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How Harmony CBD Transformed a Life-Threatening Diagnosis

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday October 17, 2020

  (Source:Harmony CBD)

By most accounts, the first six months of Harmony's life were like any other baby. Gurgles and smiles. Warm baths and snuggles from mom. But at six months old, Harmony's mother, Janel Ralph, noticed some small eye flutters. Within four days, she was having full-blown seizures. It would take years of research and resilience for Janel to take control of her daughter's fragile body. And in the process, she would launch one of the most reputable and transparent CBD brands in the country.

"It isn't until you have a child like Harmony that you understand the term medical 'practice,' " says Janel. "With her complicated genetic condition, we quickly realized they didn't have the answers for us."

In retrospect, Janel says there were glaring red flags as her daughter was prescribed an ever-changing cocktail of anti-epileptic pharmaceuticals. These highly-addictive medications, regardless of their efficacy, came with a hook: If they didn't work, Janel simply couldn't stop administering them to her daughter or she would go into withdrawal. Sometimes the medications would make Harmony's symptoms even worse.

Janel's brother had already been working in the cannabis industry and sent an article that described the potential benefits of CBD in patients with Harmony's condition. "The more I read and researched, the more I thought this could be a viable option," recalls Janel.

Timing was not in Janel's favor, though. It was 2014, and the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp was in the distant future. Harmony didn't have that kind of time. She quickly realized that a lot of the early players were simply out to make a profit and didn't have the infrastructure or interest in transparency.

"It was the Wild West, and in many ways, still is," says Janel of the cannabis industry. "Nobody is formally monitoring where it's grown, manufactured or shipped. The FDA refuses to regulate [CBD] as it should be." Additionally, since medical marijuana (THC) has become regulated, many producers have jumped ship and moved into the CBD space, often selling products that are mislabeled or potentially contaminated.

Janel, based in South Carolina, had a connection who was growing hemp under a pilot program in Kentucky. She bought the surplus, rebuilt the equipment in the Bluegrass State, and began manufacturing what would eventually be named Harmony CBD in her daughter's honor.

Janel's describes Harmony's transformation as a "wake up" period. At four-and-a-half years old, she emerged from a drug-infused state, began expressing emotions, and most importantly, saw a significant reduction in seizures.

Not All CBD is Created Equal

Harmony CBD founder Janel Ralph.
Harmony CBD founder Janel Ralph.  (Source: Harmony CBD)

At each detour, Janel rerouted to understand CBD compounds and manufacturing more deeply. Her daughter's life was at stake, and if she were to offer a product to the general public, it would have to meet the same standards.

"Extraction is one of the most important aspects when looking at a safe product that really works," says Janel. "You can isolate a molecule, but full-spectrum has all of the cannabinoids."

Harmony CBD uses a lipid infusion method in which MTC oil (coconut oil) is put under pressure, passed over the organic hemp flower, and extracted into the oil. The finished product is then bottled, sealed, and ready to ship. No ethanol, artificial colorings, or additives are used.

Sixty-six compounds from the cannabis sativa plant are classified as cannabinoids. The active compounds interact with specific receptors in the nervous system; a study by the Journal of Epilepsy Research has shown "that adjunctive use of CBD improves seizure control in patients with specific epilepsy syndromes."

Harmony Original CBD Hemp Oil can be used for a variety of conditions. Studies have shown CBD's positive results in the treatment of pain and inflammation, anxiety and migraine headaches.

Harmony CBD also produces a line of topical and skin care products, and even products for your pets.

Love is Love

Janel Ralph (l) and her daughter Harmony.
Janel Ralph (l) and her daughter Harmony.  (Source: Harmony CBD)

Despite the challenges and emotional strain, Janel's love for Harmony is unconditional, as is her commitment to the LGBTQ community. Janel's brother is gay, and she bestowed the honor of naming his husband as Harmony's godfather.

"I love the community," says Janel, recognizing from personal experience that we are stronger together when we love without judgment.

Harmony CBD was born out of what many might have seen as an insurmountable challenge. Janel Ralph wasn't willing to accept that outcome. The result has not only improved Harmony's quality of life but that of thousands of people across the country.

Disclaimer: These products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.