Among the topics in today’s crowded health and beauty industry, the idea of “wellness” is a term making headlines. Ranging from apps that teach at-home yoga to medical-grade IV drips, many are wanting to achieve a little more balance in their lives. One of the fastest growing trends, cannabidiol (CBD), can be a murky subject to wade through but some recent studies show wellness benefits on the other side, including relief from acne, chronic pain and seizures caused by epilepsy. The U.S. CBD market is projected to reach $20 billion by 2024, meaning consumers will increasingly have more opportunities to pick and choose from a variety of products as manufacturers battle for their attention.
So, what is CBD and how does it affect me?
The cannabis sativa plant contains more than 113 cannabinoids that include CBD and it's better known relative tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the latter of which is responsible for the psychotropic effects associated with “getting high.”
The wellness benefits touted by some have to do with the effect CBD has on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system that interacts with other systems in the body. While the research on the ECS is sparse, it’s thought to play a role in a range of bodily functions including mood, sleep, appetite and memory. Many believe CBD helps keep ECS balanced, resulting in a range of wellness perks.
Seeing Green: The State of CBD.
We chatted with Two Cranes Botanicals founders, twins Hanna Yi and Susun Chung, who launched their company in April. And while some CBD products can raise eyebrows—do we really need CBD-infused candles?—this dynamic duo realized the potential for wellness oriented CBD after Yi, who suffered from anxiety, and Chung, who developed an autoimmune disorder from a stressful career in corporate finance, found balance after a friend suggested they try cannabis. “Susun had severe cystic acne that was a physical manifestation of her stress,” says Yi, who supports Two Cranes’ marketing and operations in Seattle. “CBD wasn’t the cure-all or the only reason for her healing but it was another tool that helped support her body in a significant way.”
While CBD-infused oils are not new, Yi and Chung have created their elixirs with a focus on incorporating the whole plant, blending their CBD with extracts from Asian botanicals while keeping transparency top-of-mind. After securing a single source grower in Colorado, who doesn’t use herbicides, pesticides, solvents or preservatives, Yi and Chung spent two years formulating their Attune CBD Oil.
They self-subject their products to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified third-party labs to verify the mixture’s profile. This approach was born after realizing a lack of transparency in the products Yi and Chung tried initially. According to a 2017 study, 26% of 86 products purchased and tested contained less CBD than labeled.
Consumers are advised to take Attune CBD Oil sublingually (the suggested serving size is 0.5 mL or about 15 drops) or add it to food, such as a smoothie. Yi estimates the effects from CBD will last up to four hours when absorbed below the tongue, and up to seven hours when combined with food. The possible wellness benefits include improved sleep, cognitive function, reduced anxiety and menstrual pain relief.
With continued growth on the horizon—K-beauty-inspired topical products are planned for early 2020—Yi and Chung are already making their mark on the quickly evolving industry, where women aren’t usually in executive roles. And perhaps Yi and Chung’s first foray into business together was meant to be—their paternal grandfather, who they never met, was a successful entrepreneur in Korea. His first company, a rice wine manufacturer, was named “Two Cranes.”