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Metolius Exit PACT: Harness the Power of Hemp to Overcome Addictions

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“We get it, it's your ritual, it's your vice. But can we give you a healthier one?”

John Friess- CEO Metolius Hemp Company

Hemp is emerging as a game changer in the battle against addictions, offering a promising solution to combat dependencies on substances like pharmaceuticals, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco (PACT). With its non-psychoactive compound called cannabidiol (CBD), hemp provides a natural and holistic approach to addiction recovery; a pathway that not many companies have dared to explore. Studies have shown that CBD derived from hemp can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and opioids. It acts as a modulator, influencing the brain's reward circuitry and decreasing the reinforcing effects of addictive substances. Additionally, CBD possesses anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate the anxiety and physical discomfort commonly experienced during addiction recovery. By incorporating hemp-based products into addiction treatment plans, individuals struggling with addictions can potentially find relief and support in their journey towards sobriety, ultimately leading to improved outcomes and a higher likelihood of long-term recovery. My Cannabis had a conversation with John Friess about the role of hemp in reducing the use of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco and replacing them with “healthy vices” aka hemp-based alternatives.

John is the founder and CEO of Metolius Hemp Co. a passion-driven company with a vision to transform the hemp industry. With a vertically-integrated approach, the company takes pride in meticulously cultivating, harvesting, curing, and crafting all of their organic hemp flower and consumable products.

Metolius is pioneering a “healthy vices” movement that's aimed at helping individuals replace their vices with healthier habits. The vices in this case are the overuse and misuse of pharmaceuticals, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.

My Cannabis: Can you introduce PACT and how Metolius is helping people to kick off their addictions using hemp.

John: We as a company believe that we are leading the market in what we refer to as an exit pact. We help our consumers to make a pact with themselves to exit unhealthy addictions. Metolius is focusing on four addictive categories namely pharmaceuticals, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco which form the acronym PACT. We are using a three tier approach which is to provide a natural and healthy alternative that does the following three:

  • Provide comparable physiological response
  • Match the form factor
  • Match or beat the price

In this way, individuals can easily and more naturally switch from their “addiction of choice” to a hemp-based alternative that is healthy and still allows the to stick to their ritual. We also recommend a gradual process where the individual begins by replacing say one tobacco cigarette with a hemp cigarette so they take one less each day until they are finally able to completely kick off the addiction. The general idea of PACT is to help individuals to reduce or replace their vices.

My Cannabis: How are you replacing pharmaceuticals?

John: Most people rely on pharmaceuticals to help them deal with anxiety and stress response, sleep issues, and pain and inflammation. We have a couple of organic CBD-based products that can help with that, without creating dependency. For example River Dreams combines CBD, CBN, and magnesium to promote sleep and relaxation.

My Cannabis: How are you replacing alcohol?

John: We have seen a big movement to promote sobriety where a lot of people are choosing, on their own, to reduce their alcohol intake. We have a number of products that can provide that good feeling and relaxation. For example, we are in the process of developing this new product called River Sips. This is a drink that comes in powder form that contains CBD, CBG, magnesium, and a little bit of CBN plus  a number of naturally occurring alternatives such as monk fruit. We tested this product on 12 of our customers. Six had spirit-based cocktails while the other six had two or three of our mocktails. Our mocktails provided a comparable amount of relaxation and social effect.

Same goes for cigarettes. We have River Sticks (cannarettes) which come in a smokable form that is similar to cigarettes. These are hemp-based cigarettes that contain CBD and CBG but provide a similar effect to tobacco. We advise our customers to replace one tobacco cigarette with one cannarette so they can consume at least one less. They can do this gradually until they are finally able to do without the cigarettes completely.

My Cannabis: Why and how are you replacing caffeine? 

John: Caffeine is one of the most ubiquitous and hence heavily abused drugs. We have many of our customers who are drinking three to four cups of coffee each day. As a result  they are dealing with gastrointestinal problems, increased stress response, and anxiety. We have collaborated with the company SuperCube to launch a product  that we think can alleviate some of those problems. River Mud contains CBD, medicinal mushrooms, and natural adaptogens. It can provide some of the benefits of coffee without being addictive.

The River Vibes is an all natural kombucha drink that combines organic kombucha with CBD, probiotics, and L-theanine (which occurs naturally in the leaves of tea). This is a natural alternative to energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, and the like.

My Cannabis: Does smoking hemp pose any cigarettes that users should be aware of?

John: Smoking hemp is definitely safer than smoking tobacco. In addition, it might actually be healthier than not smoking anything at all. We have been following up on a study that was carried out for a period of close to quarter a century and followed thousands of men and women. The study looked at four types of people:

  1. Those who have never smoked cannabis or cigarettes in their entire life
  2. Those who have smoked cigarettes without smoking cannabis
  3. Those who have smoked both cannabis and cigarettes
  4. Those who have smoked cannabis without smoking cigarettes

The aim of the study was to find the group that had the highest risk of developing lung disease, emphysema, and lung cancer. The study found that marijuana smokers, and not those who had never smoked anything,  were the least likely to develop either of the three conditions. On the other hand, those who smoked tobacco alone had the highest risk of  developing lung conditions. If you smoke cigarettes but also smoke cannabis you dramatically reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. For a long time cannabis use has been associated with a higher risk for lung cancer, therefore this new finding was an epiphany. Recent research has highlighted the anticancer effects of cannabis such as promoting apoptosis and angiogenesis. This partly explains how cannabis is able to heal the lungs.

My Cannabis: What motivated you to create these products?

John: The general idea of the exit pact is to help individuals to reduce unhealthy vices and replace them with healthy vices.

“We get it, it's your ritual, it's your vice. But can we give you a healthier one?”

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Metolius Hemp Company.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.