CHATS / Demystifying Cannabinoids for Healing

March 2, 2024

We recently sat down with Chris Diaz, the CEO and Co-Founder of Kalyan Botanicals, an innovative wellness brand that specializes in hemp and CBD products. Here’s what he shared with us on how their hemp and CBD products offer solutions to the need for natural alternatives in modern wellness.

Tell us a bit about your background.

I got started with hemp back in 2018 when the Farm Bill was just being passed. I grew hemp at my family equestrian farm for a couple of years to understand the plant and its components. We’ve created an innovative product line with a variety of wellness products based on our extensive experience with hemp and Cannabinoids.

What is your philosophy on modern wellness?

People are looking for effective, natural alternatives to Big Pharma solutions. They don’t want synthetics or the side effects of Big Pharma pills. For thousands of years, people have turned to the healing power of plants and botanicals. Unfortunately, this knowledge has been forgotten with the advent of modern drug stores and pills. Plants offer an excellent alternative and we make wellness products that are easy for people to understand and incorporate into their wellness routines.

What is the spectrum? 

In the context of hemp/CBD, the “Spectrum” refers to the chemical compounds found in the hemp plant.  These compounds include Cannabinoids, Terpenes and Flavonoids and are most abundantly found in the oil that forms on cannabis/hemp flowers.

What are cannabinoids, and how do THC and CBD differ? Difference between Hemp vs. Marijuana? And terpenes? 

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds in hemp flower oil that are the most prized for their various health benefits. CBD is non-psychoactive while THC is psychoactive. Both have medicinal value and can be mixed and blended to meet specific health and wellness objectives. Aside from CBD and THC, there are over 100 known other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, CBN, etc. These are less understood but are actively being studied now that hemp and cannabis are much more available for research. Terpenes are another fascinating part of the cannabis/hemp spectrum. Think of Cannabinoids as being the engine of a car and think of terpenes as being the steering wheel. Terpenes have a big impact on how the cannabinoids will make you feel. Some are uplifting, some are calming and others can help with mental clarity and focus. Terpenes can be blended with cannabinoids in specific ways to create very targeted effects in CBD wellness tools.

Founder of Kalyan Botanicals, Chris Diaz, pictured with a marijuana plant.

What is CBD good for?

There are many benefits that people have found with CBD. The most well researched are for relief of pain and inflammation, sleep, appetite, reducing stress/anxiety and enhancing immune response.

How do people select good CBD products from bad ones?

Unfortunately, there is a wide range of quality of CBD products available on the market. Good products will clearly indicate the amount of cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, etc.) that they contain. They will also typically have independent 3rd party testing results available for consumers to be able to verify potency as well as quality of hemp extracts. It’s important to select CBD products that are free from contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. This is particularly important with hemp because it is known to absorb any contaminants in the soil where it is grown. It acts like a sponge of sorts and will pull whatever is in the soil. Hemp grown organically without pesticides is best. Another important aspect of CBD products is the number of milligrams they contain. Milligrams matter and typically more is better. One of the common problems with poor-quality CBD products is that they contain very low milligram counts of CBD to make them less expensive. If they are underpowered and don’t get the job done, then they are a waste of money and instead, people should look for products that contain sufficient CBD for their needs. There is no magic number of milligrams that works for everyone. Unfortunately, this just takes some individual experimentation to find the dose that works for you.

For those of us living in states where cannabis is legal recreationally, what are some rules of thumb to follow? How do you begin to evaluate quality? 

There is a difference between “Marijuana” and “Hemp”.  The 2018 Farm Bill defined any Cannabis Sativa plant containing <.3 % THC as hemp and anything with higher THC content is regarded as Marijuana.  Hemp is treated as an agricultural crop and is federally legal and is available in retail stores that do not have special permitting for Marijuana. The terms “Recreational” or “Medicinal” refer to Marijuana not to hemp. These typically contain high THC content but definitely greater than .3% THC. The legality of these marijuana products varies by state.

Where do you source your ingredients + craft your formulas and why do you find this important? 

We are headquartered in Colorado and feel that Colorado offers exceptional quality hemp. This is partly because Colorado was one of the first states to actively embrace hemp as an agricultural crop and make products legal for sale to consumers. Today, many other states have similarly embraced hemp as an agricultural crop and are also seeing very high-quality hemp grown in these areas. The key is to look at 3rd party lab tests known as Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to determine the content and quality of any hemp extract. Aside from hemp, we incorporate a wide variety of botanicals from all around the globe.  We meticulously select suppliers that use sustainable and ethical farming practices and avoid pesticides. We typically look for organic ingredients.

How do you see your products being combined with different regimens/lifestyles? Workout recovery?

One of the most remarkable aspects of our products is how versatile they are. People use them for a very wide range of benefits such as relief for arthritis, neuropathy and any kind of muscle and joint pain and inflammation. This makes them a powerful tool for alleviating common problems that people encounter in their daily lives. These problems can keep people from achieving their wellness goals. If you are in pain, it is not likely that you will stick to workout routines. Similarly, problems with sleep, stress/anxiety and immune support can derail your fitness goals. If these problems are proactively managed and effectively addressed, then people are much more likely to stay on track with wellness goals. Aside from helping reduce pain and inflammation, we formulate our topicals to be beneficial for the skin. We use highly prized ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, olive-derived squalane, resveratrol and green tea extract to name a few. These ingredients have an immediate impact on your skin and can make it look and perform its best.

What are the unique benefits of CBD and why would you recommend it over other wellness products?

CBD is different from typical pain relief pills. CBD works with your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system of receptors manages a wide range of processes in the human body such as: Pain/Inflammation response, sleep, appetite, mood and many others. When you provide your body with CBD, you are effectively fueling your ECS. The ECS then helps your body to heal itself whereas typical Big Pharma pills go after treating specific symptoms.

What makes CBD unique in its ability to treat pain?

As stated in the previous question, the ECS is the key. Supply your body with high-quality CBD and it will perform better with less inflammation. Less inflammation means less pain and other problems caused by inflammation.

Can you tell us more about your Chocolates, tinctures, teas, hemp etc. that are created for culinary use?

One of the most interesting aspects of CBD is that it is food. This makes it fundamentally different than drugstore pills. As such, it can be consumed in teas, chocolates, gummies and tinctures. The sky is the limit on the ways that CBD can be incorporated into cooking and cuisine. This makes it an exciting and very healthy ingredient that can be added to just about any dish. One of our favorite, simple dishes is to use our chocolate squares to make s’mores. This makes a delicious dessert with a relaxing effect to help people unwind. Additionally, our teas can be used as seasonings or in dry rubs applied to any food. Our tinctures can be added to salad dressings, sauces and as finishing oils. They can also be added to drinks such as smoothies or cocktails. 

Use the code LIV20 to shop their products online.