CBD has become practically ubiquitous in recent months. The non-psychoactive cannabis derivative is now being used in everything from infused water to skincare to pet products. We wanted to know what’s up with this “not pot” plant-based product, so we turned to an in-the-field expert to learn more: Shauna Blanch, founder of Color Up Therapeutics, a reputable CBD line that is now being used in many Red Door spas nationwide.
Below, is our exclusive Pursuitist Q&A.
What made you start Color Up Therapeutics?
A love for animals and their wellbeing is what prompted my co-founders and me to begin a journey with CBD-infused products. We started making CBD products when our dog Kali was diagnosed with cancer. The experience with extending Kali’s life, combined with success stories from those who were trying our products for animals, led us to growing the brand into internal and body care products in 2017 and skincare in 2018.
You are one of the first lines on the market to mix advanced skincare techniques, like peptides and hyaluronic acid, with CBD. What is the reason for the marriage of the two areas?
Having launched our products in one of the best local massage and aesthetics schools in Colorado, we had access to pick the brains of, and test products on, long-time aestheticians, massage therapists, skincare educators and students. At that time, we had already created our internal and topical lines, which were both heavily focused on natural and clean ingredients, with an emphasis on efficacy.
While our all-natural approach was encouraged during formulation of the skincare line, it also became evident at student clinics, that there is a world of people, from Baby Boomers to Millennials, who really need natural, corrective skincare. Though CBD is a powerful ingredient in and of itself, when coupled with advanced actives that complement its effects and benefits, it’s even more of a powerhouse.
Our formulator, Will Parker, spent endless hours in the research lab finding ingredients that were safe, biocompatible, clean, natural, vegan, cruelty-free and so on. Once all those points were met, he made sure it worked synergistically with CBD in order to enhance its optimum efficacy. He’s a formulating genius; Will finds the mechanism of action of a certain chemical that triggers the response we want, and then finds a way to make the same thing happen using safer and cleaner options. All that to say, the reason we chose to marry the two is because our community presented us with a need. The main reason we got into this industry, and this business, was because we saw a need that we knew we needed to fill.
What are some of the best benefits about CBD?
From what we know thus far, CBD’s greatest benefits are its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic advantages, and its ability to encourage the body to find balance; from skin care to internal care. Other benefits of CBD are its neuroprotective properties, its ability to encourage bone stimulation, reduce seizures and spasms, and something we have seen anecdotally is its potential ability to help with addiction. Internally, one of its greatest benefits, and one that has changed my life, is its ability to alleviate anxieties and stresses. We have hundreds of clients who use it for psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions as well. In skincare specifically, some of CBDs greatest benefits are its antioxidant properties, ability to regulate sebum production, and again, it’s an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.
We see CBD all over the market right now. What should people look out for when searching for a reputable brand?
Where does it comes from? Anything coming from outside of America is of question. Until laws change and there is more structure surrounding testing, don’t buy from overseas. Try to find something from a more-regulated state like Colorado. People don’t realize how many licenses you need for a manufacturing lab, let alone one that makes Cannabis infused products. We know all about this.
Do they provide 3rd party lab tests? This means testing from wherever the initial raw product (isolated CBD or Full Spectrum) comes from, testing once it’s received by the production lab, and then testing on the final products.
Make sure it contains CBD and not just Hemp Seed Oil! This is the biggest misconception and form of green washing on the market right now. Though Hemp Seed Oil is also a powerful ingredient, it does not contain CBD or other cannabinoids. Hemp Seed Oil is extracted from the male, non-flowering plants, while Cannabinoids are extracted from the female, flowering (or aerial) parts of the plant.
Where are the products being manufactured? A lot of CBD companies are having products white labeled and manufactured off-site. All our products are made in our production lab on campus at our wellness center. It’s a really important step of the process; handing that over to a lab that’s producing products from hundreds of companies takes away the ability to maintain quality control and customization.
Does the company offer education? Education on the products, as well as Cannabis and CBD in general, is imperative at this stage in the game. If a consumer doesn’t know how to take it, what the best delivery route is for their situation, or where to start, they aren’t going to be as successful with their treatment. At Color Up, our team is stacked with professionals and we have an entire department dedicated to educating our wholesale accounts (aestheticians, massage therapists, practitioners, nurses, etc.), as well as our retail accounts.”
Do you think CBD will be a fad or is it here to stay?
To say CBD is a fad would go against everything we believe. Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and for decades it was grown everywhere. Animals ate it and we ate animals; therefore, we naturally ate our daily cannabinoids. Furthermore, we used Cannabis for everything from wounds and infections, to internal imbalances. Fast forward a few thousand years and we are just now in the infant stages of research that’s proving we all may have some stage of cannabinoid deficiency due to the prohibition of the plant. Not only do I think we will find that CBD is here to stay, but I also believe that all the other cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant will find their place in the healing community. Think CBG, CBN and CBC.
What’s next for you and the brand?
We just moved into our newest Cannabis Wellness and Education Center in a beautiful space in Denver. We’re still on South Broadway where we’ve been for the last couple of years, but now we have event rental space where we host weekly CBD-infused yoga and meditations, nutritional classes, cooking workshops, and everything from weddings to educational classes and conferences.
We are currently in the process of acquiring our social consumption license and will soon be the largest wellness center in the city to legally allow social consumption of cannabis in a responsible and regulated environment. Our intention with this license is always to continue to provide a safe space for people to ask their questions and test products with knowledgeable educators and professionals on hand. The city of Denver has been a true pleasure to work with and they are just as on board with our intention as our landlords and neighbors. We are so grateful for our progressive city!
On 4/20 this year, we will be launching our new online education program that will include webinars and optional in-class time. We’ll be hosting a family-friendly event at the wellness center with cannabis educational classes, free CBD massages and other services, music, food, aerial performances, comedians and more. Our intention has always been to introduce Cannabis into the health and wellness industry in a way that is attainable and accessible; this new space is giving us the opportunity to do that on a much larger scale.
Outside of the wellness center, we will be attending a few larger beauty industry trade shows and partnering up with a wonderful oncology company to officially offer oncology safe products.
Personally, I just moved into the home behind the new center with one of my business partners, Bryce. We will be opening the enormous backyard we inherited to the community. We’ll have a large vegetable/fruit garden, fire pit, meditation oasis and a short pathway back to the wellness center. There’s nothing better to us than being able to open up our business and our home to the community.
If you’re in the area, please come visit us on 4/20 this year. If not on 4/20, please come any time. We love visitors and we have an incredibly knowledgeable team that is ready and willing to answer all your questions!