The Upside Newsletter
The Upside Newsletter
🔥Upside Chat: Upside Chat with Nicole Foss and Kevin Hyland at Kriva, a leading CBDA company

🔥Upside Chat: Upside Chat with Nicole Foss and Kevin Hyland at Kriva, a leading CBDA company

This week, we have the honor to interview Nicole Foss and Kevin Hyland. Nicole is the CEO of Kriva, a leading CBDA company that provides performance recovery products for all athletes at all levels. Kevin is the BD lead.

CBDA is the plant’s naturally occurring phytocannabinoid and research shows much higher bioavailability compared to CBD. When captured using water, CBDA naturally occurs in a stable crystal form, allowing for its use in athletic products helping athletes prepare, perform, and recover.

Kriva’s CBDA is extracted from the plant using a proprietary water-based method that eliminates the risks of heavy metals and pesticide contamination common to CBD products. The water-based method, H2Only , also preserves the plant’s phytocannabinoid profile, which allows for batch consistency while retaining all beneficial plant compounds.

Kriva CBDA products are 10 times more efficient that regular CBD products. Athletes only need to use a dose of 20 mg compared to other CBD products that require to take a dose of 200 mg.

Here is a video explaining how Kriva CBDA products are different from other CBD products and best adapted for athletic recovery and wellness:

Kriva offers a large variety of CBDA products such as massage oils, wellness drops, wellness lotions, gems, anti-chafe glides, CBDA deodorants, CBDA soaps, and botanical facial oils.

Here are some pictures of Kriva’s CBDA products.

A number of scientific studies have been done around CBDA and showed that it helps in terms of athletes’ recovery, sleep, and mood. Kriva is also trusted by sports brands and sports organizations such as the NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL, the PGA, Crossfit, and USA Weight lifting.

📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on their backgrounds, their company and product, what CBDA is, and the major differences between CBD and CBDA. We also discussed the benefits for sports organizations and athletes to use their CBDA products. Lastly we talked about their competitive advantage, business model and plans for the next 12 months.

Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Nicole and Kevin:

  • On their respective backgrounds:

    • Kevin Hyland:

      • “I've worked in the sporting goods industry for nearly 40 years with Nike, Adidas, Converse, Gatorade, Smith Optics and a number of other small companies. Although I'm in my sixties now, I still like to think of myself as an athlete. I'm still competing in triathlons”.

      • “I've done spartan racing and plenty of bike rides and races and I have had hamstring issues for the past 10 years. I tried a CBD cream five years ago and didn't have any results. But when a friend of mine approached me about using a CBDA product, I said sure I'll give it a try, But I was needless to say a little bit skeptical based on my prior experience. But I used this Kriva lotion on my hamstrings for about four or five days and there was a noticeable reduction in my soreness”.

      • “I'm in my mid sixties, so I don't sleep tremendously well, but I'm able to sleep through the night now, which not a lot of guys my age can say. So in terms of both the topicals and the adjustables, I strongly believe in the product. And it was after trying the topicals that I was asked to join the company and I jumped at the opportunity”.

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “I became a Cannabis employee and then I was able to operate a recreational adult used farm where I built a program working with veterans that were going through rehabilitation programs for different sorts of chronic pain or acute injuries. And so I brought them on and built a program”.

      • “And while I was working at this farm, I actually was going through nursing school and getting my master's in nursing. And while I was there, I was like the secret cannabis nurse. I couldn't really talk about cannabis, but I was seeing all this anecdotal evidence and at this point research is starting to come out about cannabis, about THC, CBD and the potential benefits”.

      • “So from there, I just jumped in. I'm also the current president elect of the American Cannabis Nurses Association. So we've got a great role of nurses that are passionate about providing education for not just athletes, but education for patients, education for legislators, regulators and everyone in our community. And so, in addition, I lead the Kriva product developments and do a lot of our education”.

  • On how the idea of launch Kriva got started:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “So when I was in the cannabis space, I was exposed to a lot of garbage and by garbage, I mean, people extracting cannabis THC mostly in like dirt garages, using butane from the local hardware in a glass column. And I was no regulations and unsafe”.

      • “So when you're ingesting concentrates or unclean cannabis, a lot of the pesticides and heavy metals can cause acute psychosis and other potential side effects for folks. And so we really thought that there has to be a cleaner way to do this. And so our journey began about four years ago, a little THC containing plants, and it eliminates the risks associated with most botanical extractions, which is pesticide contamination, heavy metal contamination, as well as residual solvents”.

      • “We decided to launch locally in our Pacific Northwest kind of catasphere of cannabis, which lots of people there accept cannabis. And then the Hemp program expanded where you could send hemp products across the state border. So we're able to ship throughout the United States and have a legal product. So it's been a really cool journey. And along the way, we've been supported by just some phenomenal people”.

  • On the fact that they have advocates in nearly every American sports leagues:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “We have advocates in nearly every American sports league. We have physicians from the most prestigious organizations in the world working with us”.

      • “We have a lot of hockey teams and we have a athletic advisory board made up of athletic trainers in every league. So I would say we're used in every league. But primarily we're seeing lots of Baseball players and football players using our products. I know that we've got some champions out there using it in the NFL”.

      • “We see a little bit being used in soccer, but not as much. Soccer jumped in really early to the CBD game. And I think they got burned. I think they were like, this is garbage and it doesn't work. So we've got to get over that stigma and show them that it works”.

  • On their CBDA products and how it works and how it manufactured:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “So they all start with our same water based extraction ingredient. So we work primarily with the compound CBDA, and it comes from the plant.

        So this is a non THC containing cannabis plant that's grown in the United States. And we take that base ingredient and we put it into topical products that are primarily used against inflammatory bioactivity”.

      • “So inflammatory reactions are huge in the body and we do need some inflammation in order to heal and get stronger, but we don't have to have as much inflammation as we have, especially in today's world where we've got chronic stress tabled on top of that”.

  • On the use cases (pain management, sun burn reduction, bruises reduction, sleep aid, etc.) for pro teams and how they use their CBDA products:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “So a lot of our athletic trainers that are using the product and athletes, they are using our massage oil are emollient or lightweight lotion after performance. So after a game or after a really challenging training session, and they're using this to soothe muscle pain, generalized aches, tightness, and anything of that like”.

      • “So you went to the gym hard, you've ran a Spartan race, what are you going to use? we're out of the game for a little bit. Our three topical products are excellent for that”.

      • “And then you talked about a really interesting case, which is the burn case. So we've actually seen long distance runners be able to use our topical products on sunburns. So sunburn is a cool process. It's an inflammatory reaction within the body. You get burned by UV ray, and so you can actually use this post recovery and it's a really safe alternative to either stop a burn before it happens or stop a burn after it's already happened”.

      • “And then another one of our cool unique use cases actually comes with bruising and bruising is huge in some of our contact sports. So we have our hockey goalies using the massage oil and lotion after a puck hits them in a game and the lotion will literally make a bruise disappear if it's already starting to form or it can actually stop a bruise from forming”.

      • “And then there's another really unique case for CBDA when it comes to supporting sleep. And this is where we see a lot of our professional and semi professional athletes who have really extreme travel schedules that's disrupted to their sleep. And so they can actually use this product”.

      • “We find that about 20 milligrams of CBDA. And what the pathway is, it's actually working with your serotonin receptors, which I'm sure everyone's kind of heard of. Those are feel good chemicals in our body. And it also plays a big role in sleep pattern regulation and increasing REM sleep, which is the rapid eye movement that deep recovery sleep that we need”.

      • “So we found that with the continued use and sometimes it's even the first use but with general continued use about 30, 45 minutes before you would naturally go to bed, athletes can take this and it's helping them sleep through the night as Kevin kind of alluded to, and, and it's not a ambient ride or a melatonin and it doesn't make you fall asleep, but it certainly can help your body calm down a little with those serotonin receptors”.

  • On their competitive advantages compared to CBD products out there:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “First there's no psychoactivity in this. We have actually done our own third party urine drug testing screening, which we've provided examples for teams. And then the next one is superior bioavailability. So going back to that concept of you can use 20 milligrams of CBDA, and you're going to get an efficacious reaction or an efficacious sleep or less inflammation feeling right, and it works”.

      • “There are a lot of skeptics out there and people have been burned by CBD. And then CBDA is WADA, USADA, NCAA, and at least American pro sports. And I would say most global team sports permissible, right? So it's not permissible in competition, but you can use it post competition”.

      • “And then lastly, I would say that it's clean and it's pure as we have this shift of understanding what's in our food supply, what's in our other topical products, endocrine disruptors and all these icky things that we're putting in and on our body. We've taken the time in our formulations to use the clean ingredient base that makes this a safe product for athletes”.

      • “And because it's clean, if you can say more pure, it penetrates the skin faster. So it's actually the CBDA that is able to penetrate the skin because of that. The little civic, the little a at the end, it's actually able to penetrate the skin better than CBD in general”.

  • On their business model:

    • Kevin Hyland:

      • “We're currently selling consumer direct only. And we're selling to athletes, physical therapists, athletic trainers and massage therapists, whether they work in a private practice or for a professional sports team or a college here in the US”.

      • “And we feel that that is probably the best method for us because we can control the messaging, the education, answer any questions these people have, rather than go to traditional brick and mortar retailers where we don't know how educated the clerks are, how well they're going to be able to understand our products as well as the safety of it”.

      • “So we're going consumer direct and towards athletic wellness professionals. So you can go to The best email to contact us is probably And it's worth noting that we also have an education only website for sports medicine professionals and that's You can go there and you can download a million of white papers”.

  • On their plans for the next 12 months:

    • Nicole Foss:

      • “So from the larger aspect of business, we are currently in a fundraising mode. So we hopefully have a few more months to get that fundraising done before we go and open a second facility and our second facility will be NSF for sports certified. So this is a newer thing that I would say leagues and professional teams are asking for. They are asking for ingestible products. So there's no schema actually for topical products”.

      • “So we're looking to bring on our gummies and potentially some other unique ingestible products. So we can have those sleep benefits used in a more legal aspect. And then we plan to continue to work with our advisory board to develop new products that are efficacious”.

      • “We just developed an emollient that's going to be hitting the market, and that's really exciting when we're using scraping techniques and all the different modalities that our sports medicine team are using. We want them to be able to include CBDA”.

    • Kevin Hyland:

      • “From a marketing, sports marketing and business development standpoint, we want to focus on athletes and athlete wellness. So we're going to continue to stay the course. You won't see our product in grocery stores or convenience stores, where there are many CBD companies out there”.

      • “And we're not going to go down the path of pet supplements, which we've seen a lot of companies do. We really believe that our products make a difference for athletes to help them recover and perform better and we'll stick to our path and our strategies. So we'll look to expand into exhibits at more sporting events, conventions and symposiums where sports medicine professionals are attending. And we'll stick to our guns when it comes to social media and messaging, again, we'll continue to beat that sports medicine, athletic wellness drum”.


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