Astral Organica Ingredients
It's our choice of ingredients, formulation technique and quality control that make elevate Astral Organica CBD products over the competition.
Each ingredient we use has been specifically and conscientiously chosen because it imparts beneficial qualities otherwise unavailable.
Below you'll find what each ingredient is, what it does, and why it's important.
Broad Spectrum THC-Free CBD Extract
CBD is a biologically active biomolecule that accumulates in the flowering bodies of hemp plants. Why it's there is anyone's guess, like aspirin in willow bark, humans found out it had medicinal properties eons ago.
Astral Organica uses Broad Spectrum THC-Free CBD extract because we recognize consumers need rigorously THC-Free products. This extract also contains additional CBD isomers that have beneficial effects in neurochemical and inflammatory biological pathways - the very processes that cause pain responses, mediate inflammatory disease, and otherwise disrupt normal relaxation and sleep patterns.
Grapeseed Oil - USDA Certified Organic - Food Grade
Grapeseed oil is a complex mixture of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It has one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids of any vegetable oil, at about 75%. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are excellent for the human body, cardiovascular system and skin as they have extreme antioxidant properties and are superb moisturizers. Grapeseed oil is at the heart of Astral Organica's Magnesium Crème product line.
Although USDA Certified Organic Grapeseed oil is 8 times (800%) more costly than standard grapeseed oil, choosing it was easy because it creates a richer, creamier, and more readily absorbed crème, which is particularly important when the objective is to get Magnesium and CBD through the skin into local tissues where it has its effect.
Coconut Oil - USDA Certified Organic - Food Grade
Coconut oil is also a complex mixture of fatty acids, but its profile contains mostly saturated fats - essentially the opposite of grapeseed oil - coconut has about 92% saturated fatty acids. Coconut oil is therefore very resistant to oxidation since there's nowhere for reactive oxygen to attack it. It's an excellent moisturizer and imparts balance to our formulas.
USDA Certified Organic Virgin Coconut oil is extracted via pressing coconut meat with great pressure to squeeze the oils out. The coconut oil Astral Organica uses has a delightful coconutty scent that's 100% natural. Those of our customers who have particularly astute olfactory senses may perceive this wonderful scent in our products.
Shea Butter - Virgin Unrefined USDA Certified Organic
Shea butter is an exceedingly complex mixture of a wide variety of fatty acids, unsaponifiable compounds including some that absorb UV energy, vitamins such as Vitamin A, and other bioactive nutrients. Shea butter is extracted from nuts produced by the Karité tree which grows in the dry savanna belt of Africa. According to archaeological research, it's been used by humans at least since the 1300s. Although the Karité tree can be cultivated, most shea butter is harvested from trees growing in the wild. Shea butter is used as cooking oil by some Africans.
The shea butter that Astral Organica uses is pure and unrefined, meaning that it will have the natural pungent aroma and additional beneficial nutrients that are removed by refining processes. It's better for you and your skin as such. Read more about shea butter here.
Beeswax - USDA Certified Organic
Beeswax is an indispensable ingredient in Astral Organica products. It helps stabilize our formulas and enhances their moisturizing characteristics. Beeswax has become an increasingly precious skin care ingredient partially because honey bees worldwide have been under environmental pressure from a variety of sources. Our beeswax only comes either from the United States or Europe, as there are sadly increasing numbers of beeswax counterfeiters. The Chinese are infamous for counterfeiting beeswax, as they do with many bee products, including honey.
The beeswax Astral Organica uses has the natural yellow color that is produced by bees to form their honeycomb. It's produced using organic farming techniques, free of antibiotics and other antiparasitic chemicals commonly used to maintain bee health in commercial apiaries.
The vitamin E Astral Organica uses is strictly vegetable-based and non-GMO. Almost all vitamin E produced in the United States comes from GMO soybeans because various seed producers have a near-monopoly on the marketplace. Additionally, vitamin E is produced by extremely large scale industrial methods that leverage economy of scale, incompatible with smaller producers of non-GMO non-soy crops rich in vitamin E.
Since the vitamin E market is so dominated by soy and GMOs in the United States, we source our's from Spain. It's produced with a clean process from sunflower seeds, and as such is non-GMO and completely free of soy.
Vitamin E is an important ingredient in our formulas for several reasons. First, it's a superb antioxidant that maintains formula freshness by preventing oxidation that leads to rancidity, and second, it's a superb antioxidant that protects you body's biomolecules, cellular structures and DNA from oxidative reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radicals. Biochemicals known as antioxidants effectively sacrifice themselves to ROS instead of allowing ROS to attack your own human chemistry, degrade it and eventually cause premature aging and diseases. Low levels of vitamin E are associated with myriad diseases, from cancer to dementia, which isn't surprising given the involvement of ROS in disease genesis. Astral Organica's MG+CBD cream is particularly rich in vitamin E, which integrated with its Magnesium and CBD, is a potent combination.
Magnesium chloride, or MgCl2, is the source of Astral Organic's ionic Magnesium. MgCl2 is very soluble in water and creates an oily hydrate when dissolved at high concentrations. Sometimes this concentrate is called Magnesium oil; although it's not a fat it still feels slippery. We source our magnesium chloride from the ancient Zechstein deposit in Europe, which has been buried deep within bedrock for 250 million years. It's purity is unrivaled.
The importance of magnesium in normal nervous system function cannot be overstated. It's inexplicable to us why ionic magnesium is so much overlooked by medicine, because it's neurochemical importance is astoundingly obvious. Typical signals that are transmitted throughout your nervous system rely on charged ions (such as sodium and potassium) flowing across neuron membranes, which effectively creates an electrical impulse, very similarly to how electricity is generated by a hydroelectric dam. In a dam, electricity is generated when water flows through turbines. If the water valve is shut off, no electricity is generated. Magnesium functions the same as the valve - it plugs up ion channels in neuron cell membranes, preventing electrical signal generation. If there's not enough ionic magnesium in and around those neuron channels, the channels remain open and the neuron maintains a hyper-excitable state. This is a precursor for chronic pain - which is caused by inappropriate neuron signal transmission. If you can plug up the channel, you can turn off inappropriate signalling, and pain is greatly reduced.
If you'd like more detailed information about the actual neurochemistry, names of the ion channels and science-speak, please read on here.
Water - Eldorado Springs Artesian Spring Water
Not all waters are created equal! You may have heard that drinking distilled water is not advisable. Why not, it's pure water! That's exactly the problem, our bodies aren't designed to handle 100% water precisely because in order to function, our bodies require electrolytes. Electrolytes are ions, like sodium, calcium, potassium, MAGNESIUM, etc. If one drinks distilled water, the ions want to migrate into that pure water to make it have equal ions in it as are inside your cells. This depletes your cells and tissue of the ions that make everything work properly. Your heart wouldn't beat were it not for electrolytes.
So, Astral Organica uses Eldorado Springs Artesian Spring Water, which starts as snowmelt thousands of years prior and flows naturally out of the high rockies via a very deep aquifer just a few miles west of our production plant. It has an excellent ionic spectrum, and helps to keep your skin that much more hydrated and healthy by maintaining the osmotic balance of your skin. Pure water will disrupt osmotic balance as you've certainly observed getting wrinkly fingertips after sitting in a bathtub too long, pure water in topical formulas also disrupts the normal ionic balance of skin. We use this spring water because it's naturally balanced and enhances our formula performance.
Ethanol - 200 proof USP - Food Grade
Otherwise known as 100% pure ethanol, 200 proof is produced by normal fermentation and distillation processes to the maximum 190 proof (95%) as limited by the physical chemistry of water-ethanol mixtures, then the water is filtered out via size exclusion chromatography resulting in elimination of the 5% residual water.
Pure ethanol is important because it's free of chemicals used to intentionally poison ethanol to make it unsuitable for use in highly taxed alcoholic beverages. This process is called "Denaturation" whereby normally the neurotoxin methanol is added to the ethanol to make it poisonous. You've perhaps heard of the recent poisonings of people who drank hand sanitizers? It happened because unscrupulous manufacturers are using alcohol mixtures that are extremely toxic. Methanol, the most common denaturant, is a well known neurotoxin that preferentially destroys the optic nerve resulting in permanent blindness, and which the NIH asserts has no safe exposure level. It's clear that using any denaturing chemical elevates health risk, especially now that hand sanitizer use is at least a daily activity for everyone, and much more common for some. Astral Organica only uses 200 proof food grade ethanol to eliminate this added and unnecessary risk, and provide a superbly effective product against disease-causing agents. Find it in AO Hand Sanitizer products.
Hydroxyethylcellulose USP - Pharmaceutical grade
Hydroxyethylcellulose is one big word to chew on - think of it as a very large sugar similar to the cellulose used to make paper. HEC, as abbreviated, is used in Astral Organica's Hand Sanitizer line as a gel thickener to make it easier to dispense, but more importantly, it creates Astral Organica's unique silky smooth finish you won't experience elsewhere. Our simple formula won't dry out your hands because the HEC remains as a hydrated film after the formula evaporates. It effectively acts as an additional layer that seals moisture in your skin, preventing discomfort, cracking and potentially bleeding due to repetitive use of other inferior products. It's biochemical magic!