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TRUTH OR CRAP? CBD is just modern “Snake Oil”.

TRUTH OR CRAP? CBD is just modern “Snake Oil”.

Jul 31st 2020

That’s Crap!

Calling CBD lotions Snake Oil, on the surface, doesn’t seem all that fair. The term Snake Oil is commonly used in the American lexicon for a product that doesn’t work and is sold by some unsavory types who are knowingly ripping you off. You can just imagine that smarmy, top-hat-wearing, mustachio taking your hard-earned money, right? It’s a bit over-the-top. After all, CBD has been observed, by many users, to help with inflammation and minor pains. So, if you were asking me “ Crappy’s, is your CBD lotion just modern snake oil?” Our response would be “Hell NO!... well, maybe… probably, yes… it’s a lot like snake oil.”

This is a hard question to answer cleanly. To understand why, let’s go back in time to get a sense of the history behind that question. It’s interesting, and you can learn a lot from history. We, the nerds at Crappy’s Feel Better, really like to overthink things. So, when it came time to figure out how we can take our cool tech and apply it to topicals, we dug into the history of elixirs and liniments. We really over-thinked it good.

Snake oil first popped onto the scene in the American West, circa mid-1800s. As you probably recall from history class (or western movies), the US was expanding westward by connecting the East and West coasts with a Transcontinental Railroad. Thousands of Chinese indentured laborers immigrated to the US during that time, where they played a significant role in developing our country (big shout-out… respect). As you can probably imagine, building a railroad through the untamed Rockies was some tough, body-breaking work. After long, hard days, they would rub on their joints and muscles a natural remedy they had brought with them. This topical remedy helped them keep at it, limber, day after day. They called this natural remedy Snake Oil, as it was rumored to have been made from the oil of a Chinese water snake. (We now know that it was made from water snakes and was also extremely high in omega-3 acids which are known to aid bursitis, arthritis and inflammation.)

Snake Oil worked marvelously! Chinese workers shared this remedy with their American railroad counterparts, who were MARVELED by the effectiveness. You can just picture it. The Frontiersman were all like… “ yo, this snake oils shiz is da bomb.” And the Chinese railroad worker was all like ‘true dat, get you some”. Frontiersman was all like “preach”. Snake Oil went viral. Everyone was talking about it… “OMG, is that Snake Oil, Whaaa…”

So, with this in mind, I think we can see the analogy between hemp oil and snake oil. They both really started as a natural-derived remedy to aid aching muscles and joints - using chemicals found in nature to help you Feel Better. They both spread by word-of-mouth too. The Original Snake Oil was spot on. So, yeah, we, at Crappy’s, would be honored to call our Muscle Marvel rub Snake Oil – simple, effective and natural. But then the story turns, and the Snake Oil reputation took a big hit.

With all this hype going on about the amazing Snake Oil, people got to thinkin’ that they could make some money on this by crafting their own Snake Oil. Enter entrepreneur Clark Stanley, also known as the Rattlesnake King. Stanley introduced, as a patent medicine, Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil Liniment that promised to cure anything that ails ya. At the 1893 World’s Expo in Chicago, Stanley made quite the product launch, when he pulled a rattlesnake out of a sack, slit it open and dropped it into boiling water. Stanley then proceeded to skim the fat that rose to the top of the water into a bottle… to make Stanley’s Snake Oil. The crowd loved it and bought it all up – product and story.

Stanley had a few problems with his Snake Oil. First, rattlesnakes were not the same as the Chinese waters snake. Rattlesnake oil was not nearly as high in Omega-3 acids (over 3X less). Secondly, and more importantly, Stanley’s Snake Oil didn’t actually contain any snake oil! When the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906, investigators found that Stanley’s Snake Oil was mainly mineral oil, beef fat, turpentine and red pepper. They proceeded to fine him $20 for misrepresentation. Take that Snake Oil Stanley. Forever more, Snake Oil was a fraud, a charlatan and something that you need to stay away from.

So, with history in mind, I hope you can see that our Muscle Marvel is not Stanley’s Snake Oil at all. It is, however, akin to the Original Snake Oil. Thus, Yes, Maybe and No are all accurate and honest answers.

Much like those American frontiersmen, we hope you Marvel at our new natural Hemp Liniment, Muscle Marvel. You may not be laying down iron track through the mountainous wilderness, but a hurt knee is a hurt knee. Am I right?