CBD or melatonin for sleep support?

CBD or melatonin for sleep support?

CBD or melatonin for sleep support?

New study raises questions about safety of melatonin

Many of our customers come to us in search of all-natural sleep support. Life, work, family – it’s all a source of stress from time to time, and quality sleep is essential to staying ahead of the next challenge.

Natural Ways carries an incredible variety of products any of which may be useful for the relaxation needed to fall asleep and stay that way. From tinctures and teas to gummies, vapes, and hemp flower, we have something for everyone.

But what about melatonin?

Well, first of all, we don’t carry it. We’re all about hemp CBD and other hemp extracts here, so melatonin isn’t on our radar. We believe all-natural hemp CBD and other cannabinoids extracted from hemp provide superior sleep support: Our customers tell us so, and there’s science to back us up.

That same science, however, is taking a second look at melatonin and it’s raising some questions about the safety of this popular sleep supplement.

Melatonin is a hormone your brain produces in response to darkness.

Melatonin supplements can be made from animal products but most often they are made synthetically. They are not regulated by the FDA and many melatonin products are made overseas. There is some concern that melatonin made from animal products may have higher levels of viral contamination.

According to the Mayo Clinic, short-term use doesn’t usually pose a problem. But people are taking melatonin in greater amounts than ever before, and the long-term risks associated with altering the body’s natural hormone balance are not well understood.

The study published February 1, 2022 in the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at the safety of long-term melatonin use:

The study reads, in part, “Among U.S. adults, reported prevalence of melatonin supplement consumption significantly increased from 1999-2000 to 2017-2018 across all demographic groups. Although it remained very low, prevalence of self-reported use of greater than 5 mg/d of melatonin also increased over time. These estimates may raise safety concerns, especially given that the actual content of melatonin in marketed supplements may be up to 478% higher than the labeled content and that evidence supporting melatonin use for sleep disturbances is weak.

Read that again: “[T]he actual content of melatonin in marketed supplements may be up to 478% higher than the labeled content.”

Friends, that’s a huge difference between what you think you’re taking and what you might actually be taking!

Maybe it’s time to look at hemp-derived sleep supports like CBD, CBN, or even a broad-spectrum blend tincture like our popular Calm.

The cannabinoids and terpenes in the products we carry are extracted using the CO2 method, a clean and solvent-free extraction process that preserves the bulk of the potency and purity of the cannabinoids. There’s nothing synthetic happening here!

Some of our customers get their best nighttime relaxation support from Delta-8 products like our delicious fruit-flavored D8 gummies or a bite of tasty D8-infused chocolate bar. Still others report that a delicious cup of hot CBD-infused tea does the job preparing them for a quality night’s sleep.

But what about labeling on CBD products? How do you know what you’re getting in those is commensurate with what it says on the package?

It’s a fair question and one that we get here from time to time. Our short answer is that when it comes to the CBD products WE carry, we make every effort to obtain lab reports verifying the integrity of what we’re selling. Those reports not only help to confirm that our products comply with state and federal limits on Delta-9 THC (less than 0.3%) but that they also either do or do not contain other elements such as solvents, pesticides, and even certain cannabinoids that aren’t supposed to be found in, say, CBD isolate products.

If a product is labeled as having CBD and CBG, for example, we get lab reports testifying to that blend. If a product is supposed to have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, we want labs that show us that, too.

Natural Ways even pays out of pocket for additional spot testing of product categories to make sure we are complying with the law and selling you what the label says you’re buying.

Our CBD and other hemp extracts are obtained from American-grown hemp.

No mass-produced melatonin supplement from a big box store or online retailer is going to give you that reassurance.

In fact, according to an article from the National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health, some melatonin supplements may not contain what’s listed on the product label and could include a hormone that can be harmful even at low levels!

A 2017 study tested 31 different melatonin supplements bought from grocery stores and pharmacies. For most of the supplements, the amount of melatonin in the product didn’t match what was listed on the product label. Also, 26 percent of the supplements contained serotonin, a hormone that can have harmful effects even at relatively low levels.

(Source: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know)

How do CBD or any of the other hemp derived cannabinoids help with sleep? Do they make you sleepy?

The science is mixed on the answer to this question; however a growing consensus seems to suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD as well as its ability to ease anxiety promote the likelihood of a better night’s sleep. Pain and anxiety are often the root causes of sleeplessness. One peer-reviewed study looked at CBD and found it to be useful for anxiety-related disorders and, by extension, helpful for sleep.

When you’re ready to toss your melatonin tablets for something more natural and domestically produced, come see us at Natural Ways.

If you’re in the Houston area, we have four beautiful, clean, and bright brick-and-mortar stores open to serve you seven days a week as well as our online store featuring free shipping for orders over $99.

We ship nationwide and love making new friends across the country!

Natural Ways is more than just a name. When it comes to wellness, we believe the most natural way IS the best way. Let us show you how!

CBD Extraction Methods

CBD Extraction Methods

CBD extraction from hemp and why it matters

From time to time, a customer will ask us about the method used to extract the CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp in the products we carry. Maybe they’ve read something, or another CBD retailer has assured them it doesn’t matter.

Natural Ways believes the way in which your CBD and other supportive cannabinoids are extracted DOES matter. Quality, potency, and effectiveness are all affected by the way in which cannabinoids are pulled out of the plant!

In this ‘blog, we will explore the science and technology behind cannabinoid extraction, the different methods, and the benefits or disadvantages of each.

As always, our goal isn’t just to sell you quality CBD hemp products but to also educate you along the way. The more information you have, the better choices you’re able to make, and we believe you’ll not only choose Natural Ways, but you’ll stay with Natural Ways once you try our tinctures, edibles, bath and beauty products, premium U.S.-grown hemp flower, and all the other top-drawer CBD and hemp goodies we carry.

So, what is extraction and why is it such a big deal when it comes to cannabis?

When people talk about “how CBD is made,” what they’re usually referring to is how the cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are removed from the hemp plant. The most common methods of extraction include the use of carbon dioxide; steam distillation; the use of solvents (hydrocarbon or natural).

Each method has its pros and cons. You’ll soon learn why Natural Ways believes the CO2 method is the absolute best and why we make a point to carry products made with CO2-extracted CBD.

The folks over at CBD Awareness Project (www.cbdoil.or) have done a great job outlining the different methods of CBD extraction. Check out their explanations to below learn more:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction

CO2 extraction uses supercritical carbon dioxide to separate the CBD oil from the plant material. “Supercritical” refers to the CO2 containing properties of both a liquid and a gas state, which is why you’ll sometimes see this method referred to as Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE).


During CO2 extraction, a series of pressurized chambers and pumps are used to expose CO2 to high pressure and very low temperatures, resulting in an extracted oil containing high amounts of CBD.

  1. At the start of extraction, one chamber will hold pressurized CO2, while a second pressurized chamber holds the hemp plant.
  2. The CO2is then pumped from the first chamber into the second. The presence of supercritical CO2 breaks down the hemp also in the chamber, causing the oil to separate from the plant material.
  3. Finally, the CO2and oil are pumped together into a third chamber. The gas evaporates, leaving an extract of pure CBD oil behind.

While it requires expensive specialized machinery, CO2 extraction is the preferred method for making CBD products. It’s extremely safe and efficient at producing high concentrations of full spectrum CBD in the resulting oil—as much as 92% according to one analysis.


(Source: www.cbdoil.org)

Steam Distillation

With steam distillation, steam causes the CBD oil to separate from the hemp plant. The hemp plant is contained in a glass flask, with an inlet and an outlet. The inlet connects to another glass container, beneath the plant flask, that contains water that is set to boil. The outlet connects to a condenser tube.

  1. As the water heats up, the steam travels upwards into the plant flask, separating the oil vapors that contain CBD.
  2. These vapors are then captured in a tube that condenses them into oil and water.
  3. Once collected, the oil and water mixture is distilled to extract the CBD oil from the water.

The steam distillation technique is tried and true, having been used to extract essential oil for centuries, but it’s less preferred than CO2 extraction due to its inefficiency. Steam distillation requires significantly larger amounts of hemp plant, and it’s more difficult to extract exact amounts of CBD concentration using this method.


There’s also an element of risk with this method. If the steam gets too hot, it can damage the extract and alter the chemical properties of the cannabinoids it contains.

(Source: www.cbdoil.org)

Solvent Extraction (Hydrocarbons and Natural Solvents)

Solvent extraction follows a similar process to steam distillation, except that it uses a solvent rather than water to separate the CBD oil from the plant material. This creates a resulting mixture of the CBD oil with the solvent. The solvent then evaporates, leaving pure CBD oil behind. Solvent extraction uses either hydrocarbons or natural solvents.


Solvent extraction is more efficient than steam distillation, and it’s also less expensive. However, the solvents used in hydrocarbon extraction (including naphtha, petroleum, butane, or propane) create cause for concern. The solvent residue can be toxic and increase one’s cancer risk if they aren’t fully eliminated during the evaporation step—which doesn’t always happen.


Some studies have found traces of petroleum or naphtha hydrocarbons residue in CBD products that used solvent extraction.


To avoid the risk of toxic residue, solvent extraction can use natural solvents instead, such as olive oil or ethanol. These solvents are just as effective at extracting CBD oil but remove the risk of toxic residue.

However, natural solvent extraction is not without its downsides. When natural solvents like ethanol are used, chlorophyll may also be extracted. This gives the resulting oil an unpleasant taste. If the CBD is used in capsules or topicals, this isn’t a big deal, but many CBD products are eaten or inhaled (such as gummies, tinctures, vape oils), so this can make them harder to sell.

The larger problem with natural solvents, though, is that they don’t evaporate very well. As a result, the CBD extract contains a lower concentration of CBD than it would with other methods.

(Source: www.cbdoil.com)

Have you figured out yet why Natural Ways prefers to offer only those CBD products with CBD extracted via the carbon dioxide method?

  • It means our tinctures are more potent than those cheaper versions you’ll find at convenience stores or smoke shops.
  • It means customers get quicker results.
  • It means pets receive their benefits faster, too.
  • Labeling and dosing are more accurate as a result of having the higher percentage of actual CBD available through CO2 extraction

We could sell CBD products made cheaply with CBD extracted using solvents or steam, but why bother? Customers who have tried those cheaper versions, including some promoted by national chains, end up coming to us and staying with us because our CBD products really do make a difference.

We aren’t saying CBD products made using other extraction methods can’t be safe and high-quality, too, but there can be more risk with these products.

  • CBD products made using hydrocarbon extraction may contain solvent residuals.
  • Steam distillation and natural solvent extraction carry fewer risks, but they can produce lower or inconsistent amounts of CBD. This, in turn, means your product may test too high for THC in violation of federal (and some state) law. It also means that while your bottle of tincture says there are, for example, 33 mg of CBD per serving, you could be getting more, or less. Too much or too little actual CBD might not effectively address your situation.

Natural Ways is more than just our company’s name. It’s our philosophy: We believe hemp CBD products you use on or in your body should be of the purest, most natural quality available.

Visit our online store or, if you’re in the Houston area, come by one of our four beautiful brick-and-mortar locations to see what we mean. Meet our employees, bring your questions, and prepare to come away with not only some of the best CBD products on the market but a lot of education to go with it.

We love what we sell, we use what we sell, and we’re betting you will love and continue to use our products, too!

How does CBD support healthy skin?

How does CBD support healthy skin?

When people think about all the ways to use CBD, they often overlook topicals – creams, lotions, salves, soaps, and any other product normally applied to the surface of the skin.

Natural Ways wants to change that. We carry a line of our own branded bath and beauty products that customers rave about. The price is right, and the quality and potency are second to none.

CBD For the Skin

Let’s start with what is known about how CBD works when it is applied ON the body. Remember your amazing endocannabinoid system, your body’s own source of beneficial cannabinoids that helps balance everything from emotion to physical comfort? CBD in a topical form works with the same receptors, CB1 and CB2, to bring about relief. This excerpt from a July 2020 article in Discover magazine explains more:

By the time you feel any annoying itch or prick of pain, CB1 and CB2 receptors on your skin cells have already fired off signals to help dampen those unpleasant vibes. These receptors — part of the body’s endocannabinoid system — spend their workdays responding to chemical messages that help our skin nurture a healthy balance. CBD cream bypasses the CB1 and CB2 receptors and heads straight for a neurotransmitter middleman that blocks signals for pain and itch by working through agents called anandamide and 2-AG.

Sidestepping the CB1 and CB2 receptors means that CBD can mute pain without the high sensation delivered by THC. Not only does CBD have very little interest in switching on CB1, cannabidiol can actually mute any signals sent to that receptor. Researchers looking for safer pain treatments want to take advantage of this action because it means that CBD won’t spark addiction. (Source: Discover 7.28.20)

CBD For the Skin

Reliable topical CBD products don’t just mask pain as some over the counter products do. According to Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, topical CBD can actually make the pain go away for a certain length of time because of the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin. (Source U.S. News and World Report 9.23.19)

Another study published in the journal Pain in 2017 looked at CBD as a possible help for patients with arthritis; it found that prophylactic treatment with CBD stopped pain and hindered the development of more pain in rats with osteoarthritis.

What about acne, the bane of every teenager’s existence? There is peer-reviewed, published scientific research showing that CBD is absolutely a game changer when it comes to restoring healthy skin!

Adding CBD to a quality topical is supported by science.

The key word is “quality,” so be sure your CBD skincare product doesn’t also contain preservatives, artificial fragrances or colors, or other chemicals known to be harsh to sensitive skin.

CBD also has eczema and psoriasis in its sights. A 2019 study  reached the following conclusion: “The topical administration of CBD ointment, without any THC, is a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improve the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially of inflammatory background.”

CBD For the Skin

In 2019, Forbes magazine covered the subject of CBD for skin health; A dermatologist is quoted in the article as saying that if you have a bad reaction to a CBD skincare product, it’s probably some other ingredient, like a botanical or essential oil, and not the CBD itself that has caused it.

Here at Natural Ways, we are not doctors and we do not give medical advice. We encourage our customers to talk with their physicians about whether incorporating CBD into their skincare routine is right for them. There is growing evidence that CBD when applied to the skin can be beneficial just as it can when ingested, and this makes for exciting possibilities.

CBD For the Skin

Our online store features our Natural Ways line of premium CBD bath and beauty products to soothe and nourish skin and we urge you to visit to see for yourself. We take pride in identifying all our ingredients clearly and completely so customers can trust that what the label says is really what’s in the package.

When you shop with us, know that we care as much about the integrity of our products as you do. After all, we use them ourselves, on our children, with our pets, and we recommend them to our friends!

Is Hemp flower legal in Texas?

Is Hemp flower legal in Texas?

Hemp Flower: Is it legal in Texas?

One way Natural Ways CBD sets itself apart from other CBD retailers is by offering our Bud Bar, a place inside our stores where customers can come to buy premium hemp flower in a variety of strains.

New customers usually do a doubletake when they see our Bud Bars.

Our employees enjoy helping them understand that what they are seeing (and what we are selling) is absolutely legal.

Hemp Flower

First, we’d like to tell you a little more about our Bud Bars and then we’ll dive into the legality of hemp flower.

We have set up our Bud Bar in each store like a traditional cannabis dispensary with sealed, labeled jars of premium hemp flower, a counter with scales, tongs, gloves, and lab reports so customers can be assured that their flower contains what it should and does not contain what it shouldn’t. We top it all off with a welcoming “Budtender” who can answer questions and prepare orders.

Hemp Buds

Flower may be purchased from us by the gram, 1/8 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, ounce, or quarter pound, and we package it in secure lidded plastic containers with labels affixed that show the strain, weight, CBD percentage, and Delta 9-THC percentage. (That last piece of information assures customers that their flower complies with the federal regulation specifying hemp flower must contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.)

Hemp flower can be used in many ways, and customers appreciate its versatility.

What does Texas law say about hemp flower?

The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill federally legalized the commercial production of hemp and authorized states to submit state plans to administer hemp programs. In June 2019, Texas passed House Bill 1325 which authorized the production, manufacture, and retail sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.

Here in Texas, House Bill 1325 authorizes the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of industrial hemp crops and products. This also includes consumable hemp products which contain cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other edible parts of the hemp plant. The Texas Department of Agriculture opened the hemp licensing and permit application process online on March 16, 2020.

Hemp flower is legal to grow and consume in the state of Texas.

But before you go getting your shovel and a handful of hemp seeds, read on to understand what this really means. As you might imagine, there’s some paperwork involved!


First, you must have a license. Farmers in Texas are allowed to grow hemp once they apply for and receive a license to do so. All interested farmers must complete an application with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).

Then you must register a facility in which the hemp will be grown, AND you have to have a “lot permit.” The lot permit authorizes the license holder to plant one crop of a state-approved hemp variety on one area in Texas. You may have more than one facility and more than one lot within that facility, but each facility and each lot must be registered separately. Each lot can contain only one approved variety of hemp. If you grow more than one strain, you must have a lot permit for each strain.

Once a lot is harvested, the license holder must get a new permit for each lot they plan to grow again. All hemp crops must be tested at the license-holder’s expense before being harvested to ensure they do not contain more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

Natural Ways owners applied for and received a license and other required permitting in order to be able to grow a gorgeous, lush green hemp plant from state-approved seeds in each of our stores. We want our customers to experience in person the beauty of natural, live hemp as it grows. The plants also spark conversation among customers, and help them to understand what hemp really is, what it looks like, and where their CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids come from.

(Yes, our staff talks to and sometimes plays music near our plants to encourage them to flourish. Does it help? We don’t know, but it sure doesn’t hurt!)

We love talking about our state-approved hemp grows and answering questions about CBD and other constituents of this incredible plant. If you’re in the Houston area and would like to visit our plants and learn more about the science behind CBD from hemp, we would love to show you around. Take a tour of our flagship store here!

Our stores are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Our shopping atmosphere is family-friendly and we offer clean, colorful play areas for children at our Sawdust Rd. and Spring-Cypress locations.

Stop by soon and let us help you incorporate CBD into your wellness regimen!

What’s up with CBD Tea?

What’s up with CBD Tea?

CBD tea offers relaxation one cup at a time  

The science behind the many health benefits of tea is well known and widely published. Tea, whether green or black, caffeinated or not, herbal or traditional, contains antioxidants, minerals and no added sugars or colors.


Here at Natural Ways, we carry several varieties of all-natural tea with CBD extract added. You’ll find them in our online store or, if you’re in the Houston area, at all four of our brick-and-mortar locations!


Once our customers discover these teas, they often come back for more. In fact, we have several customers who say they don’t know how they ever managed before they began drinking our CBD tea!

What does adding CBD to tea do for the body?


As a naturally zero-calorie beverage, tea in any of its forms or types is an excellent choice to quench your thirst. It’s a healthier and more economical alternative to soft drinks, other sugary beverages, or even 100% fruit juice!

We even have one customer who brews our Chamomile with CBD tea in a mild form to give to her senior dog to help with anxiety and sleep! Natural Ways always encourages our customers to consult with their pet’s veterinarian before adding CBD products to an animal’s wellness regimen. Be sure to ask about offering your pet our Chamomile with CBD Tea!


Tea and CBD make a great pair since the caffeine in green or black tea can balance the slight sedative effects some people experience from ingesting CBD. This means you reap the full benefits of CBD without feeling sluggish.


When you steep dry CBD tea in hot water, it releases a bounty of beneficial plant substances.

Rich in antioxidants, other cannabinoids and plant nutrients, CBD tea compliments other CBD products you may be taking such as tinctures or gummies. The presence of so many natural plant chemicals contribute to the entourage effect. This means that the CBD can be absorbed into the body more efficiently.

Herbs like Chamomile and Peppermint which are featured in the Natural Ways line of teas have been used for thousands of years to support good health, so you get the benefit of quality herbs AND cannabidiol from U.S.-grown hemp!

Let’s face it, another benefit of CBD tea is going to be its TASTE!

Some of our customers want the support from natural cannabinoids like CBD but they aren’t especially thrilled about the “earthy” or “dirt-like” taste of pure CBD oil.

This is one of the reasons our tinctures feature premium CBD oil in a carrier such as MCT (from coconut) or sweet almond oil. Those natural carrier oils temper the taste of the CBD and make it more palatable so you’re sure to take your CBD with greater regularity. Regular consumption of your personally perfect dose of CBD is key to its effectiveness!

CBD tea is also versatile. You can brew it hot, or you can brew it to pour over ice. And since our herbal teas with CBD are naturally caffeine free, you don’t have to worry about sleepless nights after a late cup.

The absence of caffeine in a CBD herbal tea also means no diuretic effects: You won’t be getting up to go to the bathroom every couple of hours and you don’t have to worry about becoming dehydrated.

Warm or hot, tea is a popular digestive aid. Our herbal teas with CBD are no exception. Try our Peppermint with CBD tea after a big meal to help keep you comfortable.


What if you don’t care for Chamomile, Peppermint, or Hibiscus Berry teas? Natural Ways has got you covered: Use our water soluble CBD added to the tea you prefer!

What if I don’t drink tea? What are my options for taking CBD?

CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis and the most versatile in terms of how it can be delivered to the body. We understand not everyone is a tea drinker, and that’s okay!

Natural Ways has an “s” in its name for a reason: We believe in choice and that’s why we carry many different options for customers who want to use CBD. There is no one right way to benefit from CBD. Edibles, tinctures, drinks, vaping, hemp flower, topicals – we really do have something for everyone!

Holidays are almost here, and Natural Ways teas make a great gift!

With the holidays coming up, if you know you have a tea drinker in the crowd, consider giving them an assortment of our quality herbal teas with CBD. Not a fan of tea? Remember that we also carry luxurious bath and body products full of high-quality full spectrum CBD just perfect for gift-giving!


To find out more about our teas with CBD as well as the many other products Natural Ways is proud to offer, visit our online store or give us a call. One of our CBD Tour Guides will be happy to answer your questions or assist you with placing an order over the phone.

Drink up!