Kate Leaman: Hello and welcome to leafreport.com. Today we are with a very interesting company called fourfive CBD, and you might well recognize the guys sitting next to me, especially if you happen to like rugby.
Kate Leaman: Hello, this is George Kruis and Dom Day.
George Kruis: Hello. How’s it going?
fourfive Hello there.
Kate Leaman: So tell me a little bit about you guys first. Who are you?
George Kruis: We are professional rugby players. We’re both at Saracens rugby club. Dom has just retired. We play rugby. Been playing rugby now, myself, 10 years and Dom, around 14, 15 years.
Kate Leaman: Okay. Cool. Obviously, you’re not playing rugby today are you? We’re here for a very different reason. So can you just tell us, what is fourfive CBD?
Dom Day: Yeah. So fourfive CBD is obviously our brand of cannabis oils. We got into the business through trying the products ourselves. Being professional athletes, we decided we need to make a product that was a safe as possible for us to take. So we’ve come a long way and we’ve ended up where we are at the minute, with our own brand, and our own oils, and balms, and capsules. It’s a really exciting place to be in.
Kate Leaman: So let’s just take it back, right to the beginning. What is the connection between CBD and athletes, like yourselves?
George Kruis: I think, as an athlete you’re always looking for the marginal gains. So those small bits, which you can try and improve. For us, it’s a lot about recovery, it’s about being as healthy as possible and trying to present your body to a place where you can then go and play very well.
George Kruis: Yeah. It started off through marginal gains and trying to be the best we could be. And in January, 2018, Wilder, our governing body for banned substances allowed CBD on its own, to be taken by athletes. I think that’s what kind of spurred us on to experimenting and then making a business out of it.
Kate Leaman: So, you’re all in on CBD, so you must see some amazing benefits to it. What kind of benefits? Does it help with recovery or healing or antiinflammatory? What kinds of things does it do for you?
Dom Day: I think the first thing we noticed was probably the quality of sleep that we were getting. I think it’s very tied into sleep and recovery. So it’s the first thing a lot of people notice when taking CBD.
Kate Leaman: So sleep. It’s helping you fall asleep or it’s giving you a better quality of sleep?
Dom Day: Probably the quality of sleep. But I’ve never really struggled falling asleep, to be honest. But, definitely the quality of sleep and terms of having a deeper sleep and not waking up during the night.
Kate Leaman: And what about painkillers then? Can CBDs replace the need for painkillers?
George Kruis: For us, obviously it’s a touchy subject where, we’re owners of a brand, but then also, I’ve experienced, benefits from CBD. So obviously, we can’t make too many medical claims around it, being owners of a brand. But I think there’s definitely a movement in sport, in general to find more natural alternatives than painkillers. And I believe CBD, and going forward, maybe medical cannabis both could be things that definitely help along the way.
Kate Leaman: But what about the THC in the products? Is that going to be a problem in testing, as an athlete?
George Kruis: Yeah. So we have two ranges. Obviously, our products are geared towards active people, in general. So, yoga people, right through to cyclists, to rugby players. So we have two ranges, obviously our full spectrum range that includes traces of THC. And then we’ve got another range which is tested by BSCG, which is a banned substance control group, that tests for over 400 banned substance or so. So that is the range that we take, and we’ll be expanding that range into more products. But essentially, we look to cover both types of customers, I guess.
Kate Leaman: So, that’s a massive thing, isn’t it? Being able to offer athletes a product which can help them, without obviously having THC in them. But, what are the differences between the products with THC and without THC? Do they have different purposes?
George Kruis: Essentially, they’re for the same people, targeting the same things, the same benefits. So I wouldn’t say that they’re too different. But the customer itself. So whether they’re a tested athlete or are tested within their workplace, compared to your everyday people, who maybe don’t have that situation.
Kate Leaman: And are you saying that this is something people should use every day, or should they use it for specific incidents? Like when they want to sleep better or when they’ve got an injury or something?
Dom Day: Yeah. Well, we’re very different, myself and George, as to how we take it. So I would take it a lot like some would take vitamins in the morning. So I will have our oil morning and night, just to keep it in my system all day. Whereas, George is slightly different. He’ll take it just when he feels like he needs to sleep well and recover. Yeah. That’s right, isn’t it?
George Kruis: Yeah. I think the main thing we see it as and encouraged people to see it as, is like any other supplement. It is classified as a supplement, but we like to treat it as one as well, and as a balanced, healthy diet, healthy approach to life, to take it on a daily supplement.
Kate Leaman: So, you’ve gone from obviously taking it as athletes to manufacturing it and like offering it as a product. That’s a pretty big leap. Is that just cause you really, really believe in it? How did that happen?
George Kruis: I think because there was the belief in it and we knew that maybe, a couple of people initially, were looking at it in each club, and throughout the premiership. And to have those people umming and ahing about it, we just thought there was probably an opportunity there to create product that people can rely on.
Kate Leaman: Okay.
Dom Day: George touched on it there, the belief in the product, as we’ve seen the results, I think definitely makes a lot easier and gives us that enthusiasm, moving forward in the business. And especially looking at the industry in North America and how it’s gone there. Everyone always says that the UK new Europe are a few years behind. We’ve seen over there, how successful CBD has been in North America, so we felt like it was a great opportunity and a great time to do it.
Kate Leaman: So what about the actual plants themselves? Do you grow them? Where do you source them?
Dom Day: All our raw hemp is sourced from Europe. Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and the Netherlands. When we first started the business, we knew we needed a good supply chain, which is absolutely key, and great raw product. So, it took us months and months, going out, meeting different manufacturers, different suppliers, before we were really comfortable locking in our supply chain and having, like I said, the great raw product, but making sure there was enough of it to be scalable.
Kate Leaman: Now, we’re here in a place just outside of London called St. Albans, and I know that you offer your products to the UK. But what about the rest of the world? Are there any plans for expansion?
George Kruis: Yeah, for sure. We’re currently UK and Ireland, but we do ship out to Europe. But definitely, Europe will be our next step in terms of retail wise. But, we have set up a franchise in South Africa as well. So we’re slowly getting there.
Kate Leaman: What about the products themselves? Can we take a look? Maybe even try some? Or am I going to fall asleep?
Dom Day: Absolutely.
George Kruis: Absolutely. Pick what you want, I guess.
Kate Leaman: Okay. Show me what is your best selling product.
George Kruis: Our best selling, probably our core ranges. So your oils, and your capsules and your balms are predominantly the ones that sell the most. Of that, probably the oils. Our 500 and our 1000 oils do well.
Kate Leaman: How do people know which ones to take? Does somebody advise them or is the information all on the website?
George Kruis: So there’s plenty of information on our website, a www.fourfivecbd.co.uk. But essentially, you’ll have a decent enough amount of information on the packaging.
Kate Leaman: Okay.
George Kruis: And like I said, there’s plenty online to get your teeth stuck into.
Kate Leaman: Okay, cool. So this is CBD oil.
George Kruis: Yeah.
Kate Leaman: So you take one or two sprays under the tongue, say morning and night, basically?
George Kruis: Yeah.
Kate Leaman: It won’t make you start falling asleep or anything, will it?
George Kruis: No, it won’t. For me, it puts it in a calmer state.
Kate Leaman: Okay.
George Kruis: And then that allows me, when I want to go to bed, to fall asleep.
Kate Leaman: Okay.
George Kruis: Depending on body size and so, we tend to aim for between 20 and 40, maybe 50 mgs a day. So, that kind of gives you a rough guide of where you should be at.
Kate Leaman: Okay. Did you want to show us how the product-
Dom Day: Yeah. This is our orange flavor. So, we have a natural and an orange flavor in three strengths. So 500, 1000 and 2000mgs. So, this is a product I take. So, it is 1000mg orange. So, just take four squirts, morning and night. You can try it, if you want. Be honest.
Kate Leaman: It tastes really orange-y. It’s lovely. Really nice.
George Kruis: It was like we prepped you for that.
Kate Leaman: Yeah.
George Kruis: Here’s one I made earlier.
Kate Leaman: Yeah.
George Kruis: But another product we’ve got recently is our … I feel like a salesman, here, is our muscle rub. It’s BSCG certified as well. So it’s-
Dom Day: Safe for athletes.
George Kruis: … safe for athletes. Yeah. We’re getting there. We’re trying to expand our range, and this is our latest edition.
Kate Leaman: Cool. So what about the future then? What else is happening with you guys, that we should know about?
Dom Day: Well, like George mentioned there, product development is something that we’re really looking into at the minute. Research and development into a couple more balms and oils maybe. But then into products that will be, certainly the first in Europe. So that is something we’re really excited about.
Kate Leaman: And so what about you then, George? How does the future look for you?
George Kruis: Personally, myself, still involved in professional rugby. So day to day, I’ll be doing that. Like I said, Dom’s retired and is now full time in the office. But I think, as a company, we want to start bridging the gap between CBD use for sportsmen and the possibility, I know it might sound ridiculous now, but the possibility of athletes being able to use medical cannabis for different treatments.
George Kruis: So obviously, as a tested athlete, I’ve been tested nine or 10 times this year, myself. So it’s a touchy one and it’s probably a controversial one. But I think as the stigma drops and more and more emphasis goes into medical cannabis and CBD use as well, we want to position ourselves to be in that arena.
Kate Leaman: And so, finally, how do you keep the products? How do you ensure the cleanliness and the purity of the products?
Dom Day: Well first of all, like I said, we met with many different growers, suppliers, manufacturers before we even started. The key thing for us is traceability from seed to shelf. All our products are fully traceable.
Dom Day: And then, off the back of that, we test at different stages of the manufacturing process. We test as a raw, we test in the middle of the process, and the finished product. And the finished product, we actually test three times with different third party labs, just to ensure that the certification that we get all matches up. And if something doesn’t match up, then we’ll take it off the shelves and we’ll look at it again.
Dom Day: So, we make sure everything’s clean, everything’s GMP citified and we really look to our citification to help us bridge the gap between the product and the barriers for the consumers buying the product. Because there’s so much poor media out there at the minute, around products not having what it says in there. So that is something that we’ve really worked hard to ensure.
Kate Leaman: And I guess, the fact that you both take the product regularly yourself is really a stamp of approval for it.
George Kruis: Yeah. We like to think that. Like I said, we’ve been tested a fair few times this year, so that’s a good marker, I guess.
Kate Leaman: And what about the legal status of CBD then? Is it legal to make it?
George Kruis: At the moment the FSA are producing guidelines on it, we believe that we’ll hear around Christmas time. But there’s definitely a movement towards compliance and restrictions and … Well, I wouldn’t say restrictions, but regulation, as such. And as a company that’s quite quite clear on trying to be as transparent as possible, we embrace that. We’re fully up for that.
George Kruis: As a youngish company, we just want it to be a fair shot for all companies coming through. As long as they’re compliant, then we don’t want them to basically block smaller companies out, by having large fees and large barriers to entry. So, for us-
Kate Leaman: Does that worry you, that some of the big boys, even some of the say, medical giants, might take over making CBD? I don’t know. Could that be a problem?
George Kruis: Look, we try to think like a big company and so we do embrace it. The fact that large, big companies, medical companies are coming on board is brilliant because, we know that it’s good that they’ll produce a load of research and there’ll be a lot more movement in the market.
George Kruis: Like I said, for us, we embrace it. We want the regulation to be fair for all, basically.
Kate Leaman: And what do you think of the future of CBD products then, for athletes?
Dom Day: I think, as the stigma around CBD products and cannabis as a whole falls, then I think there’s no reason why it can’t be brought into athletes’ everyday routines. It helped us so massively in our careers and in our recovery, that we’d love to push it and be a part of that movement, moving forward, as well.
Kate Leaman: I love that. That’s really inspirational.
Kate Leaman: And what about the name, fourfive CBD? Where does that come from?
George Kruis: It comes from our positions on the rugby field. We’re both actually in a similar position, but we basically pack down next to each other in a scrum, and on the back of mine would be four, on the back of Dom’s would be five. So it’s a little twist on, basically what we have come from and what we’re coming into now.
Dom Day: We’ll have to change it to four retired, now.
George Kruis: Four retired, yeah.
Kate Leaman: Well, I told you these guys were special. Listen, thank you ever so much. Be sure to check out fourfive CBD. It’s a great products, and I can tell you that, having tested it myself.
Kate Leaman: You can check out the review on our website leafreport.com and be sure to visit us again soon. Thanks for watching. Bye for now.