- How did it all start, what made you decide to join the CBD community and launch your brand?
We started working out of a home kitchen in Portland, Oregon as a healthy medical marijuana edible for medical patients. We saw that medical marijuana patients – some of whom had severely compromised immune systems because of their illnesses – were putting cannabis medicine in their bodies with junk food, like gummies or brownies. And that just didn’t seem healthy, because all that sugar would just suppress their already-compromised immune systems even further. So we said, we can do better than that – let’s give medical marijuana patients a healthy alternative, so they can get great-tasting protein from organic nuts and seeds, AND get their medicine. And so that’s the basic idea behind VELOBAR: Great-tasting CBD nutrition.
- Were you already using CBD before launching your company?
Yes, I personally really enjoyed using CBD even before starting the company. After a long bike ride, I wanted CBD for my sore and tired muscles, AND protein because I was hungry. A CBD protein bar seemed like a perfect product, but there wasn’t one out there, because it was all junk food like gummies and candy and cookies. So I made my own CBD protein bar!
- What has CBD done to improve your health and day-to-day life and how do you personally incorporate CBD in your daily routine?
I personally enjoy CBD for yoga, meditation, and post-workout or post-cycling sports recovery. Especially after a workout — my muscles are sore, and I’m hungry. So I find that if I eat a VelobarCBD bar (especially in the evening after working out or going for a bike ride after work), it makes my muscles and joints feel better, and it fills me up as a meal replacement, so I don’t have to eat a big dinner. And, the CBD makes me sleep like a baby that night! It’s definitely helped me with my weight management – a few months ago, my doctor told me I had to lose 30 pounds. So in addition to reducing my starch and sugar intake and exercising more, I also started eating Velobars at night after my workouts instead of a big heavy dinner. I felt full from the healthy plant-based protein in the Velobars, and slept great from the CBD. I dropped 30 pounds in three months, and sticking to that same routine has helped me keep the weight off ever since.
- How does Velobar fight the stigma around cannabis?
We place a huge emphasis on consumer education. We do farmers markets, in-store demos at grocery stores, participate in CBD yoga and CBD massage events…just try to get out there in front of people as often as possible so we can inform them of all the positive health benefits these amazing all-natural botanicals have to offer. But we also make a point of telling people that, due to decades of cannabis prohibition, there’s still so much we DON’T know. The research on these amazing plants is just beginning. So it’s important to keep in mind that, in the absence of rigorous clinical studies, the evidence we have is primarily anecdotal. Also, we’ve noticed from our personal experience that the results – and also tolerance levels — seem to vary from person to person. So probably the biggest way we try to fight the stigma around cannabis is to just be upfront and honest with people. We’re not saying CBD is a panacea that’s going to cure everything. But many, many people say they’ve gotten some positive health benefits out of it, and there’s no psychoactive effect so you don’t have to worry about getting high. And that seems to help remove some of the stigma surrounding CBD for many people – especially folks who don’t like marijuana and don’t want to be high.
- What is your best advice for new CBD users?
With any edible – CBD or THC – the best advice is “start low and go slow.” Try just a few milligrams at a time, self-titrate, and see what the effects are for yourself. Also, it’s very important to note that tolerance is a huge factor. Everyone has their own unique endocannabinoid system, and tolerance – to both THC and CBD – seems to vary widely from person to person. For instance – ironically, even though I’m in the industry, I’m a total lightweight! 10-20mg of CBD is plenty for me. But I know people who regularly consume 50mg, 100mg, or even 400mg a day of CBD, and that’s what seems to work best for them. So my advice to new CBD users would be: start with a low dose, maybe 10mg, and see how it affects you. Work your way up or down from there, depending on how it makes you feel.
- Which are your views about the CBD market and the sport industry? Could CBD become the next superfood?
We place a huge emphasis on CBD as a sports recovery product. Again, that’s why we decided to do a healthy CBD protein bar – if you’re taking CBD for health reasons, why put it into your body with junk food?! That just doesn’t make any sense. We see many, many athletes using CBD as a sports recovery product, and we’re certain it’s going to become a huge trend. I mean, it’s obvious – after intense physical exertion, your muscles are sore and tired. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and it certainly seems to relieve muscle and joint soreness. So it’s the perfect post-workout recovery product. So yes, in that sense CBD could be considered a superfood…which is why we pair it with other plant-based superfoods in our Velobars! All of our main ingredients – dates, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, chia seeds – are considered “superfoods” because of their high protein content, high vitamin and mineral content, high fiber content, and high concentration of “healthy fats.” So that’s why we pair them with CBD – CBD superfood + plant-based superfoods = VELOBAR CBD!
- Why do you think CBD is here to stay?
Lots of reasons: 1) people are stressed out and they want to relax, and the calming effects of CBD seem to be a lot milder compared to many pharmaceuticals. 2) People are looking for natural plant-based remedies instead of expensive and powerful pharmaceuticals. 3) Many people seem to enjoy gaining the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. 4) Since CBD doesn’t get you high, there’s much less stigma surrounding it.
- What’s next for you and Velobar? Any new recipe coming up?
So glad you asked! We have a new flavor coming out later this year, and more new projects in the pipeline. Stay tuned!
- What is your biggest inspiration when creating new products?
Good taste and Health. The product has to taste great, and it has to be good for you. Actually, my biggest inspiration is probably my mom. She passed away several years ago, but her memory is still fresh in my mind. She was one of the pioneers of the organic farming and back to the land movement in the early 1970s, and she raised us to be extremely conscious of the foods we put into our bodies. Whenever I start thinking about a new recipe, I always ask myself, what would mom think of this? If it wouldn’t have her stamp of approval, I wouldn’t put it out there.
- What would be a message you would like to give to our readers?
The CBD movement is still just beginning. Decades of cannabis prohibition have prevented scientists from properly researching cannabinoids, but the times they are a’changin’ and we have now finally reached the point where we can start to learn more and more about these amazing plants. My message would be: now that CBD is finally legal, try it for yourself, and see what it can do for you. Everyone’s experience is likely to be different, but at least you can feel comfortable knowing that CBD comes from natural botanicals, and most authorities seem to agree that in low doses it seems to be completely safe. “Start low and go slow,” and see what it can do for you!