USDA Organic Is 'Hard Work'—Q&A with Christopher Visser of Cannabidiol Life
Free Book Preview Cannabis Capital
Within the competitive CBD space, consumer trust reigns supreme.
That’s why companies with a rare USDA organic certification tend to stand out. The certification is a recognizable signal of trust for the consumer that says, this is a clean product.
Founded in 2016, Cannabidiol Life is one of the few hemp companies on the marketplace to have this coveted USDA certification. Its founder and CEO Christopher Visser is here to impart hard-earned wisdom to other entrepreneurs on how the USDA organic certification came to be, how your business can get there, and his company’s charity program Hemp for Hope.
Tell me more about your company Cannabidiol Life, what sets it apart in a sea of CBD brands?
Christopher Visser: We truly put the customer first and provide the 360-degree experience, if you will. Before we launched our first CBD product, CBD gummies, at the end of 2017, we spent the first 9 months building a comprehensive education database when few websites of its kind existed.
Then we went out and locked in an exclusive partnership with our manufacturing facility and a U.S. Patented Extraction Technology. This enabled us to offer our customers a one-stop-shop to become educated on all things CBD and put the cherry on top by offering the highest quality CBD products on the market.
Now, we have over 150 pages of education material, USDA organic certified products, just about every type of cannabinoid product available, FDA registration, an in-house HPLC cannabis testing machine and all products are manufactured in a cGMP facility.
When I said 360-degree experience, I meant it. We check all the boxes and continue to innovate so that we can help as many people as possible experience the incredible benefits of the hemp plant.
I want to know about this 2018 Award that Cannabidiol Life won, tell our readers what that type of elevated acknowledgment does for the brand? Does it help with consumer trust?
The 2018 award was the “Best CBD Capsule” award for our full spectrum CBD gel capsules, awarded by the most prominent CBD expo at the time - CBD Expo. That award was won on my birthday and it was our first. Any award builds trust with consumers and further, gives a brand motivation and momentum to continue creating high-quality products to best serve their consumer base.
In what other ways does Cannabidiol Life build consumer trust?
In addition to Patented Extraction Technology, a full hemp education database, in-house testing, and USDA certified organic products, we wanted a way to give back to those in need. So our non-profit, Hemp For Hope Foundation, was born.
The basic idea of Hemp For Hope is to provide low-to-middle income individuals, with proven medical diagnoses, free CBD capsules to help manage their condition. This, to us, is everything. Truly putting others before ourselves and changing lives each and every day.
Tell me a bit about your patented CBD extraction method, what is it, what makes it unique?
Absolutely! So we call it hemp cradling in organic ethyl alcohol (ethanol). This is a much slower extraction process in comparison to extractions like SuperCritical CO2, but is undoubtedly the best and purest way to enjoy the full benefits of cannabidiol and the hemp plant in general. This process is “Next Level” and as the industry grows, we are starting to see the best companies in the world turning to this method.
This extraction process brings the hemp flower and the organic (hemp-based) ethyl alcohol (ethanol) to a very low boil. During this low heat boil, the hemp flower is cradled back and forth in the kindest way possible, almost like cradling a baby to sleep. It gently produces a vapor that we are able to capture and push through a drip system to preserve as many beneficial molecules as possible.
The system used for extraction is called “CCR” technology. With this technology, we are able to create extract liquor and turn the remaining hemp into pulp. The pulp is then used to create ethanol for further processing. A true hemp product unlike anything else in the industry. In addition to the “CCR” technology, we only extract our CBD oil from hemp flower and not from seeds, stems, or stalks, which results in a better cannabinoid profile and a smoother, better-tasting oil.
Does this method make a difference in the CBD’s efficacy?
I want to know what are “the 3 p's”? Explain that ideology to our readers, how does it work?
The 3 Ps are our foundation, it stands for People, Planet, Profit. People – Take care of people first… always. Planet – Take care of our planet. Hemp is a renewable, natural resource that can help preserve our planet for future generations if we utilize it as soon as possible and use it to its fullest potential. Only after these two have been addressed, can we as a company, truly Profit.
As much as I would love to think that I was credit for this incredible outlook, it was impressed upon me by a man named Jeff Cole. I was 26-27 at the time and I was just entering the cannabis space.
How did you get certified as USDA Organic? What was that process like?
Hard work. Certifiers are responsible for making sure that USDA organic products meet all organic standards. There are five basic steps to organic certification:
The farm or business adopts organic practices, selects a USDA-accredited certifying agent, and submits an application and fees to the certifying agent.
The certifying agent reviews the application to verify that practices comply with USDA organic regulations.
An inspector conducts an on-site inspection of the applicant’s operation.
The certifying agent reviews the application and the inspector’s report to determine if the applicant complies with the USDA organic regulations.
The certifying agent issues an organic certificate.
To maintain organic certification, your certified organic farm or business will go through an annual review and inspection process.
Why does an organic USDA certification matter?
Quality, quality, and more quality.
Certified Organic vesus Certified USDA Organic; the latter is the prestigious honor that we worked so hard to achieve. You see, having a certified organic seal on your products label simply means, we couldn’t have done it without the partnerships we’ve built along the way.
Above all, having organic certified products is proof that we truly care about our customers and we take every possible step to create the absolute best products on the market. You asked about consumer trust previously, this is the definition of building trust, in my opinion.
Many studies show that the quality of organically produced food is higher than that of conventionally produced food. Organic foods have a lower risk of food contamination with pesticides and concentrations of nitrates. In conventional and non-organic food, pesticide residues remain in the food even after it's washed. Since we source organic ingredients from the hemp plant itself, we can assure our customers that they were top of mind from when the seed all the way to the shelf.
Cannabidiol Life offers one of the strongest CBD oil on the market at 6,000 milligrams. Tell me why do you believe there is a need for CBD patients and consumers to have the option of this high-milligram concentration?
We get this question a lot; which is totally okay because it gives me, and all of us at Cannabidiol Life, the opportunity to share more about our very unique methodology. To answer this question effectively, it is necessary to share more about our Full Spectrum CBD Oil collection as a whole.
We have different bottle sizes for each of our CBD oils, allowing us to serve both first time CBD buyers as well as repeat customers, much better. Our line offers complete CBD potency symmetry across all of our tincture bottles—from 10 Servings of 25mg CBD all the way up to 240 Servings of 25mg CBD. Now, instead of wondering which potency to choose and causing more confusion, the only thing consumers have to decide is the number of servings they wish to purchase.
The 4oz (120mL) bottle may be a bit intimidating, however, it was created to provide a high potency serving coupled with the highest total CBD content per bottle. Priced at only $300, it is an unbeatable value for the quantity and quality of true Full Spectrum CBD oil that anyone could purchase.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs within the cannabis or hemp space that may want to follow in your footsteps, forge it on their own?
I actually believe and live a lifestyle that is the complete opposite. You can’t do it on your own. The world is a hard-core place to live even if you have a solid support system.
I come from pretty humble beginnings, so to understand that the world doesn’t care about us, the sooner we can adapt and build together. We’re all relevant and our struggles should be shared. I’d tell them if they are serious about it, give me a call.
In your opinion: Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years?
Tough one, I can barely see where the cannabis industry is going to be next year. I know where I want us to be, both as an industry and community—fully legalize it.
The legislation and challenges that seem to change almost daily for this industry border on the verge of absurdity. At this point, medical marijuana research is how old? We have scientific studies, research reports, and medical marijuana doctors but it’s still illegal to possess or use?
I am not going to repeat the same old mantras of comparing it to cigarettes and alcohol, I get that some people just won’t change their minds on marijuana’s intoxicating and psychoactive effects. I would appeal more to the rational argument of what the costs versus benefits of the whole enterprise are.
Legalizing marijuana with regulations would cut down on crime and trivial incarcerations, open research, provide help for those that suffer from medical conditions that regulated marijuana has shown to help. If taxed, help cut National Debt increasing funding for State and Federal programs. It would create new jobs and boost underappreciated skilled industries like farming. It is no secret that farmers face income loss year to year. Hemp farming alone has helped boost revenue, imagine if cannabis could be grown?