NATURECAN review - CBD effects on Anxiety, Stress and Sport injury
A couple of months ago I started using CBD oil to see how it would help manage stress, anxiety and PMS. After trying a Japan based brand, I switched to the UK based brand NATURECAN - several months down the line, I have tried several of their products.
Off to a slow start
I did not have any complaints about my first ever CBD oil from a Japanese brand, other than the price being quite steep. I had only just started using it when I saw a promotional post on Instagram, promoting the new player in the Japanese market: Naturecan. A combination of attractive discounts, influencers that seemed to vouch for the products on SNS and their clean, easy to navigate website, convinced me to place an order for two CBD oils and a muscle balm.
Instead of my ordered products, I received 2 notification letters from the Japanese customs office, notifying me they were keeping the parcels (order was shipped in two parcels due to the total value) on hold, until evidence was submitted that the THC level was below the maximum level set by the Japanese law. I completely freaked out, thinking the company was a scam and that I would be going to jail - (last year there was a horror story of a foreign girl that got sent weed(?) per post and ended up arrested for it as they couldn't track who sent it (?!). Along those lines. And I was going to be next!).
I re-researched the company, searched any and all reviews on the web, contacted one of the influencers who had shared the brand, looked up their address on Google Street view, and of course contacted them directly. #intense
I found two following two key factors:
Naturecan was only founded in May 2019 - a little over a year at the time of my order. Considering this, it is pretty impressive what they have managed to set up over such a short time, and it explains the lack of information and reviews online. There was virtually no information in Japanese, other than their translated website, and the exact same (UK?) reviews are shared on all platforms - and many of them are from people who received free samples. Now, a few months further down the line, both of these points have improved and more feedback is available on several SNS platforms.
The CEO of Naturecan was previously the CEO of MyProtein - which explains their marketing and (relatively aggressive) promotional and pricing strategy, including a lot of discounts. I was surprised by low prices compared to Japanese CBD brands, and their major, so far constant, discounts. The link with MyProtein makes a lot of sense to me, as a customer with both brands.
Fool me Once
After communicating with the support team through Instagram, they explained me that the documentation, proving the products comply with Japanese laws, was not included in the parcels, which is why they were stopped by customs. I got send the documents per email and had to print and send them to the immigration office myself.
I was still slightly anxious, as I did not want to be held responsible if there was a problem with the customs/documents, but in the end it was fine and the parcels were released within days.
To compensate me for the time, money and bad experience, Naturecan offered me a discount, on top of their Sale, for my next order. As the products finally arrived in good condition, I decided to go ahead and accept this offer.
I placed another big order, including their newly added CBD Capsules.
Unfortunately, I again received the notification from the customs office.
Although the documents had been submitted for the oils previously, and they were cleared, the capsules were a new item. When contacting the support team again, they admitted they had forgotten to include the documentation for this new product, so I had to go through the process of printing and sending the documents myself again; It's not too complicated - but for someone who doesn't own a printer, doesn't keep envelopes or stamps at home, gets misinformed at the konbini on which stamp to use, so the documents get returned to you because you are 8￥(!!!) short on stamps, and have to make time to visit the shop/konbini/post office during a busy work season, before the customs office's deadline.... is just slightly inconvenient and adding to the exact stress that the CBD products were meant to reduce.
That being said. Having worked for mostly small start-ups and family businesses myself, I am very well aware of the struggles and challenges of new businesses, new markets, foreign laws and regulations, and most of all, customer support. I really appreciate what Naturecan is working on: Their mission, strategy and customer support - which is casual, but friendly and supportive. They have apologized for the inconvenienced, gave an explanation on why the issue occurred and how to avoid it in the future, and offered a solution and compensation.
I will therefore place my third order soon and look forward to see if the process goes smooth this time around!
Yes, Nature Can!
So the order process has had its ups and downs, but these start-up problems should no longer occur if you decide to place an order in the future. The Japanese customs office has reviewed the documentation and even opened- and tested one of the products and so far approved each and every one of them.
I have so far tried the following items:
Naturecan 15% CBD OIL ¥12,400 (discounted price ¥7,440)
The first CBD oil I tried from a Japanese brand was 15%, so I went ahead and ordered the same dose for comparison. Depending on my mood I would use 1-3 drips in the morning before work and again in the afternoon. The drips have a bit of a mentol-y flavor and are pretty strong, as opposed to the ones popular in Japan: low doses and often flavored with coconut or yuzu. You drip the oil under your tongue and keep it there for about 1 minute before slowly swallowing it. I don't mind the process - although it became harder when I started fasting in the morning, as on an empty stomach it resulted in a heartburn kind of feeling. The pipet is easy to use. The bottle can be tricky to open sometimes - but I'm happy it doesn't spill easily, as I take it with me in my sports bag.
Naturecan 40% CBD OIL ¥19,990 (discounted price ¥9,995)
The 40% is a much higher dose and I bought this to try during heavy PMS days, stressful events, or just to use generally and using only 1 drop instead of several of the lower dose. I found it a bit tricky to only get exactly 1 drop of oil and found it easier to use several drops of a lower dose.
My partner recently switched from a Japanese brand CBD wax with vaporizer to the 40% Naturecan oil, and he has been quite happy with the results so far. It is easier to use, doesn't cause a cough and may (or may not, if you can't get used to the pipet) be cheaper.
Accelerator 10mg CBD Capsules ¥7,050 (discounted price ¥6,650)
The accelerator capsules promise 16x more CBD absorption in the first hour and 88% more CBD over a 24 hour period. Promoted as the most effective way to get in your daily dose, we both tried these for a brief moment. One pack contains 30 capsules and the recommended dose is 2 a day, which means it won't last you very long. We loved the convenience - it's a lot easier to take without food (when fasting) too. It did feel like the capsules gave more of a boost than the other products. You'd have to calculate if 2 packs per month is better value than one of the oils.
Before trying CBD, I was experimenting with PMS vitamins from iHerb to try and help with anxiety and PMS symptoms. The main reason I decided to switch to CBD products was because I needed something that would also help with my persistent sports injuries (due to martial arts). So I got really excited seeing Naturecan's several muscle balms and tried three variations so far!
CBD Muscle Balm - Cooling Menthol ¥1,870 (discounted price ¥1,590)
I love this simple balm. It's mild, really refreshing and has a nice scent. It does exactly what you'd expect - gently cool your muscles. I tried this both before and after workouts, and especially on the warmer days, it gives an all-round, nice cool feeling that helps wake me up in the morning. Would definitely buy again.
CBD Arnica Cream with Witch Hazel ¥1,870 (discounted price ¥1,680)
This balm's cooling effect is less intense than the menthol one, but still leaves your skin nice and cool. I'm quite a fan of the scent, although I can imagine it may be too strong for some, and found this the "easiest" (least intense, but still effective) of the three balms. Arnica is supposedly used for inflammation and swelling for centuries, and I did find it relieved my post-workout (recovering) knee pain.
CBD Muscle Balm – Chilli Heat ¥1,870 (discounted price ¥1,590)
What other to expect than a fierce kick?! This has been a love-hate affair. The first time I used just a little bit on my arm to test. After an hour I was in tears because it felt like a second degree burn. My partner put some on his arm too and had the exact same effect. Even after washing both our arms with a lot of water, the burn stayed for a couple of hours and we considered ritually burning the balm in our nearby park... But I decided to gave it another try a few days later, after an intense workout and on an actually sore muscle, instead of a tender part of arm. This was a lot better! I still recommend using a TEENY-TINY bit each time; carefully rub it just on the sore muscles and immediately wash your hands after. I use it on my shoulders, but my favorite use is on my lower back. Interestingly, if I put it on in the morning and have training in the afternoon, it will give an intense (not painful) "burn" during training when the muscles heat up. In the morning after application, it will warm up the entire surface, which is quite comfortable on colder days.
Definitely a balm with instructions, that you'll either love or hate!
*UPDATE 10/27: Naturecan has contacted me that their sale has ended and that they will have their next sale in November, with some new products.
NATURECAN is a UK based company with third-party lab tested, affordable CBD products that have been approved by the Japanese customs. They are selling in 20 countries world wide and are getting consistently positive feedback. Despite some initial challenges in getting their products imported, my experience with their customer support has been very positive.
Verdict: Happy with all oils and balms so far and will be placing a third order soon. Looking forward to try more of their products.
Buy @ Naturecan