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About This Interview:
Charles Jones is the founder and CEO of Chooze. His new product LucidMood promises to allow users to choose the mood they want to evoke from cannabis using customized terpene profiles. Moods include: relaxation, contentment, body buzz and motivation.
Charles feels we are at unique point in history where we can craft the exact feeling we want from cannabis with no tradeoffs.
[1:14] – Charles talks about how he to in to the cannabis space
[3:43] – What is adaptive deficit disorder
[7:54] – Charles talks about living a more harmonious life
[12:39] – Creating a product that helps moods
[15:50] – Charles discusses the experimental stage
[21:19] – Other varieties of Lucid Mood
[26:08] – Isolating terpenes to invoke moods
[27:51] – People’s reactions to the different moods
[31:22] – When will the moods come to market
[34:44] – Charles’s book recommendations
[36:25] – Contact details for Lucid Mood
What are the five trends that will disrupt the cannabis market in the next five year? Find out with your free guide at: https://www.cannainsider.com/trends
Get your coupon code for LucidMood visit: https://www.cannainsider.com/lucidmood
Chooze has changed their name to Terpdropz
Matthew: Hi, I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday and Wednesday look for a fresh episode where I’ll take you behind the scenes and interview the leaders of the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. That’s www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. Do you know that feeling when you sense opportunity, when you see something before most people and you just know it will be successful, then you're ready. Ready for CannaInsider Consulting. Learn more at www(dot)canninsider(dot)com/consulting. Now here's your program.
Imagine being able to pick your moods just as easily as you pick an item off a restaurant menu. Sound hard to believe? Our next guest Charles Jones from Choose believes his new product Lucid Mood can do just that. Charles welcome to CannaInsider.
Charles: Thank you Matt. I’ve enjoyed your podcasts and I’m delighted to be a guest on your show.
Matthew: Great. Charles to give listeners a sense of geography can you tell us where you are in the world today?
Charles: Beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
Matthew: Yes and tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get into this business? What was the motivation?
Charles: Wow a long story. In college I wrote a paper on what I’d later call “Humanities Adaptive Deficit Disorder” that seemingly universal human tendency to persistent behaviors that aren’t serving us. When a moment of self reflection would have us do otherwise. Do you remember that far sight cartoon where you have the gifted kid who’s pushing with all his weight against a door and the door says pull?
Charles: Well this was something that had fascinated and troubled me through much of my childhood and I was convinced that this problem was cultural rather than genetic in origin and I started root cause analysis into that. Needless to say no one was hiring folks that were studying such things so when I graduated from college I got a job in the technology industry developing software for PC’s and was there for ten or twelve years until I saw an opportunity to form a dot.com. Went out raised 3.7 million dollars in venture capital and had a wild ride with that. Finally culminating in the company going bust shortly after the dot.com bubble burst.
It was then that I kind of shifted track into becoming an organization development consultant and leading off sites for senior level executives and stuff like that. In pairvo with both these careers I continued looking into our adaptive deficit disorder and in 2004 I struck gold and I came up with a theory about why we persisted in beliefs and behaviors that didn’t serve us and over the course of the next eight years or so I refined this theory and a colleague and I then founded an institute to bring these insights into the corporate leadership development market.
Matthew: So what is the hypothesis? What was the idea where you struck gold having to do with the adaptive deficit disorder? Can you give us an overview there?
Charles: Sure, sure. When we misinterpret the source of our emotions as what is or is not happening in the external world that’s when we get into trouble. Rather than say understand your emotions to be assessments of whether you are or are not on track to fulfill your own needs.
Matthew: Okay and how does this manifest typically? Do you have any examples?
Charles: Sure, sure. Let’s say you’re at work and you’re feeling very frustrated and you’re attributing your frustration to the fact that a co-worker is not cooperating with you. That will lead you to think of all sorts of ways to coerce your co-worker or you might spiral down into some negativity about what kind of idiot your co-worker is and something like that and if instead of projecting the source of your frustration out there in the world you were to own the fact that the reason you’re frustrated is you’re trying to achieve a goal and you’re not on track to achieve that goal then you start moving into problem solving mode instead of blaming mode and so in our courses we teach people how to recognize when they have misattributed the cause of their emotion to something outside themselves and shift their inquiry into their emotion into hey what need am I not on track to fulfill and how do I get back on track.
Matthew: Now you mentioned that’s a cultural issue historically. How do different cultures; how does this manifest differently in different cultures? I mean Americans probably deal with it one way that maybe you can see more readily and then do other cultures attack this in a different way?
Charles: I think virtually all cultures alive today fall into this adaptive deficit disorder. Certainly different cultures have different emotions that they focus on. Typically if you find a culture where a given emotion is forbidden; in some way it’s shameful to for instance experience anger. That really points to a culture where say anger is deeply misunderstood. Anger might be understood as a call from your subconscious to enact violence on someone else when in fact anger is a call from your subconscious letting you know hey you think you have a right here and you’re not on track to assert it. So if you look at some of the for instance great nonviolent leaders of the world like Martin Luther King, Jr and Mahatma Gandhi. These were very angry men and yet they were nonviolent because they were crystal clear that their anger was simply prodding them to find a way to assert what they believed to be their rights.
Matthew: Yeah this is something we don’t talk about much in modern culture. I mean we talk around in our day to day lives and we’re not quite sure. We think we’re in control of our own operating system to an extent but there’s all these external stimuli and then perhaps our primitive brain or amicula that generates fear causes us to do things when we would rather be using our prefrontal cortex and more of our executive decision and rational mind to help us. We kind of have this brain that’s somewhat an old artifact of our earlier mammalian ancestors and then we have this add on the prefrontal cortex which helps us to adapt in a more conscious way. How do we reconcile these two things together to try to live a more harmonious life would you say?
Charles: Well I’d say the theory that you just described the brain theory is one that’s been used often to explain our apparently irrational choices and whatnot but I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t think the problem is because we have a “primitive brain.” I think actually our brain is exquisitely tuned. Has been selected over 2.2 million years of hominid evolution to be enormously adaptive and it’s what’s allowed human beings to survive and thrive in virtually any climate and sort of situations. So my contention is actually we are inherently adaptive and what gets in the way of us being adaptive and behaving in these seemingly irrational ways is not because our subconscious is misbehaving but because we don’t understand how to interpret the messages coming from our subconscious and when we do then this allows us to in essence work in partnership with our subconscious to continually refine our behavior and improve our performance and lead lives that inherently more fulfilling for ourselves and those around us.
Matthew: That’s a great point there about aligning your subconscious and your conscious. What? We can set a goal with our conscious mind if I want to achieve X but if our subconscious mind is not aligned properly with our conscious goals what happens?
Charles: Oh well I think that’s just the root cause of disengagement. Which is a huge problem and corporations today and the percentage of employees that are really actively engaged and passionate about what they’re doing tends to be fairly low and in our personal life if we are forcing ourselves to do things that our subconscious believes is not going to lead to fulfillment our subconscious drags it’s feet. We end up procrastinating or giving up at the slightest difficulty and I think you should listen to your subconscious because it processes information hundreds of thousands of times faster than our conscious mind does.
Some estimates hold that our subconscious processes about 11 million pieces of information per second and our subconscious is limited to 40 or 50 no additional zeroes there; 40 or 50 pieces of information per second. So when we’re operating at our best we’re not using our conscious mind to fight against our subconscious. We’re using our conscious mind to interpret the messages that are coming from our subconscious. The painful and pleasurable emotions that are telling us whether we are or are not on track to fulfill our goals and our other needs and to support our subconscious in finding changes that we can make in our own beliefs and tactics. At the end of the day the only thing you really can have any control over is your own beliefs and tactics which in turn lead, determine how effective and successful and fulfilled you’re going to be.
Matthew: So there’s a tremendous payoff to making sure that your subconscious and conscious mind are aligned to the direction you want to go instead of just saying I’m going to fight my subconscious here because it’s typically a losing battle.
Charles: One author I’m fond of an analogy he uses is you’ve got an elephant and it’s rider and the conscious mind is this little tiny rider on top of the elephant and the elephant is representative of the subconscious and sure with carrot and stick you can get the elephant to perhaps do your bidding for a short period of time but it’s exhausting for the rider and he’s always at risk of being tossed off of the elephant. So it’s much better to have a partnership type relationship with your subconscious.
Matthew: I agree. So you’re an authority on emotional intelligence and you’re now leading a cannabis startup with a product that promises to change your mood. Is there a connection here between your earlier hypothesis and now what you’re doing as a cannabis startup?
Charles: I’m sure there is. I think it has less to do with this new understanding of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind and the theory of emotion that goes with it and more; it’s more similar in that what led me to the development of this new understanding of emotion was a lifelong practice of watching my thoughts and feelings and being very attuned to how things are influencing my thoughts and feelings and when I applied this to cannabis; I’ve been an off and on user of cannabis for the last 35 years. I would find that certain strains affect me one way, other strains affect me a different way and going kind of way beyond the well indicas tend to lock me to the couch and sativas tend to have me become very energetic and creative.
I really found myself trying to dial in okay if I need to be productive and get stuff done I’m going to reach for some Durban Poison. If I want to be in a more creative frame of mind let me try some Sour Diesel etc, etc, etc and the more tuned in I got to how these different strains were influencing my mood in different ways the more frustrated I became at having to kind of take a packaged deal. Okay the Sour Diesel definitely helps with my creativity but a little too dreamy to get certain kinds of things done. I wish I could just dial in one effect at a time and by this time it was well known that terpenes in conjunction with THC are responsible for giving your high a particular mood or a particular in the case of a strain cacophony of moods and so the idea appeared.
Hey what if we were to extract out the individual terpenes from the marijuana plant that are responsible for these shifts in moods and productize them as single moods. A single terpene or maybe a small blend of terpenes that produces exactly the mood that you want to experience and give users; myself being the first one the ability to pick and choose the exact mood or collection of moods that I wanted to enhance a particular activity. Hey that would be really cool.
Matthew: Yeah. That would be really cool. Did you have early success with experimenting with this where you said hey this is not only something I want but it’s something that’s very possible?
Charles: Yes, yes. So after kind of living in the legal cannabis recreational world of Colorado for a year or so and thinking about and digging into the research around terpenes it was an intriguing idea for me but it wasn’t really compelling yet and part of the reason it wasn’t compelling is the other complaint if you will that I had with cannabis is that it impaired my memory. I sometimes became; my mind sometimes became racy or even anxious and so kind of the base high itself wasn’t always one that I enjoyed or it wasn’t one that lent itself to many of the activities that I really wanted to dial in the mood for and experience. So one day I stumbled across some research about how CBD another cannabinoid in the plant besides THC. How CBD could mitigate some of the more deleterious effects of THC.
It was at this point that I started to get super excited and that was almost exactly a year ago. It was March of 2015. So I pulled together a team and we took a few weeks to find all the materials that we would need to test this idea and then we had our first tasting party where we each did what we ended up calling a base, a 50/50 mixture of THC and CBD and as we were hoping about ten minutes later we realized wow we are really high, we’re really functional, feeling very sociable, feeling really good. More like we didn’t really feel stoned we just felt really, really good and we’re all kind of looking at each other in the room excitedly and sure enough the high we were experiencing had no real mood to it. It was kind of a mood neutral high and then our chemist gave us; there were six of us. Gave us all a terpene but didn’t tell us what terpene he gave us and unbeknownst to us he gave three of us one terpene and three of us another terpene and just sat back and watched.
Dave Georges my primary co-founder in the firm he noticed that he and two of the other people had actually gotten off their chairs, they were lying on the carpet, their head propped up, all quiet watching the other three of us chatting up a storm and as soon as he pointed it out we all looked at each other and like oh my God I think this is going to work and we have been on a tear ever since then to productize this and brand it and get it to market.
Matthew: That’s fascinating. So the first experiment was, the base was a 50/50 CBD/THC and can you just give listeners a general sense to what happens when you start to increase the CBD level, make it a higher ratio in a cannabis product. What that experience is? I’ve heard a lot of people describe it as simply reducing paranoia or anxiousness but do you describe it any other way as well?
Charles: Yes. So we were expecting exactly that. We were expecting that the memory impairment would go away and that happened. We were expecting that the risk of becoming paranoid or anxious would happen. That there would be less kind of a tendency towards social withdrawal but what we found was actually it went even further than that. That people actually become more sociable on that ratio of CBD and THC. Like we’ve been having things we call tasting parties ever since the fall of last year and fifteen, twenty people will come. They’re kind of like informal focus groups and people will try the product and the many, many people remark that the energy in the room so to speak it feels more like a cocktail party than a marijuana party.
No one’s sitting in a corner quiet. Everyone’s up and chatting with each other and moving around. The CBD also makes for a very bright high. Kind of look around colors are brighter. It’s a very bright, uplifting, very functional, very sociable high and it’s just great in a social setting and it’s great when you want to get something done.
Matthew: So let’s talk about some of the other varieties of Lucid Mood and what kind of emotions or mood they can evoke. Can you tell us a little about the others?
Charles: Sure. Well what I just described we call the base and then once people are high on the base they can add one or more moods and the most popular ones are contentment and I can tell who in the room has vaped contentment because they pretty much have a shit eating grin on their face. So if you’re familiar with that aspect of marijuana that’s coming from the terpene that’s in contentment. Another very popular one is called relaxation and within thirty seconds of vaping it there’s just this kind of wave of releasing muscular tension in your body and people typically sit down at this point. There’s just too much effort to stand up.
That’s very nice. I have not really been much of a fan in indicas for most of my cannabis consuming career but I really enjoy doing a relaxation mood. We call those moods during a relaxation mood in the evening to just really relax. Another one that’s quite popular is called motivation and this is for when you want to get something done. When you want to hike up the flat irons and cut a few minutes off your hike and Dave one of the co-founders is a big skier and he just loves going skiing on a mixture of the base plus motivation. He finds that he can just carve his way down the mountain without his legs becoming rubbery in any way and put in a full morning of skiing on that and we have other moods that are in the pipeline and will be coming out pretty much on a sort of mood a month sort of basis.
Matthew: And how about as the mood wears off. Is that just a slow abatement of what the mood felt like initially just happening, a lessening and lessening until it finally just goes away or how does that work?
Charles: Well it depends in part in terms of how much of the base that someone does but the sort of sweet spot for doing a base lasts an hour and a half or so. Plus or minus a little bit of time there and moods take effect right away. Once you’re high it’s literally a matter of seconds before the moods begin to kick in and depending on people’s metabolism you’ll feel that pretty strongly for 45 minutes or so and what’s neat about separating the cannabinoids and putting those into what we call the base and the terpenes and putting those into what we call moods is that you could come home, you could decide you really want to relax after a tense day at work and do a base, do a relaxation and maybe 20 minutes later your spouse comes by and nags you and reminds you that you promised to clean out the garage and the last thing you want to do is get up off the couch.
Well at that moment if she’s smart she’ll bring you the vaporizer along with a motivation. Give that to you and 30 seconds after you’ve vaped the motivation you’re not only willing to get off the coach you pretty much have to get off the couch and get something done and so you head for the garage. You clean it out and maybe an adjacent room or two while you’re at it it’s kind of a thing. But what’s neat about the product is you can change your mood on a dime without having to take any more of the cannabinoids; without having to take in any more of the THC. So the combination allows the user; gives the user kind of complete control over their high and that was our goal.
Matthew: Is it a difficult process to isolate the terpenes that evoke these moods? I mean without giving away anything proprietary how do you do that?
Charles: We’ve developed a proprietary approach to that. I think it’s our secret sauce if you will is we’ve taken a very different kind of approach to doing that kind of research and generating hypotheses about what terpenes and flavonoids produce what kinds of moods and then we have a process by which we validate those hypotheses. So that’s a core part of our R&D if you will for this product.
Matthew: Yeah. This product reminds me a little bit of the drug Soma in the book “Brave New World.” Do you remember that?
Charles: I don’t.
Matthew: It does well it’s kind of it does. It’s kind of like a scientifically created drug that creates different moods for people but it’s much more benevolent than a lot of the drugs that are on the black market so it’s kind of a scientific version of a naturally occurring drug. It’s a pretty interesting parallel.
Matthew: So how often do people agree with the mood that’s on the particular box? Contentment does everybody who takes it at a tasting party pretty much say yeah this is consistent with what my idea is of contentment versus relaxation or is there certain metabolisms where it’s just like hey contentment is affecting her and him a little different than the 80% of the rest of the folks in our tasting party?
Charles: We’ve tested about 350 people and we’ve been stunned by how consistently a given mood will stimulate a mood that that person would recognize as being consistent with the name we’ve given it. So it’s high. What’s more common is that someone will do it and will say well I didn’t experience a shift in mood and these tend to be the same kind of people where they don’t really necessarily make big differences between indicas and sativas. I mean pot is pot. Their goal is to get high but for those people that you might think of as like kind of cannabis connoisseurs and they’ve got six different strains at home and they’ll tell you okay this is the strain I use to fall asleep at night. This is the strain I use for sex. This is the strain I use for a nice evening in on the couch with my sweetie.
Whatever it is those people that have already identified different strains for different activities they tend to within seconds be reporting oh my goodness I’m now feeling this way having done the mood. People that are less self aware or less practiced in observing how different strains effect them those folks upon doing it the first or even second time it’s not that they disagree with the name that we’ve given it it’s just that they’re not really experiencing much of the effect and we found that many of these people will actually start to become better observers of not only how our product is affecting their mood but the next time they smoke a strain to become more aware oh yeah I can feel that contented feeling within what I just did. I’m feeling a bunch of other things because any given strain has tens of terpenes that are coming together in an entourage effect to affect your mood but they become more self aware from using the product and that tends to make our product very popular with bud tenders and other kinds of connoisseurs of the various moods that you can get into through the use of cannabis.
Matthew: Okay and it’s consumed via a vape pen? Is that correct?
Charles: Any flower vaporizer so we have little hemp pucks that can be placed into a Pax or a Volcano or an Atmos Jump or an Arizer. Any vaporizer whether it’s a table top or a portable that you could put flower into and vape you can put our little hemp pucks and vap them. Those hemp pucks are then infused with the active ingredients. The cannabinoids in the case of the base and the terpenes and flavonoids in case of the moods.
Matthew: Okay and what’s the trajectory in terms of where and when your product “Lucid Mood” will be available?
Charles: Well the moods are available now.
Charles: So people can come to our website and purchase the moods and because the moods don’t contain any THC the moods are just blends of terpenes and flavonoids they can actually be sold via the internet to people in any state. So people can come to our website and they can put in an order for the moods and then if they’re in a state where the lucid mood base isn’t being sold. If they are in a state where that’s being sold and right now that is only Colorado they can go pick up a base and then layer one or more moods on top of it or if they live outside of Colorado then they can instead of a base they can use whatever flower, extract, or anything else that they use and then vape one of our moods on top of that and although it won’t be quite as clean and clear as if you had used the lucid mood base if you put a lucid mood on top of whatever strain you’ve been able to find you experience a big shift in the direction of the promised moods.
So we had someone at a tasting party that arrived and they were very jittery and their mind was racing and they told us that just before they arrived to our tasting party they had done a very strong sativa and they were starting to feel rather paranoid and so we gave them a relaxation mood and within seconds it just overrode their existing mood. They completely calmed down. They were very grateful to us and they said how do I buy a package of these relaxation moods.
Matthew: That’s great. Well this is certainly an interesting innovation you have going on here Charles and I’m excited to see it expand across the United States and see more people give it a try. I think this is one of the innovations that will allow the cannabis industry to really make inroads and take market share away from alcohol because you really don’t have a hangover. With alcohol you’re consuming ethanol which is essentially a poison. Which I don’t have anything against alcohol it’s just this could be one of the points of departure where recreational and medicinal drugs really gain a foothold over the alcohol industry. So I’m really excited to see what happens.
I have a couple questions for you unrelated to cannabis that I would just like to get your answers on. It’s something a little different I’m trying and that is what is one book you could recommend to readers that had a big impact on your life?
Charles: I recently read a book called “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Simon also has a TED Talk by the same name “Start With Why” and it’s all about how to inspire a loyal following from both your customers in the marketplace as well as the people that work for you and Simon’s ideas have really influenced everything from our mission statement as a company to the look and feel of the brand. So that’s the book that comes to mind in terms of something I’ve recently read that’s really made a big difference in the business itself.
Matthew: That’s great. Now if you could go back and talk to the eighteen year old version of Charles what advice would you give to yourself?
Charles: Oh eighteen year old version of me I’d say something like lighten up kid. Measure your success in terms of how much fun you’re having. Because if you’re not having fun it’s either because you’re doing something that your subconscious doesn’t find meaningful to relate back to our previous conversation or because you’re doing things that you’re not particularly brilliant at or you don’t like the people that you’re working with and I think life is way too short not to really enjoy the ride.
Matthew: Great closing words Charles. Now can you tell listeners how to find “Lucid Mood” online?
Charles: Sure, sure. People can come to our website www.lucidmood.net.
Matthew: Great. Well Charles thanks so much for coming on CannaInsider today and educating us. We really appreciate it.
Charles: Oh thank you Matt. I really enjoyed it.
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