The NYC Store believe that plants have the transformative power to heal, energise and nourish and we’re getting in on the act.
This year may have been the annus horribilis to top all in recent history, but the good news is we may just have found the perfect antidote to 2020. Introducing Standard Dose; the New York-based wellness mecca known for its exquisite curation of CBD and plant-based products, which are now also being hosted exclusively at John Lewis.
The bricks and mortar store across the pond provides sensory solace to the city outside. Amidst the clean architectural lines and putty-pink interior lie calming spaces devoted to yoga, meditation and educational workshops.
The online platform is equally a haven of curated calm, stifling the outlandish claims of hundreds of brands clamouring for attention. This expert edit of ‘clean’, vegan, efficacious plant-based products is the brainchild of founder Anthony Saniger who discovered his passion for plants after feeling burnt-out by modern life. ‘I was working a lot and feeling chronically anxious and stressed, but was tired of turning to pharmaceuticals for respite, which seems to be how the majority of people in the US are trained to tackle stress.’
In a bid for a more harmonious way of life, Saniger embarked on a journey of discovery, learning how to decode labels, understanding the chemicals involved and disentangling the science from the schmaltz, eventually culminating in ‘Standard Dose’.
His objective from the outset has always been to provide a showcase for the highest-quality formulas with the most effective ingredients in one holistic space. ‘Our aim is to heal people through plants and also through experience,’ he says, alluding to the educational component of Standard Dose. His biggest hurdle to date? Keeping abreast of the ever-changing science and knowledge coming out of the wellness sphere on an almost daily basis. ‘Navigating the chaos and trying to stay on top of education is our biggest challenge,’ says Saniger. ‘We don’t have all the answers but we do strive to do better by being as educated and transparent as possible, so that our customers are always as informed as they can be.’
The wellness sphere has earnt a reputation in recent years as a bit of a lawless frontier which is why Standard Dose decided to take matters into their own hands. ‘“Setting the standard” has been our tagline from day one,’ confirms Saniger who has become synonymous with regulating what is essentially a largely unregulated industry. ‘The consumer shouldn’t have to worry about any of those things. As a retailer it’s our job to ensure that the products live up to our standards and that we’re setting some kind of foundation for what should be out there.’ It’s what prompted him to establish the brand's very own vetting system for every product they carry. ‘It’s a fairly rigorous process starting with our checklist of restricted ingredients – a list which tends to be much longer than the US and EU Standards which are not strong enough in our opinion.’
“When we first started out we were finding a lot more inaccuracies than we do today, especially in the CBD arena”
‘We not only look at ingredients from a health point of view but also from an environmental and ethical perspective to ensure that they’re sustainable,’ Saniger continues. His team also sends each product off to be tested at an independent lab to check for pesticides, heavy metals and toxins as well as verifying percentages. ‘When we first started out we were finding a lot more inaccuracies than we do today, especially in the CBD arena where it transpired that several products actually contained zero percent CBD. We do give the brands a little wiggle room as it can be hard to maintain exact dosages with batch-produced plant-based ingredients but we want to ensure that the brands are on top of it and as close to accurate as possible.’
It’s been added to everything from skincare to smoothies but for those still confused over beauty’s buzzword du jour, the acronym stands for cannabidiol and is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found within the cannabis plant. As one of over 100 different cannabinoids including THC (which gives you the ‘high’) our bodies have a strong affinity for CBD which has been shown to help fight inflammation, soothe sore muscles, relieve menstrual cramping and give intestinal relief, reduce stress, aid in sleep and provide mental clarity. The reason? Us humans naturally produce endocannabinoids as part of a network of chemicals and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system so there is a natural lock and key fit.
“My aim was to elevate CBD as an ingredient which has been used for thousands of years to help people with insomnia and anxiety”
CBD also happens to be the cornerstone of the Standard Dose brand. ‘I started with CBD as I felt that there was so much confusion in the market and no clear standards,’ says Saniger. ‘Back then it felt like you either had to be a weed smoker or someone who hikes in the Colorado mountains every day, neither of which were me. My aim was to elevate CBD as an ingredient which has been used for thousands of years to help people with insomnia and anxiety.’
‘For a long time plant-based products were deemed very “granola” so it was important to me to find brands that were still a luxurious offering and didn’t make me feel like I was sacrificing in order to protect the planet, or be ethical while putting clean formulas on my skin,’ says Saniger who still champions brands that are covetable as well as ethical. Although, one could say the entire shopping experience at Standard Dose is somewhat nonconformist, with the majority of his clients buying by concern rather than specific products.
“It’s about working on beauty from the inside out and offering a holistic solution”
‘Most of our customers come to us for what we call “needs” such as relief, sleep, anxiety, stress, gut and immune health, but it’s also about education. For example, someone may come in looking for a treatment for an acne breakout when actually it may be their gut health that’s at the root of their skin issues. It’s about working on beauty from the inside out and offering a holistic solution.’
‘It sounds like a shameless plug, but I think that everyone can benefit from taking our Standard Dose tincture on a daily basis, but if you have specific concerns the following are my top picks.’
‘In the US, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) cites that 70% of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep every night. This is a pretty overwhelming stat which I personally don’t think should be addressed using pharmaceuticals. For me, the Mineral Sleep Tincture is my go-to as Mineral is a brand that I think does a really good job of formulation.’
‘Relief from our more sedentary lives is another huge issue for many of us. I love Plant People’s Balm + Relief which contains muscle-soothing botanicals like arnica and full spectrum CBD to reduce inflammation. It’s great for post-workout aches as well as tension and muscle soreness.’
Stress & Anxiety
‘I’m going to have to go for a two-pronged approach here and recommend the Be Calm Patch by The Good Patch which I’ll put on during the day if I’m super-stressed as patches have almost 100% bioavailability through transdermal delivery. For evening I think the natureofthings bath soaks are really fantastic products to use day to day and contain broad spectrum CBD and magnesium to help de-stress and promote relaxation.’
‘Biocol Labs – Something For Bloated Tums is my natural alternative to Tums. I’ve had gut health issues since childhood so this is an area that I’ve done a lot of research into and I was keen to stop using things that were full of chemicals. This plant-based formula is designed to aid digestion with ingredients like ginger fennel, sugar beet and probiotics.’
Focus & Engery
‘I love The Good Patch’s B12 Awake Patch for those times when I need a bit of mental clarity and want to stay sharp. As well as energising vitamin B12, it also contains caffeine and green tea extract for an added boost to power you through the day.’