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Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited today announced the launch of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite and Visa platinum Credit Cards. The Visa infinite credit card is the first in Ghana. This launch demonstrates Standard Chartered’s commitment to providing world class products and services to its clients. The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite credit card is a premium card that comes with unparalled benefits including complimentary travel insurance of up to $2.5m, worldwide emergency services and unlimited airport lounge access for the cardholder and a guest. Holders of the Infinite card also get to earn 5X (five times) rewards on travel, supermarket and fuel. Speaking at the launch of the credit cards, Henry Baye, Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited said “At Standard Chartered we’re focused on bringing the latest in cutting-edge digital capabilities to the market. The launch of the Visa Infinite credit card which is the first in Ghana marks another milestone in the bank’s 120 year history in this market. The credit card will change the culture of transacting business in Ghana while we move towards a new era of becoming a cashlite society”. Mrs. Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited said, The introduction of the Standard Chartered VISA credit cards today is in line with our goal of making banking easy and convenient. Our aim is to provide our clients with the widest range of options possible in facilitating their banking transactions. She added “The benefits of credit cards goes beyond the client to the overall economy as it leads to increase in spending levels and positively impacts GDP”. Clients can also choose the Standard Chartered Visa Platinum Card which provides 3X (three times) reward on shopping and dining and 1X on all other purchases as well as purchase protection for up to 30 days. The Standard Chartered Visa credit card is ‘chip and pin’ enabled and has two factor authentication process for greater security. Holders of the card also get to redeem their rewards in one of the best rewards programmes in Africa via a comprehensive rewards platform. Standard Chartered is focused on bringing world class products and services to its clients and the Standard Chartered Visa Credit Cards is no exception. The standard Chartered Visa credit card has wide coverage and accepted at over 23 million Merchants and ATMS locally and globally. ]]>

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How Can You Benefit from CBD Topical Products

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CBD Topical Products

CBD topicals is a broad term used to describe products applied to the outer layers of the skin. Covering such a wide range of CBD products, it is not surprising that topicals make up such a large proportion of the market.

Products such as CBD cream and patches are considered to be the most traditional topicals. This is mainly because they have been easily available for the longest period of time. Newer CBD topicals, including infused bath bombs, shampoo, and beauty cosmetics, have helped shape today’s CBD industry.

With so many different CBD topicals to choose from, it can be unclear for those who have never used CBD before to know which topicals are the best for specific situations. To help get you started, we have broken down the main ways to benefit from CBD topicals and which products are best.

CBD Topicals for Pain Relief

Using CBD topicals to manage and treat pain is one of the most common reasons people choose to use CBD topicals. Part of the reason for this is due to the way that topicals work when applied to the body.

Unlike other CBD products, topicals only affect the area of the body that they are applied to. As a result of this, the effects of CBD topicals can often be felt much quicker than products like oils and capsules. When dealing with aches and pains, fast-acting CBD products are generally the best option, helping to alleviate pain as quickly as possible.

Another reason why CBD topicals are ideal for treating pain is that they can be applied directly to problematic areas. This allows for the cannabinoid levels in the rest of the body to remain unaffected. At the same time, it focuses the total dose of CBD on the area of the body that needs it the most.

Many types of CBD topicals can be useful when treating aches and pains. For short-term pains, especially in the joints and muscles, CBD creams can be highly effective and are easy to apply to the painful area.

For chronic pains that persist throughout the day, CBD patches are worth considering. The main benefit of patches is that they can be placed on the painful area in the morning and left all day for a minimal effort approach to pain management. CBD is slowly released from the patch, providing a consistent dosage throughout the day.

Relaxing CBD Topicals

CBD topicals can be used as a relaxation tool. Products such as CBD-infused bath bombs, CBD balms, and CBD bath salts are beneficial for relaxation. CBD is known to have natural anti-anxiety properties and calming effects, which, when paired with an already relaxing product, like bath bombs, can be a great way to unwind.

Adding a CBD-infused lavender bath bomb to your evening bath helps enhance the long soak’s calming effects in the bath. The CBD within the bath bomb encourages the body to relax and can positively impact the body’s ability to achieve a restful night’s sleep.

Applying a calming body balm or butter that has been designed to soothe can be a valuable tool for managing stressful situations. Certain CBD topicals are designed for this purpose and can be applied to pressure points across the body for optimal effects.

Cosmetic CBD Topicals

CBD-infused cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular. It is thought that when CBD is added to hydrating cosmetics, their effects are enhanced. CBD is especially popular in anti-aging face and body creams as it is thought to further the effectiveness of the product.

Switching from a regular moisturizer to one that contains added CBD can be a simple yet powerful way to add a little extra CBD to your day. CBD-infused cosmetics tend to be made using all-natural ingredients chosen for their anti-inflammatory and hydrating effects, making them an excellent alternative to traditional skin care products.

CBD Topicals and Exercise

Athletes can use CBD topicals both before and after a workout. Applying CBD creams and other topicals to joints, muscles, and overworked areas of the body before a workout can help to improve flexibility. CBD topicals are often used to prepare the body for a challenging but rewarding activity.

CBD topicals can also be used after a workout to help overworked areas of the body recover. CBD creams and balms are beneficial as they can be applied to tired joints, quickly encouraging a fast recovery while also reducing pain.

Certain brands have noticed the growing number of fitness enthusiasts using CBD topicals as a workout tool and have designed products, especially for this purpose. Such CBD topicals often contain added ingredients to provide a slight energy boost and further enhance flexibility.

 

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Delta-8 & The Endocannabinoid System

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Delta-8 has been receiving a great deal of positive attention recently. A big reason for the hype surrounding CBD is that it is an alternative option to cannabis. In particular, for those looking to experience the benefits of cannabis only without the strong effects and potential legality issues.

While delta-8 and delta-9 THC share many similarities, they also have a few differences that have made delta-8 stand out. Delta-8, unlike delta-9 THC, is not quite as potent and, as a result, causes much milder effects. Delta-8 is also legal in many states where delta-9 is still not and has been an important factor in its sudden rise to fame.

So, what exactly is delta-8 THC, and does it interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same way as delta-9 THC?

What Is Delta-8?

Delta-8 THC is often confused with delta-9. A major reason for this is that they are both a type of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The two compounds share several similarities, including being derived from cannabis plants and being able to cause psychoactive effects. However, they also have several differences in their chemical structure and how they interact with the body.

Delta-8 and delta-9 both have a double bone structure, which is why they can cause psychoactive effects while other cannabinoids, like CBD, cannot. The impact of delta-9 is much more noticeable, however, due to the placement of the double bond.

In the case of delta-8 THC, the double bond can be found on the 8th carbon atom, hence the name. Delta-9 THC, unsurprisingly, features the double bond on the 9th carbon atom. The difference in placement means that the compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system slightly differently, which causes delta-8 to have a much milder effect on the body.

What can you expect from delta-8, and how long does delta-8 stay in your system compared to delta-9?

What to Expect from Delta-8

The lower psychotropic potency of delta-8 means that it produces much milder effects than delta-9 which. In most cases, delta-8 can still cause the stereotypical sensation of being high that is associated with THC. Feelings often include sudden euphoria, relief, happiness, and depending on the plant strain, sedation.

Delta-8-THC has been linked to a variety of health benefits. This has led to its use in the management of conditions such as insomnia, depression, pain, and chronic anxiety. Comparisons have been made between CBD and delta-8 THC as they can both provide similar benefits when used for medicinal purposes.

As delta-8 THC is not as potent as delta-9 THC, its effects are generally not felt for quite as long. The exact length of time that one can feel the effects of delta-8 will depend on several factors.

An individual’s natural tolerance, weight, metabolism, and diet will all play a part in determining how long they will feel the effects. Equally, the amount of delta-8 that is consumed will also contribute to how long it stays in your system.

How Does Delta-8 Interact with the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in maintaining good mental and physical health. The ECS is responsible for ensuring that everything from the body’s pain receptors to the way in which it reacts to stress is working correctly and that balance is maintained across the body.

The endocannabinoid system contains many cell receptors that form a network across the body. The network is maintained by endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced by the body. The cells within the endocannabinoid system also respond to cannabinoids that enter the body, such as delta-8 and CBD.

Cannabinoids found in hemp plants can interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same way that the body’s own supply of endocannabinoids can. Delta-8 products can therefore be used to support the body’s endocannabinoid system and ensure that the many functions it is responsible for across the body can work to their full potential.

Final Thoughts on Delta-8 and the Endocannabinoid System

Delta-8 is just one of the many cannabinoids that engage the endocannabinoid system, causing a variety of effects across the body. Delta-8 products have been found to have several positive effects on the body and can be effectively used for health and medicinal purposes.

A growing number of people are looking to delta-8 products to treat ailments such as nausea, anxiety, pain, and insomnia. Using delta-8 products as a regular supplement can also help the user to maintain good overall health and ensure the endocannabinoid system is working correctly.

 

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Why Hemp Products Are Getting Cheaper

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Hemp oil products are currently one of the most talked-about natural health and wellness products on the market.

In recent years, there has been a much greater focus on research and understanding the various ways in which hemp supplements are beneficial to both mental and physical health. The list of potential benefits from adding even small amounts of hemp into a person’s regular diet continues to grow.

The sudden rise in people looking to try hemp products for themselves has resulted in the hemp industry growing at an alarming rate. While finding good quality hemp products in Australia has never been easier, the price still puts many people off.

Hemp products have always been known as an expensive supplement option. For many people, the benefits are worth the high price tag, but it makes hemp supplements an unaffordable option.

This is starting to change, though. The average price of hemp products has begun to drop.

There has been a drive for affordable hemp products. Several studies have found hemp supplements work best when they are used consistently. Therefore, it is important for hemp products to be affordable and accessible to those who need them.

Why is the hemp industry seeing this sudden change in pricing, and is it changing how hemp supplements are used?

Why Are Hemp Products Getting Cheaper?

One of the main reasons for the sudden drop in prices is the growing demand for these products. The industry has seen considerable growth, including many new brands entering the market.

Some of these new hemp brands sell their products at lower than average prices to help them stand out in an oversaturated market. These lower prices have set a new branch mark for what people are prepared to pay for hemp products.

Older hemp brands have been forced to lower their prices to keep up with the changing industry. As this process of new brands appearing and costs being reduced continues, it is likely that customers will keep seeing hemp products become cheaper and cheaper.

The growing demand for hemp products has also helped drive down manufacturing prices, lowering production costs. Most bands are then passing these savings on to their customers.

What Are the Effects of Hemp Products Getting Cheaper

Lower prices within the hemp industry are helping to make hemp supplements much more accessible than they have been previously.

For many people adding hemp supplements into their diet was not something they could afford. Despite knowing the potential benefits of hemp supplements, they were seen as being something reserved for the privileged.

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Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder or Capsules

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Labeled as a superfood, lion’s mane powder has become a health food icon for many. Because of this, many brands are eager to craft all sorts of different products from this exciting mushroom.

 

However, with more variety of products and ever more diverse options available on the market, what is the right Lion’s Mane product to use? Is Lion’s Mane powder Vidacap any good, or should you use a capsule?

 

This article will look at the significant differences between powders and capsules and offer a general overview of the mushroom.

What Exactly Are Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder or Capsules?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are a fantastic example of how beneficial the mushroom kingdom is. And, despite the reputation of most mushrooms, they aren’t primarily just for eating.

Used in ancient medicine, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are largely used for their effects.

Unlike most mushrooms’ typical cap and stemmed gills appearance, Lion’s Mane mushrooms have a series of straggly, loosely connected strands. They are often found draping down a rock or a dead tree. In fact, they look a bit like a noble lion’s mane creeping out of the brush, hence their famous name.

The Lion’s Mane mushroom is found worldwide, primarily growing anywhere where trees readily decay in the wild. And while they have been picked for food for centuries, their primary purpose is medicine, especially within Chinese cultures.

So, why exactly do people take Lion’s Mane mushrooms, and how can they be useful?

How Can Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Be Beneficial for Us?

Just like with all superfoods that claim to have all sorts of different medicinal benefits, people are rightfully skeptical of just how valuable a medicinal mushroom can be.

 

However, thanks to growing interest worldwide, there is plenty of sound scientific research into Lion’s Mane mushrooms.

 

For starters, the most well-known benefit of Lion’s Mane mushrooms is their ability to help with digestion, as well as stomach problems. These benefits are the main reason that they were often used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

 

However, Lion’s Mane mushrooms could help our brain with better neuron development.

 

A well-known study found that certain compounds within Lion’s Mane mushrooms can actively help to improve cognitive functions.

 

This doesn’t mean that a Lion’s Mane mushroom makes a person more intelligent. Instead, it may actively encourage good mental processes and potentially help restore lost neurons throughout the brain.

 

These benefits all come from two significant compounds, hericenones and erinacines. Lion’s Mane mushrooms have a considerable amount of them both.

 

A different study found that these two compounds help improve specific cognitive processes and help repair them after damage. However, it’s important to say that more research needs to be conducted before results are genuinely conclusive.

 

So, with all of these different medicinal benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, how should we take them? What is the best way to imbibe Lion’s Mane mushrooms?

Is Powder or Capsules Better for Taking Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

The two most common ways to imbibe Lion’s Mane are taking Lion’s Mane powders or Lion’s Mane capsules.

The decision of which one is better will always depend on the individual because, at their core, they both contain Lion’s Mane mushroom extract.

Capsules have a lot of benefits, especially for their inherent convenience, but a lot of people don’t like taking them.

Something to keep in mind is that capsules will generally contain a little less extract when compared to powders.

This is because powders, especially mushroom powders, vary wildly in intensity depending on where they have been bought from.

This makes Lion’s Mane mushroom powders an excellent choice for those that are looking to get as much pure mushroom extract as they can.

However, Lion’s Mane mushroom capsules are more convenient for use on the go. Capsules can be brought along and enjoyed whenever they need to be, without the pesky annoyance of having to measure out precise quantities of mushroom powder.

Truthfully, there is no absolute perfect choice; it depends on the right option for the individual.

 

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How Does CBD Flower Compare to CBD Oils?

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Since the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp industry has grown at an incredible rate. New and innovative ways to use various parts of the hemp plant and experience both its recreational effects and its health benefits have changed the shape of the hemp industry.

Hemp plants are a member of the cannabis family. Unlike other plants within this family, hemp contains a very high ratio of CBD. Most people associate cannabis plants with THC and its psychoactive effects; however, CBD is different and is not intoxicating.

CBD has been linked to various potential health benefits, including physical and mental effects. It is most commonly consumed as CBD hemp oil, and it was widely used even before the 2018 Farm Bill.

As a result of the growing demand for CBD products, there is an increasing number of products available that offer alternatives to traditional CBD oil drops. One of the products that has seen a massive rise in demand is CBD flower.

What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Hemp and marijuana can both be found in the family of cannabis plants, but this does not mean that they are the same. Marijuana contains high levels of the cannabinoid THC, whereas hemp contains more CBD.

There is often a great deal of confusion regarding hemp plants and whether or not they possess intoxicating properties. Unfortunately, many people are put off trying CBD products due to this confusion.

The Farm Bill set a legal limit for how much THC can be present in hemp products to be legally sold and used. Hemp products cannot legally contain any more than 0.3% THC. This amount of THC was chosen as it was deemed to be the highest amount that can safely be consumed and not cause any psychoactive effects.

Most reputable CBD oil brands provide lab reports and detailed product information so that customers can easily see precisely how much CBD and THC there is within a given product. For example, Premium Jane CBD Oil comes with an easy-to-understand breakdown of precisely how much CBD there is within the product.

Other Ways of Using and Benefiting from CBD

Hemp oils are not the only product that makes CBD supplements accessible to people. CBD flowers can be used to make various products and offer almost identical effects to those found in CBD oil.

Popular products include CBD capsules, edibles, and topicals. These products provide a unique way to use CBD and experience its benefits throughout the day. To make these products, CBD must be extracted and processed from hemp plants before making a particular product.

Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is hemp flowers. Unlike almost all other hemp products, hemp flowers allow for the benefits of CBD to be enjoyed without the need for such intensive levels of processing.

What Makes CBD Hemp Flower Different?

CBD hemp flower refers to the flowers that grow on hemp plants, dried out ready for consumption. These flowers must be processed after being picked to make most other CBD products. In the case of hemp flowers, they are picked and dried, negating the need for other processing methods.

Many people prefer hemp flower as it feels much more natural and makes it easy to know precisely what you are consuming. There are no added ingredients, just dried flowers.

Different Strains of Hemp Flower

One of the significant advantages of using CBD hemp flowers over other products like CBD oils is that the consumer can pick the exact hemp strain they wish to consume. CBD oil is typically made using an undisclosed strain.

Companies still give detailed information regarding the cannabinoid and terpene breakdown of their product, but there is little to no choice in the particular strain. There will generally be at least a few plant strains to choose from when purchasing CBD hemp flowers.

For many people, having the ability to choose an exact strain is essential. Every hemp strain is slightly different and determines the exact cannabinoids and terpenes present and the ratio they occur in.

The terpenes and cannabinoids within a particular hemp plant strain affect everything, including the aroma, tastes, and the effects experienced by the consumer. For those who use CBD and hemp products frequently, most will find a few strains that they prefer, and purchasing hemp flowers ensures they are always getting the right one.

Choosing Between CBD Flowers and CBD Oils

Both CBD flower and CBD oils are highly effective products that offer a variety of health benefits.

Oils are generally considered the better option for those who are new to the world of CBD and prefer a product that is ready and easy to use. On the other hand, CBD flowers are best enjoyed by those with some experience and want a little more control and choice over the particular strain that they are consuming.

 

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Ghanaian fintech raises $17 million seed money to support cash flow for commerce in Africa

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Image Credits: Float

Cash flow is a major pain point for small businesses in Africa. Long payment cycles, which can take 30-90 days after services or products have been rendered, and little or no capital, of which research says 85% of African small and medium businesses are subject to, are the main culprits of cash flow issues.

Many startups are solving these problems for African SMBs in one form or another, and the demand for their services has seen Ghanaian startup Float pick up a significant round of funding. The fintech which provides credit lines for businesses has raised $17 million, funding that it will be using to bolster its offerings and expand geographically.

The seed round was a mix of $7 million equity and $10 million debt. While Cauris provided debt financing, Tiger Global and JAM Fund, the investment firm of Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen co-led the equity bit. Other VC firms involved in the equity round include Kinfolk, Soma Capital, Ingressive Capital and Magic Fund.

A couple of angel investors also took part: Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel, Sandy Kory of Horizon Partners, Ramp founders Karim Atiyeh and Eric Glyman, Gregory Rockson of mPharma and Dutchie founders Zach Lipson and Ross Lipson.

CEO Jesse Ghansah started the company, formerly known as Swipe, with Barima Effah in 2020, and following its rebrand as Float, went live with its product in June 2021. The idea for the YC-backed Ghanaian fintech came during the chief executive’s time at OMG Digital, a media company he founded that also got into YC, in 2016.

“We needed credit and proceeded to get an overdraft from a long-term partner bank where we had transacted more than $100,000. But the bank wanted us to deposit 100% collateral in cash before they could give the overdraft,” the two-time YC founder told TechCrunch in a June interview.

“I also remember taking money from loan sharks with ridiculous interest rates, sometimes as high as 20% a month, to meet payroll. That threw me into solving those problems with Float.”

It’s an identical problem for more than 51% of 44 million formal SMBs in sub-Saharan Africa who say they need more finance than they can access to grow their businesses, per research. Float provides credit to some of these businesses that find it challenging to get from traditional banks.

In addition to flexible credit lines for businesses to cover cash flow gaps, Float also has software tools for businesses to manage accounts and wallets in one dashboard, as well as automate bills, vendor or supplier payments and invoice collections. The company aims to serve as the “financial operating system” for Africa’s small and medium businesses.

Other features on the platform include invoice advance, opening a business account, payment links, managing budgets and spend cards.

The company has also introduced some more features recently: revenue advances and instant payouts. With the latter, Float wants small businesses to use its platform to tap into their revenues instantly instead of using gateways, which take days to settle. Its invoice factoring helps businesses with outstanding invoices get cash advances.

Ghansah stated all these features provide different forms of credit for various industries and verticals across the continent.

“The big challenge is that credit needs of businesses are very different. The credit needs of retail are very different from the credit needs of a services business, or the credit needs of agriculture, business or pharmaceutical or medical supplies businesses,” said the chief executive.

“So we are trying to dig deep into which credit products work for certain verticals. And so that’s what we’ve been working on so far.”

In the seven months since Float’s launch, the cash flow management and spend platform has onboarded hundreds of businesses in a wide range of industries — retail and manufacturing, fintech, e-commerce, media and health.

Float has also hit $10 million in credit spend and cash advances to businesses in that time. The company claims to have seen its payment transaction (invoicing and vendor payments) volume, in eight figures, increase 26x.

Float isn’t the only African fintech newcomer with plans to be the “operating system” for small and medium businesses in the region. Prospa, Brass and Sparkle are a few of these startups that provide financial and cash flow support and software services to businesses.

Each company claims not to see the others as competition; first, they believe the market is big enough for all parties to coexist. Second, there’s a feeling of superiority in their products — though they won’t say this publicly.

For Float, it prides itself on giving businesses access to financial and software services simultaneously. And then in providing readily available flexible and short duration working capital instead of outright expensive loans.

“I think that a part of how we differentiate ourselves is just how flexible our credit is, in terms of the speed of access, how quickly you can draw down on credit,” said Ghansah. “And then, like it’s flexible in terms of how you can just take it out for a day and then repay the next day, for example.”

Float, present in Ghana and Nigeria, intends to use this new capital to set up entities in Kenya and South Africa by Q2 as soon as it gets licenses to operate, Ghansah said on the call.

The company will also use the investment to improve its cash management platform and launch new credit products tailored to specific business verticals and industries.

“Float set out on a mission to provide more cash flow and liquidity for millions of businesses across the continent to help them grow and reach their true potential,” said the chief executive in a statement.

“With this new funding, we will continue to refine both our credit and software products to deliver the best experiences for our fast-growing customer base. We are excited to be the growth partner of choice for businesses in Africa.”

Culled from TechCrunch

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