Welcome to our new Industry Focus sub-series that covers the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. As more markets open up to legal marijuana both recreational and medicinal, a growing industry is following in the wake. From salves to patches to edibles to extracts to good old flower, there is a revolution happening right under our noses.
The negative stigma has finally started to fall away from what many are considering to be a miracle plant. The health benefits of cannabinoids like CBD and CBN are just starting to make an impact and scientists have only scratched the surface on the healing powers of the plant. Currently, there are 113 known cannabinoids in cannabis, and we have a lot to learn about them.
The good news is that more legalization will increase research budgets and help bring this knowledge to light a lot sooner.
Magnetic Magazine's HQ is now in Denver, Colorado - a hotbed for the marijuana industry as it was one of the first states to legalize recreational consumption. We got the chance to sit down with Alex Cahoj, the founder of Evolab, one of the leaders in the oils and topical products.
Tell us a little bit about your background and why you decided to become a cannabis entrepreneur? Was there ever a point in time where you thought you made the wrong choice?
Alex Cahoj: I went to school, and received a BA in business with a focus in entrepreneurship. My original goal was to get into wine import and export. After a few failed ventures post-college and little to no funds, I resorted back to old faithful - the four grow lights in my garage. This evolved over the years into the Evolab we know today. There were times I was unsure if I would be able to deliver. Things like low yields and low efficiency were a real challenge in the beginning.
Your company, Evolab, makes some of the best oils out there, can you tell us a little bit about the products, process, and overall philosophy? Why is Evolab kicking so much ass?
Alex Cahoj: As you know, our principle extraction solvent is CO2. Downstream from there, we use a variety of technologies including distillation and purification with supercritical fluid chromatography. We put special care into refining terpenes, then refining cannabinoids, then selling them individually as both FreshTerps and Chroma, and also selling them re-combined as Alchemy. All of our products are designed to preserve the full integrity of the cannabis plant. We process the absolute best plant material to make oils that are 100% pure, without the use of cutting agents or harmful solvents.
Cannabis is still controversial in the medical community despite showing positive effects for ailments like anxiety, epilepsy, etc. Why do you think this is?
Alex Cahoj: There continue to be campaigns of misinformation out there. Who knows what pharmaceutical agenda factors into this? I think doctors are likely scared to voice support as they might be stigmatized, or fear losing prestigious positions. Also, there's a lot of unwinding to still be done from the old perception of why cannabis might be bad for you.
Where do you see Cannabis culture in 10 years?
Alex Cahoj: There will always be an important subculture that defines the roots of cannabis; however, I do think that mainstream acceptance will be a reality.
What’s your favorite strain? Why?
Alex Cahoj: I love the Ghost Train Haze. The uplifting sensation hits me without the paranoia or anxiety of other sativas. And the flavor is outright phenomenal.
Can you tell us a little bit about CBNs and how they affect people?
Alex Cahoj: There are at least 113 different cannabinoids found in cannabis, with a significant degree of varying effects. The most well known of which is THC. This is also the primary component responsible for psycho-activity, or "getting high." It is believed that the other cannabinoids influence and moderate the effects of THC. In general, CBG, CBC, and CBC are not known to have any psychoactive effects, where THC, CBN, and CBD-L do. Other things that impact the effects to the user include cannabinoid ratios and body chemistry.
Are there any new products coming out from Evolab this year? Or is there anything in the works?
Alex Cahoj: Always. We are always innovating and pushing the envelope, which includes many new and exciting products. The products of the future will focus more on human physiology and chemistry.