#106 – Jeff Casper from Manitoba Harvest on Building a Wide Range of Hemp Products

August 25, 2019

August 22, 2019 • 44:00 minutes

#106 – Jeff Casper from Manitoba Havest on Building a Wide Range of Hemp Products

Summary Keywords

cbd, people, hemp, hearts, product, hemp seed oil, manitoba, minnesota, manitoba harvest, broad spectrum, harvest, mct, thc, tinctures, fda, extract, business, put, state, flavor, varietals 


Vadim Fedorovsky, Host, CBD School Podcast
Jeff Casper, Senior Product Manager, Manitoba Harvest

Podcast Transcript


Jeff  00:01

You know, as soon as you start talking about your product in a certain way, the FDA says that, you know, that you’re making drug claims. And in order to make a drug claim, you have to have the research and also have followed the process to get it registered as a drug.


Vadim  00:22

All right. And we are back in class. This is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com: Your school to learn all about cannabidiol. Hey, everyone, it’s Vadim, the CBD professor here and I really hope you enjoy this episode of the CBD School Podcast with Jeff of Manitoba Harvest. Once you’re done listening to the episode, I encourage you to visit shop.manitobaharvest.com. And Manitoba is spelled MANITOBA. Visit shop.manitobaharvest.com for a really sweet discount that’s just for listeners of the CBD School Podcast. Use the code CBDSCHOOL to get 50% off. That’s right. 50% off your order of up to $200 at shop.manitobaharvest.com. And again, that coupon is CBDSCHOOL and that gets you 50% off your order of up to $200. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. 


On today’s episode of the podcast, I am delighted to be joined by Jeff who is one of the lead product developers at a brand that you have probably picked up at the grocery store, walked by many times their fine hemp products, Manitoba Harvest. So welcome to the show, Jeff.


Jeff  01:56

Thank you. Thank you. It’s great to be on.


Vadim  01:58

So Jeff, you are calling in from where today?


Jeff  02:02

I am calling in from a beautiful and sunny day in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And I’m calling from the US headquarters for Manitoba Harvest, which is right downtown Minneapolis.


Vadim  02:14

That’s beautiful. So it’s not too cold there. It’s probably — the summers are hot, right?


Jeff  02:20

Now, well, summers can get hot, but we’re actually having a nice, you know, beautiful temperature, low humidity week here at the end of July, which is very welcome. I’ve been joking with my wife that we’ve got California weather this week.


Vadim  02:34

Yeah, I’m in Europe, and it’s the same thing. It’s really cool and feels like springtime or fall instead of, you know, summer. So yeah, I’m enjoying it. 


Jeff  02:46

Good, good. 


Vadim  02:46

So you said it’s the American headquarters. It’s a Canadian company, correct, originally?


Jeff  02:52

It is. Yes, yes. So Manitoba Harvest started in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. So it’s so just north of Minnesota, the state of Minneapolis is in. And so we’re neighbors anyway. So you can say that it’s a natural place to put the American headquarters.


Vadim  03:09

A lot of people don’t know that CBD was discovered in Minnesota, from a Minnesota hemp plant. Last time I read, one of the first studies that isolated cannabinoids was from Minnesota, I think, from wild hemp. I got to dig up that study. But have you heard that before?


Jeff  03:26

Yeah. I’ve heard somebody say that before. I don’t know where that came from. But I’d be definitely interested in learning more about the Minnesota connection there. You know, Minnesota has been very progressive state within the US. And so there we do have people at the University of Minnesota who do study hemp and cannabis. So there is a connection, you know, from an academic standpoint, as well as historically, you know, also just a producer of hemp rope in the past. So we do have a history with it as an agricultural product. But you know, that, of course, fell away after World War II. 


Vadim  04:01

Exactly. And now it’s coming back.


Jeff  04:03

It is, yes. It’s coming back strong. In fact, there are state organizations and, you know, groups that are forming, you know, to help support one another as they try to bring hemp back into the mainstream.


Vadim  04:13

I know Minnesota has had a slow road. My family lives in Pennsylvania, where we’re going some hemp. And it’s been a good time for — I mean, they’re pretty open with letting us experiment and have a lot of land to grow. So how is Minnesota situation right now with the hemp farmers?


Jeff  04:31

You know, you still have to register to grow it, but it’s very much, you know, open/ You can grow it. Of course, you do have to meet the 0.3% or less THC standard as you would anywhere. In fact, there was one example that I read through Minnesota Public Radio recently that there was somebody who was growing some that was a bit over that threshold and that their crop was confiscated. So, you know, there are regulatory agencies still keeping track of what they’re growing and also they are testing. So that’s just, you know, a call out watch out for people who are getting into the business to make sure that they understand the varieties that they’re growing as well as that they are testing their crop as they’re growing it.


The Hemp Supply Chain


Vadim  05:14

It’s interesting to hear about people that where it’s confiscated. I have heard a lot of that. But obviously, it’s possible and something everyone needs to be aware of. Is Manitoba using any hemp from Minnesota or do you use exclusive Canadian hemp? How is your agricultural situation?


Jeff  05:33

Yeah. So we, you know, traditionally have grown up and, you know, throughout Canada, actually, we work in partner with farmers. We do have an agronomist on staff that actually goes out and helps guide farmers with the growing of the material that we source. And, you know, it’s interesting because we specify a certain variety, which is finola, which is a Scandinavian variety and part of that —


Vadim  06:00

Yeah, I know that one. 


Jeff  06:02

So yeah, it’s got a short stature. The stalks aren’t quite as difficult for harvest, you know, and some of those stalks can be really thick and really strong. I mean, there’s a lot of tensile strength obviously in hemp fiber, and you can really burn up a combine, you know, harvesting some types of varieties if you have some really strong stalks. And so the finola harvest well and gives a good quality seed. So that’s something that — it’s a variety that we’ve focused on. And you know, as far as moving out of Canada, I mean, we’ve traditionally sourced from several provinces, you know, Saskatoon, Manitoba, Ontario and a couple other provinces. And, you know, we’ve started to look at, you know, with the changing of the laws in the US at sourcing from Minnesota as well. So, you know, as things are changing, you know, obviously, that will impact the market, and you know, where the seed can come from.


Vadim  06:55

Yes, yes, exactly. And I think things are just changing quickly and also federally, and it’s just a matter of time before it becomes even more widespread. Are you using separate harvests for the CBD? I imagine that’s a different thing than all the other hemp products that you make.


Jeff  07:14

Right, right. Yeah. Absolutely. So what we have decided to do is for the US market, we are using US sourced biomass, you know, so we’re actually using US grown material to go into our CBD products. Just because, you know, the legal issues of crossing the border with the CBD are very complex. And you know, they’re evolving. So we’re basically sourcing within the political geographies that we’re selling it. So we’ve got a whole supply chain in place here in the US to sell our product in the US. 


Vadim  07:48

Yeah, that’s great. I think the US is just dominating and being a real good leader right now in full-spectrum hemp products for CBD and I love seeing the revival that’s going on. You know, I first read about Manitoba Harvest quite a long time ago in a book by Doug Fine. Do you know the book I’m talking about? What’s it called? Do you remember? It’s like a long title.


Jeff  08:11

Doug Fine, yeah. I don’t recall the title off the top of my head.


Vadim  08:15

Okay. I can look it up now. Hemp Bound. 


Jeff  08:17

Hemp Bound. Okay.


Vadim  08:18

It wasn’t long. Okay. He talks all about Manitoba Harvest and the story behind it and how the origins and everything. So for people listening in that haven’t seen it, but you’ve probably passed by the Manitoba Harvest products a million times in grocery stores, like hemp seed oil and granola and all kinds of protein powder. But the CBD is your newest product line. Am I right?


Jeff  08:44

That’s correct. Yes, it is the newest and, you know, we’ve got a range of products that we’ve launched this year, and they’re gonna be in familiar forms for people who are familiar with CBD products, and we were relaunching, or we’ve launched tinctures, we’ve launched soft gels and we have also launched a line of protein powder beverage, like ready to mix protein beverage that contains powdered water soluble CBD containing broad-spectrum extract. And so these products are mostly, I think, familiar forms to people and, you know, is our introduction into the market, but it certainly isn’t where we’re stopping. So we’re going to continue on some new novel delivery methods, you know, new flavors, new approaches to using broad-spectrum hemp extract.


Vadim  09:31

That’s great. It’s cool that you put it in the protein powder because people are adding it to their smoothies. But you know, you have it just in there. It’s very convenient, I think.


Jeff  09:41

Yeah, it is. It is for sure. You know, people obviously are using the tincture type products in a lot of different ways. Like I’ve seen even people in our own office here, you know, they put it in their coffee every morning. They just take it traditionally, you know, under the tongue. They sometimes just drip it on their salads at lunch. You know, there’s a lot of ways that people are using it, you know, both within our office here, as well as, you know, what we’re hearing from people who were starting to use our product now as well. I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that you can incorporate it into your routine.


Manitoba Harvest Products


Vadim  10:16

Yeah, that’s great. People are using it for all kinds of stuff. Are you planning to do a topical product as well?


Jeff  10:22

Yeah. So you know, which kind of goes towards the acquisition of Tilray of Manitoba Harvest is…


Vadim  10:29

Oh, yeah, I want to talk about that. 


Jeff  10:30

So, you know, Tilray had pioneered more in the pharmaceutical space. And also, they have really been driving as well into the topical space. And so, you know, we have things in development right now that we’ll be showing to the world soon are topical related. But yeah, there’s a lot of forums out there, you know, and a lot of ways that people are looking to get a broad-spectrum hemp extract for different reasons. So there’s a lot of activity. I mean, obviously, when we look at the marketplace, I mean, there’s just a rush of products out the market. You know, one of the things that we’re trying to do is not necessarily be the fastest, I mean, although we do want to be fast, and, you know, have speed the market that gets us there, so that we can get people to try a good quality product. But the key point here is quality. And how do you ensure that you’re making sure that you’re delivering something that’s safe and effective to somebody who’s looking for that type of product. And a lot of times speed isn’t always in your favor, you know, in terms of introducing a good product that’s going to be received well, and actually do something beneficial for the people purchasing that product.


Vadim  11:37

Yeah. It sounds like you and your team put a lot of thought into every product that you release.


Jeff  11:42

Yeah, we do. You know, and I think that goes back to how even the Manitoba Harvest has grown. You know, and I know that Tilray quality team and R&D team, we’ve been getting to know them, you know, more recently, but there’s a strong passion to do the right thing. And we’ve seen and heard a lot of stories about, you know, people just doing this in their like garage, basically, which when it comes to broad-spectrum hemp extract, there are very specific components that we want to make sure are in that material and very specific components that we want to make sure are not in that material. And then on top of that, we’re putting the high quality material into the finished product. So that people can be confident that they’re going to get what’s on the label, and that they’re also confident that they’re going to not get things that they don’t want to be ingesting or putting on their skin. So, you know, and that’s really the key, I think, to the debate that’s out there about, you know, the regulation, and that’s a whole nother conversation. But it’s very, very important that there’s an awareness throughout the product development process, and that you’re delivering something that’s going to be something you’re proud of as a producer, but also safe and effective as a consumer. 


Vadim  12:57

Exactly. Yeah, I appreciate that a lot. And your products are full-spectrum, so they do contain THC?


Jeff  13:02

No, in the US, they do not.


Vadim  13:05

Oh, that’s because they’re broad-spectrum. They’re broad spectrum. Okay.


Jeff  13:08

Yeah. They’re broad-spectrum. But yeah, because, you know, and that’s one of the things that we really tout is that we are non-detectable THC. But it’s something that’s important from a consumer perspective because it’s still a concern that you may test positive on a drug test, for example. If I consume this product, and I’m in the military, or if I consume this product, and I’m on the police force, or in a career where they do random drug testing, you don’t want to feel like, you know, the use of this product is going to catch on or gonna like or surprise you with a false positive. I think there’s a legitimate concern.


Vadim  13:44

Yep. My dad has a hemp store, a CBD store in Pennsylvania. And yeah, I mean, he’s had people come in and say that they have failed drug tests from — but I mean, they knew that they were risking that from full-spectrum products. 


Jeff  14:00



Vadim 14:00

I think that you did the right choice by going with broad-spectrum. People always ask, like, how is that made? And a lot of people want to know how their broad-spectrum product is made? Is it that they take the THC out? Or how do they get it out of there?


Jeff  14:13

Yeah. So the whole process of taking or removing THC is it’s part — there’s several processes. I mean, there’s generally like a primary extraction and then a secondary extraction process. So the primary basically takes the crude material out of the biomass. And by biomass, we mean leaves and aerial parts of the hemp plant that contain the CBD. Typically, stalks don’t contain much and you don’t really want to work with it anyway being as fibrous as it is. So primary extraction, you’ll see like CO2 or ethanol is the most common in industry. And, you know, those are probably from a solvent standpoint, you know, the safest approaches. But then you go to a secondary extraction, and that’s where you can, you know, remove certain components and leave certain components in.


So it’s not all that, you know, like when you produce —  the vegetable oils that we eat, for example, they go through a similar process where, you know, you’re getting crude oil, you’re removing impurities, and then you’re trying to maintain a certain composition. And that’s, you know, a little bit about where my background is too. I’ve got a bit of experience in vegetable oil production in the past. And so yeah, when I saw this, you know, like Manitoba Harvest was actually a really good fit for me because, you know, I saw a lot of — at least with our hemp seed oil, which is very different than hemp oil.


Vadim  15:33



Jeff  15:33

You know, a lot of overlap with my experience in that business, and then with the CBD piece of it too, there’s phytochemicals, you know, that are really of interest, in the leaves and the aerial parts. And that also ties in with another element of my background, too. So getting back to the whole point of, you know, the extraction process, it’s really…


Vadim  15:54

Two steps?


Jeff  15:54

Two steps, really. And there’s a lot of other things, I mean, there’s ways to create a wide range of products with a wide range of color, wide concentration of CBD specifically, while maintaining some of the other desirable components too. So the things like the terpenes and flavonoids and things like that, that are in the hemp plant that you would want to retain. 


Vadim  16:15

Yeah, there’s so much in there. I mean, that’s just filled with tons of different components. With hemp seed oil, is there any CBD in there?


Jeff  16:23

There’s really trace amounts. I mean, hemp seed itself…


Vadim  16:27

Has a little bit, right, on it?


Jeff  16:28

Well, typically that’s coming from, actually, contamination from the leaves  rubbing on the seed while you harvest it. You know, technically, there’s some debate about this. But generally, it’s believed that the seeds themselves don’t even have the metabolic pathways to produce CBD or THC. Occasionally, we get questions about, you know, THC and CBD content in the seeds. And really, it’s anything that’s measured is really coming from, you know, the leaves rubbing on the seed while you harvest it. And it’s really negligible. So, you know, when people are buying food in the grocery store, you know, like hemp seeds, Hemp Hearts, or cold-pressed hemp seed oil, they can be confident that there’s miniscule trace amounts of THC in that product.


Vadim  17:14

I mean, non-detectable would be correct?


Jeff  17:17

That’s correct. 


Manitoba Harvest Acquisition by Tilray


Vadim  17:18

Most people know that. But I think sometimes people who are new to hemp might get that confused. So I wanted to ask about Tilray. Congratulations on that merger or acquisition. I read about it. I don’t remember when I first read about it. But I found it very exciting because I followed Tilray and the whole group of companies they’re associated with for a while now. I really appreciate their professionalism. How have things changed since that has happened?


Jeff  17:44

I think there’s a lot of interest in just learning first. I mean, we really need to learn in detail from a Manitoba Harvest perspective what Tilray really is doing and how they approach projects, and vice versa. So we’re kind of in the still getting to know you period, but we are obviously looking to take the strengths of each business and, you know, combine them and deliver better, more meaningful products to people. 


Vadim  18:11

That’s great. That’s great. So you were with the company before that?


Jeff  18:14

I was, yes. You know, our first foray as Manitoba Harvest into the CBD world, you know, it kind of coincided with the Tilray acquisition. So we had been, I would say, more hemp food focused. And now, you know, since it’s really, truly more of a mix now, already. But you know, I think that having the power, you talked about the power of hemp within our business, you know, and really what we want to try to do is overlap what Manitoba Harvest brings in the food space with what, you know, Tilray brings in the expertise in specific broad-spectrum hemp extract components, you know, and really have nutritious foods that maybe have some other benefits. 


And if these products are labeled foods or supplements, you know, there’s still some discussion around that. But you know, I think that’s something that the FDA, of course, will be working out in the future. So I think, you know, there’s still a lot to learn here and a lot of things still in motion. And as we all know, really how the FDA is going to rule on a lot of these different types of products and what the kind of the guardrails are going to be, remains to be seen, but you know, we have a lot of strength in both food and the broad-spectrum hemp extracts so I think there’s a lot of potential here.


Vadim  19:27

I’m glad that you’re on here actually talking about that because people probably just so used to associating the brand with hemp granola and other food products. It’s good to know that now they can get CBD from you as well. Is that being sold alongside a lot of those products? Or is it sold in different stores for people to find it or what’s the best way for them to find it?


Jeff  19:47

Well, right now the best way for anybody generally speaking to find it is through our online store. So we we actually have an online business so we can get it to people directly. The other aspect is retail. That’s a little more spotty, you know, you have some locations in Minnesota and some other states, but it’s not as certain as if you were to go just to the web store and buy it there. 


Vadim  20:11

That’s great. 


Jeff  20:11

But we’re expanding distribution, yeah. We’re expanding distribution to other states that are currently, you know, friendly or have state regulations that favor CBD.


Where is the CBD Industry Going?


Vadim  20:21

Yeah, I saw on your site there’s certain states you don’t ship to so that’s understandable. I come from the kratom industry, and there was always stuff with that. And yes, certain states are not friendly to it. But I think that’s gonna change. And it leads me to my next question for you. Where do you see the space in five to 10 years? What do you think it’s going to go?


Jeff  20:42

That’s a really great question. I think, you know, if you look — there’s probably several ways we can look at a question, you know. First is regulatory, which will probably supersede any of the other aspects, which I would say are the technology in terms of how our products deliver CBD. And then also the CBD, I would say, sophistication, you know, in terms of the broad-spectrum hemp extracts that are being used in terms of specific makeups and profiles of CBD versus maybe some of the minor cannabinoids, you know, that are present. 


But let’s maybe look a little bit at the regulatory environment in five to 10 years. Now, of course, you know, we just recently in 2018 have the federal Ag bill, you know, that clarified that CBD derived from hemp is not Schedule I controlled substance. So that’s a big first step. And so I think, you know, states are coming in now and helping clarify what can be sold and what can’t. You know, I think what we’re gonna see is that the federal level will eventually emulate a lot of what’s happening at the state level within the next five years, which is not banning CBD, but putting, you know, these guardrails up to ensure that people are getting what producers say they’re getting. And, you know, I think what they’re going to do is limit CBD content in products to ensure safety. So I think there’ll be some limits on potency, you know, and then the other thing is, I think, we’re gonna see a lot more state legislation that’s going to improve or clarify labeling requirements, consumer oversight, and you know, and we’ve seen that in Minnesota here, too. And we just had a bill passed where these label improvements are being required and there’s actually some quality standards being put in place around trace elements and, you know, contaminants, you know, from the agricultural material that goes into production of the extracts themselves. 


So I think, you know, in the next five years, as long as certain labeling requirements are met and certain quality standards are met, I think the FDA is going to legalize it as a dietary supplement. But I don’t know if it’ll extend into use into actual food products across the board. I think there’s going to be some regulations, or maybe some, you know, criteria put in place around foods.


Vadim  22:43

Do you think it’s going to be more on the food side or the supplement side? I’m curious.


Jeff  22:48

Yeah, I think more on the food side. We’re seeing a lot of concern around, you know, foods that mimic foods of children. Might be great, you know, attracted to. Especially on the gummy side, you know. In Canada, for example, you know, Mondelez just filed a lawsuit against a company that’s making a THC containing gummy candy called Stoney Patch Kids and it looks just like the Sour Patch Kids package. They’re claiming, you know, kind of the Fair Use under, you know, like humor or satire. And anyway, I don’t think that the, you know, the regulatory agencies of Canada are gonna see it as being favorable even under that argument. I mean, I think there are some legitimate issues with that. And I think people who are producing products really have to be careful about what they’re doing. And I think that there’s going to be examples made out of certain products and the FDA is certainly doing that now — making examples of businesses that are taking practices that are not safe or fall under the guidelines of drug law. 


So, you know, there’s a lot happening there. But I think we’re gonna see more of that in the next five years. And then the other thing that I think we’ll also see, you know, on the technology side, as I mentioned, is we’re gonna see, you know, some interesting forms, you know, around water solubility. We see a lot more around how we deliver with higher efficacy into the body. So if you get 10 milligrams, for example, of CBD in your body, how can we get as close to that 10 milligrams is actually, you know, interacting with the body the way we want it to. And that’s going to come through, you know, nanoemulsions and different techniques to ensure that it gets to targeted locations within the body. The other thing that I think we’ll also see is just, you know, more understanding around the interactions with, you know, our food components. So, you know, if you put CBD or broad-spectrum hemp extract into a bar, for example, or the protein powder, how does it interact with that? How do the other components — how do they adjust or modulate the absorption and what does that do for people? So, there’s going to be a lot more of that happening, too.


Vadim  24:47

Did you see recently all the fuss about the CBD and liver issues?


Jeff  24:53

Yeah. With the mouse study or the rat study. Yeah. You know, that had to do, you know, from a pharmaceutical standpoint, you know, the pharmacokinetics of CBD, they’re at very, very high doses. And those would be doses that would be, I think, almost unattainable financially for most people, you know, through retail products. I don’t think that study was relevant to the levels that are being put into most commercial products today. Non-pharmaceutical, I should say.


Vadim  25:22

Yeah, exactly. I think, definitely, it deserves inspection. I think people should read it, make their own decisions about it, and not necessarily read someone else’s analysis of it. Just read the actual study if you have the time. And there’s obviously people who take CBD with other drugs. I’ve always said they should let their doctor know about it and be monitored during it just to make sure nothing’s going wrong.


Jeff  25:49

Yeah, right. Yeah, I agree completely. I think, you know, especially for people who are looking to have CBD. If they’re taking CBD for a specific health condition, they should be already talking to their doctor about that health condition. And by all means, if they’re already on a pharmaceutical product to treat something, don’t add CBD on top of that. You know, I think it’s very important that people understand that. CBD, you know, can interact with some other pharmaceuticals. And so it’s just very important to consult with, you know, your physician or pharmacist before using CBD on top of other other drugs or pharmaceuticals.


Vadim  26:27

I think pharmacists are going to start being more educated on it because they’re just going to get so many questions about it that they’re going to have to be. 


Jeff  26:35

Yeah, absolutely. Yes. Yeah. And, you know, when you look at things like with SSRIs, you know, a lot of people will be on those and then looking for CBD to be a more natural replacement for that, but there’s some interactions between CBD and SSRIs. So those are things that we just have to be cognizant of. 


Vadim  26:53

I think people just should be aware of it, you know, that it’s possible and it’s really not hard to actually get the monitoring done. I think it’s just a blood test and it’s not–  I don’t think you have to do it every day. So you just have to just check with your doctor about that. 


Hey everyone, I hope you are enjoying this episode of the CBD School Podcast. I just want to quickly remind you of the sweet deal that’s just for listeners of the CBD School Podcast. Go over to shop.manitobaharvest.com. Manitoba, again, is spelled MANITOBA. Go to shop.manitobaharvest.com and plug in the coupon code CBDSCHOOL to save 50% off your order of up to $200. Again, that coupon code is CBDSCHOOL and that gets you 50% off at shop.manitobaharvest.com.


New CBD Products from Manitoba Harvest


What kinds of feedback have you had from people about the new CBD product line from regular customers?


Jeff  27:58

Yeah. Well, I think, you know, some of the first things that we’ve been hearing back, you know, are that it tastes great. We tried to create a product that is something that people will not have to tolerate but people can actually, you know, enjoy using and is pleasurable experience versus, you know, something that tastes more like a crude oil, you know. Somebody actually joked. They said, “Yeah, I’ve tried some that taste like boiling water.” Because, you know, hemp can have a very strong flavor and so if you put it into like hemp seed oil, for example, you know, it can enhance the hemp flavor. And some people really like it; some people don’t. But for our tinctures, you know, we actually use coconut-derived MCT oil, which is actually a very bland flavor. It also doesn’t have like a high viscosity that you’d get from other oils. So it doesn’t leave like a greasy or oily mouth coating after you take it. 


And, you know, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people about, well, you know, you produce cold-pressed hemp seed oil, why wouldn’t you use that? And we do. We do put it in our soft gels but we actually use MCT just because hands down, almost everybody that’s, you know, tried MCT versus, you know, olive oil or hemp seed oil, you know, they really really like the tendency and the flavor profile that comes through on the MCT and that’s my preference. It’s a lot of other people’s preference, and I know that there’s a lot of nutritional value to the hemp seed oil but people can also be taking that as a food item and use that on their salads and just take spoonfuls as well. I mean, I do enjoy hemp seed oil, but you know, I find that with the extract on top of it, it tends to get a little strong.


Vadim  29:40

Yeah, I love it as well. I put it in salad all the time. It’s so good. But I guess the MCT oil is definitely a lighter taste than the hemp seed oil. And not everyone likes that so it doesn’t have that too strong of like a cannabis flavor?


Jeff  29:55

No, no, it doesn’t. Our hemp seed oil itself, I think, it’s kind of more of a nutty flavor, but when we’re looking at, like I said, the broad-spectrum hemp extract on top of it, it kind of potentially adds flavor and makes it quite strong, especially for people who are just getting into, you know, CBD and maybe haven’t been eating hemp foods as well, that they find something that’s very strong initially for them, you know, if you have hemp seed oil as the base. You know, we want to develop a product that people will look at from a brand standpoint and say, I can trust that brand because they’ve developed quality systems around hemp for over 20 years, but then introduce them to broad-spectrum hemp extract in a way that’s going to be accessible to them and pleasing to them. So that’s really some of the thought behind that.


Vadim  30:41

Yeah, that’s fantastic. So just to repeat, the tinctures are MCT oil, but the capsules are made with hemp seed oil. Is that right? The soft gel.


Jeff  30:51

Right. That’s correct. So yeah, we use our cold-pressed hemp seed oil in our soft gel.


Recommendations for First-time CBD Users


Vadim  30:57

What would you tell people if they’re just starting out? What product would be best for someone just trying out your CBD line for the first time?


Jeff  31:04

Yeah. Well, you know, I think any of them would be fine for somebody trying out for the first time. I think whatever product allows you to include in your routine most successfully is the one you should go. So you know, a lot of people find the soft gel easy because they just don’t want to put in oil in their mouth, right? So they find the soft gels to be handy. Also, if you’re going on the go, soft gels are easy just because you don’t have to worry about bottles, you know, unscrewing or leaking. And then, you know, but for people who have it at their desk, you know, a lot of people like the tinctures just because it’s kind of like a flavor in the afternoon. Or you can use it as a break, you know, part of your routine in the afternoon or something before bed, for example. You know, I think it just gets back to product fit always goes with your lifestyle and your routine and whatever you can match the best, go for that.


Vadim  31:55

Great. And what’s the difference between the sprays and the tinctures and the drops?


Jeff  32:00

The drops are graduated droppers. A lot of people, you know, like to just tip back their head a bit and drop it under the tongue, hold it, you know, for a little while and then swallow, you know. The sprays are actually like a pump, you know. Actually, it’s like a little stream into your mouth. They’re different delivery formats. Some people really like the pump. Some people, they want to be a little bit more, I guess, prescriptive on the amounts so they will actually use the graduated dropper. 


Vadim  32:31

And it looks like the drops have more CBD in them per serving, I guess, than the spray?


Jeff  32:36

Yeah. Well, it’s actually a similar concentration overall. It’s just that the spray serving, you know, is a certain number of pumps which delivers lower total CBD than the drops. So the concentration is actually about the same. 


Vadim  32:52

Very nice. I love the color of the bottle. Nice brown, protected from light.


Jeff  32:55

Yep, absolutely. CBD can oxidize and you have to protect it from UV. And the other interesting thing too, and this goes back to why we also chose MCT is that the CBD as well could potentially break down when you have a lipid oxidation occurring. And hemp oil has a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids in it. I mean, it’s a really healthy oil because of that. And as that oxidizes, you know, the potential for oxidation of other compounds in solution, in the oil, can occur too. So the MCT oil is very stable and won’t have that effect.


Vadim  33:31

Yeah, that sounds like a good base. And that’s the same — the MCT is in the sprays and the drops, right? 


Jeff  33:37

That’s correct. 


Energy and Passion for CBD


Vadim  33:38

Yeah. I think that was a good move because not everyone is into that flavor. And, you know, I think it’s good to go with something light. So it’s good for everybody. So you guys are working on some other products, and you’ll be releasing, I’m assuming, future products as part of the product line?


Jeff  33:54

That’s correct. Yeah, we’re actively developing a wide range of products that will fit into different occasions for people, you know, whether they’re wanting to do something in the morning versus afternoon, if it’s more of a treat versus a routine type of product. So there’s a wide range, and we’re having a lot of fun with it. We’re trying to look at things differently and not necessarily try to just react to every product that’s being offered by other players.


Vadim  34:20

In the place, yeah. I mean, there’s so many different products like CBD toothpicks, I think, I saw. So you know, I think it’s about quality and trust, and I know people can trust your brand and you have such a good reputation in the hemp space that people can feel good about purchasing Manitoba products. Is your CBD team separate from the rest of the team or is it all in one space in the US?


Jeff  34:46

No, it’s all in one space. So we’re kind of, you know, trying to get some creative soup going, so to speak, you know, with a lot of energy from people looking at and hemp products in general from different perspectives. So I think there’s a lot of energy and passion, you know, for hemp in general. And you know, I think that’s a lot of what differentiates us from a lot of other companies that are just kind of viewing CBD as this ingredient you just throw into stuff. You know, like, hey, let’s put CBD in toothpicks like you just said. I mean, what does that — number one, does that make sense? 


Vadim  35:18

I think it’s a gag. I don’t know. I think it’s probably more of a gag, but I did see it.


Jeff  35:23

Yeah. You know, it’s kind of like, oh yeah, you know, before we know it, people will be putting CBD in their cars to make it run better. And, you know, I used to use STP, but now I use CBD. But, you know, I think there’s a lot of passion around just helping, you know, I had the privilege of coming into the company at a time when some of the founders, so like, you know, Mike Fata was, you know, the founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and then we also have the ingredients side of the business where, you know, we’re selling cold-pressed hemp oil and, you know, the Hemp Oil Canada business and Shaun Crew was one of the founders there. And I had the pleasure of meeting them, getting to know them, there’s really that passion of the pioneer, and, you know, I think, is flown through the organization. And both of them wanted to, you know, really change their lives through hemp. 


And these guys and some of their best friends really, you know, they started up these businesses, you know, without having the infrastructure to bring these products to market. You know, there’s a lot of stigma around hemp, there are a lot of legal barriers, and that, you know, they really took it on because they really believed in the material. And I don’t think a lot of other companies have that foundation, you know, I think there’s a lot of people who view this as like, we’re gonna put CBD in there that everybody wants to talk about right now. And I think hemp as an agricultural material goes back a long way. And you know, I think the people who really saw it as a way of leading a healthier lifestyle are people, you know, like Shawn and Mike. So, you know, they saw something that other people didn’t. And I think that’s really, you know, what we’re trying to continue to do is take that spirit and move the company forward by developing products that really are meaningful to people and deliver on something that people need in their lives, which I think is natural remedies that we tend to throw just pharmaceuticals at. 


So yeah. So I think that’s something that really differentiates us. And I think the other last piece of that, too, is just, you know, our quality organization was one of the first big groups within the company that was built. We have one of, I think, the strongest and most passionate quality organizations in the hemp industry, whether it’s CBD or whether it’s hemp food. They are always putting consumers first.


Vadim  37:38

That’s so important. 


Jeff  37:39

Yeah. I hate using the word ‘consumer’ because consumers are people, right? So I struggle sometimes to find a replacement word for that. But what I mean is customers and people who buy our products, I mean, they’re always thinking of them. And I think we’re always on the lookout for things, you know, is this really, truly a quality product? Is it doing what we say it is? Is it safe and effective? So a little shout out to them.


Vadim  38:01

Yeah, I know what you mean. So the quality control is super important in the space. I think that’s one of the parts of the whole space that’s going to be affected by, you know, when the regulation comes down, the brands that took the time to be careful with creating clean products are going to shine and the other ones are probably going to disappear.


Jeff  38:21

Yeah, absolutely. I think another aspect of that whole quality piece too is in the marketing of the material, or the product that the company is selling. There’s a lot of sensitivity right now around claims, as you probably are aware, there’s a lot of claims being assigned to CBD on what it can do for different health conditions. And there’s also a responsibility piece in, you know, what you do say about CBD and in broad-spectrum hemp extract and what you don’t say about it.


Vadim  38:51

Yes, exactly. I think, I mean, do you expect that to change, like the people will be able to make claims? Or how do you think it’s going to —  because everything is being considered a claim. I’m sure you saw the FDA went after what’s that big — the big, Curaleaf.


Jeff  39:04

Yeah, totally. In fact, Curaleaf, actually, I mean, yeah, they got a warning letter about making unsubstantiated medical claims. You know, the company’s actually done some things, you know, really quickly that I think are worth noting that, you know, they removed it in their blog. They went through their social media accounts and they deleted a lot of information or a lot of things that they were saying about their products, you know, in articles on their website too that they said statements around the use of their products for treating medical conditions. You know, and a lot of these are things that we commonly talk about with CBD, but they were going as far as, you know, it did start talking cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and some things that are, you know, really serious conditions. 


And I think this is a good warning because, you know, the thing that’s not being considered by many marketing groups or the people marketing these products is that, I mean, there’s a long, historic, specific process for getting drugs approved in the US. You know, if you don’t really make that process and follow that process, I mean, your product can be, you know, the FDA will consider your product misbranded or adulterated. There’s some serious issues with what you talk about how you talk about it, you know, from a regulatory standpoint. So as soon as you start talking about your product in a certain way, the FDA says that, you know, that you’re making drug claims and in order to make a drug claim, you have to have the research and and also have followed the process to get it registered as a drug. So, it just comes down to under federal law if you make claims that, you know, the product can be used to prevent, treat or cure any disease, then the product’s a drug. It’s as simple as that.


Vadim  40:46

So you mentioned they got rid of their blog. I guess the FDA is considering even just informational content to be a claim.


Jeff  40:56

Right. Yeah. 


Vadim  40:57

It makes it very hard for people to talk about CBD. But you know, they probably did the right move by removing that because even though there’s probably beneficial information there, that’s how it’s taken by the FDA.


Jeff  41:07

Right, right. Yeah. But you know, I think the key point, though, is that they were manufacturing a product and then talking about it like, for example, Newsweek just had a whole special on CBD. I just picked it up at the grocery store, you know, yesterday and it’s like this thick packet in it and it goes through all the different conditions, you know, that CBD can be used to help people, and Newsweek’s not going to get pulled off the shelf because they don’t make any CBD products.


Vadim  41:36

Jeff, is that this Ultimate CBD Handbook?


Jeff  41:39

That’s correct. Yeah.


Vadim  41:40

I just saw that. I’ll link that to everyone, our listeners, in case you want to check it out. Did that just come out?


Jeff  41:47

Yeah, I believe so. I did get that for the first time just yesterday. So I think it’s a fresh publication.


Vadim  41:52

Yeah, they’ve always done these like cannabis special edition’s report. So I’ll definitely check this out. Thanks for alerting me to that. I saw they’ve done some coverage on research into CBD, but I haven’t seen this one yet. That’s great. Thank you. 


Jeff  42:06

Sure. Yeah.


Wrap-up and Contact Information


Vadim  41:52

Well, it was a pleasure to have you on, and where can people find you online? Or do you produce any content on your own or should they find Manitoba Harvest?


Jeff  42:17

Yeah, just go to our website. And of course, you know, we do have our CBD business in our webstore so we do have some consumer education material and also have our products for sale there. So feel free to look in that location.


Vadim  42:36

Hey, everyone, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the CBD School Podcast. I hope you learned as much as I did from Jeff of Manitoba Harvest. Make sure to visit them at shop.manitobaharvest.com and use the coupon code CBDSCHOOL for 50% off your first order of up to $200. This is a special discount that I arranged with Manitoba Harvest only for listeners of the CBD School Podcast. So make sure to take advantage of it by going to shop.manitobaharvest.com. Manitoba is spelled MANITOBA and use the coupon code CBDSCHOOL to save 50% off your first order of up to $200. That’s it for the show today. Make sure to visit cbdschool.com for even more great content on CBD. And until the next podcast, this is Vadim, the CBD professor from cbdschool.com, signing off. Thanks for listening. Bye for now.

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