The Inside Scoop on CBD
By Josh Corman

CBD (THAT’S CANNABIDIOL, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) is hardly brand new to the spa scene, but at a time when wellnessfocused guests are exploring more ways to relieve anxiety, reduce pain and sleep better, this much discussed ingredient has once again emerged into the spotlight. As more CBD brands enter the market and spa leaders make decisions about how (or if) CBD products might be incorporated into their offerings, asking the right questions has never been more vital. Pulse posed some of those questions to ISPA resource partners specializing in the ingredient to help educate members on critical need-to-know aspects of all things CBD.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE LANDSCAPE OF CBD PRODUCTS USED IN SPAS EVOLVED SINCE 2020?

“CBD is a product ingredient that has certain proven benefits for spa guests. Further, CBD has helped to increase revenues and ROI for spa. CBD has now become more mainstream and not the enigma it once was and has also become an expected offering in spa.”
— MATT WALSH • CEO • SPLISH NATURALS

“CBD has shifted from being taboo to becoming a treatment upgrade or the focus of a treatment. The focus has been exclusively on ‘full-spectrum’ offerings to maximize the value and benefits of the whole plant cannabinoids and botanical compounds.”
— REINA GOVINDARAJAN • CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER • PROSPECT FARMS

“The spa guest is so much more informed today, and they are aware of what is new and trending in the industry. Our spa partners turn to us to update their menu and educate their staff on the benefits of CBD to meet their guests’ interest and needs.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT, FARMHOUSE FRESH

“Blending CBD into spa service enhancements and products
has helped to elevate the entire mind-body experience
consumers look for at a spa.”
— HEATHER DELGADO • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER • BOTANIKA LIFE

WHAT MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CBD STILL PERSIST AMONG SPA LEADERS AND THEIR GUESTS/THE GENERAL POPULATION?

“Unfortunately, we are still educating everyone on why CBD is beneficial. People have a hard time separating the drug from the hemp plant extract. Our extract has no THC. I say, think of it has another great natural source, like an aloe plant.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT, FARMHOUSE FRESH

“Where it comes from. Even though full spectrum CBD is completely non-psychoactive, people are still hesitant to use the product because it comes from the same plant as THC and has a small trace of it in order to receive all the benefits.”
— HEATHER DELGADO • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER • BOTANIKA LIFE

“There is still a misconception that CBD treatments will ‘get you high.’”
— HANNAH DUNCAN • OWNER • WELL PRODUCTS

“[That] more CBD is better. False. Evidence shows that everybody has a different threshold around which CBD works optimally with their own physiology. The World Health Organization did a study on CBD and determine that it is non-toxic, non-addictive and non-psychoactive, which means there is no danger when experimenting with dosage amounts.*”
— KELLY STOLL • FOUNDER & CEO • VITAL BODY THERAPEUTICS

WHAT IS MOST CRITICAL FOR SPA LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT FULL-SPECTRUM CBD VS. BROAD SPECTRUM VS. ISOLATES WHEN EVALUATING CURRENT OR FUTURE PRODUCT LINES?

“Understanding that a full-spectrum CBD contains THC, albeit small amounts, but that even a small amount might deter a therapist or guest from using this form of CBD. Isolate is very stable, pure and is a powerful alternative.”
— MATT WALSH • CEO • SPLISH NATURALS

“While CBD is the most widely known cannabinoid, there are hundreds of phytochemicals and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBDV found in full spectrum hemp that show promising studies on their positive effect on inflammation, calming irritations and more.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT, FARMHOUSE FRESH

“Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabis plant compounds, not just a portion. With this, the benefits can be more prominent because all of the calming and therapeutic properties of the plant are extracted into the oil.”
— HEATHER DELGADO • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER • BOTANIKA LIFE

“Full-spectrum CBD uses the whole plant and does contain THC. Broad spectrum uses the whole plant but does not have THC. Isolate is just that: the isolated active ingredient of CBD in its purest form.”
— HANNAH DUNCAN • OWNER • WELL PRODUCTS

“Most of the research on CBD is done using a CBD isolate and the results are decisive: CBD isolate works to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system. Many people claim that only full spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil work, however the research does not support this theory.”
— KELLY STOLL • FOUNDER & CEO • VITAL BODY THERAPEUTICS

WHAT IS MOST CRITICAL FOR SPA LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CBD OIL EXTRACTION AND/OR PRODUCT TESTING BEFORE MAKING PARTNERSHIP OR PURCHASING DECISIONS?

“One way for a spa director to ensure that they are providing their customers with a safe and efficacious product is to take time to request certificates of analysis (COAs) from the brands they are considering and to review the line items that call out the presence of heavy metals, harsh chemicals and pesticides. Directors should also be wary of the brands that will only provide them with a partial COA as this is a big red flag for a brand that is trying to hide something or not as detailed as they should be.”
— REINA GOVINDARAJAN • CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER • PROSPECT FARMS

“Make sure the brand you’re selling tests the final formula to verify the mg of CBD on the box matches that content.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT FARMHOUSE FRESH

“Testing the CBD itself and testing the finished product is very important to ensure the hemp is grown cleanly, the CBD is extracted cleanly, the CBD is pure and there is much CBD in the jar as is being claimed.”
— HANNAH DUNCAN • OWNER • WELL PRODUCTS

“Every batch of CBD, whether it is an oil or an isolate, should arrive with a COA. This test measures the levels of pesticides, toxins, molds, heavy metals and cannabinoids present in the finished product. The best hemp farms not only use organic farming practices, but all products undergo strict third-party testing regimes to ensure you receive the highest quality CBD oil, free of contaminants.”
— KELLY STOLL • FOUNDER & CEO • VITAL BODY THERAPEUTICS

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR SPA LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE MEASUREMENT OF CBD (IN MILLIGRAMS OR BY PERCENTAGE) LISTED ON A GIVEN PRODUCT?

“Providing a guide to dosing allows not only spa leaders but therapists alike an idea of how much CBD is being used. Since there isn’t currently any FDA guidance on this, maintaining relative consistency with this for a product line is important.”
— MATT WALSH • CEO • SPLISH NATURALS

“CBD is being utilized as a therapeutic and thus is a dosage- form consideration. It is often encouraged to consider a range of CBD per pound of body weight as a more easily digestible way to measure a proper dosage. It also depends on the format and application in the use of CBD (i.e. sublingual, ingestible, topical, etc).”
— REINA GOVINDARAJAN • CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER • PROSPECT FARMS

“It is not always about the number. A product with 3,000mg is not necessarily better than one that contains 300mg. Ask about the quality of the hemp extract and if it is full spectrum.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT, FARMHOUSE FRESH

“The CBD should be listed in milligrams on the jar and/or on the website so that the client knows if there is enough CBD in the product to accomplish their needs.”
— HANNAH DUNCAN • OWNER • WELL PRODUCTS

WHAT QUESTIONS ARE MOST CRITICAL FOR SPA LEADERS TO ASK VENDORS ABOUT HOW THE HEMP USED TO CREATE A GIVEN PRODUCT WAS GROWN AND HARVESTED?

"Having a basic understanding of how hemp is processed MayJune2022.qxp_Pulse 4/7/22 6:44 AM Page 55 56 PULSE • MAY/JUNE 2022 into CBD allows the spa to become more comfortable when talking to a guest about CBD. The more you know, the more comfortable your guests will be purchasing a CBD product or service."
— MATT WALSH • CEO • SPLISH NATURALS

“One of the most important questions a spa director can ask a CBD brand is where does your hemp come from? If a brand representative does not know the source of the raw ingredient or shares that it comes from a complex supply chain (family of farms), it is best to carefully review COAs to validate the integrity of the ingredient.”
— REINA GOVINDARAJAN • CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER • PROSPECT FARMS

“Was it organically grown? Is it grown and made in the U.S.? What was the extraction method? Is it all plant based, natural and clean ingredients?”
— HEATHER DELGADO • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER • BOTANIKA LIFE

"Look for companies that work with organic hemp farms. Hemp is known to naturally detoxify contaminated soil in a process called “bio-remediation.” The cannabis plant pulls pollutants and pesticides from the soil and stores it in the plant, thereby cleaning the soil. If not sourced organically, these pollutants can transfer from the raw plant material and into product.”
— KELLY STOLL • FOUNDER & CEO • VITAL BODY THERAPEUTICS

WHAT ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE WOULD YOU OFFER SPA LEADERS AS THEY EVALUATE CURRENT OR FUTURE CBD PRODUCT LINES?

“[Seek] ingredient transparency that includes all ingredients, not just CBD. Make sure the CBD product company supports your business with product knowledge, training or adequate training materials. Reputation is important for any product, but especially CBD.”
— MATT WALSH • CEO • SPLISH NATURALS

“Take time to educate yourself on the difference in efficacy levels of full spectrum, broad spectrum and Isolate CBD, and do not take labeling at face value. Be sure a Full Spectrum product does in fact contain trace levels of THC and the specified CBD content.”
— REINA GOVINDARAJAN • CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER • PROSPECT FARMS

“I think it is important to review the full ingredient deck of the products. Be sure there is matching retail that allows you to promote the benefits of using CBD. Ask how many ways the products can be used on your menu to upgrade your services.”
— HOLLY WYDRA • DIRECTOR OF TREATMENT ENGAGEMENT, FARMHOUSE FRESH

“That the formulas are clean, plant based, locally and organically farmed, sourced and manufactured. Sustainability and transparency (third-party lab testing) at the forefront is the most important.”
— HEATHER DELGADO • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER • BOTANIKA LIFE

“It is very important to know exactly how much CBD is in the product and to be able to see tests proving it. Otherwise, anyone can add a few drops of CBD into the formula and call it a CBD product, but it will not work effectively.”
— HANNAH DUNCAN • OWNER • WELL PRODUCTS

“Celebrate CBD for the powerhouse that it is! It is one of the most transformative ingredients to hit the spa industry in decades. Never before have we had a single substance that can both heal your clients, inspire and support the longevity of your therapists and drive tremendous new revenue, all at once.”
— KELLY STOLL • FOUNDER & CEO • VITAL BODY THERAPEUTICS