#114 – Does Kratom Have a Future in the United States? Justin Kats of Kats Botanicals

Kratom Leaves
January 20, 2020 • 37:46 minutes

#114 – Does Kratom Have a Future In The United States? A discussion with Justin Kats, Founder of Kats Botanicals

Justin Kats is the founder and inspiration behind Kats Botanicals, a Kratom and CBD company based in Fort Lauderdale. 

What started out as a search for natural solutions to common health problems sparked a need to learn more about Kratom, CBD, and other emerging alternative botanicals. Unfortunately, Justin learned an unpleasant truth about the industry: many products are poor-quality or simply don’t work. After searching locally and internationally and trying dozens of products, he realized there was a need. So in 2016, he created Kats Botanicals. Kats' core mission is based on a genuine belief in the therapeutic benefits of Kratom, CBD and other emerging alternative botanicals. It’s their mission to provide the purest, safest, and most effective products on the market to help you feel your best.

Summary Keywords

kratom, people, cbd, turmeric, products, oil, botanicals, extracts, illegal, full-spectrum, legal, company, sell, bit, research, fda, good, respiratory depression, kats, coffee

 

Speakers

Vadim Fedorovsky, Host, CBD School Podcast
Justin Kats, Founder of Kats Botanicals

Podcast Transcript

Introduction

Justin  00:01

It's been proven with scientific data and facts that all those people that overdosed, they were also using other hard drugs. There was always a case, for example, the FDA says that, I forget the person's name. One guy jumped out the window and he was dealing with internal bleeding. He refused to go to the hospital and he died and they found kratom in the system, and that's one of the deaths that they use to lobby that kratom is dangerous.

 

Vadim  00:35

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, everyone, this is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com. Our guest and sponsor of today's episode is Kats Botanicals. I recommend you visit them at katsbotanicals.com, that spelled KATSBOTANICALS.com. And you can use the coupon code that's exclusive for CBD School listeners, that coupon is SAVE15 and it gets you 15% off your order. Kats Botanicals sells not just CBD but also kratom, shilajit  and turmeric extracts. So you can check them out over at katsbotanicals.com. And again, that's spelt KATSBOTANICALS.com. Use the coupon code SAVE15  for 15% off. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. 

 

On today's episode of the CBD School Podcast, I am sitting down with Justin Kats, the owner and founder of Kats Botanicals. So Justin, welcome to the show.

 

Justin  02:08

Thank you for having me. Nice to meet you.

 

Vadim  02:10

We were just talking a little bit and I want to ask you, where are you? I always ask my guests. Where are you calling in from?

 

Justin  02:17

So my facility is located in Hackensack, New Jersey. It's pretty close to New York City. So in North Jersey.

 

Vadim  02:24

And what is the weather there today?

 

Justin  02:26

It's pretty cold. Not too cold. I mean, it's in the 40s. The weather here has been kind of weird. Over the weekend, it was like 70 degrees, something crazy like that. But it's getting chilly.

 

Vadim  02:36

I grew up in Philadelphia, but I'm currently in Mexico, where it's sunny and warm every day. 

 

Justin  02:44

Oh, nice. Very nice. 

 

Vadim  02:47

But my family still lives in Philadelphia, and they said the weekend was quite warm.

 

Justin  02:49

Definitely, very warm even at night.

 

Vadim  02:51

It's kind of crazy. The weather, it’s like you can get spring days in the winter now. 

 

Justin  02:59

Right. 

 

From Kratom Ban to an Unexpected Business

 

Vadim  02:59

So how did you get into all this? I think you guys started off as a creative company. Is that correct?

 

Justin  03:03

Well, it's a pretty interesting story. I used to have a national tennis coaching business. And it was the summer of 2016 in August, and I'm on the court, and I just finished teaching my kids and I look at my phone and I read in one of my kratom groups or one of the kratom groups that I've frequently visited that the DEA is doing an emergency ban on kratom. So kratom will become Schedule I, the same classification as heroin in 30 days, which has never been done before. And I kind of panic because I do take kratom. You know, kratom does help me in various ways. 

 

And you know, at first I didn't believe it. But then once I got off the court, you know, we realized that the FDA did convince the DEA to do an emergency ban. So I decided while it was legal to import about 100 kilos of kratom, just for personal use. I didn't want to stop taking it. So I decided to make that play and import some kratom. I ended up getting the kratom, actually got ripped off from one supplier. There were a lot of suppliers at that time thinking, “Well, you know, kratom will become illegal in America.Let's try to make as much money as possible.” So I got ripped off by one guy, but in total, 100 kilos I did receive. And then towards the end of September in 2016, kratom did not become illegal. It was taken off the emergency list. Congress pretty much told the FDA or the DEA that they're overstepping their authority, more research needs to be done. So I thought, well, I have all this kratom and kratom has helped me so much. So let me start a Facebook group and start sending people a bunch of free samples and that's how the company started.

 

WHAT IS KRATOM?

 

Vadim  04:47

That's amazing. I have so much to say about that. I was part of that whole campaign, to keep the kratom legal campaign. I worked for a major one — not a big one but one of the bigger kratom companies, at least as far as I knew. At the time, I was an executive assistant to the owner. So for people that don't know what kratom even is, what is kratom?

 

Justin  05:09

Well, it is a tree. It's a plant that's native to Southeast Asia. It's actually in the same family as coffee. And pretty much the suppliers in Indonesia, they take the leaves, they grind the leaves, they take off the stem and vein, it's a high-quality product. And actually, first, they dry the leaves, then they grind the leaves and they turn it into a powder. And people take the powder for various wellness benefits.

 

Vadim  05:35

A lot of people use it for pain relief, but also, it has an interesting component that depending on what kind you get, it has different effects. And it can have a stimulating or, I guess, sedating — I personally don't use it. I never sat well with me. But I understand it can have a sedating or stimulating effect. Is that correct?

 

Justin  05:56

Well, the thing is, I can't actually legally, you know, make any type of claims like that.

 

Vadim  06:02

Right, right. I’m sorry. 

 

Justin  06:03

No, it's totally okay. It's a tough workaround. But, you know, there are different strains. So the interesting thing about kratom is, and how Indonesia marketed it in America, that people in America think that there's actually a bunch of different strains. That's actually not the truth. The leaves that grow the most on these trees are red vein leaves. So there's white vein, green vein, red vein. The vein color doesn't change anything. It's actually the drying process that turns it into a more white looking powder, or a green looking powder, or a reddish looking powder. So most of the trees grow red veins. White vein is the next one that's rare, but also grows. And the green vein is almost like the albino of kratom. It just doesn't grow. But what they do is to market it, they make us believe that there's actually all these different, you know, rare strains out there, when really, it all comes from the same leaves, and it's the quality of the harvesting process, and most importantly, the drying process that produces high-quality kratom.

 

Vadim  07:00

And that's fascinating because there's so many sites that have 30 or 40 different kinds. And it's hard for consumers, I think, to know what they're getting. I'm curious. Why is it that it all comes from Indonesia? Can it grow anywhere else like Florida, for example, or somewhere else that's warm?

 

Justin  07:17

So it actually does grow, for example, in Malaysia, but they made it illegal a while ago. Also an interesting story is, it used to be legal in Thailand for years. And unfortunately, during that time, they were selling a lot of opium, and they started noticing that people, they stopped using opium and they were using kratom. They said, “Well, we can't have this, let's make kratom illegal.” But interestingly so, they're about to… actually, they did take kratom off their drug list. And I think they're actually descheduling it. So we might see suppliers exporting kratom from Thailand soon. But as far as growing in Florida, a lot of people do have plants here in America. At the end of the day, though, I have not seen a single person be able to grow kratom in the United States while still retaining all of those mitragynine and alkaloids that help you and give you those great wellness benefits that kratom does. 

 

Vadim  08:09

Do you think it's something in the expertise of the Indonesian grower or the land there? 

 

Justin  08:15

It's just the climate there. It's hot, it's humid. Also another reason why kratom is such a great crop for them. Because it rains a lot in Indonesia, and when it rains, all the rice crops get killed but kratom, no matter how hard it rains, you know, they stand tall, they survive all that. So it's a very important product for Indonesians to export, you know, to make a good living or to make a living.

 

Vadim  08:38

And it's been around for a long time. Is that right? I remember reading that it's something traditionally that the workers use to get rid of — I know you can make claims, but it's been traditionally used by workers to feel better or to get rid of aches and pains or something like that is what I've read.

 

Justin  08:55

Right. You know, it motivates them. So it gives them a little boost to get through the day for sure.

 

Vadim  09:01

Okay. Well, I mean, obviously the podcast is more of a CBD, cannabis podcast. But I find kratom so interesting. For Kats Botanicals, is your focus more on kratom or CBD these days?

 

Justin  09:13

The kratom just sells itself and the competition isn't like the CBD industry. Our focus is more right now on CBD and developing our CBD products. So it is a company that mostly sells kratom but CBD is starting to get a lot more popular at Kats Botanicals.

 

Legality and The Future for Kratom 

 

Vadim  09:33

And I've noticed a few kratom brands have branched out into CBD because I guess the future of kratom is sort of questionable and what's going on with the legality of it? Is it just kind of on hold? Are they researching it?

 

Justin  09:47

Well, you know, the FDA, they realized that since they didn't make kratom illegal federally, it didn't succeed there. They started lobbying directly to the state's pharmacy board. So we have won a lot. battles, we won a battle in Tennessee. They ended up passing a bill where you have to be 21 and older. So the FDA lost there. We want to battle in Ohio where the pharmacy board there almost made it Schedule I. We keep winning. So right now, it's legal. I think it's going to stay legal. However, the threat from the FDA is still there because they definitely want it to become illegal. And there's even a threat in Indonesia, where their FDA — actually, off the top of my head, I forget the name of the organization there. They're also trying to lobby to make it illegal, which would completely cut off the supply, period, if that does happen. But we also saw a win there. I think they postponed it. That's something to watch out for in Indonesia.

 

Vadim  10:41

So it's really all coming from there. If that supply was cut off, it would kill the whole space. 

 

Justin  10:47

So what would happen is if you either made it illegal or you cut the supply off, you would see an enormous black market of smuggling kratom into the United States. And also, the quality of their product will go down. And you'll see people — not so good people, maybe even cutting it with dangerous substances, which is something that we don't want, and it's only going to fuel the opioid epidemic in the country, in my opinion. 

 

Vadim  11:11

Exactly. Because kratom is actually something that people who have an opiate problem, whether it's a drug addiction or if it's from getting off of a painkiller from an operation, they turn to kratom to save them from that addiction. I mean, that's what I know. Like I said, I worked in the industry for years. So I know, all of it. I know the customers. I mean, I know why they seek it out. So it's one of these things that it seems like from my understanding, the biggest problem is the extracts, like that people get there too strong. And are those still legal, like the really strong extracts?

 

Justin  11:49

So all kratom products right now are legal. The American Kratom Association, they are the lead advocacy group, as I'm sure you know, they are trying to lobby and make the natural form of kratom to stay legal. You know, they want vendors to follow GMP standards and do things correctly. But as far as the extracts go, they don't want the extracts going over a certain amount of mitragynine and alkaloids. So they definitely are proponents of making those types of very strong extracts illegal. And you know, I support that cause because there are some kratom extracts where you literally only need to take 0.05 — no, not even a milligram, a 0.05. And if let's say someone, a woman in her 60s hoards it and accidentally takes too much, which is very easy to do with the kratom extract, is anything really bad gonna happen? No, but you know, she can throw up or get sick. And it's not worth it. It only brings possible legal issues to the kratom industry.

 

Kratom Overdose and Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Vadim  12:49

Exactly. And I promise that we're going to talk about more than just kratom. But it's just a fascinating subject for me. 

 

Justin  12:55

It is. 

 

Vadim  12:56

I think for a lot of listeners, too. It's going to be interesting to learn about this because this is the first podcast I've had with a kratom expert like yourself. Is it true that with kratom, there were these scares of people overdosing accurate?

 

Justin  13:09

So it's been proven with scientific data and facts that all those people that overdosed, they were also using other hard drugs. There was always a case, for example, the FDA says that, I forget the person's name right now. Off the top of my head, I forget. One guy jumped out the window and he was dealing with internal bleeding. He refused to go to the hospital and he died and they found kratom in the system, and that's one of the deaths that they use to lobby that kratom is dangerous. You know, one guy hung himself, was using all sorts of drugs, had kratom in the system, and that is being used to lobby to make kratom illegal. 

 

Now the other cases where there were simple overdoses, again, it was polydrug use, which is proven. It’s not an opinion, it's not something you can even debate, it's true that they were using multiple drugs. You know, kratom in itself cannot cause respiratory depression. The only thing that can happen is you might get, you know, a little dizzy, and you could throw up. That's it. There's been no cases of something only taking kratom and passing away because they overdose on kratom. 

 

Vadim  14:16

And the main reason is that because it doesn't do that — in simple terms, it doesn't do the thing in your brain to shut off the breathing that opiates do, right? 

 

Justin  14:24

Exactly. And it's why opioids are so dangerous because, you know, if you take just a bit too much, it will cause respiratory depression and kratom does not do it, period. I mean, it's like saying, you know, is the sky blue? Or is it red, green and pink? You know, it's scientifically proven that it does not cause respiratory depression.

 

Vadim  14:43

And that's the main factor that makes it safer to use for, like you mentioned, elderly people using it for arthritis.

 

Justin  14:52

Of course, yeah.

 

Vadim  14:53

Much safer than opiates that people even get from their doctor, you know. They can get easily addicted to it or overdose accidentally, or what have you.

 

Justin  15:01

Definitely, definitely. I mean, there's so many cases where older people, they have legitimate pain issues. They get prescribed Fentanyl or OxyCon and they get addicted to it. But the problem with that addiction is it can cause death. Is kratom habit forming? I'm honest with my customers, that kratom, obviously, I think it's going to be habit forming. But you have to weigh out the pros and cons. Does it help your life? At the end of the day, is your life better? And also, at the end of the day, if you do have a “habit” to kratom, it's not going to kill you. Coffee is also habit forming. I mean, there's a bunch of things that are habit forming that at the end of the day, they won’t kill you or destroy your life.

 

Vadim  15:41

Absolutely. I mean, I'm absolutely addicted to coffee. And every time I get off it, I have headaches for four or five days. I mean, it's definitely an addiction. But overall, it helps my life, and when I need to get off, I get off and it stinks, but it's not like I'm not going to stop breathing, you know. So I appreciate the fact that you are so transparent with your customers. And is kratom difficult to stop when people want to stop there? Are there some withdrawal symptoms from it?

 

Justin  16:10

You know, it's a really controversial topic because I think we're so programmed to defend ourselves against, you know, the FDA and the media that gets these fake news stories. So right away, we go into defense and we attack and we attack. The truth of the matter is, if you have been taking something like kratom for a really long time, if you just go off it, then of course you're not going to feel comfortable. You will go through some withdrawal symptoms. But does that mean that we should make it Schedule I? Does that mean we should cut off the supply so all those people that get these tremendous wellness benefits from it will not get those benefits anymore? So it's just a balance of how you look at it. But it can cause withdrawal symptoms? For sure. For sure. I mean, it's different. It depends on the individual as well.

 

Vadim  16:54

I think as long as people are aware of that, then it's fine.

 

Justin  16:58

I agree. Like you said, coffee also causes withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Vadim  17:02

And they're very strong. Sometimes the migraines I get are pretty bad from when I stop coffee. So everybody's different and has to make that decision for themselves from what they choose to take and what they don't. And speaking of CBD, I've heard from people I know that use kratom a lot, that it actually helps with those problematic symptoms sometimes, the CBD if it's taken during that time. Nothing in this podcast is meant to be health advice. This is just two guys talking. But you know, I've heard from my friends that use kratom that the CBD helps them with those symptoms sometimes.

 

Justin  17:37

And I've definitely heard the same thing. As far as CBD goes, you know, I use CBD to calm me down a little bit. I'm an anxious type of person. So when I take our full-spectrum oil, for example, it definitely is something that I use to shoo me out a little bit

Kats Botanicals Full-Spectrum CBD Products 

 

Vadim  17:50

What kind of feedback have you received from your longtime customers once you started carrying the CBD?

 

Justin  17:55

For the most part, it's really positive, you know. I mean, I always say this. No product on this entire planet that will please every person, you know, that every person will get on with it or agree with it or love it. For the most part, though, the people that do order our full-spectrum oil and other CBD products, they like it. And because, for me, quality is the most important aspect of my company and has been since day one, so people, you know, CBD connoisseurs who try our oil, they definitely dig it, they definitely like it. 

 

Vadim  18:27

And it's a full-spectrum, so it does have some THC in there?

 

Justin  18:31

Yeah, it does have under 0.3 THC. It's definitely full-spectrum. It's a beautiful amber color. When you taste it, you get hit with a lot of terpenes, you get hit with that hemp flavor. Honestly, I try a lot of oils, and some from the biggest companies and I take the oil, a lot of it is distillate. So the problem with that is that you can take the worst grown hemp and turn it into the most beautiful distillate oil. But to produce really good full-spectrum oil, you need to have really good hemp. And I think that's one of the main differences with those products and I think our full-spectrum oil is one of the best oils out there, but again, you know, the competition is really tough so we're trying to get bigger with it. I think we can.

 

Vadim  19:11

Your oil, we've tried at CBD School. Our reviewers have tried over 50 brands and your oil was fantastic. When my reviewers tell me something stood out it, means something. Because just from the volume that we've tried, the flavor and the color is beautiful. And it seems like a full plant oil.

 

Justin  19:31

it is, it is. I can't stress that enough. I mean, again, some of the biggest companies out there, you get their oil and it’s a see through, you know. That's not what I'm trying to sell for a full-spectrum product. I want you to get the real deal.

 

Vadim  19:43

You have that, you have the healing salve, the topical. And also, you do sell isolate products as well? 

 

Justin  19:50

We do, we do. We do source high-quality CBD isolate for the people that can't consume any THC at all. So yeah, we were definitely in that space as well.

 

Vadim  20:00

A lot of people have to watch out for that. And that's what I'm always educating people on, is there's different products available for your needs depending if you have to deal with the drug tests as much of a nuisance as they are. There's tons of products that are available. Like the Kats Botanicals isolate that can suit you.

 

Justin  20:17

And we're actually in the process of research and developing a broad-spectrum tincture oil. And the difference is it uses distillate, but this distillate is going to be made from the same great hemp that the full-spectrum oil is made from. The only difference is it actually goes through a system that removes all the THC. So that people out there, they get drug tested at work, they'll be able to use this product and still reap the benefits of our CBD.

 

Vadim  20:45

Hey, everyone, I hope you are enjoying the show today and learning more about Kats Botanicals. Please do check out katsbotanicals.com. That's KATSBOTANICALS.com and use the coupon code SAVE15 for 15% off your order. Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of the show. 

 

So for people at home, can you explain to them what is a distillate? Because there's some listeners that might not understand what you mean.

 

Justin  21:19

The main difference is how it's made. It's not so different. Pretty much the main thing is that the THC is completely removed. That's the main difference. The rest of the process a lot of times is very similar between the two.

 

Vadim  21:35

But the distillate is more refined, I guess, from other plant oils and other components of the full-spectrum.

 

Justin  21:41

Right. You do lose some of the other terpenes and the other cannabinoids in the plant. But a good process when you do make distillate, you still will have some of that. You know, that terpene goodness and that hemp flavor there. But it's not nearly as much as a full-spectrum oil.

 

Vadim  21:56

Right, right. And that's just the trade off people have to accept when they're using these products. And if they have needs like that for, you know, just the trade off. It's either don't use it at all or use what you can.

 

Justin  22:08

Right, exactly. 

 

Vadim  22:10

Now your gummies, though, they are zero THC, is that correct?

 

Justin  22:12

Yeah, the gummies are actually made with CBD isolate. We're actually going to be discontinuing the gummies. I'm going to be rebranding and working on a new product all natural, where there's no synthetic type of ingredients at all. But that's later on the list. Right now, I really want to, you know, develop this CBD cartridge that I've been working on, which I'm really excited about, and broad-spectrum oil that I just told you about.

 

Vadim  22:34

So it sounds like you spend a lot of time on product development.

 

Justin  22:37

Yeah, you know, my business model for CBD is I'm not trying to sell CBD and become a millionaire or anything, I'm going to sell CBD on my site, I'm going to sell the highest quality versions of those products. If it sells really well, great; if it sells like it's selling now, I'm satisfied. I just want to give people the opportunity, and to create a platform where they can purchase and talk about high-quality botanical products, and CBD being one of them. That's all that matters to me in the CBD space. It's a more laid back view, you know, whereas maybe a lot of my competitors are a little more aggressive about growing their CBD side of the business up or their CBD site up. For me, it's just giving people the highest-quality products and, you know, see where it goes.

 

Vadim  23:20

I appreciate that. I think that's a good approach. And you might end up being a millionaire just because you're not trying, you know.

 

Justin  23:28

Right, right.

 

Vadim  23:28

From the CBD. You know, a lot of times, it's the people that are trying the hardest that aren't seeing much traction because maybe they're not putting the time into the products that they should be. 

 

Justin  23:39

Right, exactly. 

 

WHAT IS SHILAJIT? 

 

Vadim  23:39

So we really appreciated all the different offerings on your site. There's something we still haven't even discussed was the shilajit. Am I saying that right?

 

Justin  23:49

Right. Shilajit

 

Vadim  23:51

Shilajit. What is that?

 

Justin  23:52

It's pretty much a blackish looking resin. It could be in a powder and it could be in a resin form. And it's a natural substance that's formed under rocks in the Himalayan mountains, also in the Altai mountains, and they take this substance and they filter it to get all the nasty stuff out. And it's pretty much just a resin made up of many, many minerals — over 85 different minerals, and it has various wellness benefits, but it also gives you a nice boost in the morning, kind of like a cup of coffee, which is why a lot of people who do take kratom, they also enjoy it.

 

Vadim  24:24

Wow. So it actually has an effect like a stimulating property to it?

 

Justin  24:28

Yeah, it definitely boosts your motivation for sure. You know, for me, I have to actually even weigh out my dose because I take a bit too much. I'm a bit too motivated.

 

Vadim  24:39

Wow. I didn't realize that it has that effect. Like I said, the company I worked with before with kratom, they carry it as well. And I just thought it was this weird black stuff that I just never touched it, but it looks beautiful. It's very shiny and how do you take it, the resin?

 

Justin  24:56

Also, I forgot to mention and also contains a lot of fulvic acid, which in itself has a lot of health benefits and more than 84 minerals. They can act as an antioxidant, you know, to improve your body's immunity. They can act as an anti-inflammatory. But pretty much you just roll it up in a little pea sized bowl and you throw it in the back of your mouth and swallow. It doesn't taste too good. But you know, it only takes a second. Some people also dissolve it in their morning coffee. So they get a little extra, you know, boost from their coffee as well. 

 

Vadim  25:25

Okay. So it can be put in a drink? 

 

Justin  25:27

Correct.In a hot drink so it can melt.

 

Vadim  25:28

Okay. And what does it taste like? Like bitter?

 

Justin  25:31

Ah, yeah, it's bitter. Some people say it kind of tastes like a manure. It doesn't bother me. But a lot of people are very sensitive to taste and smell. So I struggle with taking it but, you know, I think it has a lot of benefits so I think it's worth it.

 

Vadim  25:45

Probably people that are used to kratom taste don't really mind it.

 

Justin  25:48

Well, you know, that's an interesting thing. Actually, most people, I think between 60% or 70% of people who take kratom, they actually can’t handle drinking it. When I take kratom, I just mix it in warm water and sip on. Most people can't do that. They have to use a toss and wash method where they toss the powder in the back of their mouth and then they take a drink of, you know, whatever their favorite drink is so they don't taste it.

 

Vadim  26:09

I don't particularly like the taste. I only had it a few times. It never agreed well with my body. But I didn't particularly like the taste. But it gives us a very strong beer, green tea kind of flavor.

 

Justin  26:21

Right, exactly, exactly. 

 

Vadim  26:23

I think people that like dark chocolate green tea, they might like that. But it all depends on your taste buds. It seems like everyone's are different.

 

Justin  26:31

Definitely. Our taste buds are definitely different.

 

Kats Botanicals Turmeric  

 

Vadim  26:34

So what I like about your shop is you have this, I mean, we talked to a lot of companies at CBD School, but you have just this fantastic variety. You also have turmeric, I see.

 

Justin  26:44

So turmeric is an awesome product. We actually have fancy friends who live here in New Jersey, both Natalia and Sasha, Sasha is a chiropractor. He's an extremely intelligent person. He's always researching all different kinds of supplements and, you know, natural ways to boost your wellness. And they have a supplement company. And I went to them and I said, “Listen, you know, I know you guys source the highest-quality materials for your tumeric product and all your supplements.” I mean, they really take things to a different level when it comes to sourcing all these materials. And I said, “Listen, can we sell your turmeric with our label on it?” So it still has their label, but it also has our label and surprisingly so or maybe not surprisingly, the turmeric sells really well.

 

Vadim  27:30

And it's very reasonably priced and there's tons of options for people to buy turmeric, but from what I'm gathering, they've done a lot of research on this particular — is it a blend?

 

Justin  27:38

Well, yeah, it is a blend of turmeric and actually curcumin extracts. So turmeric is the most active compound in curcumin and it also has many wellness benefits, but we also have a good dosage of pepper added because you do need to take turmeric with pepper for your body to absorb it. So that all is in the one capsule that you take.

 

Vadim  28:00

Interesting. I eat it sometimes, turmeric. I put it in shakes, but I've never done a capsule of it. I think it's good for people who don't like the taste of it, because it's not particularly good. Or I find a lot of people just don't like it. I like it because I like Indian food and stuff. 

 

Justin  28:18

You know, actually, also, I noticed a difference in how I feel when I do my weekly preps and I grow a bunch of chicken breasts. I always put turmeric and pepper on it. I don't mind the flavor, but I also know how great it is for me. So maybe that's a booster. 

 

Vadim  28:33

I love making chicken with turmeric. I do. It's like the recipe on the turmeric jar.

 

Justin  28:37

Right, exactly.

 

Vadim  28:39

It's really good. You just dump a bunch of turmeric and bake it in the oven. 

 

Justin  28:44

Yep. 

 

Vadim  28:44

And I see here also you have a kratom soap even. So I didn't know kratom could be used topically.

Topical Kratom Soap

Justin  28:48

Yeah, it could be used topically. We do sell soap. We're actually going to be releasing a whole line of beauty products. This original product was just a start. We're going to be discontinuing that specific soap product, but we are going to be bringing a whole line of beauty products where kratom is involved. And a lot of people have been reporting, you know, really good results and that skin feels fresh. They seem to have, you know, less redness in the skin. So it's something that needs to be researched a bit more though, for sure. 

 

Vadim  29:18

And I wanted to ask you. There's another company out there called Kat’s Naturals.

 

Justin  29:23

CBD company, I believe. 

 

Vadim  29:25

No affiliation, though, right? 

 

Justin  29:27

No, no affiliation at all. Nope. 

Success Story using Kratom 

Vadim  29:25

Okay. And what was the reason you first started taking kratom? Was it a tennis injury?

 

Justin  29:34

Yeah. So I actually had an injury, an actually really painful tennis elbow. Tennis elbow. The reason why tennis elbow happens a lot of the time is you take the ball a bit too late and it pushes your shoulder back and there's just a lot of stress on your elbow, and, you know, that whole area hurts. And my buddy, my friend, my good friend Russell, he was taking something called Red Bali, and he's like, “Dude, you have to try this. You have to try this.” I kept postponing it and delaying it, and I tried it once and, you know, I felt good. And that's how I pretty much started taking kratom.

 

Vadim  30:06

You know, the funny thing about tennis elbow is you don't have to be a tennis player to get it, right? Oh, I think I have it. 

 

Justin  30:12

No.

 

Vadim  30:13

What is that? It's on the outside or inside?

 

Justin  30:15

Well, no, I believe it's the inflammation on the inside of your arm that causes that pain. But it's something that you can't really truly fix. You just have to make sure that, for example, in tennis, I would try to always make sure I take the ball a bit earlier. Because if I were taking a bit late, if I hit a forehand hit it a bit late, then it would exasperate that problem there in my elbow.

 

Kratom, The FDA & CBD Regulation

 

Vadim  30:36

So where do you see things going with kratom and CBD? Do you think the FDA will lay off those?

 

Justin  30:42

I don't think the FDA is going to lay off kratom for a very long time. But I also don't first see kratom becoming illegal. And there might be one or two states where we lose in. Right now, there is a battle in Virginia. A politician has proposed a bill to research kratom and possibly make it Schedule I. But I think at the end of the day that we're going to continue winning this war on kratom and make sure that it stays legal and possibly becomes legal in states where it's illegal like Wisconsin, Arkansas, Alabama. And as far as CBD goes, I think CBD is headed towards a completely regulated market. Actually, Europe produces really good CBD. And the reason for that is because the markets there have been regulated for a really long time. There’s really strict regulations in Europe. So I think the American market is also heading towards full regulation of CBD products. You know, right now, it's pretty much unregulated other than the cannabis space. Of course, that's heavily regulated now.

 

Vadim  31:36

Exactly. I think you're right about CBD, that the more regulation, the better. Because it'll remove bad actors from the space.

 

Justin  31:44

Yeah, to a certain degree. I think regulation in all industries is important. But I also think over regulation could also be a negative thing. So I think it's the balance between the two.

 

Vadim  31:54

If it becomes over regulated, then it becomes this kind of like all the only players are big pharma.

 

Justin  32:01

Exactly, exactly. 

 

Vadim  32:03

It kills small businesses that are trying to do something good. 

 

Justin  32:06

That's perfectly well said. Definitely. 

 

How Should People Start Testing CBD and Kratom Products?

 

Vadim  32:08

So what would you recommend to someone that's first time visiting your site? For a lot of the people listening to it'll be the first time they've heard of you, what would you recommend they start out with? Or where should they start?

 

Justin  32:16

Well, definitely the first thing I would buy is our full-spectrum oil. I think we sell the best tasting oil on the market. And you know, if kratom is something that interests you, I definitely would start with a good white like our White Elephant, a good green like Green Malay and a good red like Red Borneo. I think that would give you a really good idea how you get on with those strains. And then you can branch on to other blends and mixed strains. But those four products that I just mentioned, I think, is a perfect way to start. But the shilajit too, I mean, if you do a little bit of research on shilajit, and you know, you see the wellness benefits that it gives you and if you do need that extra little boost in the morning, I think that's also an absolutely great option. The product does work. Is it going to work for everybody? Of course not. But hundreds of thousands of people all share the same stories about shilajit. So it's definitely something to look into on katsbotanicals.com.

 

Vadim  33:07

It's really cool. I'm actually researching it and pulled out some articles while we were talking that I'm going to read later on. This fulvic acid, I've never even heard of that.

 

Justin  33:15

The funny thing is, so I work with some Instagram influencers, you know, they smoke cannabis and they're in the CBD world, they've tried all these products. And then a bunch of them are like, “Well, what shilajit? Can you send me some so I can influence for you?” And then they asked me, “If I could try it?” I say, “Sure. Go try it.” And they're just amazed, like, “Wow, I feel great. I mean, this is amazing.” They actually become customers, which is pretty cool. 

 

Vadim  33:38

I think it's very under known. I mean, not a lot of people know about it, right? 

 

Justin  33:42

I mean, it's becoming more popular. For example, if you go to Amazon, there's some really well done, looking beautiful products out there with shilajit but I think it could become bigger. I think we're also going to offer different types of shilajit. You know, there's white shilajit, there's powder, possibly shilajit capsules. There's definitely some potential there, though, because it works for sure. It  works for a lot of people, not all people.

 

Vadim  34:04

That's completely legal, right? There's no issues with it, right?

 

Justin  34:07

No. There's never going to be any type of issues with it in my opinion. It's always going to stay legal. I mean, unless something really, really wild happens. But I don't foresee that happening. 

 

Vadim  34:17

That's great. And it's used in a very small amount from what I'm seeing here. 

 

Justin  34:07

Yeah, like a pea size, almost like a grain of rice you should start with, when you roll it up in your fingers. Very small piece.

 

Vadim  34:27

Wow. I'm very excited to research that. That's something. I've known about it for a while but just never thought about looking into it.

 

Justin  34:35

Well, I mean, I can send you a jar after we're done with this podcast. I could send you a jar so you can try yourself and see what happens.

 

Vadim  34:41

Absolutely. We reviewed the CBD oil but we didn't try the shilajit. I would love to 

 

Justin  34:46

Great. 

 

Wrap-up and Contact Information

 

Vadim  34:47

All right. So are there certain states — for people that are listening — that you cannot ship to with the kratom or are you shipping everywhere?

 

Justin  34:54

Well, the kratom, there are some restricted states. No, we can't ship to Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Vermont, Rhode Island. There are some counties. You know, they're all listed on my website, but for the most part, we ship products anywhere where it's legal throughout the United States of America.

 

Vadim  35:12

Okay, okay. But people can get all that information from the website?

 

Justin  35:16

Yeah, yeah, definitely. We definitely always make sure that those legalities are listed on the website, so there's no confusion.

 

Vadim  35:22

And I also see there's a guidebook on your site. in case someone isn't entirely new, they can look into that as well?

 

Justin  35:29

Yeah, the Kratom Guidebook is filled with great information. We also have a guidebook on CBD, we call The CBD Bible. It’s filled with great information. It's all very well written and it's definitely good for beginners. It's good for anybody wanting to read about these great botanical products and become more knowledgeable and educated about them.

 

Vadim  35:46

Absolutely. Well, Justin, thank you so much for being here today. Are there any closing remarks or things that you want people to know before we end the show?

 

Justin  35:55

You know, I just want to say thank you for having me on this podcast. I think if you're out there, you're listening and you want to try products that are developed to be the best quality and quality only in mind, I think you should give us a try.

 

Vadim  36:08

And if people want to get in touch with you, what's the best way to do that? 

 

Justin  36:12

If you want to personally email me, you can always email me at justin@katsbotanicals.com. It’s KATS and then botanicals.com. So justin@katsbotanicals.com. 

 

Vadim  36:23

That's your last name, right, Kat?

 

Justin  36:25

No. My last name is Kats.

 

Vadim  36:26

Okay. Because a lot of people probably think it's Kat’s like KAT’S, but it's Justin Kats. 

 

Justin  36:32

Right. 

 

Vadim  36:34

Gotcha. Well, thank you again, Justin, for being on the show. I'm sure you'll get some emails from people. A lot of the listeners are entrepreneurs looking for new opportunities. So I hope you’ll get some business development emails as well.

 

Justin  36:45

That's great. Thank you so much.

 

Vadim  36:49

Hey, everyone. That concludes our show for today. I want to remind you one last time to please check out Kats Botanicals, our sponsor for this episode of the CBD School Podcast. That's katsbotanicals.com and use the coupon code SAVE15 for 15% off your entire order at Kats Botanicals. Again, that coupon code is SAVE15 and it gets you 15% off your entire order. Thanks for listening in today. And until next time, this is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com: Your school to learn all about cannabidiol.

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