There is a significant amount of science that goes into Kill Cliff’s line of delicious and—most importantly—effective CBD beverages. But how does it work? What should you expect from a CBD drink? How do you know the ingredients are “clean” and all-natural as advertised? And why is Kill Cliff’s CBD more effective than other CBD delivery systems?
To answer those questions, we went behind the scenes, to Kill Cliff’s Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters to meet with Jerry Barker, Kill Cliff’s Vice President of Business Operations and Innovation. Here’s what he told us about CBD and what makes Kill Cliff’s CBD drinks the ideal way to get your CBD.
Is Kill Cliff’s 25 milligrams of CBD more potent and a better value than, say, another product’s 50 milligrams of hemp? Isn’t more better?
Jerry Baker: First, 50 milligrams of hemp is not 50 milligrams of CBD. Industrial hemp is the plant that is used to cultivate and grow CBD. It's the approved plant. Then you take it through the chromatography process to make sure any and all of the residual THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—is removed. That industrial hemp plant contains CBD—which stands for cannabidiol, by the way—and it contains other phytocannabinoids inside of it. If somebody says their product contains 50 milligrams of hemp, unless they're using 100 percent CBD, then they're not going to have 50 milligrams of CBD.
Kill Cliff uses 150 milligrams of hemp emulsion to extract 25 milligrams of CBD. After that, everything else remaining in the emulsion is the terpenes that give it its flavor profile and help bring phytonutrients into your body – further enhancing the benefits. All of that works together. So not only do you get CBD, but you also get different terpenes, minor cannabinoids, triterpene glycosides, flavonoids, and vitamins that work harmoniously with CBD to amplify the health benefits. Many people refer to this as the “entourage effect”.
What sort of standards can consumers expect from Kill Cliff products?
Jerry Baker: We do not take our quality lightly. We maintain strong records, documents, and everything we need to show a full chain of custody—from the soil the hemp is grown in, to the emulsion, to the finished product in the can. We have testing on every product that we make and at every stage of the manufacturing process. both at the emulsion level and in the finished goods—and even post-finished goods— months after its production to validate the CBD content meets the expectations of our consumers.
We've done testing with several of the top-rated ISO certified labs in the country for validation that our products contain no THC, that our products have the CBD content that we talk about, and that our products are sourced from a broad-spectrum hemp (and not an isolate) to provide all those beneficial ingredients. We have all that. Without question, It's quality, but it's also value.
Tell us about that value.
Jerry Baker: In one Kill Cliff can of 25 milligrams of CBD, you're getting upwards of more than 90 percent absorption of that CBD. By comparison, if you take 50 milligrams of a tincture, you're getting maybe 5 percent to 10 percent of that CBD oil blend. Then, if you take 50 more milligrams of tincture a half-hour later, you might get another 5 or 10 milligrams of CBD. At that point, you are either going to keep taking more or you’re going to say, CBD is just not for me. And guess what? It's not for you if you're not using the right source and if you're not using it from a quality provider.
But when you start using Kill Cliff CBD and you are making this part of your daily life, you're now putting 20 to 25 milligrams in your body consistently in a usable, bioavailable fashion. You've got to build these things over time and then let it function in your body.
How does CBD affect you personally?
Jerry Baker: Since 2019 when these products were first made, the only thing I've done differently in terms of my workout, lifestyle, eating, or whatever, is just including Kill Cliff CBD in my body. I've broken my leg. I've broken my foot. I've torn my knees twice. Both shoulders were torn. I have a slipped eight-millimeter disc—good old L3—in my back and I was in pain every single day. The only thing that's helped alleviate that pain and increase my range of motion, without really doing a lot extra, has been Kill Cliff CBD. I mean, it's just the reality of it. I live it and breathe it because it actually works.
It's about the quality. It's value, and it's from a source you can trust. Our product is going to be around even when the FDA comes out and starts cracking down on all these people who don't really know what they're doing but are trying to make a buck off of a great consumer without regard for what makes for a quality product.
Drinking a beverage isn’t as easy as putting drops of tincture under your tongue.
Jerry Baker: You’re right, it’s easier! Drinking a beverage requires only one hand, requires only the most basic of motor skills, and with minimal concentration––you can drink a delicious tasting beverage while driving a car or mowing your lawn, you don’t need to go find your glasses to make out the marks of the metered dropper––maybe you misread and take too much, or worse, too little, and there isn’t any part of the process of drinking a beverage that looks terribly awkward.
More importantly, the bang for your buck with Kill Cliff is better because you're paying a few dollars to get an enjoyable and effective product, one that you know exactly what’s in it. Remember: You get up to 90 percent of the 25 milligrams of CBD from Kill Cliff. When you're only getting 5 percent to 10 percent of a tincture and it's in a format that doesn't work for your body, well, then you're overpaying—and it's not a good value.
One more thing: Our drinks taste amazing. You can actually enjoy getting CBD into your body by drinking some pretty great-tasting products. If you're a consumer and you see four CBD drinks on display and you've never had CBD before, you buy a product that's cheaper because it’s made from a poor-quality source, and they don't have a great-tasting beverage. You drink it and it tastes like sh** and it doesn't do anything for you. What are you going to do the second time? There's not going to be a second time. You're like, "Oh, CBD is just not for me. Taste's crap. All right, I'm out." Then you go back to whatever you were doing, or you start exploring something else.
When you start investigating CBD and you want to try a real product with something great and you want to stick around, try our products. That's the challenge with having an unregulated market where anybody can do whatever because you just don't get good quality products out there.
Do you use other CBD products?
Jerry Baker: I use CBD creams, but I use that as a special-needs supplement. Lotions are a little bit different because they're topical; they're transdermal. If I've got pain in my elbow or I've got something that's just like a little bit extra inflammation or whatnot, I'll rub some CBD cream on it just to help fight what I'm already fighting. It’s not a replacement for the Kill Cliff CBD lifestyle, it’s an add-on. When you put it on a sore spot, you’re drawing CBD to the source, and since you already have CBD inside your body from Kill Cliff, you're starting to concentrate even more effort there.
Tinctures, I don't find value in them, I struggle to make sense of them.