Tapping into hemp, Cure By Design helps people and pets manage pain, stress, anxiety
Boasting an extensive portfolio of 94 different SKUs across five categories, Bengaluru-based Cure By Design sells its hemp products online and through its network of medical professionals.
- Cure By Design offers five categories of products—hemp seeds and nutrition, personal care, pet care, aromatherapy, and hemp leaf products for medicinal use.
- It has partnered with 44 veterinary hospitals and clinics, as well as 18 general hospitals in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.
- Many studies show CBD products can significantly alleviate pain and stress in humans, especially helping people with PTSD, cancer pain, epilepsy, autism, etc.
With the cultural shift and social media influence, more Indians are aware and accepting of hemp products. The turning point came in November 2021 when the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) identified hemp seed, oil, and flour as food items.
Daanish Matheen was introduced to hemp while studying hotel management at Manipal University. At a potluck event, a fellow chef from north India introduced him to hemp seed raita, a yoghurt-based dish.
He learned that people in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have long been using hemp seeds for various purposes, including as vegetable preservatives. That sparked his curiosity.
“However, entering the hemp industry was not easy because many people, including my parents, were not aware of the multiple uses of hemp and its legality,” Matheen, who earlier worked with health-focused snacking company Lo! Foods, tells SMBStory.
Recognising the increasing market demand for hemp, he took a leap of faith and invested Rs 10 lakh from his personal savings to start his own venture in hemp. He established the Bengaluru-based hemp company, , in 2020.
One-stop destination for hemp
Initially, the company introduced a lineup of 18 SKUs, including hemp masks, hemp sanitisers, whole hemp seeds, and hemp seed oil for pets. The initial response was good and the hemp masks got sold out quickly.
At present, Cure By Design offers five categories of products—hemp seeds and nutrition, personal care, pet care, aromatherapy, and hemp leaf products for medicinal use. From 18 SKUs in 2020, it has now expanded its portfolio to 94 SKUs. All its products have Ayush Standard Mark and are FSSAI-certified.
The products are aimed at alleviating anxiety, nerve pain, nerve conditions, muscle pain, cancer-related pain and appetite issues, stomach problems, sleep disorders, and various mental and physical health conditions.
The products in the medical range can only be taken under medical supervision and require a valid prescription.
Research and development
Cure By Design obtained a drug manufacturing license from the Ministry of AYUSH in 2020.
“The company works closely with doctors to understand the market requirements and develop products accordingly. In addition to creating new-age formulations, we also revisit classical formulations from centuries ago,” says Matheen, Founder of Cure By Design. One such product is Trailokya Vijaya Vati, an Ayurvedic classical formulation used for menstrual disorders and neuropathic pain.
The personal care products are made by a third-party manufacturer in Delhi. The company supplies the necessary ingredients while the manufacturer handles the R&D process. In the case of aroma oils, the company has partnered with several naturopathy doctors based in Bengaluru to develop the products.
Regarding medical cannabis, the company relies on feedback from doctors to determine the required THC content for various conditions and develop formulations accordingly.
Its medical cannabis products are manufactured by a third party in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh while the hemp seed products are manufactured near Dehradun in Uttarakhand.
Alleviating pain and stress
A study conducted by Cornell University shows that cannabidiol (CBD) can help with pain management in dogs. It found that CBD enabled over 80% of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis to experience a significant reduction in discomfort.
“Extensive consultations with veterinarians were conducted to ensure that pet care products work effectively,” says Matheen.
He also notes that existing tick sprays often contain oils, leading to pets getting dirty when outdoors. To address this, Cure By Design developed a water-based tick spray that doesn't require massaging and gets absorbed by the skin. It also developed a chemical-free balm for pets that it says is safe to lick.
To validate the effectiveness, the company donated several samples to a pet care center in Whitefield, Bengaluru. “The positive results observed in these abandoned and stressed dogs served as strong evidence of the effectiveness of our pet care products,” the founder asserts.
Nandini Banerjee, a Delhi resident, has spent over 15 years in animal rescue work. Many of the animals she encounters suffer from chronic issues and trauma. Her own dog suffered from a pancreatic disorder. “In 2020, a veterinarian in Bengaluru recommended Cure By Design's CBD oil. It significantly alleviated pain. It calmed my dog and improved her appetite,” she says.
Many studies show CBD products can significantly alleviate pain and stress in humans too, especially helping people with PTSD, cancer pain, epilepsy, autism, etc.
Another customer, Vishwas says the products helped his mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, experience relief during chemotherapy. The products were recommended by Dr Sayed Tahir Hassan, a medical cannabis expert.
Cure By Design has partnered with 44 veterinary hospitals and clinics, as well as 18 general hospitals in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.
While the company does not have offline stores, the medical professionals in these clinics stock and sell Cure By Design's products directly to customers, enabling the company to operate offline through a network of hospitals and clinics.
The website, social media platforms, and ecommerce channels generate 50-55% of the sales while the rest comes from its doctor network.
While Cure By Design refused to disclose revenue figures, it marked a 38% growth between FY23 and FY22.
Currently, the company has a team of eight employees working in sales, networking, ecommerce management, and content.
According to a study conducted by Markets and Markets, the global industrial hemp market will have a projected revenue of $18.1 billion by 2027, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.6% between 2022 and 2027. The industry was estimated to be worth $6.8 billion in 2022.
The company recently launched an aromatherapy line with 13 products. It started with eight blends created by naturopathy doctors to target migraine and sleep disorders.
One of the main challenges the company faces is the need to educate people about hemp and break the stigma. “To address this, we have organised many pop-up events in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad to let people experience the products,” says Matheen. It also plans to organise conferences in different cities to generate awareness about hemp.
To date, the company has fulfilled approximately 10,000 direct orders online. It aims to forge partnerships with more Ayurvedic doctors and stores, further expanding its network.
“We plan to open a store-cum-clinic in Bengaluru soon,” Matheen says.
There are plans to add more products in the medical cannabis category depending on the feedback received from doctors. “We are also planning to look more into classical Ayurvedic medicines,” he adds.
Edited by Kanishk Singh