Bev Thompson is the founder of CBD Yums, a CBD edible company based in the U.K. She was inspired to launch the business after experiencing powerful positive effects of integrating Cannabidiol into her life. In fact, Bev was blown away by the results. Her energy levels rose, her sleep improved, her cravings for junk food decreased, her moods stabilized, and so much more. Bev had never felt better in her life. Meanwhile, she noticed there were very few options for CBD infused edibles in the U.K. While there seemed to be no shortage of CBD oils and vapes for sale, edibles were more challenging to come across. Bev saw an opportunity. Why not combine two of her greatest passions – CBD and delicious food? Today she runs CBD Yums, specializing in infused candy like gummy bears, fudge, and hard candies. When she isn't whipping up tasty CBD treats, Bev is spending time with the ones she loves most.
What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?
I was inspired to enter the cannabis industry due to my personal experience of using CBD. I had, for years, attempted to fix my numerous issues, such as low moods, fatigue and just not feeling well. I thought feeling ill was stress related, but I now realize nothing would improve unless I fixed my ECS deficiency.
I was impressed by CBD, the results were subtle but noticeable. I felt better which had many knock on effects, for instance, my sleep improved, my cravings for sugar and junk food decreased. I was on a mission to spread the good news. I gave CBD to my family and they also became converts. I continued to learn everything I could about CBD. I noticed the UK had lots of CBD Oils and Vapes for sale, but not edibles. Well CBD oil is an acquired taste, and I didn’t Vape, so I decided to make my own gummy bears.
At the same time I had been thinking about starting a new project or business. I realized I could combine my love of CBD and start a company selling delicious tasting edibles. Voila! CBD Yums –The Good Candy was created.
Tell us more about launching your business
I am not great at planning. In the beginning, I made loads of mistakes. I purchased equipment I didn’t need, I tried to cut corners, rushing into everything without paying attention to detail. But I was learning and building a network of suppliers and industry allies. I launched CBD Yums on social media, making my posts fun as well as informative. I’d invested my money and time in CBD Yums and was nervous I’d be lost in cyber space; but thankfully I had a steady flow of sales and then repeat orders. The feedback has been really good. My CBD 1mg bears are suitable for all ages, you can be flexible with the dosage, so great for children, plus you get 100 bears, so more delicious jelly for your money! I also make super strength CBD 40mg jelly treats, perfect for those who don’t like the taste of Hemp Oil, but need a strong dose of CBD. In March I will be launching a new range of edibles including a Vegan option, CBD infused Fudge, Chocolate, Chewies along with a Hard Candy. My prices are very reasonable as I strongly believe in ‘health before wealth’.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
I can’t remember a time in my life where cannabis wasn’t a part of it. My father was Jamaican and permanently had a spliff in his mouth. I grew up in the 1970s within the Rastafarian community. The smell of cannabis and sound of Reggae were ever present.
However when I was eleven years old, we moved a suburban area. I was one of the only non-white children in my school, my brothers and I were bullied by older racist teenagers. In order to protect my brothers, I befriended the skinhead thugs by supplying them with good quality Hashish, I’d taken the Hashish from my dads stash! This part of my life became an award winning short film named after me ‘Beverley’. There was a period in my life, where I misused cannabis, I was unhappy and smoked too much, my habit became unmanageable, so I stopped for a few years.
Now I have more self awareness. I know I have physical, intellectual and spiritual needs and try make sure I treat myself with kindness. Cannabis is no longer a means to escape reality but a chance to create a better one.
What have been your biggest hurdles operating in the cannabis industry so far?
England has a complicated stance regarding CBD, the Law isn’t clear. Although CBD is legal, I can not advertise CBD’s potential health benefits. However I can sell edibles infused with CBD as a food supplement; sometimes the restrictions feels like I’ve got a new car but I’m not allowed to drive it. The biggest hurdle is the stigma surrounding Cannabis per se; this amazing herb has been demonised, the very word Cannabis or a picture of the Hemp leaf, has become politically loaded. I wish everyone, was aware of the fascinating history of Hemp and its promising health benefits. The U.K. Country Drug Report 2017 stated 11.3% of 16-34 years olds use Cannabis, the future is looking greener. As a result of headline news reports and social media pressure groups, we Brits are moving towards the legalisation of medical cannabis. I’m passionately endorsing CBD, which (in my case), caused harm, when it was left, out of my diet.
How have you been able to overcome these challenges?
To be in business and specifically the cannabis industry, you have to embrace the many challenges. I believe in my product, matched with 100% commitment to succeed, challenges are part of the adventure. The best views are from the top of the mountain so you’ve got to be prepared for the climb right? I’ve also have a lot of people cheering me on and the great feedback from customers is a huge motivating factor. I overcome challenges by seeing them as opportunities to get my A game on.
Name the top 3 skills every cannabis entrepreneur needs
To succeed you need vision, an imagination, be creative, consumerism is so predictable and dull. Give your brand personality, if you don’t believe in your products no-one will. You need determination if you’re easily scared or only want to work part-time, then make cup cakes. The Cannabis industry is an emerging market, fiercely competitive and full of pitfalls, I feel like a pioneer in one sense and in another I wonder if I’m deluded, time will tell. You also need patience try and pace yourself, listen to feedback, make time to keep up-to-date on CBD news, shop around till you find the right suppliers and resources, don’t skip the details, be your brand’s expert.
What is the best advice you've received recently?
The best advice I’ve received lately is don’t worry about money/sales continue to be passionate about your products, put in your best effort and the money/sales will follow.
Any tips for maintaining a work/life balance?
I’m not good at the work life balance. I love CBD Yums, its part of the family now. I’d rather say I spend my time doing things I love whether it’s work, socialising, visiting family or one of my many hobbies.
If you could offer an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
My advice to a budding (pardon the pun) entrepreneur is to tune into your instinct, listen to that inner voice, and be brave, even if you have to pretend to be fearless until it becomes natural.