High above Bel Air, in a lofty mansion patrolled by guards with AR-15s, professional poker player and partier Dan Bilzerian is presiding over a glitzy event celebrating the launch of his new line of cannabis products. With Ignite, Bilzerian aims to muscle his way into the legal marijuana marketplace. The line includes flower, prerolls, live resin and vape cartridges—in fact, the Ignite CBD vape pen was recently awarded a High Times Cannabis Cup for Best CBD Product at the 2018 Alaska Cup. Bilzerian proceeded to highlight the win by posing with the Cup resting on a nude model’s keister, with a dramatic view of Thailand in the background. It’s his most-liked Instagram pic ever, he says.
Bilzerian’s home is perfectly in keeping with his personality—opulent, with a large amount of real estate dedicated to his weights and workout machines, and populated on this evening with poreless models in bodycon dresses. His enormous kitchen is filled with black-shirted staff streaming to and fro replenishing the food station for the festivities. A note on the gleaming stainless steel fridge says, “DAN’S FRIDGE ONLY—thanks for looking” with a little smiley face signature. Bartenders pour vodka for guests swarming up the stairs into the inner sanctum, eager to gawk at the multi-millionaire’s abode. A DJ spins house music. Lights glitter, waterfalls tinkle, fire pits flicker. It’s all very over-the-top—just as Dan Bilzerian likes it. As one of the AR-15 toting guards notes to us when we eye his weapon while passing him in the stairwell, “Dan’s all about bravado.”
We encounter Bilzerian giving interviews in the penthouse, overlooking the massive rooftop gym and pool. He’s surrounded by people eager for a moment of his time, and he clearly relishes it. We’re given a few minutes to chat with him about Ignite. He’s excited to talk about his plans to expand the line into national and international markets. He recalls the first time he ever smoked weed, and muses about what his legacy will be.
What follows is a condensed and edited version of our conversation.
With the California launch of Ignite, you’re entering the world’s largest marijuana marketplace. Why now?
Well, I’ve actually been working on this for two years, so it’s just finally coming to fruition. It’s been a lot of work. We were going to do Nevada first and then we switched over to California. We’re going to do Nevada afterwards. And we’re also working on Canada. There’s just so many things—we just signed a deal for our CBD products, we’re going to be in 56,000 different locations. And we’re selling CBD online. We’ve been doing a lot of different things—this is our launch for THC products. As of tomorrow they will be available in California, but we’re expanding.
We’ve got a pretty good roll out planned in Canada. The beauty of Canada is, the whole country is going to be full rec and then they’re going to allow global export, so it’s just going to open up a lot of doors.
What do you feel your responsibility is to the cannabis community?
Just to promote the movement. I mean, really shine light on the fact that this is a plant that never should have been illegal in the first place. You can’t die from it. It’s got a ton of health benefits, and it’s just safer than any other way to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s better for you than alcohol. It’s far better for you than most of all the other drugs out there, including prescription drugs.
I look at CBD especially, all the benefits that it’s had for people fighting cancer or injuries. I could go on and on. I was actually helping this kid out—he’s passed away now, but he was on a ton of super, super strong painkillers and he started doing CBD and he was able to limit his use of like Oxy to, like, once a day, which was pretty crazy. And honestly, at first I didn’t really believe it. I just thought people were just trying to sell snake oil or whatever. Then I actually saw people using it, and it helped them out with pain and had significant effects. And it’s helped me out with sleeping.
I think for cannabis to be a Schedule I drug is just absurd, and I think the more people that stand up and talk about it, I think the better and the faster it’s going to be legalized, with Canada blazing the trail.
Do you use cannabis for its medicinal benefits, or recreationally?
I don’t know that I would say I’ve gotten a ton of medicinal health benefits from cannabis, other than the fact that I can work out the next day instead of being hungover from alcohol, and I can still have fun and, you know, let loose. I live in a world where I’ve got a million things going on all the time, and it’s nice to be able to smoke at the end of the day, and relax and unwind and kind of turn off the noise. And it’s definitely been beneficial for sleeping.
Did you ever play poker high?
I did. And I wouldn’t recommend it. You think that you’re doing good things but it’s not always—it’s funny. I was playing chess with friends, I would get high at night and I would play and then the next day I would look at my moves and I would definitely say that, you know, smoking a bunch of indica will impair your chess playing for sure. And I would say that translates to poker. So I would not recommend it.
Do you remember the first time you smoked marijuana?
Yeah, I do. Out of a tin can on a golf course. I was like 13. That was pretty fun. It was not good weed but it was good enough. It was back in the day when it was like regs and crip or hydro or whatever. So we had these shitty regs, and poked holes in a can. We’ve come a long ways.
Now that you have access to the best marijuana in the world, what’s your favorite?
Really depends on what I’m doing. If I’m working out, I really like Tangie sauce. I know sauce is usually pretty hardcore, but for me, if it’s a sativa and I get into the gym I can get that good mind-muscle connection and helps me out. If I’m watching a movie, I’ll definitely go more towards indicas or hybrids. I don’t like to smoke and go to the club. That kind of gives me anxiety. I don’t really like to be around a bunch of people. I was never really that guy. I know friends who can do it. I can’t, not my gig, but whatever works.
So you consider yourself a cannabis connoisseur?
I get into it. I like super terpy stuff. I do the low-temp dabs. I really look into what the different terpenes do. I’m just not a half-ass guy. If I’m going to get into something, I get all the way in it. And I’ve been smoking for like 27 years, but I haven’t really been like super into it like I have been the last few—as far as the terpene breakdown goes. I mean back when we were smoking, we didn’t have the breakdowns of the limonene, the myrcene and all the other stuff. Now you actually can see the breakdown of what you are smoking, and then see how that dictates how you feel and understand it.
And I think a lot of people get caught up in how much THC is in the bud, but it’s just like when you go to the liquor store—you don’t just buy Everclear because it has the most alcohol. So yeah, I think the terpenes are important, and I actually like when the plant gets natural sunlight, even though it doesn’t look as pretty. But you know, I was super involved in our line. I’ve tested everything that we’re going to sell.
What do you hope your legacy is after all of these ventures?
I mean, I honestly hope this is it. I hope it’s not the gambling and Instagram and the girls and all that other shit. I hope that it is this cannabis company, because it’s something that I really feel I can be proud of and can stand behind. And, you know, with gambling, somebody’s got to lose for you to win. Whereas with this, you can provide a great product, and you can win and they can win and everybody’s happy, you know? To me, that’s success.
The post Inside the Ignite Launch with Dan Bilzerian appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.