Listen to Episode 08
Many seniors and older adults are turning toward natural alternatives to help with sleep, pain and stiffness. In this episode, we talk to Kerrigan Behrens, the Co-Founder of Sagely Naturals, a company focused on bring CBD products to the marketplace for older adults.
CBD products are new to the market, so I get a chance to ask Kerrigan many questions, that you or your loved one may have. Here are a few of the questions I asked:
- Why are seniors turning to CBD oil?
- What forms does CBD come in and what's the difference?
- Is CBD oil legal for seniors to use?
- Does CBD oil have side effects?
- CBD oil shopping tips–what to look out for
Kerrigan Behrens, Cofounder and CMO of Sagely Naturals
Kerrigan Behrens is the Cofounder and CMO of Sagely Naturals. Before starting Sagely, Kerrigan spent five years at UBS Securities, where she held a variety of roles including hedge fund financing sales and capital introduction, in which she worked with hedge fund marketers to effectively market to West Coast investors.
Her passion for branding led her to pursue work at Wolfgang Puck and Taco Bell, where she executed marketing campaigns. Kerrigan has her BA from Duke University and her MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Transcript of Episode 08 with Guest Kerrigan Behrens
Heather: Welcome to Your Best Years Begin Here, podcast, brought to you by the theseniorlist.com. Your Best Years focuses on bringing you interviews with experts and educators to live a fun, free and fulfilled life as a mature adult. I'm your host, Heather Havenwood so let's have some fun and get started.
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Heather: Hi, everyone, my name is Heather Havenwood and welcome to The Senior List. Welcome to Your Best Years Begin Here, sponsored by the The Senior List where we help Boomers, 50-plus and their caregivers with the best resources to create a great life. And I am super excited today to be talking to someone, a young, beautiful woman who's actually created something that every senior and person over 40 really needs. Right. And so, thank you for being here, Kerrigan.
Kerrigan: I'm so happy to be here. Thanks for having me on, Heather.
Heather: Absolutely, So I'm going to tell you a little bit who Kerrigan is. And so, Kerrigan, can you please say your last name for me?
Kerrigan: Yes, it's Behrens.
Heather: Thank you. Okay, Kerrigan Behrens is the co-founder and CMO of Sagely Naturals. Before starting Sagely, Kerrigan, spent five years at UBS Securities where she held a variety of roles including hedge fund, financing and sales and capital introduction, in which she worked with hedge fund marketers to effectively market to west coast investors.
Her passion for branding led her to pursue work at Wolfgang Puck and Taco bell where she executed marketing campaigns. Kerrigan has her BA from Duke University and her MBA from UCLA Anderson, I'm sorry UCLA. She started the company in 2015. Okay. That's the basics. Right? So let's talk about Sagely Naturals and what it is.
Heather: Let's start with the real basics because there was a lot of controversy about CBD. Is that hemp? Is that this? Is it that? Right? So we're going to talk about those things today. So if anyone's listening saying, “I have chronic pain and anyway we're going to be talking about what exactly is the best uses for CBD.
We're going to be asking questions about why use it? Just all kinds of different questions about your health and wellbeing and why it's so awesome. So let's start with the basic questions. Sagely Naturals, what exactly does your company do?
Kerrigan: We infuse CBD, which is a compound that comes from either the hemp or marijuana plant. We use it from hemp into wellness products, things like cream, butter, herbs soothing muscles and capsules that contain CBD. And turmeric for anti-inflammation. We started the company three years ago after my business partner and I realized that CBD was a life-changing ingredient.
It was going to help a lot of people, but none of the products on the market were products that spoke to me or for someone like my mom who is a Baby Boomer woman that has, unfortunately, just been dealing with increasing aches and pains. So we created the brand to be accessible and safe and to make it appeal to people like ourselves and our moms.
Heather: I love that. That's great. If it's good enough for mom it's good enough for anybody.
Heather: That's great. Okay, so now we can find you at sagelynaturals.com. Let's start with the basics. Why are seniors turning to CBD oil?
Kerrigan: CBD is a really incredible compound in that it has a lot of health benefits. But specifically, as it relates to seniors, one of the main reasons that we're actually making Sagely products is for natural pain relief. So CBD, not only is anti-inflammatory, which I mentioned before, and that helps to get to the root of the problem, but a lot of our pain is caused by inflammation. It also, when it gets inside of your body, helps to stem the feeling of pain at the nerve level.
Kerrigan: One of the issues with regular pain relievers is that it might actually mask the pain by distracting you from it, but it's not helping with the root cause. So natural pain relief is one of the biggest reasons why seniors are turning to CBD. Another thing is that it helps to get you to sleep and it helps with deeper sleep. I know my mom, after she went through menopause, she started waking up a million times throughout the night. Her hormones were really just making it hard for her to get a solid night's sleep. And CBD helps us to extend our REM sleep, which is the part of that is really deep. And it also helps to aid relaxation, which can help you with getting to sleep.
Kerrigan: Couple more things. It can help with Alzheimer's, Dementia because it is neuro-generative, meaning that CBD actually helps to stimulate the growth of cells. So we're still really understanding how it does this, but they have seen that it does have brain-protecting properties.
Finally, it can help bolster heart health. Recent research has shown that CBD is linked to a lot of heart-healthy benefits, for example, blood pressure control. And then like I mentioned before, stress reduction, which always helps the heart.
Heather: Okay. So that's a lot of different things of why seniors are turning to CBD oil. But let's go down the road of, there's a lot of controversy because CBD oil is it weed? Is it hemp? If I'm going to give this to my mother or father, are they smoking weed all of a sudden? What actually, what form does CBD come in and what's the differences and where does it come from?
Kerrigan: Yeah. So it's such a good question and that's usually the first thing that people ask us when they hear about what we're doing. The first thing to understand is that there was a plant that's called Cannabis and Cannabis is the overarching name for both hemp and marijuana. Cannabis is just the plant species.
Hemp and marijuana are as similar as an orange and a lemon, just in the same way that orange and lemons are both citrus, hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis. But there actually is a legal distinction.
Kerrigan: The reason why we can sell our product on our website and not in a medical marijuana dispensary is that it comes from the hemp plant, which means that it has less than .3% THC. And THC is the compound that many of you probably have heard of because that's the one that is associated with getting you high or said more clinically, that's the psychoactive effect.
Kerrigan: We derive our CBD from hemp. It can be derived from marijuana or hemp. So that's a really good question to ask when you're thinking about using CBD for the first time is which plant did this come from? And whether you want the psychoactive effects or not will help you determine whether you're interested in using CBD from hemp or from marijuana, because if it's coming from marijuana, most likely there's going to be a fair amount of THC in there. Whereas, if it comes from hemp it's going to legally have less than .3%, which means you're not going to have to worry about getting that psychoactive effect.
Heather: That actually explains a lot of different things. Okay. So let me go down this road. First of all, why did you start the company?
Kerrigan: Well, I alluded to it in my introduction, but I have, unfortunately, dealt with lower back pain for years and I had gone to a physical therapist, a chiropractor. I had seen orthopedic surgeons. A lot of people deal with lower back pain. That's a very hard thing to diagnose. At the end of the day, CBD was the first thing that naturally helps me to deal with the pain.
First time I ever tried it, it helped with the lower back pain. I also realized I was feeling a lot less stressed out. I started looking at products on the market. I realized that there were really not a lot of good options as far as, quality of ingredients. And then even just simply branding, we didn't want to have Cheech and Chong on our products. The point for us was really about providing the therapeutic benefits of Cannabis without the psychoactive effects.
Kerrigan: Same thing could be said for my mom. She deals with chronic back pain as well. And I wasn't going to be able to convince her to try CBD for the first time if I didn't put it in a form that felt familiar. So Sagely Naturals was founded three years ago based on this idea that we could offer people products that contained these benefits of Cannabis in a familiar form.
I'll just show you, this is an example of one of our products. It's a lotion and it looks like something you would already have in your bathroom. This is not a tincture, this is not a vape pen, this is not a joint, but it's still contains a lot of the same benefits that you would associate with those things.
Kerrigan: And so all of our products are just like this one in that their products you already find in your bathroom cabinet. They're not something that if your husband saw it on your dresser would say like, “What's that doing here?”
Heather: And actually, you're right. I remember when I first got a few CBD oil about a year ago and they're very green with the big hemp leaf that's kind of the universal symbol for weed. And I was like, “Oh, don't put that in the area where I don't want anyone to see that I'm taking CBD oil when in reality it's actually very healthy for you and it helped me as well. Okay. So does CBD oil have side effects? And before we get into that, let's go the legal route. Is CBD oil, legal for seniors to use in all 50 states or 51 states?
Kerrigan: Yeah. So in 2014, Congress passed a bill that is called the Farm Bill. And what that did was it said to the US that growing hemp and selling hemp was now legal. So in the past, hemp had not been treated like a normal agricultural product. And then, in 2014 when they passed this bill, what it meant was that let's treat hemp the same way that we treat cotton or oranges or any other commodity that you can find at a store.
There's a little bit more complication than that brief explanation but the bottom line is that it is legal to grow hemp. It's legal to sell products that contain hemp. And because we're not sourcing our CBD from marijuana and rather because we are sourcing it from hemp, these products are legal and you can buy them, like I said, on our website and have them shipped to any state across the US.
Heather: What about places outside of the US?
Kerrigan: That's a little bit harder to say. Canada has made marijuana legal, so CBD is definitely legal in Canada. We are currently only selling into the United States so it's a little bit harder for me to detail international. But when people email us and they say, “I'm going out of the country, can I take my Sagely?” We usually say, “Just to be safe, you may as well leave it at home,” because we don't want to get people in trouble.
Heather: Right, right, right. Geez, this woman was stopped in Amsterdam or something. No. Yeah, there's a gray line. There's a lot of talk, there's a lot of buzz. What CBD versus hemp versus all the … Thank you for the clarification today. Does CBD oil have any side effects? And most seniors are on medications. So can you talk at all about the side effects and maybe potential effects with medication?
Kerrigan: Yeah, absolutely. It's a great question. The first drug to be passed in the United States that was derived from Cannabis is called Epidiolex, and that actually just happened within the last couple of months. And this is a really big deal because that's actually the FDA, which is the governing body that keeps Americans safe in their foods and drugs, said that this drug was safe for consumption. Now, the drug is specifically for children with a rare form of epilepsy.
So you could argue, well, how does this apply to the rest of the population? But the amazing thing about it is to get the drug passed, they had to do a lot of safety studies. As you can assume since the drug is for children, the studies were even more exhaustive and what they saw was that even in very high doses, because the kids were taking quite a lot of CBD, there was no toxic side effect.
Kerrigan: Another interesting thing is that there has never been a development of a tolerance. So if you take 20 milligrams a day of CBD regularly for months on end you're not going to have to start stepping up that dosage to 30, 40 milligrams down the road. You can keep up the 20 milligrams because your body doesn't develop a tolerance to it. As far as your question about the interactions with drugs, that's where I kind of have to say, you should probably consult with your doctor.
We know that CBD and other cannabinoids are natural to the body. There are similar compounds that are found in breast milk, in broccoli and Echinacea. With that said, we're not entirely sure yet how it interacts with other drugs because there just hasn't been researched on that. So the best thing would be, tell your doctor like, “Okay, I'm taking this blood pressure medication, I want to start trying CBD. Do you know of any side effects?”
Heather: Great. That's great advice. Thank you for that. Okay. One of those is the tips because there's a lot of different companies out there right now that are pushing it. So it's kind of this weird thing. Can we, as consumers and people listening, can you have some tips and things that you can look at maybe in the ingredients, image? Can you help them with that?
Kerrigan: Yeah, absolutely.
Heather: Also, to talk about the grams, are you talking about 25 grams, 30 grams. I mean, there's a big difference and maybe you talk about what that means as far as body type, and what's the recommended dosages, things like that.
Kerrigan: Let me start with what to look for when you're buying CBD. The first thing that we've already talked about is, is the CBD coming from hemp or marijuana? And that's a really important question to ask because you may have preferences with regards to whether or not you're going to feel that psychoactive effect. So if you want the psychoactive effect or are comfortable with that, then you should feel comfortable using CBD from marijuana.
If you would prefer not to have the psychoactive effect than I would definitely recommend buying CBD that's been derived from hemp. Now, with that said, not all hemp is equal. A lot of companies are using hemp that's been grown outside of the country. For us, that was never an option because we wanted to be able to visit the farm, actually know for a fact that they were using no pesticides in the growth of the hemp.
Kerrigan: Finding a company that has its hemp grown domestically, is very important for us. Our hemp is grown in Kentucky. We go to the farm, multiple times a year. We speak with the farmers. The extractor is like, “We know exactly how it's grown.” Another thing is, is whether the CBD is a full plant full-spectrum oil, or whether it's an isolate. There are a lot of cannabinoids that are in the Cannabis plant. THC and CBD are just two of them.
There're actually over a hundred. And we're only just discovering now what all of these different compounds do. What we know though is that the compounds are all beneficial and so you want to have the interplay of the compounds, and you don't want to just have that CBD isolate because you're not going to get the same health benefits that are associated with the whole plant.
Kerrigan: So if you find a product that's an isolate, you can compare yourself with the whole plant, but our strong belief is that the whole plant full-spectrum oil is going to give you more of the effects that you're looking for. Finally, you want to know that the product is using a bioavailable CBD, and what I mean by that is that your body is actually going to be absorbing the CBD that's in it. We have a capsule product that is CBD plus turmeric.
You'll probably notice from other supplements that you take that if you look at the percent daily value, oftentimes like on a Vitamin C supplement, for example, it'll say 3000 times the daily value. The reason why they do that is because when you take the pill, you're actually not absorbing all of that Vitamin C, a lot of it's processed out in the body before you ever absorb it.
Kerrigan: With CBD, when it's in oil form, it does not absorb very easily into the body, which is why it's so important that you look for a brand that uses water-soluble CBD, which is what we do in our supplements. And then finally, looking at the ancillary ingredients. So in all of our topicals, we don't use parabens, PEG, synthetic fragrances, all the things that can cause hormone disruptions and other side effects that we want to make sure that our products are safe.
Kerrigan: Your second question was about dosage. That's a really hard one to answer because everybody is different. So the best suggestion we can give people is to start with one or two applications a day of whatever it is you're taking. So for the capsules, you'd start with one.
For the cream, you'd start with one or two pumps of the lotion, see how it feels. Test it out for maybe about a week and see how you're adapting to it. And then if you're not getting the desire you want, step it up to two caps full. Start using the cream more. For a lot of people, they find their sweet spot within the first two to three weeks that they are using the product.
Heather: Okay, great. Wow, that's a lot of information.
Kerrigan: A lot of information, I know.
Heather: No, but it's really good because now people can really understand and feel savvy when they're purchasing through your site or others what actually is a CBD thing, because it is new. And 2014, that's not a long time ago and there's not a lot of information out there right now yet. So I think that, that's a really … Thank you for that. I want to make sure people know where they can find you. That's sagelynatural.com. Let's spell that for everybody.
Kerrigan: Thank you.
Heather: Sure. It's S-A-G-E-L-Y N-A-T-U-R-A-L-S .com That Sagely, so think sage and put an ly and then naturals and.com. That is it. Kerrigan, is there anything else that we can share with our listeners at The Senior List to help them live a better life?
Kerrigan: Oh, I just really encourage you all to try CBD. It's something that's completely changed my life. It's changed my mom's life. It's something new, so if you have any additional questions, we certainly like to be a resource. Our website has a lot of blog content with questions that we get every day from our customers. I would encourage you to do your own research and then give it a try.
Heather: That's awesome. Thank you, Kerrigan, so much for your time and congratulations on your new company. It's going to be very prosperous over the years and I think it's great that you're helping so many women today with pain. So thank you for that.
Kerrigan: Thank you so much, Heather. It's been so great to talk to you.
Heather: Absolutely. You can find us at theseniorlist.com/sagely. That's S-A-G-E-L-Y. Again, and you're listening to The Senior List. Check us out, theseniorlist.com.
Heather: Thank you for listening to Your Best Years Begin Here podcast. Brought to you by theseniorlist.com. I'm your host Heather Havenwood. Please visit our website at theseniorlist.com and join many of our community groups on Facebook.
Here at The Senior List, we want to hear from you. Do you have a recommendation or a person or company you want us to interview? Tell us, email us at email@example.com. Again, that's firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, one goal, one passion, helping you live your best life.