My family owned a pharmacy in West Haven Connecticut for generations. Coming from a long line of pharmacists, Doctors, Nurses and other medical related professions, conversation on the holidays was often around health and medicine. Growing up immersed in classical medical education and practice gave me insight into how the system functioned on a number of levels. There was a pill that corresponded with every symptom and ailment. Learning to bandage wounds, taking certain vitamins, administering subcutaneous injections all part of a normal childhood, right?
My grandfather, who ran Silver’s pharmacy, taught me everything I know about good customer service and the principles of running a family owned small business. “look them in the eye and give them a firm shake” was always his mantra. “The customer is always right” was another, and finally “if it’s to be it’s up to me.” All of these are exemplify who he was to the core and encompass the lessons he so wished to impress upon me. These are the axioms I do my best to embody and carry into my business.
My mother is a psych-nurse, and I was perhaps a bit of a difficult child. Her answer for these issues was often therapy and medication. I ran the gambit of various psych meds throughout my childhood. I was never very impressed with their effects and always very wary of their side effects to the point of stopping their use fairly quickly. I was a pretty self aware child and understood that with self growth these things would pass as others had passed previously. In high school I started smoking cannabis, the effects of this plant amazed me. It allowed me to process my trauma and gave me respite from my (seemingly) stressful time as a tormenting hormonal teenager.
The effects of this plant sparked my interest in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and our related biology. I was obsessed with knowing how this all worked and surprised with how little we had studied this magnificent plants effects. Continuing on my path of discovery I experimenting with many other natural mind altering substances things like psychedelics. I was immediately drawn to these substances, fascinated by their effects. As a young teen with a novel internet connection I sat at home researching everything relevant there was to know. I wanted to know what all substances do to the body, why they change they way we feel and experience the world and what it all means. Of course I am still searching for some of those answers, but before long I exhausted the internets resources.
My own experience with substances led me to eventually realizing I had a slightly imbalanced relationship with weed. THC would often leave me lethargic and unmotivated. Not always, but it might take away my edge and make me too chill. I started slowing down on my usage of THC and realizing that I needed to save it for times when I really was not trying to get things done. My obsession with the compound started to wane as I matured and looked for more long term benefit and less short term enjoyment. Around this time in college I was developing a variety of different formulations for fellow students; study aids, post-partying recovery capsules, sleep aids etc that was my kind of fun personal project. I was also starting my personal journey of nutritional and health. I was an avid gym-goer, weight lifter, and health enthusiast, but also a carnivore eating no vegetables at all besides potatoes and maybe corn. I had a revelation that I had to start eating vegetables.
I had always read the ingredients of everything that I ate, even when I was not very concerned about the ones I couldn’t pronounce. I’d research any of the ones I did not know of and try to understand their purpose. This left me very familiar with a variety of ingredients often used in food products, along with my pharmaceutical knowledge and interest in natural health, I was primed for formulations.
To everyone who knew me I was an avid experimenter and would report eagerly about anything new that caught my interest. I would try anything I could get my hands on and whatever left an impression I would share with others. I inadvertently crafted myself into a sensitive gauge, with a highly refined sense of what provides benefit and being able to aptly describe those effects to my peers. Years later in this journey I stumbled on CBD. It’s subtle effects stuck out to me, it seemed to provide just what you need at the time, with nothing extra. The effect was more subtractive than additive, It would clear your mind, remove discomfort, anxiety, stress, pain or fatigue could melt away, and it would not leave your mind cloudy or burdened. I was amazed at the simplicity and effectiveness. I was once again obsessed.
I had my medical card at the time, I felt pretty special being able to buy cannabis from the store in Connecticut. Once the novelty wore off I realize I just paid $300 dollars for the privilege of buying very overpriced flower and products. The flower was decent but inconsistent, but the products were really abysmal. Vape cartridges were something I have always been so interested in, the convenience, the small form factor. When I was in college we used to melt down hash oil into carrier oils in order to use them with the first e-joy nicotine vape take systems with the big long wicks that looked like an oil lantern. The vape cartridges from the dispensary were double the price they should have been and would have no terpenes added or maybe lavender essential oil, so they would taste like burnt shit basically. I thought to myself I could do a lot better and I started on my quest.
I took a look at the CBD market, I saw many companies all doing the same things. Two types of companies stuck out to me, ones who grow all their own hemp, extract and bottle their own product. I have a lot of respect for the vertically integrated business model. The issue I have with these businesses is often they get caught up in the pride of how well their flower is grown and preserving the integrity of their plants. The thing about that thought process is it leaves you with very little to work with, you’ve got a plant, you have a handful of ways to extract and then you integrate that extract into one medium or another, creams, tinctures etc. The other companies are all marketing, may or may not include the stated cannabinoids, more often then not are white labelled in one of 5 big factories making all the rest of the products out there, so they are all the same at best.
I didn’t see a lot of value being added. To me this was just taking cannabinoids and slapping them into a different form. Throw some cannabinoids in anything and call it a day – is was what I saw. Cannabinoids have so much potential but I envisioned combining them with the bounty nature provides to specialize the effects of a product. Why stop at just cannabinoids? There are so many things in nature which we can benefit from and combined with cannabinoids can drive that effect further than anything alone. The Entourage effect, something that most companies use as a mere marketing ploy, was at the heart of my formulating philosophy. Not just the entourage within the cannabis plants compounds but with the entire world of botanical compounds.
So I started tinkering around with formulations on a hotplate in my fathers basement. He was not a big fan of the essential oil smells emanating up into the house, but I continued regardless. On that hotplate I created our first vape cartridges with MCT oil, CBD isolate and terpene blends. I was selling these on ebay and it was growing steadily, somehow even this simple and most basic formula was better than the available market. At at this time most vape cartridges had maybe 100mg in 1mL cart and I was fitting 400mg before facing crystallization problems. I was pretty happy with that considering I was still in my dads basement playing with a few hundred dollars worth of materials.
From there I began going to events and offering my small product line to the public which was received very well. Leakage and crystallization issues were the only problems I faced with the vape carts. My tinctures at the time only CBD distillate and terpenes in MCT oil were also noted as being far more effective than what customers had previously tried. I continued looking for addition oil soluble ingredients that could add value to the tinctures to push them far beyond the market.
Finally after a lot of time and experimentation, samples received from all over the world, test batches ruined, globs of extracts precipitating instead of emulsifying – I found what I had been looking for. A black pepper Co2 Extract containing Piperine, Guineensine, Beta-caryophyllene and Myrcene – 4 extremely active compounds to pair with CBD to maximize its effect. After adding this single extract people noticed the effects within minutes 5-10 rather than 25-30 and lasting about 1.5x longer.
This was just the first fruit of my deep dive of research into cannabimimetics, compounds which mimic the effects of cannabinoids. combining these together with cannabinoids can be utilized to help produce the most potent entourage effects. Together with absorption enhancing compounds/ingredients like lecithin and piperine produce a uniquely potent product that is far beyond what you can find in just a “CBD product.”
We have come a long way from my dads basement to the lab. Our brick and mortar store and website are more robust than ever. We are positioned to create the best cannabinoid rich products on the market. We are so excited to bring you products that help improve your life and help people to appreciate the effectiveness of cannabinoid extracts. We know a lot of people are left disappointed in the first few things that they try but once they discover our products they never look back. We are never more happy when we hear customers telling us just how right our descriptions were and when they take our recommendations out of hand because of the trust they have in us. These are CBD products made by cannabis users for enthusiasts and beginners alike. I, Alexander Angeloff, could not be more proud and excited about where we are with our product development, the value we add to what we make, and just want to give everyone the chance to try and compare.