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Article 23  Step into a Light of Wellness with Science-Based Cannabis Products - Cameron Clarke of Sunderstorm

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The TRICHOMES Hash it Out podcast features conversations about trending cannabis topics. We also bring in Industry insiders and influencers to discuss their point of view.

On this episode of the Hash it Out Podcast, RJ Balde talked to Cameron Clark, CEO of Sunderstorm. Sunderstorm is a California-based active lifestyle company with a mission to help people step into a light of wellness, with consciously made science-based cannabis products. Cameron discusses the science his cannabis product brand is utilizing to provide a precise THC and CBD dosage, and reduced onset time. He also talks about the role that modern science plays in the company's mission to accurately market and label their products, cultivating community trust, and stepping through pinhole opportunities.

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Podcast Transcript

RJ: Coming to you from a reclosed Florida bar shortly after a premature reopening, I'm RJ Balde and this is the TRICHOMES Hash It Out podcast. On the show we feature conversations about trending cannabis topics. We also bring in Industry insiders and influencers to discuss their point of view. In this episode I'll be talking to Cameron Clark about the science his cannabis product brand is utilizing to provide a precise THC and CBD dosage and reduced onset time. We'll also talk about the role that modern science plays in the company's mission to accurately market and label their products, cultivating community trust, stepping through pinhole opportunities and much more. Without further ado, let's hash it out. Today I am joined by Cameron Clark, CEO of Sunderstrom, a California-based active lifestyle company with a mission to help people step into a light of wellness with consciously made science-based cannabis products. Welcome to the show Cameron! 

Cameron: Happy to be here, thank you so much for having me. 

RJ: Where are you joining us from virtually right now? Where in the world is Cameron Clark? 

Cameron: From the heart of cannabis, in the San Fernando Valley.

RJ: I love it. I love it and how has your, are you still practicing quarantine? Are you still distancing? How's it been going for you?

Cameron: Yeah, so this has been a challenge for us absolutely. As an essential business, we've been fully operational since day one through covid. You know, we have a number of folks that are working out of their homes but our entire production facility is fully up and running, seven days a week with two shifts. Our distribution facilities are also up and running obviously, so it's been a big challenge for us. We've had to implement a bunch of safety procedures and measures to keep our team safe and so far more or less we've been pretty good at managing the challenge of covid.

RJ: That's good. Good to hear. In what ways if at all, have you had to sort of tweak your operations ever since, when was it March? April?

Cameron: Yeah, so what we did right away was obviously, we did the basics right. Everyone typically in our production facility wears masks but we implemented that across the board for all of our distribution facilities as well. We take everybody's temperature. We try to socially distance the best we can from all the basics but one of the most important things that we did was really divide the teams up and try to have as little cross-pollination across different shifts. So as much as possible, that's been a huge challenge for us, especially in the fulfillment side because you know, we don't typically have the number of staff that we would normally have to do two full shifts but it's been helpful I think for us to be able to divide it up so that if someone has gotten it in that shift we can test everybody on that shift and then we can quarantine them and then the other shift, the second shift is is able to function fully. So it's added some costs. We've done a number of tests that we've had engaged for a bunch of our employees but it's, we get them back rapidly as it's been helpful to be able to to give people the confidence that they can come into work without a tremendous amount of risk. So that's the key is establishing a level of comfort that people feel like they're in a safe working environment.

RJ: Yeah, that's one of the most important aspects I think nowadays is making sure that the employees feel safe in their workplace. In your facilities your staff isn't customer-facing are they? So they're not dealing directly with customers?

Cameron: No, I mean consumers and patients not, the answer is no. But however we, you know, we are in the shops doing deliveries. We have a field marketing team that is out in the shops dealing with Budtenders and dispensary staff. Actually, we've gotten very positive response over the last couple of months from many of the shops saying that they were very pleased that we were one of the few vendors and brands that actually came in to see them, you know, we gave them t-shirts and hats and swag and things and try to keep a good relationship with them and help them as they, the budtenders as they're managing through this as well, which is very different existence for them then it was previously. So they're happy to see us when we come in.

RJ: Sure. Now Sunderstorm, if I have this correct, was founded in 2015, right? 

Cameron: That's correct. 

RJ: Cool, so in that five years, you've had to deal with this unprecedented situation, this worldwide pandemic. Do you find any sort of bright sides or benefits, maybe for lack of a better term, in having to deal with something like this within the first five years of your company? Does it in any way or will it in any way maybe make you stronger or more adept at dealing with these sorts of unpredictable events? 

Cameron: Yeah. It's an interesting question because there is the good, the bad and the ugly in this scenario. One thing that's really interesting is that, you know, I can speak for the California Cannabis market and really this has been extremely challenging for every single player that has come into this industry in California to date. This has been the wild wild west of wild wild west. Everything and anything can go wrong and honestly, we're accustomed to it, you know in the old days and the prop 215 we had to move out of a couple of facilities within a matter of a couple of hours because we were concerned about getting raided and you know all of us operated with those difficulties and uncertainties. So players in this industry are pretty fierce, like we understand what true challenges are and I always tell people that this has been by far the most challenging business that I've ever had and it’s taken every ounce of of brain power that my partner and I can muster to be able to navigate this incredibly challenging matrix and the transition from unlicensed to a fully regulated market. So then covid comes along and throws another monkey wrench in front of us and I think you know, it's interesting, we all you know had a certain amount of fears and anxieties but when I talk to other players in the industry and look at ourselves, it's just another hurdle that we managed to navigate and the players in this industry are very dynamic and we're accustomed to making quick adjustments and often as an example, I think a lot of the shops set up delivery services very very rapidly within a matter of a week or two. Which is really tremendous when you think about it's a big ordeal to actually go out there and change your business from brick and mortar to delivering it directly to the consumers and they did it really, honestly pretty seamlessly and all of that in the midst of the consumers stocking up and panicking about whether or not they're going to have access to their cannabis medicine. So it was incredibly interesting. We did more in one week in March then we did in our first year and a half in business. So it was not only we were dealing with trying to keep our team safe and dealing with potential shutdowns or we're also dealing with consumers emptying the stores. I tell everybody cannabis in March but the new toilet paper.

RJ: Right?! Yeah!

Cameron: Absolutely and stocking up and so, you know, everybody had to supply and the shops were, you know, managed it, we managed it. We're accustomed to it but one of the more interesting things about it is that you know, and I recognize this relatively early, this industry has been growing, in California has been going through a lot of changes in the last, you know, six months, right? There's been a shortage of capital coming into the industry to be able to support it. They're very few players which are cash flow positive. So everybody was struggling to be able to navigate business in general and then covid came and what ended up happening is that it sort of was a bigger separator of the haves and the have nots so it kind of threw a little bit of jet fuel on the fire of accelerating the brands that were executing well and had access to Capital and those that were profitable like ourselves and those that were still struggling, trying to build their businesses and so, you know, whether you see it as fair or unfair, it's just kind of the nature of the industry at the moment and it's just another hurdle that we're all dealing with but I think the covid is actually worked to help, to the benefit of the bigger brands unfortunately and has made it harder for some of the smaller brands so that is a challenge for all of us in the industry especially those of us that really believe in boutique brands and wanting to be able to offer a wide variety of products to the consumer so, you know, these are definitely challenging times.

RJ: Yeah and I'm guessing based upon the fact that you're a cannabis business you haven't gotten any sort of assistance from the federal government?

Cameron: Yes. We looked at that and you know, we decided not to pursue any of that for a couple of reasons. One is we just didn't believe that it was really going to be truly available to us and secondly our business has been doing quite well in 2020. So we, you know, opted to leave those funds and those resources available to other companies which may need them more than we do and there's certainly plenty of those so, you know, we are doing fine right now. So you know we had to lay off a few people, we furloughed a few people but in general the business is growing nicely and we're doing quite well.

RJ: Yeah good. I respect that. I respect you leaving those resources for like you say another company or another group of people that might need it a little bit more. So I want to talk about the name Sunderstorm just real quick because the name Sunderstorm comes from the phenomenon of the sun peeking through the darkness during a thunderstorm, which is in many ways a metaphor for the company's overall mission. So since the founding of Sunderstorm in 2015, what have you found you've illuminated about the Cannabis industry that was previously in the dark?

Cameron: Yeah, that's a good question. I mean we definitely came into this industry because we wanted to be one of those brands that executed really well, that were completely transparent with all of our consumers and patients and customers and with our own team about how we operate and what we believe in, our ethos and all of that. We knew that this is, you know, been a traditionally dark and hidden industry and we wanted to bring it into the light and that's what a sunderstorm is, right? Shining that light into kind of a big storm, right? So, you know what we did from the very beginning was we set up our own in-house lab, we bought an HPLC and we did our own tests, initially to test the product to see and confirm our potencies and then we were also you're probably also the oldest customer of Cannasafe which is one of the larger labs here in California based here in Los Angeles. We've been with them from the very beginning honestly from the minute we set up the company and we started making manufacturing products, we tested everything out outside through Cannasafe and then we tested it as much as we could in house as well. So the reason we did that's because we wanted to have very consistent, safe products for our consumers and I will tell you in the old days it was very challenging. Very challenging to get a hundred percent safe raw materials, very challenging to deliver the potencies that were consistent across the board, you know, everybody has an edible story where something was stronger than they anticipated and they were not happy with the experience they had. We wanted to be that brand that fought to avoid that right? So we did everything we could to make sure that what we put on that package is actually what's in that package and to be honest, we tested a lot of other products in the old days and none of them were anywhere near what was being put on the label. The other thing is that you know, we believe very very fiercely about zero pesticides in any of our products, completely organic. I mean, I won't even use the organic, completely pesticide-free so we have a zero pesticides policy today, you know in the beginning it was almost impossible to find completely pesticide-free trim and it took awhile but we finally found it and we began extracting with it. You know, our goal was really to make sure that what we put on that label is accurate and that you know, what we put into consumers' bodies is the same product that we're happy to consume ourselves, you know, so I always tell everybody we eat our own dog food, right. If we make it, if we're not happy to consume in ourselves, we definitely don't want to put it on the shelf and to be sold for consumers' desire to consume, so I think that ethos has gone through our entire business from the minute we started it. Our team understands it, they're proud of that ethos and we do you know, we do everything we can to make it right and to be transparent for the consumers. The other thing is that the minute I started this company, I told everybody that we would be the Nordstrom's of the industry and what I wanted by that was we wanted to be that brand that you could return anything, anytime for any reason, no questions asked, I don't care if it's a year down the road, if someone wants to return a product we will take that back because we don't want products that consumers or shops are unhappy with that and if it doesn't move off the shelf, we don't want to put it on the shelf so we know that it takes time to develop really good products and products that we're proud of and you know, that's all we want to put on the shelf. So we strive very hard to do that, so those are the kinds of things that we felt we could bring into the industry that would make people feel comfortable and in the end what is a brand? A brand is a trusted relationship between a manufacturer and a consumer, right? And so that level of trust is something that we've worked very hard over the years to build and we struggle every day to make sure that we abide by that and you know, we do have problems, things happen all the time. We know that but you know, we work very hard to address them quickly and in a very fair and transparent way.

RJ: Yeah, man I definitely, personally have a few edible stories that are in the line of what you were talking about where you know, it wasn't what I expected it would be. Let's just put it that way too. Yeah, green fever is the first time I ever experienced what people call green fever was with an edible. I think it was like a homemade one too. So like yeah definitely no science when it came to the dosage or anything like that. 

Cameron: Those products still exist out in the unlicensed market all day long, every day ,you know and they're dangerous. They're filled with pesticides. 

RJ: Yeah.

Cameron: And God knows what and they are not what they say they are on the label and consumers need to be very wary of that. 

RJ: Yeah and you're saying that you define a brand as a relationship between a company and a consumer and your policy that you are the “Nordstrom” of cannabis companies where people can, consumers and patients can return those products if they feel unhappy. I think that plays very deeply into one of the three pillars of your company, which is community and how you're really putting an emphasis on generating that trust between your company and the community in which you serve. 

Cameron: Absolutely. So we built this company as you mentioned on what we call our three pillars of quality. Number one is the quality of our products. We want to make sure that they're the highest quality product possible, right. Again products that we're happy to consume ourselves and we're thrilled about. The second is quality of life. We want our products to improve people's lives. We feel very strongly that Cannabis is an important medicine, whether you use it recreationally or medicinally, it helps your life. We want to lead people to an optimal life of wellness, that's our objective and interestingly we don't actually differentiate between medical and recreational, the way we see it is I may use cannabis in the morning to deal with a little bit of pain in my back when I'm awaking on a medical level. Then I go out in the evening and socialize with my friends and use cannabis as a social lubricant, right? So, you know and no matter how you look at it we see cannabis as leading into an optimal life of wellness, right? So the third pillar then is as you mentioned, the quality of the community, you know, how does cannabis and how do we as a company help to build bonds and improve all kinds of situations out in our communities, you know, it's interesting, you know, a lot of people in the Cannabis industry are very progressive. We believe very strongly in progressive activities and you know, you can see that, you know, in the black lives matter movement. A lot of the cannabis companies stepped up right away and you know started with activations and things to support that community and I'll did it as well. So, you know, community, doing something good for your community and leveraging the power of the plant to benefit the community is fundamental to our ethos and how we run our business and you know, we're proud to be part of this community of helping people and that drives us every day when we go to work. 

RJ: Totally and one of the most important ways in which you're doing that is like we mentioned to provide this precise dosing and also this reduced onset time. So I want to talk a little bit about the science and the technology that you have put into crafting these products. So Sunderstorm offers a few product lines including edibles, vapes, sublinguals and soon flower, I think. The Kana Nano gummies, those are fast-acting gummy for those who may not know. Those are a fast-acting cannabis infused gummy with a 15-minute average onset time and were voted the most accurately formulated edible in 2018 at the first Cannasafe award ceremony, like we mentioned before. The Canny’s is what they're called. So, can you tell me more about the Nano molecular technology that is used in those products and how you were able to obtain such a precise dosage and a reduced onset time?

Cameron: There's a lot to that question. I mean one of the, fundamentally I have a science background. I was doing self study molecular biology doing algae research. Yeah, which is how I kind of stumbled into the industry. I've been a big advocate of plant medicines for quite some time as have my partner Keith. So we wanted to get into the industry, you know, because we believe in the power of the plant but you know importantly science has been fundamental to another fundamental precept to how we make our product, develop our products and offer them to the consumers. So we were the very first company in the industry to offer a nano molecular technology with our liposomal technology in our sublinguals four and a half years ago. It's interesting, even before we had our edibles, our kano gummies, we were offering what was originally called something different but it's currently our nano five sublinguals with this liposomal nanotechnology four and a half years ago. So we are the pioneers in the industry of this and we're proud to have offered it to consumers for a long time. We're also the first brand in California to have the nano gummies or edibles as you suggested. We launched that product more than a year ago. It's been flying off the shelves. It basically reduces the effect time by 50% so it cuts the time in half. So if it takes 45 minutes for you to feel the effect, you'll feel it, you know, something around 20. If it takes you 30 minutes usually with a normal edible you'll feel it like 15. So it's definitely a rapid onset. It's very high bioavailability and it's a colloidal technology that basically, what it does is it's kind of interesting, when it's embedded in the gummy it actually starts to sort of pre digestor and sort of start to break down the cannabis oil into smaller and smaller chunks in advance of actually getting into your gut. So what happens is the particles are very very small. They're nanoparticles, by the time they get into your gut and so the uptake from the gut is very rapid. There's a minimal amount of digestion that needs to go on once they're in the gut and so that's why the absorption is much more rapid. So that technology is quite powerful, our sub-label technology is a little bit different. It uses what's called a liposomal technology which has been used for 30 years as a sublingual or goes under the tongue and it ingests very quickly. So that's part of it and the other part of it is that we work very very hard. Our team is really great at making sure that the potencies are accurate and the ways in which we do that is we calibrate our scales before every, prior to measuring for every batch. We have multiple people checking to make sure that the compound is done right. We're very careful about measuring everything. We test everything multiple times throughout our entire process. We always have to make sure that potencies are accurate. We don't take anybody's word on any potency on anything. We test it all ourselves and that allows us to make sure that our products are what we say they are on the label and that's again, that's crucial for us. We want the consumers to know that when they eat a gummy today, you know, they will have the same exact experience that they had if they bought a package of our gummies six months ago and interestingly enough, you know, this is changing the edibles market. We talked about it earlier, about the fact that everybody has an edible story right, you have one or two, no doubt, so you know and that's changing because consumers are finally starting to realize that they can have consistent edibles and they know exactly how much that they need for their dosing and if they can rely on it then they get the consistent experience that they're seeking just like you would with any other medicine. So it's important for us to have that level of dedication to ensuring that the potency is as close to what's on the package is possible. 

RJ: Definitely and importantly also because one bad edible experience could turn someone off like completely and sort of shut that door like oh yeah, I tried it once. I didn't like it and now I'm just going to stay away from it. I'm traumatized. 

Cameron: Definitely. Yeah and all the brands in the industry need to work hard to avoid that because you know, we need the industry to broaden, right? California's full of heavy consumers and old-school consumers and we're finally transitioning into some of the newwe canna curious consumers they call them and it's you know gaining their trust is really important for all brands in the industry. 

RJ: Sure. Shifting to, you mentioned the Nano 5 products, the sublinguals. So the problem that cited on Sunderstorms site is that because the THC and CBD in traditional edibles and tinctures is processed through the digestive tract, most of the valuable cannabinoids are lost through digestion. So can you explain to me in layman's terms what the difference is between that system and then the liposomal delivery system that you utilize in your products? 

Cameron: So that is the liposomal system that we use in the Nano 5. It's a different technology than we use in our edibles because that technology doesn't work well with solids so it's really designed more for liquids. So that technology is basically little nanoscale balls of fat. There are tiny little, liposomes are made up of lipids, lipids are fats that are in your body, right? So what this technology does is it uses a a high-power emulsification system that essentially shatters all the all the ingredients into a nano particles and then they reassemble because of the polarity of the molecules, basically the charges, they reassemble into what are called liposomes and they're generally about, you know, 30 to 50 nanometers in size. Which means that they are about you know, 10 times the size of enzymes in your gut. Which is ridiculously small. 

RJ: Yeah. 

Cameron: And so those particles then are absorbed much much faster into your system. So those are about a thousand times smaller than a human cell. So they get in between the cells. They absorb very very quickly sublingually, even when they're going down the back of the throat. They absorb very very quickly and by the time they get into the the gut, very similar to the technology that's used in the edibles, in the Kano Nanos, this technology in the Nano five basically floats by the enzymes in your gut and the enzymes that we don't have to break it down anymore. It's already small enough and so it's got rapid uptake in the gut and you get about 80 to 90% bioavailability in the liposomal technology. So it's very very rapid onset as well. That onset is 5 to 15 minutes. A lot of people feel it within 5 to 10. I feel it in my personal feeling in three, which is pretty incredible. 

RJ: Yeah.

Cameron: And you know overall, our objective is you know, consumers don't like to wait, right? So one of the things that we've tried is... We're all impatient, right? We want our medicines to work, right? And so I think that's one of the reasons that smoking has been so so popular, not just because it's you know, it's because people enjoy the whole experience and the aroma of the flowers and all that and the experience. It's all valuable but it also smoking hits fast and so we've been working with these technologies for years because we know that it's very important to try to compress the time between ingestion and effect, right and if you have, you're dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and you need something to dull that pain quickly, you don't want to wait an hour, you want something that can hit you within 10 to 15 minutes and so that's you know, that's a struggle for us and a challenge that we work towards every day to try to improve that or compress that time by which the consumers feel the effects and you know, we're a long ways into that process but we gotta, there's a lot of room for improvement and it's an exciting part of our future as we develop more products.

RJ: Yeah, my mom has RA and she has taken all sorts of things for it and she has those sorts of concerns where she's like if I'm feeling the pain from my arthritis now, she’ll should say that like I can't anticipate that I'm going to feel pain in an hour, you know what I mean, so like if I'm feeling pain now, I would like to relieve that pain now rather than take something while I'm in pain now and then still have to wait 45 minutes to an hour to see if anything works for the chance for something to work, right? 

Cameron: That's correct. Yeah.

RJ: So I think that is really great that you're able to reduce that, give a precise dosage and really clarify what people are going to get and what people can expect when they use your product.

Cameron: Absolutely but the other thing is that, you know, we all know that the amount of food in the gut impacts the absorption of cannabis into the system, right? So for those that don't smoke, you know, there can be inconsistencies if you if you don't use in the inconsistencies of experience if you don't use nanotechnology, so now technology for us has also really helped to improve the consistent experiences that consumers are seeking both in our edibles and in our in our sublinguals. I think it's gone a long way to try to help consumers because your aunt she wants to know that that medicine is going to help her and she knows exactly how much to take and she takes it and she knows that in 10 to 15 minutes she feels heavenly. She doesn't want to have an inconsistent experience where sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't work and that's something that we really pride ourselves on, is our products work very very consistently and we hear that all the time from consumers.

RJ: Now, is there anything proprietary about this technology? Because if not, why hasn't anyone used it? Why hasn't it been used on a wide scale? 

Cameron: You know, these technologies are complicated right? Some of them are proprietary. Some of them are not. There is a lot of different types of nanotechnology out in the industry. It takes a lot of time and energy and resources to go out and really figure out which one's work and which ones don't work. You know, I think most companies in the industry have just been struggling just to stay alive and navigate through the transition from an unregulated market to a regulated market as I said in the beginning of this interview, there is a lot of challenges in this industry and so I think you know a lot of brands just haven't had the bandwidth to really explore these technologies and really understand the nuances. The other thing is that they are not easy to work with. There are lots of challenges with nanotechnology, right and so you have aspects where the nanotechnology breaks down and then it doesn't work, you have flavoring issues, you've got issues with texture and proper mixing so it's been a big journey for us to get all these products to work the way we want them to and we've had plenty of challenges so I think that's part of it as well that it you know, it's been I mean for us, we just committed to it early on, we said we're going to be using nanotech, it's going to be important part of our business and we made that commitment so I think that's, you know, many other brands have yet to kind of jump on that bandwagon.

RJ: Sure.

Cameron: There's also like I said before this downer type and there’s some that works and some that doesn't and there was a lot of hocus-pocus out there, you know, I'll give an example. I never personally found any CBD water that actually had nanotechnology that, you know, that worked. So I was you know, I was frustrated for many years with a lot of the claims that were being made out of the industry. 

RJ: How many iterations did it take for you to finally get the products that you have on the shelves? Did you lose track? Did you lose track after like a couple? 

Cameron: You know, we're talking like dozens and dozens and dozens.

RJ: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Cameron:  We've put a lot of work into these products. I mean we continue to do so because we're constantly trying to improve them. We've kind of got that first peg in the wall, that first really positive experience but we know there's a lot more that we could do and we're really excited about driving these technologies to the next level and that's important, you know, it continues to be an important part of our business.

RJ: Now going back to the Nano five sublinguals for just a second, if you look again on Sunderstorms site, the page for the Nano five products, it says that when the liver converts the remaining THC in the body, it produces a chemical that can cause anxiety and paranoia. So are the nano five products designed with preventing that anxiety and paranoia in mind?

Cameron: Yeah. I mean, we still, you know need a little more science on this. 

RJ: Sure. 

Cameron: But basically what the research shows us is that oftentimes, when THC gets into the gut it's converted into something called 11-hydroxy THC, instead of Delta 9 THC. I mean, we've all heard Delta 9. We’ve heard of Delta 8, you know, but 11 hydroxy is a form that's produced in the liver. There is some anecdotal evidence that this 11 hydroxy causes some anxiety and some paranoia. So we've found that to be the case ourselves with a lot of our consumers and patients. So the liposomal technology because so much of it is absorbed sublingually and and even in the gut it goes through very quickly as well and doesn't get processed in the liver, it has that advantage of uptake of delta-9. Now that isn't to say that, you know people who smoke don't have, you know, occasionally have paranoid and anxiety as well, right? 

RJ: Sure. 

Cameron: So there is you know, so there's still a lot more research that needs to be done. We have found that these sublinguals, these nano 5 sublinguals are really a terrific alternative to smoking, for those that are seeking to smoke a little bit less because they hit so fast, that you know five to ten minutes generally for most people and so, you know, so that can start to compete with the you know, the rapidity of the effect from smoking and then, you know, certainly, you know being able to get that Delta 9 into the bloodstream is crucially important. 

RJ: Got it and the Nano 5 line includes a few different products from like Sunrise, that promotes calming and healing, tranquility for sleep, lucidity for happiness and inspiration and lightning strike for euphoria and creativity. How are the formulas for each specific nano 5 sublingual designed with those effects in mind?

Cameron: Yeah. That's a great question. So for example, if you look at our lucidity and our vitality products, we add 5-HTP to those products and for consumers that don't know what 5-HTP is, it's a naturally occurring amino acid. You can buy it at GNC or Whole Foods. It's commonly consumed for some folks that use it to relax. Some folks use it just as a mood elevator. We find that when we insert it in combination with THC it has a very very nice effect of what I call smoothing out the sharp edges that THC sometimes can have for consumers. That's what we called it Lucidity, which is three parts THC to one part CBD. We call that happy and inspiring because it has some horsepower with the THC but it smooths out a little bit with the 5-HTP. Vitality on the flipside is three-part CBD to one part THC. So that's really designed for consumers that have medical conditions that they're trying to manage and that could be anxiety that could be, you know, a serious gut condition. We've had many many cancer patients using the Vitality to manage some of the pain in some of the elements of their conditions and you know, when you have an illness, you know, you're not the happiest person on the planet, right? You're dealing with pain and anxiety and you know, the 5-HTP is a mood elevator which really helps you put a smile on your face. So we find that a lot of patients really enjoy that aspect of the Vitality and then if you look at some of our other formulations as an example our Tranquility, we also use some 5-HTP in there. We have 1-1-1, equal amounts of CBD, THC and CBN in there. It's great for sleep and then on top of that we add some natural essential oils and then natural terpenes right? That are known to cause sedative effects and so you essentially get this formulation of very heavy hitting sleep formula, you know, you can take a small amount of it and you start to fall asleep very quickly and the good news is it seems to last so that's one of my favorites. There's a lot of anxiety and stress in this industry. I tend to take Tranquility to relax at night quite a bit. So we’re proud of that one too. 

RJ: That's awesome.Yeah, I don't blame you for having to unwind at the end of the day because like you said this industry can be filled with a lot of anxiety and stress and lots of fast moving parts and that sort of segues into this next question that I have. I want to ask you a bit of a philosophical question here because in a video on Sunderstorms YouTube channel, you said that in your younger years you feel like you were moving too fast and you were missing a lot of opportunities that were presenting themselves to you. So what is what you define as a pinhole of opportunity? What is that and how does stepping into them attract more of the opportunities that you should be manifesting or experiencing?

Cameron: I really enjoyed talking about this because it's been a very very important part of you know, kind of an enlightening experience or set of experiences in my life. You know, I tend to be I'm a triple Aries, I'm very much of a type A personality. I moved at light speed when I was younger and you know, when you move too fast, you just miss things that you should be paying attention to, little science of opportunities and things and there were they were other business opportunities that I look back in my past and they were right in front of me even social opportunities and things that I could have done to make my life better or to help others that I didn't pay attention to and you know what I found as I've gotten older and been beat up a little bit by life that you know that you know, there are lots of signs and signals all around us that can be very very impactful on our lives and it's so easy to just you know, overlooked it or just say, oh no, you know, I don't need to pay attention to that today. I'm too busy on you know focused on my family or too busy focused on on this other business or other thing that I'm doing or I don't have time to donate or volunteer, donate time or volunteer for some you know to help others but these things that you know, when you when you take advantage of these opportunities, they blossom into all kinds of really interesting things and honestly my foray into the Cannabis industry was really a pivotal moment for me. I remember exactly what happened. There was a friend that came into my house and he showed me something and you know, I looked at it and you and I thought about it, you know, not really then I slept on it for a night and I said, you know what? I know better, at this stage in my life I know better. This is something, this is actually potentially what I've been seeking to sink my teeth into for years because it can be the culmination. It could use a culmination of all the skills that I've learned and so I jumped headfirst into the industry and look at where we've come today in five years. Very very happy with that decision but it would have been so easy for me to just to say oh, you know what? I've got this other thing that I'm focusing on, this technology company and I don't really, you know, I don't really want to be diverted, have my attention diverted and honestly, you know there's even things like, you know, it's tough to travel these days but you know, I've had instances where I was invited to go on a trip and I have you know past many of them up and then all of a sudden at one point someone invited me on something I said, no I'm going to do this and it turned out to be completely life-changing because of who I met, because the experiences that I had and because it was incredibly enlightening and as allowed me and given me the insight and the experience that I can now share with others today and with my team right, with all of our employees and to give them this insight, you know, it's interesting because I tell all of my team members I said that you know, the way I look at it is your pay is really only half of the compensation that we offer you. The truth is that I have a lot of life experience, Keith has a lot of life experience, we have others that do, my job is to help you learn from our life experiences and to help you grow right, to help you take advantage of the opportunities that I also had when I was younger and people that taught me so that you know, that each team member can go on to whatever they want in life and I feel very very strongly about this. You know, the money is only only part of what we can offer to our team members and you know, I work every day to be able to help them learn and gain insight into what's going on in their lives and experiences that I've had and I think they really appreciate that.

RJ: That's awesome, man. Yeah, I feel like so many young people nowadays feel a sort of pressure to keep moving fast and breaking things, Allah Zuckerbergs, business philosophy to constantly be moving, constantly be ahead of the pack and on that bleeding edge. So just one last question before we go here. What advice do you have for those young people who feel that anxiety to move as fast as possible and how can they undergo a practice of slowing down periodically and really being present to life as opposed to moving through it.

Cameron: Yeah, honestly, I think that's also a really great question and I certainly don't have all the answers but you know, I think one of the biggest challenges in our culture today particularly in the American culture is how much focus and how hard we have to work to compete right? And you know, I've been an advocate for a long time trying to figure out ways that our society can work less and play more right and we just come from a culture in the United States and it's been successful. You know, we have, you know, some of the best technologies around the world, we grow the best cannabis in California anywhere, right but at the same time it takes an inordinate amount of energy and effort and hard work from folks even within the Cannabis industry. Everybody's working like a dog. It's been incredibly challenging for all of us. So, you know in that world, you know, how do we slow down, right and you know, I think you know some of it can be kind of simple things that we all here every day is getting some exercise or meditating but just really taking time for yourself, you know, get away from all of the technologies, you know, and just sit, you know, I remember I took some time off about 10 or 12 years ago and I just sat for three months on a beach and I didn't allow myself, I got rid of my phone and I didn't allow myself to get engage with technology and try to minimize my interaction with others and it was really hard in the beginning and I think you know, the human mind is an amazing thing and it will absorb all kinds of things and if you can just give it some time, some peace it will do what it needs to do. You know, your mind will lead you to amazing places. It's funny when I look at my life for example, I do a lot of problem solving in my sleep. I always have throughout, from when I was very young, you know, there's a certain time of night where I get to a certain, you know, sleep mode and my mind just problem solves and so I think you know that's always been kind of an example to me of when you turn off things around you, you can, the creativity flows and inspiration comes and you know, ultimately I believe an important life is happiness, right and happiness really comes, you know, it's a natural state. I believe that but I also believe that happiness you find your happiness by finding, by discovering what makes you unhappy and avoiding the things that make you unhappy and really focusing on the things that do make you happy and that and that requires you to experience a lot of different things in life. So, you know, if there's one thing I would say is you know, for everyone try to focus as much as you can on experiencing all the beautiful ins and outs and challenges and excitements that life has to offer because that will help lead you to places that will help you find your your blissful place, right. 

RJ: Totally.

Cameron: And don't get overwhelmed with technology, you know, and I know this sounds a lot of a kind of mundane but I really do believe in these things. I really believe they are instrumental in helping us find what we seek to achieve.

RJ: Totally, totally. I absolutely agree it takes that unhappiness to know what happiness is you know, it takes the sad to know what joy is. It takes the darkness for a Sunderstorm to peek through right?

Cameron: Absolutely.

RJ: There you go. 

Cameron: That's really well put yeah, you don't know one unless is contrasted with the other right.

RJ: Exactly. 

Cameron: And that's been you know, that's not how I grew up. I grew up in a really thinking all you know, we’re born happy and there's lots of happiness out there but you don't really know it until you see some of the darkness.

RJ: Exactly that.

Cameron: So don't be afraid of the darkness either right?

RJ: Exactly exactly. Takes the darkness to see the light for sure. 

Cameron: Absolutely it has a lot of value for us. Yeah. 

RJ: Well Cameron man, thank you so much for having this conversation with me. I really appreciate you taking the time. Before we go here where can our listeners find out more about Sunderstorm and the products that you offer?

Cameron: Yeah, absolutely. Best place is to find us on the web at and you can also check us out on BuySunderstorm on Instagram and we have a couple other Instagram sites as well. They'll find that if they go there. Happy to participate.

RJ: Yeah hit the follow button. It'll give you the suggested account and you can follow all those ones too. Right on Cameron Clarke man, thank you so much again for taking the time. I hope you continue to stay safe where you are and hopefully we can have another conversation maybe in person sometime soon.

Cameron: Absolutely. Thank you so much. 

RJ: My thanks again to Cameron Clark for joining me. If you are a member of the Cannabis community and have a story you want to share with us, we would love to hear from you. You can reach the show at Hash It Out at You can help others find the show by taking a moment to subscribe to the podcast and write a review. You can also join in on the discussion with industry insiders and get your voice heard by joining the community at and following us on all social media. Hash It Out is produced by David Fortin and presented by I'm RJ Balde. Thanks for listening.

Article Information


Posted: Jul-13-2020

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