Photo by Enecta Cannabis extracts on Unsplash

Now that it’s a new year, and a new beginning, we take a look back to see what has changed since 2020, in other aspects than that of the pandemic. And there has indeed been some positively interesting happenings, as a rare, pleasant surprise associated with the CBD.

CBD vs France

On the 19th of November, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union made a press release about a case between the French Republic and the former directors of a company that distributed CBD oil electronic cigarettes. The CBD in question was lawfully produced from hemp plants grown in the Czech Republic, and the whole plant had been used in said production. In France, however, only the fiber and seeds from the hemp plant are allowed to be put to commercial use, and therefore the former directors were sentenced to imprisonment and high fines. They filed for an appeal, which led to the following judgment from the Court:

First, once CBD has been extracted from the cannabis sativa plant in its entirety, it no longer counts as an “agricultural product”, and therefore does not fall within the scope of the common agricultural policy. 

The Court also deems that the CBD at issue cannot be regarded as a “narcotic drug”, and is therefore protected by the provisions on the free movement of goods within the EU. As for why CBD isn’t regarded as a narcotic drug, they reference the two United Nations conventions: the Convention of Psychotropic Substances and the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs. CBD isn’t mentioned at all in the former, and while it is technically mentioned in the latter as it is a cannabis extract, one must still take into account the current state of scientific knowledge about the fact that the CBD at issue doesn’t appear to have any psychotropic or harmful effects on human health. Seeing as the general spirit and idea of the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs is to protect “the health and welfare of mankind”, the Court feels like if they did deem the CBD at issue as a narcotic drug, it would be a stark contradiction with said ideal.

Lastly, the Court points out that even though they judged that the provision on the free movement of goods precluded national legislations in this case, if the country was able to prove with sufficiently established scientific data that there was a real risk, and not just hypothetical considerations, to the public health, then it would all be a different matter. But seeing as how the French Republic’s current stance wouldn’t affect the marketing of synthetic CBD, that has the same properties as that of the CBD at issue, it would be hypocritical to exclude one and allow the other.

Cannabis removed from Schedule IV

Another thing that happened at the end of last year, more precisely on December 2, was that CND (the Commission on Narcotic Drugs) voted on cannabis and cannabis-related substances, based on recommendations from WHO (the World Health Organization). While few of the recommendations made it through, the one that just scraped by was the recommendation to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention. While cannabis and cannabis resin is still present in Schedule I of the 1961 Convention, this is still a huge step forward for the cannabis plant.

Schedule IV’s role in the 1961 Convention, is to give supplementary control measures to the drugs already listed in Schedule I of the same convention. It has also been called the “prohibition schedule”, and is much stricter than Schedule I. The measures implied in Schedule IV are as follow:

  1. A Party shall adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included; and
  2. A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party.

While these measures aren’t mandatory, many countries still chose to follow them. But now, with the removal of cannabis and cannabis-related substances from it, it will make it easier to do research on the medical and therapeutic properties of the plant. Furthermore, the possibility of scientists looking into other cannabinoids than just CBD and THC are likely to increase, which might lead to exciting, new discoveries in the future.

It’s also worth note that the CND usually takes vote on recommendations made by WHO, INCB (the International Narcotics Control Board) and States parties once a year, but even though WHO submitted their recommendations in January 2019, CND decided to postpone the voting for that year. The decision to postpone the voting was to ensure that all of the Member States would take some extra time to consider what these recommendations would entail for them, and intersessional meetings were scheduled for all parties to ask questions and receive more details about the matter. More than 600 experts from 100 Member States were invited to share their knowledge, and even intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations were given the opportunity to share their views, before the final voting took place.

If you wish to read more about the press statement from the Court of Justice of the European Union, you can find their press release here: https://www.politico.eu/…/uploads/2020/11/CP200141EN.pdf

If you wish to read more about the CND voting, you can find their press statement here: https://www.unodc.org/lpo-brazil/en/frontpage/2020/11/press-statement-december-2.html 

Read also: CBD and Aromatherapy: Why and How they work together

probiotic shot

What are probiotics

To talk about probiotics, is to talk about bacteria. Most people are not aware of this, but a big part of our bodies is actually made up of bacteria. In fact, with more than trillions of bacteria living inside of us, they outnumber our cells 10:1, making some speculate that we are actually more microbes than humans. Now, that is not as bad as it sounds. Bacterias come as good or bad, and if you’re lucky (and healthy), the majority of the bacteria in you should be good ones, a.k.a. probiotics. 

What are probiotics good for? Why should we take probiotics?

With about one kilogram of our body weight made up of probiotics, they play an essential role in our health and wellbeing. Let us go through a few of them.

Helps digest and absorb nutrients

When we talk about the “gut”, we generally refer to the large and small intestines. Their job is to extract energy and nutrients from the food that we eat, as well as remove waste. But as our gut can’t extract all of the necessary nutrients from the food on its own, we need the help from the healthy bacterias. They will aid in breaking down the food, which in turn will improve your immune system, and strengthen the intestinal walls. If we don’t have enough probiotics, it can in turn lead to malnutrition.

Improves immune system

To look at the basics about what happens when we get sick, it’s because bad bacteria latches onto cells in our bodies, which then triggers our white blood cells, which leads to inflammation, and so on. But if there’s nothing for the bad bacteria to latch onto, then we (simply put) won’t get sick. So how probiotics – which we now know are also bacteria – boost our immune system, is by latching onto the cells before the bad bacteria has a chance, leaving no space over. With the majority of the probiotics living in our guts, this is the connection between our stomach and immune system.

Strengthens the barriers of the gut

The probiotics not only stimulates our immune system, but the mucus secretion in our guts as well. If we have proper mucus secretion in our guts, it will line our intestines and protect them from toxins in the food that we eat, which will drastically reduce the inflammation and irritation in our bowels.

When and How to take probiotics

Preliminary research shows that almost 70% of our immune system is in our microbiome, which is another word for the probiotic colony in our bodies. When this colony is functioning well everything is fine, but once it gets thrown off balance for different reasons (medication such as antibiotica, alcohol, stress, poor sleep, disease), we become more susceptible to harmful bacteria, and need to add probiotics back to it to make it function normally again.

This can be done in two ways: either refill through foods or supplements. If you want to go for foods rich in probiotics, then fermented dishes such as kimchi, yoghurt and sauerkraut are excellent choices. Keep in mind, however, that not all fermented foods are “probiotics”, they need to have sufficient amounts of the living bacteria to be considered that.

If you instead opt for taking dietary supplements, then there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing which product to use. Always check the CFU, which stands for Colony Forming Unit. For it to be worthwhile, the CFU should be no lower than 5 billion. Next, check which bacteria strains are in the probiotics. Don’t go for products with only the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain, as that one is the cheapest and might actually conquer out other healthy gut bacteria if over consumed. Lastly, if you are suffering from certain ailments or critically ill, it will be wise to consult your doctor before you start taking probiotics.

How long does it take for probiotics to work

Probiotics are not an instant fix, they need to take root and grow before they can really get to work. This happens faster if you mind your diet and consume more fiber rich food and make sure to get enough sleep, as the microbiome follows the circadian rhythm. It also depends on whether you chose to reestablish your gut flora through a changed diet, or through dietary supplements. One can say that it generally takes 60 days to restore the microbiome through food, and around 30 days if that is combined with supplements.

That being said, there are some people who have reported instant improvement when taking probiotics, so while we are in this for the long run, you might encounter the benefits sooner than expected.

Different types of probiotics

Probiotic supplements usually come in three different forms: capsules, sachets, or as liquid. Each has their benefits, so it’s up to you to choose what you feel suits your lifestyle best.

Capsules

When it comes to probiotics as capsules, their main benefit is that they are easy and convenient to use. You can carry it with you almost anywhere, and all it requires is a mouthful of water to use. The downside to capsules is that you can’t be certain of whether or not the live bacteria in them are truly still alive, or if they will survive the trip all the way down through your stomach and  into your intestines. If the capsules have been microencapsulated, then they should be fine, otherwise there’s a big risk of the bacteria getting digested up by your stomach acids. Also try to go for the freeze dried probiotic capsules, as they are much more likely to keep the shelf life going.

Liquid probiotics

When it comes to liquid probiotics, their main benefit is absorption — which start as soon as they enter your mouth. It is believed that the body absorbs liquids faster and better than pills, as it doesn’t need to break it down, and it finds its way into your bloodstream even as it’s on its way down to your intestines. It might also have a better chance at surviving the stomach acids that have pH levels between 1.5 and 3.5, if the probiotics is like our Fermented Hemp Drink, and has a matching pH level of 3, ensuring that the live bacteria cultures are already thriving in a sour environment. Furthermore, seeing as how bacteria already likes wet and moist environments, having it in the liquid form increases the odds that the bacteria in it isn’t dead.

The downside of the liquid probiotics, is that it might be hard to carry with you. They often come in bigger bottles, and might need to be refrigerated after the seal has been broken. Taste might also be an issue, and while there are probiotics with added flavour, one can speculate about how beneficial that is for the body.

All in all, we advise you to be alert when choosing probiotics that fit your lifestyle, make sure that it is worth your money by looking through the ingredients of different bacteria strains, how much CFU it has, and how it’s been packaged and stored. We wish you luck!

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Due to a lot of changed regulations and laws, we decided to rebrand ourselves and focus more on making CBD essential oils instead, as we believe that CBD in this form will be just as beneficial as it used to be. But what are essential oils, and how can one use them?

What is CBD essential oil and how is it extracted

Another name for essential oils is ethereal oils, or just the name of the plant that it was extracted from, which in our case would be Oil of Hemp. The “essential” refers to the oil containing the essence of the plant; its most characteristic scent. With the CBD essential oil, this gives it the naturally rich earthy smell, with a hint of sweetness from the hemp plant.

There are a few different ways of extracting the essence from a plant, with the most common one being through distillation. We at Apoteum use the oil extraction method, as we have come to see that this is the best way to ensure that the CBD and other active components of the hemp plant stays intact and effective. An important difference between what is labeled as essential oil and what is labeled as a fragrance is that while the former is derived purley from plants, the latter is often simply chemicals. As essential oils aren’t regulated, one should take extra care when buying it to make sure that you get the real deal, as some companies will label their chemical fragrances as essential oil.

How to use CBD essential oil

What is CBD essential oil used for, then? Like any other essential oil, the CBD one can be used to enrich your everyday products with. It works well for blending with lotions, creams, shampoo and conditioner, so that you can feel safely encased in the familiar essence of your choice for the rest of the day. Another use is to drip a few drops into your bathwater, for extra relaxation. Our skin has a tendency to absorb particles of what it comes in contact with, so with this topical application, you can reap the benefits of CBD oil in a most pleasant way. Do not apply undiluted essential oil directly on skin, it can lead to allergic reactions and injuries. All of these uses, and many more that we haven’t mentioned yet, are considered to be the practice of something called aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy and essential oil: how does it work

The theory behind aromatherapy and how it works, is based on how our sense of smell works. Whenever we smell something, it travels through the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that focuses on our survival instincts and emotions. By “manipulating” this part of the brain through smells, it is believed that one can gently trigger mood swings in the more positive direction, without the use of heavy medication. The sense of smell is also strongly linked to our memory, and is one of the main causes to the feeling of nostalgia, as one whiff of something familiar can revoke fond memories from times long gone.

Essential oils are regularly used for aromatherapy, so much so that aromatherapy is also known as essential oil therapy. When the oils are mixed together for the therapy, they can work in synergy and deliver an even more potent effect. Whether it’s for relaxation, sleep or sharpening of the mind, you will most likely be able to find plenty of recipes online on how to create a scent that’s to your liking. Or you can be adventurous and try to mix and blend completely free-hand, like a hobby alchemist.

Can aromatherapy be used with CBD oil?

Some have found use of essential oil therapy as an aid to their other medical procedures, to lessen side effects and the likes. It is highly recommended to consult with your doctor before doing this, but if you get the green light to go ahead, you might find that CBD essential oil can give some respite to your tired body, no matter if you use it in a diffuser to breath in the fumes or as a topical on specific areas.

An interesting trend that has been rising in popularity lately, is to use different essential oils when bathing in a sauna to spice up the experience. While sharp smells like eucalyptus are the most used essence at the moment, CBD hemp oil has started to find its use there as well, with its grounding earth scent. A few drops in the sauna water bucket is all that you need, before sprinkling it on the hot stones and let it steam. This will bring your sauna bath to the next level, and you can tailor it more to fit your mental needs for the day. Do not drip the essential oil directly onto the heated stones, as that might be a fire hazard.

For those that aren’t too fond of the natural CBD oil scent, we now also offer CBD essential oils with fresh smells of lemon and mint. The lemon essence has an aftertaste of mandarin, to add a sweetness to the sharper, more prominent lemon. In aromatherapy, lemon has been used for energizing and smoothing of cold symptoms purposes, just to name a few. The mint essence we use is a mix between peppermint, spearmint, and a hint of Japanese mint. In aromatherapy, the uses of mint have been many. It has ranged from relieving muscle aches, mouth wash, mosquito bites, poor appetite, and even as pesticide. In combination with CBD, these essential oils are sure to give you everything you’ve ever wished for from your aromatherapy session.

The CBD essential oils that Apoteum offer are already diluted, and can be used directly.

vitamin c
Photo by Candace Mathers on Unsplash

To understand what a “buffered” form of vitamin C is, we must first understand what a non-buffered, or “normal” form of vitamin C is.

What is vitamin C in general?

Vitamin C is a type of acid, called ascorbic acid. It has many functions in the body, from tissue repair, to enzyme function and acting as a powerful antioxidant, just to name a few. With that in mind, it is no wonder that vitamin C is considered an essential vitamin, and one of the most popular health supplements to take.

There is, however, one small drawback that some people might experience from taking this supplement: if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, the slight acidity of this vitamin can cause some pretty unpleasant side effects for you. Experiences of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and heartburn are some of the symptoms, and there have even been cases where people have reported getting bloody urine.* Some try to relieve some of the discomforts by taking the supplement together with meal, as the food can sometimes work as a buffer to the acid, but there is another solution: the buffered vitamin C.

What is a “buffered” vitamin C?

The buffered form of vitamin C is created when you have the ascorbic acid reacting with mineral carbonates (a salt of carbonic acid). As ascorbic acid prefers to bind with metals, this isn’t a very complicated process, and the end product is a white powder with a salty taste. The minerals combined with the ascorbic acid are usually sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, leading to sodium ascorbate (E301), calcium ascorbate (E302), potassium ascorbate (E303), and magnesium ascorbate. Out of these four, the most common ones to ingest as a vitamin C supplement are calcium ascorbate and magnesium ascorbate, while the other two are more often found as food additives.

What are the benefits of taking “buffered” vitamin C?

What is the benefit then, of choosing a buffered vitamin C supplement? After the mineral salts have been combined with the acid, it makes for a much less acidic version of vitamin C, meaning that even people who have a sensitive stomach can use this supplement without any discomfort. The buffered versions also contains minerals, which will give you not only the benefits of the vitamin C, but also to a certain degree that of the mineral. This is especially true when it comes to the combination of vitamin C and calcium, as the vitamin increases the body’s ability to absorb this bone strengthening mineral.

All in all, there is no downside to go for the buffered vitamin C supplement, only upsides. If you’re concerned that the vitamin C dose of the supplement will be too low, then you can put that worry to rest. All serious supplement companies will have listed declarations of the dosage per tablet on their products, and carefully thought through recommendations of daily intake. Just follow these, and you should be fine.

*in cases of painful urination or blood in the urine, please seek out medical help immediately, as this can be symptoms of more serious ailments, such as kidney stone.

swedish flag

Hello, and welcome to our blog! Today we will be talking about some of Sweden’s moral values, and how we at Apoteum relate to them.

As a Swedish company, we have incorporated a lot of Swedish values into how we operate. But what are the Swedish values, then? 

Follow law and order

There are of course the standard ones, like to do right by yourself, follow law and order, know your rights and do your duty, and similar ones that can be found in many other countries. In accordance with these, Apoteum has a strong transparency policy, never bragging about things that we haven’t earned, but also standing proud when it comes to all the hard work that we have put in to make as healthy and pure supplements as possible, without cutting any corners. 

Believe in a joint welfare system

There are also more specific Swedish values. One of them would be how we, as a country, believe in a joint welfare system, where everyone has the equal right to a good life, be that children, the sick and elderly, or even the animals. Everyone should have the same opportunity to feel well, and with that in mind we always aim to keep a varied assortment of products, and keep exploring new ideas to ensure that no matter who you are, we will have something that fits your needs. We even have products dedicated for your pets! And as we are well aware that some of our clients have worked very hard for their money, we always offer full compensation for anything you buy, because we don’t want you to feel like it’s a gamble with your money when choosing our products; it should feel like a bargain.

Caring for the environment

Another Swedish value that has come in quite strong in the recent years, is to be aware of how your actions affect the world around you, especially the environment. As of today, Sweden is engaged in a long list of environmental works, from perseverance of endangered species, cleaning up waste along our shores to the Baltic Sea, to switching more and more into sustainable energies. Every Swede preaches recycling like it was one of the ten commandments, and recent studies have shown that many of Sweden’s youths are engaged in the topic of environmental issues, and that the majority of children are ready to change their lifestyles if that means that they can help make the future more sustainable. Oh, and let us not forget about Greta Thunberg, who has shaken the world with her strong will and no-nonsense attitude.

With this in mind, Apoteum is ready to do our part, and always make sure to keep an eye on how our production and shipping methods influence the environment. As our production happens in Sweden, we try to source as many ingredients as possible from either our own country, or from our neighbours. Only when we have no other choice do we look further away, but even then, we make sure to establish lasting relationships with the farmers we cooperate with, and only collaborate with trusted suppliers. Our aim is to offer good products with a clean conscience, and quality and sustainability is never far from our minds.

Well, there you have it, a little bit of information about Apoteum’s morale and work ethics. We hope you found it interesting, and look forward to our next blog post!