Like many good business ideas, the concepts behind Altitude were born from necessity. The popular Weekend Boxes produced by Altitude Products fill the needs of the modern cannabis consumer, with everything necessary to have a well-rounded cannabis experience, complete with instructions that detail what strains do and how to imbibe. And its recent premium cannabis topical line, Bella, was born from an even deeper, maternal desire—the need for Founder Krista Whitley to find a healing treatment for daughter’s eczema.
“I have daughters, Bella and Mia; they are nine and 10,” Whitley explained to CULTURE. “Bella has had eczema her entire life. It was a real challenge, and we spent all of her toddler years and most of her childhood in dermatologists’ offices. We tried light therapy. She was on every steroid; she has been on every type of holistic treatment, anything we could come up with, but it wasn’t working, and she would still get made fun of at school for having ‘snake skin.’”
“Bella has had eczema her entire life. It was a real challenge, and we spent all of her toddler years and most of her childhood in dermatologists’ offices.”
Whitley struggled with watching her daughter feel so much shame about her skin. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, 100-degree days are common, and even in the summer when the heat was unbearable, Bella wanted to wear long sleeves to cover up, because she was uncomfortable showing off her skin. At this time, Whitley was reading about how cannabis can be a pain reliever, and she was using cannabidiol (CBD) as her own method of holistic healing. Whitley decided to try this healing technique on her daughter’s skin.
“I started trying CBD tinctures to see how that would help, and I was able to see she was healing more quickly, and that’s really where we started,” Whitley explained. “Then I thought, ‘Gosh, it’s so dry here; we have to have some type of moisturizing cream,’ so I started playing with ingredients. It really started in my kitchen, researching holistic options and trying a variety of things. I knew preservatives or things with additives would set off her skin, so I started researching things that worked side-by-side with skin care, playing with different formulations.”
After mixing and experimenting in her kitchen for a while, Whitley came up with a lotion that soothed her daughter’s skin and healed her eczema, all using holistic CBD distillate and natural ingredients that worked in tandem with the CBD. She just released the CBD version of the cream nationwide called Crema Elegante, as well as an adult-only THC cream in Nevada. So far, both have been received very well.
“It’s exciting to see something that started in my kitchen come to fruition,” she explained. “It doesn’t irritate her skin, doesn’t cause flare-ups. It’s exciting to her, and to me it was always important as an entrepreneur to show her that women can do anything, so it’s exciting that she gets to see a line of products inspired by her.” Her special line of Bella products includes disposable vaporizers and spa products like the CBD and essential oil-infused bath bomb, Bomba da Bango and the CBD and Himalayan bath salt, Sale de Bagno. Whitley also produces Weekend Boxes, which are complete kits for a weekend of cannabis consumption. The goal behind these is to educate those who are new to cannabis about the products available and how they should be used.
“I started trying CBD tinctures to see how that would help, and I was able to see she was healing more quickly, and that’s really where we started.”
“We walk everyone through a terpene guide so they understand why terpenes are so important, walk them through microdosing and through whatever product is included in that iteration of the box,” Whitley explained. “And the guidance is specific to the type of box. So if it’s our starter box that has an eighth of flower, it includes the cultivator and different phenotypes. If it’s a pre-roll, it will explain the strains used, if it’s infused products it will walk them through the effect they can anticipate. We also include concentrates, and then we walk them through how they can medicate and what concentrates are. Of course, we also include microdosed edibles. So we are really trying to educate them on all the options for cannabis use.”
Whitley didn’t try cannabis herself until her 30s, after being involved in a bad car accident. She finally let go of some of the stereotypes about cannabis she had learned while growing up, when a friend suggested she try it as a supplement to replace some of the many prescription drugs she was taking. Whitley found success in using cannabis for pain management, and she realized the importance of celebrating cannabis as an alternative treatment option. Ever since then, she has been committed to being an advocate and educator, even as she makes for-profit products. Bella creams, her latest offering, are an extension of her overall ethos that cannabis products should help people in need.