Christian CBD Oil Company

Christian cannabis consumers are being targeted in new cannabis brand by the infamous founder of XXXChurch.com. Christian companies are breaking into the CBD business to bring a different kind of healing to those in need. According to separate surveys, 65 percent of American adults describe themselves as Christians, and 14 percent say they use CBD. God’s Greenery founder and CEO Michael Klein recognized the overlap.

Former Adult Pastor Launches ‘Christian Cannabis’

Christian cannabis consumers are being targeted in new cannabis brand by the infamous founder of XXXChurch.com.

Craig Gross, an entrepreneur, adult pastor and founder of XXXChurch.com, recently announced that his brand, Christian Cannabis, launched a line of CBD-rich cannabis products on January 27.

The brand will offer high CBD, low THC strains developed for Christian cannabis consumers while educating them about the plant and its medicinal benefits, as well as sharing how they can use it spiritually, too. “Christian Cannabis wants to shine a light on a topic Christians are avoiding—their cannabis use—and invite them to explore it without fear, shame, or judgment,” the press announcement states.

Craig (not to be confused with Craig X, a separate cannabis-friendly pastor) believes that aside from the emotional and physical effects, there is potential to tap into a spiritual connection with cannabis as well.

“There is, without a doubt, a spiritual side to plant medicine,” said Craig Gross. “There are long-held stigmas and doubts regarding its use, especially in the Christian community, and it’s preventing spiritual growth. It’s time we acknowledge that God created plant medicine and Christians should have access to quality, safety, cannabis products made just for them.”

Craig’s wife and Christian Cannabis Co-founder Jeanette Gross also released a statement, explaining that cannabis wasn’t on her radar until she was diagnosed with cancer. “I was faced with one of the most difficult situations of my life—trust plant medicine, which I always thought would alter my mind and make me feel out of touch with reality, or pharmaceutical drugs I knew would?” said Jeanette Gross, co-founder of Christian Cannabis. “I turned to cannabis and not only did it relieve my physical pain, it helped me open up spirituality. It provided me a way of coping with the depression, anxiety, and waves of emotions that accompany being diagnosed with cancer and it was key to my recovery after.”

Christian Cannabis, the logo of which features a dove carrying a cannabis leaf while in flight, will offer pre-rolls, as well as a cream, patch, balm, topical spray, oil, tincture and fruit chews. These products reportedly include biblical ingredients, such as frankincense and myrrh.

Craig announced the Christian Cannabis brand launch back in April 2019 at Coachella—the same year that both the religious holiday of Easter and 420 fell on the same day. In a YouTube video made for the launch, he described his goals for the project. “My hope is to encourage people who follow Jesus and open our eyes to some misunderstandings that we have about this controversial plant,” he said in the video.

In a June 2019 interview with DOPE Magazine, he went into great detail regarding his inspirations behind the idea, how he discovered cannabis later in life at 37 years old, his approach to the subject of sex addiction with XXXChurch.com, and the ongoing stigma that affects Christians and cannabis consumption. “For cannabis—the very first time I [consumed] was in 2013, and I wanted to talk about it. Everyone’s like, ‘Craig, if you talk about this now, you’ll lose everything you’ve built, and it’s not time,’” he shared.

“I came to cannabis in 2013 because it was the worst year of my life. I’m healthy, I’ve never broken a bone in my body, and [in 2013 I am sitting] in a situation where my dad had died, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cysts, I didn’t know if I was grieving or not and I didn’t know how to deal with death. Then I started getting headaches, and then I start chasing doctors, and they just keep handing me more prescriptions,” Craig said. He admits that he skipped church one day to watch CNN’s Weed documentary in 2013, featuring Sanjay Gupta.

More recently, Craig spoke with the New York Times in December 2021 about the psychedelic retreats he put together in Northern California. During the pandemic, he shared that he and his family lived at a psychedelic retreat called “Rainbow Ridge” in Santa Cruz (valued at $1.3 million), where he was “offering 30 psilocybin retreats for a handful pf people at a time,” and he never charged participants. He and his family helped renovate Rainbow Ridge and have since moved. Craig has gone on to create Creating Fun, an artist incubator where he is working on various projects with his extended Rainbow Ridge family.

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Christian Cannabis products are projected to release sometime in California and “additional states” in 2022, with plans to develop a CBD-only line that will eventually be available nationwide.

Christian companies investing in CBD, preaching its healing power

Even pastors are preaching the healing power of CBD oil.

Adam Swanson, a Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based pastor, took a leap of faith when he decided to start farming hemp, a cash crop for his budding CBD business. He sells tinctures, candies, capsules and beauty products made from Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating chemical component in marijuana that doesn’t get users high like THC. It’s said to help with everything from chronic pain and anxiety to insomnia, diabetes and menstrual cramps.

Adam Swanson, a pastor from Murfreesboro, Tenn. started growing hemp last year for his CBD business, Gen 1:29. (Photo by Joseph Swanson) (Photo by Joseph Swanson)

“I never did drugs. I’m a pastor, I run a Christian products business. People were like, ‘You’re selling what?’” Swanson, whose family owns the church supply company Swanson Christian Products, told FOX Business.

Adam Swanson, a Pastor from Tennessee, decided to start growing hemp for his budding CBD business.

He says the idea to sell CBD came to him in a prayer meeting when people started raving about its healing power to treat back pain and insomnia. “So many people were telling me how this oil had been helping them,” Swanson recalled.

So he did some research, and decided to start farming hemp last year on a plot of land his family owns. Swanson launched his own line of CBD products called Gen1:29, marketing products with the Bible verse it’s named after. His goal is wholesale distribution at Christian bookstores and retailers.

“Every herb and fruit bearing seed I have given you for food, Love God!” one of the product label’s reads.

Gen 1:29, a CBD oil marketed to a Christian audience. (Photo by Abi Swanson)

“Our hope is that maybe somebody would get to read that on the product and go into a church, congregation or synagogue,” Swanson said.

Using the Bible to destigmatize CBD to Christian consumers is the latest way entrepreneurs are breaking into the multi-million dollar industry. The ubiquitous ingredient can be found in everything from coffee and candy, to makeup and spa products. The stuff is advertised on cocktail menus, at hotel mini bars and in pet products. It’s been marketed to a high end Barneys and fitness studios like SoulCycle have started peddling CBD products. And CVS announced in March it would start selling CBD items in more than 500 stores. So it’s no surprise, marketing experts say, that Christian companies and Swanson are becoming for-profit prophets of CBD.

“Referring to the Bible or using scriptural verses on product packaging is a savvy marketing technique that serves to legitimize a product that may seem taboo or strange,” Kira Ganga Kieffer, a doctoral candidate in religious students at Boston University who specializes in American religious history and pop culture, said.

A part from the Christian-heavy marketing, the Gen 1:29 products don’t appear to be significantly different than any others on the saturated CBD market. There’s a 2,500 mg bottle of CBD oil selling for $180;. (To compare, a bottle in the same size from the CBDistillery costs $130). Then there’s a $50 body butter containing 100 mg of CBD; and $85 sour-worm gummies containing 1,500 mg of CBD.

“The packaging is also tongue-in-cheek by saying “Love, God” as though God sent this bottle of CBD oil straight to you as a personal gift. It seems intended to be an enticing combination of gimmick and authenticity,” Kieffer noted.

There’s been little scientific proof to support medical claims for alleviating chronic pain, depression, anxiety or cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD-containing drug, Epidiolex, to treat people with epilepsy.

And there’s been ongoing confusion on the legality of CBD. Last year, the 2018 Farm Bill lifted a federal ban on hemp production that once classified hemp as a drug. Most states, however, haven’t changed their laws to align with federal rules, so many police officers and local law enforcement are confused about what products are legal.

Swanson has a retail storefront in Murfreesboro, where CBD made from hemp extract is legal. In 2017, Tennessee modified its industrial hemp law to allow the production of hemp with 0.3 percent THC or less (hemp growers must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture).

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CBD and religion

Some websites are likening the old biblical practices of anointing with oil with the new age natural wellness trend of CBD. God’s Greenery, a sister online publication of CannabisMd, owned by Toronto-based media company Miraculo, Inc., aims to be “the leading online resource for Christians to explore cannabidiol (CBD) and its natural benefits for healing,” according to the website. Some content featuerd includes “Top 10 scriptures that could give Christians a thumbs-up for CBD” , which notes Bible verses like James 5:14 (New Living Translation), and Mark 6:13 (Revised Standard Version) that make mentions of oil. “Here are 10 Bible passages that could apply to a Christ follower’s use of CBD,” Natalie Gillespie, author of the post and editor-in-chief of God’s Greenery, wrote.

“God’s Greenery hopes to create a community of thoughtful Christ followers and seekers who want to pursue optimal health God’s way,” the website states.

Other sites, like ChristianCannabis.com, started by a nondenominational, marijuana-loving pastor, sells religious-themed CBD balm and vape pens to devout Christians.

MORE ON FOXBUSINESS.COM .

Some churches in the South are starting to discuss CBD more openly. Texas-based pastor Jeff Mousa, of Dallas Bible Church, says the topic has come up, though there is still a stigma attached to CBD for being associated with marijuana.

While some progressive Christian churches and companies are openly preaching about CBD, others are trying to disassociate themselves from the conversation entirely. The Christian Book Distributors, formerly called CBD, changed its name in July to ChristianBook.com after it was getting inundated with requests for cannabis products.

Swanson says he inititally faced some backlash from the Christian community for selling it.

Cannabis For Christians? God’s Greenery Combines Hemp CBD With ‘Biblical Ingredients’

The industrial hemp used in the God’s Greenery product line is imported from Europe.

How do you market products that might mistakenly be associated with getting high to a group that values sober-mindedness? Michael Klein knows the first step is to arm them with knowledge.

According to separate surveys conducted in 2019, 65 percent of American adults describe themselves as Christians, and 14 percent say they use CBD. Klein, the CEO and founder of God’s Greenery, recognized the overlap and launched his company when he saw that the “underserved audience” needed a place to talk and learn about the compound in a way that aligned with a Christian worldview.

“We identified that there was this growing chatter online of Christians who were using hemp-derived CBD as part of their wellness program,” he says. “The world of CBD is so cluttered and so confusing. You have 3,000 different brands that generally think they’re talking to everyone, but of course if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”

Michael Klein is the CEO and founder of God’s Greenery, a hemp CBD company geared to Christians.

Initially built as a community platform, God’s Greenery came online in late 2018 with an expectation that there would be some pushback from its target audience. There wasn’t. “It was more of, ‘I love CBD, now I have a place to talk about it,’” he says. “But as we continued to grow, the feedback was, ‘Great, thanks for the education, now what do I buy?’”

A Trusted Strategic Partnership

When Klein didn’t have a good answer for those who weren’t sure what to look for, he and his team decided to take the opportunity to “reward the community” by creating their own line of products. After meeting Dr. Jason Mitchell, N.D., the cofounder and co-CEO of HempFusion and a fellow man of faith, the two decided to form a strategic partnership to develop hemp-derived CBD products that Christians could trust.

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Describing HempFusion as “the most conservative hemp company, period,” Mitchell says it was his team’s regulatory portfolio and commitment to safe and high-quality product—the company imports its organic hemp from Europe, testing it and even providing batch reports online—that won Klein over. Today, HempFusion provides the raw material for the God’s Greenery product lineup.

“We’re kind of the intelligence inside the bottle for them, with their flair and formulation,” Mitchell says. “We helped to make sure that it was manufactured correctly, tested appropriately, and stable, so that when they offered a product to their consumers it was truly of value.”

So what makes the products for Christians?

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The Fit & Flex capsules by God’s Greenery combine hemp-derived CBD with other ingredients like . [+] turmeric oleoresin and rosemary.

A quick browse of God’s Greenery’s online store offers a line of two varieties of capsules (one for activity and one for sleep) and a hemp oil geared to the anxiety sufferer aptly named “Oil of Gladness.” Ingredients include hemp oil and other “biblical” plants and herbs such as rosemary, grape seed extract, basil oil, flax oil, lemon balm, and chamomile.

That, and a guarantee that the products are non-intoxicating and “won’t interfere with daily living” as they contain amounts of THC that are so low, they are almost non-detectable.

CBD For Christians, Or Just Marketing?

A skeptic may look at this brand and draw the conclusion that these are just clever marketing techniques. But faith-based marketing is nothing new. Plus, there’s no denying that a certain finesse is required to address the topic of cannabis and hemp with doubtful family members and friends who may very well be convinced that both are, for lack of a better term, the devil’s lettuce.

Mitchell, himself a former doubter of the beneficial properties of cannabis and hemp, says God’s Greenery and the mission to spread the word about CBD is more about expanding the minds of “an audience that deserves to have the truth” than it is about capitalizing on a trend in the health and wellness marketplace.

“I was one of those idiots that was out there saying that anything cannabis-related should be illegal, that it was a drug, it’s a narcotic, that it was crazy and people just wanted an excuse to get high,” he admits.

When he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2011, he took it upon himself to learn about the body’s endocannabinoid system. Although he says medical cannabis was nowhere near responsible for curing his condition, it opened his mind to the reality that the compounds in the plant weren’t “just a gimmick.”

Mitchell asserts that despite years of unhealthy conditioning and stigma around cannabis, even the most conservative Americans are feeling let down by the medical community as a result of the opioid crisis, and as they look for alternatives, CBD presents itself as a safe option.

Dr. Jason Mitchell, N.D., is the cofounder and co-CEO of HempFusion. His company provides God’s . [+] Greenery with raw hemp material.

“When you look at the elders within a church and within a Christian community, they do maintain a high level of conservatism, and I think for many there’s a really good reason for that,” he says. “Being too liberal in too many areas can lead us to this wide path as opposed to the path that’s narrow.”

For Mitchell, it comes down to a matter of where the lines of that spiritual path are drawn: “If we’re going to draw the lines on facts, great; if we’re going to draw the lines on a hypothetical that was created by man to villainize something, I think we need to revisit that.”

Covid-19 And Social Currency

Klein’s solution to spreading the word about CBD, amid Covid-19 no less, is two-fold: The online platform is still used to share knowledge with curious Christians and potential consumers, while a newly implemented ambassador program enables customers to donate to different charities and earn extra cash for sharing their God’s Greenery experience with family and friends.

“I look at everything, particularly in the world of CBD, as social currency. When you discover something that you love, you want to share it with people,” Klein says. “Launching a brand during a pandemic has many challenges, but at the same time we have a lot of time in front of our screens, and the ability to earn extra income right now, in addition to giving back, is very, very appealing for people.”

While from a business standpoint both Klein and Mitchell keep their focus on CBD, Mitchell recognizes the medical benefits that THC has, too. (After all, both plants and compounds are created by God, right?) Although it might be too early for cannabis marketers to try and convey the benefits of THC to Christians in the way that God’s Greenery has with CBD, the science is already there.

“I think the more we make it controversial, the more people will hide from it,” he says. “There is a tremendous amount of research to show that THC is a widely useful cannabinoid. Plus, there are over 100 different cannabinoids, and then you go even further and realize it doesn’t stop there,” he says.