Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cannabis Seed Oil


Cannabis Sativa Seeds
Cannabis Seed Oil (sometimes called "Hemp" seed oil) is cold-pressed from the seeds of the Hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Cannabis Seed Oil is considered to be the most nutritional of all oils available. It has a plethora of medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic uses, making it a wonderful multi-purpose ingredient. It has been used for many years medicinally, and was even used during Ming Dynasty by the Chinese under the name of Ma Zi. Cannabis Seed Oil provides the body with complete protein, nutrition, and with all the essential amino acids necessary for health and wellness. It also tastes delicious—crisp and nutty—while not coating the mouth with an oily slick if eaten on its own.

Many historians believe that the cannabis plant was the first to be widely cultivated by humans and can be found in countless places throughout our history. The fibers, seeds, oils and leaves have been made in to hundreds of different products including paper, plastics, jewelry, and clothing.

Medicinal and Cosmetic Use

cannabis seed oil in our lab
Cannabis Seed Oil is a highly nutritious food, and contains anti-oxidants, protein, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It is a source of complete protein and contains all twenty known amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids. It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. The green color in Cannabis Seed Oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds.

Perhaps the most valued property of Cannabis Seed Oil is its percentage of Essential Fatty Acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world. It contains both Omega-6 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, in a proportion of 3:1. This proportion is the scientifically recommended balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 acids, making it a simple perfect way to complete your diet. Essential Fatty Acids are necessary for our health, and are responsible for the luster in our skin, hair, eyes, transferring oxygen to the every cell in our body, and even the clarity in our thought processes. They also lubricate and clear the arteries, strengthen the immune system, and help prevent viruses and other threats to our health. Essential Fatty Acids are not produced by the human body and they must be obtained from food sources.

Specifically, Cannabis Seed Oil has been shown to assist with the following medical conditions:
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Osteoporosis
  • Menopause
  • Cancer (colon, breast, prostate, skin)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premenstrual Symptoms
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Poor circulation
  • Crohn's disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Gall stones
  • Kidney degeneration
  • Dry skin
  • Immune deficiency
  • Irregular hormone levels
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Low energy levels
  • Low metabolism
  • Dry skin and hair conditions
In cosmetic and bodycare products, Cannabis Seed Oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, balances dry skin, fights skin inflammations, helps heal skin lesions, has anti-oxidants, and contains moisture balancing properties. The oil is non-greasy, readily absorbs into the pores, is an emollient, and has rejuvenating and moisturizing properties for the skin. Adult users of Cannabis Seed Oil have reported softer skin, and stronger nails and hair after only a few weeks of using 1-2 Tablespoons per day. The vitamins and minerals present in Cannabis Seed Oil are easily absorbed through the skin, resulting in a more vitamin and mineral enriched bodycare product.

100% Organic

Our cannabis seed oil is all-natural, certified organic by the USDA & Oregon Tilth and is non-GMO. We use a cold-pressed and unrefined oil to preserve all the beneficial nutrients from the mother plant.

Further Reading

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted and papers written on the wonderful benefits of this plant oil. Here are some of the highlights we have found in our ongoing research:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What The Heck Is All That Stuff In Massage Lotion?

At first glance, our massage lotion's ingredients lists might look a bit daunting... and they can be for sure, unless you know what you're looking for. Some of those words look like a bunch of scientific technobabble, but I would like to take this opportunity to de-mystify some of these odd compounds and explain why they're so good for your skin.

  • Organic Sunflower Oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E to aid skin hydration. This is an extremely healthy cooking oil that has a very high natural smoke point and doesn't degrade or oxidize as quickly as many more sensitive oils like avocado or walnut. This oil is cold-pressed from the seed kernels of sunflowers to preserve all the rich and delicate nuances of the original plant.
  • Octyl Palmitate is a common ingredient in organic cosmetic products that is derived from palm kernel oil. It adjusts the texture of the final product (often used as a safer, natural replacement for Silicone) and adds glide to lotions making for a longer and more satisfying medium for massages.
  • Vegetable Glycerin is a simple carbohydrate that is derived from plant oils. In this application, it is used to help the skin retain moisture and provide more solubility for a lot of the other ingredients in the lotion. On its own, it has a sweet taste and is a colorless, viscous liquid that is almost ubiquitous in cosmetics, herbal extracts and homeopathic remedies. It's chemical properties make it a fantastic replacement for alcohol in any herbal extract.
  • Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is one of the most common and well-known healing compounds the natural world has ever known. It is the pressed juice from a succulent desert plant that is commonly known as Aloe Vera. Is heals, rejuvinates and soothes the skin. Its fantastic texture adds moisture and thickens the final product of whatever it is added to and is a fantastic way to avoid simply using water in cosmetic products.
  • Glyceryl Stearate is an emulsifier made by reacting vegetable glycerin with stearic acid, a fatty acid obtained from vegetable fats and oils. It is used to keep the lotion from separating in to oil and water factions.
  • Tromethamine Stearate is an emulsifier made by reacting Coconut Oil with Stearic Acid.
  • Cetyl Alcohol is a thickening agent isolated from palm oil using lye (much like the process of making soap at home). It is a waxy solid rather than a liquid like you might expect from the word "Alcohol" being in its name. This ingredient has been used for over a century and was originally made from Whale Blubber for everything from mascara and perfume to lipsticks and conditioner
  • Panthenol is the Provitamin (a chemical precursor that your body uses to synthesize a compound) of Vitamin B5. It is a humectant and is fantastic for moisturizing and soothing the skin. 
  • Allantoin is a WONDERFUL compound extracted from comfrey flowers. Comfrey on it's own has a worrying amount of toxins that limit its ability to reach the potential it has for healing skin blemishes and wounds. It acts to immediately soothe the skin and has been shown to reduce the appearance of scars drastically. This compound deserves a lot of attention and works wonders for almost everyone who has tried it.
  • Organic Extracts & Essential Oils are all either certified organic or wild-crafted and extracted using the most complete and gentile methods recommended for each plant (Either CO2, Steam Distillation, or Cold Pressing). The exact essences we use are tailored to each functional product and carefully researched for efficacy.
  • Tocopherols (Vitamin E) are fantastic natural antioxidants. They come in the form of an oily amber liquid that rejuvinates and tones the skin, making it look and feel healthier.
  • Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba)
  • Organic Jojoba Oil is the extremely emollient waxy ester that is pressed from the seed of a shrub that is native to the US Southwest. The fact that it is a waxy ester means it absorbs in to the skin much better than an oil would because it is more similar in composition. Organic Jojoba oil is non-GMO and sustainably farmed.
  • Organic Borage Oil is a very emollient and healing oil from the "Starflower" plant native to Syria. This beneficial oil has been shown to allow the body to naturally produce beneficial compounds that heal the skin and can clarify trouble spots significantly.
  • Organic Tamanu Oil is an exciting humectant that has been shown to promote skin regeneration and contains a wide variety of fatty acids that are beneficial to the skin and body. It is cold-pressed from the evergreen Calophyllum inophyllum plant native to Africa and Australia.
  • Sodium Carbomer is an inert, synthetic emulsifier. it is a STRONG emulsifier and can be used in concentrations as low as .05% by weight. Not a very natural ingredient, but a necessary evil in order to pleasantly emulsify cannabis flower oil with the rest of the ingredients for long periods of time.
  • Phenoxyethanol is a rose essence or sage-based  preservative that is also a fantastic emulsifier. it is a colorless, odorless oily compound that can extend the shelf life of cosmetic products significantly and is a very good mold inhibitor.
  • Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin is vegetable- based preservative that is a safer and more wholesome alternative to Parabens.  
Of course there are other fantastic ingredients such as Cannabis seed oil not mentioned here... but something like that definitely deserves its own breakdown...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Arnica Montana - Good For Everything

Arnica Montana
Arnica is a small flowering plant native to mountainous Europe, Scandinavia and North America. It is rare in the wild, however can be successfully cultivated agriculturally and is often available for home gardens. Preparations and extracts of the plant have been used for centuries in natural, alternative, homeopathic, and sports medicines for pain relief.

Thymol and its analogs (the man flavonoids in common Thyme) are believed to be the main medicinal constituents of arnica. This compound is found most concentrated in the root and flower. Arnica is best used topically, as ingesting large quantities can be toxic due to high levels of terpene lactones which, though anti-inflammatory, can cause lymphatic and gastric bleeding. Other known risks associated with arnica are rare allergic reactions in certain individuals and abnormal bleeding when applied to open wounds.

A double-blind study by J. Melzer,, in 2007 found that arnica had equal effectiveness to ibuprofen for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint pain caused by acute injury. Further studies and research have found topical preparations to relieve pain from bruises, sprains, skeletal muscle injuries, insect bites or any indication that may lead one to require an anti-inflamatory. Oral preparations have also been found to help swollen gums and mouth ulcers. 

It is, perhaps, the most common ingredient in homeopathic remedies today. It can be found in preparations used to treat everything from male virility to skin conditions and deep pain or inflammation.

Apothecanna sources arnica montana’s essence from a Spanish cultiuvated and CO2 (supercritical) extracted flower resin which is suspended in pure sunflower oil and USDA Certified Organic. Our Pain Crème contains at least .2% Arnica and is more than strong enough to deliver it’s benefits in tandem with the other essences present

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Spice of Life - Capsaicin


Capsaicin (Trans-8-methyl-N-vanilly-6-nonenamide) is the chemical in the membranes, seeds and flesh of chile peppers that give it the spicy sensation everyone is familiar with. It is typically measured with the Scoville Scale which ranges from 0-16,000,000. The hottest chile in the world holds a rating of around 1,400,000 heat units.

Therapeutic, Medicinal and Cosmetic Use

Native Americans have used capsaicin in chile form as a food and medicine for over 9,000 years. Mayans were known to burn chiles to create strong smoke screens or toss gourds filled with an extract in battle and was one of the first chemical weapons. Traditional eastern medicine uses capsaicin as a remedy for poor appetite, circulation and digestion. Today, it is used in many topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic preparations to treat post-surgical pain and arthritis. It is also used in chemical weaponry as common pepper spray or mace.

Capsaicin works on the TRPV1 Vanillanoid receptor by chemically mimicking the cell's response to pain via calcium ion channels. Both physical heat and capsaicin induce the same electrochemical response which releases calcium ions through the neuronal cells of the body. These cells carry the signal from the stimulus area through to the root of the spinal cord. In high doses, this can cause β-endorphin release—the body's natural response to pain which can produce a pleasant sense of well-being—which explains why some people enjoy the heat of chile peppers in food.

Thai Chili (Capsicum Frutescens)
The direct pain-relieving properties of capsaicin are due to the over-stimulus of the TRPV1 Vanillanoid receptor in the nervous system causing it to become desensitized to pain in the stimulus area due to fatigue of the receptor and massive calcium release in to surrounding neurons. This can be dangerous at high or prolonged exposure because the calcium exposure can cause neuronal death similar to a burn.

Suggested dosages in topical preparations are (for pharmaceutical capsaicin) 0.025-0.25% with a normal dose being around 0.075%. Higher doses can be over-stimulating and cause a stronger-than-desired burning sensation for sensitive people. Application is recommended 2-4 times daily. Sensitive mucosal, ocular or genital areas should not come in to contact with capsaicin due to their high permeability and high concentration of nervous tissue.

Supercritical Extracts

Apothecanna uses a CO2 supercritical extract of the Capsicum Frutescens or Thai Chili Pepper that is organically cultivated in India. We have formulated topical preparations to contain a therapeutic .09% capsaicanoids—more than enough to warm and soothe aches and pains.

Further Reading

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Little About Clove

Clove – Syzygium Aromaticum

Common clove is most famous for its sweet and spicy culinary and aroma-therapeutic applications. The spice comes from the dried flower bud of a tall, evergreen, leafing tree native to Indonesia and surrounding areas. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is commonly known for its use during dental emergencies due to the essential oil’s numbing and antiseptic effect on mucosal tissues. It is also used as an anti-parasitic and gastric balancer. Topically, it has a pleasant numbing effect—even in small quantities—and adds to the anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties of a preparation.

The main constituent of clove oil is Eugenol which can also be found in Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Wormwood, multiple species of Basil, and Bay Lauryl. It is hypothesized that Eugenol acts to recede nerve endings in to the surrounding tissue in much the same way Capsaicin does—by over-stimulating it to the point of partial cell death which must be re-generated before it can show symptoms again. When ingested, eugenol is known to have euphoric properties on human senses and can be carefully reacted to make psychoactive recreational drugs.

Because the eugenol content of clove oil is so high (75-90% by volume), it is possible to reach toxic levels by simply ingesting too much of clove’s essential oil. As little as 10mL of clove essential oil can cause eugenol levels that are dangerous to the liver and may lead to unconsciousness, convulsions or rapid heartbeat.

Apothecanna sources it’s clove from Madagascar that is USDA Certified organically cultivated and then steam distilled. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of Pain Crème are aromatically harmonized using this sweet and spicy essence.

Visit our homepage and browse through our ingredients categories to explore more of the ingredients we use in our products.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review in The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine

Spring 2012 review in THC Magazine
THC or "The Hemp Connoisseur" is a local Colorado magazine that is distributed everywhere from wellness centers to 7-Eleven locations throughout the area, so you can be sure we were excited to see our name pop up in their spring issue! "Hazy Cakes" wrote this fantastic review on our Extra Strength Pain Creme and also featured a nice write up for our friends over at Canyon Cultivation and their liquid THC "Drp-IT" product.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Super Salve

.5oz • 15ml • Contains over 25mg of active cannabis per ounce

When it comes to cannabis-infused salves, there are more than a few popping up in the market. The problem with most of them is texture and quality… they’re either so waxy you feel like you’re digging your nails in to a candle, or so creamy that they might as well be a lotion—not that there is anything wrong with that, but when you want a salve, you should get just that.

Apothecanna’s Super Salve is the product of a couple years of trials and research. It was one of the first products we produced and started like all the others. Looking at an old tin of Original Salve now, it was almost pure wax and plant butter and smelled like almost nothing. After a couple of years, though, what we have now is an emollient, soothing preparation of plant-based ingredients that really do what they are supposed to.

The key to producing Super Salve is the emulsion of oils, waxes, herbs, butters and good old fashioned water. Its a tricky process and entails a lot of steps in the right order to produce something that actually marries all the ingredients instead of forcing them together. We’d share it here, but there do have to be some secrets…

Suffice it to say, the finished product is a melding of well-over a dozen medicinal herbs— including Cannabis Flower, Rhodiola, Cat’s Claw,  White Willow, Frankincense, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Chamomile, and Neem. Our extensive research in to these oddly biblical herbs shows that they have extreme potency when used correctly and can significantly help with pain, irritation, skin conditions, and stress. New studies are popping up all the time with new and exciting benefits that they can deliver.

These medicinal constituents are delivered in a soothing, creamy topical that really lasts. It isn’t like a lotion that soaks in to the skin’s surface, but rather creates a healing barrier of treatment which can add moisture and deliver relief for hours. Many have reported alleviation of headaches when it is applied to the temples. Some like it as a spot treatment for areas of severe discomfort, e.g. bug bites, burns, scars, skin eruptions, rashes, and swelling. Many simply enjoy the natural moisture it returns to excessively dried skin—for times when it isn’t enough to just add moisture, but when it is necessary to heal the perturbed cells and really return supple qualities to the affected area. We also recommend it for new tattoos—the lack of synthetic ingredients promotes the body’s natural healing process and is far more effective than the unscented lotion many artists suggest. In-house test results have shown that using it on a your new body art will cause the skin to heal in a matter of a few days with only minor peeling, causing the ink to seal-in faster and last longer.

But what does it smell like? Well, that’s a bit difficult to pinpoint. We do NOT use any synthetic fragrances, so what you smell is all part of what is inside. While the butters and oils do not really contribute to it, the herbal essences certainly do. The strongest aromas come from the Frankincense, Neem, Tea Tree, and Chamomile. Overall, it is a very herbaceous smell that is spicy, round and  borderline robust. It is not a gender-specific smell, so men really enjoy—and often benefit the most from Super Salve.

So why is it in such a small container if it is so good at so many things? A little really does go a long way. Religious use on the hands will deplete it faster, but a jar should last over a month in most cases. Freshness is a very real concern, too. Herbs loose their efficacy after long periods of time when not kept 100% protected from the elements. We are very proud of this product and want nothing but the best quality for Colorado’s MMJ patients.

Please don’t just take our word for it, though. Ask your favorite budtender about it and try some for yourself.