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Our Story

A manifestation of lived experiences, Artemis articulates a path of rediscovery and reinterprets healing, liberated from its traditional associations.  Personal journeys deepen a resolute purpose, guiding our mission to alleviate anguish and empower personalized wellness – we are here for you.

Our Founders – Wendy Nguyen

A personal journey that became a life mission, Wendy Nguyen is an abuse survivor and a product of the foster care system.  From age 5 to 14, Wendy suffered from sexual and physical abuse, and by 15, was placed in foster care.  While in foster care, her social worker shared that 30% of foster youths will become homeless, 30% pregnant, 30% incarcerated, 10% might transition successfully.  Determined not to become another statistic, Wendy emancipated from the foster care system, graduated high school with honors, and was accepted into the University of California, Berkeley. 

The childhood trauma left Wendy with a damaged pelvic floor, interstitial cystitis (IC), pelvic floor muscle spasms, and chronic UTIs, which ultimately resulted in years of medication and a battery of treatments.  After seeing countless specialists and even considering pelvic floor reconstruction and bladder surgery, she became more disheartened and frustrated with the traditional approach to medicine and patient care.  Still suffering from pain, compounded by the medications’ unwanted side effects, Wendy became interested in natural remedies and CBD after watching a Vice episode on cannabis and pain. 

Journaling extensively, Wendy started her CBD journey in early 2019.  Documenting and comparing notes – in 2018, she experienced 24 painful IC and pelvic floor muscle spasms episodes, lasting 5 to 10 days per episode, and constant UTIs.  In 2019, it went down to 2.  So far in 2020, it’s currently at zero.  She continues to take CBD plus other natural remedies daily to manage her spasms, pain, PTSD, and anxiety.  She founded Artemis with the hopes of helping others on their wellness journey and to explore ways to rethink medicine.  Outside of Artemis, Wendy established the Wendy’s Lookbook Foundation to provide housing and medical support for young adults impacted by the juvenile justice system, and is a board member of InsideOut Writers, a non-profit providing arts-based, trauma-informed services for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults.  She continues to advocate for abuse survivors to this day.

“I count my blessings everyday and am extremely lucky to be alive.  The mechanisms that helped me survive as a child became the very responses that I needed to heal as an adult.  Physically and emotionally, I was honestly tired of feeling sick all the time.  My journey to CBD reflects the empowerment that comes from taking back ownership of one’s healing and wellbeing.  Thank you for being on this journey with me and to all those going through your journey – we see you, we believe you, and we’re here for you.” – Wendy Nguyen

Our Founders – Colin Gardner

For every celebrated technological advancement, Colin Gardner believes that the human body remains the most remarkable machine.  To understand the innate responses of this machinery, he is deeply interested in learning about the constituents that fuel and heal it.  Growing up in Wisconsin surrounded by corn fields and being by his mother’s side as she encouraged him to explore different plants and herbs at the farmer’s market every week, Colin became interested in food science and farming practices at a young age.  

At 18, Colin pursued culinary science and attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  His path placed him in different Michelin Star restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, allowing him the privilege of visiting many established farms and learning about different cultivation practices.

Colin had to revisit his beliefs on the human body’s capabilities and limitations when he lost his mother to cancer.  He became interested in cannabis and cancer research, particularly exploring plant genetics and its potential for disease treatment.  This also hits home when he started actively looking for CBD and cannabis products to help his girlfriend heal from interstitial cystitis and pelvic floor spasms.  He went to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, and spoke with farmers in Oregon, Vermont, and Colorado to search for the best plants and formulations.  The birth of Artemis became a place for Colin to consolidate his findings and relentlessly pursue research in botanical pharmacology, extraction innovations, and biological farming practices. 

“I never want to see a child grow up without a mom or have anyone witness their girlfriend in so much pain that she can’t move for days.  I truly believe we need to rethink medicine – exploring ways to prevent disease and have holistic views to complement the current reductionist views in medicine.  As much as I love plant biology, what keeps me going is knowing that I’m sourcing the best possible products to help Wendy combat her pain.  And this is a prevailing thought that I have with every product that we carry – if I can’t confidently give this to someone I love, it does not belong at Artemis.” – Colin Gardner

Our Philosophy

We respectfully acknowledge the history of the Cannabis sativa plant – from its medicinal use for over thousands of years to the complex imbalance of social equity in the industry – we tread lightly with respect for the past, present and future.  As members of this industry, our goal is to seek out and support BIPOC brands, and advocate for comprehensive reforms and legalization to help reinvest in communities harmed by the criminalization of marijuana.

This powerful plant – from the compound to the human level, we combine our understanding of science, botanicals, and extraction innovations to curate a collection of meticulously vetted CBD products for your consideration.  As your wellness companions, we created a library of articles and Podcasts focusing on CBD and its potential therapeutic values.  With Dr. Junella Chin, a world-leading cannabis physician, as our Chief Medical Advisor, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of pharmacokinetics. 

We created Artemis to help you navigate this evolving landscape, to discover everyday moments of well-being, and to support your wellness journey.  Weaving efficacy and relief together with the necessities of modern living, our goal is to provide a meaningful CBD experience that’s an ode to your life’s fullest expression. 

Our Approach

We have a rigorous vetting process.  We investigate widely to search for the best plant-based products.  Curating by lab tests only, we require a Certificate of Analysis for each product.  Even products that are packaged as “Full-Spectrum” or “THC-free” may be mislabeled and lack information on potency.  With these third-party lab results, we also confirm that the lab itself is GMP and ISO certified, which are formal regulations put in place by the US Food and Drug Administration to establish a minimum level of quality in production of products and the maintenance of manufacturing processes.

After analyzing the reports paying close attention to potency (cannabinoid content), CBD:THC ratios, terpene levels, and contaminants, we personally test each product to collect information on sensory experience, onset time, digestion responses (if applicable), and more.  We follow up with an internal vetting process with our Chief Medical Advisor.  The final step is working closely with Dr. Junella Chin to gain clinical insight into how active ingredients affect whole body systems.  This multi-layered approach gives us a holistic view, shaping our understanding of each product from the final formulation to its potential therapeutic benefits.