline workers, U.S. military veterans and people aged 55 or older, as well discounts for shoppers who sign up for emails. Check out the Bespoke homepage for more details.

Plain amber bottles lined up, representing the array of hemp CBD options on the market today.

Sorting through today’s hemp CBD options

Manuka honey is only one of many natural ingredients showing up in today’s hemp products. While these products offer exciting potential, we recommend starting low with your dose and going slow to find your optimal dose. 

Also, we recommend consulting with your primary care provider before adding CBD, Manuka honey or other supplements to your regimen to ensure there are no potential medication interactions or other concerns like an allergy to honey. 

Our fully-licensed Leaf RNs can also help answer your questions at no cost to you. Call the Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Smiling couple hike up a sunlit trail with another hiker in the distance.

Building an Inside-Outside Daily Cannabis Routine

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

When our supporting member Escape Artists let us know they were launching new cannabis tinctures, we were curious to learn what inspired the expansion of their product line.

Escape Artists is well known for its fast-acting topical Relief Cream and Recovery Cream, both of which are beloved by many Coloradans. The brand also offers Speed Strips, fast-acting dissolvable strips that deliver THC through the mouth’s mucosal tissue directly into the bloodstream, with effects lasting a couple of hours. These innovations build on the team’s prior experience working in food science and the pharmaceutical industry.

While these fast-acting products are a good fit for an on-the-go lifestyle, Escape Artists began getting requests from consumers and retailers for a longer-acting tincture that could be integrated into wellness routines, creating an inside-outside daily cannabis routine. 

In response, Escape Artists is rolling out three new tinctures:

Escape Artist cannabis tincture bottles for their Bliss, Relief and Calm blends.

  • Lemon Bliss tincture containing 2.5mg THC per 0.75ml serving/dose (100 mg THC per bottle)
  • Tangerine Calm 1:1 ratio tincture with 2.5mg each CBD and THC per 0.75ml serving/dose (100mg CBD and 100mg THC per bottle) 
  • CBD-dominant 20:1 Peppermint Relief tincture with 50mg CBD & 2.5mg THC per 0.75ml serving/dose (2,000mg CBD and 100mg THC per bottle). 

The tinctures are all-natural, containing only: MCT oil, THC distillate and natural flavorings, as well as CBD isolate in the two ratio products. You can learn more about each of the tinctures at this link.

The marked droppers can help you start low and go slow with your dose. 

A typical, safe starting dose for anyone new to THC would be about 1mg2mg. Starting this low may not provide the relief you are looking for, but that’s okay. A very low dose allows you to test your THC tolerance and feel comfortable with consuming for the first time. 

Our nurses on the Leaf411 hotline can help you figure out a first-time low dose and then guide you with how to safely increase your milligrams until you experience the relief your body needs. Call the FREE hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) with any questions you have about dosing cannabis.

“Our end goal is meeting patients’ and consumers’ needs, making sure our products truly help,” says Tucker Council, Escape Artists Marketing Lead. “Our all-natural tinctures provide additional options for consumers to integrate an inside-outside approach to their daily cannabis wellness routine.”

Older woman sitting on her bed in a yoga pose, meditating.

What is a Daily Cannabis Routine?

Daily routines form the foundation of many people’s wellness regimen. Whether it’s a morning walk before logging on to the computer, a healthy lunchtime smoothie, or an evening meditation to wind down, these practices provide balance that protects against everyday life stressors.

In the same way, many people discover that cannabis is an impactful addition to their daily wellness routines. That should not be a surprise considering how the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids (THC, CBD and others), terpenes and other plant compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is designed to restore and maintain homeostasis (balance).  

Daily cannabis routines are often critical for patients’ symptom management and overall quality of life, providing a safe alternative to heavy-duty pharmaceuticals that often cause excessive sedation and other significant side effects.

For people who do not have ongoing or serious health concerns, a daily cannabis routine may nonetheless provide benefits, especially around relaxation and restoration.

Silhouette of four people summiting a peak at sunrise.

Designing Your Daily Routine

Daily cannabis routines work best when created for specific results. For example, you may want to take daily pain-free walks without excessive soreness afterward, or you might be seeking to boost evening relaxation before bedtime.

Whatever your aim, the following steps can be helpful for building an effective cannabis routine:

  • Get specific with your goal: Think through your goal and the results you hope to achieve.
  • Find supporting strategies: Cannabis is only one of many tools available for wellness and works best when paired with other approaches. For example, if your goal is relaxation before bedtime, you’ll also want to identify other ways to create a peaceful environment by turning off electronics, re-centering your thoughts, etc.
  • Identify your deal-breakers: It’s just as important to know what you don’t want as it is to know what you do want. When it comes to cannabis, our Leaf nurses hear from many callers who want relief without feeling “high.”

    Escape Artists and many of our other Leaf411 supporting members offer ratio products that can easily be split into microdoses, giving you the benefit of both CBD and THC cannabinoids while minimizing the likelihood of intoxication. We also have supporting members who specialize in CBD hemp products that are non-intoxicating. Our Leaf nurses can answer your questions about any legal products on the market today—call us at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).
  • Find the best product format: Odds are that if you’re already using cannabis, you have your favorite modes of consumption, whether that’s smoking flower, vaping concentrates, using edible or topical products. But does your favored format fit both your goal and your daily routine? You may find you need to change your consumption habits to align with your new goals.
  • Consider creating a ritual as part of your routine: Rituals support mindfulness and intention, helping you focus on your goals. Rituals don’t need to be fancy, either!

    Many people find that grinding cannabis flower and rolling a joint is a relaxing, re-centering practice that honors the plant while providing respite from a hectic day. This same type of intentionality can be used for other cannabis forms, as well. For example, when using edibles or tinctures, you might take one minute to do a quick meditation or affirmation before consuming. These small rituals can have an outsize impact when it comes to achieving your goals.
  • Commit to daily practice: You’ve spent time identifying your goal, finding the supporting practices and products that fit, and creating a plan for your daily cannabis routine. Now comes the most important part—commitment! Most experts agree that it takes between 21-30 days for a new habit or routine to stick. If you need help, there are many books, websites and apps.

How to Layer Cannabis Products

Your daily cannabis routine may involve layering different products throughout the day to match the needs of the moment. How do you achieve this without going overboard?

Let’s go back to our example of wanting to take daily pain-free walks without excessive soreness, and see how you might layer different products to support that goal: 

Step One: You would first layer the product that stays in your system the longest. A tincture that you swallow fits that bill. Typically with anything you swallow, you can expect to get about 6-8 hours of relief. (Fast-acting cannabis ingestibles like Escape Artists Speed Strips are the exception.) Timing is key, so consuming the tincture about 1-2 hours before your walk should ensure that you have proper coverage. 

Step Two: In addition to the tincture, you can apply a topical to the areas that cause the most concern. Now you are treating the pain associated with your walk in a preventive fashion before the pain becomes too intense. 

Step Three: The last layer would be for immediate treatment. For example, when you’re finished with your walk and now experiencing some increased pain, you can take a fast-acting product, like Escape Artists Speed Strips, that hits the system fast for instant relief but also exit the system fast, making them ideal for breakthrough pain. Products like Escape Artists Speed Strips give the consumer another option besides inhaling to quickly get THC’s pain-relieving benefits.  

Close-up of someone using Escape Artists Bliss Tincture’s marked dropper to get a precise dose for their needs.

Sign Up for Our FREE Virtual Education to Learn More!

New routines come with new questions like:

  • How will THC make me feel?
  • How do I know if the products are working?
  • What cannabis medication interactions should I be aware of? 

Our next Leaf Learning Series will cover those types of questions and more, with a specific focus on the needs of older adults. 

Join us on April 22, 2021, from 2 p.m.5 p.m. MDT, for our beginner-friendly virtual event on Demystifying Cannabis for Older Adults. The event is free, though you need to sign up in advance at this link: https://hopin.com/events/leaf-learning-series-demystifying-cannabis-for-the-older-adult 

During the event, you’ll hear from Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a renowned Harvard-trained primary care physician and medical cannabis consultant who speaks from both personal and professional experience. Dr. Grinspoon will be available to answer your questions at the end of his presentation.

We’ll also have many of our supporting members on-hand, including Escape Artists, to share product insights and answer any questions you might have. 

You definitely do not want to miss our April 22, 2021, Leaf Learning Series: Demystifying Cannabis for Older Adults. Click here to sign up today!

Can’t make the event? Our fully-licensed Leaf RNs are available on our free hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411), Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to answer your cannabis and CBD hemp questions.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Holiday Cookies & Cinnamon Sticks

Leaf411 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

What a year 2020 has been! This holiday season, we are more appreciative than ever of the people and products that have gotten us through this year—and that includes CBD hemp and marijuana!

For Leaf411’s Second Annual Holiday Gift Guide, we’re focusing on a few of Leaf411’s newer supporting members who bring a combination of passion, innovation and high-quality standards to all that they do. All of these companies provide Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for their products, so you can trust that you’re getting what you pay for in terms of product strength and quality. (Of course, that’s true for all our members—so be sure to check out our Member Directory as well for trusted brands, retailers, clinicians and ancillary businesses!)

CBD Hemp: The Gift That Fits and Is Easy to Ship!

CBD hemp is federally legal and can be shipped across state lines, making it an ideal gift for out-of-state friends or relatives, as well as those who are new to plant medicine. As you may recall, CBD hemp contains less than 0.3% THC and is not intoxicating—it will not make someone feel “high.”

Many people have found that CBD hemp products are a great addition to their overall wellness and skincare regimens, and a growing number of athletes swear by CBD hemp for non-intoxicating post-workout recovery.

What CBD hemp products are on our gift lists at Leaf411 this year?

CAASI Water Soluable CBD Beverage Drops bottle containing CBD that easily mixes with drinks

CAASI Water Soluble CBD Beverage Drops – CAASI drops are available in a trial size or full size dropper designed to infuse into your favorite recipe or drink, with no residual bitterness. The CBD in these convenient, flavorless beverage drops is sourced from high-quality hemp grown in Oregon, extracted and manufactured to create highly-bioavailable CBD isolate (with all THC and other plant compounds removed) that is blended with MCT oil and water. CAASI also recently rolled out a new Soothing Body Lotion packed with CBD and other essential oils designed to support relaxation. A CBD isolate is ideal for anyone needing to steer clear of any THC for reasons such as employment drug testing and the CAASI drops fit this category perfectly. Learn more at: https://www.caasi.co/

trupura CBD Chocolate Covered Cherry Milk Chocolate Bar package showing 30 mg CBD per 1-piece serving, and a total of 300 mg CBD per bar

trupura CBD Chocolate Covered Cherry Milk Chocolate Bar – Take your holiday chocolate game to the next level with trupura’s handcrafted broad-spectrum CBD-infused chocolate bars. The trupura brand (yes – the name is all lower case!) was created by the founders of the award-winning incredibles cannabis edibles as they brought their decades of experience to the hemp space. trupura offers CBD hemp chocolate bars, gummies and tinctures, as well as topical relief cream, salve and bath salts. Leaf411 CEO/ED Katherine Golden, RN, tried this product herself and declared the quality of chocolate as truly enjoyable. Find their products online at: https://trupura.com/ 

Trust Biologic CBD Facial Serum bottle showing 300 mg of CBD in the 30 mL / 1 fluid oz bottle

TRUST Biologic CBD Facial Serum – Living in Colorado’s arid climate, we know the value of high-quality skin products like TRUST Biologic’s facial serum to moisturize and protect skin. TRUST Biologic also offers a Pain Gel and 50/50 Cream providing both CBD and CBG, a non-intoxicating minor cannabinoid that provides additional wellness benefits. Learn more about TRUST Biologic’s skincare line at: https://www.trustbiologic.com/

Also, remember to check out our other Leaf411 members offering CBD hemp products that make great gifts for friends, family and even family pets!

  • CBD Garage – Online retailer carrying Colorado’s most trusted CBD hemp brands, as well as nutritional supplements and adaptogens
  • Care by Design – CBD hemp drops and capsules designed for rest, relief, calm, balance and uplift
  • Mary’s Nutritionals – CBD hemp skincare and transdermal products made for restoration and relief
  • Mary’s Tails – CBD hemp tinctures, capsules, balms and transdermal gel created for our four-legged friends
  • Press Pause Project – Tea, topicals and tinctures infused with CBD hemp, designed with the active woman in mind
  • Wana Wellness – Organic, vegan, gluten-free gummies and fast-acting tinctures made with broad-spectrum CBD hemp

Sharing the Love with Your Colorado Friends

No doubt that holidays will be different this year, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t share the love of cannabis with your friends. This year, instead of passing the joint or vape, we suggest gifting pre-rolls to nearby friends (remember that it’s prohibited to ship cannabis products!). Our recommendation for celebration and looking forward to 2021?

Escape Artists Live Resin infused preroll joint with a glass tip, sitting on top of colorful packaging

Escape Artists Live Resin Infused Joints – Each pre-rolled joint features 0.75g Colorado-grown flower infused with .25g live resin sourced from Harmony Extracts, along with a glass tip that provides a clean smoking experience. Best of all, a portion of Escape Artists’ preroll sales will go to Leaf411’s Affordability Program!

We love that Escape Artists is supporting the work we do at Leaf411! They are only one of many cannabis brands giving back this year.

  • Altus – Cannabis-infused natural fruit gummies and tablets in a range of CBD:THC ratios, spanning three pillars: Ritual; Therapeutic; and Enhance
  • Care by Design – Cannabis gummies, tinctures, soft gels, vape carts and topicals offered in a wide range of CBD:THC ratios to meet different needs
  • Conscious Medz – Single strain olive-oil infused tinctures and infused chocolate bars delivering full-plant benefits
  • incredibles – Infused candy bars, gummies, tarts and mints with a fun twist
  • Mary’s Medicinals – Health-focused cannabis transdermal patches and topicals, along with tinctures, capsules and distillate vape products
  • Medically Correct – Parent brand of Leaf411 supporting members Trupura CBD, incredibles, and Quiq, as well as other industry-leading brands
  • Quiq – Cannabis-infused edibles and topicals that utilize rapid uptake technology, so that users feel faster-acting and more potent effects. Available in regular strength, extra strength and several ratios
  • Ripple by Stillwater – Fast-acting dissolvable powder designed to be mixed into beverages or food, along with gummies and QuickSticks flavored powder 
  • Sweet Releaf – Cannabis-infused topicals, including body butter and dry oil designed for comfort and relief
  • Wana Brands – Cannabis-infused vegan gummies in classic and fast-acting forms, along with fast-acting tinctures, tarts, extended-release capsules and vapes sold in nine states and counting

A Different Kind of Dispensary

Looking for a friendly dispensary to recommend to family and friends for holiday shopping? All of our dispensary supporting members are exceptional, focused on providing exceptional customer service and top-of-the-line products in friendly, safe environments. You really cannot go wrong by visiting any of our supporting members! However, we have a soft spot for one of our newer supporting members, Nature’s Gift Shop, and it’s not just because they have a hand-carved statue of Willie Nelson in their store!

Logo for Nature’s Gift Shop, a medical and adult-use dispensary located in Pueble West, CO

Nature’s Gift Shop (Pueblo West, Colorado) –In 2015, the Irey family opened Nature’s Gift Shop, located in Pueblo West, Colorado, bringing Dan Irey’s experience as a licensed grower and caregiver. The family-owned dispensary has deep appreciation for plant medicine, as well as a longstanding commitment to giving back to community. Nature’s Gift Shop is one of the Leaf411 Affordability Program’s earliest supporters, helping the program connect financially-disadvantaged cannabis patients with low-cost, legal marijuana. Learn more about Nature’s Gift Shop at: https://www.pueblosbestmarijuana.com/

Woman holding phone looking at screen with questioning expression, with question mark thought bubble

For the Friend with Questions

You’ve shared a thoughtful cannabis-themed gift with a friend or family member, and their immediate response is a question: “How do I use this?” or “Will it interfere with my medications?” Don’t worrythe free, anonymous Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline has you covered!

Our Leaf nurses are happy to answer any CBD hemp or cannabis questions you, your friends or family members may have. Share our toll-free number, 844-LEAF411, with others and remind them that our hotline services are free, anonymous and trusted, with guidance based on research, specialized clinical training and experience.

For patients and consumers in need of a more in-depth medical consultation or a med card, we recommend the following providers:

  • Vibrant Health Clinic – Vibrant Health Clinic is locally owned and operated in Southern Colorado since 2010, and has been setting the standard for our industry since the beginning. Dr. Margaret Gedde and Dr. Akiva Thomas will help you complete all necessary state forms and new online registration. They offer exams for adults and children under age 18. Notary service is also included with your exam. Learn more and set up an appointment at: https://www.vibranthealthclinic.com/
  • Radicle Health – Our Leaf411 Executive Board Member Eloise Theisen is co-founder of Radicle Health, which conducts telehealth appointments for patients across the U.S., as well as cannabis education resources and certifications for health care professionals. Learn more at: https://www.radiclehealthcare.com/
  • 4 Pillars Health & Wellness – Our Leaf411 Advisory Board Member Dr. Dave Gordon is also an incredible resource, providing med card evaluations for Coloradans and teleheath recommendations nationally, as well as integrative and functional medical consultations. You can learn more about his practice, 4 Pillars Health & Wellness, at: https://4pillarsdenver.com/  

Supporting Leaf411 This Holiday Season

If you are looking for a great way to support Leaf411 in addition to giving someone you love a wonderful gift, here are two ways to make that happen!

  1. Purchase a Stash Logix case via this special link. Stash Logix storage cases ensure safe keeping of your cannabis products. Whether you’re shopping for a gift or looking for a child-proof and discreet way to store your cannabis, shop with an impact! When you shop through this link, your purchase will support Leaf411’s mission to provide community education that advocates for the safe and effective use of cannabis from licensed medical professionals
  2. Purchase a Leaf411 support shirt from Bonfire!  Not only does this make a perfect stocking stuffer, every shirt purchased will provide Leaf411 with a percentage of the proceeds.  These proceeds help Leaf411 continue advocating that affordability and accessibility to professional medical advice should never be barriers to using cannabis safely and effectively.

We wish you, your family and friends a safe and peaceful holiday season. Remember that our Leaf nurses are here to answer your cannabis and CBD hemp questions for free at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411). You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter below to stay up-to-date on future Leaf Learning events! 

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Leaf411 Supporter Spotlight: Lori Peck, Founder and CEO of CAASI CBD

Lori Peck, Founder and CEO of CAASI CBD

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Leaf411 recently added our first supporting member from the State of Oregon—CAASI CBD!

While our vetting process is more virtual than in the past, we were impressed with CAASI founder and CEO Lori Peck’s story about why she started her company, as well her commitment to transparency throughout the manufacturing process.

(Just a reminder: Hemp-based CBD was made federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill which allows it to be sold online and shipped to all 50 states. In order to meet the law, CBD hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. This is such a small amount of THC that most people don’t feel any intoxicating effects from it.)

CAASI products contain CBD isolate, which doesn’t include any THC at all. Keep reading to learn more about Lori’s motivation for developing CAASI CBD, along with what makes her product different from CBD oils you might find at the grocery store.

Moving Past Stigma to Healing

Like many people, Peck was initially skeptical about anything related to cannabis.

“I bought into the stigma of cannabis. I didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t tried it since high school when I discovered that I’m very sensitive to THC,” Peck said.

A cancer diagnosis, along with several other life-changing events, inspired Peck to take a second look at CBD hemp’s potential to boost wellness. She found that it made a difference in her own life.

Based on her own experience, Peck was exploring the idea of putting together cannabis care kits for people who were fighting cancer. She began seeking out others who shared their expertise and discovered Hustle Hard: For Women Who Mean Business, a three-day intensive designed to launch female cannabis entrepreneurs. Hustle Hard has since grown into Females to the Front.

For Peck, the Hustle Hard event was transformative. “I was blown away by the amazing smart women that I met, including chemists, scientists, nurses and doctors working in the cannabis industry. Between my own experience using CBD hemp products and what I learned at Hustle Hard, I decided this was where I wanted to focus—developing clean, plant-based products that contain as few ingredients as possible,” she said.

Pivoting into Purpose-Driven Work

Peck majored in fashion design and spent years in corporate retail before launching CAASI.

“It was not my lifelong dream to be in corporate retail, but I gained a lot of experience on how to run a business. At the same time, my work lacked purpose. People don’t need new t-shirts all the time,” Peck said.

“Now, I’m doing work that I love, proving something that will be helpful for people,” she said.

Sourcing the Best CBD Available

Not all CBD is the same. That cheap bottle of CBD you find in the convenience store may only contain a fraction of the promised CBD, or it may have been manufactured using low-quality hemp.

Honest, high-quality CBD companies, on the other hand, are committed to sourcing hemp that utilizes industry best practices. They are also transparent, describing their processes and providing Certificates of Analysis (COAs) showing the results of third-party testing. CAASI is a prime example of a company doing CBD the right way.

“We start with hemp from Horn Creek Farm in Southern Oregon, where you’ll find some of the richest soil in the state,” Peck said. “They’re not FDA certified organic, but they use organic farming practices. They are just really good people.”

Sonically-Vibrated CBD to Improve Absorption

The hemp flower that Peck sources from Horn Creek Farm then goes to Scientia Labs for extraction. Transparency and scientific rigor are both central to Scientia Lab’s work.

“Scientia Labs isolates the CBD from the hemp. The CBD is broken down into a powder, and then that powder is mixed with organic MCT oils and just a few other ingredients,” Peck explained. “The challenge is that when you  have oils, they don’t easily mix with liquids. That’s where the sonic vibration process makes a difference. When the product is sonically vibrated, it breaks the liquid down into nanoparticles that more readily mix with liquids, and which can be absorbed into your system much easier.”

This process also results in a product that lacks the bitterness of many CBD isolates.

Peck said, “A lot of isolates can tend to leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but the CAASI CBD drops mild enough that you can even use them in water. They’re also very versatile, since they’re unflavored.”

Partnering with Leaf411 on Education You Can Trust

“At CAASI, we recognize that education is important, especially for people who are new to CBD. We do our best to align ourselves with experts like Leaf411 who are really knowledgeable and have the professional background to answer questions about medication interactions, for example,” Peck said. “It also provides credibility for us to be able to say we’ve completed your vetting process and meet the standards for a product that a clinical professional might suggest.”

Check Out CAASI at Our Upcoming Leaf411 Learning Series Launch!

CAASI will be joining the upcoming Leaf411 Learning Series Launch on August 20, 2020, as one of the vendors in our virtual expo hall. Stop by the booth to say hello and learn more about how CAASI’s CBD drops are different. Sign up for our our Learning Series at this link: https://hopin.to/events/leaf-learning 

CAASI will also be featured in an upcoming MJ Lifestyle VIP Plant Wellness Subscription Box, and will soon be available in select retail locations in the Portland, Oregon, area. Remember that you can also order trial size or full size products directly from their website.

Helping You Find CBD Products and Information You Can Trust

At Leaf411, our commitment is to you—the public. Whether you’re looking for CBD products you can trust, or medically-sound information on CBD, we can help. Call our anonymous nurse-staffed hotline for free at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our homepage during hotline hours.

Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter so that you can be the first to learn about our upcoming initiatives. Sign up below!


Leaf411 Founding Member Spotlight: Stanley Brothers Announces New ReCreate Brand

Leaf411 is Excited to Share ReCreate COVID Relief Program Details

Learn how you can get one of the new ReCreate cannabis tinctures for $1

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

At Leaf411, we’re continually looking for ways to improve accessibility and affordability of cannabis for those in need. This includes marijuana containing over 0.3% THC which is sold in dispensaries in states that have legalized medical or adult-use cannabis, as well as non-intoxicating CBD hemp products which are federally legal.

ReCreate COVID Rel19F (relief) logo for the $1 cannabis tincture program

We’re excited today to share details about the Stanley Brothers ReCreate COVID Relief Program as part of their new ReCreate cannabis product line launch. Stanley Brothers is a founding member of the Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline. The family-based company developed the Charlotte’s Web CBD hemp brand that has changed countless peoples’ lives for the better. Now they’re bringing that same ethos to their marijuana product line with ReCreate.

Keep reading to learn more about the wellness-focused ReCreate product line, as well as how to claim your 15 ml tincture for only $1 (limited to select dispensaries in Colorado and California).

Addressing Essential Cannabis Needs During Challenging Times

Stanley Brothers knew they’d face a challenge as they prepared to launch their new ReCreate brand in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. While sales figures show that people are still finding the resources to purchase cannabis, consumers are more budget-conscious, sticking with flower which is both less expensive and more familiar to most folks but may not be the best type of product for their needs.

Also, many consumers depend on budtenders to give them a heads-up on new products and how to use them. Current restrictions make this level of budtender support difficult. Cannabis manufacturers cannot send representatives into dispensaries to educate budtenders about their products due to the Coronavirus concerns. And on the other side, consumers are encouraged to limit their time in stores, including dispensaries, and to utilize online ordering, curbside pickup or delivery to minimize exposure.

Out of this challenge, Stanley Brothers saw an opportunity to provide consumers with an affordable option to try their product while acknowledging the financial hardships many people face. They also realized that consumers would need support and education on the product, leading them to reach out to the Leaf411 team for help.

Sign outside shop saying, “Open for In-store or curbside pickup,” reflecting COVID-19 restrictions.

Stanley Brothers ReCreate COVID Relief Program Launch

Starting this month, ReCreate has committed to provide $100,000 worth of tinctures to cannabis consumers in Colorado and California who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 layoffs, furloughs, reduced income or other circumstances. In doing so, the Stanley Brothers hope to give back even more to the community, following their Charlotte’s Web giveaway of a million dollars’ worth of CBD hemp earlier this year.

“We were supposed to launch ReCreate in early summer, but we didn’t feel like selling was the right thing to do right now,” said Ashton Norrell, Director of Sales at Stanley Brothers. “The brothers decided that they wanted to give away $100,000 of the ReCreate product to genuinely help people. That’s what we’re about—helping people. That’s what we’ve always done.”

Variety of fresh and dried botanical herbs, including turmeric, which is in ReCreate Relief cannabis tincture.

ReCreate’s Botanically-Infused Cannabis Products

The ReCreate brand is different than many other products on cannabis dispensary shelves. ReCreate offers tinctures, chocolates and gummies that combine the cannabinoids THC and CBD with other Ayurvedic botanicals designed for specific purposes. For their COVID Relief Program their CBD:THC tincture products include:

The four ReCreate tinctures included in the COVID Relief Program, showing the tincture bottles and packaging.

  • ReCreate Everyday 10:1 tincture, providing an option without additional botanicals
  • ReCreate Relax 4:1 tincture with lemon balm
  • ReCreate Relief 2:1 tincture with turmeric
  • ReCreate Sleep 1:4 tincture with valerian root

How Leaf411 Can Help You Find the Best Cannabis Product for Your Needs

We know that many of you will be interested in the ReCreate COVID Relief Program but aren’t sure where to start.

At Leaf411, we believe that clinically-sound, balanced guidance should be available for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, insurance coverage or other factors. After all, that’s why we founded Leaf411 as a non-profit, to provide a cannabis nurse hotline and many other programs as a free service to the public!

In preparation for the ReCreate launch, our nurses are standing by with details about each tincture to ensure you are guided towards the CBD:THC ratio that best meets your needs. 

We’ll be transparent and honest as we are every day.  If we don’t think the ReCreate products are a good option based on your needs, then we will give you suggestions on what may be better suited for you. In that case, we’ll do our best to help you find alternatives. Our commitment is to you—the consumer—not to a particular product or company.

Call our anonymous nurse-staffed hotline for free at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for help selecting or using your ReCreate tincture. Of course, we can provide guidance on other cannabis products as well!

Black woman in white shirt smiling and holding out a smartphone with the Leaf411 website showing on the screen.
Casual headshot photo, with Ashton standing smiling in front of a brick wall
Ashton Norrell, Director of Sales at Stanley Brothers

More About the ReCreate Product Line

We recently chatted with Ashton at Stanley Brothers to learn more about how the new ReCreate brand came about.

“Stanley Brothers started selling THC tinctures and CBD:THC ratio tinctures about three years ago. A lot of people rely on us for those products, but we wanted to do more,” he said.

“We knew we wanted to stick with low THC and a bit more CBD. We started kicking around the idea of adding botanicals and functional mushrooms and discussing how to combine those ingredients with THC and CBD to address specific needs, like sleep,” Ashton explained.

ReCreate’s products are designed for people who may either be curious or skeptical about cannabis.

“We want to make it as easy as possible and help people not be scared to come into a dispensary. In Colorado, we have a lot of dispensaries with a wide array of high-THC products. The stigma around some of these products can be negative. When stores are promoting dab rigs and blowtorches, that can scare off people who are simply seeking relief,” he said.

The ReCreate line, on the other hand, is designed with the natural wellness crowd in mind, using familiar botanicals to further boost health benefits. Stanley Brothers is also being thoughtful about the dispensaries they are partnering with.

“We’ve always been relationship-driven and relationship-based, whether it’s people, accounts or dispensaries. It’s really important for us as a company to create relationships that will last for a long time. It’s not just saying, ‘Buy this stuff, give us some money,’” Ashton said.

How to Sign Up for Your ReCreate Cannabis Tincture

Cannabis is a highly-regulated product and cannot be given away for free by a dispensary. However, the ReCreate COVID-19 Relief Program is as close to free as possible while still staying within the bounds of the law, reducing the price of the 15 ml tinctures from their regular price ($30-$42.50 per bottle) to $1 per bottle at select dispensaries in Colorado and California.  Please note that you’ll also be responsible for paying applicable sales tax.

Here are the steps to sign up for the ReCreate Program:

  • Visit the website: https://www.recreatecannabis.com/covid19
  • Fill out the Submission Form, which asks for your name, email, state and zip code.
  • Once you submit your information, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a coupon you’ll need to present at one of the participating cannabis dispensaries. You can search for the nearest dispensary at the bottom of the page.

Close-up of hand holding a tincture bottle dropper, showing how easy it is to adjust your cannabis tincture dose drop by drop.

How to Use Cannabis Tinctures

Once you’re back home with your ReCreate tincture, you might have questions about how to use it.

Cannabis tinctures are designed to be ingested. They come in a bottle with a dropper that allows for precise dosing. They can be used by placing drops under your tongue. Some of the THC and other plant compounds may be absorbed directly into your bloodstream, but most of the product is absorbed through swallowing. Tinctures also work well mixed into already prepared foods like sauces and soups, or warm beverages like coffee or tea.

We always recommend that you start with a very low dose and go slow when trying any new cannabis product. For most tinctures, our nurses suggest starting with ¼ of the suggested serving size with the expectation that you may not feel anything quite yet. This low dose ensures that you don’t take too much for what your intended use is.  It’s always best to slowly increase your dose, journal your experience, wait anywhere from one to two hours to feel the effects and call the Leaf411 nurse hotline with any questions. Please Note: Tinctures are not designed for vaping! The carrier oils can be dangerous if inhaled via a vape device.

Sign Up for the Leaf411 Newsletter to Stay Up-to-Date on Future Affordability Initiatives

Next month, Leaf411 will be rolling out new initiatives to address the need for education, access and affordability. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to learn about these exciting new developments!


Leaf411 Supporting Member Interview: Coree Schmitz, General Manager, Stillwater Ripple

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

At Leaf411, we love sharing our supporting members’ stories. We really do believe that our members are the best in the cannabis industry, and hope that you’ll consider supporting them when shopping.

The Stillwater Ripple brand was inspired by one of the co-founder’s grandmothers who was looking for alternatives to help with pain, but was scared by the available options at the time

From that need, Ripple was born. Ripple is a water-soluble, dissolvable powder that can be added to beverages or foods, providing a consistent, easily-adjusted dose of cannabis compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as cannabidiol (CBD).

Headshot of Coree Schmitz smiling, wearing glasses and a green dress shirt

We recently chatted via Zoom with Coree Schmitz, General Manager, about what makes Ripple products different, new products they’re rolling out, and how they’re maintaining safe operations during COVID-19. Nikki Kujawski, Senior Brand Manager, also tagged along virtually.

But before we got into the specifics of Coree’s work at Ripple, we couldn’t resist asking about one particular past job on her resume—cheesemonger!

From Startups to Cheesemonger to Cannabis

We’re always impressed by past experiences that people bring to their roles in cannabis, and Coree is no exception. 

“I had joined the startup community, and unfortunately the company I worked at went under. I was just like everybody else. You wallow in self-pity for about 24 hours, and then you realize that time is one of the better gifts you can ever have,” Coree said about the opportunity the layoff provided.

Peering inside a well-stocked cheese shop with various cheese wheels and signs showing cheese name and price.

“I literally showed up at the cheese shop closest to my house in Denver and said ‘I want to learn how to be a cheesemonger. Will you let me come in here and do this?’”

“I worked at the cheese shop for four to five days a week for about six months while I was job searching. Most damn fun I’ve ever had working. I mean cannabis is really fun. But slinging cheese is a great career path if you can make it work,” she said.

“I still buy from that cheese shop every week. Right now, everybody’s worried about their local small businesses and making sure that those small businesses are still supported. And so I decided to start doing a ‘Cheeses of Quarantine’ social media push. I’ve spent way more time in quarantine talking about cheese than almost anything else,” Coree said, laughing.

Solo kayaker navigating rapids, representing the effort and skill needed to navigate the cannabis industry.

Navigating the Rapidly Changing Cannabis Industry

It was Coree’s experience in the startup community, though, that has translated to success in the cannabis industry.

“Being able to keep your head in times of chaos and prioritize what the business needs in order to succeed is really beneficial. We all know that cannabis is very typical of a startup industry. But because it is cannabis, there are quickly moving changes in legislation and expansions. My background prepared me to be able to pivot very quickly, communicate quickly to the team on what we need to be successful, and prioritize those things to make sure we’re keeping up with the market and growing.”

Maintaining a Steady Hand During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The typical chaos of working in an evolving industry like cannabis is magnified by the current uncertainties brought about by COVID-19. We asked Coree how the pandemic-related restrictions were impacting operations at Ripple.

“Literally every industry has been shaken down to their core operations, asking how we are going to stay successful while also keeping everybody safe. The safety of your employees and your consumers are forever number one and always paramount. As an essential business, we’re very fortunate that we were given the opportunity to follow the guidelines issued by the CDC, the WHO and the governor, and still allow people to come to work,” Coree said.

She went on to describe precautions that Stillwater Ripple has put in place, including requiring employees who are able to work remotely to do so, along with six foot social distancing, masks and other operational changes to keep employees safe.

“What I am most proud of from the company founders is that we voluntarily opted to offer catastrophe pay to our hourly team. It can be a challenging decision whether or not to come in and make your hourly rate or stay home when you’re ill. We really wanted to make sure that our team members, regardless of their position, were empowered to stay home if they felt like they had symptoms or even if they were worried they had been exposed even at second and third levels. Or if their kiddos were at home and there wasn’t a childcare option. We made sure that people were financially sound enough that they could stay home. That’s been one of our biggest modifications of our regular process,” Coree said.

Hands covered by disposable blue nitrile gloves making a heart, in recognition of cannabis essential workers during COVID-19

Acknowledging Ripple’s Essential Workers

Many of our Leaf411 supporting members talk about their employees like family, and Ripple is no different. 

In fact, Ripple has been running an uplifting “Ripple Hero” series mixed in with their regular posts on Facebook and Instagram featuring staff from the production side of Ripple’s operations. If you’ve ever been curious about the types of people who work in the cannabis industry, it’s worth checking out. 

During our interview, Coree shared that, “Like any industry, right now our staff are nervous. They’re nervous about the economic impact of jobs lost. They’re nervous about the economic impact on small businesses. The best we can do is meet people where they’re at and share our plan for keeping our team employed. At this time, we see no reason why we would need to lay off or furlough any of our employees. It’s very important to us that we keep everybody safe. It’s also very important to us that we provide a right to livelihood.”

What Makes Ripple Cannabis Products Different

When we asked Coree what makes Ripple different, product consistency, dependability and versatility were all at the top of her mind.

“I’m never going to be the person who tells you how cannabis is going to affect you. But what I can tell you is you can count on Stillwater to give you that same experience every time.” 

Coree explained that when it comes to pharmaceuticals, beverages or other products, people expect a consistent experience. This expectation drives Ripple products as well.

“We want to offer the same level of consistency and dependability within the cannabis space. We believe that’s what really truly differentiates us,” she said.

While many cannabis edible products on the market are developed to be the stars of their own show (think chocolates, gummies and beverages), Ripple’s main product is a water-soluble powder that can easily be added to foods and beverages. Ripple is designed to absorb very quickly, with effects felt within 15 to 30 minutes.

“Since the beginning, both consistency and testing of our own assumptions have been core to what made this company special and what keeps us pushing forward to offer what we believe is the most versatile product that you can get on the edibles market,” Coree said.

Coree explained that, “Our products allow consumers to incorporate cannabis into their daily routine in the way that they want at the dose that they want.”

“We were one of the first companies to offer microdosing somewhat before microdosing was a term or concept,” Coree said.

Microdosing is based on emerging cannabis research showing that often people need only a very small dose of THC (less than 5 mg) to gain needed benefits or relief. Dr. Dave Gordon talked about the benefits of starting with a low dose in his interview with Leaf411 last year. Our Leaf Library also has an entire section dedicated to microdosing at this link.

Ripple products: Relief high-CBD with a green label; Pure THC-only with a blue label; and Balanced 1:1 ratio with a purple label

Coree said, “From the beginning of Ripple, there have been multiple doses so people can choose their right dose. For some people, a 10 milligram dose is a casual dose that they use to go to bed. For other people like me, 10 milligrams is going to make me incapable of doing whatever else I was going to do that day. Our product’s versatility allows people to have the dosages to use appropriately.”

“Also, Ripple is a water-soluble, relatively tasteless, odorless powder. We’ve heard from people who pour it straight on their tongue all the way up to people who make precisely dosed muffins with it. We heard from people who make their own mocktails with it. We have people who mix our Ripple Relief, which is almost all CBD, into their coffee in the morning,” she said.

“You don’t have to have bongwater-flavored coffee to incorporate cannabis into your routine. You can have regular coffee that you put a little bit of water-soluble powder in, the same as you would put your collagen in or whatever else makes up your morning routine,” Coree explained.

Cannabis Innovation: Ripple’s New QuickSticks

“We had a lot of consumer feedback that people were just dropping Ripple on their tongues because it was the easiest way to use it. We really wanted to make a product that would be easier for folks,” Coree said.

“Our new QuickSticks are made with Ripple but consist of a dissolvable that you drop directly on your tongue. Ripple is already a fast-acting product, but this will probably be the quickest acting product that’s going to be on the market. It’s water soluble, which means that you’re going to feel the effects a lot quicker,” Coree said.

Ripple QuickSticks: Blueberry Pom flavored Pure; Gingerberry flavored Balanced 1:1 ratio; and Mint Chocolate flavored high-CBD Relief

Coree described the three different QuickSticks flavors that Ripple is rolling out: Pure (the THC product) will be available in blueberry pom; the 1:1 THC:CBD Balance in gingerberry; and the CBD-dominant Relief in chocolate mint.

“We are hoping to soft launch the new products around May. We’ll be leaning on a lot of online tools during the launch as well. It’s challenging us to really switch gears and think outside the box,” Coree said.

Hands holding phone and laptop showing different online cannabis education options--webinar, eLearning, online education

Providing Online Cannabis Consumer and Budtender Education

COVID-19 restrictions have made existing in-person education strategies difficult, if not outright impossible.

Ripple is adapting to the new landscape by transitioning online training options, since their company representatives can no longer meet with budtenders in person to share product information. 

Coree also talked about the value that their partnership with Leaf411 provides, especially when it comes to consumer questions.

“At Ripple, what we’re trying to do is provide the information we feel qualified to provide and to also point people towards sources of information that we believe to be true. We have partnerships with people like Leaf411 where we will always point medical questions. In no universe, will I ever answer a medical question because I don’t believe myself to be qualified to do so,” she said.

You can check out an example of Ripple’s new education initiative at this link, which features product information, budtender insights and even our own Leaf411 CEO Katherine Golden, RN

Two hands holding paper with word “Community” reflecting how the cannabis community is working together

How Cannabis is Different: Supporting Others Across the Industry

Recently, Stillwater Ripple hosted a “Cannabis Safety During Corona” featuring Leaf411 CEO Katherine Golden, RN, along with Shannon Fender, Director of Public Affairs at Native Roots; Bob Eschino, Co-Founder and President of Medically Correct; and Nikki Kujawski, Senior Brand Manager of Ripple.

Nikki, who played a lead role in the webinar, was hanging out during our Zoom interview with Coree.

As we talked about the webinar, Nikki noted that, “Cannabis is an industry that’s always been different. Historically, Ripple and Medically Correct’s incredibles brand would be competitors. But we’re both over the moon about working together. We’ve been able to make sure everyone is supporting each other right now. I’m really excited to see how companies are stepping up and showing people that they matter.”

Green neon cross outside of a medical marijuana dispensary, indicating that cannabis is an essential need and is open for business.

Cannabis as an Essential Business in Colorado and Beyond

Colorado, like most other states with legal cannabis, deemed both medical and adult-use (recreational) dispensaries as essential businesses that were allowed to remain open during stay at home restrictions.

However, at first the City of Denver said that adult-use dispensaries and liquor stores would not qualify as essential, prompting three hours of panic-buying before Denver’s mayor reversed course.

Looking back on that day, Coree said, “When Denver County attempted to delineate medical versus recreational, consumers did a very clear job of communicating how they feel about cannabis. Cannabis is very much considered a critical and essential piece of people’s daily lives. For those that maybe don’t understand cannabis as well, perhaps they will realize that there are a fair amount of medical patients that still shop recreational dispensaries which have different products.”

There’s also a belief that the cannabis industry in Colorado is primarily tourist-driven, though the recent travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders are proving a strong local market exists as well.

“I’m optimistic that we will be able to show how many local consumers we have—that cannabis isn’t just a tourism industry in Colorado. There is not any tourism happening right now, which means the cannabis industry will have a chance to really speak to the strength of the local market,” Coree said.

Hand holding smart phone with dialog bubbles coming out representing Leaf411’s online chat option.

The Need for Cannabis Consumer Education Continues

Many manufacturers, dispensaries and CBD hemp retailers are rolling out online education via webinars, eLearning modules or even online chats. At Leaf411, we’re encouraged to see these companies recognize that product education is an important part of the overall customer experience.

However, very few–if any–of those resources have the clinical training to answer your specific health questions about cannabis. 

Our fully-licensed Leaf411 hotline nurses do have that training! Our non-profit hotline provides free information and guidance on using CBD hemp and legal marijuana for wellness and relief. Whether you are concerned about potential medication interactions with cannabis, or just wondering where to start, we can help. 

Call 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) at no cost to have your questions answered by one of our fully-licensed RNs. We’re also available via online chat. Look for the chat feature on the bottom of our website home page.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Leaf 411 Supporting Member: Nancy Whiteman, CEO, Wana Brands

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

At Leaf411, we love sharing our supporting members’ stories. We really do believe that our members are the best in the cannabis industry, and hope that you’ll consider supporting them when choosing where to shop and the brand you would like to try!

Nancy standing smiling in Wana Brands production facility, with trays of cannabis gummies on the table in front of her.
Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands

Wana Brands recently joined Leaf411 as a supporting member. Their mission is to help people enhance their lives physically, creatively and emotionally through the responsible use of cannabis. We recently checked in with Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, to learn how their mission translates to their products and the work they do in the community.

Q: Let’s start with some general questions about the work you’re doing every day in your organization and your community. You started out in the corporate world, before moving into cannabis 10 years ago. How did your past experience help shape Wana Brands?

Before co-founding Wana Brands, I was a principal with The Whiteman Group, a sales and marketing consultancy, and previously held a range of senior level marketing and business development positions including Vice President, Marketing and New Corporate Ventures for the Paul Revere Insurance Group in Massachusetts. My background in marketing and branding has definitely been very helpful in building Wana Brands. 

I always wanted to start a business, and I dreamed about launching a product-based business where my success wasn’t tied directly to how many hours I could work for a client. In 2010, when an opportunity to get into the cannabis industry presented itself, it was a no-brainer. It was exactly what I was looking for. And while I was initially driven by the business opportunity that the new cannabis industry presented, when I saw the impact that Wana Brands had on patients, that’s when I really felt the power of this industry.

Smiling older African-American man in white t-shirt doing outdoor yoga on a sunny day, representing wellness and health.

Wana is a health and wellness brand–but with a bit of a twist. 

Our tagline is “Enhance Your Life.” When we say “Enhance Your Life,” what we’re really saying is that cannabis doesn’t have to be the center of your universe but it can be one way to enhance your life. We choose “Enhance Your Life” because it speaks to what we try to provide to both medical/wellness and recreational users. 

If you are using cannabis for health and wellness reasons, Wana’s products improve the quality of life through pain relief and other symptom management. If you are an adult-use or recreational consumer, Wana helps enhance the activities you already love doing whether it’s being with friends and family, listening to music, being in nature or having a great meal. Health and wellness is holistic and addresses more than just the physical being. Wana’s brand story is wellness in its broadest definition.

Q: What differentiates Wana from other marijuana infused product manufacturers?

What differentiates Wana is the ability to leverage a decade of tried-and-true cannabinoid expertise along with our premium best-selling edibles recipes. Our greatest investment has been in refining and perfecting the Wana Gummie Recipe. It can be challenging to mask the bitterness of cannabis and hemp oil, but Wana Brands has dedicated extensive resources to perfecting our recipe, which is vegan, gluten free, all natural and kosher certified. 

We are committed to continually learning and evolving the science of product development. We have chosen to align ourselves with best-in-class partners for leading edge products including the industry’s only extended release formula, proprietary terpene blends for flavor and effect, and the most effective quick onset technology that we could find. We also spend a lot of time and energy thinking about where the industry is going and trying to make sure that Wana products are reflecting that. I think that over time, that will become the big differentiator in the industry–brands that are keeping track of the science and incorporating it into what they’re doing versus brands that are just making a product and hoping for the best.

Wood letter dice with “G-M-P” standing for Good Manufacturing Practices, which Wana Brands follows.

We want consumers to be 100% comfortable that they are consuming a product that is safe, professionally made and consistent. Safety is incredibly important to Wana Brands. Even though cannabis is not yet federally regulated, we have implemented the highest standards in food safety and compliance programs and are one of the first edibles companies to produce in line with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and HACCP food safety practices. From our very first batch of products in 2010, every Wana product has been tested for potency even before it was required by regulation. 

Finally, I hope that as we continue to communicate our focus on education, thought leadership and social responsibility, that consumers see will turn to Wana as a trusted brand that is committed to improving their health and the wellness of the world through cannabis.

Q: What are some Wana products you’re especially excited about?

Wana Brands has a long history of advancing technical and scientific innovation in order to perfect its products’ medicinal efficacy and ease of use. It’s also a company that remains true to its original belief that edibles should be a treat as much as a health supplement. And that’s why it has put so much consistent effort into ensuring that the flavors of its edibles come through, instead of the taste of the cannabis. At Wana, we’ve developed new products that have quicker onset times and more bioavailability. This includes: 

  • On the Wana Brands side (THC), Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies featuring new Happy Hour flavors launched in March 2020 and provide a novel edible experience, with an onset of 5-15 mins and Delta-9-THC effects (similar to an inhalation effect rather than an edible effect) lasting up to three hours. Traditional edibles have an onset time of up to two hours, with effects lasting up to six hours.

    The new Wana product line features an all-natural recipe, with no high fructose corn syrup. Each gummie offers 5mg of THC, with 20 gummies per package. Fast, effective and innovative, Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies harness TiME (Thermodynamic Individual Molecular Encapsulation), a new quick onset technology from Azuca. While traditional edibles convert Delta-9-THC in the digestive tract to 11-Hydroxy-THC, Wana Quick gummies feature individually encapsulated Delta-9-THC cannabinoids with greater bioavailability that work at the molecular level to bypass the liver and enter the bloodstream immediately. This means onset in less than 15 minutes for most, and a Delta-9-THC experience that lasts two to four hours.

Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummie candies and product containers shown. The containers include photos of fresh fruits and a label indicating THC.
Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies in Happy Hour Flavors, including the indica-infused Piña Colada with 5 mg THC per piece to help promote stress relief; the 1:1 ratio Strawberry Margarita with 5 mg CBD/5 mg THC per piece promoting relaxation and tranquility; and the sativa-infused Peach Bellini with 5 mg THC per piece, designed to have a motivating, uplifting effect.

  • On the Wana Wellness https://wanawellness.com/ side, we just launched our Wana Wellness Quick Fast-Acting Hemp Tincture, Infused with Colorado-grown broad spectrum hemp oil, Wana Wellness Quick Fast-Acting Tincture acts within 5-15 minutes. Powered by Quicksilver Scientific’s advanced nanoemulsion technology, this product is 5 times more bioavailable than traditional tinctures, making it quick and easy to keep up with your dietary needs. Leveraging functional ingredients, Wana Wellness offers three options:

We have more innovations planned. I can’t go into a lot of detail because we are in R&D but the common denominator is that our new product initiatives are all focused on helping people have more nuanced, effective and enjoyable experiences with our products. There are many variables that we are combining and tweaking including dosage, onset and the addition of terpenes, functional ingredients and rare cannabinoids. Sometimes minor changes or additions can yield very significant improvements in people’s experiences.

Wana Wellness Fast-Acting CBD Hemp Tincture product bottles with green RESTORE label, blue REST label, and purple RELAX label.
Wana Wellness RESTORE, REST, and RELAX Fast-Acting Hemp Tinctures containing broad spectrum CBD hemp and other beneficial plant compounds to support a healthy lifestyle and meet specific needs. You can learn more about these products at this link. https://wanawellness.com/store/#tinctures

Q: In addition to developing new products, you’re also working on several community-based initiatives. Can you tell us more about them?

Wana Brands has made giving back to the community a priority, and last year we implemented a formal CSR program. Knowing that we have the chance to enhance people’s lives in very specific and concrete ways keeps me motivated as well. This year, we are working with the Last Prisoner Project, so stay tuned for more news from that partnership.

Q: You recently made a very generous donation of Wana Wellness CBD hemp gummies to Leaf411. You also are offering CBD hemp gummies to your community, to help with the stress and anxiety that many of us are feeling these days. Thank you! What inspired you to take this action?

As our country grapples with COVID-19, stress levels are at an all-time high due to entire sectors being shut down, quarantines put into effect, consumers being told to shelter in place, concerns over health & wellbeing. Recently, I posted on my local NextDoor (a geographically-based neighborhood app) to see if anyone wanted free CBD gummies. I was overwhelmed with the response. Not only do lots of people want to try the gummies, many shared how anxious they are feeling for medical, financial and other reasons. It really made me realize what an enormous emotional toll this is taking on people at a new level.

Woman in casual yellow shirt views a laptop and writes on a notepad while completing online cannabis education.

Q: Wherever we go, we hear a lot about the need for trustworthy information and education. What are some ways you provide information to your community?

Wana Brands leads the industry in the development of training and education, including self-guided interactive courses, reviewed by health professionals, that cover topics such as how edibles work in the body; and explaining the endocannabinoid system. This knowledge can ensure consumers have the best possible experience when they get home from the dispensary. Wana is the gold standard for cannabis training and education, propelling sales and moving the industry forward. 

Wana also partners with best-in-class leaders such as Leaf411 and Three Wells.

We will also be developing more newsletters, educational webinars and other exciting content about Wana Brands in the near future.

Q: What are some emerging education needs you’re seeing?

With the growth of the infused product industry, education is essential to ensure that consumers have a good experience with edibles, such as Wana products. Consumers need to understand they should Start Low and Go Slow, since traditional edibles can take up to two hours to take effect and consuming too much can lead to an uncomfortable experience. As stigma around cannabis dissipates and consumers are more comfortable discussing use, understanding around cannabis consumption will increase. But first, it can be as basic as educating consumers on the difference between THC vs. CBD. The need for education can’t be stressed enough.

Q: How does your partnership with Leaf411 align with those efforts and/or your organization’s mission?

Given Wana Brands’ national footprint and the fact that Leaf411 is a national cannabis nurse hotline, we felt our missions aligned perfectly. Leaf411’s medical expertise makes it a trusted partner for Wana’s commitment to education.

Wana logo with the message, “Keeping Our Distance. But still enhancing lives with safe, quality products.”

Q: COVID-19 restrictions and precautions have very much become a part of all of our daily routines. What are some steps you’re taking to keep customers and employees safe?

On behalf of Wana Brands, I want to express our deepest concerns for everyone’s safety and wellbeing during this unprecedented time. 

We have been tracking this issue for the past few months. In the beginning of March, we began instituting safety measures that would ensure we can operate safely and still get our safe and reliable products to market for those who rely on Wana products to provide support in daily life. Following guidance and regulations from our state and national government, we have our sales, marketing and administrative staff primarily working from home. Our operations staff is working in staggered shifts and in new configurations that allow for extreme social distancing. They monitor their temperatures daily and if any employee is feeling ill, he or she is directed to stay home under our paid sick leave policy. More of our COVID-19 response is outlined in our COVID-19 alert at this link.

The April 20 Cannabis Holiday Is Over, But the Need for Cannabis Remains

A lot of people stocked up on their favorite cannabis and CBD hemp products over the past month, either in response to COVID-19 restrictions or in anticipation of 420 (April 20). April 20 is a day of celebrating all things cannabis, including the cannabis community which came together virtually this year!

But for many of us, cannabis is not so much a special event as a need to restore balance and relief to our lives. If you’re interested in checking out Wana Brands, you can find their products at our supporting members Lightshade and Smokin Gun Apothecary. Wana also includes a tool on their website to find other legal dispensaries offering their products.

We also encourage you to check out our other member interviews running on our blog throughout the month of April to learn about more great cannabis products.

Whether You’re a New Cannabis Consumer or An Experienced User, Leaf411 Can Help with Your Questions!

Our fully-licensed, cannabis-trained Leaf nurses provide nonjudgmental, medically-sound guidance and balanced information at no cost to you via our anonymous hotline: 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) 

We also offer an online chat option, which you’ll find on the bottom of our website homepage during hotline hours. 

Not ready to call or chat? That’s okay! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay caught up on the latest Leaf411 news and events.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.