Each January, our collective conscious reflects on the hangover of festive excess. Whether your liver has taken a pounding, you are shifting some Christmas weight or you’re just looking to start the next 12 months with an air of calm, alcohol becomes less of a priority at the start of a new year, with many of us opting to commit to a dry January. As the month winds on, some will be counting down the days until the 1st of Feb’s first glass of red, but others will be appreciating the benefits of abstinence, and wondering what the alternatives might be in an alcohol-free world.
One solution that holds promise is cannabis. Americans have been flaunting the Cali-sober lifestyle for some time now, basking in the glory of adult access markets to the plant, finding a way to unwind without the dreaded next day’s hangxiety. Here in the UK, we’re limited in our choice when it comes to cannabinoids, but Goodrays is a brand harnessing the power of the cannabis plant to help us relax.
The brand’s star products take CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant, to create a range of natural, alcohol free seltzers. The drinks range is aimed firmly at the discerning health-conscious adult, looking for a grown-up drink that helps them relax but doesn’t get them drunk. “We use some of the finest quality natural ingredients, with help from the former innovation team from Diageo and world-class chefs, to help ensure each serve is delicious, refreshing and original. Consumers spend good money on CBD, so they deserve something exciting.” founder Eoin Keenan tells us.
This commitment to quality goes beyond flavour. Goodrays want to ensure their products not only taste good, but do the job properly. Each drink packs a whopping 30mg of CBD per can, twice the market average. “From a product perspective, we’re really proud of what we’ve brought to the table. We make sure every product contains a sufficient dose of CBD. If you consume a coffee, an energy drink or a beer – you want to feel the full effects in each serve, and that’s what we offer.”
We’re really proud of what we’ve brought to the table. We make sure every product contains a sufficient dose of CBD. If you consume a coffee, an energy drink or a beer – you want to feel the full effects in each serve, and that’s what we offer
This commitment to creating a CBD based beverage with genuine benefits isn’t surprising when you learn more about Eoin’s journey in cannabis. After studying drug policy at university, and writing a paper on International Cannabis Policy, he found himself in the rolling cannabis filled hills of the Emerald Triangle, California, absorbing knowledge from many of the legacy farmers who had been cultivating, studying and understanding the cannabis plant since the heady days of the 60s.
Learning from these original pioneers and champions of the cannabis plant, Eoin got a deep understanding of the medicinal effects, the culture and the environmental benefits of the plant, and was determined to harness its ability to become a natural solution to modern stresses. On his return to the UK in 2016, CBD was still an outlier, and difficult to obtain, however, seeds of legislative reform were appearing. So Eoin took a position that enabled him to shape the legislative and policy side of the industry, working alongside academics, policymakers and business leaders and spending four years at cannabis consultancy Prohibition Partners and leadership summit Cannabis Europa.
This deep understanding is reflected across Goodray’s entire brand. As well as the flagship CBD drinks, the company also offers high strength CBD gummies, and two CBD oils, each one designed for night or day use. Education is also an important part of the business, Eoin tells us. “I’ve been working in the industry for a while so it’s easy to forget that many consumers still don’t know the answer to important questions such as; What is CBD? How much do I take? Where does it come from? We, as brands, have a responsibility to provide really clear and concise information so we can help build a category which is responsible, accountable and transparent.”
Education around CBD has become more important than ever, as popularity increases, so does the need for the right information. We’re now seeing CBD on mainstream TV, with endorsements from leading celebrities and professional athletes. Goodrays can be found on the shelves of stores such as Selfridges and online through Amazon, a platform that has until recently shied away from CBD. We wanted to ask Eoin if he thought this greater understanding and acceptance of CBD would play a role in the legalisation of cannabis for adults in the UK?
“I’m Irish, so please excuse me for the commentary on British politics but there is a real institutionalised conservatism and traditionalism here when it comes to cannabis policy. The current UK government would rather ‘wait and see’ than take any action, despite what’s best for the British people. The reality is that they’ll wait to see how legalisation unfolds in more progressive countries, like Germany, before acting. Once they realise there’s a persuasive economic argument, coupled with tax benefits and a decreased burden on state resources, they’ll make changes. With the evidence we have from other countries, it’s now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.”
Politics aside, it’s clear that this commitment to education, quality, and a decent dose of CBD is working for the brand, as Eoin tells us “The UK has become a hotbed for CBD brands because of the increased demand for ‘wellness’ or ‘relaxation’ food and drink. In some channels, we’re outselling the likes of Red Bull and Lucozade, which is blowing our minds!”
To learn more about Goodrays visit https://www.goodrays.com/