CBD and veganism are everywhere. Brands inside and outside both industries see their potential, not only for profit but also for health and wellness.
The global vegan food and edible market soured to a mindblowing value of $15.4 billion. The USA accounts for over $5 billion with nearly 10 million vegans choosing the #plantbasedlifestyle. Additionally, 33% of American adults use (or have used) CBD products.
We imagine this number is set to grow as big-name celebrities begin to see how profitable they are combined.
Ready to set the industry on fire with his range of cruelty-free, vegan-friendly range of CBD products, Travis Barker, famed for his relentless drumming skills in pop-punk band Blink 182, is on a mission to provide a range of hemp-derived CBD products designed for health, wellness, and an overall sense balance and calm.
What you need to know:
Barker Wellness was founded by Travis Baker after he had positive experiences using hemp-derived CBD — it helped him combat pain, inflammation, insomnia, and restlessness.
He researched everything about cannabis for two years, discovering the benefits of not only CBD but also other valuable cannabinoids to find the perfect combos for his broad-spectrum vegan CBD products.
The brand sells three specialized CBD tinctures for sleep, maintenance, and recovery, as well as a pain-relieving CBD cream, each with additional unique and valuable botanicals.
The CBD tincture for sleep carries melatonin, valerian root extract, and GABA — good for sleep issues, relaxation, and calm.
The CBD tincture for maintenance contains green tea extract to support mood, focus, brain health, and overall physiological balance.
The CBD tincture for recovery carries ashwagandha and red reishi mushroom extract — good for anxiety, stress, cognitive enhancement, sleep, and immune system support.
The CBD pain relief cream contains CBD + CBC + CBG, as well as active menthol, to soothe skin and provide anti-acne benefits.
Barker Wellness, two years in the making
Speaking with Rolling Stone magazine, Barker began developing Barker Wellness two years ago after a physically demanding tour with Blink-128, as well as performing with other artists inside and outside of punk rock.
“As a symptom of being in the music space and just touring, I would always do a CBD bath or an Epsom salt bath or take a ton of CBD after shows and I started to notice that recovery was an issue, especially touring for months [and] doing five to six shows a week. And the process became like, ‘How do I feel with recovery?’ I tried everything from cryotherapy to massage therapy but CBD was like the best kind of result that I got.”
He also credits CBD as the secret to keeping him sane, helping reduce his long-term insomnia and restlessness, two things he found difficult to combat, even with over-the-counter melatonin supplements.
Over the two years, he researched everything about not only CBD but also other cannabinoids and their benefits, spending a significant amount of time figuring the correct doses and plant compound combinations to create the best on the market.
Three’s the charm
Barker Wellness doesn’t simply provide you with non-descript hemp-derived CBD for general use. The brand has made a concerted effort to include broad-spectrum CBD hemp extracts in its tinctures, each with an abundance of “major” and “minor” cannabinoids, as well as several unique botanicals.
There are three tinctures available:
There’s also a CBD topical product on offer, specifically targeting pain and inflammation, as well as promoting overall skin health and revitalization.
A deeper dive into Barker Wellness’ CBD products
No Oracle news article is complete without a deep dive into a brand’s products. Here, we put a microscope on each CBD product in Barker Wellness’ range to see how they can help you, your mind, and your body.
1. Barker Wellness CBD Maintenance Tincture
The Barker Wellness CBD Maintenance Tincture is designed for “all lifestyles”, specifically made to improve your mood, focus, and overall daily wellness. Carries THC-free broad-spectrum hemp extract (500 mg of CBD + 500 mg of cannabigerol), as well as green tea extract and natural orange + lime flavorings. All suspended in a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) carrier oil. The price point is reasonable. $65 ($0.07 per mg) for a 30 mL bottle. You can purchase a set of two bottles for $117, which works out at $0.06 per mg.
A CBD + cannabigerol (CBG) blend is amazing for inflammation, anxiety, and nausea.
Barker Wellness is unable to state what its products are good for, so we’ll do the honor ourselves. Both CBD and CBG are known to boost serotonin levels via special receptors separate from your endocannabinoid receptors e.g. 5-HT1A. Activation of these receptors could cause reasonably potent anti-anxiety and anti-nausea effects.
Why a green tea extract matters
For a CBD product designed for overall wellness, the inclusion of green tea extract is valuable, particularly for oxidative stress, brain health, heart health, and weight loss. Incredibly useful ingredient, especially when mixed with the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
Green tea extract for oxidative stress = Green tea extract is abundant in polyphenol antioxidants able to combat oxidative stress, resulting in reduced cell damage via combating harmful free radicals in the body. Oxidative stress can cause a whole host of symptoms including cognitive decline, headaches, infections, muscle + joint pain, and decreased eyesight, as well as more serious cardiovascular problems and cancer.
Green tea for cardiovascular disease = Though results are quite inconsistent, green tea and green tea extract may improve cardiovascular health via cholesterol and oxidative stress reduction.
Green tea for brain function + improvement = Green tea includes caffeine. Caffeine is known to improve brain function, leading to cognitive improvement, mood enhancement, and anti-anxiety qualities (thanks to the inclusion of the L-theanine amino acid also found in green tea). The caffeine content in green tea and green tea extract is minimal, which doesn’t cause the same physical and mental side-effects as, say, coffee.
2. Barker Wellness CBD Recovery Tincture
The Barker Wellness CBD Recovery Tincture is a mind and body soother, according to the company. Blends THC-free broad-spectrum hemp extract (970 mg CBD + 30 mg CBC) with ashwagandha and red reishi mushroom extract to support mental calm and alleviate physical pain, as well as boost your energy levels. Comes in a naturally-derived mint and + watermelon flavor. The price point is reasonable and won’t set you back too much. $65 ($0.07 per mg) for a 30 mL bottle or a 2-pack for $117 ($0.06 per mg).
A CBD + CBC combination for your nervous system stimulation and pain-relief.
It’s no surprise CBD and CBC are used in this formula to boost recovery. Both cannabinoids stimulate your nervous system, as well as various receptor sites around your body to promote pain relief and aid recovery, particularly after strenuous physical exercise. CBD targets vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors quite potently, resulting in equally potent pain relief. CBC also activates vanilloid receptors, as well as cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors, causing anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities, especially in moderate-to-high doses.
Ashwagandha has several physiological benefits
Ashwagandha is one of our favorite additions to any CBD product. It’s an ancient herb with a multitude of purposes. Many CBD companies (incl. Barker Wellness) highlight its use for stress, focus, and energy — but how effective is it really? Research is generally very supportive of these claims.
Ashwagandha for anxiety + stress = There are compelling studies on rodents and humans. In rodents, researchers discovered ashwagandha’s ability to combat neurological disorders such as anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, and muscle spasms via GABA and serotonin enhancement. In humans, studies show ashwagandha can dramatically reduce anxiety and stress, as well as combat symptoms of insomnia.
Ashwagandha for depression = Few studies exist but are promising nonetheless. In a controlled 60-day study on human test subjects, a highly-concentrated 600 mg daily dose of ashwagandha resulted in a 79% reduction in depression symptoms. Those who took a placebo reported a 10% reduction.
Ashwagandha for inflammation = Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce inflammation is widely-reported but mostly limited to animal studies (aside from one of two human studies). In one animal study conducted in 2015, moderate doses (62 mg/g) normalized hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) via inflammatory marker reduction and improving sensitivity to insulin. In humans, natural killer cell (infection-fighting immune cells) activity increased, resulting in an increase in anti-inflammatory activity.
Ashwagandha for cognitive performance = Ashwangandha’s positive effects on cognitive performance is fascinating. Shown to significantly enhance cognitive function (memory, focus, concentration). Further, auditory reaction time and mental arithmetic ability, as well as sensorimotor function, all improved.
Red Reishi mushroom extract is a unique and valuable addition to the formula
Red Reishi mushroom extract (otherwise known as Lingzhi) isn’t something we’ve seen in many CBD oil formulas. Very unique and highly beneficial. Barker Wellness believes it can improve immune response, which is very true, but it also has many other benefits for your mind and body.
Red Reishi mushroom extract for signs of depression + fatigue = Often overstated but no less promising. Reishi mushrooms are known to calm and soothe your central nervous system (CNS), providing overall calm and tranquility. Has particular effectiveness against neurasthenia, a condition associated with anxiety, depression, emotional distress, and chronic fatigue, mostly as a result of a weakened and imbalanced autonomic nervous system.
Red Reishi mushroom extract for the immune system = Reishi mushrooms carry beneficial polysaccharides, which help boost your immune system and keep it running the way it should. Beta-1,3 D-glucan, a common polysaccharide found in reishi mushrooms and other fungi, helps regulate the immune system by producing numerous T-cells (T-helper, T-killer), macrophages, and lymphocytes.
Red reishi for improved sleep = Sleep is vital to a healthy mind and body. Sufficient and regular sleep improves memory, focus, concentration, and other vital brain functions, as well as boosts energy, immune response, performance, and overall physiological wellness. Research shows reishi mushrooms help to improve sleep via their terpene content, acting as a moderately potent sedative (especially useful for insomnia symptoms).
3. Barker Wellness CBD Sleep Tincture
The purpose of Barker Wellness’ CBD Sleep Tincture is all in the name. Created to provide you “deep relaxation, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep”. Carries THC-free broad-spectrum hemp extract (970 mg CBD + 30 mg CBN), alongside gabba aminobutyric acid (GABA) known to reduce anxiety symptoms and soothe your central nervous system. Also contains melatonin for better sleep and nighttime comfort. Features a natural blueberry and vanilla flavor — great for those with a sweet tooth. Priced at $65 ($0.07 per mg) for one 30 mL bottle or $117 ($0.06 per mg) for two 30 mL bottles. A pretty great price, to be perfectly honest.
CBN’s sedative qualities are a little too overstated
CBN is the oxidized form of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and often referred to as the sleepy cannabinoid for its sedative effects. However, most CBD brand marketing overstates CBN’s sleep-inducing effects. Not enough thorough preclinical or clinical studies exist for its effectiveness. The one study that does exist is often cited without understanding the entire picture.
Researchers believe CBN’s sedative qualities are the result of its interaction with THC and synergy with the terpenes nerolidol and myrcene. Barker Wellness includes no THC in any of its formulas, which leads us to believe sedation is primarily caused by the melatonin included in the formula.
However, CBN has demonstrated anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as potent effects against MRSA, quite convincingly.
Melatonin will help regulate your sleep-wake cycle (and may aid decent sleep)
Melatonin is one of the most beneficial sleep-aids in the world. Currently the number one choice for Americans suffering from sleep-related problems. Naturally produced by your brain but synthetically-derived for supplementation. Still perfectly OK if you live a plant-based lifestyle. Melatonin can help with various sleep issues relating to jet lag, shift work, and insomnia (research somewhat inconclusive here). Alongside CBD and other valuable plant compounds? Safe and effective. Anecdotally, CBD and melatonin users believe moderate doses of melatonin-infused CBD oil (much like Barker Wellness’s offering) can help normalize their circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles.
Melatonin for jet lag = A 2014 review of eight important melatonin studies revealed six strongly supported melatonin use for jet lag, reducing its symptoms quite significantly. Optimal doses range between 0.5 mg to 5 mg. Higher doses could be more effective, however. Take one or two pills 30 minutes before takeoff.
Melatonin for insomnia = Not enough substantial research exists here. The findings are generally inconclusive, though many believe a mixture of CBD + melatonin can help fight symptoms of chronic and/or severe sleep issues. The problem with insomnia is it’s closely related to anxiety disorders, commonly seen as a symptom, as opposed to a standalone condition. Therefore, melatonin might be useful as adjunct therapy alongside cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Melatonin for tinnitus = One of the more overlooked benefits of melatonin. Tinnitus causes a constant, chronic “ringing” in the ears not caused by any external sounds or frequencies. Often becomes louder in quieter environments. Research shows 3 mg doses of melatonin reduced the “noise” effects of tinnitus and helped participants fall asleep.
Avoid any alcohol when taking melatonin (with or without CBD)
A melatonin + alcohol combo can produce unwanted side-effects. Both produce sedation. Alcohol can negatively affect melatonin, either weakening or strengthening its effects, causing drowsiness, dizziness, sickness, and breathing difficulties, as well as running the risk of passing out.
GABA and valerian root extract are a powerful duo physical and mental calm
GABA (known officially as gamma-Aminobutyric acid), is an amino acid, naturally produced by your own brain, and helps regulate your nervous system, producing a calm-like effect. Similar to melatonin, manufacturers have created synthetic GABA supplements and often used in many CBD products for sleep support. Combined with valerian root extract, a medicinal herb used for sleep disorders and anxiety-related symptoms, and you have quite a potent tag-team. Best-used for pre-bed calm and insomnia, as well as general nervousness and panic.
GABA for stress = GABA may help combat signs of stress, as well as signs of mental and physical fatigue, though there’s some skepticism. In a 2009 study, 28 mg of GABA infused into 10 g of chocolate reduced psychological stress in human test subjects during a mental arithmetic test. However, in a 2020 review of all research into GABA for stress, fatigue, and sleep, the authors believe the findings are very limited and inconclusive.
GABA for sleep = On a physiological level, reduced or near-depleted GABA activity can cause insomnia and disturbed sleep, which limits your overall quality of life. Regular GABA dosing could help improve sleep quality. Research shows 300 mg of GABA decreased sleep latency and insomnia symptoms via mood stabilization.
Valerian root extract for stress + anxiety = Valerian root extract has quite a potent anti-anxiety and stress effect. In animal test subjects, valerian root caused a reasonable decline in stress symptoms during a stress-inducing maze challenge.
Valerian root extract for sleep = Similar to GABA, valerian root extract is a very useful ingredient to have in CBD products, especially ones designed for sleep. In humans, valerian root caused a significant reduction in sleep latency and an increase in quality of sleep, particularly in women going through menopause.
4. Barker Wellness CBD Pain Relief Cream
Ok, first of all, this CBD pain relief cream is expensive but for good reason. For $120, you get a 100 mL bottle of broad-spectrum cream combining 300 mg of CBD + 300 mg of CBG + 400 mg of CBC, designed to “temporarily alleviate aches and pains”. Other ingredients include cucumber fruit extract, aloe vera leaf juice, bisabolol, and other beneficial extracts for surface level issues and muscle and joint problems. Combined, they’re very effective and complement each other well.
CBD + CBC + CBG is a great combo for healthier skin
CBD, CBC, and CBG are a powerful trio for your skin. All three possess potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving properties. We’re really impressed with the amount of each cannabinoid present in the formula as well — more than enough to give your skin the rejuvenation it needs.
CBD + CBC + CBG for acne & skin dryness = All three cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatories and antibacterials, interacting with your skin’s sebocytes (sebum secreting cells). Too little sebum production causes dryness. Too much sebum production causes blocked pores and acne. CBG (as well as CBGV) is known to combat skin dryness and inflammatory skin diseases, while CBD and CBC combats acne.
Active menthol soothes and rejuvenates your skin
Menthol is one of life’s many great healers, particularly when applied to the skin. Provides a cooling and soothing sensation. Commonly used as a sunburn healer for its immediate effects. Though active menthol can cause some eye irritation, you don’t have to worry too much here. It’s diluted into the baseline carrier oil to reduce or prevent any issues. We recommend not putting it in your eye anyway, just to be on the safe side!
Is vegan CBD better than regular, non-vegan CBD?
It’s really difficult to say whether or not vegan CBD products are any better than regular, non-vegan CBD products. It depends on who you ask. Of course, #plantbasedlifestyle users will shout from the rooftops about how vegan CBD is the future, while non-vegans will likely be neutral about it or not really care either way.
Insofar as vegan CBD being healthier? The jury’s out. There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the extent to which vegan products in general are better for you than non-vegan. We think it primarily comes down to the ingredients involved, as opposed to each one being strictly plant-based.
However, what we do like is vegan CBD’s lack of animal cruelty, something that’s still very prevalent in pharma-based medicines, as well as the over-the-counter beauty and skincare industry.
Other celebrity vegan CBD user and advocates
Will.i.am + Alyssa Milano
Neither Will.i.am nor Alyssa Milano has followed in the footsteps of Travis Barker and set up their own vegan CBD line of products, but they have invested a significant amount of money in Vaay, a Berlin-based vegan CBD company. Will.i.am is also an outspoken vegan, ditching the meat and other animal-based foods back in 2018.
Kirsten Bell, an American actress famous for her role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, recently launched a vegan CBD skincare range named Happy Dance, reportedly going out to 600 beauty stores across the US and beyond after only being available online. The range is in partnership with Cronos Group Ltd, a globally-recognized cannabis company known for its stellar cannabis production and distribution.
The late Sam Simon
The late Sam Simon, the creator of The Simpsons and longtime vegan who died from colorectal cancer in 2012, used medical cannabis daily to help relieve pain. He even got his own vegan marijuana chef to make cannabis-infused foods to help with chemotherapy sickness and nausea.