If we’re learning anything these days, just because a topic is deemed “taboo,” doesn’t mean you have to totally ignore its existence to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Oddly enough, one of those taboo topics — within the surf and non-surf worlds — is the stigma around anxiety and mental health disorders. A rad, new brand — with a natural product that truly helps surfers’ mind-body-psyche synergize — is InnerG, a CBD company making it okay to talk about that inner-health.

“You know, after one quick Google search, you discover that one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives,” says Pro Surfer/Brand Co-Creator, Dylan Graves. “So, why aren’t more brands talking about this? We NEED to be talking about it and creating more support and platforms that provide a safe haven to openly talk about something as common as mental illness.”

Word. Now, hold the phone. We know you might be thinking, “Another CBD branddd…” But the team at InnerG certainly has a different (and delicious, we might add) approach. A collaboration between farmers, doctors, surfers, artists, hikers, scientists, and others in today’s wild, wild world, InnerG provides community, conversation and natural product solutions to help you take control of your focus, anxiety, pain and sleeplessness.

“Our slogan ‘Take Control’ sounds kind of aggressive at first, but what it’s really saying is, ‘let’s interrupt the problem,’ says Heather Hughes of InnerG. “If daily stress or anxiety is the problem, or daily sleeplessness, or daily pain or inflammation, then those problems need an interruption. The beauty of CBD is that it doesn’t act like a foreign object challenging the problem. It actually works with the body to help gently course-correct.”

With epic, sugar-free flavors like Orangesicle, Mint Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice CBD drops, InnerG’s a pleasure to use, too.

We caught up with the whole team over there and picked their brains about this very unique, very tasteful new brand…

Surfline: It seems like there’s a lot of CBD companies out there…what would you guys say makes InnerG different?

Heather Hughes, InnerG President: While other CBD companies will catch on soon, for now, I am positive that we are the best flavored CBD on the market. I am also positive that the flavor is 100% natural and healthy, and sweetened with monk fruit so that it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels.

Michael Hughes, M2 Biochemist: Our products are always third party tested to make sure they’re safe and pure. We also make sure our products are THC free.  Additionally, and more importantly, our flavors are amazing. I’ve loved CBD for a long time but could never stomach the horrible flavor of those products.

Ryan Stephens, InnerG Creative Director: Right. The CBD category is already flooded with a million brands that either look like an energy drink or some big pharma brand. That’s not what InnerG is about. When we got Dylan Graves and Luki O’Keefe involved, they really helped make this thing feel more like a friend who’s letting you in on a secret spot, or telling you about some old song that they recently discovered. I also love working with brands that are trying to do something good in the world.

Luki O’Keefe, (Surf & Lifestyle Photographer) Brand Co-Creator: Aside from InnerG’s diverse team of awesome people, they actually have an inhouse biochemist that makes their products without the GMO, pesticide, herbicide crap you still find hiding in a lot of CBD brands. Their line is perfectly simple and their products just work. I also love InnerG’s vision to build a conversation around anxiety and mental health in a way that’s fun and light hearted.

Daniel Russo (Surf Photographer & Waterman) Brand Co-Creator: Agreed. For me, InnerG instantly stood out not only for its tasty products, but my own stress and anxiousness responded favorable with the product, helping me to think clearly. And, it’s all organic!

The mental health thing…Certainly, there’s a stigma around that, with people being perceived as “weak” or vulnerable, etc. How has InnerG been trying to start that conversation and change that narrative through CBD?

Ryan: The taboos around mental health can really lock up any potential conversations that young people might have or even just questions they might ask and get help for. I think we’d love to just make it more OK to talk about the bummer stuff. One thing I’m really excited about is that we’re doing this zine/coloring book called “Take Control Vol. 1, A Conversation and Coloring Book with Jason Sturgill.” Jason’s a super talented illustrator and talks about living with Bipolar disorder throughout the pages, mixed in with some of his drawings that you can color and rip out to hang on your wall or whatever. The plan is to try and do something like that every few months and put it up on the site or send it out with packages. We’re also going to be doing some episodic content where that conversation can continue in video and the comments section of the Internet.

Amen. Now, out of the various products you offer, which ones do you find yourselves using most and why?

Heather: All of them. Seriously. Have you tried them? They are soooo awesome. I usually use the oil drops in the morning. And, here is some science: Adults usually have their highest cortisol levels in the morning (children at night). Cortisol is a big contributor to stress and the cycle of stress that can lead to pain and sleeplessness. If you get CBD on board in the morning (we recommend approximately a 30mg dose) you will calm down that cortisol, which will lead to an all-day-long benefit of stress reduction. I choose the oil drops because I’m not good at breakfast and it gets me a tiny bit of monk fruit sugar which won’t spike my blood sugar, but it’s still yummy. Personally, I love the orangesicle because it tastes like a happy childhood.

I generally bring my gummies on the go. If I am “having a day,” [laughs] one gummy helps smooth out those wrinkles and keeps things workable. At night I use the sore muscle rub on most of my joints. I could bathe in it, but a little goes a long way, so really not much is needed. The sore muscle rub is amazing at getting immediate localized relief and unlike some rubs, it’s not greasy or stinky. It’s great. I can’t recommend it enough.

Righteous. You explained it a little, but what kind of effects does InnerG give? Physical and/or mental, or emotional?

Michael: InnerG is effective in helping anxiety, pain, and sleeplessness. I personally used to take prescription anxiety medication, but now I’ve been able to completely stop taking it, thanks to InnerG’s products.

Daniel: With InnerG, getting critical deep sleep at night allows my mind and body to recover and be fully ready in the am.

Heather: Our background is health. We have an amazing team of people who have some very deep knowledge about people’s bodies, behavior, genetics and the science (or, myths) of “balance.”  We often hear that the body needs to be balanced. Actually, the body is constantly trying to balance what exists right now and it’s really good at keeping things the same…even when it needs to change. The effects of eating unhealthily each day can take years to surface. And, when it surfaces, the body’s goal is to just “maintain” what exists (homeostasis)…which isn’t healthy. So, you have to interrupt that. That’s where the myth of balance needs to be challenged.

There is a whole system in our bodies that works with this beautiful little CBD molecule and our bodies don’t see CBD as foreign. We know this. At a deep level we completely get that there are a lot of people that need CBD to recover and help them “Take Control” and dive-into every day feeling amazing.

Sweet. So, as a surfer, photographer, and/or traveler, how has InnerG helped the ride?

Dylan: Whether you’re surfed out, stressed out, or just looking for that little extra comfort to fall asleep as you try to recline into some mindless movie (while still sitting just vertical enough to have some small voice in your head question your comfort levels), InnerG CBD’s got you.

Daniel: Photographers can relate to the long hours. For me, it’s swimming with a 10-pound camera for multi hours a day — so mental and physical stamina are shattered when the sun sets. Taking CBD eases the soreness but enhances my ability to focus. To chase a swell across the globe is one of the most exciting adventures. Typically, we arrive the day of the swell or the night before. So, CBD helps me get rested and focused.

Luki: Anyone who travels a lot understands the toll it can take on your body. I’ve created a routine for myself that I use to combat inflammation on the road and InnerG is now an important part of that. I take two gummies, chug a glass of water, and massage any sore spots with the lotion before bed. The lotion has peppermint in it so I’ll even put some by my ears and forehead to relieve sinus pressure. The difference between a sleep with InnerG CBD — and no CBD — is night and day

InnerG’s flavors are pretty unique… When’s pizza-flavor hit the shelves?

Dylan: DAMMMMMMN…hopefully soon! [laughs] Yeah, they’re trying to bring some flavor to these which is fun. I’ve been dropping some of the Mint Chocolate flavor into hot water, it’s pretty tasty.

Michael: [laughs] Pizza would be awesome, but then I’d have to tread the waters of whether pineapple is good on pizza, or not. I’m not ready to get that political. That reminds me of when we were first formulating the flavors, and I came up with an idea for a spicy meat and rosemary flavor. Sadly, that one, was NOT a success.

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