A pair of Gwyneth Paltrow proteges who worked at her lifestyle empire Goop have built their own version of the site devoted to all things CBD.
Ashley Lewis, 35, who oversaw the company’s wellness products, and Meredith Schroeder, 34, a former buyer at Goop, this week launched Fleur Marché (French for “flower market”), a retail site geared toward women and loaded with skincare products, menstrual pain relief oils, tinctures, edibles and lotions. The products contain CBD (Cannabidiol), made from a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant said to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation and insomnia, among other conditions. (CBD, unlike the THC in cannabis, doesn’t get you high.)
Schroeder says they designed the site with luxury and self-care in mind. “I felt like there was a lack of sophistication in the cannabis space,” she told Moneyish.
With the CBD market slated to reach nearly $2 billion by 2022, according to New Frontier Data, the buzzy ingredient continues to grow increasingly ubiquitous as it appears in cocktails, at coffee shops and restaurants, in spa treatments, and even on room-service menus.
President Trump last month signed the $867 billion farm bill, which allows states to legally produce the hemp plant, from which CBD can be extracted. But despite hemp legalization, the FDA still largely considers CBD products illegal to add to food or health products without approval from the federal agency, since products have not been clinically proven to be safe or effective.
Weeding out the junk from the good stuff is where Lewis and Schroeder came in. They wanted to tap in to the canna-curious female consumer, giving her a classier CBD experience while educating her on the products and their potential uses.
“When you reposition CBD to women as part of self-care, and something that would help with anxiety, sleep and PMS as opposed to something that is just for recreational use, you can garner a whole bunch of different consumers,” Lewis said.
Fleur Marché categorizes products based on intended use, like pain relief or PMS. Doctors approve, but caution they can have side effects if a person is taking other medications.
“While the benefit of CBD for menstrual cramps has not been clinically proven, CBD has an anti-inflammatory property, so it makes perfect sense to help with menstrual pain in that it will help with inflammation,” Diana Martins-Welch, an attending physician in palliative medicine at Northwell Health, told Moneyish.
The “cannabis apothecary,” as the website calls it, contains products ranging in price from a $9 CBD hydrating lip balm to the $110 PM Formula, a tincture that claims to help with sleep and pain management. In true Goop fashion, Lewis and Schroeder say they tried all of the products themselves before putting them on the site. Product labels include ingredients, CBD content, serving size and instructions on use or consumption.
Dr. Junella Chin, an integrative cannabis physician based in New York, told Moneyish her recommended dosage of CBD is between 15 to 20 mg per day, and suggested spacing out doses a few times a day instead of taking them all in one shot. For beauty and wellness products like lotions, lip balm or skincare, 5 mg of CBD is a safe and effective dose, she said.
“You can take it [CBD] every day. Some patients do it three times a week; some patients do it during their cycle or after they workout,” Chin said. “For pain relief, I like to use a tincture because you can control the dosage. If it’s a gel cap or an edible, it’s very hard to cut the dose in half and be exact.”
While Chin, a medical cannabis expert at CannabisMd, says there’s no danger of overdosing on CBD, it does have its side effects.
“You can certainly overconsume,” she said. “Let’s say by accident you took the whole tincture bottle and downed it like a shot — you would just feel very uncomfortable. You might have heart palpitations; you might vomit, but your heart and lungs are intact.”
Of course, Fleur Marché also plays to its position as a “wellness” brand with CBD-infused bath salts, eye masks, hangover patches, and even a massage oil that allegedly contains eight plant-based aphrodisiacs. Chin stresses she is skeptical of CBD products — like gummies, for example — that don’t serve a purpose other than to jump on the money-making trend. Bottom line: Read the label.
“Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon because it [CBD] has great benefits with little risks, but don’t trust every company — I always put in the caveat you have look for a good company,” Chin said. “Hemp extract doesn’t correlate to CBD.”
Martins-Welch scanned the Fleur Marché product list and said she was impressed with the transparency of ingredients and where they come from: “They mention all the things you want to hear about quality standards, provide a Certificate of Analysis when requested, and list out CBD dosing clearly,” she said.
Though Paltrow is not currently an investor in the company, she has given her seal of approval, the founders confirmed. A search for CBD on Paltrow’s Goop, however, brings up zero results — perhaps leaving room for a future collaboration.
“She’s been extremely supportive so far,” Schroeder said. “We were able to do this because we took inspiration directly from her.”
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