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What we say is in the bottle is in the bottle

Read the label.
How many times have you heard that?

Do you read labels?
I do.

Do you understand everything that you read on product labels?
I don’t.

If you’ve ever shopped for a CBD product, you may have had an experience that I call “information overload”. So much information. So many words. So much confusion.

When I experience this, I get frustrated.


Now what?

I want to make informed decisions.
We all do.

Who do we ask for guidance?
And, how do we know who to trust?
We go to the experts!

Let’s talk to Max Sobol and Steven Walman of Max & Steven’s Premium Hemp Extracts, the ultimate CBD experts, about transparency in labeling, trust and what they mean when they say, “What we say is in the bottle is in the bottle.”

Below is a transcript of the interview, edited for clarity.

Q= Linda

A= Max and/or Steven

Q: So, what’s in the bottle? What are the ingredients? Help me understand, please.

A: Simply stated, Cannabidiol (CBD),other naturally occuring cannabinoids and terpenes which come from the flower of the hemp plant, and organic MCT oil.  Even more simply- the active plant compounds and the carrier oil.

Q: Why MCT oil? 

A: We chose MCT oil primarily for its small molecule size which makes it easily absorbed by the body as well as it’s other benefits like it’s long shelf life.

Q: When I read your label, there’s a lot of information to break down. Can you explain the basics?

A: I’m glad you asked. Our label is a laboratory analysis of what’s in the bottle and it’s one of the things that makes Max & Steven’s CBD oil drops truly remarkable.  The label tells you which variety of hemp plant was extracted, the top occurring cannabinoids and terpenes in the batch, an expiration date and has a link to the full lab report via a QR code.

Q: Another question for you. People talk about “properly sourced CBD”, what does that mean?

A: That could mean different things to different people. It’s another way we differentiate ourselves. To us, properly sourced requires a look at the entire supply chain. It starts from where the seeds come from to the soil they are planted in and the nutrients they’re fed while growing and flowering. We examine things like, “Is the grower using methods that help regenerate the environment or help to erode it?” and other environmental considerations. Properly sourced also relates to the processing facility and proper safety protocols through the entire process, seed to bottle to consumer. We are involved in every step of the process.

Q: Wow, you guys are control freaks… in a good way! OK- let’s get to the nitty gritty. What are the top 3 things consumers should look for when buying CBD products?

A: First, research the company. Call them, make sure they are real and have references. Second, use a full spectrum extract and check for a complete 3rd party lab report to prove it. You not only want to see the potency report (that includes cannabinoids and terpenes), you must also see the safety reports that test for heavy metals, pesticides, mold or mildew or other toxins. Third, I’d say be consistent and use CBD Drops every day. Start with small servings and be consistent about using it daily to fortify your endocannabinoid system.

Q: When it comes to things like full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolates, what are the differences and why do you make only full spectrum CBD products?

A: Those are categories of extracts and refer to cannabinoids that have been extracted. On one side you have an isolate which is “isolating” one compound for extraction, in this case CBD. On the other side you have a full spectrum that extracts all available cannabinoids. In the middle you have a broad spectrum which is essentially a full spectrum with the THC cannabinoid removed leaving CBD and the other cannabinoids. We only do the full spectrum because we believe in the value of the entire plant. That is how the plant served humans for 10,000+ years and we do not see a reason to change that.

Q: Why do you go to so much trouble- so much detail- in your labeling?

A: At first glance it can be overwhelming but we feel it is important information and it’s full transparency for the consumer. Typically, hemp companies sell their CBD with labels that resemble dietary supplements if they label it at all. The problem is this isn’t a dietary supplement, it’s a whole plant extract and there isn’t a “recommended daily allowance”. We don’t see any value in perpetuating the confusion. Maybe I should do a facebook live and break down the label details. Would that be helpful?

There we have it, what’s in the bottle and why.

Have more questions? Reach out to us

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Best Way to take CBD

What’s the best way to take CBD drops?

Whether you already use CBD products or are just starting to learn about all the potential health and wellness benefits, one question that always comes up is how to best take it or, what’s the best method for delivery? 

Let’s start by defining “best” when it comes to consuming CBD oil drops.

What’s best for you depends on various factors- each of us is unique and have our own preferences as well as conditions we’re addressing.

That being said, the answer to the question of what is the “best” method or way of taking CBD oil drops has a lot to do with bioavailability. 

Bioavailability is a measure of the proportion of the active substances (CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes) in the product that enter the body and how much of those active substances go on to have a viable effect. 

Basically, if you’re looking to get the most benefit from a CBD oil, the consumption method that gives you the greatest bioavailability is typically the way to go.

So, which way is best? 


The sublingual method of consuming CBD oil drops, which is when the drops are placed under the tongue and held there for 30-60 seconds, allowing for absorption into the bloodstream is “best”. This method results in the greatest bioavailability as well as the fastest onset and longest duration of benefits. 

Sublingual consumption is quite different from simply swallowing CBD oil. Sometimes called “oral consumption”, swallowing or mixing CBD oil with food or beverages requires the digestive system to metabolize and deliver the CBD to receptors throughout your body’s endocannabinoid system. This longer path may reduce the bioavailability of CBD by about half. 

CBD oil drops may be used topically, as well. Some people feel most comfortable with this method. Our skin, which is our largest organ and has endocannabinoid receptors, can absorb CBD into receptors at the site of application. Applied topically, CBD will not enter the bloodstream. If using topically, apply liberally and massage the product into the skin.

As the popularity of using CBD as a therapeutic continues to grow and more and more studies definitively prove the benefits of CBD, we can be certain about a few things…

We all have an endocannabinoid system which helps regulate almost every function of our bodies. This system is most likely deficient and needs support via supplementation. Taking a high-quality, properly sourced, full spectrum CBD oil, whether sublingually or by another delivery method, will allow us to enjoy the many benefits of greater well-being.

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Local Matters: A Growing Movement

The sweet scent of locally grown peaches, the chewy deliciousness of freshly baked sourdough bread from the local bakery, the creamy lusciousness of artisanal cheese crafted by a local dairy farmer…by now, you may be salivating at the mere thought of such delicacies or thinking about your own favorite locally crafted products. These days, “local” is more than a buzz word or a passing trend, it’s a growing movement. We all know that shopping for locally made products and locally grown produce helps our communities and supports small businesses. In many cases, locally made or locally grown means better quality or more beneficial. Personally, I make an effort to shop locally but in all honesty, it’s not always feasible. Often convenience determines my choices, which leaves me wondering if I’ve made a poor decision. And so, I find myself asking, when does local matter most? And, what does local really mean when it comes to things like hemp-derived cbd? Is it local if it’s sold nearby? Grown nearby? Both??? Thankfully, I know a guy…actually, two guys, who happen to be experts on the subject so I called them up with a list of questions. Read on, friends… there’s far more to this local matter than I knew!

Max Sobol and Steven Walman, the founders of Max & Steven’s Premium Hemp Extracts, are natives of Baltimore who planted their roots even more firmly in Maryland when they launched their company in 2018. This was a very intentional decision, according to both Max and Steven, as they envisioned an opportunity for creating jobs and opportunities for fellow Marylanders. Max and Steven are committed to working with local farmers, processors and distributors to bring the highest quality cbd products to people and pets.

Below is a transcript of the interview, edited a bit for clarity.

Q= Linda

A= Max and/or Steven

Q: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today, guys, let’s jump right in. My first question is “What is CBD”? 

A: It’s the non-intoxicating, healing molecule of cannabis. It’s the second, or sometimes the most dominant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. It’s very beneficial to the human body while not being intoxicating which is what differentiates it from the other well-known and abundant cannabinoid, THC. CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system which is intertwined with every system in the body.

Q: Before I ask any more questions, is there an easy way for people to figure out the difference between the types of cannabis plants? Which is which and where does CBD come from? Basically, what’s the deal with hemp vs. marijuana?

A: The levels of THC are the determining factor in defining if the cannabis plant is categorized as hemp or marijuana. If there is more than 0.3% THC found in the plant, it’s classified as marijuana. Less than 0.3% THC is classified as hemp. Our CBD is derived from plants classified as hemp which is why it’s known as hemp-derived CBD.

Q: Ok, got it! Next question, so CBD is derived from the hemp plant and hemp plants can grow almost anywhere, right? Does it matter where they’re grown and how they’re grown? Indoor? Outdoor? 

A: Well, everything matters. But there are a few important things to look out for- first being safety. No matter where the plants are grown, look out for any potential contaminants, like heavy metals and pesticides, which could contaminate the plant, making it harmful for human consumption in its final product. After looking at the dangers, we look for the benefits, or the inputs- purity of water, quality of soil, farming practices, nutrients-where the plants get their food and of course the starting genetics and the seed you’re growing from. Assuming you’re using seed, not clones. We only grow plants from seed.

Q: That’s a lot of information! I’ll try to narrow the scope of my question a bit. What are the ideal growing conditions for hemp? Basically, what’s the perfect hemp farm? Also, are the farmers important to the outcome of the plants?

A: There’s not necessarily a perfect environment, it’s more about the right genetics and the right farming process, but yeah- hemp can be grown anywhere. And, of course, the farmers are important. Farmers are growers. We work with farmers who spend their lives cultivating soil in order to grow food and other sacred and nourishing plants. We think it’s all important to the outcome of the plants and the finished products.

Q: You grow locally, in Maryland. When did Maryland farmers first start growing hemp? Can you share a little background and maybe tell us how you determined which farmers to partner with?

A: The 2014 Farm Bill provided a vehicle for more farmers to participate and start growing hemp for research purposes and then in 2018 a second Farm Bill was signed allowing greater freedoms for farmers. Since then, it’s fluctuated but it seems to be stabilizing now. As you may know, hemp is not grown only for its flowers, also known as infloressence, it’s also grown for other industrial applications such as grain and fiber. Hemp has thousands of industrial applications, from rope to fuel to building materials- the possibilities are endless.  People may not know but Maryland farmers were required by law to grow hemp from the 1700’s until about the 1930’s. There was an approximately 100 year prohibition- but that’s another story. In terms of our farmers, we embrace farmers and growers utilizing living soil, using only natural inputs. We are looking for the truest expression of the plant, the way mother nature intended.

Q: Are there any benefits to us, as consumers, from locally grown hemp products? Like some sort of connection between the people and the plants? 

A: Yes! We are supporting local farmers and growers- supporting the local economy. Aside from the obvious economic benefits, there are benefits to locally grown plants. Think of it this way- a seed grows in its environment and absorbs nutrients from that environment, thus expressing certain attributes, terpenes, and characteristics specific to its home. Some people believe in the interconnectedness of people and plants, whether you believe in that or not, you may like the ability to trace the lineage of your cbd back to a specific community or even a particular farmer and know that there’s a mutually beneficial exchange being experienced by all involved. That being said, local can be defined as being in your community, your state or your country. For many people, local- locally grown, locally made, etc. provides a greater sense of confidence in the overall quality of a product. For us, local growing and manufacturing has allowed us to improve quality and secure our supply chain so that we can provide our customers with the best possible cbd products.

Q: Which of your products are you most proud of? Why?

A: I’m most proud of our latest batch of cbd oil. Not only because of the quality of the finished product, which is truly top notch, the best of the best- you can not get better cbd oil in the world. But also, our new lab report data on the packaging which reflects that- we have 10x more terpenes than any other brand in the marketplace. Our new packaging and labeling- with the 3rd party lab results printed on each product, go above and beyond anything in the industry. We set the standard for quality and transparency. Integrity means everything to us and we strive to demonstrate that every step of the way.

Q: Do you use your products? 

A: Use them? I made them for myself. It was my personal quest for “REAL CBD” that led me, along with Max, to research and develop our products. We use them, our families use them, our pets use them.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting happening in Maryland related to the hemp industry? Anything interesting on the horizon for your company?

A: Maryland, at the UMD School of Pharmacy, has the first in the nation Master’s Degree in Cannabis. Maryland is leading the country in education around cannabis and hemp. Maryland legislators are working to create more opportunities for people in the industry. Most importantly, Max & Steven’s is working to expand opportunities for Marylanders to take part in this emerging market by educating and training people in an effort to fulfill the last mile of the supply chain which is getting products into the hands of the consumers. We want everyone to know about the benefits of hemp and we want everyone to share in the growing movement.

Q: If you could tell people one thing about hemp-derived CBD or cannabis in general, what would it be?

A: I think the most important thing I want to tell people, especially about hemp-derived CBD, is that you should take it regularly and keep taking it. It just gets better and better in terms of benefitting your body. Before using CBD, I was on various pharmaceuticals for pain issues, drinking alcohol and using nicotine to deal with symptoms of my chronic pain. Using CBD has allowed me to change all of that. I want nothing more than to share this with others so that they can experience the benefits for themselves. I want people to invest in themselves, their wellbeing and their health. I really want people to know that they are worth it- worth the investment in themselves.

Wow Steven, that’s so beautifully said. In fact, I can’t think of a better definition of “local matters” than starting from within yourself. You’ve really given us a lot to think about today. Of course, I have a million more questions that I’d like to ask you and Max. I think we should make a habit of this, if you guys are up for it, I’d like to do this again. Maybe next time, we can talk about how CBD has helped other people, not just you, Steven!