I’ve lived with ADD and varying levels of anxiety my entire life. I’m 36 years old, a small business owner, and addicted to endurance cycling, trail running, and all-around fitness. My wife is a former professional athlete and directs cycling camps around the world for our company, The Cyclist’s Menu. Her upbringing was similar. Her life has been a journey with ADHD, anxiety, and navigating a plethora of ‘learning disabilities.’ Our lifestyle is pretty run and gun, always moving. We love it. Our personal challenges with managing ADD and anxiety is a huge aspect of our journey, and we own it.
Together, we’ve learned how to overcome the barriers that have been put in front of us. However, the demons still come knocking at times. Then Onda Wellness paid a visit. Here’s the story.
It’s 9 am in East Tucson. Heidi and I are about to roll out for a ride. The last sip of Presta coffee goes down as I pick up a call from a friend I haven’t heard from in a long time. I’m about to be introduced to a CBD brand that will, in time, play a massive role in changing our personal and professional lives.
“Sarah, hello! How the heck are you?”
“Z, what’s up? I’m great. I’m sure you’re busy but I have something I need to share with you.”
“Sure, we’re heading out for a ride shortly, what is it?”
“A friend of mine just started a CBD company and he’s looking for a small group of people to try it out and provide feedback on his formula.”
It’s 2018, the CBD market is flooded with competitors. Everyone’s vying for the best spot on the shelf. So many brands, what is anyone supposed to do but get lost in the labels and words like ‘full spectrum’ and ‘infusion.’ Is it THC? A blend? What are we buying?
“What’s the name of your friend’s brand?”
“It’s called Onda Wellness. Stephen Smith, the owner, is a longtime photographer and has brought this product to the market with an old friend from Colorado.”
“So they’ve got the media and lifestyle channels figured out. Now they just need some real-time use, put it to the test, eh?”
“Well, let him know that Heidi and I would love to chat with him and we’re happy to be guinea pigs. We recently did a trial run with another company and we aren’t sure how we actually feel about it. Was it a bit of Pavlov's theory, we don’t know? We couldn’t tell if it was doing anything or if we were just doing our normal routine and either feeling great or having a day filled with fatigue.”
“Great! I’ll put you two in touch. Let’s chat soon, ok?”
“Sounds great, Sarah! Be well, I’ll look out for your email, and I’ll keep you posted.”
Full Spectrum CBD Versus Isolate
That conversation happened on a Saturday morning. On Monday, Stephen Smith and I were chatting about his company, what we do at The Cyclist’s Menu and the evolution of the CBD market. I learned two things right away; there’s isolated CBD and full-spectrum CBD. The difference is vast.
CBD that is of a single isolate enters your body and provides relief or change in some way for a certain amount of time. A single isolate product then reaches its peak and, from that point on, doesn’t continue to evolve or respond to how your body is feeling. It only plateaus, no longer developing an understanding of your body's needs, simply falling off the other side of the bell curve into a place we consider as ‘unresponsive’ or ‘no longer working.’
The full spectrum line arrives, separating itself immensely as the bolder, brighter, and more capable CBD product formula. Our bodies have thousands of cannabinoid receptors living inside our cells. When a CBD product or any cannabinoid enters our body, these receptors go into overdrive. Like wildfire ripping through a western prairie, your body begins almost immediately to feel the effects of this plant formula; 20-30 mins. The difference with a full spectrum CBD product is in the rate of efficacy and length of time its working inside your body’s specific system.
A full spectrum product enters and begins to move; it travels far and wide to the outer reaches of your processing network, assisting in managing your body's homeostasis. Instead of peaking and then falling off the curve, a full spectrum CBD product continues on. It searches for what’s next. As Onda puts it, it acts like an adaptogen; finding what your body needs and diving in to save your system from overdrive, fatigue from exercise, stress and anxiety, to name a few of the keywords. At this time, we are only semi sure of the full effects of a full spectrum CBD product like Onda. Its ability to interweave itself into your body's most important systematic database is just the beginning.
Stephen and I continue to talk about Onda, and the conversation quickly moves into a realm that feels as if we’ve known each other for years. This felt good. There was no need for a sales pitch like we’ve had with other CBD companies. This was real, from the heart and I got the same feeling about Onda as I do when I discuss food security and crop rotation cycles with the farmers we buy our food from.
“I’ll get you a package in the mail tomorrow morning, sound good? I’m in California now, and I have to chat with my business partner in Boulder before this goes out.”
“Sounds great! Heidi and I are stoked to help out. Let’s chat soon. Stay in touch in any way you’d like. Cheers.”
In a couple of days a package arrives. There’s a handful of options: a tincture bottle, 10x 25mg capsules and 10x 50mg capsules. At this time we were one week from starting our annual Arizona Gravel Camp season at The Cyclist’s Menu. This event is four weeks in a row of private cycling camps based in Patagonia, Arizona. The average workload and stress during this time of year is typically pretty high. We’ve learned how to manage it over the years, but it’s our most significant season; we put everything we physically and emotionally have into it.
Athletics have always been the key mechanism for maintaining a stable operating system for ourselves. In middle school, Heidi would wake up early before her family and go for runs around the neighborhood. Then, she would take them skiing all day in Summit County. Heidi grew up in Denver, CO, so the outdoor lifestyle was born into her blood. But, the ‘twitch,’ as she calls it, is a real thing and something that many people, many athletes, and active humans can feel a certain association with.
Everyone has an internal meter that reads stress, anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed or the pressures of what your life brings forward. Each of our “twitch’s” are stronger or more subtle than others, and that internal angst can be both good and evil. It brings you great success in times of uncertainty. It’s the ability to respond quickly and make decisions. On the other hand, it can build in moments to points of being incapable of operating or running on autopilot.
For me, when my body reaches that overload point, my system begins to slow down, I can’t make quality decisions, and I have to really step back and move slowly through the task in front of me. I have two ways of explaining these moments of anxiety:
I explain both of these out of body anxiety attacks as if I’m recovering from using heroin. I have never used heroin, but I can imagine what it might feel like to quit using that drug and what your entire nervous system might go through to flush it out. Anxiety is a beast of its own and in many ways, a drug you didn’t choose to participate with, it just slips itself into your drink.
Let me take a step back, my apologies for going a little dark there. However, it’s important to note the facts about anxiety, bouts of depression and what working yourself to the bone can do. I felt strongly about sharing with you how it affects me, so you can understand the impact Onda CBD has had.
Why? Because these are the reasons I use Onda CBD. This is why their full spectrum product isn’t a myth. It won’t just work for a period of time and then drop off the side of some curve. Onda CBD has changed my life. I haven’t used any other medication or outside influence such as a service animal or licensed doctor since 2015. The same year my service dog passed away, after we lived together for 12 years. In the words of one of our clients who’s a psychiatrist, “It’s incredibly hard for an individual to go through losing a service animal and not relapse back to meds they’ve taken in the past.”
This was told to Heidi following an episode I had 2 weeks after my dogs death. I have found a path to success with what I was born with. I’ll be dealing with the demons that enter my life at times and I can’t predict when they will arrive. However, shit gets real when they do.
Let’s head back in time again to when Heidi and I first tried Onda CBD. It was 2 weeks after I spoke with founder Stephen Smith and 1 day following our second Arizona Gravel Camp in 2018. It was enough time to thoughtfully try the samples he sent us and understand the different doses they offer. In our line of work, we’re up before the sun, 16 hours days and in bed 5 or 6 hours before we do it all over again. Let me make it clear that we wouldn’t trade our professional career for anything in the world. But, it’s not for everybody and we like that about what we do.
I called Stephen and we caught up for a moment. I shared with him some of the fun aspects of Gravel Camp and the highlights from the first 2 camps that season. Then he asked what we thought of the CBD. Remember, I’ve taken a handful of medications since I was in my elementary years. Meds that were supposed to help me concentrate, stay focused and calm down, feel centered. There were moments when these medications helped with these aspects of how I was feeling, but they weren’t perfect and the side effects were immense. In many ways, I was a completely different person during the school day versus who I was on the field at practice in the afternoon. This meant between 8am and 4pm, the meds I was taking would take effect then wear off and I would join my teammates on the field. Practice was supposed to be my outlet; but more than once the side effects of these meds created a situation I couldn’t control. Super volatile temper, anger that came from somewhere I didn’t know existed, and an inability to explain how I was feeling. Not a great place to be, especially as a 16 year old.
I answered Stephen's question in the only way I knew how. I knew he wanted to hear the real answer, not some sponsored bullshit that implied I liked the product and wanted it for free in exchange for something else.
“Stephen, my experience thus far goes way beyond sports recovery and eliminating lactic acid, following routine or more extreme athletic activities. I am very aware of western medications and their impacts on our bodies operating systems. I grew up under the impression that I needed those meds to function. There’s something different about Onda, it goes directly to the source of where you're experiencing discomfort. Physical or mental discomfort, it doesn’t discriminate, it just gets to work. This CBD does exactly what any western medication does and then it continues to do work on your system, providing necessary relief mechanisms as you move through your life. I’m hooked.”
From here we talked about different dose amounts and how that affected our performance or abilities to function the way we wanted to, in and out of the work environment. Everyone responds differently to plant based medicines like CBD. Because your body has so many receptors for cannabinoids of many kinds, it depends how well the product travels through your blood and attaches itself to the necessary chains within your nervous and endocrine systems. I do really well on 50mg, it’s what my body asks for and it works. Heidi finds that 10-20mg is perfect, depending on what she's doing.
An aspect of Onda that again differentiates itself from the rest of the market, is its ability to travel through your body's system quickly and take effect. When I talk about it, I use the phrase, “Onda has legs.”
I say it in this way because it moves, it finds where it needs to be and hunkers in for the long haul. Some might call this a ‘euphoric state’ which we agree with and enjoy, because Onda lets you physically and mentally be aware of the fact that it's in your body and working. Many brands can’t say their product does this or provides real time feedback to its users that their product is ‘going in to work.’
This has been standard procedure at The Cyclist’s Menu since we started our relationship with Onda Wellness 3 years ago. With so many other companies out there boasting why you should purchase their CBD, we’ve taken it on as part of our role in the endurance and health and wellness industry to help promote the right brands. The ones that work under the toughest of circumstances. If Onda didn’t do what it does for me, I wouldn’t use it, I wouldn’t buy it, I wouldn’t be writing this story about my journey with it. If you ask Heidi, she would have a very similar response.
We started our careers as entrepreneurs with The Cyclist’s Menu in 2015. It’s been a wild ride. We’ve experienced so many different emotions; highs, lows, roller coasters and extremes on either end that leave you feeling waisted and unsure of the choices you’ve made. However, since working with Onda much of the emotional struggle and stress related challenges we’ve encountered and had to endure have been incredibly diminished and or eliminated from our lives. Something that is important to note is we don’t take CBD everyday. We don’t use it at the same time everyday. Because Onda has an adaptogen quality, at times you take a dose of your liking and it works for 24 to 36 hours. It comes in and out during moments when your body needs it. You can feel it take effect, which is why I can share these real time results of its formula with you. We use it a few days before heading into a big work block. Times when we know life gets turned up a notch, and through the duration of these times. We feel it's important to experiment with CBD, you have to find how your body responds and go with it. Plant based medicines are powerful and the euphoric state you will most likely experience when using Onda is a testament to that power.
If you’re curious about trying Onda, head over to their website to learn more about their entire product line. Use our code, ONDARIDES and feel the flow state. Party on, Gravel Heads.
Onda Wellness: www.ondawellness.com