Colorado-based Cured Nutrition says it’s on a mission to make the benefits of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) accessible to all. Cured, which was founded in 2017 by two friends Joe Sheehey and Taylor O’Donnell, develops organic, lab-tested hemp products that can help with a range of issues—from relieving stress and inflammation to improving digestion and sleep problems.
Cured Nutrition products include cookie dough; infused spices such as peanut butter chocolate and smoky BBQ; hemp CBD oil; and gel caps. The company currently works with several local farms, and is currently working on having a fully integrated farm-to-table experience by the end of 2019.
HelloMD spoke with Taylor to find out more about why he and Joe started Cured, and why their focus is squarely on helping their community achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Cured Nutrition got its start in Colorado, a center of gravity for the hemp-derived CBD movement. How and why did you decide to start Cured Nutrition?
Taylor O’Donnell: Joe and I met at CU Boulder while studying mechanical engineering. Last April, Joe called me about starting a cannabis project. For many years, Joe had competed in fitness events and decided he wanted to bring cannabis into his world. I’d been working on cannabis projects for almost 10 years in Colorado—cannabis was my passion.
So, we came together, and after pivoting a couple of times, we started Cured as a hemp-derived CBD company. Together, we’ve seen amazing growth, and we’ll be harvesting our own hemp plants in Boulder, CO, this fall.
Your company puts an emphasis on the local farms where you source your CBD. Is there a difference in quality from farm to farm, and what should consumers consider when sourcing their CBD products?
TOD: We always prefer to use local farms, because it supports the communities we live in. Being able to have a farm close by, we’re able to visit and know where our CBD is coming from. It’s important to us to have hemp that’s organic and free of all chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
When we use local farms and labs, we can count on our hemp to be clean, consistent and of the highest quality. We want all of our products to contain as much love as possible, and that’s why we source locally. Consumers should consider where their CBD comes from, if they know the farmer, what methods they use, and most importantly that it’s domestic and free of pesticides and heavy metals.
Cured is one of the few hemp-derived CBD companies that seems to have focused on edibles. Interestingly, you have a variety of spices you offer. How and why would someone use a CBD-infused spice?
TOD: When we first launched Cured, we knew we wanted to target the health and fitness market. It made sense for us to release a line of seasonings, because of how focused on healthy eating our audience is. Most of them make their own food, and we realized how easily it would be to incorporate CBD into your diet with a line of spices. It’s a very approachable way for someone who’s unfamiliar with CBD to give it a try.
Folks can use Cured spices to make a healthy meal that they’ll eat after working out. As well as making something healthy, the CBD helps with recovery and soreness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Does CBD break down during the cooking process? Does it maintain its efficacy?
TOD: We recommend when using Cured spices not to heat over 350 degrees F to avoid vaporization of the CBD. Cured is best when used with a healthy fat as it will bind to fat and be most effective that way. Cured spices can also be added to a dish after it’s been cooked, and on fresh or uncooked food.
You also offer a CBD product called Cookie Dough. Is it actually raw cookie dough?
TOD: Cured Dough is a nut-based, gluten-free, dairy-free and ready-to-eat product. It’s best when used on the go. Cured Dough contains only natural ingredients and contains 30 mg of CBD per packet.
What is Cured Nutrition’s process for creating new products?
TOD: Usually we start with an expert—either our chef or herbalist—and go over the scope of the project. They will start with an initial formulation, which then gets tweaked, tested and sourced before we start production. We will usually send samples of new products to our affiliates to get feedback and make more tweaks to the formula.
After we finalize our recipe, then we get our packaging made and start production. All of our products are sourced from the most sustainable and organic ingredients that we can find.
What are some trends you see within the hemp-derived CBD market, and where do you think the industry is heading?
TOD: A major trend that I’ve been seeing is definitely the unoriginality of most of the industry. There aren’t that many people out there making new and unique products, especially in food. I think that eventually people will buy their CBD at Whole Foods in a variety of different forms, including food.