Why take probiotics, cannabis, and chocolate together?
A significant challenge with probiotic food products is ensuring that the cultures reach the gut through the food production process. Both cannabis and probiotics are lipophilic compounds, meaning they combine well in lipids or fats, such as the cocoa butter fat in chocolate. Chocolate is a well-suited carrier for cannabis and probiotics because of its high cocoa butter content. And, it is a particularly good carrier for probiotics because it has low water content and a low processing temperature which helps to ensure that the probiotics survive both in the food product and through stomach transit to the gut.[i] Additionally, the probiotic strains used in OARA, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium lactic, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are particularly robust and suitable for use in food products. Finally, OARA provides a delicious, single serving edible with just the right amount of cannabis, probiotics, and dark chocolate to complement a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on pairing cannabis and chocolate see: The Science of Chocolate and Cannabis: How They Combine To Make Powerful Medicines
Who consumes OARA?
In short, anyone who desires a healthful edible combining a conservative cannabis dose with a daily probiotic. People choosing to supplement with cannabis may be dealing with a range of moderate to severe health issues resulting from a wide variety of conditions. Some may be using conventional treatments with success and alternative treatments (like cannabis or probiotics independently) to mitigate potential side effects of conventional treatments. Others may be interested in an edible that provides a function beyond the affects of cannabis. Whatever the reason for choosing OARA, we believe that combining cannabis, probiotics, and chocolate creates an edible worth eating on a daily basis.*
What type of cannabis is in OARA?
We work mainly with our family farm in Humboldt County and other select cultivators who grow their cannabis biodynamically, in the ground and under the sun, without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers. OARA thins are made with a variety of sativa- dominant hybrid cannabis varieties. OARA CBD thins are made with full-flower, whole plant cannabidiol (CBD) dominant cannabis varieties, as opposed to industrial or medical grade hemp.
To learn about the difference between whole plant based CBD and hemp oil based CBD see the following from Project CBD: Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil
What probiotic strains are in OARA?
We ensure viable strains in every product by sourcing our probiotics from one of the leading manufacturers of commercially available probiotics in the United States. The probiotic strains used in OARA are Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bacillus coagulans. The strains are developed in a state-of-the-art facility with rigorous quality control standards and are effective, stable, and potent at room temperature for up to three years, highly resistant to stomach acid and bile, and survive at temperatures up to 110°C – far above the processing temperature of OARA. Additionally, the probiotics do not affect the taste or texture of our chocolate.
What type of chocolate is used to make OARA?
We use 70% organic cacao dark chocolate ingredients from a family-owned company with decades of experience sourcing world-class cocoa beans and producing small-batch artisan chocolate. Using only couverture chocolate ingredients that are made with high quality cocoa beans, ground to a fine particle size, with a cocoa butter content of at least 32-39% -- results in a creamy, rich, long-lasting taste in every bite of OARA. The Healing Foods Pyramid recommends up to 7 ounces per week or about 1 ounce per day of quality dark chocolate. That's about 4 pieces of OARA per day!
Is OARA vegan, gluten, and GMO free?
OARA is not vegan. OARA chocolate ingredients are not made with dairy products. However, the Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic we use is grown on a dairy medium. This means that dairy may be present in extremely small quantities (parts per million) in our chocolate. As such, we consider OARA largely dairy free. OARA is gluten and GMO free.
What types of testing do you employ?
OARA chocolates undergo third party product assurance testing by certified laboratories for:
Quantity of live probiotic cultures
Presence of pathogens
Working with a commercial cannabis laboratory we test our cannabis concentrates for the “cannabinoid profile,” specifically delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects and cannabidiol (CBD), and the presence of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and mold. We then test our final product to ensure that the THC or CBD potency remains constant throughout the production process. Additionally, we employ a food product laboratory experienced in food microbiological and chemical analysis to verify the total target concentration of viable probiotics in OARA.
What is cannabis and why take it?
Cannabis is a plant that grows naturally in many parts of the world and can be grown in almost any climate, including indoors. THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that react to natural THC-like chemicals already present in the brain. Cannabis has been shown to help relieve chronic pain, treat symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, and improve sleep.*
What is CBD (cannabidiol)? Is it true that it is non-psychoactive?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prominent type of cannabinoid found in cannabis. In general, CBD is considered to be non-psychoactive and does not contribute to the feelings of euphoria often associated with THC or the feeling of “being high”.
What is the optimal dose of cannabis?
The optimal dose of cannabis varies by person and is based on experience with cannabis, tolerance to THC, and other factors. If you are a new user to cannabis edibles, it is recommended to start with a low dose (2.5 mg to 5 mg) and increase only after waiting a period of approximately 2 hours. OARA chocolates are made in a THC potency level of 5 mg per serving. OARA CBD (cannabidiol) thins are made with 8:1 CBD:THC mg per serving; meaning that per serving there are 8 mg of CBD and 1 mg of THC. OARA CBD thins are non-psychoactive.**
For more information on THC & CBD see: How THC and CBD Work Together
What are probiotics and why take them?
Simply defined, probiotics are considered “beneficial bacteria” that inhabit and colonize the intestines. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “Live microorganisms which when consumed in adequate amounts as part of food confer a health benefit on the host”.[ii] Probiotics can help improve digestion, alleviate allergies, increase immune response, and improve urinary and vaginal health.
Our gastrointestinal tract contains a collection of many types of both “good” and “not as good” bacteria, yeast, and virus’ knows as our gut flora. However, there are several environmental factors that may affect the gut environment, for better or worse, including stress, exercise, diet, pathogens, and antibiotics.[iii] It is well known that stress can manifest in several gastrointestinal disorders. And, recent research reveals complex communication pathways among gut flora, the immune system, and the brain, known as the brain-gut-axis. When gut flora is out of balance as a potential result of adverse environmental factors like stress or poor diet, physiological disease may result.
Probiotics introduced to the gut can help defend the body against disease by:
Competing with colonies of potentially harmful or pathogenic bacteria for nutrients
Colonizing the intestine and crowding out the potential for pathogenic bacterial growth on intestinal walls
Creating an acidic environment that pathogens dislike
Producing naturally occurring proteins that stimulate disease response and inhibit disease
What is the optimal dose of probiotics?
A Colony Forming Unit (CFU) is the estimated concentration of viable bacteria in a probiotic product. There is no consensus regarding the amount of probiotic that should be taken on a daily basis.[iv] Products vary considerably from 1 billion to 20 billion or more CFUs per serving. Many factors affect the composition of gut flora and some probiotics may disappear when not consumed regularly. As such, the daily use of probiotics is recommended to maintain a healthy intestinal environment. Each serving of OARA contains 5 billion CFUs and has a shelf life of 12 months unrefrigerated.
For more information on probiotics see: Health benefits of taking probiotics - Harvard.edu
*Please consult with your physician before trying OARA chocolates. OARA offers a safe and effective product, however since every person is different we cannot recommend any specific course of treatment or cannabis dose for any specific person.
** Hypersensitivity to THC even in the smallest amounts is a possible outcome of ingesting THC. Care should be taken with consumption of any OARA products until you are familiar with your reaction.
[i] Lee, Y.K., Salminen, S. Handbook of Probiotics and Prebiotics. 2nd Ed. 2009. P.67, 74.
[ii] Probiotics in food, Health and nutritional properties and guidelines for evaluation.
FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 85, 1-4 October 2001. P. 2. See: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0512e/a0512e00.pdf
[iii] Mayer, Emeran A. MD. Microbiota and Brain Gut Axis. Harvard Medical School, Division of Nutrition. Gut Microbiotia, Probiotics and Their Impact Throughout the Lifespan. September 22, 2014. Boston.
[iv] Williams, Nancy Toedter. Probiotics
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2010;67(6):449-458. See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719654_11
DISCLAIMER OF INFORMATION:
THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HERIEN IS BASED ON WIDELY AVAILABLE AND PUBLICLY DISSEMINATED INFORMATION AND OARA CLAIMS NO SPECIFIC EXPERTISE IN THE HEALTH BENEFITS, DETRIMENTS, OR LACK THEREOF, OF PROBIOTICS, CANNABIS, OR CHOCOLATE. OARA PRODUCES A PRODUCT WITH THIS WIDELY AVAILABLE INFORMATION IN MIND IN THE HOPES THAT OUR CUSTOMERS FIND IT HELPFUL (and hopefully enjoyable!). OARA CANNOT AND DOES NOT GUARANTEE ANY SPECIFIC RESULTS THROUGH THE USE OF ANY OARA PRODUCTS. IF ANY NEGATIVE RESULTS OCCUR AFTER THE USE OF OARA PATIENTS SHOULD IMMEDIATELY DISCONTINUE USE AND CONSULT A PHYSICIAN.