Higher Profile: Jesse Stanley, CEO Stanley Brothers Holdings

The Stanley Brothers ReCreate themselves—this time with THC in the mix.

The Stanley Brothers, the Colorado company that followed the launch of non-psychoactive CBD or cannabidiol, via Charlotte’s Web, is now taking a deep dive into whole plant formulations, including activated THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, with its new brand, ReCreate. 

Charlotte’s Web was first put in front of the American public and the world, when CNN’s Sanjay Gupta visited Denver, Colorado, and interviewed members of the Stanley family, responsible for helping then-four-year-old Charlotte Figi, the brand’s namesake.

Charlotte suffered from Dravet Syndrome, enduring up to 300 grand mal seizures a week. Her mother, Paige, got wind that a type of cannabis plant was available with little-to-no THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes the head high or feelings of euphoria.  The oil made from the plant reduced the seizures substantially, with Charlotte’s seizures reduced to just two or three times a month.

Charlotte’s success opened the doors for many children and adults alike to be helped in the U.S., as CBD only became widely accepted in the mainstream supplemental market.

The remedy also helped do away with the fear-based question, “What about the children?” Turns out, the children being helped opened the doors for more people to be helped around the globe. 

The Healing Web of Weed

Today, Jesse Stanley may be CEO of Stanley Brothers USA Holdings, but his first experience of cannabis was uneventful, with no idea of how the plant would change his and his family’s life forever.

“My first experience with cannabis was probably the same as most, starting with someone passing me a joint,” he shared. “I had no idea that cannabis was medicine. My brothers and I grew up in a very conservative home. But, I never felt that cannabis was bad enough that we had to outlaw a plant. Natural is supposed to be good, right?”

When Colorado legalized use of the plant for recreational use, enacted in 2014, Jesse said at that point everything changed. Even though cannabis had been legal for medicine, the freedom of legalization meant that people felt safer to experiment with it as remedy, then more healing happened—not more people merely getting high.

“Ironically, legalization opened doors in the medical space,” he continued. “It allowed Charlotte’ mother to feel more comfortable seeking it out for her daughter. It allowed us to go forward as a company. We saw results, lives changed—it was a snowball effect, really.”

There are many stories of healing that sprang from the non-psychoactive compound of the plant, but one that directly impacted an entire country is most compelling. 

When Monterrey, Mexico-based attorney Raul Elizalde first heard of Charlotte’s Web helping a child with Dravet Syndrome, he immediately jumped into action, requesting the remedy for his own daughter, Graciela, who was suffering from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, with hundreds of seizures a day.

Through one failed court hearing, then one successful one-on-one with a district judge, Elizalde single-handedly convinced the Mexican Government to allow CBD oil to be imported into Mexico, with more than 500 children suffering from similar diagnosis on a waiting list for help.  

His daughter, Graciela, was the first child allowed the imported oil, with Elizalde stating that first night they gave her the oil she slept peacefully, without a single seizure.

Today, CBD only formulations are allowed in a majority of states and countries, able to be shipped across state lines, and into Mexico with a doctor’s recommendation. 

It’s important to note, that since doctors are still not being educated on cannabis as remedy or plant-based formulations in general in medical school, they are still not allowed to prescribe, only recommend. 

To THC, Or Not To THC?

The percentage of THC allowed in CBD products is set at point three percent as per the Department of Agriculture’s regulations, mandated many years ago in the hemp industry. And while it’s considered a safe percentage, many cannabis patients feel that THC, and the many other beneficial compounds found within the whole plant, should not be overlooked. 

ReCreate is the name of a new brand of products launched under the Stanley Brothers banner. It’s an attempt to re-create the image of cannabis, or specifically the THC so badly misunderstood by the masses.

Verbiage from the new ReCreate website is under the Stanley Brothers banner with the message that the low percentage of THC included in the new formulations is not intended to be mind-altering, but rather life-enhancing, with optimal levels of THC and CBD. 

Ayurvedic botanicals added include turmeric, Valerian root, lemon balm, Lion’s Mane, and Ashwagandha—an Ayurvedic herb cultivated in India for generations. 

Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in India that integrates body, mind, and spirit, using holistic practices by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and physical therapy. 

“The stigma of cannabis is a created stigma, it’s not the truth of the plant,” he said. “Many people who use cannabis for recreation are also medicating—even though they may not realize it. Everyone is really a patient, reaping the benefits of the many useful compounds of the plant.”

Acknowledging that THC is a beneficial compound, by the company who helped make CBD mainstream is noteworthy.

“There’s a symbiotic relationship we have with plants that’s been lost today,” he surmised. “We medicate in so many ways every day, and we don’t recognize it—we use watching television to relax, coffee to stimulate—this is all self-medicating. When you get passed that joint, you might think it’s to recreate, but if it helps you relax, it’s remedy—and the THC has a lot to do with that. It’s beyond time to look at the compound in a positive light, with everything in moderation.”

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