This week b.Blunt Talks to Eden Tosch, the co-owner of HigherVeda Medicinals, an innovative edible company that combines Ayurvedic herbs and exotic super food ingredients with ice water hash to formulate natural cannabis capsules.
HigherVeda offers four ready-to-use capsules designed to accentuate a specific healing property. Buzz will give you extra energy. Snooze will help you unwind at the end of the day. Snuggle (our favorite) will elevate your love connection. And Vital daily supplement will keep your body in balance.
Eden, it’s great to connect this week. I’m excited to learn more about HigherVeda, which as I understand, is all about the ancient science of Ayurveda (Indian Medicine). How did you come up with the idea?
Cannabis and Ayurveda are natural allies. They are both native to the Himalayas of northern India and Pakistan. This area is home to many of the ideas that underlie modern concepts of personal development. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Cannabis was adopted as a medicinal herb and used culturally from a very early time in this region. There is no doubt that cannabis (and other mind expanding substances) helped ancient herbalist doctors understand the world and how best to live in it. Ayurveda is a science of healthy living that is based on deeply understood principles of the human body and how we are affected by the qualities of our food, environment, and daily life. It is with this in mind that Ayurveda uses cannabis (a mild poison) to treat pain, digestion, sleep, grief, infertility and other ailments. So when Brian, my partner, and I first considered how to make a cannabis product that would be healthy and powerful it seemed obvious that we would rely on Ayurveda’s empirical knowledge to make up for western sciences lack of knowledge about cannabis.
Who is the team behind HigherVeda? What attracted you to the cannabis industry?
My partner Brian and I met in 2013. I was offering Ayurveda consultations to patients at a San Francisco dispensary as part of their ‘patient services’ program. Brian, who had recently moved to the Bay Area from New Jersey to get into the cannabis industry (and study at UCSC), walked up to me and started talking about making medicated coconut oil. I countered that ghee (a basic staple in ayurvedic medicine) was better than coconut oil. Our lively conversation was followed by several more and within a few weeks we were trying to figure out how to combine his knowledge of cannabis and my knowledge of Ayurveda together into a business.
My stint at the dispensary talking to people using cannabis for health reasons taught me a lot about the effects of cannabis, both good and for bad. I had begun to think of Cannabis as a ‘gateway herb’ which could open the door for people to try other holistic ways of healing beyond cannabis. My hope was to go beyond treating symptoms (like pain or insomnia) to permanently root out underlying problems with cannabis and other herbs, diet changes and lifestyle improvement. Brian recognized the potential of affecting the kind of high people could get by adding other herbs and superfoods to our formulas. We were both interested in what is commonly referred to as the ‘Wellness Market’ which there wasn’t much evidence of on dispensary shelves at the time. We knew that the usual ways people were getting their ‘medicine’ , like smoking joints or eating sugary edibles, could be improved upon.
I do not think either of us could have anticipated the excitement and rewards of getting into an industry that was birthing itself into a new era of legitimacy and legality. The Cannabis Industry has been chaotic and challenging but being a part of the community of people that are involved with it have been one of the greatest rewards of being in this business. We have created relationships with amazing people spanning from those who have been working in cannabis for decades, often in secret, to people who have flocked to cannabis as legal restrictions have evaporated. These relationships make our lives and work rich.
How would you describe your products to someone who’s new to cannabis?
HigherVeda Capsules are formulated with Ayurvedic principles to give a reliable and specific experience, or high, and particular long healing benefits. The herbs and superfoods synthesize with the cold water hash to target the effects of the cannabiniods. Another way to think of it is that the hash acts as a fuel to increase the healing effects of the herbs it is taken with. Each of our formulas has a different feel.
Buzz is great for working and working out. Buzz energizes the body and the mind thanks to cacao extract, maca, bee pollen, and bramhi which supports mental clarity.
Snooze is perfect for sleep and stress. Nutmeg and lemon balm calm the nerves and 3 herbs from Ayurveda ground the body and help the mind relax into a healthful sleep.
Snuggle is a mood enhancer and supports hormone health. This formula has many fans as it works for anxiety and PMS but also puts you into a happy engaged frame of mind that is great for sex or socializing.
Vital is our newest natural cannabis capsule formula and it is designed as a daily supplement for stoners, especially smokers. The formulation is designed to balance the heating, drying and corrosive quality of cannabis. Regular use of Vital will support healthy hair, skin, digestion and memory.
What do people like most about your product? How does it make them feel?
Each one of our natural cannabis capsules is different! One of the cool things about our product line is that if you have a bottle of each formula in your medicine cabinet you have 4 ready-to-use formulas that suit pretty much any occasion. Do you want a little extra help getting to the gym or cleaning the garage? Try Buzz. Have a lot of stress in your life right now but don’t want to have to rely on sleeping meds? Unwind with some Snooze. Date night? Snuggle. Working on getting your health on track with cannabis? Try Vital daily supplement to keep your body in balance.
What are you most popular products? Where can you buy Higherveda?
I want Snuggle to be the best selling because this is really what I want to offer the world; more love and comfort and heartfelt connection.
But Snooze and Buzz are the best selling natural cannabis capsules right now because so many people medicate to help with sleeping problems and everyone feels they need more energy. Also the ‘Sativa’ / ‘Indica’ polarity is something everyone can understand.
Where do you see your product line going next?
Our natural cannabis capsules are 10mg in all 4 formulas. Soon we will have 25mg caps available. We also hope that 100mg will be a reality by late summer. Beyond that there are 1000s of other products that we have considered– Ayurveda lends itself to so much and we really want to do as much as we can. But I am going to keep secret what new line we are working on at the moment.
Where are you located? What’s the weed scene like there?
We are Northern California based. NorCal has been the center of the cannabis industry since before 1996 when medical marijuana was legalized in CA and many changes have occurred over the years. The changes that have come since ‘Adult-Use’ legalization in 2018 have been monumental. Many of the people who were a part of the ‘scene’ a few years ago are out of the business or have moved into the ‘black’ market. From a business owner’s perspective there is a lot of camaraderie here among the smaller businesses that are still operating. We have a shared understanding of how hard legalization has been and we help each other out as much as possible. But I think that is the definition of ‘community’ more than scene’!
Do you have a favorite cannabis related story or memory?
My favorite stories are usually about how one of our natural cannabis capsules improved someone’s life. One day a woman ran up to me at a demo and breathlessly said ‘Snuggle saved my marriage!’ . We got an email from a patient who had just run his first marathon thanks to using Buzz for his workouts. He said he had never even wanted to be a runner before but Buzz helped him discover that he really loved it! We have a friend who uses Snooze (it helps him stay relaxed and in the moment) for his Jiu Jitsu fights — he always wins. These stories make me proud and remind me how powerful cannabis is to improve people’s lives.
A story that is not personal, but which inspires me to think of cannabis in a larger socio-historical manner, is that of the nomadic woman shaman who was buried with her stash 2500 years ago. I think that women in the industry today should be inspired to walk in her footsteps and provide healing wherever we go!
How can you be reached?
The best way to reach us is either email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @highervedamedicinals
Photo credit: Carey Grafmiller