Grower Stories #146: Annika McCann
Primal Botanicals Creates Organic and Full-Spectrum CBD Products
The AskGrowers team chats with Annika McCann from Primal Botanical. She talks about how the company’s birth is rooted in her personal, family-related experiences. We also learn about how the brand separates itself from others by creating organic, full-spectrum CBD products that are made from very carefully sourced hemp. She gives advice to those just starting to use CBD, talks about personal consumption, and also names her ideal celebrity to share some CBD with! #growerstories
I’ve been an herbalist for 30 years, so I’ve been making medicine for a long time! I’m also a registered nurse and work in the operating room of my local community hospital in Vermont.
Tia (AskGrowers) : Tell us how you started Primal Botanical?
Annika McCann : I learned about cannabis as a medicinal plant in herb school, but didn’t pay much attention to it because it was illegal and so expensive. When my teenage daughter developed serious mental health issues eight years ago, I tried everything I could think of to help her. We gave CBD a try, and I was astonished by the impact it had on her - within three days she went from unstable to stable. It was like a switch got flipped.
At that point, I realized I had to learn a lot more about cannabis. I figured out how to make my own CBD oil and was thrilled when it worked just as well as the pricy lab-extracting product we were using. I never intended to start a business, but the results I was seeing in my daughter and in other family members made me so enthusiastic that I wanted to share CBD with the whole world!
Tia : What was the main idea behind when you just started it?
Annika : As an herbalist and nurse, I have the knowledge and background to really understand how plants interact with the body. I wanted to share my skills and help others see the amazing benefits of using high-quality CBD products.
Tia : What kind of pain point have you faced launching the business?
Annika : I’m not a business-y person, so I had a lot to learn! The most challenging aspects were the regulatory issues - the laws and regulations can be vague and contradictory. Vermont does an excellent job managing the state hemp program, but the federal agencies and the banking industry have a long way to go.
Tia : What was your initial capital for opening up the brand?
Annika : I’m a one-woman show and I started very small. I think I put about $3000 into starting the business.
Tia : What’s your brand focus?
Annika : At Primal Botanical CBD, I create certified organic, full-spectrum, handcrafted CBD products using Vermont-grown hemp flowers. Using my training as an herbalist, I extract the CBD from the hemp myself, and all my products are handmade by me personally. I strive to create the highest quality CBD for people who prefer natural, minimally processed, small-batch products.
Tia : What’s the hardest thing in handling a business like yours?
Annika : Wearing all the hats! There are so many different aspects of running a small business. Juggling everything is a real challenge.
Tia : In your opinion, what’s the best way to grow cannabis? Why?
Annika : I’m not a grower myself, but I’m very picky about how I source my hemp. My growers are certified organic and grow in a remote part of Vermont in rich soil that has never had pesticides used on it. The plants are spaced far apart because plenty of airflow results in healthier plants. They pay a lot of attention to the soil and use tons of compost.
Tia : Do you have any tips for someone starting to use CBD?
Annika : I encourage people to start with a very small dose and increase gradually. Some lucky people find a small dose to be very effective, while others will need a fairly large dose to see good results. Take it consistently, take the time to go up in dosage, and give it at least a couple of weeks before deciding it’s not working for you.
I also suggest that if someone is switching brands, they start with a lower dose than they are currently taking; CBD varies so dramatically between brands that the dose needed might be quite different.
Tia : As a rule, CBD is consumed to minimize stress/relaxation. Does CBD work for everyday usage?
Annika : Absolutely! CBD is much more effective when taken consistently.
Tia : Back in the old times, cannabis united diverse people. Do you preserve these old traditions? If yes, what do you do about that?
Annika : Cannabis is an amazing plant in that nearly everyone can be helped by some type of cannabis product! I serve a wide range of people of all ages with a variety of health issues.
Tia : If you could have a chance to smoke with anyone on this planet, who’d that be and why? (dead or alive)
Annika : [tooltip title="Robin McLaurin Williams" content="American actor, comedian, and stand-up artist. He was nominated and received many awards such as Grammy, Golden Globe, and others."]Robin Williams[/tooltip]. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
Tia : Is Primal Botanical a sustainable company? What do you do about that?
Annika : Sustainability is an important priority for Primal Botanical. We strive to use as little plastic in our packaging as possible and use biodegradable or previously used packing materials for shipping. We also donate a portion of our profits to social justice causes that are important to us.
Tia : Top 3 strains to smoke for you personally?
Annika : I’m not much of a stoner. When I smoke, it’s usually just a tiny bit in the evening to relax me and help me sleep. I just have whatever strain my husband is having!
Tia : Do you think people should invest in the cannabis stock market at all? Why?
Annika : I’m not the person to ask about anything financial!
Tia : What are your predictions on the cannabis industry for the next 5-10 years?
Annika : I think big companies such as tobacco and soda companies are eager to get in the game and will jump in as soon as some of the banking and federal regulatory issues are straightened out. I hope that little craft producers like me aren’t forced out of the industry.
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Thank you so much, Primal Botanical team, for taking the time to do the interview. To learn more about them, head on over to their website.