Check out our interview with Rob Gronkowski — where he discusses the end of his playing career, how CBD helps him, and his decision to invest in CBDMEDIC — in our upcoming issue 8, available via subscription and on store shelves soon.  


In August, Rob Gronkowski announced that he’d invested in CBDMEDIC, a company making CBD-infused topicals. With the massive name recognition of their new investor, and a background in medical skincare products that helped them achieve FDA recognition for their over-the-counter products, they’ve been in the news quite a bit lately. 

We caught up with Perry Antelman, CEO of Abacus (the parent company of CBDMEDIC), to chat about their approach, their products, and of course, their new investor. 

HEMP: Abacus jumped in to the CBD market pretty quickly in 2014, basically as soon as it was legally feasible to do so. What made you confident that CBD would be effective as a topical?

Perry Antelman: Industry research on the potential impact of CBD, combined with our own expertise in OTC drug formulations and natural skincare products lead the way for Abacus to develop these products. They all conform to federal requirements for OTC topical medications. In addition, health care practitioners that have provided our CBD topicals to their patients report that they are highly effective in providing long-lasting pain relief over other products in their same class on the market.

HEMP: A ton of companies sell CBD products and have developed a topical or two to go along with their lines. You guys have a skincare background from Aidance. What does this change about your approach?

Perry Antelman: Our background in medical skincare products has allowed us to optimize our formulations and ensure the best delivery mechanisms are in place for each ingredient. Because CBDMEDIC stems from pharmaceutical expertise, we were also able to establish CBDMEDIC as an FDA-registered OTC product, which requires checks and balances throughout ingredient sourcing and product manufacturing to ensure consumer safety and product effectiveness.

Abacus is also different because we market FDA compliant OTC topical analgesic drug products, which also contain THC-free CBD oil, not listed as active ingredients. While CBD oil is believed to have therapeutic health benefits, no health claims are associated with CBD oil in the Abacus OTC drug product line. We follow the FDA-approved monograph for active OTC drug levels within our products. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion about natural ingredients and CBD, and our OTC registrations and use of FDA monographs allow us to identify specific medical benefits to the product portfolio. 

HEMP: How do you determine the correct ratio of CBD to more traditional pain relief topical ingredients like camphor and menthol? Is more always better, or is there a scientific approach that says, okay, this is the ratio that works the best?

Perry Antelman: Fifteen years of rigorous research and an extensive understanding of the role of pain relief ingredients, natural oils, broad spectrum hemp oil, and how our bodies react to these combinations, has allowed Abacus to formulate the CBDMEDIC product ratios. 

HEMP: You guys sell both CBDMEDIC, an OTC brand, and CBD CLINIC, which is available to healthcare practitioners. The CLINIC line isn’t a scrip, is it? What are the primary differences between these two lines that creates the different distribution channels?

Perry Antelman: Abacus currently offers two lines of products: CBDMEDIC, marketed to the consumer market, and CBD CLINIC, marketed to the professional practitioner market. Both formulations utilize the highest quality of naturally-derived ingredients to create treatments that can safely and effectively provide relief. CBD CLINIC offers different levels of strength that medical practitioners can choose from depending on the level of injury.

All Abacus products are manufactured in a cGMP-audited facility in Rhode Island, USA, which assures CBDMEDIC and CBD CLINIC products are safe, effective, and made to the highest quality standards.

HEMP: So, Gronk’s kind of a big get for a CBD company. How’d you guys convince him to come on board?

Perry Antelman: Gronkowski was so impressed with how well the products worked, he came to us asking if he could invest in the company. His passion for living life to the fullest while maintaining a healthy, natural, and pain-free lifestyle aligns perfectly with the mission of CBDMEDIC. Together, we’re focused on providing safe, natural, and effective relief for millions of Americans in need of recovery.

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