WOW Factor: The Full Spectrum Difference, Finding the Right Dose, and the Future of CBD.
While the CBD market can seem like a space flooded with entrepreneurs hoping to get rich quick, a few companies are taking the road less traveled and putting products on the market that are truly meant to enhance individual wellbeing. One of these companies is Bace Health. Bace does things a bit differently in the space, offering customers a way to determine their optimal dose, before committing to purchase a large supply of the product.
How To Find the Right Dose of CBD
We recently asked the co-founder of Bace, Sarabeth Perry, all of our most pressing questions about the CBD space: how to find the right dose of CBD, why a full spectrum formula is important, and where she thinks the industry is heading.
Hint: Sarabeth predicts (and we tend to agree) that the cannabis for health revolution has only just begun.
Thanks so much for chatting with us about Bace!
You’re a cofounder of Bace, and a pre-med graduate of Carnegie Mellon. You’ve also spent time as a clinical research assistant at Mt. Sinai. How did this background contribute to the creation of Bace and where did you meet your cofounder?
I met my cofounder at Carnegie Mellon actually! We’ve been great friends for almost seven years now, and have been in a relationship for almost four of those seven.
I’ve always had really diverse interests, but the connecting thread between it all is my need to serve peoples’ health. One of the things that impacts people’s quality of life above all is having agency over their health and life.
We’ve noticed that Bace is doing things differently in the CBD space. Instead of CBD oils or tinctures (which are very popular at the moment), you choose to use ingestible capsules to deliver whole hemp extract. Can you tell us a little about this decision?
Absolutely! This was something that we thought a long time about. When we initially started working on Bace, our goal in mind was:
And when you look at the delivery mechanisms available, a vape initially seemed like the way to go because of the quickness of delivery and the virality it was enjoying (back in 2018 of course).
That didn’t last long though. With even 20 minutes of research, we realized there was so much that could go wrong either in the formulation of the vape cartridges or in the physical vape itself that I felt really uncomfortable pursuing it, especially as a health-focused company.
We ultimately decided on capsules for a few reasons.
- It’s a familiar form factor. We want to provide people curious about hemp with an easy way to experience it, and asking them to take a capsule versus learning a completely new way of doing something (drops, vape, patch, etc) is just one less barrier to entry.
- There’s no after taste. During our beta testing this was a huge reason that people said they stopped using hemp, even if they had pretty good results from it.
Bace’s Discovery Pack is a very unique product in the space. Can you tell us a little about why you developed it and how it can help someone figure out the right dose?
The Discovery Pack is really something that we decided to create after learning from our beta testing and clinical advisory network.
Back in 2019, we wanted to explore the problems that people were having in successfully incorporating hemp into their routines. From our perspective, there were a lot of people who could benefit from it but for some reason couldn’t get over the initial hurdle.
We realized, with the help of our beta testers, that the biggest problem really starts at guidance.
A specific challenge is dosing, as there is no calculator to determine the optimal dose for an individual.
The age-old wisdom that you’ll hear from doctors and cannabis experts is to “Start low, and go slow”, and after consulting with our clinical advisors and researchers, we decided to take that advice and package it into a product. We think it’s the easiest and safest way to try hemp for the first time.
Speaking of finding the right dose. Why is this so important?
Finding the right strength is really a matter of getting the most value out of hemp.
If you’re taking a strength that doesn’t do enough, or does too much, then you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. Of course, it’s not as simple as having a perfect strength for all days, because every day is different! Just like you might crave a strength training session one day, the next you might really need to do a yoga class.
That’s the idea behind getting to try 4 different strengths of hemp in the Discovery Pack – you’ll get a good sense of how your body reacts to the different strengths and will be able to then understand how to use hemp as a tool in your healthcare toolkit.
What do you recommend after someone has finished the Discovery Pack?
After the Discovery Pack, we offer two different full-sized products, the Duo Standard and the Duo Plus. Each offer a month’s supply of two different strengths of hemp capsules. Based on what strength range (lower or higher) you found was best for you during the Discovery Pack, we suggest going to the Duo that’s suited for you. The pamphlet included in the Discovery Pack will help guide you to that as well.
Where is your hemp sourced?
We source our hemp from one farm in Colorado – we were lucky to be introduced to the farmer based on our shared vision of Hemp for Good.
It took many, many meetings with people from all different parts of the supply chain to find the people who aligned with our vision and would help us uphold our values.
Can you talk a little about your full spectrum formula and why full spectrum is important?
Happy to speak on this.
Our full spectrum formula comes directly from the plant – we never add any cannabinoids or terpenes in again after extraction. This is a really subtle but quite important differentiation.
A lot of times, companies need to isolate singular cannabinoids and terpenes (sometimes these compounds aren’t even derived from hemp) and add them into their hemp extract because the extraction method they use strips apart, or only does a good job of extracting a few phytochemicals.
We use a pressure and water based extraction method (no chemicals like CO2 or ethanol), that essentially infuses the whole plant extract directly into the coconut oil, so what you’re getting is a direct representation of the plant profile.
There’s been some preliminary evidence that an extract that’s fuller spectrum (contains more cannabinoids and terpenes) works better than isolate, and we subscribe to a whole plant philosophy in general.
The idea is that all of these cannabinoids work better together rather than isolated is often called the entourage effect. It’s more of a hypothesis at this point but one that I certainly think has some legs to it – CBD and THC are just two of many potentially beneficial compounds found in the plant.
Since the passage of the Farm Bill in December of 2018, it’s seems like there has been a plethora of CBD products flooding the market. This makes it difficult for consumers to differentiate one CBD product from the next. Can you share some of the red flags CBD consumers can look out for when shopping for CBD?
Yes – we’re at the point where anyone selling cbd or hemp products should absolutely be publishing their 3rd party test results before purchase. These should be publicly available on the website. There’s simply no reason not to.
Beyond the potency tests that show the cannabinoid content, I’d encourage consumers to look for heavy metal testing, microbial contamination testing and pesticide tests. Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means that anything (even what’s in the air) ends up in the plant. So making sure that you know that you are ingesting a clean product is of the utmost importance.
Lastly, ensure that your products only contain terpenes and cannabinoids derived from the plant. To accommodate for suboptimal extraction techniques, terpenes are often added from sources other than cannabis (because they are cheaper) and in higher levels than found in the plant. In addition, increasingly, cannabinoids such as CBN, are synthesized and re-added into a formulation.
How do you think the CBD industry will progress in the next few years & what are your hopes for the future of cannabis?
It’s super interesting to think about. While it can feel like it’s a completely flooded market because of the boom last year, I’m of the belief that we’re still at the completely beginning stages.
The CBD industry in particular I think will branch off into a few different directions:
- Beauty and skinceuticals, which we’re already seeing;
- Being added in as an ingredient in herbal products, and;
- More of a medical route.
I think we’ve seen with the vape crisis that when profit is put over people bad things can happen, and because it’s so new, there’s a lot of room for big money to dictate what decisions get made for the bottom line.
The person who discovered the endocannabinoid system, Lumir Hanus says it pretty well:
“One direction will focus on production of derivatives of active compounds that could be patented and sold in order to make as much money as possible. The other direction puts patients before profit and focuses on the use of the whole plant and synergistic effects of its compounds.”Lumir Hanus
I certainly hope it can go in the direction of the former. There’s so much untapped potential in hemp and cannabis, but to realize that requires a real dedication to the consumer’s health and needs above everything else.
I’m hopeful that we can be part of the movement to advance cannabis for public health.