Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions. Answered.

Cannabis + Hemp Topicals

Will Green Bee products get me high? 

No. Hemp by definition has less than 0.3% THC, if any at all, which is too little to get you high. And our cannabis products made with THC won’t get you high either. All of our products are made for topical use only, and are non-psychoactive when used on the skin. There are two reasons for this: 

  1. Skin is an extremely effective barrier. It is built to keep out invading pathogens and toxins and to keep in the things we need, like moisture. Very little is able to get much deeper than the dermal layer, and that includes delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
  2. The THC molecule—the component of cannabis that can produce a ‘high’ in the human brain—is relatively large, and even under the best of circumstances has a difficult time passing through the cellular structures of the skin. (Even THC dermal patches that are highly-concentrated and contain penetration enhancers have been known to deliver the medicinal benefits of THC without the psychoactive effects.) 

Why is there THC in your products, and what is the “entourage effect”? 

We use THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in our skincare because THC has proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and analgesic properties (see scientific references below). In plain English, this simply means THC can help fight off skin-damaging oxidation caused by stress and pollution; heal and soothe dry, itchy, inflamed or red skin; and bring oily, acne-prone skin back into balance, beautifully and naturally. Combined with other phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and other plants — particularly CBD — THC is an anti-aging powerhouse. 

We use THC in our pain-relieving topicals because THC offers potent relief without the adverse side effects or risk of addiction of many pharmaceutical drugsThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concludes cannabis is “on a par with codeine” and researchers at the University of Guelph report it is 30 times more powerful at reducing inflammation than aspirin.

As for the entourage effect, it means that cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds of the whole cannabis plant together are quantifiably superior to single compounds, such as CBD alone. Even small doses of THC combined with CBD can improve the efficacy of cannabis topicals. Simply put, THC and CBD work better together. While federal government regulations have prevented double-blind clinical trials here in the US — the gold standard of research — international studies scientifically demonstrate that the entourage effect exists (references below).

We personally prefer to call it the “ensemble effect,” because each compound is important and enhances the therapeutic effects of the others. Whole-plant cannabis is more like a philharmonic orchestra than a pop star surrounded by her entourage. With cannabis (as with most plants), the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

  1. Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants, July 1998, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
  2. Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System, March 2019, Molecules.
  3. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid/terpenoid entourage effects, July 2011, Ethan B. Russo, British Pharmacological Society.
  4. Biosynthesis of cannflavins A and B from Cannabis sativa L, May 2019, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
  5. Researchers First to Unlock Access to Pain Relief Potential of Cannabis, July 2019, University of Guelph.
  6. Marijuana as Medicine: The Science Beyond the Controversy, 2000, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

There are so many hemp CBD products for sale on the internet; why should I order delivery from your website or go to a dispensary to get yours?

The short answer is that the cannabis market in California is strictly regulated and because of that, you are guaranteed a more potent and quality product, free from pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals like lead and mercury, and other contaminants sometimes found in mainstream cosmetics.

Cannabis sativa is a phytoremediator, which means when you buy unregulated hemp products (Cannabis sativa that is grown for industrial use and has no more than 0.3% THC), you not only may be buying a product that has little or no active cannabinoids in it (such as CBD), you also run the risk of ingesting or applying to your skin loads of toxic chemicals, because the manufacturers are not required to test for potency or purity.

If a verifiably tested clean hemp source is used, it can be made into safe, potent, effective skincare and wellness products. Trust us; it’s worth doing your homework to find out what source is used for any hemp products you put on or in your body. When Green Bee adds hemp products to our lineup, we will test every one of them and share the results, even though it is not required by law.

Does hemp oil contain CBD?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We can tell you definitively that any product using only hemp seed oil that claims it contains CBD is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

The answer to this seemingly simple question is actually kind of complicated. The science of cannabis is evolving, much of the research is new, and plant biology can be complex. Muddling things further, hemp oil is called different things by different brands. You’ll see it as hemp seed oil, cannabis sativa hemp seed oil, virgin hemp oil, hemp oil, CBD hemp oil, cannabis sativa seed oil and full-spectrum hemp oil, among other things.

But what’s causing most of the confusion is that there is a ton, and we mean a TON, of misinformation out there. First off, it’s important to know that there is a difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil.

CBD is one of dozens of healthy, healing compounds in the cannabis plant found mostly in the resin of the flowers, not in the seeds. If a hemp product is made from hemp seeds, it is botanically impossible for it to contain much, if any, CBD — or any other active cannabinoids for that matter. There may be scant traces of CBD on the coats of seeds if some resin happens to make contact with them, but not in any meaningful amount. That said, hemp seeds are an amazing food source and in the right formulation can be an effective skincare product. Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and other goodies (see “Whats so good about hemp?” below).  

On the other hand, hemp oil derived from the whole hemp plant sometimes contains CBD. We say sometimes because hemp isn’t regulated in the US and hemp products are not required to be tested, as cannabis products are. This is why hemp product labels are often misleading (or downright false) — there’s no law against labeling a hemp product “high CBD” or “CBD-rich” for example. See “Are hemp products tested?” below for more.

The big takeaway is that it’s important to carefully vet each product and its ingredients. Some hemp companies test their products for safety and potency, but most don’t. We test every small batch of everything we make, every time — both our cannabis products and our hemp products.

Are Green Bee products tested?

Yes. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) requires stringent testing of our cannabis-based products by an independent laboratory for dosing accuracy, potency and safety, including for pesticides, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins, residual solvents and processing chemicals. And even though it’s not legally required, we also pay to have all of our hemp products tested by an independent lab.

Fun fact: this is even stricter than the USDA and California Certified Organic testing requirements! All Green Bee products pass this rigorous BCC testing; the very fact that they’re on the shelf means they meet or exceed all requirements. Even if these tests weren’t required by law, we would still test our products.

As a former quality assurance chemist, our founder Bridget May understands how important testing is, and we all use Green Bee products ourselves, as do our friends and loved ones. The whole point of starting Green Bee was to make medicinal cannabis and skincare that is healing and good for all of us. When we add hemp products to our lineup, we will test them as well, even though currently it is not required by law.

If you want the detailed test results for a specific Green Bee product, please contact us with the batch number on the package — we’re happy to share and believe in 100% transparency.

Do products on Amazon or my corner store contain CBD? 

If you’re buying hemp “CBD” products on Amazon or anywhere else directly online, it may not — nay, likely does not — contain real CBD. One big clue? Amazon’s own selling guidelines prohibit the sale of products containing cannabidiol (aka CBD).

To say it another way, if you’re buying a CBD product anywhere other than from a regulated cannabis dispensary or cannabis delivery service, or if it doesn’t come with an independent lab’s Certificate of Analysis (COA) proving how much CBD is in it, there’s no way to know for sure if it contains actual CBD. Some reputable hemp CBD brands exist, but you need to do your homework.

Are hemp products tested in the US? 

First thing to know is that hemp is not regulated in the US, unlike cannabis, which is highly regulated (see “Are Green Bee products tested” above) — so hemp is not required to be tested for purity, potency or even safety, as cannabis is. Many brands take advantage of this and are very, shall we say, liberal, with their CBD labeling.  

You won’t be able to know if the CBD is clean, unless the manufacturer tests their products voluntarily and shares the results (as we do). There is no mandatory testing of hemp products.

We found one CBD skincare product that posted their test results on their website (apparently assuming people either wouldn’t actually read or wouldn’t understand them) where the test results completely contradicted all their claims of “100% organic,” “certified to be free from any pesticides, herbicides, solvents, heavy metals, or chemical fertilizers,” “lab tested for safety, purity, and potency” and “complete transparency.”

 So do your homework; it’s important and your body and your skin will thank you for it.

What’s so good about hemp?

Regardless of whether a particular hemp product does or doesn’t contain CBD, hemp as a plant is amazing stuff.

Hemp seeds, also adorably known as hemp hearts, are exceptionally nutritious: they’re high in antioxidants, have a ratio of omega-3, -6, and 9 fatty acids that perfectly mimics the optimal amount in your skin, are a fantastic plant-based protein source (more so than even chia seeds and flaxseeds), and are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which combat signs of aging. Hemp seeds also contain nourishing amino acids and minerals, including potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. So even without CBD, hemp seeds are a superfood for both your body and your skin.

Hemp stalks and fibers are made into textiles, paper, rope and even concrete and plastic. There’s not a lot this wonderplant can’t do.

Warning labels

I see a Prop 65 warning on your products—should I worry?

No. While well-intentioned, California’s Prop 65 — officially “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986” — has led to unintended consequences, especially when it comes to products made with the cannabis plant, including Green Bee Botanicals skincare.  

We appreciate this law; it’s meant to inform California consumers about food, water, dietary supplements, and other consumable products that may have ingredients that can cause cancer or birth defects. 

Green Bee Botanicals products are actually exempt from Prop 65 and do not require this warning. However, because some cannabis dispensaries will not sell products without this warning — and our products currently can be bought only from dispensaries — we include it. 

The important thing to know is that: 

1) All of our products pass the strict California cannabis testing requirements for safety, which are stricter than organic food testing.

2) We publish these test results, called certificates of analysis (COAs), for all our products on each of our product pages here.

3) Our products will not cause cancer. They are not dangerous. Read on to understand why.

First off, Prop 65 is not a product safety law; it’s a right-to-know law, which means we’re required to inform the public that a chemical from the Prop 65 list is present in a product, even if in trace amounts. Second, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) states: 

“A Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean that a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.”

It’s a painful irony to have to include Prop 65 cancer warnings on our cannabis skincare products when they are literally among only a handful of the cleanest and safest available today — with proof no less, in our posted COAs. Green Bee Botanicals was created by Bridget May specifically to make safe, clean products with safe, clean ingredients because there are so few available on the market today.  

The reason cannabis products sold in California have to have a warning on them is that in 2009, marijuana smoke was added to the Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, so all can

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