Joe: Coming up on this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," we introduce you to CBN, same plant, different molecule. What is CBN? How is it different from CBD? And meet a Colorado company utilizing CBN in their sleep line of products. This is the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.
I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." If you are a returning listener, welcome back to our podcast. If you are a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. Don't forget, full video episodes available on the Global Widget YouTube channel. And no matter where you get your podcast, hit that Subscribe button for notifications each week when new episodes are published.
We're talking CBN on this episode. We've touched on it in past episodes with the latest industry trends and other cannabinoids listeners may start hearing about. Slumber CBN is a Denver, Colorado based company using this cannabinoid in their sleep line of products. And to discuss everything CBN with me is Slumber co-founder, Rich Barnes. Rich, thanks for joining me via Zoom.
Rich: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it. Great to be here. I really like your show. There's not a lot of guys who are out here doing it like this. So, really appreciate it.
Joe: Thank you, Rich. Glad to hear. And first off, tell us a little bit about Slumber CBN and what products consumers can find.
Rich: Slumber CBN, this is a product that I came up with. I have a chemical engineering background, lived in Colorado since about '94. My wife and I actually moved out of Colorado in order to get her down to a lower altitude because she suffered from a pancreatic condition. And the way they treat pancreatic pain and conditions like that is they load you up with a lot of opioids and hold their breath in the hope it fixes itself, unless you have a lot of major surgeries.
So, we got down the altitude, actually California. And this was back when that was the first state where you could get a med/rec license. And we started switching her over to medical marijuana and got her completely off opioids, treated the pain that way, finally found a doctor in Houston that could treat this and got her fixed. But it really dialed in to me. And, you know, in college, I dabbled in...you know, had a lot of fun and smoked some extremely mediocre marijuana at the University of Arkansas and North Carolina State University. But really noticed how much it can help, especially with pain.
So, my wife and I lived away from Colorado for about four years, and then we moved back. Literally, the minute we moved back, and I'm located in Vail, Colorado, I noticed this explosion of the CBD industry. And CBD is really what has driven CBN. CBD cannabidiol, CBN cannabinol. So, when you consume delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, which your body does, it ultimately breaks it down into cannabinol. Cannabinol is a byproduct of THC. If you add light and heat to marijuana, it will eventually become cannabinol.
So, in combination with the success we had with my wife, me remembering all of that mediocre marijuana I smoked in college and how it would give you this thing called couch lock. Couch lock, if you don't recall, that's when you would leave some marijuana in a drawer or in your car or something like that. Heat would get to it, and then you would...after a couple of months, you'd find it and try to smoke it. It would do nothing but make you tired. That's what cannabinol does, CBN.
It's a minor cannabinoid. And so, it does follow a lot of the same regulations and rules that CBD does. We were also fortunate right when I moved back that the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill was passed. When the Farm Bill was passed, it allowed for us to sell products with CBN in it as well...you know, CBD had already kind of taken off. But we could sell products with CBN in it as long as we could figure out how to make it out of hemp. And that was the hurdle.
So, in late 2018, early 2019, there was really not an economically good way to do that. So, I started looking around. Simultaneous with finally figuring out that you could extract it if you found the right waste streams from some of these guys who were making THC-free CBD, we started sourcing CBN. I remember the very first little vial of CBN I bought. It was about maybe 50 grams. I think I paid 350 bucks for it. It was very expensive.
So, when I started, it was about 45,000 a kilo. It's down to about $6,000 a kilo now. So, there's a big price differential in CBN and CBD. CBN, as I mentioned just a minute ago, that couch lock, that feeling you get, that relaxation, that desire to want to go to sleep, that is what we're chasing. It does not have any intoxicating effects. It does, just because it works on the same receptor that THC does, it does...all of this stuff is going to do something psychoactively to you. But it's the level of intoxication you get, zero intoxication from CBN. You just get that relaxation. And the way it affects you when you sleep is it not only helps you get to sleep, but...and I don't know exactly why, because there's a lot of things that occur kind of on the structure activity relationships that keep you asleep and make you sleep better. It will also help you dream better. So, I'll give you an example.
One of my best friends up here and the first guy I tested this on was a two-decade-long user of Ambien. And I'm talking about taking Ambien, wake up in the middle of the night, standing in front of his freezer with a half-gallon of ice cream and wonder how he got there kind of...you know, having those experiences with Ambien.
So, he took this one night, never had to take Ambien again. What he told me...and he had excitement in his voice. He said, "I'm dreaming now." I really was startled. That was not something I expected. I'm glad it worked, but the fact that it actually helped him have a normal dreaming life while he was sleeping, it indicated how much it affected getting you into that rapid eye movement level of sleep, which is really where your body does a lot of its repair on itself and does...you know, when your body's dreaming, it runs through a lot of scenarios that it couldn't otherwise do when you're awake. It does that because you're in a safe spot and your body knows it's in a safe spot.
So, we started testing it on more and more people. And we started becoming kind of thought leaders in the space, and found some sources for CBN and helped some people develop some ideas on how they could source it. And now, the way CBN is manufactured, it's made from CBD. CBD crude is then turned to distillate, which is then turned to isolate. And CBD isolate is really the originator now for most of the minor cannabinoids that you see in the minor cannabinoid space. And there's various techniques to do it. There's probably three or four different techniques. But basically, it's a short path purification process in combination with some light chemical reaction that turns CBD into delta-8, which turns it into CBN.
So, when they were trying to figure out how to make this $40,000 a kilo stuff CBN, that's when they figured out making delta-8. And delta-8 was then turned into...delta-8 has definitely served a good purpose relative to, you know, consuming an industry that had an abundance and surplus of CBD isolate. But it is intoxicating. Delta-8 will give you that body high. So, we don't mess with that, but we do go to...and there are manufacturers that still take delta-8 to CBN and some really excellent ones, not just in Colorado, but in Oregon as well. FloraWorks is a great manufacturer of CBN. We're trying to work hand in hand with them. Colorado Chromatography, HAL Processing. There are some good companies that really know what they're doing with the molecule.
The products that we're able to make out of that is right now, we have what I kind of call three standard products. We have a soft gel, we have a gummy, and we have a tincture. I look at our tincture as kind of our flagship just because I like the way it works from a bioavailability standpoint. It is something that you...you know, we mix with a super high-end MCT oil, an organic MCT oil. We have a little bit of a terpene profile we put on there. And then we have a Dreamsicle flavor. We call it Dreamsicle. It's kind of an orange vanilla. But I just like the way it goes into your system better sublingually. It seems to get into your system about 30 minutes faster than a soft gel or a gummy. And it works really good. About an hour before you go to sleep, if you'll take it, and if you're one of those people that like to kind of chill out on the couch, you'll feel it. It will start having an effect. It'll be time to put your pajamas on and get in the sack.
The gummies work well. I think the gummies get a little bit of a boost in terms of bioavailability because when you eat them, you masticate them, and you mix that whole lipid and pectin. It's really a pectin base. You mix that with amylase in your saliva, and you swallow it. I think it digests. And again, the bioavailability uptake is a little bit quicker. And then you have a basic soft gel which our soft gel is a Porsche 911 vegan soft gel with a tapioca pectin base that is just the most...the latest, greatest type of technology for that.
We are...and, you know, I just...I apologize, but I just firehosed you with a lot of stuff. But there's a...
Joe: You're good.
Rich: Yeah. There's a way to consume this information, all that I just gave you, at slumbercbn.com. We've been very aggressive on our trying to be educational about this. Our sales are not like $1 million a month right now or anything, and it's mainly because there's an education piece that people are kind of having to learn what the difference is between CBN and CBD. The dosing profile is probably one-tenth of what's required for CBD. If we gave people as much of a dose of CBN as you get in, like, a 2,500 milligram CBD, they'd be...it wouldn't be an efficient use of the [inaudible 00:12:14], let me put it that way.
So, we put 300 milligrams in our basic tincture. We try to deliver 10 milligrams, which is roughly twice what you really need. But it's not something you can overdose on. It doesn't affect your respiratory system or anything like that. So, there's no danger relative to, you know, any of those kinds of things. But it works really well, and it works really well on the CB1 receptor, which is where THC works as opposed to CBD which it's well known it works on the CB2 receptor.
Our webpage is really designed as mostly educational. Obviously, you can buy things on there, but you can dig down. We have a very aggressive blog schedule. We've been doing this now for a year and a half. We're very knowledgeable about how the molecule works. We're very knowledgeable about how the molecule works and interacts with terpenes and other sleep enhancement type products. We do have one product that we offer with very light dose of melatonin, if someone really wants that. But our claim to fame on this is we try to keep it natural, and we want zero hangover. We want you to wake up fresh.
And all the other sleep aids that I've ever tried, I don't care whether they're botanically based, passiflora, GABA, L-theanine, melatonin, all of the other farmer products, you wake up with some kind of a fuzzy feeling. And so, we're really interested in that not happening. And we think, for the most part, we've accomplished that with our formulation.
We get a ton of great feedback. We did have a doctor that we hooked up with up here in Vail that we did a study with on about 60 patients. And we got about 80% feedback from everyone that it worked. From 70%, it really helped them get to sleep better. So, we've been very pleased with everything. We have awesome testimonials on our website. I would say I am probably the most proud of how it works with the people who take Ambien. There's no drug interaction with alcohol. I wouldn't endorse drinking a lot of alcohol with it, but you know, it's not going to be like, you know, drinking...having a couple of Scotch and sodas and taking an Ambien where you end up driving your car down to the Tasty Freeze to get an ice cream cone. So, we've been very successful so far in terms of where we think we have tried to get to and where we are.
Joe: Where do you see the CBN...and when you talk about where you've been and where you are, where do you see the industry going with CBN forward?
Rich: Well, my goal...my partner and my guy named David Adkins who...he and I co-founded the company and, you know, tested all the products together and put everything together and, you know, hired the original team. Where we would really like to take this is I would like to go head to head with all of the other sleep aids. And I am honored to be surrounded by a lot of smart people in the hemp business, but I really want to take CBN and go head to head with all that nasty stuff that people buy that's in Tylenol PM, in Aleve PM, and just all that junk that is just poison.
I have a partner who's used to...he's still a friend of mine, but a partner who's about 15 or 20 years older than me. He would take Tylenol PM every night. And I know he would wake up like a zombie for the first two hours of the day. We really want to try and go head to head against those guys eventually. NyQuil, that ZzzQuil is the same derivative product. I don't know if you've ever taken that stuff, but it's really harsh on your system. And it doesn't let your mind get into the right frequency to repair itself.
So, that having been said, ultimately, we're trying to be this wellness self-care company that can help people, whether it's get to sleep so that they can just in general have a better quality of life and better relationships and all that, or if they're...you know, I live by a cancer center up here in Vail. I offer that to people who have gone there. You know, there's nothing worse for sleeping and something that can induce insomnia than chemotherapy. So, I've tried that with a few cancer patients. It works really well, and you really need to get rest in order to heal your body up after you've had to battle cancer and fight those toxins that they put into your system.
The other thing CBN is able to do...and, you know, we really can't make a claim about that, but this is just a couple of guys talking. It's really excellent for your immune system, and it's excellent for bone growth. The other thing, this is not an appetite-suppressant. I would not take this for that reason. So, I'm interested in testing it. I have a daughter that's worked as a nurse at a elder care facility. One of the problems they have is getting those individuals who are in those elder and memory assist care centers, giving them an appetite where they can eat, and where they don't have to dose them down with trazodone or Valium or Xanax or something like that to make them sleep.
So, we're going to start getting it out in those areas. But right now, we really are focused on sleep. I don't make anybody's knees feel better, although it can be a byproduct just because you're getting better rest and maybe your body's healing up better. But I'm not going to battle with CBD. I'm not going to battle with delta-9 or delta-8 THC. We are very focused on making people sleep.
Joe: And two things before we wrap up. I want to talk about the legality of CBN for people who may have any questions out there. But, obviously, the same legality for CBN as we see for CBD. Correct?
Rich: Yeah. We started our company working with what we...at the time at least, and we still think are the industry leaders in...certainly, were in marijuana and then in hemp. A law firm here in Denver called the Vicente Sederberg. Before we made our first formulation, we went and sat down with them and said, "Hey. Is this going to fit an extreme [inaudible 00:19:24] with CBD?" And they said, "You got it." They wrote us up our protocol, and that's literally...we don't go to the bathroom without talking to them.
We use all of the latest, greatest testing techniques. We're very picky about the labs that we use for our...you know, the certificate of authenticity. Because what we want to guarantee is people don't get some involuntary rogue high that pops up because we missed a batch of CBN that was hot. So, when we get the CBN to our facility, we test it. And after we produce the products, obviously, we test it. We do a full panel test on each batch. We try to be very tight along those lines. We try to stay super...we like to think of ourselves as a higher end brand. We are a little bit more boutique right now. And as such, we're able to pay a lot closer attention to what's going on.
Joe: And when you talk about...that was the other part I wanted to bring up. Talk about the lab testing process. I mean, obviously, you know, we've talked about on past episodes with consumers looking for barcodes or QR codes on the products for the full panel [crosstalk 00:20:39] testing and obviously, [crosstalk 00:20:41]...
Rich: Yeah. Every product we have, obviously, you know, will have a barcode and a QR code. I mean if you're not doing that basic stuff right there, you don't need to be in the business.
Joe: And for those who are new to the game in CBN, you talked about the website a little bit. I understand you also offer sample packs for customers who may want to try out CBN for the first time.
Rich: Sure. Yeah. If there's people that want to contact us that, you know, have questions or ask about things, we're happy to...we are trying to convert people to CBN. Every person...every three people you see today, one of them has a sleep issue. One of them does. So, one out of three people has a sleep issue. So, if we can help those guys, we want to help them. We also have a very robust reseller group where we distribute this to wholesalers. So, there are tons of sticks and bricks toward locations that will carry this. There's some really good stores that you can go in and use them as kind of your consultant to get dialed in on where you need with sleep. But we would certainly love to fulfill that. And we have a real person that answers our phone and a real person that answers our chats.
Joe: And final question for you. What makes Slumber CBN unique?
Rich: We're the only high-dose CBN, totally natural product. And, you know, we offer a money-back guarantee. We are very focused on just one thing. If you go to a big CBD or hemp company, you'll see they'll probably have a CBN product, but it will be buried on page four of their website. This is all we do. This is all we think about, and this is all we work on.
Joe: And again, a quick recap of the products. We're talking CBN gummies, oils, and soft gels.
Rich: Correct. And you can find...and I would encourage you, www.slumbercbn.com.
Joe: That's the website you can go to purchase and check out Slumber CBN, the products. Also give their blog a read. A lot of great read. And there is the...that's the oil. Correct?
Rich: Correct. Yup.
Joe: So, you can go on their website, check out all the products they have there. Try a sample pack. Let Rich and his team know how you like it. Again, that's www.slumbercbn.com. Rich Barnes, co-founder Slumber CBN, thanks for joining me. A lot of great information on CBN. Will have to have you back.
Rich: Anytime, man. Let me know. Love it.
Joe: Sounds good. Will do. Rich Barnes, the co-founder of Slumber CBN, my guest on this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." And I thank you for turning in to this episode. Reminder to hit that Subscribe button wherever you catch your podcast. Get notifications each week when new episodes are published. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult with your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.