October 1, 2019 • 45:41 minutes
#107 – How Family Experiences with Fragile X Led to the Start of a CBD Company
Tribe CBD was inspired by the positive results its founder, Alec Rochford, witnessed in his cousin's son. Tribe's mission is simple: Provide the highest quality hemp CBD-infused products to their customers at attainable pricing. Tribe’s comprehensive range of products includes hemp CBD oils, edibles, and beverages. Whatever your preferred product type, Tribe CBD has you covered so that you can easily incorporate hemp based CBD into your daily wellness routine.
cbd, fragile x, autism, products, people, gummies, hemp, ingredient, tincture, thc, companies, broad spectrum, marijuana, selling, lab results, full spectrum, extraction, brand, cannabis, vape, taste, space
Vadim Fedorovsky, Host, CBD School Podcast
Alec Rochford, CEO, Tribe CBD
Table of Contents
- Cannabis Scene in Colorado
- Tribe CBD: What's Behind the Brand
- Sourcing Quality Hemp and Extraction Methods
- Broad-Spectrum: The Premium Middle Ground
- Where Should People Start With Tribe CBD
- The Vaping Crisis
- Keep Growing the Tribe
- How will FDA Regulations Impact Strategy
- Wrap-up and Contact Information
For me, personally, the reason why I wanted to get into CBD was, I was more focused on the marijuana side of things. I thought that that was really exciting. And then my cousin had a son who has Fragile X, which is a form of autism, and they began to give him CBD every day. And he was actually the first child with Fragile X to take CBD and he worked with the doctor while he was doing it. And so it was an overnight walking, talking more, eating more, like an unbelievable transformation that my family was — it’s a pretty conservative family and we were all just completely blown away, like what the hell just happened.
All right. And we are back in class. This is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com: Your school to learn all about cannabidiol. Hey, CBD School listeners, this is Vadim, the CBD professor here and I want to tell you a little bit about the guest and sponsor for this episode of the CBD School Podcast, Tribe CBD. Visit them at tribecbd.com, that’s spelled TRIBECBD.com. And just for you, the lovely listeners of the CBD School Podcast, we've got a great discount code. Use the coupon code cbdschool30 to score a 30% off discount on any of Tribe CBD’s broad-spectrum CBD products. They've got tinctures, topicals. They're soon going to have gummy bears by the time this episode comes out, and they've also got energy shots for both daytime and nighttime. To grab that discount, make sure to use the coupon code cbdschool30 for 30% off at tribecbd.com. Again, that's tribecbd.com, which is spelled TRIBEcbd.com. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.
On today's episode of the CBD School Podcast, I am joined by Alec who is the owner of Tribe CBD. And welcome to the show, Alex — Alec. I'm sorry. I'm probably gonna do that a few times.
No worries. No worries. Thank you for having me.
Yeah, I'm sure you've dealt with that all your life. People saying Alex instead of Alec.
I have. You know, I actually asked my parents about that. I asked my mom, like, “Why do you name me Alec? Why not Alex?” And she's like, “Actually, I had a crush on Alec Baldwin,” which is not, you know, extremely awesome, but just a little tidbit.
I actually like Alec Baldwin, so that's, yeah, I'm fine with that. Well, welcome again to the show. It's nice to have you here. We were bantering a little bit beforehand. But I always like to let the listeners know where the guest is currently. So where are you calling from?
I'm calling from Denver, Colorado. That's where we're based out of. We've been in the cannabis business out here for about 10 years. So we've been out here for a while.
Oh, cool. So not just CBD.
Yeah, my partner's background is in more of the marijuana side. And he has dispensaries out here that, you know, the retailer locations that actually sell marijuana. And then he also has a product company where he makes concentrates and other products and sells them in a lot of dispensaries out here.
Cannabis Scene in Colorado
Great. So we'll have plenty to talk about. What is your overall opinion on the whole scene out there in Colorado with the legal space?
Well, in terms of marijuana or CBD specifically?
Oh, both, but I bet the marijuana first off.
Got it. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's been very progressive out here since the beginning, you know, of course, and so it's a great spot to be. This is kind of where everything started. And that's why I moved out here. My cousin is from here. He's the one who owns those businesses. And I started working with him on some things. And that's ultimately what brought me out here. And it's a great scene. I mean, there's a lot of cannabis companies out here. Just a ton that started out here and that now they're in multiple states, and a lot of them are based out of here. So a lot of the, you know, people who were in the beginning that were pioneering the space are based out of here, which is really exciting.
Yes, I imagined. Like I was telling you before in 2016, I worked at a few of the cannabis growers in Colorado, not in Denver. Oh, actually, one was in Denver. It was in a warehouse. Like many of them are.
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
I think it's still there, probably. I guess they kind of put them on the outskirts of the city.
Yeah, they do kind of hide them. You can actually smell a lot of them from, you know, a quarter mile away even so. They kind of put them on the outskirts.
But I mean, moving on to CBD, like how has that changed or affected the space there?
You know, I think that even though a lot of companies are based out here that are CBD companies, it's more of a national business, you know. You're not just operating here in Colorado. So it's very different from the marijuana side of things where doing business in multiple states is extremely difficult. You have to have processing facilities and offices in multiple states. You know, with CBD, you don't have to do that. So being based out here, you know, there's not too many laws out here that have really affected us in terms of CBD. Again, Colorado is pretty progressive about it, and they're very welcoming towards it. They are very tough when it comes to vetting companies that can sell products in the city of Denver. Other than that, we haven't had any issues.
And I imagine people had been using CBD from marijuana for a long time and purchasing it at dispensaries before it became so widespread.
Yeah, and that's kind of how we got started too. We were selling CBD products in dispensaries all over the state. And so we ended up building a brand in the dispensary side of the business. And then we actually pulled everything out of the dispensaries and started selling it in just regular stores that wanted to add CBD products. Just because from a business perspective, it's just a lot easier than selling in dispensaries. Again, it's really hard selling, you know, products that are in cannabis dispensaries. You know, there's just a lot of hoops and things that you have to jump through. But overall, it's been great for us out here, right? We really like being based out here and very welcoming.
It's great. One of the first things I always ask people is how did you get into CBD. But obviously, you've answered so you actually came from the marijuana space?
I did. Yeah. I think the thing that pushed us — for me, personally, the reason why I wanted to get into CBD was, I was more focused on the marijuana side of things. I thought that that was really exciting. And then my cousin had a son who has Fragile X, which is a form of autism, and they began to give him CBD every day. And he was actually the first child with Fragile X to take CBD and he worked with the doctor while he was doing it. And so it was an overnight walking, talking more, eating more, like an unbelievable transformation that my family was — it’s a pretty conservative family and we were all just completely blown away, like what the hell just happened. And so I completely transferred everything over to CBD. And I was like, this is where I want to focus my time on. I think it's really exciting. You know, it's special.
How was he taking it?
He was taking it in a tincture. I mean, really, you know, back in the day, that was kind of the only option years ago. And you know, he was taking it in a tincture and there was only like one or two companies that were actually selling it. I believe it was like three or four years ago and he started. And, you know, so finding like a good company that was selling it at the time was really difficult. None of them had lab testing results online. They were usually some sort of blend where it had THC in there as well. And so you're just really limited on what you could get.
And I'm sure it was marijuana-derived, right, not hemp-derived?
I'm sure it was back in the day. I mean, there were some companies that were starting to play with that, even though they really weren't supposed to be. But yeah, I'm sure that most of it was.
Well, anybody that is intimately connected with cannabis knows that the line is pretty fine between hemp — the hemp varieties that are used for CBD and marijuana. I mean, they're very, very close.
Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, one has higher THC and one has lower THC, right? You know, and after you extract a lot of this material, it's like they diluted a lot of it down, you know, to make the THC go way down, like what you see with a full-spectrum product, for example. It's kind of common practice in the space. But yeah, usually, I mean, the marijuana ones are just very high THC from what I've seen.
Exactly. A lot of people still see hemp as this totally different thing, but it's really all cannabis. And it's just different varieties of the cannabis plant.
Yeah, it's part of the same movement in my mind. Yeah, that's all kind of connected together, of course.
Tribe CBD: What's Behind the Brand
What made you decide to name the brand Tribe? I really liked the name.
Thank you. God, you know, when we first started this a couple years ago, first of all, there weren't as many CBD companies as there is now. But back then, it was like, I guess even now, it's still pretty bad. But back then, you know, every single CBD company was whatever CBD was their name. And it was like awesome, awesome CBD, for example, you know, and the vast majority of them didn't have lab testing. They didn't have anything. And it was just kind of, like there was no branding behind it. When I was first trying to purchase these products, I was like, I feel like I don't know where I'm buying these products, like it was from a real company with a real brand. I want to know who's making it, where are they making it and so on so forth. And from our naming perspective, we were thinking something more community, where like a community of people who are just kind of fed up with the products that they have out there that are most of these CBD products, you know, a lot of them really aren't that great for you because a lot of sugar and like a lot of added ingredients and just stuff that's just not great. And so we wanted to focus on all natural products and kind of set a standard with lab testing and so on, so forth.
Exactly. And what challenges have you faced with the lab testing? Because it seems like one of the challenges that I'm hearing about is that even when companies want to do everything right, sometimes the labs themselves are kind of making mistakes or not up to par, not doing things correctly.
I mean, I don't really understand what the big deal is about it. I mean, it's you make your product, you have basically an ingredient list, the formulation. All right. It's supposed to have this much CBD, this much oil, you know, et cetera, et cetera. And then you just get it tested. And I don't understand why it's such a hard, you know, such a big deal. If you're getting it made in a facility that knows what they're doing and you know what you're doing from a formulation perspective, testing shouldn't be a big deal. You just send one of your products to get tested, it should come out right exactly or very, very close to what you're expecting. And so, you know, there are a lot of companies who just don't do it, and which is just very shady. And we don't understand why. If you're doing everything right, you just do it. It's not a big deal.
There's nothing to hide if you're doing everything correctly.
Yeah, of course. And you know, companies do make mistakes with formulation. It does happen. But if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing 99% of the time right, you're not really gonna have any issues.
Exactly. And I guess one of the other issues is there's this lack of standard, like a national standardization of the — not necessarily the CBD content, but the other, you know, like the pesticides and all that stuff. Different states have different rules. Like California is different from Colorado. And I think that the FDA or somebody should come out and just make things standard. And then that way, everyone can conform to that. And seems like it would just be easier.
Yeah, it would be easier. I'm not afraid of regulation at all. I think it's a good thing, to be honest.
So I feel like they can't bring it fast enough. But, you know, I feel like the ones who are doing it right. I mean, there is a standard. It's like, you know, you get tested for pesticides, there's no pesticides. You get tested for heavy metals and solvents. There's none of that. You know, it has whatever you're putting on the label. It has its chosen potency and the terpene levels, and so on so forth. I just feel like it's not really rocket science. Like if you're buying ingredients that you're not testing for pesticides, heavy metals and solvents before you put into products, then, like, what are you doing? It's just kind of nasty. People are gonna ingest it, you know, so you got to test for all those things.
Sourcing Quality Hemp and Extraction Methods
Exactly. By the way, are your products, what kind of extraction methods do you use?
So, for our products, we use a broad-spectrum ingredient. And the company that we actually purchased this from is one of the biggest ones in the US, but they have a weird, proprietary technology. And I've seen it before, but you know, it's a very clean extraction method. I mean, again, there's no heavy metals or solvents. So if you're going to look at the lab results, and a lot of people are touting, you know, CO2 extraction is really the way to go, which is, you know, it's a clean method of extraction and so on, so forth. But the most important thing is you look at the lab results and you just look at the solvents, and see, are there any remaining solvents in the method of extraction. From what I understand, the first process that our farm takes is they're using an organic, like a USDA Organic hemp, and they put it through an ethanol extraction. And by the time it goes all the way through, you know, there are no traces of any solvents leftover in any of our products. So we don't really have those issues that others have.
Yeah, it's beautiful. I think that the CO2 thing kind of became a buzzword, but there's plenty of other extraction methods that are good too. Like ethanol. It's like you said. It's the end product and how clean it is what counts.
Well, exactly. You know, for example, if you ever drink like flavored soda water, when it says natural flavors in the logo, like a label, excuse me. Like all that’s done with ethanol extraction, you know, for those natural flavors. And so CO2 extraction, it works. There's not really too many broad-spectrums like we have that are using CO2 extraction. But you know, in the end, you just look at the solvents, and is there anything in there? Is there ethanol in there in the final product? No. You know, because it's safe levels and so on so forth what they've been doing with other ingredients for tens of years.
So you guys have a broad-spectrum CO2 extraction?
No, we have a broad-spectrum. The first step of it is an ethanol extraction.
We don't do a CO2 extraction. But our partner who does all of our ingredients is actually one of the first farms. They're one of the largest farms in the United States hemp farms but they actually are the largest USDA Organic hemp in the country, which is kind of a game changer. When you really look at the final products like pesticides, solvents, and all that stuff and it comes from a USDA Organic product versus conventional hemp, I mean, the difference is really staggering.
What do you notice? The taste or the look? Like what is it?
Itreally is the taste and the smell, of course, which, you know, sounds really weird. But I really do consider taste and smell and all these things when we're sourcing products. But in the end, you'll see trace amounts of pesticides and other things that you just don't want in there when you're using conventional hemp. And that's not all the time. But it's a lot of the time just from my experience, where I have run those tests, and we go, I don't want that in there. It's kind of nasty. You know, it just looks weird.
Why not if you can avoid it.
Broad-Spectrum: The Premium Middle Ground
Now for any of the listeners at home that don't know what broad-spectrum is, that just is a CBD product that has all the beneficial components that naturally occur in hemp but no THC. So it's something that was invented really to capture the full-spectrum benefits, but without that THC for people that, you know — Well, I'll ask you, I mean, I'm sure part of the reason you chose to do broad-spectrum was to appeal to people that really have to avoid THC.
Yes, yeah, I mean, there's a couple reasons why I wanted to do it. You know, the way that we take the ingredient is we take a hemp distillate, which is basically a full-spectrum, and we just put that through a pharmaceutical grade chromatography machine, and we rip out all that THC and you preserve some of the terpenes and flavonoids and other cannabinoids. And I mean, the reason why I wanted to go with that is because, personally, when I was out talking to a lot of people in the beginning, when we started this company, a lot of people were saying, you know, I really don't understand how much THC is in there. And like I don't want it in there at all. I just want the benefits of CBD. Or hey, I get drug tested for my job or you know, I don't know, you know. Or, you know, I get affected really easily by THC. That’s another one I heard a lot.
I've come across people that are extremely sensitive. And, you know, they get high from the CBD products.
Yeah, totally. And you know, sometimes you'll take some of these CBD products, and if you take like a 60-milligram tincture that's full-spectrum, there could be almost two milligrams of THC in there.
Which is enough to feel it. Exactly, exactly.
Yeah, totally, totally. And so a lot of people don't want to have anything to do with that. But really, the CBD isolate ingredient, it's still a fine ingredient. You know, it's CBD, which is really important. But you know, you're not getting the extra bang for your buck in there, which is really kind of that, you know, the spectrum of cannabinoids and, you know, the essential oils from the plants that add a lot of health benefits, and that overall from my experience provide a better effect. So that's why we've gone down that road.
Yeah, I really think broad-spectrum is the golden middle ground for a lot of people. You know, they're getting the full-spectrum benefits, but they're not worried about THC.
Yeah, I mean, I think so too. And that's why we put all of our eggs in this basket. And most of the companies just don't want anything to do with the broad-spectrum that are creating CBD products, just because it's a really expensive ingredient. I mean, when you actually look in the market for a CBD full-spectrum and a CBD isolate are actually about half the cost of a broad-spectrum ingredient that you put into products. So it's really just a way more premium ingredients. Because it goes through three levels of extraction, when you take, you know, hemp flower into crude and crude into distillate and then distillate into a chromatography machine into a broad-spectrum. It's just a way more premium ingredient.
I never thought of it that way, actually. That's a good way to put it. It's a different perspective. And you're right. There’s not a lot of broad-spectrum, truly broad-spectrum, products out there. I mean, there's people saying that they are but I don't think they actually are. And have you ever had an issue with the THC staying in there? Or like some of it sitting in there? Or is it just literally zero?
Well, no, we've never had issues of trace amounts of THC. I mean, if you're spending the money on sourcing like a really premium ingredient, you're not going to have those issues. Because you're buying it from labs and farms who really know what they're doing. And so we don't have those issues at all. Our whole thing is we say there's zero THC in there because we go look at our lab results and the lab results for THC are always below LOQ, the limits of quantification on those lab results. And then even, you know, I always ask these labs that do our testing, well, what is LOQ? And the levels are so, so small that it's relatively zero, you know, so to speak.
I think a lot of the listeners have seen that LOQ on labs that they've looked at. So that's the limit of quantification, right?
Yes. Yeah, exactly. Below limits of quantification. And yeah, no, I mean, you know, look at a lot of these full-spectrum products, you know, again, you get a lot of THC in there that you really wouldn't think about. Because I don't know about your experience with, you know, CBD of course, but I feel like you kind of start small and you always increase it to a level that you feel it's finally, like, I found my level. And then you take it out. And some people, it’s 10 milligrams of CBD; other people, it's 30, and some people, it’s 60 milligrams to 100. And if you're really taking that much CBD, there's going to be a decent amount of THC in there if you're using a full-spectrum product.
I think I calculated at one time and it was absolutely enough THC to get someone high if they were using those. Even like 50 milligrams a day of a full-spectrum is enough to have the THC in there.
Hey, lovely listeners of the CBD School Podcast. Just want to take a moment to remind you about our sponsor for this episode. You can visit them over at tribecbd.com. That's TRIBEcbd.com. And Tribe CBD has a special offer just for you. That's coupon code cbdschool30. That's right. 30% off your whole order of any of their broad-spectrum tinctures, topicals, energy or sleep shots. And they're even going to have gummies rolling out by the time this episode airs. So make sure to use that coupon code cbdschool30 over at tribecbd.com. Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of the show.
Where Should People Start With Tribe CBD
Let's say someone is completely brand new, and they don't know where to start. How would you recommend someone get started with CBD?
Well, first, you got to figure out whether you want to use a product that has THC or doesn't have it. And you know, if you're a little nervous about something that has THC, or you have a job where you get drug tested, or you just don't want to try it, then I think broad-spectrum really is the only other ingredient to look at, that has all those benefits that the full-spectrum does. And so I think that what we recommend is that, hey, start at like seven or eight milligrams and just kind of increase a little as you go from there until you find your dosage, essentially. And a lot of our products are dosed at about 20 milligrams per serving. When you look at our gummies, for example, and our tinctures are kind of around there. And that's just because what we've found is that's a good place to be usually for the average person. A lot of people, you know, it'll be 30, 40, 50, 60, or even higher. And, for example, when I take our products, I take at least 50, just because I use a lot more, I think, than the average person, but some people use a lot more than I do. So it just depends on the person.
I tend to stick to 50. But I mean, it probably depends on just how often you're using it and your tolerance and that sort of thing. But have you ever seen people who just, it does nothing? Or like they don't feel anything from it? And they're like, is it even working? Have you ever seen that happen?
Yes, I have. And usually more so than not, it has to do with them not having figured out the right dose for them. That's usually what I think that it is. But you know, sometimes you'll have people that just, they'll go and eat some CBD gummies or take a tincture for no reason. And they'll go, well, I don't feel anything or, you know, whatever it is. And usually what I recommend people, is that when you're going to use CBD products, you're using it for a specific issue. My personal reason that I use CBD is, you know, I have trouble falling asleep. And that's why I personally use it at the end of the day. It’s to help relax me. You know, my girlfriend, for example, uses our cream because she has cramps every month and that really helps out with that. And so it's for specific reasons. I feel like if you're just gonna be like, oh, I tried 10 milligrams CBD gummy, didn't really do anything for me. Like, I'm not really surprised, you know.
Exactly. Some of those products are kind of not necessarily really a therapeutic dose. There might be more of just a fun supplement type of like a vitamin but not necessarily a therapeutic dose.
I noticed one product in your product line, it's unique, that I've haven't seen a lot from others is the energy shots. What was the thinking behind those?
Yeah, that's an interesting one. So I got a bunch of feedback from our customers that they were putting their tinctures, the droppers, they were putting in their coffee in the mornings.
Yeah, that's popular.
And I thought that was so weird. When I first heard that, I was like, why would you ever do that? That's so odd. But you just, you know, if you talk to your customers, and you kind of learn, you get ideas for new products, and how to make products better, and so on, so forth. And we're always working on our products. I mean, we've changed each product probably like 10 or 15 times in the last year, you know, just small changes to make them better. And so that was the feedback that we got about the coffee. And so then basically we went to some customers, and we were like, “Well, what about like in the middle of the day? And would it make sense for you to have a little bit of a boost?” And they said, “Yeah, I would like something that's an energy shot.” And the reason why they're putting in their coffee is because they want some energy, but they also like that there's a little bit of a focus and almost like a little bit of a calming effect. So it's not too powerful like the caffeine is and that's what brought us into the energy shots and so we really focused on, you know, making those no like a burst of energy but more of a calming and focusing, you know, overall effect. So, you know, it's not like when you take a 5-hour Energy and you shoot out of a cannon. It's a little bit more focusing and the way that I like to think of it, and I'm like, wow, I wish I had these back in college. You know, it's like when I'm studying things, they work great for something like that.
Yeah, they still sell those 5-hour Energy?
Oh, they're everywhere. And yeah, I used to use them every once in a while, but they're just so powerful. Some people, they'll down the entire 5-hour in one sitting. And I'm like, wow, that's crazy. I'm just maybe more sensitive to caffeine. I don't know.
I've never found that caffeine makes — it's always too much, basically, for me, if I take in that kind of — it's never beneficial if I'm taking high doses. But I think what people are saying with the CBD is it takes the jitters off or something or takes the edge off.
Yeah, that's some of the feedback that we heard as well. And some people were even saying that, you know, when they have too much caffeine, they get kind of almost an anxiety.
Yeah. Yeah, I do. I do.
Yeah. And I do a little as well. And so that was kind of the other thought too, is that the CBD just mellows you out, right, when you kind of hit the peak. So yeah, we have them in a couple 100 stores right now. And they're selling really well. It's a very new product, and I'm still really working on it. But yeah, it's doing well for us.
What product is most popular?
You know, right now, I'd say it's kind of a tie between our tincture and our cream. We're selling the creams in a lot of stores right now nationwide.
But online, we sell like a lot more tinctures. We have a subscription program where we give people a discount. You may buy a tincture and it shows up every month, you don't have to deal with it. And that's kind of our most popular item online. And then we just brought out some CBD gummies that I'm really excited about, that really could be our top selling products in the next couple of weeks.
And those aren't on the site yet, though.
They're not yet. They're going to be in like a week. So around like October 10th or October, maybe 7th or something, they're gonna be online. But have you tried some of the CBD gummies in the space?
Oh, yeah, a lot of them.
Yeah. Okay, great. So it's okay for me to, you know, I don't want to talk too much crap. But most of them are just loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients which is, you know.
Yeah. Almost like 99% of them are pretty much —
Yeah. And it's like that because the majority of the manufacturers are candy manufacturers.
You know. And so we work with the largest gummy vitamin manufacturer in the country. They worked with us and a couple other clients. They didn't work with everybody. And we had them design a gummy for us that it's made with agave syrup and natural flavors and fruit juice. And that's it. There's no artificial anything, there's no sugars. And so you can actually eat one of those things and you don't feel guilty about it afterwards because it's candy, you know. So I really like that product. And it works really well. You still get a little bit of, you know, the hempy taste on the back end. But you know, it actually is a good product. And most importantly, it just works really well, that we found from testing and people really like it. So we're going to really start bringing it out everywhere.
I'm glad you mentioned that hempy taste because I actually really like that, and some people really don't, but I love — like one of the first things I noticed when I eat CBD gummies was like that taste, and I mean, I just like the taste of cannabis completely. So I mean, it tastes good with that.
Yeah. And I think some people get turned off because it has a little bit of a bittery note on the back end. Like not when you first take it, but when after you swallow it, you're like, it’s nasty. Most people I think are kind of weirded out by that. But honestly, when I'm taking CBD supplements, I kind of look for that a little bit because I know that it's there. You know, when something doesn't taste like, you know, have any sort of either hempy, like earthy taste or, you know, that slight slight bitterness, I'm kind of like wondering what's going on,you know, with that ingredient? Is it gonna even work?
Exactly. Where would you recommend someone start? So I'm totally new to CBD and this is my first time shopping. Which product would you recommend to get started with?
You know, most people start with the tinctures, just because it's easy. It's easier for them. And that's pretty standard with most companies. You know, everybody has a tincture. And we have a citrus tincture that I honestly think is the best tasting tincture I've ever had. And so I think that starting with that because you're not going to have that gross kind of feeling going down the back of your throat when you have an unflavored tincture. It kind of turns you off. And so we put some orange oil on that. And so it really helps. But, you know, a lot of people, I think, are starting with gummies as well because it's just easier to consume. And so that's why we're really going all out with the gummies. And we spent so much time — spent probably about 18 months working on these gummies, to be honest. It’s a long time.
Wow. Really? Cool.
Yeah, yeah. And we just, you know, our creams are pretty new too. I spent about little over a year on this. So we definitely take time, you know, to make sure it works and test it, all that stuff.
It sounds like that's something I don't hear often. So it sounds like, you're like 18 months, you said, right?
Yeah, I mean, and that's not exaggerating at all. I mean, it really was about 18 months. Most companies, they work with these white — they call it white label.
White label, yeah.
Yeah. And they'll go, “Hey, we can just make you a CBD product. Oh, you want some mint flavor in there,” you know, whatever. And, you know, with us, we actually work with individual manufacturers who have been doing this for a long time. And then we give them a recipe that we have spent time on working in the lab. We go, “Hey, this tastes good. You know, this is what we want. Just make this for every single direction.” We're not doing like a lot of the stuff that everybody else is doing. It takes us a lot longer to bring a product to market, but the products are selling and they're doing well because they're more unique compared to everybody else that's very, you know, kind of just pay their CBD in there. And that's, you know, whatever, who cares what it tastes or smells like, ou know. That's not really the approach that we take.
Exactly. I think that's very commendable. Because I know a lot of companies out there, just like you said, just pumping out products in 18 days, not 18 months.
The Vaping Crisis
I have to ask you. What do you think about this vaping crisis that's going on?
You know, I feel like it's kind of changing every day. So, you know, personally, I do vape every once in a while. Not a lot. And my girlfriend just hates it and she's always said that it's terrible. And then all this started happening. And now I get flack every single day at home.
But you don't sell a vape. Oh, you mean when you vape sometimes?
Yeah. And I do every once in a while. I don't do it every day. But you know, we have done a lot of things and vape in the marijuana side of things. And so we're very familiar with it. And it's always been our biggest seller. And so when we go into the CBD side, I've wanted to do, I've wanted to figure out how to take healthier ingredients and put them in a vape and in something that you really don't feel too bad about. And so I am working on that. But I’m not really in a rush to bring it to the market because I am a little just worried about vape as a whole. I mean, first of all, most of these brands can't sell, you know, flavored vape at all anymore. You know, whether it's the juice or the pods or whatever, and I really don't want to have an unflavored, you know, cannabis distillate, which would be okay, you know. I mean, I would like it, you'd probably like it, but you know, the majority of people won't.
We have like cannabis terpenes that we like. Or my favorite is probably Panama Punch. And I'd like to make one with that. But I'm not really in a rush to do it. You know, we might do it in the next year. And honestly, I might just make the decision not to do it, just depending on where the market’s at. Because it's, you know, when you hear all these stories about what's happening to some of these people, you're like, oh, that is a little crazy. You know, granted, it's only been a few people and there's like 400,000 people who die every year in the United States from cigarettes. So it's kind of, you know, drop in the bucket.
Yeah, I think you're wise to sort of take it easy and wait for that because no one knows what's gonna happen because of this. And granted, though, most of it seems to be because of black market stuff. It's not really like people — at least I haven't heard of anybody having an issue. Like personally, I use the pods. Do you use that or know what that is?
Oh, yeah. We actually make a lot of the pods here in Colorado.
Oh, amazing. Yeah, I think that invention, I mean, when I was 18 — I'm 31 now, but when I was 18, I was dreaming about someone making something like that. And when I found it, it was just like the coolest thing. But I mean, I haven't heard of that being an issue for anybody. In these cases, it seems like these black market cartridges.
Yeah, exactly. And the only other issues I've heard of are usually like nicotine vaping, you know, which is just a totally different space. So yeah, I mean, I completely agree. Overall, I think that, you know, if you're a responsible company and you're putting the right ingredients and so on, so forth, in there, then, you know, most likely you're probably not going to have any issues. But yeah, I mean, it's kind of like that in the CBD space right now with the other products because you have these companies that are not really doing it the right way, or putting, you know, the amount of money into it to do it the right way. And, you know, they have these kinds of what you could classify as black market products, a lot of them don't even have CBD in them. And so, you know, we run into that issue too with just CBD in general.
About the pods, what do you use when you make it, as the agent? Is it PG? Or what do you use there with the cannabis oil?
You know, that's totally a question for my cousin. Because he's like the Mad Scientist guy. He gets all crazy about it. But in the beginning, a lot of it was like butane extraction. And you know, it was kind of like, that was just how it was in the beginning for when taking it into the distillate that you put into the pods. But it's not like that anymore. You know, most people are doing clean extraction, and they do clean extraction here for a lot of the products that they do as well.
Gotcha. It'll be interesting to see what happens with that. I don't think vaping is going away. But it seems like there's gonna be some major changes.
Yeah. And I mean, I would imagine that it's probably all for the better, right?
Yeah, it is. I mean, again, though, I think most of these problems are from the black market. And that's always been problematic. And the only reason people are buying them off the black market is probably because they can't buy them legally wherever they are.
Yeah, exactly. You have a couple of weird states that are still kind of holding out. So yeah, understandable.
I know. Like my home state, Pennsylvania, they have legal cannabis now. And there's no reason now for people to seek out like weird, shady black market stuff, because they can just buy it legally.
Yeah, exactly. And some people still do. Like in California, it's still a huge issue too. And it's like, I know, I've heard that before. But I think it's just mainly like there are the group of people that consume, you know, marijuana products that are still like, oh, I still get it from Joe instead of the store. And I think it's like a more boutique, and they just prefer that stuff. But yeah, I mean, you know, obviously, I just go to the store and buy it. Because I'm like, oh, this is so exciting. I can just go to the store. And this is great.
Keep Growing the Tribe
Exactly. So what's next for Tribe? What's your plan for your CBD journey?
The plan right now is to just keep growing our business. But we want to grow quickly, but we will also want to make sure that we're still making really great high quality products, and the brand is still great, and all that. So we don't want to jeopardize anything with anything that we currently have out there. I think that the big new product for us is these gummies. They're already doing well in stores and consumers are giving us great feedback. And so we'll get those online soon. And the other, you know, I'm working on some weird little pet projects, working on CBD chocolates and other topicals that I think are really interesting. And so I want to bring just more products to market. But again, it's like, you know, a lot of companies will just bring a million products. You know, they'll have, oh, we have 50 products. And I'm just like, how do you have 50 products that are really great, you know?
It’s hard to believe. Right.
Yeah. I mean, there's just, you know, 50 okay products. You know, we want to bring more products to market that are great. And so we just take our time, you know, working on them, and testing him with people, and so on, so forth.
And what about with the products, how do you plan? How do you research a new product? What do you do? Tell me about the process?
Well, it'll be basically a group of us sitting around, and we'll go, hey, I got this feedback from so and so you know, one of our consumers that they're looking for something like this. Or maybe we thought of something, and we'll buy ingredients, we'll play with it in the lab, we'll create some products. And then what happens is we'll go, hey, we really like it. But it's, you know, got a bad taste, or the effect isn't exactly where we want it. It's like 60% there or it's too much. And it takes time just iterating on those products and getting them to the point where we're like, yeah, this is great. I mean, it smells good, it tastes good. The effect is good. You know, the lab results look great. You know, it just takes time. You can't do it in eight weeks or 12 weeks. You got to take some time to do it.
And right now, we're taking products to market and, you know, around probably four or five, six months, which is still good, but you know, we're really taking our time to do it and make sure that products are great. I don't want to bring a chocolate to market that you're like, wow, it works well, but it tastes terrible. You know, I really want to bring a chocolate to market that tastes great. You're like, wow, this really tastes phenomenal. I can still taste the hemp a little bit in there. So I know, you know, there's something in there. The lab results look great, it smells great, so on, so forth.
With the gummies, what kind of stores? Where are you selling them? What kinds of stores nationwide?
It's kind of across the board, honestly. I mean, we brought some partners into our business that are really big in the convenience world. And so we do actually have a lot of products in convenience stores, like gas stations, which is kind of a weird space cause consumers are just thinking, you know, hey, are these products legit or not if they're in a gas station? And there's a lot of companies that are in there that are just not great companies. But we're setting, I think, a standard in that space. And I really like the convenience space because we make smaller products that are more for people that are looking for, you know, relief, for example, like on the go, you know. And I just really liked that space. I think it's exciting. And then we also have products and a bunch of grocery stores throughout the country. And then, you know, we're trying to get it into drugstores and so on, so forth, or you know, nutrition stores and others. But we're just trying to really get it out there as big as we can and see really where our places are. We really want to find that place. And so far, you know, we're doing really well in convenience and grocery but I think we could do really well in natural food stores and drugstores and stuff like that as well.
Yeah, I made a video about this. You know, a lot of people say, “Oh, if you bought her at a gas station, it’s junk.” Well. I mean, you can buy organic nuts at a gas station. Is that junk? So it's like, you know, plus it depends what kind of — I mean, there's some really boozy nice gas stations. I bought some very nice healthy food at a gas station. It's just a stereotype. So I think that's good that you guys are going for that convenience and I would think the shots too, right? Are you selling those at the convenience store type thing?
Yeah. Well, we've got the energy shots and the sleep shots and then we also have these packs of gummies that have 10 gummies. And there's 100 milligrams in there. And those are doing really well, too. I like that when I hear that about things where, oh, you know, you shouldn't buy CBD in the gas station because it's crap. And then I go, well, there's a real opportunity there.
If it’s actually a good product, you know.
That stuff gets me really excited. And we put out flyers and we put out, like, we have a really nice display that the products are in and, you know, our packaging is really good. So I think it definitely stands out compared to, you know, awesome CBD, for example.
Have you had any issues with like states saying you can sell it here or any legal things like that?
You know, not really lately. I mean, there still are a couple states that we just don't do business in. But most of the states are really warming up or allowing us to do business there. And sometimes the states have specific rules like, hey, you have to have a QR code that when you scan it, it goes to the lab results. Well, you know, we already put that on all of our packaging anyways, you know. So it's usually stuff like that that we run into, but nothing crazy.
So you guys have the QR codes?
Yeah, we do have the QR codes. A lot of the bigger brands do. I mean, if you're gonna sell nationwide, you have to have the QR codes. And I mean, again, it's one of those things. It's like, I just don't see why it's such a big deal. Like some of these companies don't have it. They don’t have lab results. They don't have QR codes and like, what are you hiding? If you're spending the right amount of money that you need to spend to have a good product, then that should be good. You should be all right.
I don't know. It's a good point. I don't know exactly what their problem is. And it really isn't that hard. I mean, QR codes have been around for a long time. It’s not like this weird new technology.
No. Super easy to do. You can make one online on some random website. Just print it out and throw it on the package, you know, it's no big deal.
How will FDA Regulations Impact Strategy
So what do you think the FDA is gonna do? Where do you see the future of the laws with CBD?
You know, I haven't heard too much about it lately. The talk about it in the last year is that, you know, they are going to allow ingestibles, food and beverage and certain products, but they're going to cap it at where you can have the amount of CBD that is in these things per serving. And that's just the ramblings that I've been hearing, and which, you know, would probably kind of suck because there are people who do need a lot more CBD than others. And I think it's really stupid. Because when you look at it as a whole, it's just another ingredient like every other ingredient that you see in a grocery store. And you know, they shouldn't put so many restrictions on it. But at the same time, you know, when they step in, I think it's gonna get rid of a lot of these other companies. And the benefits, well, you know, we can start advertising and banking without issues and using credit cards and things like that — things that will be good for the industry as a whole, which will ultimately bring down the price of CBD products for people, which is great.
Exactly. I don't think it's going anywhere. It might go through some regulation, but it'll be overall a good thing.
Yeah, exactly. Fingers crossed. I mean, who knows what will happen, but, you know, I don't think that it's going to be anything terrible for the space.
Wrap-up and Contact Information
Exactly. Well, Alec, it was great to have you on here on the show. It’s nice to learn more about Tribe. I think you guys have a great thing going. I love the packaging and the branding. It's very earthy and just great colors. I love the design. It really looks good.
Nice opportunity to be able to have you on. Where can people find you if they want to contact you or learn more about the brand?
They can go to our website, tribecbd.com. And then if they want to email us or call us, that information’s on there. And we always love talking to people because we learn more about what they're looking for. We get feedback on our products and certain things. So, you know, we're always trying to improve, of course. We want to be one of the ones who is still around, you know, five years from now. And I think that having better products and, you know, working with your customers on that is going to be the way to get there.
It's great. Yes, thank you.
Great, man. Thank you.
Hey, everyone, I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did talking to Alec of Tribe CBD. I loved learning about how they make their products and how much time they take to research what they're doing before they go to market with a new product. I'd like you to check them out at tribecbd.com. That's TRIBECBD.com. And while you're there, make sure to take advantage of the 30% off. That's right, 30% off discount code cbdschool30. That code is only for listeners of the CBD School Podcast. Again, it's cbdschool30 and you can use it to get 30% off any of their broad-spectrum tinctures, topicals, energy and sleep shots and also soon to be released CBD gummies. So head on over to tribecbd.com and use the coupon code cbdschool30. All right. And that concludes our podcast for today. Please make sure to leave us a review on iTunes if you enjoyed the podcast. Also visit cbdschool.com for even more great content on CBD. And until next time, this is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com, signing out. Thanks for listening. Bye for now.