CIITECH is a Cannabis research company that has brought reliable and high quality CBD brands such as Provacan and IMPACT SPORTS CBD to the UK and beyond. Cannabis Health finds out more about the business, in conversation with founder Clifton Flack.
Tell us about the inception of the first CiiTECH brand.
Clifton: After a number of years building the global cannabis community in Israel, I saw a huge opportunity in my home country, the UK where an unregulated CBD industry had begun to explode. With many brands making unsubstantiated claims and mislabeling their products, I recognised the need for consumers to be protected – and the key to this is research.
We launched Provacan in 2017. It was important for our flagship brand to understand the UK consumer and build a brand with a trustworthy, simple and effective approach that would appeal to a broad demographic of people.
This is also the reason for our simple, medically branded packaging that is easy to understand. Provacan products are committed to quality and simplicity which is the way CBD was meant to be.
Provacan has formed a number of joint ventures to bring the best of CBD and science to the UK. It continually works with leading formulators and innovators to bring to market the most efficient and cost-effective products and has seen the formation of CiiTECH’s next two CBD brands IMPACT and HUGG.
After the success of Provacan why did you decide to launch IMPACT Sports CBD?
Clifton: While Provacan appeals to a much wider audience IMPACT has targeted formulations for athletes both professional and amatuer. We understand the importance of quality and pure products in this space, connecting with the needs of community and the importance of fitness on the mind and body.
Does IMPACT CBD focus on any specific sports?
Clifton: IMPACT works very closely with professional sports and sports players as well as the general fitness community to develop its pro-range of products. From the beginning we launched the brand with pro-rugby player Ben Franks who really understood the importance of good, quality CBD supplements in the sport.
IMPACT is proud to work with a range of inspirational people across a wide selection of sports through sponsorships of aspiring athletes to pro-sports and an ambassador program which has led to #buildingfitnesstogther.
IMPACT sponsors young and pro athletes, teams, and initiatives.
These include Fresh Ego FC, an amateur football club founded by ex professional footballer, Marvin Morgan. Fresh Ego FC raise’s awareness and funds to support mental health and grass roots projects to help both young and retired footballers tackle racism and mental wellbeing.
As well as Jordan Vucenic, a budding Featherweight MMA Fighter, and Sebastian Jimenez, a South American born surfer who has lived in Scotland for many years and is committed to promoting cold water surfing in Scotland and building the next generation of Scottish surfers.
Why athletes exercise caution when it comes to Sports CBD?
Clifton: Many CBD companies produce full-spectrum CBD oil which may contain very small trace amounts of THC which is prohibited in sports. WADA warns on their website that while “CBD is not prohibited; however, athletes should be aware that some CBD oils and tinctures extracted from cannabis plants, may also contain THC and other cannabinoids that could result in a positive test for a prohibited cannabinoid.”
Will IMPACT have a 0% THC CBD Oil?
Clifton: After several months IMPACT is proud to announce that yes we are at the final stages of launching our 0% THC formula that will allow all sports players including professional sports players to freely enjoy CBD without 0% THC.
Our new 0% THC IMPACT Pro CBD formula will also include a new, more precise application method as well as a few other surprises that will lead the product to be the new gold standard of CBD products available to the pro-sports world.
How are you preparing for the UK’s Food Standards Authority’s (FSA) Novel Food regulations coming into force at the end of March next year?
Clifton: The team has taken the necessary steps to ensure we are ready for the new regulations to take effect. We have been working closely with all industry stakeholders to ensure that all our brands adhere to the guidance set forth by the FSA and Novel foods.
Our products, including the new IMPACT pro range of 0% THC CBD oil comply 100 percent with the stringent EU and UK agricultural directives and we expect all our brands to be ready when the new regulations come into effect next year.
What impact do you think the introduction of the regulations will have on the industry?
Clifton: The new regulations will clean up the market, getting rid of any products that do not
comply with new regulations. This will make all CBD users more confident in what they are
buying with more clarity and precise labelling.
Who is CiiTECH?
Clifton: CiiTECH is a brand focused consumer-goods company that is currently operating in the field of non-psychoactive cannabinoid wellness products, in particular CBD. Our partnerships with renowned universities and leading scientists, especially those in Israel enable us to develop and bring to market breakthrough, science-led, cannabis products.
Why did you choose Israel to carry out this pioneering medical cannabis work?
Clifton: Israel has been at the forefront of cannabis research for over 50 years and this gold-
label institution has the richest history of cannabis breakthroughs and cannabinoid therapy
patents in the world.
While the rest of the world was preoccupied with prohibition and propaganda, Professor Raphael Mechoulam was busy unlocking the secrets of the cannabis plant at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It was here that Professor Mechoulam elucidated the structure of CBD, and isolated THC in pure form for the first time.
The rich history of cannabis R&D in Israel ultimately led to one of our first collaborative efforts.
What does the future hold for CiiTECH?
Clifton: It is a very exciting time at CiiTECH as we continue to develop new patents,
formulations and brands that meet the growing needs of niche markets around the world.
Our global expansion tells us that we are doing something right and that our products are addressing a market that is lacking something that consumers want.
Although the landscape will likely look very different this time next year, with the
technology, research and expertise we have, CiiTECH is set to be at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.
The best ways to take CBD for pain relief
CBD is becoming a popular tool for pain management, but with so many options out there, how do you know where to start?
With research constantly emerging to support the health benefits of CBD, more and more people are turning to the remedy – especially when it comes to alleviating pain and discomfort.
But how does it actually work? There are several ways to take CBD, each offering various pros and cons – we’ve rounded up some of the best methods.
In terms of pain relief, one of the most common methods is on the skin. Topical products like lotions and balms can be applied to skin over painful joints or bones and are particularly effective when used to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
However, research is still ongoing to determine whether these products deliver CBD below the skin. It is also difficult to pinpoint the exact effect CBD delivers – with many including common over-the-counter ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin and camphor, it’s uncertain whether the positive relief is solely due to CBD, or if these other ingredients play a significant role.
Several studies have hailed CBD oil as one of the most helpful methods when it comes to relieving pain symptoms, especially when combined with other forms such as topicals.
Medical nutritionist and health author Dr Sarah Brewer said: “Cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the endocannabinoid system in the brain. This enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin and anandamide, to reduce pain perception. It is also a powerful antioxidant which suppresses inflammation.”
Something to digest
Another well-known method for using CBD is by mouth. Whether in capsules, food or liquid, CBD that is swallowed is absorbed through the digestive tract.
Despite its popularity, this method does have its downfalls. Absorption is slow and dosing can be tricky due to the delayed onset of effect (it can take one to two hours to fully have an impact), plus many believe there isn’t enough research into how recent meals and other factors affect consumption.
But it has been widely reported that after a safe and effective dose has been established, capsules can work for daily use.
While it may not taste particularly pleasant, CBD can also be effectively absorbed directly into the bloodstream by holding liquid from a spray or dropper under the tongue. Research shows effects can the be felt in as little as a few minutes.
Give the vapors
CBD can also be inhaled via a vaporising, ‘vape’ pen. However, it’s possible that inhalation can carry unknown risks, particularly in those with respiratory issues and ailments such as inflammatory arthritis, and so isn’t widely recommended as a method for use.
With all methods, the common downfall is wavering dosage guidelines. Measures can change depending on a number of factors including age, weight and reason for use, however resounding guidance from experts is to ‘go low and slow’. Start with just a few milligrams twice a day, and if relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose by the same amount, in small increments over several weeks if needed.
It’s clear that more research is needed to determine exact details into these methods, but this is only set to increase as the number of people turning to CBD for pain relief continues to grow.
CBD distillates, isolates & full spectrum – what’s the difference?
With so many CBD products on the market, do you know your distillates from your isolates? The experts at US manufacturer Fresh Bros break it down.
Las Vegas manufacturer Fresh Bros have nearly a decade of experience in the hemp industry.
But with so many products on the market Fresh Bros want to help consumers find the best products for their needs.
Here they explain the differences between CBD distillate, CBD isolate, and full-spectrum CBD products, as well as highlighting the key differences between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most researched compounds of all the known phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD isolates are, unsurprisingly, isolated forms of CBD. During the extraction process, cannabidiols are removed or filtered out of the hemp plant except for CBD, resulting in a pure product.
CBD isolate is great for anyone who struggles with the original earthy flavors of other conventional oils or edibles, so if you’d prefer a high-potency CBD product that is tasty, doesn’t contain THC and or any “extra” cannabinoids that are found in a distillate or full-spectrum product — CBD isolate may be the way to go.
Unlike CBD isolate, CBD distillate (aka broad-spectrum CBD) typically contains an array of cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and fatty acids that are very beneficial to the body. CBD distillate contains only negligible amounts of THC after going through special processing.
CBD isolate is an incredible healing source, of course, but there are hundreds of other beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant besides CBD – cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) to name a couple.
Therefore, if you want to reap all of the potential benefits of CBD without the high, and you don’t mind the stronger taste, CBD distillate may be the best option for you.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials – including the naturally occurring small amount of THC in hemp.
Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC
The cannabis plant has more than 120 cannabinoids, but only a fraction of these have really been studied and marketed. Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and has received a lot of attention over the last few years.
However, consumers are slowly noticing the lesser-known Delta 8 THC (a less available double-bond isomer of the more common Delta 9 THC, also derived from hemp) due to its unique properties. The main differences between these two types of THC are found in the molecular structures of both, and it’s worth noting that Delta 8 THC is capable of producing a milder, more manageable, and more enjoyable high compared to Delta 9.
Delta 8 also has added therapeutic benefits and less severe and functionality-impairing side effects.
Five ways CBD can help you cope with anxiety
With at least half of the population experiencing some anxiety since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hardly surprising sales of CBD have soared. This is what the research says.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, with an estimated four per cent of the population suffering from some form of the condition.
With global issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic causing the number of people with anxiety to continue to rise, many are left searching for solutions – so, could CBD be the key to alleviating symptoms?
Although more research is needed in the area, a 2019 Gallup poll found that 37 per cent of CBD users take the supplement to relieve anxiety. Here are five ways it could help…
While low serotonin levels are generally linked with depression, there is evidence to show it could also be a cause of anxiety. In conventional mental health care, cases of low serotonin are treated with a category of anti-depressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine (Prozac).
However, CBD may have the potential to change serotonin signals in the body through the interaction with CB1, a receptor found in the central nervous system, meaning it can ‘boost’ your overall mood by changing the way your body reacts to serotonin.
Anxiety and trouble sleeping have been linked for years, but recent studies have found that CBD could be a solution to both issues.
Research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects experiencing anxiety and/or poor sleep. In the first month, 79.2 per cent of patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 per cent reported better sleep.
While research into this area is still ongoing, preliminary studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rates.
Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioural signs of anxiety, and physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
Help with relaxation
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. CBD, however, will not get you high, but may offer similar feelings when it comes to relaxation.
While THC activates CB1 receptors that are associated with euphoria, CBD is a CB1 antagonist and will block or modulate THC’s intoxicating effects. This has led many to believe that CBD is a good way to decrease the negative side effects of THC, such as anxiety, and help you relax and de-stress without feeling high.
Improve quality of life
In a 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults living in New Zealand, with study participants receiving medical CBD prescriptions for a variety of ailments, including mental health symptoms.
All groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.
Around 70 per cent of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment, ranging from good to excellent.
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