Do you live in West London?
Yes I live in Fulham
What’s your favourite thing about the area? Any favourite haunts?
I love that it’s a little more removed from the chaos of Central and East London, with an abundance of greenery, dogs, cafes and riverside views. Some of my ridiculously millennial tastes include Jaks, Megans, The Sandsend pub and Chai Thali restaurant.
You studied Medical Sciences at Imperial College London before creating Yūgenial your CBD brand. Can you tell us how your scientific background influences your approaches to holistic health and wellbeing?
Yes, I enrolled in a medical degree but left after completing my intercalated BSc as I was struggling to manage my health. I wondered how I could be in a healthcare system that was affecting me so negatively, whilst being unable to find the support I needed before it was too late. This is when I turned to some alternative approaches, to compliment the studies I had been taught.
My degree helped me to think critically and analytically, however, whereas the conventional approach focuses on curative population statistics and mostly last-resort treatment in a rather patriarchal approach, the complementary and alternative worlds were centred around autonomous, preventive lifestyle adjustments for the individual. Marrying the two helped me adopt a more holistic bio-psycho-social model. I think the two worlds are often seen to be at odds but the grey area is always the most useful and I shared a little about this here.
What are some of the reported benefits that CBD can have for consumers?
The scientific literature has identified more than 65 molecular targets of CBD, and the Endocannabinoid system is extensive, so people are turning to Cannabinoids for a whole host of reasons. Some of the most popular concerns shared by customers have been: help with sleep, anxiety, pain relief, IBS and mood.
The scientific evidence is new and evolving so, in line with the MHRA guidelines, the Cannabis industry has to be careful about what medical claims it officially makes. On top of this everyone’s Endocannabinoid system is slightly different, but the crux of the matter is that cannabinoids are Neuromodulators meaning they restore natural homeostasis (balance). This is why, in those with under-active immune systems, it can help to increase activity, and in those who are suffering from autoimmune conditions where the immune system is overactive, it can help to reduce activity, for example.
The official stance is that it is advised that CBD be used as a compliment and not an alternative to most conventional medical therapy, but this is a personal choice. You can view some of the latest CBD science and theories here.
What makes Yūgenial products special?
I think a few things make us special. Firstly our ethos and values, which are tantamount in a mostly unregulated industry. As there are few official regulations in such a new market, it is hard to find suppliers and producers that you can really trust. This is why we make all our third-party lab tested certificates public in the FAQ section of the website so that people really know what they are buying.
We are also sustainable and try to minimise the use of plastic and unnecessary packaging as far as possible, as well as employing clean extraction practices, even though this is an extra cost to us and reduces our margins. We support organisations such as drugscience.org.uk by donating monthly, it is the largest independent research body on drug science, free from political and commercial interference.
I also think that alongside the scientific literature and consumer education being hugely important, we also recognise and share the rich spiritual history and historically holistic usage of the cannabis plant, as well as what this demonstrates about the mind-body connection.
Is there anything, in particular, to look out for when buying CBD products?
1) Look for third-party lab test certificates that prove the quality of the product, and demonstrate that the ingredients are as strong as they say they are.
2) Check that the product has been produced using clean extraction techniques such as CO2 extraction because fossil fuel and solvent extraction can leave a toxic residue.
3) Choose “Broad” or “Full-Spectrum” over “Isolate” for oral products, due to the entourage effect whereby all components of the plant are required to work in synergy (cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN etc + Terpenes).
4) Check that the product is not just Hemp SEED oil, as the seeds do not contain any CBD or cannabinoids at all.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To follow your instincts and heart, even when your brain can’t always logically rationalise what they’re saying. And to learn to appreciate all aspects of the process, regardless of the outcomes. We all end up at the same destination in the end.
And the worst?
Aside from the above, I mostly dislike any kind of cliché quote, because they ultimately all contradict each other, and your unique circumstances are individual to you.
What are your three ‘desert island’ health and wellbeing products that you can’t be without?
1) CBD obviously, I particularly like to dry vape the buds and use the Omura or Pax for this, but also enjoy Celestial Smokes alongside the Yūgenial oils.
2) More fibre and omega 3!
3) Turmeric – in everything