Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions. Answered.


Cannabis Topicals + Hemp

Will Green Bee products get me high? 

No. All of our products are made for topical use only and when used on the skin are non-psychoactive. 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 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 phyto-cannabinoids found in cannabis and other plants — particularly CBD — THC is an anti-aging powerhouse. 

We use THC in our pain-relieving topicals because it 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 all over the internet; why should I 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 and heavy metals. 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 0.03% 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.

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. 

We can tell you definitively that any product using hemp seed oil that claims it contains CBD is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

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 will test ours when we add hemp to our lineup.

We will answer this question in more depth in the near future, so check back with us frequently. 

Are Green Bee products tested?

Yes. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) requires stringent testing of our cannabis-based products by a third-party laboratory for dosing accuracy, potency and safety, including pesticides, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins, residual solvents and processing chemicals. 

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 CBD-containing products anywhere other than from a regulated cannabis dispensary or cannabis delivery service, 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? 

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 cannabis flower is subject to Prop 65 warnings. Additionally, if even trace amounts of any chemical on the Prop 65 list might be found in a product, even if it's naturally-occurring, the warning is required. 

In our case, this naturally-occurring chemical is a terpene called myrcene (aka β-myrcene or beta-myrcene). Natural terpenes give plants their distinctive scents, such as the citrusy smell of lemons and the crisp, refreshing scent of pine trees. Myrcene is found in fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and plants, such as mangoes, hops, bay leaves, lemongrass, eucalyptus, verbena, citrus, pomegranates, carrots — and, you guessed it, cannabis plants. 

So why do foods containing naturally-occurring myrcene like pomegranates and mangoes not require Prop 65 labels, but products containing naturally-occurring myrcene from the cannabis plant do? The short answer is that fruit is classified by the government as "food," while cannabis is not. Section § 25501 of the California Code of Regulations — "Exposure to a Naturally Occurring Chemical in a Food" — exempts fruits and food from the prop 65 warnings requirements. 

We're glad foods are exempt. Putting cancer warnings on carrots would be absurd. We think it's equally absurd to require it on natural cannabis plant products, especially those that aren't ingested or smoked, such as our skincare. 

Take the warning with a grain of salt. We appreciate the efforts of our lawmakers’ to keep us safe. We also recognize that some of these efforts have the unintended consequence of labeling healthy, healing ingredients as potentially hazardous. Topically-applied creams and oils infused with organic plants and cannabis are not dangerous. Green Bee Botanicals products are safe, pure, clean, and good for you. We use them ourselves. Our families use them. We care about the health of our customers, and go to great lengths to keep you safe. You can always read the test results of each product to verify. 

There's plenty of other ingredients to be wary of with personal care products (read more about toxins lurking in mainstream cosmetics products here). 

You can read a more thorough answer to this FAQ on our Bee Blog at https://greenbeebotanicals.com/blogs/learn/my-skincare-product-label-has-a-prop-65-warning-should-i-worry.

And if you have any questions about testing, safety, or want to talk about California cannabis regulations, or cosmetic safety, we are just a phone call, email, or DM away! 

Why is there a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance warning on your products?

All Green Bee Botanicals products are made with organic plants and flowers, organic essential oils, and clean, full-spectrum cannabis. They are not dangerous and will not get you high (see the very first FAQ above).  

But we’re still required to include a drug warning on our products because we infuse them with cannabis (aka marijuana) to get the full benefit of the whole natural plant. See our FAQ above on the “entourage effect” for why. 

In 1970 in the US, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, and as part of President Richard Nixon’s “war on drugs,” they placed cannabis into the most restrictive category, called Schedule 1, right next to heroin and PCP. 

Evidence has surfaced since then in several exposes that show that Nixon’s hostility toward the counterculture — and Black and brown people in particular — was what motivated making cannabis a Schedule 1 drug — not scientific, medical, or legal data. In fact, Nixon’s own team recommended decriminalizing marijuana and removing it from Schedule 1 in 1972 via the Shafer Commission’s report, but Nixon rejected it...even for the purposes of research, which is why the US is only now conducting important research on the health benefits of cannabinoids like CBD and CBG.

Fast forward and cannabis is now legal in 33 states, for medical use or both medical and recreational use, as of August 2020. And 12 states are expected to consider recreational and medical marijuana ballot and legislative measures this year, including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont. At least 4 states are considering legalizing medical marijuana: Alabama, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Kentucky.

At the federal level, industrial cannabis (aka hemp) was legalized in 2018, and many experts believe federal legalization of medical and recreational cannabis is on the horizon. According to Emily Paxhia, co-founder of the cannabis investment fund Poseidon Asset Management in May 2020:

"There is a probability that on the back end of the 2020 election, especially if we go into a broader economic downturn, lawmakers might see the wisdom of descheduling or legalizing cannabis at a federal level. The reason for this step is motivated by a few factors: the issue polls well across party lines (a rarity in today’s world), and the industry drives tax revenue and creates jobs.”

In the meantime though, the cannabis plant remains on the federal Schedule 1 list of controlled substances, so we are required to include the following: 

“GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY ONLY BE POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER UNLESS THE PERSON IS A QUALIFIED PATIENT. THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY BE DELAYED UP TO TWO HOURS. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.”

And yes, it’s federally required to put this warning in ALL CAPS and in bold. 

Similar to understanding why our products include a Prop 65 label even though they’re not harmful (see FAQ above), the most important thing to know is that: 

1) All of our products pass the strict California cannabis testing requirements for safety, purity, and potency.

2) We publish test results for all our products on each of our product pages.

3) Our products will not get you high, even the ones that contain THC. Read the very first FAQ on this page to understand why.  

You are always more than welcome to contact us to learn more and to ask your questions!

Ingredients

Are your ingredients organic? I don’t see that on the label…

Yes. We use nearly 100% organic and sustainably-sourced ingredients. We care about what we put on our skin and know you do too, and we care about the environment and the workers who harvest the ingredients we use. The only time we don’t use organic is in the rare case that organic is unavailable. 

And the reason you don’t see the word “organic” on our labels is because "organic" is a federal designation, and cannabis is federally illegal. Summarized by the California Department of Public Health here:  

All products that are sold, labeled or represented as organic must meet all applicable requirements in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations and the California Organic Food and Farming Act of 2016. These federal and state laws do not allow for cannabis or cannabis products, or any of their ingredients, to be labeled as organic because cannabis is illegal under federal law, the USDA does not recognize cannabis as an agricultural product, and cannabis manufacturers are not eligible for state organics processor registrations.” 

However, so that you can tell which ingredients are organic in each of our formulations, we put an asterisk next to them on our packaging and call them ‘virtuous.’ Cuz, you know, they are!

Do you use clean ingredients?

Yes. Cannabis skincare products — the kind found at cannabis dispensaries and delivery services — are the cleanest you can buy. Why? California cannabis testing is stricter than organic food testing, and only the cleanest, purest, safest products pass. Our products are made with organic essential oils, plants, flowers, and clean, full-spectrum cannabis — one of nature’s strongest antioxidants and a true superpower for your skin.California cannabis regulations are so rigorous, that the cleanest skincare products are not in your local beauty store, but in your local cannabis dispensary. Who knew?

What are the "Toxic Twenty" ingredients I've heard about and are any of them in Green Bee products?

The non-profit, non-partisan Environmental Working Group created a chart of the worst chemicals still used in cosmetics — The Toxic Twenty — that need to be banned immediately in the US, as they are in many other countries. Visit https://www.ewg.org/californiacosmetics/toxic20 for the full chart. 

No, there are no harmful ingredients in Green Bee products, especially from the Toxic Twenty. Please see our individual product page "Test Results" for proof. In the meantime, when shopping for clean skincare and cosmetics, look for these top most harmful ingredients (and common ways they're listed on labels) and do yourself a solid and avoid them: 

Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and formaldehyde releasers, such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal.

Mercury, which can damage the kidney and nervous system.

Lead, a potent neurotoxin.

Parabens (isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben), which mimic estrogens and are linked to increased breast cancer risk and reproductive problems. 

Phthalates, including DEP, DBP and DEHP, which cause reproductive harm and are potentially cancer-causing; these are often disguised as “fragrance” on labels.

Toluene, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system. 

Triclosan, which affects the thyroid.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which have been linked to cancer; there are more than 7,000 chemicals in this class — your best bet is to avoid ingredients with “fluoro” in the name.

Do you use honey or other bee ingredients?

No. All Green Bee products are 100% vegan. We don’t use any bee-derived ingredients in our products. We named the company Green Bee Botanicals because our founder Bridget May’s nickname is Bee and she is about as green as it gets, in the environmental sense. Of course, cannabis and hemp are also associated with the color green.

Do your products contain allergens?

We're pretty sensitive ourselves — it's why we started making our own skincare in the first place — so we're very careful about what we put in our products. All of our products are:

  • Lab-certified safe 
  • Paraben-free 
  • Formaldehyde-free 
  • Phthalate-free 
  • 100% vegan

That said, to keep your Green Bee products safe, it's best to store them in a cool, dark place and note that they: 

  • Are for external use only 
  • May contain oil from tree nuts (such as our face serums)
  • Should not be used if a rash or irritation develops 

I used to love a Little Green Bee product! Is it back? 

We launched in 2015 as Little Green Bee and rebranded in 2019 as Green Bee Botanicals, updating our product names and upgrading our look. 

Our time-tested recipes are the same you’ve come to love, except we added vitamin C to our serums and caffeine to our eye cream to boost the benefits of each.  

Our High CBD Healing Facial Serum is now called Renewing Serum, which has always been a 1:1 ratio THC-to-CBD blend.  

We developed a new CBD-concentrated face serum with only a trace of THC called Perfecting Serum, for problem or acne prone skin.  

Our massage oil, now called Deep Calm Massage Oil is still a luscious olive oil infusion of healing herbs and THC and CBD in a 3:1 ratio. We think you’ll love the new pump bottle dispenser!

Sales

Where can I buy Green Bee products?

Green Bee Botanicals products contain cannabis, so they are available only from licensed dispensaries and delivery services. We're currently in stores throughout California — find the one nearest you on our Where To Buy page. And if your local store or delivery service doesn't stock us yet, ask them to! 

Can Green Bee be delivered to me at home? 

Yes! Our products are stocked by a fast-growing number of cannabis delivery services around California. Find the location closest to you on our Where To Buy page.

Is Green Bee available in states outside of California?

Not yet. Cannabis products are still considered a Schedule 1 illegal drug at the federal level in the US. No interstate cannabis commerce is allowed in the regulations. Nationwide legalization would solve this problem, so contact your member of congress and make your opinions heard. 

In the meantime, we're getting requests for Green Bee from far and wide, so once we've taken care of our home state of California, we're looking to expand to other states where cannabis is legal, such as Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, etc. If you're from one of these states, let us know! It'll help us prioritize which state to buzz into next. :-) 

Can I buy directly from Green Bee online?

Sadly, no. Due to California regulations, we cannot sell directly to consumers. You can, however, find Green Bee products at many well-stocked cannabis dispensaries and cannabis delivery services. Find the location closest to you on our Where To Buy page.   


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