Chelsea Dudgeon started making cannabis infused topicals for her grandmother with cannabis and other herbs she grew in her backyard. Her homegrown approach to medicine making is the foundation of Newell’s Botanicals, the brand she co-founded with her partner Newell, and continues to guide her approach to herbal product development. Her formula’s have won numberious awards, including 4 consecutive 1st place Emerald Cup trophies for best cannabis topical, and she caught up with me on Head Change #8.
1 hr 5 min
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Levi: Welcome to Head Change the podcast that puts you in a better headspace. I'm your host Levi Strom. On today's episode I speak with Chelsea Dudgeon, founder and CEO of Newell’s Botanicals about how her homegrown medical garden turned into an award-winning craft cannabis brand.
Chelsea: I got obsessed with cannabis like once I kind of discovered all of its magical properties and I was I would take any opportunity that I could to just be hands on the plan did a lot of work in gardens. For free or for a couple bowls just to get the skills. Know what I was talking talk about like I did a lot and someone when I made the formula for deep skin, there was no Newell’s Botanicals. I had no no thought or interest in like starting a brand that was not the goal. I had a dope Garden though. It was the first time that I had like my own plants that I was growing myself. And you know, that's almost like he let me move into his house and he let me work, the garden. And because he's Keegan grow like he can grow up to but he just stepped aside and let me fuckin play I was we were gone. All kinds of stuff weed, and calendula and chamomile. I had all these things growing and while I was growing them, I was also researching, you know, but the different compounds in the plants that make them function Nu has a super spiritual like hippie, dude. He's got these Bookshelves just chock-full of esoteric reading and herbalism. I was soaking all this info up, and he's a databank. You have enough? It was organic chemistry. It like Even if he is not familiar with particular compound or whatever. If I walk them through my problem it helps to solve it like he has the insight to like work out the Kinks. So I remember at one point we were we were doing a lot of conversing and reading and YouTube watching on the subject of like endogenous steroids like cholesterol and, I was my grandma at the time was also dealing with a lot of issues with the medical system. She was recovering from, you know, a heart attack a couple years previous she had a hip replacement, she had to have I think knee surgery or something like that or maybe your leg was just broken. Because somebody fell on her, he was having issues and she It doesn't like doctors and she doesn't like pills and medications. And She is from that generation of like waif thin like hundred and ten pounds soaking wet. Like if you can see something other than my bones, I'm fat like. So she was not shoes. A healthy person in general who was like starving herself of nutrients. I drink my green drink in the morning. I'm like man, that's not enough food for the whole day
Levi: And I am really active too right?
Chelsea: Oh yeah, Super Active. Super Active shouldn't
Levi: hurt constantly
Chelsea: moving I found she was the leftmost cleaner Housing Office cleaner and thankfully she is now retired to chasing little dog. Around her house. But I really wanted to get some cholesterol in her is the point because like dodging asteriod. It really reduces inflammation and helps speed healing. It would have dealt with a lot of the issues dealing with but I could not get her to eat it. Hmm. And I'm employable emails like pure cholesterol because it's an animal. And even though it I couldn't get it into her systemically, at least I could get cholesterol to the knee area or two. And I would help also new like in the back of my mind, I knew because I worked on this hippies Garden this one time and he had any blue emu jar that he had just dumped Keith into. I knew it was a good carrier for cannabinoids and so I just started stacking on the good. I pulled the calendula out of the garden. I threw that in there and I grabbed the chamomile and I threw that and I just put in whatever I had And I didn't really know, I didn't know for sure. What all these different properties were some of that info I learned after I had already made it when I was just working so well. But that was, that was the approach. I was just trying to play big deal with my grandma's inflammation, from 10 different directions.
Levi: Hmm, and did it help? Obviously, it did that
Chelsea: experience helps in the jar that, you know,
Chelsea: jar that I had poured her bottles out of, I still had it when the emerald cup rolled around and I wanted a VIP fat, right? Like that was it. That was my reason. I think like I had put in some of my home grown flowers for one ticket until so I was just like let's do the topical and I got leaked these dumb little round stickers off of You know, like Vistaprint and I made up a stupid name like the night before. I don't know. Yeah, it did itself. This is something that just like happened to me. I
Levi: wasn't involved. That was 2016 was all right. Yeah, yeah, I remember that year, I'd won first place in topicals in 2015, and then, you guys won first place the next year. And I think you've won first place, just about every year since then. Look at that. well done quite well but, you know, Bunch of cool shit. And what you just said, I mean, when you know, you kind of like you were growing, all the herbs yourself and in parallel is so much for my story, too. And, like, just, you had your, like, your little lab Garden, like you're doing like real clinical psych research kind of, you know, just in your garden and infusing, these herbs directly into carrier oils, which you can do right at home which turns out is like the best extraction method on the planet because it really infuses the whole plant. And just doing it straining it with some cheese cloth and these are things that people can literally do at home with a mason jar, and some herbs, and the windowsill. And you know, emu oil is really interesting. I didn't know the cholesterol. Can you hear me now? Got me.
Levi: after I have to talk really slow. But anyway, I was just unpacking some of the things that you said and I didn't know. Cholesterol, helped topically. How does that work? He said, cholesterol is an anti-inflammatory.
Chelsea: Yeah, we'll do it. It basically, mimics. The phospholipid bilayer on your cells, which is why it's able to get really deep in the tissues. It's like those berries. and, And so yeah, it doesn't stay topical, I guess is the point it actually goes through the tissue and then really fast.
Levi: So it's a it's penetrating abilities that that allows it to carry other active ingredients.
Chelsea: Yes, of course. It's an endogenous steroids so it does the inflammatory cytokines. I believe they're called
Levi: gotcha. So emu oil on its own is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory topically. Yeah. Okay. Very cool. Yeah. So you kind of just through trial and error and you had your grandmother and her knee to kind of like see the results in real time, which is a huge Advantage. You know, I My neck, you know, is like a pig being patient. Zero, really helps you kind of speed up the formulation process, and it's like that kind of R&D that like that, you did that. I think a lot of people skip, you know, and they just think, just whatever you know, just like, it doesn't matter. But I think the formulation is so important because I think natural products when they're formulated correctly are just as good Good and honestly better than most synthetic, you know we know they're better but we need good formulas and it's like the better we can be as formulators the better these products are going to be, the more people are going to use them. The less people will need these. Harmful addictive synthetics from the pharmaceutical industry. So like the role of formulators so important and you're so you've won Woke up five times. Is that correct? Or two points, four times at first place, topicals for four years in a
Chelsea: row. Yeah. Then most recent one, right?
Levi: Yeah, Sam. But that's an impressive streak and that certainly, I think showcases your ability to make products that really work that the more people need to try, you know, like I said, I your deep skin In that role on has been my favorite topical product for my rib in the rib pain. That it's really deep and really hard for most topicals to get to. So the knowledge, the knowledge, you have your applying the outside of cannabis. Now, I know a little bit to the mushroom space and I want to definitely pick your brain a little bit about mushroom formulation, because I know that you're probably reading about that. Your, are you growing mushrooms? Like, where are you in that? Process right now,
Chelsea: I've grown mushrooms but my home environment is not clean enough to. This is mushroom Crow. Write her a lot of microbes in the open air in this fucking space. It's really good.
Levi: He dirty hippies.
Chelsea: Yeah. Pretty much pretty dirty. Hippie is off of five. Dogs running are now the house all the time. I was not able to keep a culture clean long after. To really grow mushrooms, but I learned the steps. So at least now I'm informed and I've done it and then when it comes to formulation it's like we're talking about the brain and it's nowhere near as straightforward as the endocannabinoid system, so it's not easy. I worry about harming people and I mean that's why I really only focus on microdose. Has because if someone, if someone's brain is set up differently, And they have a bad reaction to it, at least it's tiny, right? The mushroom wants. Its it does it gives me a little bit more stress because I feel like I don't have access to the level of information that we need. I would love to actually be able to profile the mushrooms before I incorporate them in something I really are you lab testing
Levi: Do you know of labs that can test for psilocybin? Psilocybin,
Chelsea: not, I don't, and I'm nervous to even
Levi: ask. Okay, I'm not I'll ask for you. I just want to find one for myself so I can take. So I can lab test my medicine. If I decide to eat some mushrooms, uh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna look into that. I know, I know, I know, there are Labs that can do it. It's just about finding the right standard. So if they can, and I know they have psilocybin. Hundreds available for these accredited labs to access. I'm gonna look into that
Chelsea: jealousy. Let's 10. There's like two different equally psycho. I want to understand more about that. I don't right now.
Levi: So what is a micro dose of mushroom? Like what's the milligrams? That is considered a microdose.
Chelsea: It's like a quarter gram ish I usually go under that though. For me a quarter gram microdose. So when I, when I'm Blitz it up powder, it down. I mix in citric acid helps to kind of like Is the digestive process. Because your stomach acid alone doesn't quite do that job, two different kind of acid. The where I where was I going with that? Oh, it makes it so where it's kind of potent like your get the full dose of the medicine faster instead of having it like trickle through your intestines, Overtime.
Levi: God just like the full amount hits you up
Chelsea: front. Exactly. And so from I'm extremely sensitive to psilocybin and so for me a quarter gram would actually make me like uncomfortable. It's you know, when you take a look like a macro dose what before it Peaks, that kind of like scary under your seat.
Levi: Feeling sure. It's like strapped in. Here we go. I
Chelsea: was copying like that for like four hours and so I held back down to like a hundred milligrams hundred fifty milligrams, that's kind of my sweet spot. I've also done gummies where I don't know why that gummy is hit harder faster stronger and might be because I actually cooked them down with like a whole ass lemon, super processed. But I've had gummies that only had about 50 milligrams in them and I got the full microdose from that. The really depends and that's really when I started like Combining them with other things. That was that was a lion's mane you know, niacin psilocybin gummy with lemons and it just kicked my ass
Levi: good mushrooms. Have any topical application that you're aware of. I thought I was curious about that. I know from talking to patients working with patients, like we all have of the years that I have a handful of patients older that swear by magic mushrooms for their arthritis. Like, like people that ingesting mushrooms not topically and Justin them, the, you know, say that it, you know, it opens up their crippling arthritis to where they have full Mobility for an entire
Chelsea: day. Neurotransmitters do a lot more in the body than just work. Run around your brain. The effect of psilocybin in a normal brain which probably only like 60% of people actually have
Levi: It just more Brian. There's there's our clip. This is this is going to be a clip.
Chelsea: So it just causes you to make more dopamine and more serotonin. You just have more of everything and they run around your whole nervous system. It's not just locally it's here so I can definitely see how that would be the case.
Levi: Yeah. I think I think there's a lot of potential for mushrooms. In the body for inflammation and these kind of chronic, you know, arthritis, I've always viewed arthritis is like an energy disease, it's just like, there's an energy blockage, you know, things need to be cleared up and mushrooms seem to do that psychically. So well, that I could imagine they do a lot of the same in the body and but I know very little about, I know that mushrooms work. I know that they're not die, know that they're safe. Even though you take too much, it can be scary. I mean, it can be life changing, you know, to yeah, a macro dose of mushrooms can, you know, there's a lot of research coming out now about the effects of PTSD. Chronic depression, taking macro doses. I think you're right, though is a formulator to be very cautious because macro doses should be taken I think under guidance, you know, if we're really going to approach this as medicine, also dabbling in the microdose world. Kind of a fun area, but of course, people could take multiple micro Doses and turn it into a macro to. So there's always the potential of people abusing it or not using it the way, the formulator manufacturer intended, where is California right now with mushrooms. Oregon has legalized where do you know where we're at regulatory speaking in California
Chelsea: silicide? There's a bill floating now for decriminalization and I'm not I think it lays out an intention to discuss what legalization looks like but there's no structure time for that. We have cities that have see, when you say legalization, there's like an implication of commercialization and that is
Levi: That's not what we're talking about
Chelsea: mushrooms. It's so very, very much a felony in California to transport mushrooms. From one County, to the next County, with any intention of selling them. That's very much not allowed and so It's Tricky. Yeah,
Levi: even a microdose product any amount.
Chelsea: Yeah, so I don't know. Shrooms. I give them away to people.
Levi: Sure, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's kind of an interesting space because You know, they're going to drag their feet. I think in California will be very slow. Unfortunately, I think to pick this up, you know, it's like
Chelsea: like cannabis. It's gonna be a fucking nightmare.
Levi: So here's the difference. Exactly, here's the difference. So my buddy just came down from Oregon and he brought some weed with them from a dispensary and it still looks like the old days. Like it was in one of those green plastic pop top. It's got like a white Avery label. That like there's no branding. You know then you come down to California and it says everything's branded. Of course you know it's everything's cookies and gelato and if mushrooms happen in California, the same thing will happen it'll just become this like recreational you know free-for-all which I actually am in totally in favor of but I think it's appropriate to scale that up you know and just start with like the road. We have to kind of approach it the same way we've approached cannabis, you know, medical first, you know get people on board. Bird that this is important that this really helps people. Once we kind of get the consensus on that and then we go. Okay let's let's start kind of allowing a little bit more exchange to happen, you know outside of just a really scripted medical environment because I think the world needs this medicine right now like what we do need mushrooms. They're an incredibly powerful healing, sacred plant and Lord and Lord knows we need it, right? Now, because the whole world's gone crazy and, you know, it
Chelsea: shishun of like shamans herbalist with a professional association, like, the American Medical Association, except it's a bunch of heads, right? Right, right. I think there's an alternate framework for legalization. That still does all the safety things that the state needs without all the Ization and corporate bullshit that don't actually want look. Think about someone who certified physical therapy. Maybe some way to that, you get certified in entheogens and herbs and it would be like a license. You would Apprentice with a master, you would earn a license, you have to renew it to continue education. But then you could be like a mobile, you could be a drug dealer with a license and an education that proves that you know, you know how to properly. Take care of your clientele right out. I'll be wakeboard.
Levi: Yeah I think yeah I can see some I could see some type of model piggybacking on medical cannabis where, you know, maybe maybe just the medical dispensaries can also sell mushrooms, but that dispensary has to have like a licensed mushroom. Professional Shaman that has a 20 minute consultation with every new patient by and psychedelic mushroom product. Something like That so that there's some safety concerns taking care
Chelsea: of learn, you can learn about like, drug interactions, that would be mm. And it was me that dispenser can have a medical license, right? But don't you fucking dare talk about using cannabis medicinally to someone. That's Don't make any claims, right? Dumb. Yeah, no,
Levi: it doesn't make any sense. Yeah, it's very confusing. It's confusing to people.
Chelsea: Well, who do have the background in the medicine side? Don't have the canvas education aren't allowed to cross over their practices. It's not like, it's not like you can go to a doctor and walk out with a prescription for Vicodin and a topical, right? Right. Which is done.
Levi: It is done. Nothing. Doctors need to have every tool available to, you know, I think that's what we're saying in this industry is. You know, I had this is real medicine and it should be available to people who need it. It's not for everyone. It's not going to help with every thing under the sun. But it can sure help with a lot of conditions. People don't need to be suffering as much as they are. There are plant, there's plant medicine that can help and lets, you know, I don't know what it is and I'm going to ask the same question every guest that I have on head change of Y, cannabis is still illegal in 2021. I mean, there's this cacophony of conspiracies that seemed to create that. What's your take on the forces that keep, you know, this plant and all the sacred Good plants, you know, under their thumb, you know, who is it? How do we change it? Is it worth it? Is it a losing battle? What are we up against?
Chelsea: I think in 50 years we'll laugh this shit. Hmm. Well laugh ever took these things so seriously And I think that's just the desensitization that comes with time like we're dealing with these arduous as fuck regulations now. But you and I know and I'm sure everybody at the BCC knows how fucking unnecessary at all. Is because this shit is saved and affected and everybody uses it. You're 14 year old got it from his friend as school, like They're not buying it at the dispensary, like weed is everywhere and always has been. And I really think that it was political like We know for a fact that when it was made illegal, that, that was a political movement to stress the anti-war movement for Vietnam. That's not a conspiracy theory. That's that's quotable
Levi: fact. You're talking about Nixon's. Yeah, night making the War on Drugs, really, the official launch of the War on Drugs
Chelsea: is that had no other way to criminalize these you know, liberal arts white kids. From wealthy households. So how do you stop them from protesting? Arrest them for drugs? / - how do you keep them from impacting the culture with their votes lot? And with a felony for drugs, how do you ruin them? How do you keep them out of the corporate structure? Keep them from having, you know, executive seats and board seats. But how do you ice people with good intentions out of a Marketplace that can't tolerate people with good intentions? Clapping with a felony and it works really well. And and in some ways how our forebears went about, trying to get weed Uhn criminalized, just play it into it. You know, going to go into protests and being loud and having thousand people spark of enjoying on a lawn in front of the Capitol building. Like, That really just helped their narrative. It didn't help and I'm not I'm not dissing them at all, like fucking respect. I was Brave, but in hindsight, I don't think it helped
Levi: of the culture
Chelsea: War it, played into the culture war and it, it stigmatized it helped them to stigmatize anybody who would even think about using it. And that's a lot to overcome, especially since the people who helped vote for, that shit are still God, damned alive, right? Go running our right and
Levi: cannabis has always been attached to Mexicans black people. Arabs like all these Super Targets, you
Chelsea: know, whatever they do. It's really it's just been a political football. And now the only thing that's changed is they're done. Using it as a political football too. To criminalize people and now they use it as one to make their friends, wealthy butts. Like,
Levi: yeah, it's, it's disgusting. You know? It makes your stomach turn when you really know the history of the
Chelsea: plant. A 12-foot. Schlong. A mother
Levi: This is got an explicit warning. I love it. No, it's true though. Yeah, I mean not you're right. I mean The politics of it and especially with, who's an office right now and you'll get Biden, and come all. And they've been on the wrong side of this debate, but now the political winds have shifted. So now it's, you know, now we know everyone's woke on cannabis. Now, you know, Republicans Democrats, everyone's woke. I think that cannabis has the potential to crack the nut and this is my theory on why we continue to repress it so hard courts. Because if people Realize that they were lied to about this plant. They're going to start questioning other things too and so all of the control begins to unravel pretty quickly and like cannabis is like a linchpin of unraveling all of the propaganda that you know, we've been fed. I think that's what kind of scares people as its expansive. It gets people thinking for themselves. It gets people thinking outside of the box that actually unites People. It's not a divisive thing other than politically. It's it's weaponized. But actually cannabis actually unites people like people on all sides of the political Spectrum. Actually enjoy, we had rednecks, Love Weed, hippies Love Weed, you know. It's something that like the deepest redneck and the most super hippie could actually come together and like share a joint and totally be friends. It's like probably the only thing they could be friends over. So I like that's why like to see and I like the culture that surrounds Canada but I like the diversity, I like the potential you know, people that In a part of like the Cannabis culture maybe don't feel like they belong, like, come on in. It's like a dead show, you know, in like I used to I used to hate The Grateful Dead and talk. She went to a dead show. I was like a punk wasn't like punk bands, and thought I was too cool for the dead and then I went and like, on mushrooms and I was like, oh now I get it. I was like, yeah, the music is way better on mushrooms. First of all, and the people are really cool. Like the people are really nice. They're friendly, they're open-minded and that's like to me the Cannabis industry. People are really cool like Don't judge it until you try it. Like, come on in, you know, like see what's up. Stoners are fucking rad people. So the culture kind of gets lost to write with like the whitewash and corporate devising of cannabis. And I know not everybody wants to wear a tie dye but like we can't, we we don't want to like lose the culture that surrounds it because it's a culture of unity and acceptance. And like, if you're if you're a smoker it's like no judgments, you know, it's like come on in a circle like we're all friends now, like most of the Friends I've made in the last 20 years I've been around cannabis you know like those are like my deepest connections because I think it just it Taps us into something, you know, deep and something sacred. So I'm going to talk to you about another thing. I just think will be good to hear it. Like, okay, I'm like a white sis porn. You know, guy in the Cannabis industry is kicking my ass. It's super hard as a female in my Oregon company. Access to institutionalized funding and knowledge is incredibly difficult even as a white guy because I didn't go to Princeton and Harvard and I just don't rub elbows with that institutionalized Capital as a minority female and brand-new, probably even have less access to it. And I know there's a big movement in the space, to try to prop up, you know, minority-owned Brands and female and Brands, but because I'm not really involved in that. Is it doing enough? You know, like, is it just a bunch of bull? That are is the real work being done. You know. What's your what's your opinion on that?
Chelsea: It's a bunch of bullshit
Levi: but seems like yeah
Chelsea: and actually one city with a program that's workable and I know of two people with licenses in that City who are doing something good with it. And that's it. The whole setting out for you.
Levi: It seems like the social I could be thing was was a joke in California. It seems like maybe New York is trying to do it, right? Are you following what New York's doing at all?
Chelsea: No, I haven't. But I was gonna say cause I'm in Sacramento Sacramento and just just granted just don't warded their social Equity licenses. How many years after how many are they just don't warded them? Multiple The people, the fun Uncle Equity applicants that received licenses already have licenses and dispensaries. Like, these are not people who. Who need it, right? They're not the ones that need it. They're people who are piggybacking on a program. Like, I don't want to get too into it, but it's infuriating.
Levi: Yeah. And I can imagine. I mean that's like that's some real shit though because this isn't a joke. You know. People people have been getting preyed upon and locked up over this commodity, you know this booming industry and I think we have to get this right? You know like in order for the Cannabis industry to operate in its full capacity as a healthy thriving industry, I think we have to get this right. We have to acknowledge that, people were treated poorly, and they deserve some type of equity, you know, in the space that that's not just make politicians feel better and have a nice stump speech, but that really works. And I don't have the answers. I'm just trying to ask the questions
Chelsea: their notion, where would they can just get cat? Because here's the problem. Let's say that you were a neighborhood weed dealer, and you got popped and you did time. And now you qualify for social Equity, you may not be at a place in your life or have the other skills to start and run a business. Like, being a neighborhood weed, dealer does not equal entrepreneur and it doesn't like, and that's not a diss. It's just not a life for a lot of people, like, not everybody. wants that and saying that that's the only way that you can get any kind of, you know, Restitution for what you've been through. Is, if you, if you start and run a business and then the programs, usually, additionally stipulate that you have to partner with an additional with a current license holder. Now, you have to have contract in business, negotiation skills, you need to hire lawyers. It's, it's arduous and maybe at the end of all about, Pain and suffering years later, you might make a profit on your business. All right, how about just cash?
Levi: Yeah, I'm off. I'm off for reparations. As far as that goes
Chelsea: about time. Somebody is not trying to run a fucking weed business now and today is climate. We just pay them for their pain and suffering. Yeah.
Levi: I mean, in terms of what's actually fair, I mean it's probably pretty fair and you know until you've really been on that end of the stick. I think it's hard to really understand. Now I've told this story before but I was on a Greyhound bus with the woman going through Tennessee and I got caught with weed and Memphis Tennessee because they were, they searched everyone's bags, it was crazy. And of course, I had weed on me. And I got called into like the Greyhound station and I just talked to my way out of it. I was like, I've got a medical license and you know, let me like, call my dad my attorney and they're just like, okay, whatever you want to deal with this white boy just like totally lied and like how have an attorney, you know, where it is. I just knew I leverage my whiteness like straight up and got on the bus and this by sine X is black woman and she was like, did they take your weed? And I was like, no, she's like let's smoke it at the next stop and I was like hell yeah. So I Joint with this, with this black woman who told me that she'd been locked up for three years in Arkansas for having less weed than I had on me and she had a newborn baby at the time and that's when I like really clicked, I was like, okay well this is this is modern Jim Crow. And yeah. What what heals that suffering taking a mother away from her infant for three years. You know what, how do you how do you really like heel that, you know, I don't think you can but you can certainly I try and I think we should, but anyway, have you stuff there and And I know, you know, but it's like there is a greater cause here, you know, and like I guess my point is it's easy for a lot of people to look at the Cannabis industry in terms of dollars and cents and just think about it as an investment. But it's like even from a business perspective, I think it's important to get this issue right in. Like that's how I think the industry will actually Thrive and be inclusive and and ultimately just have better products and better businesses. Like I love the idea of not just giving money. But like, instead of just giving licenses to minority communities, why don't, why don't we give them the resources to become better business? People like, you know, let's have an MBA program, you know, in the in these Community. Let's let's do all the hand-holding. We need to do, to create long-term wealth, you know, in communities that have been fucked by the police. And by regulations that that's what I would like to see is sure, give people checks, I'm all for that and invest in their communities. You invest in there, All's help people get a path out of poverty and out of you know, the situation they're in. I think I think you'll get more people on board with that type of thing and then you kind of slip into the legislation and they get a check for, you know, two hundred thousand or whatever, you know, be kind of like the lead with the, let's hope people pull themselves up by their bootstraps, you know, and bring do
Chelsea: over a taxes again,
Levi: ever. Sure.
Chelsea: State taxes for the rest of forever, how about that?
Levi: Yeah. Yeah. That my D incentivize the government for locking so many people up because right now there's a real perverse incentive. Let's talk a little bit more about formulating,
Levi: So I know you CBD and THC. I the raw cannabinoids for your topicals. Do you, do you use? I know you have some products that have CBD and THC in them as well though, right, you're not just 100% raw or are you
Chelsea: a hundred percent raw?
Levi: Okay. All right. All
Chelsea: right. Awesome. When I do for clients work, pretty much none of them want raw harder for them to make sure they maximum milligram image. Yeah, like, I don't care, I don't be like, it doesn't make it any better. I don't care. It looks good on the label. Okay.
Levi: Yep. Yep. That's what I found too. Is that in my formulations? Like when I was formulating the product to work and I wasn't lab testing. It And then I finally lab tested my formula that I was like by know this product works for my neck pain and everyone else tells me it works great. It wasn't that strong it's like my 50 ml jar of bomb has like 75 milligrams. You know it but they're all acidic primarily that's primarily th see a
Chelsea: completely adequate for the job. You're trying to do
Levi: right? But I know the market wants to see 500 milligrams, you know. Is that constant? And you know the in the acidic cannabinoids because of the lack of research does not allow the marketing teams to kind of Bank on certain claims or at least have that backbone of research. And therefore, I think the enthusiasm and industry has been kind of limited on the acidic cannabinoids but I'm confident they'll eventually have their their time. It might actually be in the pharmaceutical space though that the acids Thrive. Because the pharmaceutical industry will do the research and realize, oh, you know, we actually have these compounds that are unstable. We can learn how to synthesize them and stabilize them like, you know, Rafael mature limbs join with his whatever. He's calling his cbda isolat. That's where I think we'll see the acids. Actually be put to use more in the tradition, the plant-based side just because people are it's like that drug culture. Stoner culture of you have to heat the plant to activate it to get the benefit from It that, you know, people are associated with this, you know. And they're like why would I use the raw plant? It doesn't do anything and it's like well sure every trying to get high. Definitely don't take thca, you're going to be very disappointed but if you're trying to regulate an autoimmune disorder thca is a miracle, you know ingredient. So I think I think the acids are always going to start. I struggle with this with my product links. It's like, I've, you know, I've always been a champion of these raw formulations because I know they work But the market just like isn't quite there yet. You know, it's like, we're like five years ahead of our time, you know, with these formulas
Chelsea: if we're if we're gonna want to talk about acids, maybe we should use acid to Market our
Levi: acids, right?
Chelsea: I mean I basically I topicals line called acid with all the Psychedelic, trippy, packaging, all that. Maybe that's the
Levi: pathway. Yeah, I thought about that actually, it's kind of embracing the acid component, you know. It's kind of guy. I've recently had that idea. So we're we're I mean we're sharing that psychedelic wavelength.
Chelsea: Yeah, but it has its Theron. So
Levi: are you also making CBD products for the national markets that you formulated one? But you're not selling any of your own branded
Chelsea: formulae lotion and massage on a face cream and I've done a lot of formulations for that market tinctures gummies but I don't and that would just be another thing on my list of things to stay on top of and Yeah,
Levi: yep, yep, yep, I think I think I think it's good to have on your talents and, you know, you know, like I said, your ability as a formulator is amazing. I mean, if I was launching a product in the space, I would definitely recommend you and Noel to kind of bring people up to speed on what's going to work, you know, and the combination of plants and ingredients is Sookie, you know, formula really matters. I always emphasize when I do budtender trainings and all these things. It's like don't just look at how many milligrams of THC or CBD or in this product. Look at the other ingredients. What's the base soil? You know, what's the essential oil blend? What are the complimentary herbs? If any, you know, and most topicals fall under like your basic bomb category or it's like coconut oil, beeswax and Eucalyptus peppermint like your real classic, you know, pop in Berkeley formula and then like Advanced formulas that actually have like Pulmonary herbs weren't just like calculated by a CFO to make sure the margins, you know, are going to work at scale, but we're just formulated to work, you know, without any of that being considered, which is kind of like the school were coming from. And I think our, I think if people understood that story, a lot of customers would choose the You know, they want the product that was made to be the best without any consideration. Like that's how Samuel Adams markets their beer did, you know that like that's their big marketing campaign is we're stupid business people. We put the best hops in the and they don't, of course. But they like say, like we put the most expensive barley in our beer, it doesn't even make any sense are all of our investors hate it, but we do it because we're so committed to like, they literally do like look up some, Sam Adams marketing. It's a really good marketing campaign. I think that could kind of work to for like us craft people where it's like we're putting the best ingredients into this product. It's like it's crazy the deal that you're getting because it really is if you compare value to value with a lot of products on the Shelf, when you have just a distillate to pre-made lotion basis versus a product, really formulated like from scratch, you know, with thoughtful consideration, it the value difference is Here. And I think, if we can do a better job of telling that story and getting that in front of people, I think we have a Fighting Chance on the Craft Space. I'm not throwing my hat in yet. I just think we have to really mark it in brand and network and help each other out as much as possible. But it's just, it's a difficult time right now to be in the California, Cannabis space, it's if you're a small to medium operator, it's a very challenging time right now. So, anybody listening like if you're in that You're in that space with us. Like let's link up, you know, let's connect between each other
Chelsea: advice to people is do as little as possible and what I mean by that is if you want to launch a cannabis brands, To don't even think about trying to get your own license, or your own. Property or your own, none of that. Those are just massive expenses, you don't need that other people have already paid, and they desperately need to recoup their stuff, like, when we manufacture, I pay by the day and I just rent that space from somebody, you know, centrally borrow their license. It's all. It's all buttoned up and legal, you know? I have a badge and I'm officially a volunteer. Employee yada. Don't mean I manufactured twice a year and I have my own space and license for that. That's absurd,
Levi: right? I think a lot of people have come to that conclusion.
Chelsea: You don't need to spend 30 grand on on a brand design and like Do it little as possible work with the money that you have on hand. Yeah, I don't I look at poplin Berkeley but just lost money and lost money and lost money until they pivoted into Raza. Now, they're probably maybe breaking even though
Levi: their papa select is probably done really well, that's a was a good move. Yeah. Yeah, I think a lot of people don't realize that you don't need a license to actually launch a brand in the space. And this is like one of those like little secrets, you know, I'm doing the brand licensing structure and yeah, but that's not enough.
Chelsea: If I didn't already know everybody in cannabis, I would screwed right? Right. If I didn't have those relationships already, there are very there.
Levi: Yep. I think it's like for four people on kind of an art position. Like we're so proud act focused and like we care so much about, you know, the quality of the flour and the quality of the product, and that it, that it's efficacious. And then it's as advertised that sometimes, like, the law, the marketing and sell through plan gets overlooked, and it's just kind of like, we're coming from that old school position of like, if you build it, they will come. And I think a lot of people in the Cannabis space have kind of done that. It's like, if I just get the license by just open up my dispensary, like, it'll Workout and I think a lot of people are feeling realizing that it's not going to work. Like, unfortunately, we need the suits. We do need the business people, but they need us just as much. And I'm hoping for some alliances to form with people like us with, really Savvy, thoughtful engaged business, people that know how to scale, and if we can kind of come together, there is so much talent in California, and so much. Much wisdom and knowledge that if I was an investor you know, listening to this. Or if I'm just because a smart investor knows cannabis is going to be huge. I mean it's it will get in there's money to be made, right?
Levi: are you going to enter the space and just blindly, are you going to reach out to the people that helped really build it? And I hope that they do. And I think the brands that actually do that, the kind of have that balance of business savvy and cannabis savvy. And do pretty well. And I think pop and Berkeley is one of those Brands as much as I hate them. And if you guys are listening, I love you. But I hate you because you dominate the space, but they do have a pretty good balance. You know, if you look at their structure, you know, and maybe it's maybe it's made up, but they seem to have one foot firmly in business world. One foot firmly in cannabis Humboldt world and they're doing it pretty well. You know, and I don't know what their balance sheet looks like, you know, but they seem to be if I'm gonna look at called the California space and say, Levi name a couple brands that you see have really kicked ass. I'm going to say cookies pop in Berkeley, you know, maybe I don't know 710 Labs, you know, seems to be doing some cool shit. You know, there's some brands that I am seeing to really start to separate, you know, Canton, biotics, you know that flower has done exceptionally well because it's it's the same, it's consistent, you know, what are some brands? You're like excited about in the space that that you would point to
Chelsea: with things arms. And like and that's what hella funny thing to say because I'm normally the fuck indoor
Levi: person. You said fig Farms. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah, Mmm. Yep.
Chelsea: They put out fire. We do so. So I was I was by a buyer for for delivery service in Sacramento for like a few months and so I got to see a lot of weed and a lot of issues hype. Like the cookies flower that comes in is meth and Connected is good but I've definitely seen better especially at the price like for their income after taxes and Sacramento they go out the door for like $95 and eight.
Levi: Yeah, that's true. This weed to me what you know
Chelsea: which makes the fake farms at 72 seemed like a good deal but when you crack open the jars, there's just no comparison. Like connected. You have these over manicure drown? Sounds little nuns that to me, I think the Cure is bad. I think they're always over dried. That's an opinion. Other people do you pull up in the thing Farms should bustling? I know. And it is stacked colors. With huge bracks and minimally processed. You can tell them no one fucking touch to this, but like they went in pair of tweezers and pulled the leap out, you know, it's perfect. And it's fire. Like
Levi: yeah, yeah, no. I've been impressed with big farms, for sure. Big farms and Kenna. Biotics are probably in my opinion, the two best indoor. Flowers on the market that I've seen consistently.
Chelsea: So yeah, my former employer gave me this as a birthday present.
Levi: What's the genetics on that something Rec
Chelsea: Hunan Iraq? It's banana figs cross with moon drops. 103d is
Levi: 30%, right? Fig Farms is out of Oakland. I think Oakland Oakland grows dank. I mean, Oakland knows what's up, there's a couple regions like even though it's hard to say like indoor house. Tarawa there is because every kind of region in California that has an indoor culture does grow to little different, you know, like the Bay Area in door is a little different from San, Fernando Valley and door and Santa, you know, Santa Rosa or San Diego. That looks bomb. Yeah, there. There's a lot of strains coming out right now that are just all look and no delivery like Sunday driver. For me is one of those like looks amazing, never delivers, you know, just kind of show off, you know, strains. I still really enjoy the old sours, you know like OG and Sour Diesel and just like those really limonene pining heavy slap you across the face. You know, Callie oh geez. I still just Like, We'll always have such a soft spot for those because they always just take me where I want to go like they hit, but there's a lot of cool, you know, designer strains out of the market. And I think that's all fun. Like I'm all about it, but I think. Yeah, $90 out the door. I mean, if people want to buy connected for that, like, you know, I've tried the gel and a and the gusher isn't it is it is good flower, but it's not worth that in my opinion. But if they have, but the brand might be You know, like I said, it's the tourist. We'd, like, people come here, and they want to, they've heard about it. You know, they want to go to the connected store, the cookie store and feel like they're part of that culture, you know, they're buying into something deeper than just that flower, you know, they're buying into the culture,
Chelsea: they the difference between fig farms and connected, and cookies is connected and cookies or Brands, they Source, they have their own licenses but they also Source a lot of far from contractors, which means Depending on the skill of the contractor, you might get a totally different product. In
Levi: quality control is going to be limited.
Chelsea: Where's Big Farms was? It's one location. One license, the building in Oakland everything's in. They are Outsourcing I probably would probably drop on my list like just naturally. Yes. when when I was talking to, like, customers at the delivery, And they did not already have a bias towards a brand. I would always push them towards Farms, not Brands. Yeah, I have this from this brand, but that doesn't matter. It's coming off of, you know, Moon gays or Farm out of Yolo County. This is a woman. I would tell them about the farm and I think that's what matters. That's it is.
Levi: That's what matters to me, too. Because I want to smoke, really good weed. You know, like, like Early. At the end of the day, I'm just a selfish consumer. I just want really good flower. I do like outdoor better than end or, you know, and I smoke both. I love to get the super Frosty endure. The Fig Farm stuff like, that's fun weed to smoke, but I get higher, I get higher and I get a better effect from Sun ground and some of my favorite son, ground Farms, you know, I've been getting some good stuff from farmer and felon, actually, like they're pretty consistent, but of course, green shock is Fire Coastal, son, I think is doing a good job out of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, has some really cool terroir. Yeah, that's a micro kind of world there that doesn't get talked about enough. But I've some of the best weed have I ever smoked in my life has come out of Santa Cruz, you know, Nevada city has some amazing flower but are there any, you know, I know you mentioned a couple but or any outdoor Farms that have caught in your attention
Chelsea: I'm heavily biased, right? If I'm not smoking my own son, grown weed. I don't mind. Mark suede,
Levi: right? Yeah.
Chelsea: For my list
Levi: ends. Well, yeah, I know when you're friends with with Mark Gres, shock and Jeannie and those, those that crew, it's hard to smoke. Anything else they have ruined my
Chelsea: palate. Yeah, exactly. I don't want to smell like anybody else's shit. Not when I have place not too.
Levi: Ya know if m is never tried a green green shock, give them a
Chelsea: try. Yeah, it's get green. Shocked Farms. I mean who is destroying for them? Not even know.
Levi: It's you know I just had someone from them on the show. I should ask but I want to say Weren't they? I was the they're going through somebody out to Oakland. I think I don't know but I'm not exactly sure because like things company
Chelsea: no one's actually out there pushing it but I know
Levi: it's hard to find their flower.
Chelsea: Yep. Sacramento, and then when I came back
Levi: because I haven't budged on their price in there. Like, people want to lowball outdoor flour and then give you, you know, ridiculously low amounts for it and it's like, they just haven't budged. And I respect him for that and I hope they win that debate because I would any day of the week, choose a $30. Eighth of really good son, grown over the $55 endure like any day of the week, it's a Our value like as a smoker like the indoor might look a little prettier maybe. But in terms of effect and value I think you just you're getting a much better value from from the Sun ground and and the sun Grant is more scalable to. And I think California does have a unique climate, some of the Santa Barbara Farms are kind of actually impressing me. I'm in a local cannabis won first place. Overall Best in Show for their ice cream cake. I tried some of it recently, it was great. I think some of those cakes. A little overrated, but I enjoy them. They're cool. Like, they're like, Easyriders, you know, they're just like, know a lot of beta carry awfully embarrassing and they're just kind of like fun easygoing strains, you know, very like crowd-pleasing, but local cannabis pretty good. Josh D, you know, Santa Barbara, I think has more canopy than anywhere in California. Now, you know, that's going to be. I think along with Emerald Triangle, the other massive Hub of sun ground, and it's all Greenhouse there in Santa Barbara. I think it has to be green house. And Santa Barbara, I'm going to Santa Barbara next week and I'm going to go into Ojai, but I'm going to go and buy a bunch of local cannabis and any of the local Santa Barbara Farms, I can find because I'm I've always thought that light mixed light model is where commercial cannabis is going to go you know, that's the scalable you know that's how they do it in the Netherlands with what you know, ornamental flowers and stuff that light dep, supplemented with LEDs, you know, or whatever, but some cool cannabis coming out, Santa Barbara to you. That's kind of got a It's on my radar right now but yeah, yeah the the space is evolving. It's a, you know I talk to cam from photos of greens and you know I'm trying to bring all my friends on the show just kind of, you know, rally support and let people know, you know, get some faces to the people in this space and the people that have really I think helped Define the categories and you and you'll have certainly, I think Help Define the Cannabis topical, space unquestionably and have made major contributions. So can anybody find your products? Do you have any out there that people can buy if they're interested
Chelsea: predominantly in Modesto? Oddly enough. Not a lot of places a nap enough has got it.
Levi: So people in Modesto now Papa go and buy Knowles Botanicals topicals unbelievable stuff. And what are you growing right now? Do you got some plants in the garden?
Chelsea: Get it anywhere in and around, Sacramento directly from my website because I fulfilled through a delivery
Levi: service. Okay? Beautiful and through websites,
Chelsea: also your door tunnels, but Anna
Levi: goes.com. Okay, I'll put that in the link. Show, great. What are you growing in your backyard right
Chelsea: now? Volunteers are do whatever. So I always breed a little bit every year and just depending on, you know, my friend of mine, sometimes the pollen gets a little more spread. Sometimes it gives a little less spread last year, was a more spread here which I don't care. I'm not selling it. I'm smoking it, I don't care. If it's got beans in it, I'm gonna take Yard, but I ended up with just like, oh ton of seated. We did this last year and on some of the plants, when it goes to seed it dies, that's I had branches, that turned brown. And so they just got chopped and dropped right on the ground. And then come, you know, rainy season. I've got about 300 little baby weed, plants out in the yard, so I let them Get a little bit tall before I unleash the chickens on them. And so the chickens prunes and thinned and I've got like a 10 big-ass plants. Yeah.
Levi: And you know I think there's really something special about the volunteers to and like
Chelsea: I've loved. Yeah, it's like furred plants.
Levi: They and like in talking to like Mark Grace talk about that some of his best genetics have come from volunteers, you know, like there's nothing more natural than that. Like those seeds actually went through the natural process. They fell from the plant onto the ground. They froze in the winter, they did the whole germination thing. Like there, they are really connected to that environment on a deeper level than, even a seed that you grew there. But stored in a Ziploc bag in your cupboard for nine months. When the, when the seed is actually a part of the natural cycle, there's kind of something magical about it and I know I know like Growers that are really tapped in kind of like they're there. Any time there's a volunteer, it's like this kind of gift, you know, and it's like ooh you know, the exciting, let mystery, you know, let's see what comes out of it. So that's pretty cool. Well, keep growing keep formulating keep doing what you do.
Levi: yeah, it's great talking to you. Thanks for joining me today on Head Change the podcast that puts you and I better head space. I've been your host Levi Strom. Full transcripts of today's episode are available on our blog awakenedeveryday.com. If you'd like to listen to more podcasts like this, you can join the conversation on anchor FM and YouTube. Until next time, peace.