About Time You Met: Adam Feldheim, Founder of MEDAHUMANBy Angelica Malin
MEDAHUMAN is a leading CBD functional wellness drinks brand. Working closely with a premium UK CBD supplier who leads the way in helping farmers grow a reliable and sustainable supply of organic industrial hemp, MEDAHUMAN’s five-strong range has already proved a hit among London restaurants and bars. We chatted to founder Adam Feldheim about starting MEDAHUMAN, the common misconceptions around CBD and what’s next for the growing brand:
What inspired you to set up MEDAHUMAN?
I worked most of my career in investment banking in NYC and London at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. I was used to the high-pressure and fast-paced environments but that came hand -in-hand with burnout and chronic fatigue. Spending time with my family in California several years ago I first discovered CBD, then functional adaptogens and nootropics soon after. I discovered that many of the supplements that I was buying were helping to improve my wellbeing, although it was initially overwhelming, and I spent a considerable amount of time climbing the learning curve on these products. I ultimately created a drink to simplify and improve the accessibility of these amazing ingredients to the wider market.
With health supplements, you can get the most out of them by ingesting them regularly. I,therefore, decided that a RTD, the ultimate consumable product, would be the easiest way to help people introduce wellness into their everyday routine. These people were also likely to be new to such supplements. Ultimately, I wanted to create a product for like-minded individuals that would be accessible, simple and functional.
I truly believe in the power of the plant for wellness purposes. What still attracts me to this category is all the ways that it can positively impact people’s lives. I saw real benefits from regularly taking CBD and other supplements, it helped me to take the edge off and to improve productivity. I loved the idea of creating a business that would allow me to make a difference, helping people to live healthier and more mindfully was incredibly exciting to me.
Can you tell us about the MEDAHUMAN brand/range of drinks and how it differs from other CBD drinks products on the market?
Yes, the CBD market has become saturated, but for MEDAHUMAN, our proposition is fairly differentiated. We see CBD as a baseline ingredient and are more focused on the unique botanical synergy between this hero ingredient and other powerful functional ingredients like functional adaptogens, nootropics, as well as vitamins and minerals to deliver a targeted wellness benefit.
Another important point of difference is our use of product descriptors, the Relax, Recover, Night, etc. Given the unique formulations, each one is designed for a different purpose. With most drinks, even CBD ones, the primary determinant for purchase is a flavour, but with MEDAHUMAN we find that our best-selling SKU’s are the need states that people are most interested in solving in their lives, and often the flavour is a secondary factor.
Finally, as a brand, we prioritise education around CBD and the product, and we’ve been very careful to make branding decisions that help to steer consumers into a wellness direction, away from cannabis imagery and problematic brand names that are more associated with the intoxicating parts of the plant.
We have five drinks in our range – Relax, Energy, Glow, Recover & Night – and each one contains 20mg of best-in-class micro encapsulated broad-spectrum CBD for maximum absorption, rapid delivery and effectiveness.
What are the common misconceptions around CBD in drinks?
That it will make you high. We haven’t got anything against THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis, but for us, MEDAHUMAN means we must be sharp, on the ball, and with our feet on the ground. That’s why we’ve opted for broad spectrum CBD, containing not only cannabidiol, but other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and no hidden extras to alter your senses. Also why we’ve avoided cannabis imagery. I took a very considered approach to creating a brand that would have wide appeal and accessibility, and with that said I have avoided using cannabis imagery and a name that would be associated with the more problematic compound that has made product education so critical.
Correct dosing and the idea that all CBD is the same is a popular misconception. We use a micro-encapsulated broad-spectrum CBD designed for liquid delivery to improve absorbability and effectiveness. A lot of products on the market either have too low CBD content, uses CBD isolate which does not deliver the whole plant benefit from the entourage effect from broad-spectrum, or ends up sticking to the side of the can given the hydrophobic nature of the compound and that lack of technical capabilities on the part of the manufacturer.
Can MEDAHUMAN be drunk with alcohol? What’s your favourite way to drink MEDAHUMAN with alcohol?
It can indeed. We recently launched a CBD spritzer menu at Isabel – four more mindful aperitivos with added CBD, nootropics and adaptogens. MEDAHUMAN Recover, delivering 20mg CBD + Ginger + Turmeric + Piperine + Zinc + Vitamin D, paired with Martini Fiero which has notes of bittersweet orange with a gentle warm spice. It’s similar in colour and taste to the popular Aperol Spritz, but lower calorie, lower sugar and lower ABV.
Another popular cocktail on menus at the Ivy Brasserie is the Glowing Monkey, which is MEDAHUMAN Glow, delivering 20mg CBD + Biotin + Aloe Vera + Vitamin C paired with Monkey 47 Gin. The elderflower and lime flavour in Glow is a no brainer combination with such a premium gin.
Where can you enjoy MEDAHUMAN’s drinks?
In the on-trade, you can find MEDAHUMAN at some of the leading prestige and premium venues including Annabels, Ivy Brasseries, Chiltern Firehouse, the Berkeley Hotel, Art’s Club, the NoMad Hotel, the Mandrake Hotel, Langham Hotel/ Artesian Bar, Isabel Mayfair and Brasserie of Light just to name a few. In retail, we are found in Holland & Barrett, Booths, Planet Organic, and lots of premium independent shops.
How can people incorporate your drinks into their every day for functional wellness?
The beauty of the range is that it delivers solutions across various need states and is relevant for consumption throughout the day. The naming descriptors help consumers to understand when to incorporate them into their daily life.
The best way to see the benefits of CBD is to consume it on a daily basis. I love having one of our Energy drinks in the morning before a workout and equally, I enjoy having a Recover in the afternoon when I need a pick me up.
Do you think CBD and the other functional wellness ingredients in your drinks like nootropics is a trend or here to stay?
I would definitely say it’s here to stay and not a trend. There is a lot of ongoing research into these areas and studies are all incredibly supportive of these products. While I think it’s important not to overstate the benefits of these products, given they should not be seen as a panacea, they do provide tremendous ‘wellness’ benefits. As more people are educated on this product, and we move past the regulatory hurdles faced in the early days of the industry, I suspect the category becomes a mainstream one. I think Kombucha is probably a good analogy for it. When that came to market a few years ago there were many naysayers, who would have said similar things about its lasting appeal, but I think data now proves that’s it’s a category that’s here to stay. If anything, I would say that you will find this incredible compound found (CBD) in an increasing number of consumer goods in the years to come.