Q&A with Beata Jedrzejewska
The founder and CEO of Verdant Oasis LLC discusses the “treasure trove” of hemp-derived compounds and the future of cannabis science
Beata Jedrzejewska is the founder and CEO of Chicago-based Verdant Oasis LLC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign relations from Warsaw University in Poland, as well as an Aesthetics Degree from Pivot Point in Chicago. After receiving her degree in 1997, she dove head-first into skin care, working as a skin care expert in the upscale Neiman Marcus spa on Chicago’s Michigan Ave. In 1999, she moved into management at Janet Sartin Beauty Institute in Chicago. By 2001, she was running the first medical spa, Spamedica, in Lincoln Park. Ready for even bigger challenges, Beata bought her first full-service beauty salon in 2003.
Jedrzejewska’s carefully crafted movement, “Green is the New Gold and Health is the New Beauty,” made her quickly realize the dynamic and significant correlation between inner health and extrinsic aging which led to decades of time-consuming self-study and education. In 2005, Jedrzejewska joined forces with dermatologist Dr. Julie Goldberg at Spa Dermica, what is now popularly called a Med Spa. During this venture, Jedrzejewska received Certificates of Achievements in Chemical Skin Resurfacing Peels, Photo Facials, Fractional Ablative Laser, and Laser Genesis. In 2007, Jedrzejewska opened her upscale spa, L’Etoile, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
That same year, she started to research stem cell science for the purpose of creating anti-aging skin care products. After months of analyzing different sources of stem cells, she discovered that only ovine placenta and umbilical cord stem cells have the exact same surface markers and transcription factors as human skin cells.
With the help of New Zealand scientists, Jedrzejewska created the first of its kind bioactive topical skin care product. Within the first three months, 15,000 bottles of serum were sold. By 2010, she was led to the study of plant medicines, drawn specifically to the hemp plant; she was one of the first female entrepreneurs to invest in research and cultivation of European grown hemp.
In 2011, she introduced her first phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil to the American market. Two years later, her company CBD Wellness launched the first hemp-based products—wellbe 300, an oral supplement, and wellbe Skin Rescue, a topical skin care product. She founded Verdant Oasis LLC in 2014, as a major grower, developer, cultivator, and extractor of multi-spectrum phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil.
This interview was originally published in Nutraceuticals World
420AC: Was it always your goal to provide the best of everything you had to offer? From products to brand promotion, you are top of the line.
Beata Jedrzejewska: Our goal from the outset was to set a high benchmark for the hemp oil market. Verdant Oasis developed standards of excellence that far exceed today’s industry standards, particularly regarding quality and safety, which provides our team motivation, passion, and purpose. Beginning with the agricultural practices to our solvent-free CO2 extraction, to the food safety modernization act registered facility (FSMA) while operating under strict HACCP and GMP, we bring products with immaculate integrity to the market. Our products are certified organic, GMO-free, and they all come with third-party lab reports and chromatograms. As a company, we offer full traceability and transparency which makes taking shortcuts or cutting corners impossible. Our clients deserve and get the absolute best because of our intense focus on quality and safety.
420AC: What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned about hemp ingredient manufacturing?
Jedrzejewska: Verdant Oasis believes that CO2 extraction, utilizing low temperatures, is a superior method for gently pulling all the complex and varied active constituents from our pure plant. Over time and through experimentation we have developed unique intellectual properties resulting in a proprietary extract signature evidenced in our comprehensive, native fingerprint. Our products contain an impressive entourage, a literal treasure trove of phytocannabinoids, cannflavins (cannabis flavonoids), and terpenes. According to cutting edge scientific research, this family of synergistic compounds is “the hot ticket,” one which appears to outperform single active ingredient products such as CBD. This is what Verdant Oasis brings to the marketplace.
420AC: Panorama Entourage IP Hemp Oil appears to have a high pedigree.
Jedrzejewska: Panoramic Entourage is our signature product that contains a full bouquet of phytocannabinoids and cannflavins. Our multi-step proprietary extraction technique preserves nature’s native phytocannabinoid profile—a true botanical concentrate. The oil is available in USDA-NOP organic and conventional formats. All our oils are processed from seed bank certified strains of true industrial hemp with decades of safe human consumption.
420AC: What other hemp-based ingredients do you offer personal care and cosmetic product manufacturers?
Jedrzejewska: Phytocannbinoids are powerful compounds due to their interaction with the endocannbinoid system (ECS), which is the biggest bio-communication system in the human body. It has a presence in the largest organ in the human body, our skin. Studies suggest the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper proliferation, differentiation, and survival–as well as immune competence–of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance appears to facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g., acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis, and cancer). Verdant Oasis has developed exclusive blends that support the cutaneous ECS with supporting ratios of pytocannabinoids, cannflavins, and other cannabimimetic compounds.
420AC: Because of government regulations in what direction do you envision the industry moving in the next few years?
Jedrzejewska: As the industry matures, it will become competitive enough to hold itself to the highest standards. Consumer knowledge will drive this competition and create demand for high standards that also comply with legal and safety profiles. Furthermore, as R&D and science evolves, that alone will propel companies to position resources for novel formats, innovative extraction methods, and brand-new generations and categories of products.
420AC: Has climate change affected the hemp growing portion of the business?
Jedrzejewska: Unfortunately, yes. We learned quickly that we need to be forward looking and proactive and grow hemp in varying climates to assure an uninterrupted supply of
420AC: You have been referred to as the industry’s top hemp expert. Where will the most significant company growth be over the next 2-3 years?
Jedrzejewska: I am quite honored to hear that. Do know however, we are a scientifically based team affiliated with many European universities. We are wholly dedicated to the study of the active constituents of the hemp plant and their relationship to the ECS, exploring all the different cannabimimetic compounds and their synergy with phytocannabinoids. That said, as the plant itself models for us, it is the entourage of constituents that creates the dynamic whole, providing its abilities to nurture the ECS; just as it is our brilliant, creative, and dedicated team that comes together every day in our mission to create products and educate the marketplace. And again, following the lead of the plant, our purpose is greater than the sum of our team.
420AC: What excites you most about your company?
Jedrzejewska: Allow me to wax philosophical for this answer. The planet is going through massive shifts and growing pains. Right now, it looks cataclysmic as structures and systems are changing overnight and our foundations feel shaky. I will observe from the mountain view that the planet is arching towards massive evolution. I will also observe that human biology is evolving as well, at the same rate. Would you call it a coincidence that the burgeoning discovery of the ECS mirrors the scientific discoveries of the hemp plant and that hemp bioactives are interacting with the ECS? And this very ECS is part of the system that drives human evolution mirroring planetary evolution? I would say there are no coincidences. So, beyond the endless possibilities for discovery and the potential for market dominance, I am humbled by the opportunity to be positioned in this once-in-a-lifetime intersection.
420AC: What is your proudest career achievement?
Jedrzejewska: Envisioning the potential, responding to the call of the plant, being at the right intersection, and assembling a team of dedicated experts whose vision and commitment is the same as mine to change the world for the better.