Creative spirits for creative spirits is the motto of Tejas Tonic, part of the Texas-based Tejas Hemp company, which produces an array of tinctures, salves and gummies to alleviate an array of ailments, including aches and pains and helping induce a good night’s sleep. But the “buzz” (pun intended) is on their newest sparkling drink, which is all about offering a beverage that’s tasty and natural, while also relaxing you. It contains 25mg of CBD and 5mg of THC. Beyondish chatted with founder Aaron Owens about his products and the industry.
How did you come up with the idea for Tejas Tonic?
The first inclination was at a cannabis harvest camp in California over 10 years ago. We were harvesting a legal crop of a friend of mine and he had set forth a rule that there was no alcohol allowed on the property. After a few days, he and I had the idea to put some hash in some Everclear and do a very small extraction/infusion. We then put 1 ml of our elixir in a one liter Nalgene full of water. When we drank the water it tasted just like water, but had a very small aftertaste of alcohol. We decided a squeeze of lime would do the trick and boy did it! We were now sipping water with a squeeze of lime, with zero hints of alcohol, and were loving it. We said that day, “This is gonna be something !” This was literally the first incarnation of what would later evolve into Tejas Tonic.
How would you describe the effects of Tejas Tonic?
On your first [can] you start to feel the stresses of the day wash away. Those knots above your shoulders begin to dwindle and there’s sort of a general stress release and relaxation. By the time you move through can number one and start thinking toward number two, you begin to notice your attitude shift. Things that were bothering you find a new space in the “it’s not really that big of a deal,” camp. If you’re attempting to reduce alcohol consumption, it’s around can number two when you realize you no longer have the desire for alcohol; that inclination has been dissolved.
How would you describe its taste?
Like a Top Chico and lime with a bit of cannabis.
You currently have one flavor – natural lime. Do you have plans to expand your flavor offerings?
Yes, I am in R&D now. The trick for me is finding flavors folks can enjoy without adding any sugar.
Can people drink more than one?
Absolutely! What happens is this: the first can essentially relaxes you. The second one starts your journey upward. By the third you will absolutely be lifted. After the fourth can, most are typically flat out stoned. I have drunk seven to 10 at the most in one experience, or throughout a day, and have still been completely in control with nothing more than an attitude shift and a bit of cottonmouth.
Prior to founding Tejas Hemp in 2017, what did you do?
I was heavily focused in agriculture. I spent the better part of one and a half decades ranching in and around the Ozona and Juno country out in West Texas, with a heavy focus on Corriente Cattle and Spanish Goats. My decision to pivot was fairly simple. One, I was tired of being a lease rancher and wanted to own my own ranch. Second, my sincere love and affinity for cannabis. I love it. I always have. I always will. It’s part of who I am as a person, as well part of my cultural belief system. In short, I am excitedly now able to participate in my love for cannabis as a business, legally, and all without having to leave Texas. It is like a dream come true.
What are some common misconceptions people have about the hemp business?
The most common, especially in Texas, is that all hemp-derived THC and even CBD for that matter, are created equal. The truth is that 95% of the hemp-derived THC in the market is synthetic. This means that it is manufactured or synthesized in a lab, and not a direct extraction from the plant. This is going to matter to some, and to others, not. Either way, efficacy of the formulation is going to weigh heavy on this. Whenever we extract an oil from a plant and apply it directly into a symptom-based situation, it is leaps and bounds more effective than when someone synthesizes a singular molecule in a lab and puts it into a product. Sure, you can get high like this, but is getting high the end goal for medicinal relief?
How does this factor into your business decisions?
I am a farmer, but that’s just the beginning. I have actively been legally manufacturing hemp products since 2016. My real strength is in understanding, formulation and creation of all types of things that can help you medicinally, all from the cannabis plant. As of now, I can increase your metabolism, make you lose weight, reverse your pre-diabetes, put you to sleep, halt your seizures, stop your tremors, and reduce your general aches and pains. I can do a lot, but the FDA says I can’t tell you that, so let’s just roll with Tejas Tonic and let people use Cannabis over alcohol in their beverages for an overall healthier existence and good time.
What are some of the health benefits?
We mostly hear about general relaxation, a winding down for the day, and an epic night of sleep. We also hear a gratefulness of having a non-alcoholic option in a beverage that can still instigate a buzz in a social setting.
For someone who has never tried any hemp products before, where would you recommend starting?
I personally think a Tejas Tonic is a good place to start. In general, you don’t need more than 2mg to 5mg of THC to know how it is going to affect you. Furthermore, when you drink cannabis, it is around 25-30% as effective or “strong” if you will, as when you eat it. When folks take an edible, they can quickly get in over their head if they’re not careful. Not ideal. This can scare folks away. Taking it slow, trying just a little at a time is the best approach. With Tejas Tonic, we are providing access to the effects of cannabis, but without letting you get in over your head.
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