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CBD Testing to the Extreme: Above 14,000 ft

By Corey Hartley October 05, 2021

One of the most important things to me regarding CBD products (LINK) is the ability to keep them with me for use as needed. My busy work schedule and days spent out in nature often keep me away from home for longer than 12 hours frequently, so I need to re-dose CBD before returning home. The CBD products I use must be convenient enough to carry with me, and they must hold up to some rough conditions - including hot summer days, freezing cold winters, being tossed around in my pack, and high elevations with drastic changes in air pressure. I recently began hiking fourteeners, Colorado's most iconic mountains, each of which peak at least 14,000 ft above sea level. Interestingly, these hikes provided an unexpected new environment to test various CBD products I use.

Being able to carry CBD with me while hiking has always been an important factor in product selection, but now exposing these products to more extreme environments has narrowed my options for CBD even further. The first true test of a product at high elevation resulted unintentionally - I hadn't thought to consider the change in air pressure or temperature could effect the CBD formulation I was carrying. I had been using a sample of a competitor's water soluble tincture, most similar to Active's water soluble tinctures (LINK). I was hiking Pike's Peak from the Crags, the first ascent which covered more than 4,000 ft in elevation change that I accomplished. I generally will take a dose of CBD close to the end of my hikes in order to start my recovery process. However, when I pulled the tincture out of my bag to use it, I realized small brown micelles, aka droplets, had condensed and fallen out of suspension. From my experience in the manufacturing side of the company, I instantly knew these tiny droplets separated because the homogenization of the solution broke down. Basically, it is like oil in water - and what is most likely the CBD fell out of solution and separated. To be honest, it may not be the CBD that separated from the rest of the liquid, but I was no longer willing to use it in case it was the CBD. It would no longer be possible to accurately measure a dose because the solution was not thoroughly mixed. Even shaking the bottle vigorously once returning to normal Colorado Springs elevation did not re-dissolve the micelles - so it is now trash unfortunately. I am not sure if it was the change in pressure, temperature or a combination of the two that caused this break-down unfortunately. 

However, I did get an idea from this unexpected occurrence - to test our Active brand water soluble tincture against this inhospitable environment to see if they succumb to the conditions as well. My next opportunity came on a hike to Horn Peak, not technically a 14er, but the peak rises above 13,450 ft - so still a decent test and close to the conditions that ruined the other company's water soluble tincture. I gained over 4,000 ft again just as last time and did not open the bottle again until 


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