Liberalizing opinions of medical and recreational cannabis & marijuana continue to be idealized in the media in 2017. Societal, political and law-abiding views are softening because of possible health benefits of such products infused with the medical properties and attributes of the plant. In Canada, there are currently 40 “licenses issued by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).” Research continues to bring eye-opening view of the product, but unless licensed, other companies must proactively produce their products legally using hemp, which is the “fiber of the cannabis plant, extracted from the stem and used to make” products like lotions, oils, rope, fabric and paper.
Originating in April 2016, Calgary-based Better Made Blends is an up-and-coming company “in the emerging medical cannabis” industry. Locally ran and operated, the company works primarily with hemp and hemp subsidies in all its’ products that have beneficial affects when topically applied to the skin.
Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Laferriere and Chief Operating Officer, Robin Horn, began the company “with the intent of commercially cultivating medical cannabis under the MMRP (recently changed to ACMPR) regulatory regime but shifted from this direction in September 2016, because of tough regulatory rules and regulations.
“During the lengthy application process, it became evident that the approval duration, cost, and political road blocks were beyond the risk tolerance of the company,” Laferriere explained. “The typical approval duration from Health Canada ranges from 18-36 months, and the success rate [of applicants] from 2003 – 2017 is approximately 2%.”
“Additionally, we experienced political challenges with municipalities changing zoning regulations that were contrary to precedent they already set.”
Better Made Blends sought out other options to still enable the company to use cannabinoids in their products for the powerful benefits. A health conscious company, Better Made Blends provides substitution to the “normal” smoking of medicinal marijuana.
“One is hard pressed to find another prescription drug that is smoked, and we believe smoking cannabis will be passé in the near future due to the obvious health issues with smoking. We believe there is significant opportunity in producing topical creams, oils, lotions, and other method of delivering cannabinoids through the epidermis as the health benefits are retained, however the smoking and high effect are removed.” Horn said. “We started experimenting at home, making a cream for one of our moms to help with her arthritis and hip pain.
“We ended up with a recipe that really worked to help relieve minor pain, skin issues and aid in sleep. We all found benefits from using the cream – relief from cramping pain of Crohn’s disease, relief from insomnia and even psoriasis. “
Naturally appealed products help Better Made Blends stand out to the masses because of the companies polices to remain sustainable, natural and re-usable in the materials and ingredients they use.
“We operate ethically by sourcing the best possible ingredients and being transparent about what we use,” Laferriere said. “We source high-quality botanicals and ensure all products are tested in a third party lab. We don’t test on animals; we test on ourselves and our commitment is to make products that feel good, look good, smell good, [while doing] well for the body.
“We also strive to be kind to the environment by repurposing shipping materials and accepting used containers back to be reused or recycled.”
Better Made Blends: “local, handcrafted and natural; it’s better.”
What’s With the Cannabis Plant, Dude?
Why did you choose a product containing hemp? What are the health and physical benefits?
Hemp is a perfect candidate for infusion into topicals because it is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, with little to no side effects. Cannabidiol from the hemp plant has many health benefits and is being touted as a wonder drug now that more research is being conducted. The health benefits are anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic (pain reliever), anxiety, acne, PTSD, and insomnia relief.
How will your product change if legalization for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) happens?
When legalization occurs, we will be able to incorporate the full suite of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, CBG), which will enhance the benefits of using our products. With the ability to use these cannabinoids, Better Made Blends can adjust the topical characteristics accordingly. THC has known pain relief properties and CBN has sedative effects. The ability to use these compounds will dramatically enhance the therapeutic properties of our products. We are focused and actively developing recipes that will be ready for the legal Canadian cannabis market.
What are the physical and health benefits of THC & Cannabidiol (CBD)?
The known benefits are diverse and far-reaching but not fully understood due to the lack of clinical studies. With the advent of legalization, more studies and clinical trials are anticipated. The Canadian government’s Marihuana Legalization Taskforce has recommended that tax revenues from the industry be used to fund clinical research.
THC has shown to be a powerful analgesic, relieving pain, helping with sleep and relaxation. CBD is emerging as a major player in medicine because of its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without the psychoactive effects. Research is showing it to be especially promising in treating traditional difficult to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease, PTSD, and multiple sclerosis and even Dravet’s Syndrome.
Why is the company important and how will it remain current and drive the industry into the future?
We intend on buying a DeLorean, hopefully that already is fitted with a flux capacitor, once we reach 88 mph the future is ours! Oh sorry, different type of driving into the future… In all seriousness and Back to the Future references aside, the company is very much poised for the future. As we mentioned earlier, with the impending legalization of cannabis in Canada, our focus is on developing and evolving our products that will capitalize on the ability to use the full suite of cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBG etc.). We believe this is also what makes our business important, focusing on the future to enhance our products medicinal properties that will allow those seeking all natural, alternative treatment options. We will remain current by continuing to directly provide beneficial health impacts on people’s daily lives that are using our current product line. Many individuals have stated that using our products have alleviated long-standing health issues. This is important not only to the individuals, but to us as we want to continue to help those people and reach more. Our core values are to provide products that have real medicinal properties, while operating in an environmentally, socially and ethical manner. This will remain at the core of our business now and into the future.
Better Made Blends; A Natural Alternative
Cannabis topicals are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain or stiffness or for use all over the body applied the same as any lotion. Administration of cannabinoids via the topical route is beneficial due to a maintaining a constant therapeutic level and reduced side effects (i.e. healthier than smoking, no upset stomach like sometimes experienced with edibles). They provide localized relief and relaxation of muscles, and generally have no effect on the brain, meaning you won’t get “high”. All the medicinal benefits are there while keeping your mind clear.
Insomnia As an alternative to Ambien or other prescribed or over the counter sleep-medications, liberally apply topical cream all over the body. Use A Better Sleep Blend
Back/Neck pain Creams take the tension and pain out of neck and shoulders and can provide immediate relief of symptoms. The anti-inflammatory components mitigate the effects of spasms Use Pain Relief Blend
Sports Injuries/Weekend Warriors Take before and after athletic activity for pain or help with sore, stiff muscles Use Muscle & Joint or Pain Relief Blends Active Lifestyle/Baby Boomers Use for topical pain, joint pain, stress reduction, as a sleep-aid and post-surgery recovery Use Pain Relief, Muscle & Joint, A Better Sleep, De-Stress Blends Arthritis Apply on joints throughout the day Use Muscle & Joint Blend Eczema or Very Dry Skin Use Skin Repair Blend
Before/After Yoga or General Relaxation: Use Relax Blend
Low Libido: Use Ecstasy Blend
Facts & Myths of the Cannabis Plant
Myth – There’s no scientific proof that CBD works.
“While until now, most of the scientific research has been preclinical; there have been a number of human, clinical trials carried out on CBD. So far it has been shown to reduce episodes of schizophrenia and be effective at easing social anxiety. But the most extensive research on human subjects has been into treating childhood epilepsy. There have been a number of clinical trials, including by British company GW Pharmaceuticals, who have developed a CBD based drug called Epidiolex, trialed with success on children with a rare form of epilepsy at Great Ormond’s Street Hospital in London.”
Fact – CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
“So, you may not know it, but everything from sea squirts to humans have an endocannabinoid system – a vast network of receptors and cannabis-like chemicals (endocannabinoids) that regulates vital functions such as sleep, appetite, mood, memory, inflammation and reproduction. Sometimes this system can become depleted and scientists believe this may contribute to certain illnesses. Research shows that taking CBD creates higher levels of our own endocannabinoids, helping the body to restore balance again.”
Myth – Marijuana is a gateway drug.
“Unfortunately, we are living in a very toxic society. Many people are in a tremendous amount of emotion, physical and mental pain. When people are in pain, the tendency is to numb the pain and oftentimes people will experiment with dangerous drugs.
Cannabis cannot be blamed for these actions and decisions. Using Cannabis is about being well, not getting wasted. There are millions of people who use Cannabis daily and value their mind and body above all else.”
Myth – Marijuana use causes cancer.
“It’s true that marijuana smoke, like tobacco smoke, contains carcinogens. But even hardcore pot smokers typically consume much less pot than tobacco smokers do cigarettes, probably not enough to cause cancer. A 2006 UCLA study concluded that even heavy marijuana use does not lead to lung cancer. This and other studies suggest that pot can actually inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.”
Truth – Marijuana has medicinal properties.
“For many seriously ill people, medical marijuana is the only medicine that relieves pain and suffering, or treats symptoms of their medical condition, without debilitating side effects. Marijuana’s medicinal benefits are undeniable, now demonstrated by decades of studies published in highly respected medical journals.”
Truth – Marijuana legalization leads to decreased use.
“Changes in marijuana laws have not been found to have a significant impact on rates of adult use and “there is little evidence that decriminalization of marijuana use leads to substantial increase” of its’ use. Experts say this is due to a diminished “forbidden fruit” effect and decreased access to marijuana as it moves from the unregulated streets – where there are no age requirements – to inside licensed dispensaries, where you need to be legal age to purchase marijuana in the United States.”