LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)

Guest Thomas White, Exact Nature Ep. 18

May 27, 2022 Thomas White, Exact Nature Season 1 Episode 18
LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)
Guest Thomas White, Exact Nature Ep. 18
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 18 is part of a special 2 part series. Thomas White with his son Dan, is the founder of Exact Nature Botanicals. After facing their own battles with addiction, Thomas had a natural interest in finding solutions to help people during the recovery process. When Thomas was introduced to the many benefits of  CBD through a neighbor he used that information to do extensive research  and start his own CBD company Exact Nature. Thomas then enlisted his son Dan White to come along and be a part of this business venture. Focused on helping the recovery community, Exact Nature's line of products is specifically formulated to help ease common symptoms experienced during addiction withdrawal. This guest provided us with a real education in the many benefits CBD has to offer.

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Song: Rise and Thrive
Artist: Young Presidents

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**Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this episode are not professional or medical opinions. If you are struggling with an addiction please contact a medical professional for help.

Music provided by Premium Beats:
Song: Rise and Thrive
Artist: Young Presidents

Wellness Togethe...

Guest Story Thomas White, Exact Nature Ep. 18 

[00:00:00] Intro

[00:00:00] Kelly: Welcome to the laugh life podcast, a lifestyle podcast based on living alcohol free and a booze-soaked world. My name is Kelly Evans and together with my friends, Tracey, Djordjevic, Mike Sutton and Lindsay Harik. We share uncensored. Unscripted real conversations about what our lives have been like since we ditched alcohol and how we got here by sharing our individual stories.

[00:00:26] Kelly: We'll show you that there isn't just one way to do this, no matter where you are on your journey from sober, curious to years in recovery and everyone in between, you are welcome here, no judgment and a ton of support.

[00:00:42] Kelly: Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 18 of the LAF life podcast. Tonight, we have a guest Thomas White who is going to share his journey to sobriety with us, and also about a company that he has that helps people in recovery and sobriety. So, welcome everybody. 

[00:01:01] Thomas: Hello? Good to be with you. 

[00:01:08] Kelly: So, we're going to start off tonight by hearing about your journey to sobriety.

[00:01:12] Kelly: So why don't you tell us a little bit about, did you have alcohol in the home as a child? Things like that? 

[00:01:18] Thomas: Yes, we had alcohol in the home, but not so much of it. I mean, it, it was around my parents drank, but never excessively, but having said that my father. Father, my grandfather on my paternal side was an alcoholic and he was a guy that going this kind of came out in fits and spurts through the years. There were times where he would be gone for a few days at a time and benders and things like that. And I never learned of that until I was an adult. If there is a genetic lineage, they often say comes from the paternal grandfather. So, if in fact I got my lineage, it would have been from him and my grandfather. He was not drinking by the time I knew him or came of age. But as my father was growing up, my grandfather was in the throws of his alcoholism. And having said that my father since passed away. My father was never an alcoholic, but he. Demonstrated showed kinda signs of addiction. He was I don't know if you know, the term a dry drunk. So again, he was never an alcoholic or an addict of any sort, but he had addictive tendencies. So, there were things about his behavior that demonstrated you could kind of see that some addiction, you weren't surprised that addiction ran in his family, but my home, it was not excessive. My mother drank a little bit, a wine now in that again, she drank the occasional beer, which she would add salt too, which is kind of humorous. I don't know if you've ever heard of that. But I remember like maybe one of the first times I ever had beer, I remember tasting it and thinking. Oh, could do with some salt. So 

[00:02:55] Lindsey: the electrolytes, 

[00:02:57] Tracey: what was the salt for? Did you ever ask her? 

[00:03:01] Thomas: I just taste. I think she just did just to make it taste the way she wanted so that if anything has got an indication of how little she drank. So, the thing that I do I wonder about because there is no doubt, I am an alcoholic. I'm an addict. And I showed signs of that from an early age. I was really, I had kind of a Schwab Vie and kind of pursued life and pursued adventure and looking back, it's almost plain as day that I was I was developing into what I became later in the sense of that. Have a real kind of a raging alcoholic at one point. But the thing that I find curious is I have three siblings. I have an older brother and older sister and a younger sister, none of whom became alcoholics. Right. So, so why did I become an alcoholic and not them? Right. So, the answer that I've come to in my mind is that I sought it out. You know, I sought out these adventures. I sought out other friends the women I dated, I made sure that they, like to drink and like the party. So, I, I put myself in those social situations that that was very conducive to a party lifestyle. So, I think that was the difference. My siblings did not do that. So, I think that's kinda why I developed this, this alcoholism and addiction.

[00:04:21] Lindsey: When did you start drinking alcohol? Is that how, like, when you say that you were an alcoholic and you had an addiction, was it just alcohol? Tell us a little bit about that. 

[00:04:33] Thomas: Yeah. I started drinking that in it probably when I was in high school, I dated a woman that looked to be 21. When I was 18, I looked like I was about 15 and when she was 18, she looked like she was about 25. So, she would go and buy beer for, 

[00:04:49] Lindsey: I had a feeling we were going there 

[00:04:53] Thomas: rarely would buy beer for me. And we did that all the time. So, I'd started drinking probably 17, 18 years old the, the legal drinking age where I grew up with 21, but in a neighboring state, it was 18. I was born at Cincinnati and then my parents moved outside Cincinnati. But we could easily enough go get our beer in, Ohio there. So, I started. At a young age, let's say 17, 18, but once I got to college, I drank much more often in party to, in drank to access much more often. So, it became, it started kind of flowering if you will when I was in college. And then its kind of just, it continued until I quit many years later. Yeah. And I should say, so I went to college, I was a decent student, and I was a pretty good student, but I had a really good job in college. And that prepared me for a professional career after college and professionally speaking, I always did well, I always kind of excelled in the jobs I was at and yeah. One of my, my first job out of college was with Seagram's you Canadians will know that company. Of course, it's always on the wine side of things.

[00:06:05] Thomas: And, but that was, putting the Fox in the henhouse there because my, I had a big expense account for food, for wine. And so, I, I made sure to spend that expense account and really drank very good wines and, and so on. So, so professionally I was doing well, but me. Alcoholism most just kind of really developing and really going my alcoholism was developing and it was taking me to a dark place.

[00:06:36] Lindsey: how much were you drinking? 

[00:06:38] Thomas: It's hard to quantify all my college buddies I had by this point I was living in Chicago, and I was with a bunch of my college roommates. And so, guys that I'd been with and known for a long time, and we had all been up kind of hard partiers in college. And so, I don't know, I was drinking most nights. I wouldn't, maybe not every night at that point, but, but most nights and probably most nights I was drinking to excess. And also, when I was in Chicago, one of my roommates who has been now sober for. Probably 25 years was getting heavily into cocaine. So, he had that for us at the ready. So, there was, I was a full-fledged addict. I was alcohol became my real poison just because it was so socially acceptable and readily available. But I was across the board an addict. If I'm, if I'm honest, I say I was kinda slipping into a dark place. 

[00:07:36] Mike: Did you partake in the extracurriculars with your roommate? 

[00:07:39] Thomas: Oh, yes. Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:07:42] Mike: So, the mixture just, well, I can speak with experience. It probably fueled it to a point of how do I get off? How do I get off? 

[00:07:50] Thomas: Absolutely. And, you know Mike, while I was doing this, I was still successful. It wasn't affecting my work so much at that point. But I could see where I was going. It kind of changed people, places, and things. So, I was in Chicago, and I started playing. Sophomore softball for the peace Corps, softball team, peace Corps, being an international volunteer agency, I decided to become a peace Corps volunteer and went to Botswana in Southern Africa. So, I got out of the Chicago scene only to kind of continue my drinking and partying ways. When I was in Botswana in Southern Africa, I also, I play the drums and I was drawing in a very, very good group in Botswana, a group that had just made a record prior to me getting there. And so, they use a studio, a studio drummer for the record. And so, he was the only non-permanent member of the group. So, he left, and I came in and just kind of played what he had played, but we were traveling all around the country, playing in community halls and dance halls and things like that. So, again, that was kind of conducive to more drinking and so on. So, I was slipping into darkness. I was starting to drink to excess more often. So it was, it was not good, and I could feel myself going there and I, just didn't have the power to do anything about it at that point in my life. 

[00:09:15] Tracey: Were you married during this time Thomas or in a relationship that this was affecting at all? Or was that later on. 

[00:09:23] Thomas: Well, I was in a relationship when I was in Botswana, but that, and that relationship ended when I left what's one up. Then I came back to the states and then I started working for the peace Corps as a press secretary for the peace Corps in Washington, DC. And that's when I got into the relationship with a woman, I then married and yes, most people did not realize, I think there are a lot of people that realize that I drank too much, but no one knew it to the extent that my wife did. She could see where I was going with this and was becoming increasingly alarmed by all this. And understandably so, so in that continued for a number of years and I just was, it was snowballing, and I felt powerful. Right. That's what I say. I felt ashamed. I felt helpless. I felt hopeless and I felt just full of fear. I just wasn't sure that I could live a sober life. I mean, it was, it was a real fear. I, and I think that's probably what most people experience when they. Consider their own drinking and if they're over drinking or becoming addicts and alcoholics, they probably share that same kind of fear that this uncertainty, whether they can, they can do it. So that's where I was. And so, then that continued for a number of years, I've got 13 years of sobriety and I'm happy and proud of that, but, you know, I should have 25 years of sobriety. So, I always kinda kind of know that it went on too long for me. My son, Dan, who has now. 23 has faced some of these same issues of addiction. And I think you'll be talking to Dan, and he can tell you about some of the things he faced. But one thing I'm proud about with Dan, Dan helped me. Co-found Exact Nature of the company we're going to talk about because he brings remarkable insight into, the company and how we position ourselves and what we say on social and so forth. But I'm extremely proud of him because, I just, I'm not sure I could have gotten sober at 23. I was just enjoying this party lifestyle too much. And so, if I'm honest with myself, I'm just not sure I could have done it at that age. 

[00:11:33] Kelly: Did you ever try and quit during those years where you knew it was problematic?

[00:11:37] Thomas: I did. And I'd go a few days here and there and what happened was before I got sober, I got two DUIs, driving. The first one should have been enough, right. That should have been the reason to quit and enough extra provided enough motivation to quit. 

[00:11:55] Lindsey: It was going to ask that I was going to ask if there was something that happened or a situation where you're like, okay, well I got to stop this. I have a, I have a problem here. 

[00:12:06] Thomas: Yes. Right. At some point when I was probably in my twenties, I'm not sure I recognized the degree of my problem at that point. I don't think I did, but as time went on the, I increasingly. Could recognize that it was becoming a problem that I was overdrinking that I was drinking at times when I should not have been drinking that I would wake up thinking about when my next drink or how I would get a high next and so forth. so yeah, it was starting to take off. So, I, I talked about my first DUI and, but I made all those up kind of a blinker obligatory promises that I'll quit and this and that. And I, and I didn't, and I couldn't, and then I got a second DUI. Probably about two years later. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back. And that wasn't enough for my wife. And she in a very appropriate kind of way. She didn't threaten me. She was there to help in any way that she could. So then after that second DUI, I went to rehab in the state of Florida. And it was a fine rehab. It was a place that they'd had a lot of success in this particular rehab clinic. But in that area of Southern Florida too, that's a really strong recovery community there. And so, I went to rehab for him. It's certainly helped, but even then, for a year after rehab, I relapsed probably five or six times. And my wife was alarmed and understandably so, but what I told her then, and these are words that I had uttered before, but they happened to be true this time, which was. I'm starting to understand how to live a sober life. I was starting to understand how to string together a few days at a time, and then a few weeks at a time and finally, a few months at a time. So even though I relapsed out of rehab, I was starting to get it. And so now when I say I have 13 years of sobriety, this is continuous sobriety. I have not had a drink in 13 years. 

[00:14:16] Lindsey: Amazing. Congratulations. 

[00:14:18] Thomas: Well, it's amazing to the point where I feel, so I feel somewhat justified and saying, I can do it. Anybody can do it. Right. So, some people would certainly have a worse than I did, and I was holding down jobs during, this time. So I was, maintaining so some degree of normalcy. But underneath it I wasn't but then after rehab and after a year of relapsing, I was starting to get it. And then I really, then I kind of got it then I put a month together and two months and three months of solid sobriety together in six months. And in that six month became a year and so forth. So, then I was, I was starting to get it. And I remember that, during that process, I remember thinking when I first got sober, I would always think almost obsess on the fact that you mean I can never drink again. And that it was almost an obsession that I'll never be able to drink again. And it caused so much fear in me. When you look at it at a lifetime of not drinking again, it can be scary, right. If you're used to living this lifestyle, but at some point, in my sobriety, I I'll guess maybe about the two-year mark, I don't know when it was exactly. My thinking switched and not deliberately. So, kind of naturally to you mean I never have to drink again, then I took some comfort in it and that's where I'm at today. I do take comfort in the fact that, that I never have to drink again because I tell anybody that, that knows me now. And most of my family and most of my friends know now that I'm in recovery. And I always say to them, if you see me drinking that will never be a good thing in the rooms of AA. They would always say that if you have an allergy to. What do you, do you avoid shrimp? Right? Well, I got an allergy to alcohol. What do I have to do? I have to avoid alcohol. It's just, that's just the way it is. And so, to obsess over that stuff, going to do me any good. So, I'm pretty sure footed now. Never say never. And so, I never turn my back on that. I don't ever take it too lightly, but I do feel that my footing is pretty firm 

[00:16:26] Kelly: that's amazing. I love how you said, you relapsed after going to rehab, but you kept going back to what you learned, obviously in rehab and you were able to string those days, months, weeks together. That's come up in a previous episode about, is if you do relapse, is all of that time wasted previously are all the things you learned wasted. You're a perfect example of, that's not, you just keep going and keep trying. That's amazing Thomas. 

[00:16:54] Thomas: And your point is exactly right. That is how I was feeling. That's how I feel when I'm in an AA meeting or in an NA meeting. When somebody has gone back out, they call it right. You'd go back out. And then they come back in. I never feel like anybody wants to beat them up for that because we know they're, but for the grace of Go I DOE or go, we know we have all been there. If we haven't been there, then we're lucky. Right. But anybody that, has some amount of sobriety and has put some of those to those days together, I'm encouraged by, I have we’ll talk about my, my company at some point here, but I have a customer. And so, so we sell CBD to people that are wanting to quit drinking CBD products that can help curb addictive cravings, and then can help people with the addiction, depression and, more largely mood and focus that come when you quit drinking. One of the most gratifying aspects of my work is getting into conversations. Most of the time over email. But with customers who are sharing their own personal struggles with me, and sometimes it's not only their own personal struggles, but struggles that they are having with family. And I have a customer that I did speak to her at length last week. This single mother has a struggle at bit with her own drinking issues. She's over drinking and so on. And her, to me, it feels a little bit situational that she. Over-drinking because of, bigger issues that she's dealing with, namely, that she has a son in her in his mid twenties who is smoking Oxycontin. So that is where I live in adjunct fear of somebody messing around with opioids and, , you know, with the prevalence of fentanyl these days, I feel like every time you're take And opiate a street it's street market, opioid, or heroin or anything that they are finding that a high percentage, 95% plus of the opioid deaths that occurred last year, had some amount of fentanyl in those drugs. So that's what, really scares me. That's what scares me for her. So, in the case of CBD, CBD has shown some promise with helping people with opioids because it kind of shuts down those pleasure centers and helps shut those pleasure centers down. But it also helps with some of the inflammation and pain the reasons that people seek out opioids oftentimes, initially.

[00:19:26] Thomas: So, but I, I just, that's what really scares me. I always say that alcoholism will kill you over time, but opioids will kill you overnight. And there are 108,000 overdose deaths in the us last year. And that was a 15% increase from 2020, which in and of itself had had a 30% increase from 2019. So, it just keeps going up and up and up. That's why I want people to try these products because when people try our products, to me, it feels like a tangible sign that somebody is raising their hand to say, all right, I've admitted to myself that I have an issue. I've admitted to myself that I, that I need some help and our products will help.

[00:20:12] Thomas: I'm convinced of that. I have a lot of. Customers that who would say the same, but I would never say that you take our exact nature, detox capsules, and you're going to be rid you'll no longer be an addict or an alcoholic. No, no, no. It can be a tool in a toolbox, but you have to approach this issue in a multi-faceted manner with AA in NA and watching programs like LAF life and things.

[00:20:37] Thomas: I mean, the work that you're doing is so important to people that, are at these crossroads, right? They're at these points where they know they can maybe see themselves maybe slipping into darkness. Like I was. So, if our product can help minimize some of those visual cues and, deterred them reaching for a drug or, or for, for alcohol. Wonderful. But they also need to watch a LAF life, and they also need to take, these other steps and approaches in a broad-based manner. Yeah. 

[00:21:11] Mike: So, when you were talking about that customer, for example, and I want to know about your situation because you said you had siblings that didn't go down that avenue that you took. Do you think that in some sense we use alcohol as that escape to get away from life? And we just get through a certain point that we don't really know what it is we're trying to escape from. And as we go through this journey of alcoholism, if you will, we get some sort of sense of. Is this being this trying to teach me something about myself that I don't know yet. And maybe you can comment on that and how maybe that led into why you, do what you do with exact, how it led you down that path to get into getting into your company. And what you do, I guess, is what I was, what I'm trying to say. 

[00:21:55] Thomas: Yeah. I think a lot of people We medicate ourselves with, with these drugs and alcohol. Right. I think in my case, I used it, I got a good life, I had a good job. I was doing lots of interesting things. I was traveling a lot. So, I think it was, for me, it was less a, a situation where I was escaping something as much as I just enjoyed it. I used it as a social lubricant. I can be kind of a quiet guy by nature. It may not really, but I thought it made me a little more outgoing or a little more, a little more interesting. And, you know, it's probably, there's probably who, you know, it's probably, there's probably no truth to that, but I think that in the customer that I was referring to earlier, I think for her, she probably does drink more than she would ordinarily because, she's worried and she's fretting over the, the health of her child over 20, I think he's 26 years old, 26 year old son and who, she also shared with me that he had had 40 days of, sobriety and. I also tried to say to her 40 days, that's a substantive amount of time. You should be encouraged by that. And her answer was yeah, but, but he's back at it and. Back right in the thick of this this dangerous lifestyle. So, what do you say to that? She's right, right. It puts her, puts her son back in the situation that is incredibly dangerous. But I do think that she should be encouraged by the fact that he learned how to string 40 days together. And then she told me that he made some excuse about this or that needing to do it, needing to, to find it again and so on. And so, he found a way and found a justification for doing it again. But, but even so I do want to be encouraged by the fact that, you know, he's strung to get 40 days.

[00:23:51] Thomas: And I have another customer a couple of weeks ago that, well a customer that last week Celebrated her six months in sobriety. And so I've been in touch with her when she was 60 days sober and then, you know, 120 days sober and so on to the point where now she's six months sober and she shows all the signs of really getting it you know of that she has this, you know, that's, I, my guess, is that a year from now or a, well, six months from now, we'll be celebrating a year for her and I, it, because she just seems to, seems to have found her footing, even if she doesn't make it another six months for a solid year. Okay. She still puts six months together. And that should show to her certainly shows to me as her, as her friend now that, she's got the wherewithal and ability to do this. So, I mean, take encouragement from these small victories because maybe they're not so small, maybe, you know, 60 days is a big deal. There's no harder 60 days than those first 60 days, right. For me at this point in my sobriety, I'll go from here 60 days beyond this point will not be nearly as difficult as those first 60 days or my first six months or my first year. So, I want people to understand that, just to be encouraged by those by their ability to, to find and link sober days to.

[00:25:15] Mike: Yeah. Get through each day. What is the time? Cause you can't live tomorrow. Who's not here. 

[00:25:18] Thomas: And Mike, you asked about essentially about, did that provide me motivation for, doing what I do now? Yeah, absolutely. I was living in Reno, Nevada at the time and my next-door neighbors, own something called PNX botanicals.

[00:25:34] Thomas: They are the first CBD suppliers in the state of Nevada. So, because of them, I found out a lot about CBD. I found out how it can help with depression, anxiety, and help people get better sleep, how can help with pain management. And also, through them, I started asking questions about. Does it help because what I knew up to that point, would it help curb addictive cravings? And boy, they just lit up and mind you, they didn't know that I was in addiction recovery. So, they just led up to say, yes, we've got, and they mentioned three friends of theirs, two that were suffering from alcoholism, another from opioid addiction. And they talked about how they had provided their CBD to these friends and how it helped them get back on their feet, how it helped them find sobriety. So, because of them, because of the Perrys and P and X botanicals, I did a, I did about 90 days of really exhaustive research about this and, and, and came to my own conclusion that CBD can play a role here. And so that, and then I got together with my son, Dan, who, as I said earlier suffers from some of these addictive issues himself. We got together and said, well, let's try this. So, I left I was in higher education marketing at that point. I left kind of decided that I wanted to give this a try because I wanted to do something that, that stood a chance of having a greater impact something that really could affect people's lives.

[00:27:01] Thomas: And I think about this way that if, if our products that our products stand to say. Relationships and marriages and job and maybe lives at some point, I don't want to overstate this. I'm not trying to take too much credit here, but if we can play a part there, then that's something I want to do.

[00:27:17] Thomas: So, and I do I, you know, I have a, almost a year and a half worth of, of evidence now of customer saying that, yes, while I'm taking these products, it's helping me. I don't find myself reaching for that, the wine bottles each night, that kind of thing. So, the research supports this, but there's a lot more research that needs to be done.

[00:27:36] Thomas: But then yes, absolutely. That is the reason we started Exact Nature botanicals and also exact nature is a phrase that I took from the fifth step of AA. 12 steps admitted to us, to God and to another human being. The exact nature of our wrongs is called the confession step. So, I, I looked, I looked in lots of different places to try to find a name for this company that would have meant directly applicable to what we're trying to do. that's when we came up with exact nature. 

[00:28:11] Lindsey: So, your products contain CBD and you kind of have this little niche where your products are being used by people who are. Trying to recover from addiction. Is that right? 

[00:28:27] Thomas: Yes, that's exactly right. 

[00:28:29] Lindsey: Wow. Okay. So, what kind of products do you have? Is it an oil? Is it a pill? Is it an ointment? 

[00:28:36] Thomas: Yes, we have three different lines and so what we have done I buy a very good CBD that has grown in Nevada. It's the most erudite CBD is a cannabinoid. CBD is a product of the cannabis plant. Let me, let me start back to say that the cannabis plant has two cousins. If you will think of them as cousins, one is marijuana. Marijuana is very high in THC and very low in CBD. The other cousin is hemp, which is just the opposite. It's very high in CBD, very low THC. That's why 99% of, commercial CBD is derived from the hemp plant. We don't want to take CBD from marijuana. We don't want that associated. We don't, we don't want it because we want the CBD. We don't want the THC by law. We cannot have more than 0.3% THC, no one can, but for our products and for our audience, we take out that remaining THC. So, our products don't contain any THC CBD high CBD will not get you out.

[00:29:48] Thomas: No non intoxicating. No, it definitely will not get you high. And. Some CBD because they keep the THC and it's, I guess it's, it has the potential very remote to get you high because sometimes at 0.3, if it's, if they haven't tested it properly or this or that, sometimes it has a higher concentration of THC that can stay. And then, you know, that could potentially get you high. But our products won't, we have all of our products are third-party lab tested. So, we will show you exactly what's in our products. So, we take this very good CBD. And in and of itself can help with these issues of curbing addictive, cravings, and mood and so on.

[00:30:33] Thomas: It can, it can, it can help with withdrawal as well. Yes. Well, what we do is we take that CBD and we surrounded with other products that have long been used. All natural ingredients have long been used for these issues. For instance, we have four product lines with three primary products.

[00:30:51] Thomas: One is called detox that is aimed directly at curbing addictive cravings. So, we take the CBD, which we know can help, but we also, use kudzu root and its which kudzu root has been used by the Chinese at 600 ADS to help for exactly this curbing addictive cravings. But it also has. L- glutamine and L-tyrosine, which are amino acids, which also help promote calm. Magnesium, which also has that potential to help promote calm. And so though, that's what is in the capsules and in the stick packs of the detox products on the oils. So that's detox, detox serenity and Zs, which are the sleep products.

[00:31:37] Thomas: They all come in a capsule and a CBD oil and a drink powder. We also have one called boost, which is a coffee additive. So that's, that's a three. So, in the case of detox, we take all these ingredients in, in many cases have been used for hundreds of years for these issues. And the same thing with serenity, we take something called Gabba which is a gamma Mino. You trolley, I think it, but it's called Gabba. It's an amino acid that helps with neurotransmission facilitates, calm, but also, L-theanine and Robiola rosacea, and these natural ingredients that have been used to help promote calm and focus. So, each product is proprietary formulated. We didn't copy it from anybody else. I came up with the original formulations and then went to professional formulators and the people that know about these things and to ask them, am I on a right track? And, and a lot of times dance was something like you're on the right track, but let's do this and let's do that to make them better. So, I started with something that was sound, but would made better by formulas. Same thing with Zs we take melatonin and Chamomile and macho green tea and put. Surround the CBD to help create relaxation and help people prepare for better sleep. So, our products are proprietary, formulated, specially formulated to help with these issues that people most often face and as they're getting sober and as they go into recovery an example is because I I'm sober 13 years now.

[00:33:14] Thomas: I don't have the day-to-day addictive cravings. It's not something I battle at this point, but when I got sober and when my active addiction moved out, depression moved in and that's not uncommon. So, I dealt with that through prescription medication for about 10 years and they worked until they didn't, and that's not uncommon either.

[00:33:37] Thomas: They just stop working. It's just natural. It just happens. And rather than going through this lengthy trial and error process and so on, I quit all prescription medications. In fact, now I don't take a single prescription medication, but I do still battle with depression, but I take it and I treat it using our serenity CBD. I take capsules. Sometimes I take the drink powders and put them in and in my water jug and put some ice cubes in there and sip on it all day, sip on it throughout the day and so on. So yeah. And the CBD works every bit, as well as the prescription medication did, which is not to say perfectly all the time. Cause it doesn't. There are times when I have particularly high stress or something notable is on my mind. It doesn't tamp it down to the point where I'm catatonic, but it does, even me out and most days it evens me out as well as, as any prescription medication.

[00:34:34] Lindsey: That's amazing. And is it addictive? I hear CBD and I, I remember, kind of first hearing about it and I was like, oh my God, why would anybody who is addicted to a substance. Use something like CBD because I just equate it to marijuana. And I was like, oh my God, I don't know personally how I feel about this. Or if I would take a CBD product, but yeah, like, can somebody get addicted? To CBD 

[00:35:04] Thomas: Lindsey, the short answer is no, it's not, not addictive. And I see as part of my job as this evangelist for CBD is to demystify and de-stigmatize CBD, right. Because in your right. The view that you just expressed is not uncommon because people I have friends that have been at it have been in recovery for a long time and it's becoming less common, but some of them.

[00:35:29] Thomas: View CBD as trading one crutch for another. I don't believe that I don't believe it and I don't believe it at all because there's nothing addictive about it. You can't overdose from CBD. It's an all-natural product. Something I say somewhat, it sounds kind of facetious. I don't mean it that way, but what you'll get addicted to is feeling better.

[00:35:53] Thomas: It will help you get a bounce back in your step. It just lifts your mood is what it does. And CBD works through something called the endocannabinoid system. It's a system of neurotransmitters that run from your brain throughout your body. And so, what it does is. It stabilizes these important bodily functions. It brings because the endocannabinoid system can get depleted over time. So, what you're doing when you take CBD is you're replenishing this system that gets somewhat depleted over time, just through life's challenges and just through life. And so, by taking CBD, you're bringing that back into a homeostasis or an equilibrium. And as I say that equalizes this important bodily function from sleep, the mood to pain management to in our case curbing addictive. But you will not get addicted to it. 

[00:36:47] Lindsey: I'm learning so much about this.

[00:36:50] Thomas: Yeah. But that's one thing that's one misnomer that I really knocked down is because it's not addictive and it's I don't feel like I'm trading one crutch for another, because I think when somebody is facing a opioid use disorder, for instance, the most important thing that we have to do as quickly as we can is get them to quit taking that right. To get them to abstain from taking those opioids and those other drugs, the same with alcohol. If we can get people to stop drinking, then their thinking becomes clearer. Then they can start to repair themselves and to start You feeling better healing.

[00:37:31] Thomas: Exactly. Thank you. Yup. 

[00:37:33] Lindsey: I love that. So, it's just like another tool in the toolkit. So, some people take prescription medication to start out therapy, counseling, AA different groups, sessions and CBD is one of the other tools that can be added. I saw this you were saying you were talking about um, That's statistics. And I saw something on Instagram that said alcoholism killed more people in 2020 than COVID-19. And I was like, why are we not talking about that? And just like you said, if your products could help, I mean, you could be preventing death and, relationships gone bad and all this stuff. And I know just talking with my own friends too, there's different opinions. Some people think, oh, CBD it's so woo. But I'm starting to become more. Open-minded yeah, whatever tool you can use, for instance, you don't need shoes to run, but it helps. Right? if CBD helps you get through sobriety and help you with cravings and help you sleep, it's ultimately gonna help you in your recovery.

[00:38:38] Thomas: Yes. Yeah. If it can help minimize those drug cues that we all suffer from when we stop there, I just don't see the downside to it. There just is no downside because I'm just going to feel better. So, we made a business approaching a year and a half. Now Exact Nature offers a money back guarantee for our products, right. In the course of almost a year and a half now we've had one person take us up on the money back guarantee because she, and she reached out to me to say, it caused, mild diarrhea for her. So, I'm not suggesting that every person that took our products and detoxes our best-selling product by, by far detox oil and detox capsules. I'm not suggesting that everybody that took our product is all of a sudden now sober because they took our products. I'm not suggesting that I'm suggesting that it very well could have helped them if they are sober, it very well could have helped them. But what I am suggesting and flat out saying is that everybody that took those products.

[00:39:43] Thomas: Would have experienced improvement in some way they're lighten their load a bit. They would have it would have helped them clear up some of their cloudy thinking and help them focus and help their mood, lighten their mood. Maybe help them sleep better. These other ways that CBD can help that's the reason that I think that over the course of the year and a half, we've only had one person take us up on a money back guarantee is because I think, I don't know. No one's ever said that to me, but I could see somebody saying, I'm still struggling. I'm still drinking, four out of seven nights or whatever it might be, but I am feeling better. I am able to focus more. I am able to, I'm not, I'm not feeling as, as depressed as I, as I once was. So that's, that is what I would say about. 

[00:40:33] Mike: Kindling before the big buyer, then you get to go. And I got a quick question. Do you have, do you use like multiple carrier oils for your CBD products?

[00:40:43] Thomas: Mostly it's MCT oil or coconut oil that

[00:40:46] Mike: nice. Nice. So MCT oil actually has some other benefits too, besides definitely being a carrier oil. So that's good to know. 

[00:40:53] Thomas: Yeah, that's right. Yes. Whenever we could, we tried to get all of our ingredients to do, to work as hard as they could get as they could. So yes. Good question. 

[00:41:04] Mike: Yeah, no, 

[00:41:05] Tracey: I think people get to a point where, especially if they have some sort of physical addiction or they're really struggling with whatever side effects they're having from not having that substance, that, something like CBD that's natural could help that. Why wouldn't they try it or why wouldn't they take it? Right. 

[00:41:26] Thomas: Yeah. Tracy, that's my, that's my opinion as well,

[00:41:29] Mike: more mainstream than anything as, as we journey on with, like you said, there needs to be more research done. I mean, at least here in Canada, CBD has not been legal or it's oh, excuse me. It's only been legal for; I want to guess around four years and I could be wrong. But as I told you, before, we met you, Thomas that, it was virtually impossible to get here and anybody that. Got it was getting it through some source either my guess would be through the U S because the U S had some states that had some well, they had legal marijuana and I think that's where it all started, so more research for sure. I think we all know, especially here in Ontario trace that it seems like there's more pot shops than there are corner stores.

[00:42:17] Kelly: It's the same in Manitoba. They're everywhere 

[00:42:21] Tracey: since it's been legalized, they're just popping up on every corner, for sure. 

[00:42:25] Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It's more common to see one of those than it is almost a gas station, but I think the important part is that you've expressed how. You're not affiliated in any way, shape or form. What have you with regards to the THC market and things like that? So, people need to know that there's, ways to get stuff like your product. Has no affiliation whatsoever with that stigma if you will. 

[00:42:52] Thomas: Right. That's right. And I want to disassociate us from marijuana. It's because it's not right. It's not right for my customer. Right. So, it's, I, it's not that I think medical cannabis has had a lot of has added a lot of value to it for a lot of people. So, I'm not even bashing THC. I'm not bashing into that. I'm just saying for my audience, it's not appropriate. Because then it would be trading one crutch for another and that's, that's not what I want to do. 

[00:43:19] Mike: Definitely could be for sure. Sure. I know personally, some people that turn to the THC route to my I'll speak to my own experience. I kept consuming marijuana for about a year after I quit drinking just simply because I was trying to find that next step in my, I got to stop these things. They're just not benefiting me in any capacity. So I would agree with you in saying that it is a crutch in some ways, but I think, the main thing is that all these tools that you acquire, like you said, you acquired and rehab that got you to that point of, I relapsed, but I had some tools and Kelly commented on it earlier. I had some tools to get my fire going again. I put new kindling and I got that thing going and going month to month, three months. Part of my comment earlier is about this journey that you're on do discover the real you that you just never have really come to find, because I think as we grow up. We're not in that state of, I know who I am at 18, and that's probably why most of us drank we didn't know who the heck we were, and we were going on this path of. 

[00:44:26] Thomas: That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Living in the present is what being sober has allowed me to do, rather than living in this adult state where, I may or may not remember what happened and my children, my two boys Dan, who I spoke of earlier is 23 and his brother, Ian, my other son is 21. You know, technically they could, they would have seen me you know, so Dan would have been eight years old when I quit drinking. He doesn't have any memory of me being me being drunk. That is good. Right. So, since he's been eight, he's never seen me drink so, and backing up a little, it was probably five or six years old. Really last time I would have been intoxicated in his presence, I'm 13 years sober, but You could very well could and should have been twenty-five years. But that's what I would say to other people too, you gotta start you better, late than never. And also, you can do it, you know, it's something that, that if I can do it, you can do it. And again, not to not to say anything other than to say that, well, I'll tell you why. Before I quit drinking before I went to rehab. My disease was getting so bad that not only would I drink 99 out of a hundred days I would, but I would also, over-drink probably 75 out of a hundred days. And at the end I was waking myself out of my sleep so I could get up and go drink more. Wow. It was awful. And yeah, I'm I say that because it might help somebody, right. I was never embarrassed by that. I'm, I'm ashamed of that, but if it's going to help somebody, then, I need to be honest about this. And so, I've been very brutally honest about my sobriety. And I knew that coming into this business, that if I was going to do this people had to know why we were doing it, why we were in this business we're not selling CBD for your tennis elbow or for your favorite pet you know, it has, you know, it can help, it can help with your tennis elbow and your favorite pet. But that's not that those are not the, the waters in which we choose to swim. We're aiming directly at people with, with addiction issues in the states, there are 20 million active addicts and alcoholics, and that's really on the conservative side, 

[00:46:47] Kelly: I'd say very conservative.

[00:46:49] Thomas: Yeah. Right. That's right. That's 

[00:46:51] Mike: 300 million people. That's, you know, not a marketing that happens in the U S around sports and alcohol. I mean like, man, It's insane. 

[00:47:02] Kelly: When you say we, when you're speaking of your company, Thomas, it's you and your son, Dan, correct? Yeah. And I know we're going to get to speak to him on an upcoming episode, which will be awesome. Cause he'll probably be our youngest that we've interviewed.

[00:47:17] Kelly: But what was 

[00:47:18] Thomas: it like? Oh, 

[00:47:19] Kelly: good. Yeah, that'd be great. What was it like for you as his dad to, you know, watch him go through that struggle? 

[00:47:27] Thomas: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was tough. It was tough. So, Dan was 23. Dan, he'll tell you about this, I sent him to some wilderness therapy programs. And I don't know if you know what that is, but essentially you take a kid out of his normal environment. You put them out in the wilderness. Sometimes this isn't. One of these camps was in Northern Minnesota during the winter, so tough. And Dan was like a fish in water out there and he excels in the, in the in nature. So, he as tough as it was, he did well. So that was, that was tough. And we sent him to three different therapy programs. So, it took him a while to find his footing and he can tell you about this, but on June 2nd we will recognize the fifth anniversary of Dan lost his very best friend in the world to an opioid overdose in five years on June 2nd. So that more than anything made Dan realize that this is very dangerous stuff that we're dealing with here. And most of the time, as a 23-year-old is Dan is now and he left when his, when his friend died, his friend had been even old enough to, to vote. Yeah, right. So, he died of an addiction of an overdose before he was even of voting age. It it's kind of scared, damn straight. And so, it really reinforced all of those messages and good messages that he'd been hearing all along. But it made it real for him. 

[00:49:06] Lindsey: Kidding. That could have been him.

[00:49:07] Thomas: Yes. That's, you know, back to our customer that has the 26-year-old son suffered from this style. I just I don't want. Any parent or anybody ever to deal with this again, I'm just hoping that they find some help, but on the positive side of things, it's been great working with Dan on this stuff.

[00:49:29] Kelly: That's really cool. 

[00:49:30] Tracey: Yeah. It must be amazing for the two of you to do it together. 

[00:49:33] Thomas: Yeah, definitely. We've always been close, but it's brought us even closer. We have a shared passion for this as well as a shared set of experiences. Right. We can, we can talk about this. And so, I'm grateful for the fact that he and I are doing this together because it's just what better way to do it than to share this kind of

[00:49:57] Kelly: Yeah. So where can our listeners find you and Dan at Exact Nature? 

[00:50:07] Thomas: Yes. Exact is our website. And what, what I'd like to do Kelly, if I may, as a, give your listeners a 20% discount. So, anybody comes to me. If anybody comes to the website and I'll honor this throughout 2022, but I have to say we, can't ship to Canada, so we can't ship outside the U S so but if you reach out to me, I'll try to find distributors in your area, but this discount code would be L L 20.

[00:50:38] Kelly: So that's great. We'll put that in our show notes, Thomas. 

[00:50:41] Tracey: Yeah, that's great. Thank you so much for that. 

[00:50:44] Lindsey: Are you on Instagram? Where can our listeners find your Instagram page? 

[00:50:49] Thomas: So, it's nature. Yes. Well, Instagram, we have a presence of that is growing pretty quickly. And we're so happy to see that on Instagram, we're on Facebook and Twitter and we have a YouTube and Tik TOK channel as well, but those are developing as all of them are developing as is Instagram. But I would direct them first to. 

[00:51:13] Tracey: Okay. We'll put all that stuff and all your contact info in the show notes so people can find you Thomas that's great.

[00:51:20] Kelly: Amazing. Yeah, this was so informative. I learned a lot and I'm sure our listeners will appreciate this. I think you're doing an amazing job with Exact Nature and demystifying and de-stigmatizing what CBD can do for the recovery community. So, thank you. 

[00:51:38] Thomas: Okay. Thanks Kelly. Thanks for saying, yeah, we want to be successful. But for us, success is not it's not like selling a fat-free cracker, you know, for us success means people are, are raising their hand, recognizing an issue that they may be facing and taking some very tangible steps towards addressing those issues. And I find that to be all the motivation, right. 

[00:52:01] Kelly: That sounds good. Yeah. 

[00:52:05] Mike: Where are those three crackers? Because 

[00:52:08] Kelly: Mike's looking for fat-free donuts. Actually, they have 

[00:52:12] Lindsey: CBD in them. 

[00:52:14] Kelly: CBD fat-free donuts. There's your next product? 

[00:52:18] Thomas: In Maine, they make doughnuts out potatoes. Oh yeah. We have a very successful donut chain here that all the donuts are potato based oh, that's interesting. Oh, they couldn't get any more fattening

[00:52:34] Kelly: oh, well this has been great. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. Follow us at LAF life podcast on Instagram. Join our Facebook community for some really cool conversations. All the links are in our show notes, and if you want to be a guest, please reach out and keep laughing. Bye guys. 

[00:52:56] Tracey: Thanks so much, Thomas.

[00:52:59] Tracey: Thomas bye 

[00:53:00] Thomas: guys. All right, bye. 

[00:53:02] Tracey: It was a pleasure. Thanks. 

[00:53:04] Closing

[00:53:04] Kelly: Thank you for listening. Please give us a five-star rating like and subscribe, share on social media, and tell your friends. We love getting your feedback and ideas of what you'd like to hear on upcoming episodes of the laugh life podcast. If you yourself are living alcohol free and want to share your story here, please reach out.