We are thrilled to speak with you today about your company and its remarkable success. Let’s start with an introduction so our readers can get to know you better. Can you tell us a bit about you and your company?
My name is Don Ballous and I founded CBD Essence in 2015. I spent 30 years of my life fighting with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and PTSD), which included aggression, absent-mindedness, difficulty focusing, anger, anxiety, and even depression. CBD oil, which I personally name my “healthy calling,” finally led me to get rid of the symptoms and start living the full life I dreamed about EVERY SINGLE DAY.
But what I discovered during my journey and research is that it takes more than just hemp to call the product “natural” and be able to affect your body in a positive way.
What experiences, of elements of your backstory, helped to motivate or inspire you in your endeavor to start your business?
I feel quite well-suited to be formulating CBD Essence products. My career path has included manufacturing in clean room environments, to Military Spec and attestation, to supply-chain for compliance. After a lifelong study of health food, I recognized that I could make a whole line of nutriments from CBD extracted from Hemp. I could have easily been employed to setup or run a CBD production factory, but instead I spearheaded the whole thing which has become CBD Essence.
The difference with our company is I created a health-food-store quality cbd oil product that is second to none in efficacy. It is especially formulated for best absorption which is why our Excellent 5 Star reviews on TrustPilot.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product. What did that look like?
The idea occurred to me when I witnessed many people who were moving to legal marijuana states to help their children obtain natural medicine, when CBD could have been the solution in their home states. In the early stages, vape was the first product I attempted to make, however it was the last I approved.
The tincture formula became the original flagship product, and was a 99% hemp product which could easily be used for children. The original process of designing the first bottle was not glamorous, and included the most revisions you have ever seen trying to get it just right. The use of adobe acrobat to design and process the first label was attempted but failed to render the jpeg properly so a screenshot was taken to mock up the label for the bottle.
What makes your brand or product unique in this emerging industry of CBD?
At CBD Essence, we focus on producing high-quality, pure, and 100% natural CBD oil made daily in small batches to maintain the highest quality and consistency. As CBD continues to be recognized for its many therapeutic qualities and medical implications, CBD Essence provides customers with the finest CBD oils on the market while keeping the utmost transparency in our processing.
Unlike companies on the market that play mostly intermediary roles, CBD Essence includes a full production cycle of CBD oil. This means that we research, produce, third-party lab-test and sell products. Therefore, by choosing CBD Essence, you can be sure that you get what you paid for and that the high-quality criteria we claim are definitely met.
Have you ever felt like you had to come up against any stigma around CBD? If so, how were you able to address that?
From the very beginning, I tried to recruit family and friends to help me launch this concept to help people, but many refused believing I was just exploiting a drug loophole. I knew there were other variations of the cannabis plant that did not possess psychoactive traits of Marijuana. I quickly formed the opinion that hemp included 75% of what medical marijuana was.
In terms of the market for your product, what would you say is your target demographic?
People with treatable diagnosis, health and fitness lovers.
What do you do to attract and retain customers?
We include a satisfaction guarantee for all our products.
Have there been any helpful resources, tools, or platforms that you’ve relied on to get your business off the ground and keep it running smoothly?
We used many state of the art platforms and tools to create the website you see today. To name a few: Magenta, WordPress, Metrilo, Woocommerce, mailchimp, an “Affiliate” program, Shipstation, Stamps.com, Quickbooks, etc…
What has the general reception of your product been, in terms of the feedback you receive most frequently from consumers?
As a follow up to that last question, can you tell us about some of your best-selling products and the benefits they provide?
Hemp taffy is our best product. Here are five reasons why hemp taffy is better for your health than gummy products.
⦁ Gummy products are chewed and swallowed very quickly and, as a result, your absorption rate drops to very low doses, which reduces effectiveness. Hemp taffy takes time to chew resulting in better absorption and effectiveness.
⦁ Gummy products contain animal-sourced gelatin and artificial colors and flavors, which do not make it a health food or for sick people.
⦁ Gummy products usually only have one CBD isolate in them and, as a result, you do not get the benefits of a full-spectrum extract product.
⦁ Gummy products have their surface coated with CBD oil making them sticky and often still bitter, whereas hemp taffy is infused with the extract during the production process making a better end product for users.
⦁ No gummy product can ever be all-natural. But hemp taffy is an all-natural health food product, made from all-natural ingredients and flavors.
Are your products third party lab tested by batch? If so, are you willing to attach and share your lab results?
A new “COA” is obtained for each product based on the Lot of raw material used. Many are posted on the website and are updated periodically, but we will be happy to share any lab results requested.
We all know that the political environment and legal regulation on hemp is ever-evolving and often somewhat ambiguous. How do you navigate those regulations and how do they impact your business?
The point is there are no regulations relating to hemp. Until just recently the Farm Bill concurred that the sale of products from hemp have been legal. We’ve maintained a very high standard from the beginning, because we have strong manufacturing expertise. We did not need the FDA, or anyone else, to tell us how to be honest labeling the products we made.
In terms of advice, what would you say to someone who was wanting to break into the burgeoning CBD industry?
Either learn how to make the products yourself or find a manufacturer like us with stellar third party verified reviews.
What do you think is the key to staying relevant and becoming successful in one of the most competitive industries?
By independently implementing quality and production standards even without federal oversight.
The key is implementing extensive customer engagement campaigns so that we can keep customer longevity for a higher lifetime value. To maintain our success, we will learn to scale up the manufacturing of our products which are produced in small batches and have high-quality such as an artisan product.
What do you foresee in the future for the landscape of CBD-related products and services?
That they become the same as any health food product or produce we buy today.
So, what are some of the exciting next steps for your company? What does the future look like for your business?
We are prepared to launch many new products in the coming months and years that will be equally well-received on the review boards.