So far, 36 states have legalized medicinal cannabis and South Dakota will soon be joining the pack. Phytocannabinoids are the bedrock of medicinal cannabis and it comes as no surprise that many researchers are zeroing in on them. Only a handful of cannabinoids have been investigated for medicinal value and cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) are of particular significance.
With more patients using medicinal cannabis and hemp-derived products for different reasons, researchers are looking to explore the effectiveness and safety of these treatments since they will never match up to traditional pharma if not adequately backed by science.
Extraction Magazine had a candid and insightful conversation with Tony Schwartz, Director of Affiliate and Strategic Partnerships, Balanced Health Botanicals, parent company to CBDistillery.
Extraction Magazine: What is the vision behind CBDistillery as a brand?
Tony Schwartz: Our vision at CBDistillery™ is to bring CBD to the world by providing the masses easy access to hemp-derived CBD products, widespread education, the latest industry research, and verified consumer testimonials.
Our founders saw that the CBD industry was vastly overpriced and becoming saturated with inferior products. This inspired the strong belief that people have a right to high-quality, fairly priced, U.S. grown, hemp-derived CBD products, so they set out on a mission to be the premier resource for CBD products and education.
EM: How did you get into CBD?
TS: Since 2012, I have personally been exploring the benefits of plants within a dietary context as well as in therapeutic settings. I have found the outcomes to be extremely beneficial for my needs and use cases. When the opportunity came to join the team at Balanced Health Botanicals after several years on this journey, I thought, “This isn’t an accident. This is an opportunity worth listening to.” Fast forward to today, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to expand social awareness of cannabinoid products from CBDistillery™. I truly believe in the brand because I have experienced the benefits of its product catalog, and I also bear witness to a team that prioritizes its community of end users across all phases of the business as part of its ethos.
EM: How did the Pathfinder Missions come about?
TS: CBDistillery™ is a very active participant within the hemp industry which is corroborated by our participation in the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, certifications from the U.S. Hemp Authority, Self-Affirmed GRAS Status, and our recent participation in the Validcare clinical study on liver toxicity.
When I met the team behind the Releaf app, I knew we had a strategic partnership brewing to help advance research on hemp-derived products in the United States. This cross-functional partnership is facilitating eight consumer-facing studies in 2021 and aggregating study outcomes into the hands of formal research teams. This partnership was also formed to create a highly efficient product selection process using research-based methods. By showing efficacy of products with data supplied by consumers, we create a feedback loop that supplies other individuals with product-specific data helping them discover the best product for their needs. It’s a sustainable cycle that ultimately helps optimize the consumer journey with CBDistillery™ as a leading, trusted, and growing brand in a highly competitive industry.
EM: Can you comment on some of the nitty-gritty details of the study?
TS: We are combining the research expertise and prowess of the team at Releaf with the CBDistillery™ community at-large to arrive at meaningful outcomes.
Our goal is to identify 500 unique individuals for each study this year.
For the first two studies focused on stress mitigation and improving sleep health, we’re recruiting people within the general population who are interested in providing their experience taking specific CBDistillery™ products which are given to them free of charge in exchange for their participation in the study.
Using survey questions sent via SMS to each participant over 30 – 60 days (depending on the study), we will receive data on the symptoms individuals are experiencing that day, severity of those symptoms, how many milligrams of the CBDistillery™ product they ingested, and severity of their symptoms after ingesting the product(s) associated with that study.
For example, in the 30-day sleep study using the CBDistillery™ Extra Strength CBN:CBD Sleep Tincture, we are asking individuals to provide us with information about their quality of sleep prior to taking the tincture for seven full days. In weeks two through four, participants will answer the same series of questions regarding their quality of sleep while also taking the CBN:CBD product. Using the benchmarks from week one, we will be able to see how well the Extra Strength CBN:CBD Tincture performed in improving quality of sleep measured by hours of sleep achieved and quality scores provided by the individual.
In future studies, we are planning to qualify recruitment into some very interesting groups including parents, athletes, and teachers, individuals within the fitness community, meditators, and people experiencing inordinate amounts of stress in their professional lives.
EM: Why the Releaf App?
TS: There was a lot of alignment and shared values between CBDistillery™ and the team behind the Releaf App which led us to formalizing a partnership in 2021. As conversations between the groups played out, it became obvious that we shared a vision of enhancing the reputation of hemp-derived CBD products using research-based methods. The two teams are looking to increase the information available for stakeholders within the industry, whether that is consumers, brands, retailers, researchers, or nonprofits. Our goal is to prove the efficacy of cannabinoid products using data collected by the very people participating in this growing industry. Releaf’s BetterTogether Community played a significant role in our path to formalizing this partnership.
EM: What comes next?
TS: Ideally, we will collect sufficient and meaningful data that can be aggregated to researchers within higher education institutions. From there, we hope our data will corroborate and support the research set forth by respected institutions in the U.S. resulting in published peer-reviewed articles on cannabinoid research.
If the partnership between CBDistillery™ and Releaf App can play a part in advancing awareness and acceptance of the industry as a whole, this will be an enormously successful partnership.
Because we are already capturing consumer data relative to outcomes and experiences with cannabinoid products, I believe we are actively helping advance the industry and reputation of CBDistillery™ simultaneously. In other words, we are achieving exactly what we set out to do as discussed in those exciting early conversations in 2020.
EM: What’s the passion behind what you do?
TS: CBDistillery™ is fueled by our passionate customers who share their stories with us every day. With over 26k+ verified reviews and testimonials, we all help to prove that CBD isn’t just a buzzword, but a way of life. We are one of the largest, fastest growing, and cost-effective brands in the CBD marketplace today and have over two million satisfied customers.
At Extraction Magazine, we can’t wait to see what these studies demonstrate as this will provide much needed consumer insight on CBD use. We wish CBDistillery and Releaf App the very best in this endeavor.