Behind Yuyo Calm are Isabel and María, two entrepreneurs from Madrid who felt the need to show the world the attributes of CBD after seeing first-hand the good it did them in phases of great anxiety. Although they’ve only been in business for four months, they already have a community that trusts their products, with 90% of their fans being women. Kannabia is the first to interview them.
We firmly believe that more projects like Yuyo Calm are needed to achieve a better world. Isabel and María are committed to the environment, they’re open, they believe in their products because they use them in their daily lives, they have a great desire to help people with disorders such as anxiety, and they contribute to the normalisation of medical cannabis.
Kannabia: what is Yuyo Calm and how did this initiative come about?
Isabel - I went through a very bad stage in my life eighteen months ago, and my mom recommended that I use a product of my brother’s. We’re from the USA and he has medicinal hemp plantations there - all legal. I’m not at all against THC, but it doesn’t suit me very well because my anxiety increases. So, I told my mom that I wasn’t going to try my brother's product because it would get me high and make me nervous. She told me that she took it, and this gave me confidence. I tried it and was amazed at how well it worked for me. I told María, who was also having a bad time.
María - Yes, I was terribly stressed about work. I was having a terrible time. Isa introduced me to her brother's product and it worked incredibly well for me. Later, as we both had the desire to embark on a challenge, we decided to do it with CBD. I worked in advertising, and a lot of the time I had to make statements about products that I didn’t believe in. So, I stopped working in advertising. Now we’re with Yuyo Calm, which is something we really believe in and something that helps people.
Isabel - We’re not selling a ‘Product X’ - it’s something that’s very personal for us. When I tried it, I thought people had to know about this because anxiety is terrible.
Kannabia: how wonderful to discover something that helps people so much that you say, “Everyone has to know about it” and, on top of that, you’ve dedicated yourselves to selling it. Is there a testimonial that has particularly had an impact on you?
María - We know a young woman who had to use the car to get to work and she had very, very strong anxiety attacks. The doctor prescribed pills that made her sleepy and didn’t permit her to drive. At the age of 30, her parents had to take her to work because she couldn't drive due to the pills. She started using CBD, it helped her tremendously, and she leads a completely normal life.
Kannabia: although there are many people who dare to talk about mental health, anxiety, depression… there’s still a stigma, just like with the plant
María - There’s much more talk and it’s much more accepted, but there are still a lot of people who think this is nonsense - they don't give it any importance. You tell them you've been in a really bad way with anxiety and they tell you you're nervous. They don't see everything that affects you in your life. Or you say you’ve got stabbing pains in your heart, and they tell you to stop thinking about it and it’ll pass. But it’s what I’m feeling, I can't stop thinking about it and that's it. I don't think they give it the importance that it really has.
Isabel - They also tell you not to think like that, to think in a different way. And depression is not being sad or not – it’s something chemical. I don’t think people know how bad it is. In the part where we explain who we are, we talk about how we learned about CBD and our anxiety. I ran it by people and they said, "Ugh, do you want to share all this?" And I said to them, "Of course!" I want people to know that it’s something real. I’m not afraid to talk to my friends or with other people and say that I suffer from anxiety, but it breaks my heart to know that there are people who feel this knot and don’t seek help because they’re embarrassed.
Kannabia: tell us about your values. Why is Yuyo Calm different?
María: - We’re committed to the environment. The only thing that we’ve not managed to get rid of in terms of plastic is the upper part of the pipette - all the rest has gone. When we speak to clients, we try to be as personal as possible and help them according to their situation.
Isabel - We’d love to have put the oil in a cute little box, but we thought, "Why, if the box is going to go to the trash later?" We try to be minimalistic on this point. Our contact with the client is very personal. We’re very transparent. There’s a lot of false information in this world such as the difference between oils… whether they are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD isolate. There are many companies that say that they’re full-spectrum and that they’re 0% THC, but it’s a lie because you need to have some THC for it to be full-spectrum.
Kannabia: Is the stigma being broken down? People are already curious about the properties, especially CBD.
María - We read a news story which said the WHO reported that the highest percentage of sick leave in 2020 would be due to anxiety and depression. It’s true that it’s a huge problem nowadays.
Kannabia: Your business model reminds me a lot of projects that we’ve been seeing in the US for years but that are still in short supply in Spain.
Isabel - CBD is something new in the US too; now it’s had an insane boom. On the subject of cannabis, we’re a little more advanced. I come from a very pro-cannabis family. It makes me very angry because my dad suffered cancer and almost died. Now he's fine although he's never going to be 80% (he always wakes up feeling bad). And the only thing that makes him feel better is cannabis.
I’m very sorry it’s illegal when it really helps people. In the US, there are people who have to move because they have a child who has a problem: this phenomenon is known as cannabis refugees. And, worst of all, people don't know that cannabis was completely normal in the past until it became something prohibited and prosecuted. I find it very sad that people cannot find the help they need due to political issues; it makes me very angry.
Kannabia: Brands like yours do a lot of good on the road to normalisation
Isabel - That’s a strong part of our brand: we try to give a lot of information to combat ignorance. We try to make all our posts fairly educational.
Kannabia: You also take great care with your image. You recently chose a design in a collaborative way by asking your followers
María - It’s one more way of communicating when breaking down the stigma. Maybe some people think this cannabis thing isn’t for them because they’re prejudiced and they don't even know what it's about. We want to reach those people too.
Kannabia: Tell us about your products and what they’re for
Isabel - Simple Calma oil is 5% and only contains CBD. It’s the only one that is isolate; the rest are broad-spectrum. They’re all coconut oil-based. Then you have the Pura Calma, which is the same as the Simple Calma but it’s broad-spectrum. It’s also 5% but contains more cannabinoids. The more cannabinoids you have, the better because they amplify the effects of CBD.
María - The Plena Calma has 10% and the Regia Calma has 15%. Simple Calma and Pura Calma are to alleviate milder problems. The Pura is for relieving more intense problems, and the Regia is for very, very serious problems. We were contacted by someone who was in a lot of pain, who couldn't sleep because of the pain. The doctor wanted to prescribe morphine. In the end, she decided to try the 15% CBD. She told us that the first day she was calmer, that she wasn’t in pain, and that she managed to sleep peacefully. A few days later, her husband had to wake her up and that was incredible for her. These stories make us proud of what we do.
Isabel - We’re very emotional and all these stories make us rejoice. It's a roller coaster of emotions, but then when a message like this reaches you, it's all worth it.
Kannabia: I’m very interested in your values as female entrepreneurs in this world, which was more male-dominated until now.
Isabel - We’re seeing that men don’t take us seriously in this world until we show them that we control the agenda. When we send catalogues and we want to talk to them, it’s like they don't pay us any attention - even our supplier sometimes.
María - When we got into this, we already knew it was traditionally a man's industry and that we were going to have to fight against it. We’re also motivated to say, "Well yes, we are women and we are here to do it well." When we started, we said that we wanted to reach all types of audiences, but now we think we want to reach women above all. Just today I was listening to the new Radiojaputa podcast. It spoke of medicine continuing to be male-dominated. We’ve never been taken into account at the time of testing and making medicines. At Yuyo Calm, we believe our oils can help women tremendously.
Kannabia: I love your blog: you have very interesting posts like, “How to talk to your mother about cannabis”, and it’s autobiographical!
María - That's me without a doubt! (Laughs) My mom is the typical mother who worries about having a steady job. I told her I wanted to start out and she was enraged. So, I thought, let's see now how I tell her what I want to say. It was a catastrophe in my family. My mom was terrible. I told my dad and he hung the phone up on me. They didn't want to know anything else. At first, they were very upset - it was a shambles. I resisted and passed on information to them. I explained a lot of stuff to them. And now every time I go home, they say to me, "Maria, don't forget the drops." (More laughter).
Isabel - But we just want to reach those people. You don't have to have a problem to take CBD; it just keeps your body in balance. For instance, I have a cold at the moment and I take CBD at night because it has anti-inflammatory properties and many illnesses start with inflammation. It's funny how people are afraid of an oil and yet they take the three pills that their doctor prescribes. Nobody opens the leaflet inside the package to read about the side effects!