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Scroll down to read our full interview with one of Bailey’s founders, Aaron Argueta.
An Interview with Aaron Argueta, a founding member of Bailey’s CBD For Pets.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Host – Regie Brown from Flourish + Live Well:
We’re really excited about Bailey’s CBD For Pets, and it has a great story behind it. We interviewed Aaron, one of the founders of Bailey’s.
It started with a conversation. We were talking about our core beliefs and what our company stood for and the reason why we got into CBD and doing the education on CBD.
I started this process of adding Bailey’s to our product mix maybe six or seven weeks ago and talking about what our values were, how we came to find CBD, and that as much as we provide CBD, we also provide education, which I think is the most important part of this.
Tell us a little bit about Bailey’s and some of the philosophies and things that you’ve experienced with the company.
Aaron: Bailey is actually a real nine-year-old dog. Bailey is Jay’s dog. Jay is my business partner.
Jay and I used to be touring musicians some years down the road, and he had a lot of experience working in the cannabis field and early on in the hemp industry when CBD was kind of just starting to have any sort of recognition from people like the Stanley brothers in Colorado with companies like Charlotte’s Web, etc.
Jay had a lot of very early experience with CBD in early 2010; at a certain point, about three-plus years ago, we were really both at a point in our lives where we wanted to do something more meaningful.
We had all this combined experience with the cannabis plant and cannabinoids and just business in general. So, we were able to complement each other very well, and in 2017 we started Bailey’s CBD.
From day one, our value system has been based on consumer education. It is literally everything for us because it really is what bridges the gap and helps us help our customers understand why they should use the product and how CBD can potentially be a benefit for their pets.
We really want to assure them that we go the extra mile for safety and why it’s important to have safety measures, and why it’s important to have certain people on your team, like a veterinarian, to really help with guidance, especially when it comes to just transparency with lab testing.
That’s something that’s not necessarily enforced, but it’s something that every company should be doing because we want to be providing safe, clean hemp products for our pets and even for ourselves and other people that are using it.
Not just for pets, for us, it’s really just been about staying true to these values of education, making sure that everything we do is transparent, making sure that we align from seed to sale with the best of people, with the best of intentions.
Alignment of Values & Relationships
It’s really important for us to make sure that everything is aligned. We experienced misalignments early on in our business, and it’s just one of those things that cause headaches that [cause] you [to] lose time; it’s not sustainable for long-term growth.
It’s one of those things that early on, we’ve had to really put a lot of legwork in and develop relationships. Our soft chew copacker at Majesty Animal Nutrition in Oregon specifically cold presses our soft chews with our veterinarian-specific formula. That’s our formula. It’s our farm’s oil.
Then again, we had to go through a process of really vetting good oil, and we partnered with Moon Mother Medicinals in Boulder, Colorado, early last year.
That was a big move for us because as much as it helps to really lab test stuff, it really takes it a step further to have a direct partnership into your supply chain, to really understand exactly how everything’s being processed and the people behind it and making sure that you’re vested in this partnership so that it can be sustainable for long-term growth and that everything is consistent as well.
That’s really big for us. We’ve seen so many different types of hemp extracts and one batch; depending on how you’re doing it and who you’re sourcing from, every farm’s oil could be a little different based on their farming practices, based on their extraction techniques.
Eventually, early on, when we started this thing, we found we had a couple of different suppliers, and we had to really narrow down and really get our value straight.
This is in 2017, and we just found that we had some pet parents who were noticing that one batch was a little darker and then the next one was lighter. The transparency and consistency were not where we knew they needed to be.
So that’s why we really doubled down, and it wasn’t an easy process either. We went to a lot of different farms, we visited them, and we had in-depth conversations about how they practice and how they process everything that they do.
Value Alignment With Moon Mother Medicinals
Our interview and vetting process is what really helped us get to Moon Mother Medicinals in Boulder, Colorado.
They’re such an incredible farm with good people that run the business. And they’re very intentional in their farming practices.
So, they do sound healing and reiki on their plants. They’re very spiritual, and they’re like energy workers in how they present their love for the plants. And for us, we’ve seen the tremendous amount of love that they put into it.
There are no tractors on these heavy fields. They go out there, and they hand harvest it over their shoulder. They walk it into a big warehouse where it’s hung dried for two to three weeks, where it’s cured properly.
A lot of big vertical growers out there will run their hemp farm over with tractors so that you don’t have to pay the man hours to go out and hand harvest it.
But again, you’re running it over with big machinery. That’s like going into a rose garden with a huge tractor to save a couple of bucks instead of going out there and cutting the plants and really just taking that full love process. And then, for us, we just respect it.
Consistency is Critical
Regie: You’re touching on something that’s so important. One of the things we have noticed in CBD used for people is that there are a lot of brands out there, and there’s all this inconsistency with the product, with quality, with testing, with even just the people that you may be dealing with from one week to the next.
This industry has grown very quickly. But there can be a lot of misinformation out there. So one of the things that you and I talked about is how we aligned. To know you’re putting that much thought and that much intense focus on your product is really incredible.
I commend you on that because it’s just as important for pet products as it is for human products. And probably some humans would say it’s even more important for their pet, and rightfully so.
Value Alignment with Dr. J. Silver DVM
But you touched on a point earlier about a veterinarian, and I think you partner with a veterinarian, correct?
Aaron: Yes, we partner with not just any veterinarian. We partner with Dr. Robert J. Silver, who is a 30-plus-year industry-respected veterinarian based in Colorado.
Early on, when we first started this company, we were this brand that started with a roll of labels, half a kilo of CBD oil lent to us that we had to pay back in 30 to 60 days.
Just going out there, talking to pet parents, going to events, setting up tables, we didn’t really have anything. It was just, hey, we want to help your pet, and this is why we want to help your pet.
We had this conversation a thousand times, then a thousand more times, and the more we kept building that, we realized everything we’re doing early on is the reason why we’re able to keep growing.
We started the thing kind of as a hobby and really wanted to really just craft it. As you said, everything’s so intentional. I’ve only touched on part of our partnerships. We partner directly with a bottle source so that we know exactly where that bottle source is.
They’re completely vetted. I’ve met the chairman of the company. We know exactly how they process it. They do it here in the United States.
We have eco-friendly packaging for our tincture boxes that we align through a partnership. And it’s literally just all about putting all these good pieces together because, like you said, there are a million brands out there that are just kind of pumping out new stuff all the time.
We’ve been working with this plant for so long. My partner Jay started working with cannabis in 2010 or 2011 at a CBD dispensary in Vista, California, where it was appointment-only, dealing with elderly folks and people with real illnesses.
So even myself, I give my friends and family high CBD RSO. I’ve been doing that for years before we even started this business because that’s just in our community.
We’re musicians in this reggae community that were very tied and aligned with the cannabis industry. We were able to really learn while we were playing music. We’re like, oh, this guy right here grows this hemp stuff. And next thing, we’re really getting engulfed in this community via music, and it really intertwined, and we just really realized from day one, everything we do has to be in alignment.
Super Zoo 2018
The veterinarian move was really big for us at Super Zoo 2018. This was our first six months in business. We went to the largest pet trade show in the United States. It’s called Super Zoo. It’s in Las Vegas, and it’s actually the largest expo in Vegas. It’s bigger than the CES convention, which is huge.
We showed up with one of our friends who had a print studio. He printed us a backdrop, and we put together this display kind of on the fly, and we met Dr. Silver there.
Dr. Silver works with a couple of different companies. He’s on the board of a couple of different companies. He’s a clinical veterinarian, so he does a lot of studies, and he works with companies.
He only works with a couple of different companies. One of the companies he was working with at the time is just a corporation, very corporate. And we met him, and he liked our values because we were asking about CBDA.
We had seen in our lab test that one of our batches was coming high in CBDA. And through this batch, where a lot of people were giving us some interesting feedback, and he actually had written a book where he had written a whole section on CBDA.
My business partner, Jay and Dr. Silver just hit it off right away. He ended up being this cool hippie guy from Colorado who “did the corporate stuff”. I just want to be with good people. He said, “You have our blessing.”
He pretty much told us that we can do our formulations with him, and he can back us and be a part of our company. So, we had an awesome partnership with him in 2018, and that was a big shift for us because at that time, we were also just starting off, and we were making our pet CBD in my partner Jay’s house, and his wife was like, “You guys got to get out of here.”
First Facility & Partnering With Dr. Silver
We got to our first facility. We partnered with Dr. Silver, and we just started progressing, and we started getting into chews. Eventually, we started getting into topicals, and now we have multiple lines of chews and other products.
Two Important Elements – Education & Community
We started from nothing, and we’ve been able to develop this business based on building two things – education and community. We’re really community-driven, community-focused.
We love supporting our small business retailers because they love supporting their end consumers, the pet parents who really care, the people who are out there looking for advice about this stuff because it can be scary.
Our pets are like our children, and you want to be able to have some sort of comfort and guidance on this stuff. We’ve actually talked to a lot of pet parents who have tried other brands, and they’re like, “Oh, I have this just sitting on a shelf at home because I didn’t know how to use it.” Or they’re like, “Oh, I tried calling the number on there. Nobody answered.” Or, “I wasn’t sure if it was safe for my pet.”
There are all these situations where we realized, okay, there’s a huge misalignment out there.
There are a lot of brands that are kind of just pushing out some stuff, not really providing the support on the back end that the pet parents are looking for.
Regie: You touched on something – talking about understanding the correct dosage and that they didn’t know how to use it. How do you guide customers on how to use that?
Is there something like I see here on the back that talks about different chews for the number of pounds that the animal weighs? Is that the same as with your tinctures and some of your other products?
Aaron: The thing is, Dr. Silver generally advises starting with dogs with a milligram per 10 lbs. Through many of his studies, he’s found that’s a great place to start for dogs.
But he’s also found that there are variants. There’s this low point, this high point where he finds that some dogs do a little bit better on this certain low point, and certain dogs do better on this high point.
He gives us a guide on how he addresses some of these things with pets. And a big thing with that is our tincture has a three-tier use guide, and everything is broken down.
You know how much is in every individual drop of oil. There’s a picture of the dropper and everything is labeled. You know how much a quarter of a dropper is. A half a dropper, three-quarters of a dropper, one full dropper.
Dosages and Marketing Transparency
You know exactly what’s in there. And the other thing is we’re very transparent about it too. We not only put the CBD content that’s naturally occurring but the actual hemp extract content labeled as well.
So if you look at the product, it’ll stay on the label, full spectrum whole plant extract, and the milligrams will be more than the naturally occurring CBD because we don’t use an isolate. We use this phyto-cannabinoid-rich terpene-rich oil that’s about 65% to 70% CBD.
A lot of brands will post 1800 milligrams of tincture hemp extract, but the CBD content might not be 1800 milligrams. It might be like 30% or 40% CBD.
But as a pet parent, it’s a marketing ploy because you’re walking in and thinking, oh, there’s this high milligram stuff, and it’s cheaper than the other high milligram stuff, but this stuff is just not labeled correctly
Regie: It’s not necessarily better, either.
Aaron: Right, exactly. And that’s why we use whole plant oil, too, because it’s not just the CBD that’s doing the work. It’s the entourage effect that we’re really trying to induce here.
The whole plant is designed beautifully with not just CBD. The hemp plant has CBG, CBN, CBC, naturally occurring terpenes, and flavonoids. All these things can be retained. That’s why we partnered with Moon Mother. They specifically have this beautiful extraction method of retaining these Phyto cannabinoids without processing them too much, which is distilling it. When you distill it, you start losing a lot of stuff in there.
That’s why a lot of people think of crude, and they think of it as something that’s dirty or something that’s not palatable. People can eat our crude. People can vape our crude. Our crude is clean.
When you do Reiki sound healing, when you hand harvest and hang dry, when you put all this effort and love into it, it’s going to be significantly better than some other farm that doesn’t use these methods.
Each Product & Suggested Dose
Regie: And then, Aaron, you were talking about, and correct me, I just want to make sure this is correct. So this comes with your product, so it tells you exactly what the suggested use is, right? [displays an information sheet]
Aaron: Exactly. And it breaks it down by the weight of your pet and how much to use based on your pet’s weight. There’s a picture of the dropper right next to it to support it. We wanted to make it as easy as possible.
Regie: Yes, I love that. It’s just so simple and effective. And this is great. I love this.
You don’t see this in a lot of brands, and that’s the difference, right? You’re getting this, you’re getting the tincture, and then you’re getting all the support that goes with this from your company as well.
So I carry your brands here but tell me a little bit about some of the different products you have. You have tinctures and pet chews. I also think you have the Nose Balm. I love the paw and nose balm.
I think that’s just the best – it’s great. I used this, by the way, last night. My cat got into a fight with another cat and had a little scratch, and I used this on her last night – it was great. She loved it.
You could tell it relieved some of the inflammation for her. So I was excited to not just be able to use this on a dog, but also a cat.
But tell me about some of your products. You’ve got a lot of products behind you there.
Aaron: [Aaron gesturing to the pet CBD product display on the wall behind him]
This is our display at our storefront. I’m happy to go through it. These are our award-winning soft chews over here.
In 2019, we won the California Cannabis Awards CBD Product of the Year with our bacon-flavored Omega Hem soft chews. We do these in a three-milligram per chew variation and a six-milligram per chew extra strength variation, which is for large breeds. And again, we’re looking for that 1 MG for 10 lbs.
These chews are unique in that they are cold-pressed instead of baked. So, a lot of dog treats on the market are baked. And as you’re familiar with vegetables, when you boil vegetables or you bake vegetables, the vitamin and mineral content that was originally in those vegetables are nearly diminished by the time you’re finished baking or cooking them.
We like to retain all the naturally occurring minerals and the supplements we put into the product so that our pets can absorb those things and have maximum efficiency. So
A lot of people play this “milligram game,” but for us, at three milligrams and six milligrams per chew, we find it sufficient because there are those supporting minor cannabinoids that really help make it effective.
[Aaron gestures to more products]
These are our large breed, six-milligram extra strength or three-milligrams regular strength. We also have peanut butter banana yummies.. We have these in our three-milligram and six-milligram variations. These are lighter vegan ingredients. Some dogs have super sensitive stomachs, and some dogs go crazy for bacon. We wanted to have multiple options.
For us, it’s really about promoting daily wellness. Both of these chews are backed with omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. There are 100 milligrams of Omega-3, 80 milligrams of Omega-6, and 50 milligrams of Omega-9 fatty acids.
The hemp plant is naturally abundant in these omega fatty acids. So it really helps complement the full spectrum oil that’s added to these chews. We have omega fatty acids that are somewhat appropriate to the naturally occurring profile found in the hemp plant, where we’ve got a full spectrum profile.
We’re trying to induce homeostasis and promote that daily balance to help keep our pets promoted and supported. These are peanut butter banana yummies. With these, we have a QR code on the back and a lot number that supports this QR code.
QR Code Lot Number Batch-Testing
If you scan this QR code with your phone and if you match it with the lot number that’s on the bag, that will pull up the batch’s lab test. We batch-test everything that we do.
If we make 1000 tincture bottles, we have 1000 lot numbers that match that lab test. And so that’s our control compliance that we do for ourselves with our soft chews.
[Aaron gestures to more products}
Getting into our other products, we do tinctures. This is our cat tincture. We do 100 milligrams of CBD oil for cats. This is specifically formulated by Dr. Silver to meet the daily needs for how cats function with CBD.
He’s done a lot of clinical studies. There’s a guide inside that looks like the one that you had over there,but it breaks it down for cats with three tiers of how to start and increase if necessary.
Regie: Does the QR code look is it in the shape of a cat on that particular one?
Aaron: The QR code? Yeah. No, that would be awesome.
Regie: It looked like a cat to me. Maybe that’s your next marketing. QR codes in the shape of a cat and a dog?
Aaron: [displaying a product]
This is our 150 milligrams CBD oil for dogs, which is an average one-month supply for a dog up to 25 lbs. It’s ideal for pet parents who have a tiny dog that still needs support and doesn’t want to have to spend $70 on a huge 600-milligram bottle, or they just want to try it out, even if somebody has a big dog and they’re still trying to figure it out.
This is a great introductory product, and the MSRP is less than 34.99. A lot of our stores sell them for $30, but this is just a great introductory product. We sell a lot of these for our pet parents with smaller pets.
And then leading into that, this is our 300-milligram tincture. And the thing is, our 150-milligram and 300-milligram are ten milligrams per milliliter. The formulation is the same. It’s more based on how long it will last for our pets.
How Long Does One Purchase Last?
We have a purchase guide that’s a stand-up counter tent that we do for our stores that says on their average one-month supply for 25, 50, and 100 lb dogs.
So, if you have a bigger dog, you can kind of go straight for the 300-milligram size. If you have a smaller dog, you can go straight for the 150-milligram, and it makes it just easy.
Regie: I think that’s a great differentiator for Bailey’s as well because when I have people come to the store, one of the questions that they always have is, “How long will this last?”
I can tell them from personal experience, but I think that’s great that you’ve taken it to the next level and provided that education. It’s giving people confidence in what they’re buying.
But again, they aren’t just buying the product, they’re also getting the education that comes along with it. I commend you on that. That’s a great add-on for your company.
Aaron: Thank you. These tinctures for dogs are really good for proactive daily wellness. We like to start our pet parents off with these.
Generally, they’re like, “Oh, I have a two-year-old golden doodle. High anxiety.” Yeah, golden doodles are high anxiety. So this is a great place to start with that.
But getting into our extra-strength tinctures recently, in the past six months, we developed an extra-strength version of our Baileys, where it’s twice as much CBD, but it’s also got a part of CBG in that full spectrum oil that we I’m sure as you’re familiar with a lot of, like, the cannabis community and the marijuana side.
There’s a lot of ratio plants which are like, you know, 20 to 1, or 18 to one etc. And what these ratios are referring to is the ratio of the cannabinoids, like CBD to THC, and that’s generally what the traditional ratio has been.
Now in the hemp community, there’s a lot of different ratio plants occurring, so this one right here [holds up product] is our 900 milligrams 2:1 CBD:CBG. This is 30 milligrams of plant-based hemp-based phyto cannabinoids per milliliter serving.
30 milligrams is a hefty dose. Like I was mentioning earlier, Dr. Silver usually advises a milligram per 10 lbs to start with. So, you know, this is really good for dogs who may either have a really high sensitivity to coconut oil. With some dogs, their stomachs just are a little more sensitive to adding oil.
So if you only want to have to use a couple of drops instead of having to use a quarter to one full dropper of our standard oil, this is a great way to get a lot more use out of it. But also because there’s more cannabinoids, we can induce more of the entourage effect, which is when all these cannabinoids are working synergistically together.
Many people would love to be able to isolate every single one of the compounds from the hemp plant and say that each one does a certain thing. The way that we look at it, this plant is whole.
It’s not every individual cannabinoid that is going to do something. We like to think of it as the Entourage effect. That all these naturally occurring properties can work together in synergy and add more therapeutic benefits and therapeutic value. That’s why this one is just so rich in those cannabinoids.
Regie: I think that you touched on something important – that it isn’t just about the CBD, it is not just about the omega 3s, and it’s not just about each one of these individual ingredients. Just as it isn’t like that for us.
For example, when we have a salad it’s not just like I’m going to get the fiber. We’re getting everything, and that’s what’s so important for people to understand about the plant. You can strip it down to its base, but if you want to get the full dietary benefit. It’s taking the plant as a whole.
That’s in the pet CBD, the human CBD, and the topicals; it translates across all of those venues.
Aaron: And the thing is, there’s a lot of people that are in the CBD industry who would love to jump in with lots of money and say that each element in the hemp plant is going to do individual things. So that from a marketing standpoint, you can hyper-focus on these specific needs and say that one of these is going to do better for a particular condition than the other.
I’m sure there’s some of that, but a lot of it what we’re looking at and what Dr. Silver advises us comes from studying this stuff for 30-plus years with cats, dogs, and horses. And the way he talks to us is the more cannabinoids he can put in there, the better.
The more that we can get the whole plant value together and provide those therapeutic benefits for our pets and even for ourselves, the better.
It’s like spaghetti or a salad. The way I see it, CBD isolate, or broad spectrum, is like going to the $0.99 store, just going to grab some tomato sauce that’s highly processed that it costs $0.99 because it’s of that low quality. And it’s the same with everything, all the ingredients.
If you can buy pasta sauce for $0.99, and now you have this pasta you made for a couple of bucks, but then you go to Wolfgang Puck, and there’s arugula, there’s all these things in the final product, and that’s really what we focus on.
I would like to say we’re like the Wolfgang Puck version of spaghetti when it comes to CBD.
Regie: I think that’s great. That puts it in its simplest terms.
So before we wrap up, I wanted to ask you, and I’m probably going to put you on the spot here. What is maybe the most exotic animal that you have assisted? Or maybe Dr. Silver is assisted with CBD.
We typically think of CBD for dogs and cats. But what are some of the, I guess, nontypical pets?
Aaron: Yeah, we actually cater to a lot of owners. Wow.
[holds up a product]
CBD for Horses
So this is specifically formulated at 1500 milligrams in a two-ounce bottle so that every milliliter is 25 milligrams. Dr. Silver has done a lot of extensive studies with horses, and he’s found that their endocannabinoid system is quite unique in relation to dogs, cats, and even humans and that these are massive animals.
But their endocannabinoid systems are actually hypersensitive to small amounts of CBD. For horses it’s more of a one-to-100 scale rather than a milligram for 10 lbs (for dogs); it’s more like a milligram for 100 lbs.
An average horse is about 2500 lbs. And it also comes with a three-tier use guide of how to start because some horses may be down the line or they might be at the end of their life cycle, and their endocannabinoid system is depleted.
There are those times when you can increase use, and it actually is going to help a lot more than if you weren’t increasing use. So that’s the difference between proactive versus reactive.
Regie: Yeah. That’s amazing. I didn’t even realize you have the horse line.
Aaron: Yeah. And then these ones. [holds up another product]
We only sell these online. They’ve been kind of an interesting product for us. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years, kind of just, like, testing it. We haven’t really done a hard launch on these, but these are our hemp pellets.
Dr. Silver has done a lot of studies with llamas, like, even pigs and rabbits, all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, and by being able to compress them into pellets, it’s a lot easier for these animals to work with the phytonutrients and the phytocannabinoids that are available in that plant.
Regie: That’s amazing. Again, this plant has been around for thousands of years. And I think that over time, we had taken it out of our environment and taken it out of our diets, and therefore, we took it out of the diets of the animals as well. So that’s amazing. That’s great.
It makes sense that you would be able to use it for all types of different animals and reap the benefits for them, so wow, that’s great. Well, Aaron, I want to thank you for tuning in with us, and I hope we can do this again.
And for those of you who don’t know Aaron, you guys are located up where exactly?
Aaron: We are in Orange County. We’re in Costa Mesa, California. Our company started here in Costa Mesa, and we’re local here. We’re about an hour’s drive from Flourish and Live Well, so we’re not too far. We’re in the local community here.
Jay literally started learning about the stuff in Vista right down the street. We’re always happy to hop on Instagram live and help spread awareness and talk about this stuff because it really takes people like us talking about this stuff for it to really happen and for other people to take note of this stuff, to make it a bigger impact for the community. So, yeah, I’m always happy to help spread awareness and talk with you.
Regie: Great. Thanks. And I’ll tell you, the support that you’ve given us is amazing, and this is just day one of a long-term partnership, and I really appreciate you spending the time today and showing us all the products and showing us Bailey. That was great. The celebrity of everything.
I encourage all of the viewers to if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Please feel free to reach out to Aaron.
Wrapping It Up
Hey, there’s Bailey again. Oh, my goodness. I have Jay as well. Jay, hi.
Jay: How are you doing? How are you? Nice to virtually meet you.
Regie: Yes, you, too. ‘Tis the season for all of that.
Aaron: Right, right. Jay heard you signing off, and he had to bring Bailey to say bye.
Regie: Well, I can tell, of course. I’m going to plug my animal, too.
So Bailey’s balm was great for our cat. Our cat’s name is Michelin because she was found on a Michelin tire. She keeps it exciting for us, especially with her little outdoor adventures. So I’m sure I’ll be using a lot of this for her.
But I wanted to thank you both and am so excited to be partners. And again, with all the viewers, please feel free to reach out to Jay or Aaron with Bailey’s. If you’re in the San Diego area, please drop by the store again today all day for National Monday.
We’re giving away all of these pet CBD samples. Hurry, because I do only have a limited supply. And again, guys, I appreciate it, and I hope you have a great weekend.
Aaron: Thanks. You too, Regie.
Regie: All right.
Aaron: We’ll catch up and talk soon.