Sam is the creator and owner of Natural Joy CBD oil. He's an environmentalist who advocates protecting the environment using the best possible practices to make his product. Above all, he's on a mission to help heal pets and people through organic natural remedies and build a sustainable brand as its core focus, including what your package arrives in.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sam. He had many incredible holistic wellness insights along with a very interesting story about an insect flour food startup that you will NOT want to miss!
What Made You Start a Sustainable CBD Brand?
I love holistic health wellness. I'm the type of weirdo who will sleep through a night with a headache because he wants to avoid Advil and then try massaging his temples, drinking chamomile tea.
So, our dog started limping. He's a corgi and I was looking into holistic ways to help his limp.
There are different medications you can give him and he was taking them. I started doing research to see what else there was to help. During my research, I landed on CBD oil and we started administering him CBD oil. As a result, his limp was reduced in seven days.
He felt more energized. He's almost eight years old. Then my parents' dog had a seizure. He's a mini black schnauzer. They gave him a prescription drug from the vet. Now I'm not saying to not take those because if I were my parents, I would have probably administered them as well because seeing our mini black schnauzer who has cataracts, having a seizure is one of the most frightening, terrifying sights.
The Seed Had Been Planted
But it planted the seed of I wonder if we can also supplement with something more plant-based and natural. During my research, I learned that CBD can help with seizures. These were two main reasons why CBD came into my life, about nine months ago. That's when this journey began.
I'm so grateful to have found a holistic remedy. There is some really good research. But there needs to be much more and a bigger push to advocate this new plant medicine. Also, there's a lot of stigma behind it. Do I get high from it? But, there's an importance to differentiate CBD versus THC. Natural Joy focuses on CBD, which is the plant compound that doesn't get you high. It should be seen as just another vitamin or supplement that you would add to your regimen.
Why Did You Create a Brand With Sustainable Practices?
I wanted to focus on something that was clean, that was simple. That's why our first product line has no flavor.
There are only two ingredients. There's the carrier oil, which is hemp seed oil, and then the hemp extract or the CBD oil.
So just keeping it very simple, knowing where the farms are based, and getting it tested. I really just wanted to create something clean and natural to benefit the body.
This was important to me because there's a lot of other brands out there that we're seeing that are adding fillers and making it really unnecessary. They are moving away from the whole point of the oil, which is to heal the body with simple, natural ingredients.
How Is Your CBD Oil Made? Do Sustainable Practices Set You Apart From Other Brands?
I did really rigorous, about three to four months, of product testing.
I wanted to make sure it was organic.
It is important to my sustainable brand to make sure the carrier oil was all organic which is the hemp seed oil.
However, the hemp extract is just getting out in terms of USDA certification. What this means is hemp growing, or CBD, in an industrial setting hasn't been approved by the government. So to get a USDA certification is newer. There are only a couple of farms that now have this approval from the government. The government and the FDA have considered it a gray area. Is it legal? Is it not? The federal government passed a law in 2018 called the U.S. Farm Bill. It states that CBD is legal in all 50 States if it has less than 0.3% THC.
So, the federal government has approved CBD with that law in 2018 but the FDA hasn't done enough research or approved of it for them to accredit it which is why it's a gray area.
The most important thing to know is that CBD with less than 0.3% THC is legal.
The Extensive Process to Create a Sustainable Brand
I get lab tests ran and I do my own as well. We look for heavy metals, toxins, and what's in the CBD oil. You can get a full profile when you run tests.
Another sustainable practice my brand uses is it is not tested on animals.
So, there was a lot of emailing back and forth with a lot of different suppliers that met all of these different needs. On my website, we have a list of eight different attributes that they needed to meet and be U.S. certified. I met about 15-20 different manufacturing companies and farms until I found the best one for the product. There were high standards and meeting all those standards took a while.
This is my second physical product business and it takes time. You want to make sure the product is giving value to the customers and it's what you say it is.
Of course, I'm still like refining it and constantly open to working with new farmers. We want to continue communication to make sure it has the best quality ingredients. Refining a product and that positive communication is a good mindset for me to have going into this business so that I continue serving my customers in the best way possible.
What Benefits Are Customers Noticing?
The biggest thing is anxiety.
A lot of dogs have separation anxiety. One of our customers has a five-year-old Saint Bernard mix and a four-year-old Rottweiler mix. They were both high need rescues. They had separation anxiety and arthritis. This customer said their dogs have never been calmer after taking Natural Joy. They're not struggling to get up and down from the dog beds and they're even taking a walk or playing outside. So, their body is feeling more sprightly almost like their younger selves, and they're generally happier healthier dogs. They've only had CBD oil for about a week.
I recommend a 30-day cycle to really see the lasting effects. It won't happen overnight, just like any holistic wellness practice.
A lot of bigger dogs start having joint pain and arthritis as they get older. So, this really speaks to those customers as well.
This is how it helps people as well. Within 30 to 40 minutes, once your body has processed it, you feel calmer.
Do You Think CBD Oil Can Create a More Positive Mindset?
Generally speaking, yes.
The discussion would be each of our bodies are different. Some people and pets may get amazing results with CBD. People who take it might get amazing sleep, feel calmer, less stressed, maybe their seizures are stopping, but for some people, that's not the case.
But it might not do the same for everyone. Each of our bodies is different. With any holistic medicine or supplement, we add, you want to test it out, see how it works with your individual body. Do I need 10 milligrams before I go to sleep or do I need a hundred milligrams?
And that goes for a lot of different supplements. How much vitamin D-3 do I need? Do I need a hundred IU's or do I need a thousand?
So just really knowing our body and testing out in low doses and then increasing for any supplement is really important.
But as a whole, I think they can really help with a positive mindset because it calms your body and your body feels more itself, more functioning and flowing. As a result, you can do more and feel more yourself.
What Do You Do To Keep Your Mind Focused On Positivity?
One of the most powerful things is a gratitude list. When you do this, you train your mind to find things that you're grateful for. There's always something, 100% of the time.
Even in my darkest moments, I've been able to find something. For example, I can breathe, I slept at night, I was able to eat. There's always something to be grateful for and that trains our mind to have a positive mindset.
Now the other thing I would add is you can't just do that once. Kind of just like with any holistic practice, these things take consistency. You have to find what works for you. If creating a list of 10 things you're grateful for every day in the evening is too much, don't do that. It won't work. Maybe you do one thing in the morning and you're done. Doing that is much more effective for a positive mindset than not at all.
There is a science behind this. When you're writing gratitudes consistently, you actually train and strengthen your neuroplasticity and this creates new neuropathways. When we create these new pathways we train our brain to seek positivity versus seeking negativity.
A Unique Sustainable Brand Idea: The Insect Flour Food Startup
I love things off the beaten path.
Three or four years ago, I stumbled on this idea. It's strange how I stumbled upon it, but I learned somehow through a documentary. I watch a lot of random documentaries but this one was about insects, as an animal protein source, is the most sustainable. Why? They consume the least amount of water and they eat the least amount of food to convert into human consumable meat.
Reasons why they are the most sustainable:
A cow requires about 10 kilograms of feed. Let's translate that to 1 kilogram of beef for humans. That takes a lot of feed. A lot of feed requires a lot of water. A lot of lands is used to grow the hay to feed the cow.
A chicken requires about 5 kilograms of feed to convert into 1 kilogram for humans to eat. Again, this requires a lot of feed, water, and land resources.
An insect is the most effective. Why? They don't create methane gas. They don't require a lot of resources. They're sustainable to the planet earth. And... they were helping with climate change because they don't produce as much.
Creating Another Sustainable Brand
Now can I create a product? Because I love sustainability, I want to reduce climate change.
So, I went down this huge rabbit hole for about a year and a half. I developed an insect pasta and an insect fruit leather strip. I got different insect powders. They dry the insect, primarily crickets, into a powder. It's like almond flour. Then, I used that to develop a pasta because I thought people love eating pasta, it's an easy thing. Then, I thought about doing fruit leather because I can mask the flavor, which wasn't that strong anyway, with like a stronger strawberry or a pineapple flavor.
Anyway, I did that for a year, developed it. I never ended up launching a brand. I talked to a professor at U Penn about the psychology of food, to try to change people's mindsets. But, people don't look at insects and want to eat them.
So, yes, it is the most sustainable protein source when you compare it to animals but changing people's mindsets about it would've been a huge task.
The good news is, we still have plants that are highly sustainable.
If you are looking for one to try, check out the Exo company. Tim Ferris invested in this company. They make protein bars out of cricket flour.
If You Were Only Allowed to Add One More Positive Habit to Your Daily Life, What Would It Be?
I was thinking about this recently and it would be to wake up earlier.
I would probably do it like 6:00 AM. My routine would start with my exercise. Then, I'd feed the dog, shower, my morning tea or smoothie. I'd be ready to work on my brand by 8 AM.
I think as I get older I'll start doing that.
Where Can People Find You and How Can You Help Them?
I run a sustainable brand called Natural Joy and we help people eliminate pain and feel calmer.
Our solution is all-natural, primarily organic CBD products.
They can learn all about it on our website. One of my favorite pages on our website is What is CBD?
After they read this page, customers feel more comfortable about what CBD is, the benefits, and the laws behind it. It links to some really good articles and research studies so they can read up a little bit more.
There's also a really great FAQ page, customers can look at, too.
We post a lot of educational pieces, testimonials from customers, and organic solutions for their pets or themselves. If you or your pet(s) are experience anxiety, troubles sleeping, or pain, we recommend them checking out our Natural Joy CBD oil.
I hope you enjoy reading about Sam as much I enjoyed talking to him!
Your Certified Brain Health Coach,
Owner of SustainaBRAIN