In recent years people have collectively developed a base desire to‭ ‬‘have it all’‭, ‬and quickly‭. We’ve internalised the idea that we should be working all the time‭ ‬because everything and everyone in‭ ‬our lives have told us to do so‭. ‬Aver is a premium Cannabidiol and lifestyle brand launched to return people to a state of balance in their hyper-connected lives‭.‬ Next week Aver will open the #AverHonestyShop – a pop-up shop where customers pay for Aver wellness drinks, not with money, but with an honest comment about the way they’re feeling. I talk to Aver about this unique campaign, the story behind the brand and the effect of Cannabidiol drinks on the body and mental health.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Firstly, what is the background story of the brand and what brought you to the creation of these wellness drinks?

We discovered Cannabidiol via our Co-Founder Alex who was struggling with symptoms of burnout from overworking and living a fast-paced life in London. He was looking for a natural remedy to integrate into his lifestyle that would help him support his everyday mental and physical wellbeing whilst managing his intense work schedule.

But Cannabidiol had an image problem in the UK. Aside from its association with cannabis, there were far too many examples of substandard products being sold, which were either illegal or misleading to potential customers. On the one hand, it seemed to have so much to offer in helping Alex rebalance the stresses in his life, but on the other, it was impossible to be confident in the safety and efficacy of the products on offer. So, we built AVER.

The word ‘aver’ means to speak the truth confidently. We have woven this idea into the fabric of everything we do: from only sourcing the finest ingredients to independently lab testing throughout production. We have left no stone unturned in making AVER the brand it needs to be; one that people can rely on to help support their everyday mental and physical wellbeing.

Now Aver products tick all the boxes of even the most demanding of health-conscious consumers. We only use the highest quality ingredients; never add artificial sweeteners, concentrates, preservatives or anything nasty; keep sugars below 1 gram per 100ml; and most importantly, always add a functional dose of our active ingredients.

How do Cannabidiol products influence the body and mind?

The exciting thing about Cannabidiol is its influence on the body’s ability to remain in balance. This means regulating your mood, sleep/wake cycle, immune system, pain levels and much more. When your body is in balance, all of your internal systems are working, as they should. When you’re out of balance, you tend to experience anxiety or illness.
We have designed our first two product ranges on one idea: Balance; between the mind and body, between night and day; working and resting. BOOST and CALM are a complimentary duo of High function, low sugar wellness drinks for supporting and balancing everyday mental and physical wellbeing. Our lemon chamomile flavoured CALM drink uses functional ingredients to help you unwind after a long day – think drinking to relax, but without the hangover. And our fresh and fiery, lemon, ginger, cayenne flavoured BOOST drink is designed to lift your mood – think energy drink without the jitters or the health warning.

Some people have a negative perception of products with Cannabidiol. Is it safe to take these products? Is there a risk of addiction?

Aver goes through the most stringent and extensive extraction and regulatory processes to ensure that our product is the best possible quality on the market. We provide third party test certificates so you can make sure that what we say is in our products, is actually in our product (and nothing else). Cannabidiol is a natural component of the hemp plant, one that we have been using in medicine for thousands of years. The WHO has found it to be non-toxic in much higher doses than we recommend through our products. There is no risk of addiction with these products, the WHO deemed Cannabidiol to be non-addictive.

Nowhere are the detrimental effects of imbalanced living more apparent than in major cities‭. How can Aver wellness products make a living in modern cities healthier?

Never has it been harder to manage your mental and physical well-being and never has it been more important. We are overworked, under-slept, hyperconnected, and endlessly stretched in our modern lives – something’s got to give. Our BOOST and CALM product ranges are designed to reinstate a balance lost in our hyperconnected lives. We use functional ingredients in effective doses to encourage short bursts of productivity and the ability to switch off, rest and recharge when you need to.

As a brand, who are committed to transparency and honesty, can you share how people can be sure about the safety of Cannabidiol products?

A study done last year showed that most of the Cannabidiol products on sale in the UK didn’t contain the stated dose of Cannabidiol or contained an illegal substance such as THC. This has created an image problem and is fuelling a mistrust in an ingredient which has so much to offer. For people to unlock the positive health potential of this natural component, they need to be able to believe in the brands and products that sell it. So, we have committed to being as transparent and honest with our customers as we can. This means all of our products are independently lab tested for purity and quality at all stages of production (with results made readily available on our website). We promise only to use the finest ingredients like our organically grown, Colorado sourced hemp which we insist on at great cost to ensure we are making products that work. We never treat ingredients like buzzwords, always adding a functional dose to our products, whether clinically proven or recommended by industry experts.

You are currently running the ‘Honesty Shop’ campaign in London, where people can rebalance the stresses for free and raise money for mental health charity partners. How did you come up with the idea?

The #AverHonestyShop is our way of putting our money where our mouth is. We are opening the shop to symbolise Aver’s commitments, honesty and transparency towards consumers, in order to raise money for mental health charity partners and open up an honest conversation around mental health. In the #AverHonestyShop you will be able to purchase your Aver drink not with money, but an honest comment. That’s it, pop out of the office; leave us a note about something you’ve been thinking or feeling recently and grab yourself a drink from the fridge. For every drink purchased with honesty, we will donate its cost to our mental health charity partners.

The event will happen on the 28th of Oct. 4-8 pm & 29th Oct. 11 am-3 pm in Mayfair with check-in using the NHS app (42 South Molton Street, Mayfair, W1K 5RR). Due to current NHS guidance, please bring a mask with you. Kindly note that there will be no more than six customers in the shop at any time.

What are your plans for the future?

True to our mission, we are beginning to plan our next two product launches with some exciting new ways to support everyday mental and physical wellbeing. Importantly we plan to keep engaging with the public and our social partners with other activations like the #AverHonestyShop, to continue raising awareness and funding for mental health in the UK. One of these is a special event we have planned for when COVID restrictions relax. For now, all I can say is that the event will be called ‘Abstract Drinking’ and that there will be limited spaces… So sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to hear about it first!

Aver aims to help reduce the proportion of people struggling with mental health issues in the UK.