The CBD Supermarket Ripoff

America, 1937: Hemp becomes illegal almost overnight, yet wild-growing hemp keeps popping up everywhere. Federal agents respond by cutting it down, and in the 60+ years that follow, they reportedly eradicate over 100 million hemp plants. Yet hemp persists, if only by a very fibrous thread.

America, 2019: Hemp becomes fully legal almost overnight. CBD products pop up everywhere. Not in fields or along on the roadside, obviously — unless you venture into a roadside gas station — but in grocery stores, convenience stores, and chain pharmacies. And CBD has quickly become adopted by everyone from busy professionals to elite athletes.

Yet even with all this popularity, premium CBD is still hard to find. Why is that? For the same reason that hemp was outlawed so many decades ago: profit margins.

Back in the 1930s hemp was cutting into the profitability of competing forestry industries. Nowadays, CBD companies are cutting corners in their own production processes. Considering those seemingly good deals you might find in the convenience store, they’re not quite as good as they seem.

buying cbd from grocery

The Price Per Milligram Problem

As consumers, we’ve become quite accustomed to analyzing our prospective purchases by their price per unit. Go to the grocery store and you will of course see price tags showing exactly that. Bananas for only 59 cents per pound? Sweet!

In the very same way and with the same simple math, diligent consumers can quickly find out just how affordable their CBD is. Take a quick survey of the corner store and you might see any of the following possible prices:

100 milligrams of CBD for $51.99?
$52/100 = 52 cents per milligram.

1,000 milligrams of CBD for $99?
$99/1,000 = 9.9 cents per milligram…much better, let’s buy it!

Ok… so we all know now to look more closely at the label before making a buying decision. But there’s another problem with this simple approach; not all CBD is created equal. The reality is that many CBD products are absorbed very poorly by the body. That’s because CBD is extracted as an oil while the human body is 60% water. Think back to elementary school science class… oil and water don’t mix.

In other words, a 400mg chain-brand CBD product priced at $39.99 might seem inexpensive (10 cents per mg). But if only 15 percent of that CBD actually makes it into your bloodstream where it can make a difference, not so much.

supermarket brand cbd

Take it from the experts, who said in a 2018 Review that “the oral bioavailability of CBD has been shown to be very low (13–19%). It undergoes extensive first pass metabolism and its metabolites are mostly excreted via the kidneys.”

Another study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine states “the oral bioavailability of cannabidiol (CBD) is low due to poor water solubility and susceptibility to extensive first pass metabolism, resulting in relative bioavailability of 6%.”

The Bioavailability-Boosting Promise

Thankfully, CBD’s bioavailability problem has one viable solution. Science has recently discovered how to make CBD water-soluble. Making this quantum leap towards better absorption requires a process called nanoemulsion, where CBD molecules are encapsulated by a fat-based bilayer. This process of nanoemulsion leads to a much larger surface area of the resulting hemp extract droplets.

This patent pending, nano-sized microemulsion process is what sets Venga CBD apart from other CBD companies who aim to serve endurance athletes.

The Results of Nanoemulsion?

Unparalleled bioavailability — research reveals up to 5 times more absorption into the bloodstream than what typical CBD products can deliver. Nano CBD is absorbed more completely, kicks in faster, and remains in our bloodstream longer than virtually any alternative form of CBD. Additionally, the CBD-wasting ‘first-pass metabolism’ (i.e. liver metabolism) ceases to be a critical consideration since our nanoemulsion formula is instead quickly absorbed within the gut.

One more thing to consider; though any nano-particle CBD marks an improvement over the formulas of the past, Venga CBD nano-particles are some of the smallest (and therefore most bioavailable) on the market. They measure a mere 25 nanometers in diameter each, compared with the 100-5000 nanometer particles present in more ‘standard’ liposomal blends. For reference, 25nm isn’t much larger than a single mitochondrion!

The Real Price Point Standard

In light of all this, we’d like to propose a new way to gauge CBD’s affordability. Why not look at the price of the CBD that actually makes it into the bloodstream? It’s only from there that CBD can activate the endocannabinoid system and provide its characteristic health benefits, after all.

The new method would go something like this:

A competitor’s 30 count of 25mg CBD softgels are selling for $60. Research on standard CBD oil when orally administered proves that our bodies can only absorb 13-19% at most. The rest is just excreted as undigested waste. So this 750mg bottle of CBD really only offers your body ~113 milligrams of CBD. Here’s the notable math:

15% (bioavailability) of 750mg = 113mg CBD.

$60.00 (price) / 113mg = $0.53 per milligram.

Next, let’s look at the math when examining water-soluble, nano CBD products:

Venga CBD Ultra Gels, 750mg of nano CBD, is sold for $99. As we know, nano-emulsified CBD has an absorption rate (bioavailability) of 85%. So how does this compare?

85% (improved bioavailability) of 750mg = 637mg CBD.

$99 (price) / 637mg = $0.16 per milligram.

That makes Venga water-soluble CBD less than one-third of the price of the competing brand.

nanoemulsion cbd

Suffice to say, the difference here is huge. A product which at first glance seemed cheaper is in reality — according to your body — over 3 times more expensive!

The same thing happens when you assess the price of our 1,000mg Recovery Balm. Its price is $99, not too dissimilar from many other CBD topicals… but it only costs 12 cents to put each milligram of CBD fully to work for your body. A leading competitor’s 600mg balm is priced at $59. But factoring in a bioavailability of just 15%, that means their CBD is 66 cents per milligram… over 5 times more expensive!

Another Thing About Supermarket CBD…

It’s clear that CBD has gone mainstream. You’ve probably noticed its newfound retail presence, too. And if you’re anything like us, you might see CBD at the gas station or grocery store and wonder — “Where does this stuff really come from, anyway?”

It’s a good question to ask and a tough one to answer. Many companies source their hemp from overseas, so it could be from as far away as Western Europe, Asia or Czechoslavakia. Regardless, it probably changed hands enough times to render seed-to-sale accountability impossible.

Contrast that with Venga’s CBD source — natural hemp, Colorado-grown — and the quality gap becomes even more apparent. You can read more about our sourcing in the FAQ page of our website.

Unfortunately, with a mysterious supply chain often comes mysterious ingredients. Studies done in 2017 and 2018 reveal that most CBD products didn’t contain what they said they did.

Where it gets scary, especially for athletes or individuals subject to drug testing, is in the instance that products contain more THC than the .3% Federal limit. So choosing a product that is proven to be THC-free is your best course of action for avoiding a failed drug test.

Even worse than that, the average CBD product may contain all sorts of additives. Another 2018 study uncovered everything from alcohols to aldehydes to acetone! While this type of contamination is rare, it can and does happen, which calls for consumers to be cognizant of where their CBD is sourced.

So if a CBD company doesn’t readily display 3rd party lab test results, doesn’t use organic growing practices, or doesn’t reveal its extraction method, buyer beware! Especially when a growing number of quality, trusted suppliers exist. Your body will thank you, and so will your wallet.

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