Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Laura Arick and submitted
There are innumerable articles, social media posts and conversations out there that examine the validity and benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) products and debate about the various laws governing the hemp industry at local and federal levels.
What does it all really mean to you—the consumer—and are you able to purchase from a local company that is headquartered and licensed as a hemp grower/producer in Indiana rather than from a faceless entity on the World Wide Web? The answer is yes, you can.
Agrozen Life Sciences, located in Carmel, Indiana, was founded by Carmel residents Brian Schroeder and his son, Austin. Agrozen is a member of the Midwest Hemp Council, which was organized more than a year ago to stand as a credible information center, trusted policy advocate and a dedicated forum for the reemerging hemp industry in the Midwest.
I sat down with these two entrepreneurs to discuss not only their product lines and business practices but also what consumers should be educated on when it comes to buying and using CBD products.
“In 2016, we started seriously looking at the overall cannabis industry and what was happening in the surrounding states,” Brian Schroeder said. “At the time, CBD was not legal in Indiana. After all our research, we basically said there is definitely something here [with this plant] and there are therapeutic benefits.”
The Schroeders, anticipating the eventual legalization of CBD in Indiana, compiled research, attended industry-related conferences, toured facilities in other states and devised a business plan. In March of 2018, Governor Holcomb signed House Bill 52 into law. HB 52 legalizes the purchase, possession, use and sale of CBD oil that contains less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
“Our business plan was ready, and as soon as HB 52 happened, we were able to move forward,” Brian said. “We obviously want to stay on the legal side of things here within the state, and with the passing of HB 52, and a passion for natural health benefits originating from a natural hemp plant, we were ready to get things started.”
The End of the Hemp Prohibition Era
The official end to hemp prohibition was on December 20, 2018, when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill—not a new piece of legislation, but an important one for multiple industries such as the hemp industry. Under this act, hemp was placed under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has become an agricultural commodity. The Schroeders, once again, were keeping a vigilant eye on the ball and immediately filed for an Indiana grower/producer license, which they were granted last month.
“Agrozen is self-funded and growing organically at this point,” Brian said. “As we start to branch out and expand, it’s going to require additional investment dollars to get us to the next level.”
The father-and-son team is signing on authorized dealers to represent and sell their company’s products, and as they move further into the growing/producing side of their venture, they will offer capital investment opportunities to purchase the necessary processing equipment so they will be able to grow, process, formulate, test, manufacture, distribute and sell Agrozen products—all from within the state of Indiana. Until such time, Agrozen uses raw materials from hemp farmers in Kentucky and Colorado for their product line.
The Agrozen Life Sciences Difference
“We want to differentiate ourselves from other CBD companies in the industry, and we’re keeping a close eye on the top 10 companies that have been in the hemp business for years with decent market share,” Brian stated. “Agrozen Life Sciences is more than just putting our label on a product—it’s creating products that people can actually benefit from and use daily.”
Agrozen’s product line is comprised of a wide variety of nutritional CBD supplements in tincture (oil) and caplet forms, CBD K-Cups, inhalants and hemp CBD lotions in the beauty care line. Agrozen’s motto, “Discover Nature’s Wellness,” epitomizes its mission to find ways to improve the quality of life for everyone. Agrozen Holdings was launched as the investment division to fund the creation of Agrozen Life Sciences to focus its efforts on hemp-derived CBD oil research, product development and consumer education.
Agrozen’s specialty line of CBD oil products for humans and pets alike are planted, harvested and then processed using the purest CO2 extraction method to achieve the highest quality hemp extract for its products. All Agrozen branded CBD oil products are researched, third-party tested and strictly follow Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) throughout processing facilities in the U.S.
“We receive COAs [certificates of analysis] and lab reports on all of our products,” Brian emphasized. “Every Agrozen product has a QR code on it. The QR code [required by the state] will take you to the lab report section on our website. When a consumer picks up one of our bottles, they will find a lot number and product label listing the ingredients.”
Agrozen follows all the FDA’s labeling requirements and strives to be at the highest level of quality control—near the level of pharmaceutical procedures—when creating its products.
“The facilities where the product is manufactured are FDA approved, GMP [Good Manufacturing Practice] certified, and they all have SOPs [statements of procedure] in place,” Brian stated. “Everything we do must follow these three things among other quality control procedures. The CBD tincture oil—which is our first product category—we offer in four different strengths: 500 mg, 1,000 mg, 1,500 mg and 2,500 mg in three flavors: natural, mint and strawberry.”
The Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract
Full-spectrum hemp extract utilizes all the hemp plant’s various nutrients, not just CBD. What some people may not realize is that hemp seed oil by itself does not contain cannabinoids and is not comparable to full-spectrum hemp extract. Consumers need to read the labels before purchasing to ensure they are getting exactly what they want.
“There is a general misconception with certain products on the market, claiming to be hemp seed oil or hemp oil, and those products do not have CBD oil in them,” Austin shared. “These products are priced considerably lower and very misleading to consumers.”
Brian explained, “Our product focus is on full-spectrum hemp extract products. Meaning, all cannabinoids in the plant are in our products and the only thing filtered is the chlorophyll. There are many companies out there selling CBD isolate [isolated cannabidiol]. These companies are stripping away all the other beneficial cannabinoids, and you’re left with one molecule—the CBD molecule. What the scientists and researchers are finding is that all the cannabinoids in the plant work together.”
What’s Next on Deck for Agrozen
In addition to the existing line of full-spectrum CBD products, Agrozen is developing an expansive beauty care and personal care line.
“The personal care and beauty care industry is basically endless with what you can do,” Brian said. “The anti-inflammatory properties that you find in CBD is a hot spot within the beauty care market. We currently offer a topical lotion—500 mg in a 2-ounce jar—that is scented with orange blossom. It is meant primarily for inflammation and works well to relieve dry skin. Once the beauty care line is launched, pet products are next.”
Brian explained that his products for pets will be made with the exact same ingredients as their products for humans but at a lower concentration.
“Our product starts at 500 mg for humans, and a pet product would be 250 to 350 mg of CBD,” he explained. “Too much CBD will end up making your pet drowsy, so you want to be careful on how much you are giving your pet.”
Is CBD Detectable on a Drug Screen?
“We do get the question ‘If I take full-spectrum hemp extract, will it show up on a drug test?’, there is a possibility that it could show up, even though the levels of THC are so low [less than 0.3%],” Brian stated. “Certain drug tests can screen down to the most minute level, so it could be picked up. What’s important to clarify is that full-spectrum CBD products are nonpsychoactive.” Meaning, you won’t get “high” from taking them. Agrozen will be adding a 0.0% THC product for those who are concerned about being tested and whose employers have a “zero-tolerance” policy, but the consumer must understand that these products do not have all of the beneficial factors of a full-spectrum hemp extract product that contains less than 0.3% THC.
An interesting side note, CBD is being studied and used, in part, to help alleviate some of the symptoms for opioid addicts who are detoxing. Agrozen is working with a clinic in Florida to help with its addiction patients throughout their recovery. There are numerous articles available from a litany of CBD advocates online that support this research and use of CBD products.
The Human Factor Behind Agrozen
When asked what motivates the father-and-son team to keep researching and developing CBD products, Austin replied, “Seeing how people are affected and how their lives are improving is incredible. We are seeing this, firsthand, through our products.”
Brian added, “We speak with people often about what our products are doing for them, but one testimonial that is near and dear to my heart is my best buddy’s story. In the beginning, he was totally against CBD because of the negative connotation associated with the cannabis plant. He was a soccer player in his younger years and has inflammation, pain, and high blood pressure issues. He was also having trouble sleeping. I gave him a sample of our CBD tincture oil, and he’s been a very loyal customer for almost a year now. He’s had high blood pressure his entire adult life and has been on medication. After self-dosing CBD oil, he went in to see his doctor—his blood pressure has never been lower. His pain is down, and he is sleeping much better at night. There is a real benefit to taking the full-spectrum CBD products.”
Brian concluded, “We are not doctor or pharmacists, and anyone who is considering taking CBD, we recommend you talk it over with your physician and make sure CBD doesn’t interfere with any medication you’re currently taking. Our local authorized Agrozen dealer and pharmacist, Saumiin Calcuttawala, Pharm D. at Carmel Prescription Shop (317) 688-7050 is an expert on CBD products and can answer your questions and sells product. It is our mission to essentially change the way this entire industry has come to market and put some structure and legitimacy around it. Our website, Agrozen.com is meant to educate the consumer on the natural plant compounds and benefits, and for us, it’s about being transparent with the consumer. When you purchase our products, you know what’s in it, you know what you’re getting and if you have questions, call our 800 number, and your questions will be answered.”
For additional information about Agrozen Life Sciences or to purchase product, visit agrozen.com or call (844) 655-6935.
Company Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANI53abEpyw
Product Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxWpLGMGhM8