Wildflower says its mission is to “connect people with the healing power of plants.” Headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., the company designs and develops hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products—from capsules and tinctures to vaporizers, topicals and soaps—using 100% natural ingredients and tested by third-party labs for quality assurance.
The company, which sources only European-certified oil, is focused on transparency and sustainability. As well, Wildflower is all about marrying holistic wellness with product innovation.
HelloMD spoke with Wildflower’s Creative Director Amy Yamamura to find out more about how the company got its start, the quality of Wildflower’s products and why she believes in hemp-derived CBD.
You mentioned that both the CEO William MacLean and you suffered from chronic pain. Maybe you can give us a little bit of background on how your search for pain relief was the genesis for Wildflower.
Amy Yamamura: William’s always been an athlete, specifically a volleyball player, so he's had injuries through his whole career. I'm an amateur athlete myself with anxiety. And I'm a mother of two, so I'm constantly stressed. So, I was very interested in finding some relief.
But I really had an opposition to using over-the-counter or prescription medication, so was always sort of in limbo, getting naturopathic healing and not really finding something very effective. And then that's how we sort of really got strongly interested in CBD.
So, we launched Wildflower about four years ago. When we first started the business, we were going to be a cannabis-focused, a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)-focused brand. And so, at first we were developing vaporizers. And then when we came to discover CBD and the potential of it, we sort of switched our focus towards more than the recreational and just really on the wellness side of things.
And since then, from the beginning, we were very focused, not just on the sort of medical aspect of things, but also on our branding and the way you present things so that it's accessible to everybody. We didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves into just one market or the cannabis market. We wanted to be accessible to children, to—in the future—seniors, to everybody. There are huge applications for pets, for everything when it comes to CBD.
And in terms of you being a mother and dealing with anxiety and stress, how has hemp-derived CBD and Wildflower, the creation of all of these products you've made, how have they helped you?
AY: Tremendously. I honestly use everything every day. We don't have a huge selection of products. What we have is CBD capsules and tinctures, soaps and topicals, and vaporizers as well. My whole family uses it. I even use it for my dog.
So, you put your dog in the bath and use the CBD bath soaks on your Yorkie?
AY: Yes, my whole family uses CBD, including our dog Rio. He is a 14-year-old Yorkie, and I use our Vanilla CBD+ Soap for his shampoo. It lathers up great, makes his hair soft, since Yorkies have hair, not fur, and the scent is very faint, so we both love it.
I even give him the sample tinctures with no flavor in it. We currently have flavor and aroma in our tinctures. But with the samples I put it on his dog food all of the time.
Can you speak specifically to how William has felt that CBD has helped him through athletic recovery?
AY: William has been an active beach volleyball player for most of his life, and there was nothing out there that was completely natural and effective for his muscle and joint pain until we discovered CBD. The CBD+ Cool Stick has been a life saver for post-workout pain and muscle treatments.
There’s the added benefit of CBD that helps with sunburns. William says he started to notice this benefit after he used the stick on his inflamed neck and shoulder. His sunburn would get way better whenever he used it.
Can you speak to the development of your disposable vaporizer, the combination of the essential oils into it and really what you stand for with this product, because it's a somewhat unique product out on the market.
AY: We were always interested in doing a concentrated oil and the technology came William’s way. It was the best tech that we've seen on the market, because it was made in the U.S. It was made by engineers that were working on Boeing, aerodynamic engineers. So, it had a very, very solid technology.
Most of the vaporizers out there, when you open them up, they’re quite cheap, and there are a lot of harmful metals and other things that are in them. So, we were really intrigued by this technology, and we had a partner that we work with to make the concentration, the CBD oil.
It was my idea to combine the essential oils, because we really believe in plant medicine and the healing properties the plants give us naturally. I thought: We have two great things. Why not combine them? And there was nothing like that on the market. And I wanted it myself—to have something that's aromatherapy with CBD.
And so we just tried a whole bunch of essential oils to see what worked. It was a lot of trial and error. We're still always doing research and development for the formulations. And it's an ongoing effort.
Some people have said there are no high-quality, hemp-based CBD vaporizers. Other people have said you should never combine essential oils even though we understand that they're essentially terpenes. How do you stand behind the safety and the inhalation of the different oils that you have in your hemp-based CBD vaporizers?
AY: Wildflower's vaporizers are a smart and modern CBD delivery device. When you breathe in air from the device, the suction activates a small battery [to heat] up the liquid CBD formulation. As the CBD oil heats up, it turns into a mist consisting of oil vapor and carbon dioxide, along with the active compounds released from the CBD and essential oils.
Vaping isn’t the same as smoking. Smoking is the act of burning substances and then inhaling the burned material. There’s no burning of any substance when using Wildflower's vaporizers. The smoke-like haze that you see is vapor, similar to steam coming off of boiling water, as the liquid inside our vaporizer heats up to approximately 300 degrees F.
We create custom CBD formulations from CBD oil that’s grown in and harvested from the clean soil in the EU, with essential oils sourced from reputable United States companies. Our CBD oil is tested by a third-party lab to make sure there are no contaminants or chemical pesticides, ensuring the safety of our product.
We just launched a rechargeable vaporizer. We really would like to move towards the rechargeable, more environmentally friendly, but at the same time there’s a time and place for the disposable vaporizer. So we want to keep both options available.
Where do you source all of your materials? Do you sort of have relationships with farms? How do you make sure that all of your ingredients are of the highest quality?
AY: We try to cultivate a relationship with all of our partners wherever the ingredient is coming from. In terms of CBD and extractions, we do visit the sites, and we work with the best, in our opinion, the best extractors responsible. Our CBD is sourced from the EU, so in order to vet that, we talk to partner overseas and we do independent lab testing on our oils.
You mentioned using your products for anxiety. Are there any other conditions that you think the Wildflower hemp-based CBD products are great for?
AY: Yeah, for sure. Our goal was topicals, Cooling Stick and Healing Stick. For example, I use it whenever I have like a zit or inflammation on my skin. We found out it really works for sunburn, because when we were using it for shoulder pain, we found it was effective for sunburn, too. It's got a very strong minty scent, but it works. So I use it for those skin conditions, and it definitely works.
And in terms of capsules and tinctures, I used to get a lot of cold sores, and I'd have to take medical chemical creams and all that. But now I take the tincture right away and sometimes even rub it onto my cold sore, and it works miracles for me.