Swimsuit icon, lifestyle guru Kathy Ireland dives into hemp wellness

Photo by Dixie Dixon www.dixiedixon.com | Courtesy of Kathy Ireland
Photo by Dixie Dixon www.dixiedixon.com | Courtesy of Kathy Ireland

Former supermodel Kathy Ireland, who created a multibillion-dollar lifestyle empire after soaring to fame in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit editions in the 1980s, is dipping a professional toe into new waters: hemp-based products for the masses.

Ireland, whose kathy ireland Worldwide brand sells fashion, homewares, jewelry, pet products and garden furniture among other things in stores and at kathyireland.com, will release products developed by Canada’s Isodiol, a maker of pharmaceutical and wellness products, to create edibles and other products with cannabidiol, or CBD.

CBD is a substance found in both hemp and cannabis that doesn’t cause mood elevation and is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anti-anxiety drug. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main active ingredient in cannabis that causes euphoria.

Ireland is the latest in a slew of high-profile personalities to dive into the CBD wellness industry, which seems poised to take off in 2018.

Actor Whoopi Goldberg and the Bay Area’s Maya Elisabeth (of Om Edibles) offer Whoopi & Maya soaks, balms and tinctures; Los Angeles’ Lord Jones cannabis products — whose CBD lotions are reportedly a favorite of Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld — have partnered with Icelandic avant-rock band Sigur Ros on Limited Edition All Natural Sigurberry CBD (and THC) Gumdrops; and Credo Beauty is soon to begin carrying Vertly CBD balms and lotions, created by former Town & Country and W magazine accessories editor Claudia Mata.

Isodiol, founded in Vancouver in 2009, calls itself a “bioactive phytoceutical innovator” and has a raft of companies under its umbrella, including Canna Ceuticals, a luxury CBD skincare line; Pot-O-Coffee, beverages with CBD; and Be Tru Organics, hemp oil sprays and creams.

Ireland’s new products are slated to hit stores sometime in 2018 and will include body balms, tinctures, personal care, and drinks, according to a news release issued by Level Brands — a licensing company working with Ireland.

So Hot It's Cool: Isodiol's skin cream featuring cannabidiol is part of a CBD-rich 2018 for U.S. consumers.
So Hot It’s Cool: Isodiol’s skin cream featuring cannabidiol is part of a CBD-rich 2018 for U.S. consumers.

All products will use hemp-derived CBD, and will not contain THC, said Christopher Hussey, an Isodiol spokesman.

Ireland indicated she is excited about the new venture.

“We believe that these new Isodiol products, which are derived from hemp and are 99 percent pure, bioactive and pharmaceutical-grade and are under the kathy ireland Health & Wellness license will gain acceptance and advocacy worldwide,” stated Ireland.

Ireland noted she is determined to be an “educator in chief” about cannabidiol.

“It’s ironic that people find controversy in the powerfully useful hemp plant,” she said in the statement. “Without THC, hemp has many natural and important uses, which are beneficial in countless ways. We need people to please understand, that hemp, without THC, is similar to a grape without fermentation. I believe that what the Isodiol team has done is bring the best qualities of hemp-derived CBD to market without any psychotropic element, whatsoever.”

In the partnership, described as a 10-year licensing deal, Isodiol will develop consumer products for the kathy ireland® Health & Wellness brand. It will also create products for Level Brands subsidiary I’M1, a lifestyle brand for men (former U.S. Marine Tommy Meharey is the face of the brand), as well for the Chef Andre Carthen and Nicholas Walker brands, which are licensed by Level Brands.

“It became clear that both sides share a common goal, which is to help people around the globe understand how cannabidiol is beneficial for the human body,” said Marcos Agramont, chief executive officer of Isodiol, in a prepared statement. “With this expanded agreement, we will now be able to introduce a variety of Isodiol brands to Kathy’s extremely large network around the globe.”

Isodiol products are manufactured in several countries around the globe, but Hussey, the Isodiol spokesman, declined to specify which countries or disclose the source of the hemp-derived CBD.

Neither company responded immediately to questions about whether any independent parties will verify or certify the health and wellness claims or the source of ingredients.

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SF Chronicle & Greenstate.com reporter keeps an eye on high style, from cannabis to luxe living & fashion. Read all about it!