In March 2018, “RW” short for Real Wellness by Ricky Williams launched by NFL Heisman Trophy champion Ricky Williams. The brand’s product line consists of cannabis-based products designed for the health-conscious cannabis consumer. The RW brand currently showcases six products that include either cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or a mix of both. Products are broken down into three categories: Solutions, Everyday, and Sport. Each category consists of either a vape cartridge, salve or tonic.
I first met Ricky Williams at my graduation from Canopy San Diego last year at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA. At the time, all I knew about Ricky Williams is that he was on The Celebrity Apprentice and had a stunning career in professional football. After some research, I found out Ricky Williams is a former American football running back who played twelve seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and one season in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Williams also played college football for the University of Texas, where he was a two-time All-American and won the Heisman Trophy.
Since that fateful evening, DCN has had the pleasure of crossing paths with Ricky Williams more than once on this journey in the cannabis industry, and in this article, you’ll read about what inspired him to create this brand and product line in the cannabis industry.
DCN: What motivated you to launch your own brand in the cannabis industry?
Ricky Williams: “It’s simple, you see a problem, you address it, and provide value. The usual pattern goes like this, someone works in the industry or has a job in the sector, and notices holes in the system and sets out to improve them,” Williams explained. “I feel I’m in the same pattern when I was a football player; I was in pain and in stress. Two things that were my everyday existence to manage the pain and perform on a high level.”
“I retired in 2004 from football, and I found meaning in my ability to help others feel better and myself. I started to merge my life into a healer, learning about the herbs in India, and becoming a yoga instructor, part of my journey was studying meditation, and studying astrology,” shared Williams.
“In growth as a healer, I turned 40, and it’s time to share my knowledge and experience with others who can benefit from it. The understanding of herbs and cannabis is an herb; it is a reemergence of herbalism into our culture. What is lacking is education behind herbs, and as a culture, we are drifting towards herbal thinking, holistic approaches. By healing the split in our culture, we heal the split inside us,” stated Williams.
DCN: What were vital traits/ideas you had in mind when creating this brand?
Ricky Williams: “My role is a brand leader, but my important role is formulator. Creating herbalism is an art form and having a level of understanding of how herbs work together. It was up to me about what to make for my product line. I searched google extensively, with the terms such as cramps, headaches, aches,” explained Williams, “what formulas do I really like? What am I comfortable with?”
“I narrowed it down to anxiety, the first tackle point. Anxiety is a personal thing to me, if we could combine certain herbs with cannabis, it will calm the nervous system down while on THC,” explained Williams. “There was a point in my career when I was anxious to be around my team, my friends. I would smoke cannabis to understand myself more in those moments because this behavior was not normal for me to display,” shared Williams.
DCN: Could you share some information on your Real Wellness product line?
Ricky Williams: “Yes, and I’ll share this fact too that traditional herbalism in every culture is through inhalation whether it was pipe or cigar or sitting around the fire. Over time there has been a negative opinion associated with smoking in general due to tobacco use. There is also an impression that vapes are healthier in our culture,” explained Williams.
Serenity vape – helps with acute experiences of anxiety or generalized anxiety
Head Ease vape – contains herbs that were used traditionally to treat headache systems
Serenity Tonic – lasts for more extended periods of relief for individuals, suggested dose is taken in the morning the herbs will help you calm down throughout the day
Ricky’s Choice – A only THC product available that comes with 350 mg of THC
Maintenance and Repair Salve – this salve is comprised of CBD and nine herbs that are known for their ability to promote fresh blood flow.
Optimize Topical – comprised of one of the highest concentrations of CBD available on the market, this topical includes six herbs known for their various abilities to stimulate blood flow, soothe spasms, and nourish tendons.
DCN: I’ve read you make weekly trips to OutCo in order to help create and develop the product line. Could you elaborate more on the why behind making these trips? How would you describe your passion or purpose behind this line?
Ricky Williams: I grew up in San Diego, I found a great excuse to go home. We’ve partnered up with OutCo, (short for Outliers Collective), Lincoln Fish is a good person to work with. It’s a good team at OutCo. We resonate well. It’s exciting to get in the lab and do the work. It’s more fun than reading the books. I consider myself a creative and I have taken to this,” explained Williams.
RW is partnering with OutCo to aid with the cultivation and extraction processes. “Our entire line is inspired by my ongoing study of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. I’m constantly researching ancient healing formulas and then working with OutCo’s team of scientists to transform those formulas into products that fit our modern lifestyle,” shared Williams in an interview with Culture Magazine.
DCN: What is RW’s target demographic?
Ricky Williams: “Official answer is women from ages 35 to 60. Outco’s team performed market research on who are the new cannabis users entering the market, and the information came back stating women ages 35 to 60,” explained Williams, “but I never loved the idea of just targeting one specific demo; we create products that speak to everyone.”
DCN: What would you say are the “current” obstacles towards accepting cannabis right now?
- The biggest obstacle is the stigma associated with cannabis
- The general population has been taught its bad or they will face legal penalties if associated with cannabis (e.g., D.A.R.E. program in recent years has removed cannabis from it’s “gateway” drug list due to legalization efforts)
DCN: What needs to be established (aside from the obvious trust factor) between you and others in order to partner up in business together?
Ricky Williams: “There needs to be some natural resonance. I want to walk in and have them recognize potential. I look for open-minded individuals who can appreciate that type of encounter,” explained Williams. “Another way of stating this approach is when complementary individuals meet, they do better together than apart. One person does something the other doesn’t like, and there is a value in that partnership,” ended Williams.
DCN “Bonus Question”: What kinds of companies do you lean towards when it comes to investing?
Ricky Williams: “I try not to invest emotionally, but I do that,” stated Williams. “I follow my heart. I think of investing as an energetic experience, and when I find people who can change the world, I feel it’s my duty to put my time and efforts towards helping those who want to succeed in that endeavor. I want to add that I have an idea of balance between my approach to business, yes I lead with my heart, but I am mindful and aware of the details involved during the entire business making process.”
To learn more about Real Wellness by Ricky Williams, please check out their website!
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