Driven by a long-standing passion for regenerative agriculture, Mana founder and Director of Operations, Steve Sakala studied natural resources and sustainability at Humboldt State University (HSU). It was there, at the crux of both cannabis culture and a revolutionary agricultural climate, that Steve began preparing for what would eventually blossom into our business.
Steve’s deep commitment to sustainable farming practices then led him to West Africa, where he spent four years as a Peace Corps volunteer embroiled in the study of the relationship between agriculture and culture, plants and humans—in essence, ethnobotany in practice.
Bringing nearly two decades of botanical wisdom and experience, Steve and his idea took root at our beautiful Honaunau Farm on Hawaii Island (the Big Island). It later would become the birthplace of Mana, the first CBD hemp company in Hawaii.
Located at the foothills of Mauna Loa Volcano, the fertile soil, the sun, the crispness of the air and the profound cultural respect for the land made Honaunau Farm the perfect location to put Steve’s decades of learning to practice.
The contents of our bottles began as the organic, lush flora that we source directly from local Hawaiian farmers and from our own Honaunau farm. Volcanic minerals infuse the soil with a richness that lends itself to the vitality and vigor of the plant matter that will eventually nourish us mentally, physically, and spiritually.
“Mana” means the energy and the life force of all things. The value of the energy that plants provide us far eclipses the matter enveloped within their cells. Greater than the sum of their biological parts, plants (and the medicine they provide) contain fragments of the sun, the soil, the air, and the spirit of those who cultivate them and give them life, so they may nourish us in return.
Our philosophy is not about “harnessing” the energy of plants, it’s about fostering energy and interconnectedness within the earth as well as in ourselves- and our communities.
Mana was one of the first companies to use synergistic formulations in combination with full-spectrum, organic cannabidiol (CBD). We believe there is no substitute for a rich matrix of organic phytochemistry to promote health and healing in the body. This is why every single ingredient we use matters, and also why we are proudly an isolate-free company.
Time and time again, research has shown that the efficacy of full-spectrum preparations is far superior to isolated CBD. But the botanical synergy goes beyond just using minimally processed, organic CBD in our hemp infusions, it involves the combination of all of the plant components in the mixture.
Despite its name, a myriad of other plants and herbs (such as notable adaptogens turmeric and passionflower) engage the human endocannabinoid system, and as such may bolster and compliment the therapeutic potential of CBD. Much like the entourage effect, this synergy occurs on a level that encompasses the chemistry of the entire combination of plant extracts in a bottle.
Steve Sakala has been an outspoken medical cannabis advocate since the early days. Over twenty years ago, he joined with cannabis pioneer and cult legend Jack Herer on some of the first medical cannabis and hemp initiatives in the state(s).
Today, he is continually involved in education and advocacy at the state legislature. A member of the Hawaii Farmer’s Union, Steve continues to be an outspoken and diligent advocate for environmental progress, sustainable farming practices, the farmers themselves, and the health of his community.
Honaunau Farm isn’t just a source of our ingredients, it’s an integrative retreat; a wellspring of wisdom, tranquility, and spiritual healing. The farm combines elements of our luscious island landscape with a spa-like feel and space for inner exploration and renewal.
Our company is supported by the Mana Up Economic Development Initiative and its partners, including Hawaiian Airlines and Kamehameha Schools as a next-generation authentic Hawaiian brand. We are dedicated to supporting local farmers, sustainable Hawaiian agriculture, investing in the local economy, and providing a living wage to our employees.
Beyond activism, Mana actively supports the furthering of scientific inquiry into the wonders of whole-plant medicine. Steve was a co-founder of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation which aims to fund studies that aim to uncover the mysteries behind the complex ways cannabis and other healing plants work in our bodies.
Mana recently partnered with CBD Capital Group, a scaling and investment company, that is conducting one of the first Medical Outcomes Study in the cannabis industry, and specifically for CBD. This is a customer reported survey using a government-approved short-form questionnaire that measures Quality of Life (CBDQoL score). The first survey was conducted in February 2020 and the initial results are very promising. CBD Capital Group and Mana have been in contact with the FDA about this research and will be releasing more details when the study is complete.
We’re committed to doing things right by nature— every step of the way. As Mana continues to make strides in supporting the health and wellbeing of our customers, we’ve separated ourselves as an industry leader through our commitment to regenerative agriculture, research, and education beyond the bottle.