The goal for Hhemp.co is to transform the CBD industry for the benefit of humankind by helping retail partners deliver high quality, effective CBG and CBD products and setting a new standard for product development, compliance and distribution. It’s a mission that hits close to home for Dr. Bao Le, Hhemp.co’s CEO and — more importantly — the father of Andrew, his loving son.
Now, 14, Andrew, born at 32 weeks early, was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum at two and a half. He experienced his first grand mal seizure at age three, and growing up, he suffered night terrors which resulted in him rarely having restful sleep. A haircut, an everyday event for most kids, was out of the question because of sensory issues and anxiety of unfamiliar situations. Even a family trip to Disneyland, the “Happiest place on Earth,” proved to be an overwhelming nightmare.
Doctors prescribed Prozac and Depakote to remedy the effects of Andrew’s condition, and when he started school, he was labeled ADHD and put on Adderall. While the drugs may have calmed Andrew, Le says the downside was that they turned him into a nonverbal, severely autistic child, who was deeply medicated.
“Not to get religious, but God gave me a special needs child with whom I figured out that pharmaceutical medicine did not help, but actually made him worse,” Le says.
Le looked for alternative treatments, and as a chiropractor of 17 years, he was open to exploring holistic medicine. He was introduced to cannabis derivatives by a patient who worked in the industry, and figuring there was nothing to lose, he tried everything from tinctures to Rick Simpson oil (RSO). Andrew wasn’t thrilled with the taste and would only take his “medicine” when it was applied to chicken nuggets or Ritz crackers. The positive side was that CBD and Delta-9 slowed down the hyperactivity in Andrew’s brain enough that he was able to be taken off of pharmaceutical meds.
“My wife and I were pissed, wondering why CBD wasn’t available for parents to try,” Le says. “What pushed me over the edge was when regulations started coming out in California, a lot of the brands that didn’t have a permit just went away.”
“The ‘why’ has never changed, but my mission is expanding,” Le adds. “We had to fill a void and give dispensaries and consumers a quality product.”
In 2015, Le started a Cannabis extraction company in Berkeley, California, called BAS Research. Working with farmers in Humboldt, he became one of the first licensed cannabis extractors in the state.
He recently worked with Oregon State University on a breakthrough study about how cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) active oil can help make cells resistant to the SARS-Cov-19 virus. It was more than just an experiment. Le calls the entourage effect produced by the two cannabinoids, “The New CBD.”
“CBG is more powerful than CBD, in the sense that CBG opens the receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and provides an easier pathway to recognize CBD,” Le explained in a recent health & wellness article. “This ability for CBG to enhance the body’s ability to recognize CBD helps the effectiveness of CBD.”
By innovating ratios of CBG and CBD together Le was able to create new products under the Hhemp.com brand including CBD + CBG tinctures, gummies, hemp flower, terpene-infused pre-rolls, lollipops blended with vitamins and superfoods like zinc, vitamin C, and goji berries to boost energy and immunity, and counter stress, and CBG+CBD products infused with Delta-8 distillate. There is also a line of THCO+CBD+CBG hemp flower, and Chief Stix hemp cigarettes that provide a traditional smoking experience free of tobacco, nicotine, and additives.
Le is proud not only of Hhemp.co’s products, but of the company’s 15,000 square-foot Northern California headquarters that houses industry-leading product development, manufacturing, labeling and packaging facilities. He gladly gives virtual tours to buyers wanting to see for themselves the commitment and quality control that goes into producing premium products.
“People trust Hhemp.co because of our COAs, science, transparency, and dedication,” Le says. “You need that forthright thinking if you’re a brand like us that cares about change.”
“I believe in educating stores and their entire staff as partners more than simply selling them products,” Le adds. “We openly give samples because we want buyers to understand that we’re trying to be the Apple in this space where the labels and COAs are accurate and the products work. We do hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in research and development and it’s all backed by science.”
Hhemp.co products can be found in some 6,000 stores across the U.S. — and it’s not only smoke shops and cannabis dispensaries. “When you see the words ‘hemp and CBD’, which has been misguidedly linked to Delta-9 cannabis, inside CVS, Walgreens, and duty-free shops at airports, I believe that’s a win,” Le says.
Le says that’s because there are so many people that can benefit from CBG+CBD wellness products. Seniors, for example, who are seeking non-opiate anti-inflammatory solutions for pain relief. In collaboration with the non-profit organization Veteran Health Solutions, Hhemp.co launched a military branded tincture line and has since honored its pledge to donate 100% of the profits from this product line to support veteran organizations across the nation.
“My dad is an Air Force veteran, and he’s my hero. One of the most important things I learned from him is “First in, last out.” That’s one reason I’m so hands-on with my business,” Le says. “I learned a long time ago that if you make money the right way, karma always comes around and says, ‘Hey, this is what you’re doing next.'”
“Plant medicine has not even scratched the surface of research, and my passion is to discover what ingredients can help people,” Le says.
“I’ve been to over a thousand trade shows in my lifetime, and brands promoting consumer-based CBD products are not slowing down,” Le continues. “We’re not waiting for the demand to make a product; we’re making the product because there is already a demand.”
And Le’s personal reward?
“As a business owner, what inspires me is building success for my team. Our highest priority is producing clean and safe products that create a brand that people can trust,” Le says. “What really drives my passion for developing wellness products is my son. I smile every single time I think of him because it really is a miracle how plant-based supplements have changed his life.”