The Modern Gladiator | A Man's Guide to Living

Big Pharm or Nature’s Farm – You Decide

on May 14 | in Business, Issue 23 | by | with No Comments

You know it well: the nagging ongoing ache and pain of an old sports injury, or accident-related injury. You feel it when the weather gets colder and damper; you feel it first thing in the morning as you attempt to drag yourself out of bed—chronic pain.

Many of us who experience this excuse it for years as “part of aging” or the “result of an old injury” and dismiss it as something we simply must learn to live with. Perhaps you are like so many who pop the ibuprofen several times a day without consideration to what that might be doing to your kidneys or liver. Perhaps you are living on a prescription that offers relief from the pain, but also introduces a full spectrum of side effects that are as uncomfortable as or worse than the original symptoms.

By nature we are not particularly kind to our bodies, and because of this, millions of us suffer from acute or chronic pain. The effects of pain take a financial toll on our country in healthcare costs, associated rehabilitation costs, and lost production in the workplace. Couple this with the trickle-down effect in which there is an emotional and financial burden on the patient and family, and you have nothing short of a ticking time-bomb.

According to a recent Institute of Medicine Report, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research,” pain is a significant public health problem that costs our society at least $560 to $635 billion annually, an amount equal to about $2,000 for everyone living in the U.S. This includes the total incremental cost of healthcare due to pain ranging between $261 to $300 billion, and another $297 to $336 billion due to lost productivity (based on days of work missed, hours of work lost, and lower wages).

Given where we are in healthcare provision and costs, and the insurance game we are forced to play, it’s no wonder we’re moving more and more toward alternative medicine options in the market and making decisions for ourselves in our healthcare options when it comes to chronic pain.


With alternative medicine on the rise, specifically medical marijuana, the options for treating chronic pain have grown exponentially, and the list of products are almost too many to count and continue to grow.

The delivery system of medical marijuana into the body has everything to do with getting the most of its available health benefits. For medical marijuana, the cannabidiols (CBDs)—one of over 60 compounds found in the cannabis plant that belong to the classification cannabinoids—are the critical component of the medicine. Although tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main component that gets people high, CBD is the component of the plant responsible for the health benefits of cannabis. CBDs are reputed to treat pain, reduce inflammation, and contribute to the reduction of the effects of neurological conditions such as epilepsy or autism.

The method of ingestion of the CBDs makes all the difference in how the body responds. It is for this reason the market has blown wide open with online resources for acquiring them. Gummies, tinctures, capsules, salves, vapes…just the beginning of the options available for ingestion, and each offering a unique delivery method to the body.

In a mission to further understand marijuana as an alternative medicine for pain, and the emerging market of online resources to buy the products, The CBD Encanntress set out to talk to the owner of AON MotherNature, an online CBD retailer, to gain greater insight to the world of hemp medicine, and find out what their mission was all about.

Matt Duncan and Kip Leathers are partners in ownership of AON MotherNature, an online CBD source.

Matt Duncan comes from a background in political science, sales, and marketing.  He attended George Mason University where he studied International Relations. Matt began his career working as a senate aid for then Senate Majority Whip Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma.

For the past seventeen years Matt has been in sales, marketing, and product development. Married with two children, Matt made a life-changing decision to leave a career as the marketing director of Impact Energy Gum company to work at AON, taking what can only be described as a huge leap of faith to jump into the hemp game because he believes that CBD is a medical wonder and will help countless people fighting pain, disease, and much more for a healthier life and lifestyle.

Matt’s partner Kip Leathers comes to AON from economics, marketing, and finance. A fitness fanatic, Kip has found enjoyment identifying, developing, and using products that promote, protect, and heal our bodies.

Kip has been interested in hemp since college when he attended The Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia (MCV). It was here that Kip first heard about the government study commissioned by Richard Nixon to justify making a marijuana a schedule 1 drug.  Evidence was needed to prove it had no medicinal benefit. However, the MCV study showed that marijuana had many health benefits and should be legalized. Nixon suppressed the information and we are still dealing with the fallout.

Through his work at AON, Kip is committed to exposing the truth and spreading the word about hemp and other little-known natural remedies that he and Matt have found to have potent healing effects and promote a natural, healthy lifestyle.

Although Kip Leathers was not available for this interview, we were able to successfully speak with Matt, and what we learned was nothing short of fascinating…


Thank you so much for meeting with me today, Matt. I am really excited to learn more about you and AON MotherNature, and get some insight to your background and future in the business.

What does “AON” stand for? 

Authentic, Organic, and Natural—what WE stand for.

So of course, everyone wants to know about your upbringing.  What kind of childhood did you have and where were you raised?

I had a wonderful childhood surrounded by three great siblings and very loving parents. I was raised in northern Virginia right outside of Washington, DC.

So it seems pretty normal, and like most of us, you weren’t exposed to pot growing up. What was your first cannabis experience?

When I was in college, I did some here and there. I found relief from anxiety and would smoke a couple times a month.

If marijuana isn’t something you have consumed with any kind of regularity, how did you get into the hemp business later on?

I liked using cannabis because it helped me relax whenever I was anxious and it would calm me down. From the time I was 20 till about 30 I would use cannabis 1-2 times a month at most to relax and feel better.

About 4 years ago, I was working with an energy gum company and we had a meeting with Bob Estey, the CEO of Mastix and a venture capitalist. After the meeting, we were getting ready to fly to Palm Beach for another meeting and I told him that my back hurt and I wasn’t looking forward to the flight. He gave me some CBD in a gum and about an hour later I felt really good and was less sore and relaxed. That’s when I thought, “This is a really good product.”

Wow. CBD Gum. That’s pretty crazy to think about. Modern Gladiator, as you know, is a men’s (and sometimes women’s) health and lifestyle magazine. Do you see what you do for a living, as a lifestyle?

Well yes, I would consider it a lifestyle because your health is one of your most important assets. 

Okay…go on.

Good nutrition is fundamental to good health and in my opinion and many others’ too, hemp is the world’s most nutritious plant. Just look up the United States Patent on CBD. Organic hemp protects mind, body, and soul.

AON MotherNature also offers organic medicinal mushrooms. Research studies have shown that they have an amazing ability to provide immune support. Just look up Cordyceps, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Turkey Tail. You will be amazed at what you find.

For athletes and people who have muscle and joint pain that never seems to get better, magnesium chloride is an unknown but essential nutrient that may improve pain, flexibility, blood pressure, muscle soreness, and a lot more. We tell people to try it every day for a week and then stop and try it again for another week. At this point, you won’t need any further convincing. We are all about a lifestyle of wellness.

I really like that catch phrase, “Lifestyle of Wellness.” That’s a great way to think about it. With that in mind, explain how your own personal health is impacted by your CBD products?

I have suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, lower back pain, and insomnia for years. Taking these products have lessened the frequency and intensity of the attacks. I virtually have no more back pain and I am able to sleep most nights during the week when before I could never do that.

They have also greatly helped my two children—my six-year-old has been taking gummies for a year and a half.  We started giving them to him to help mitigate his ADHD.  We wanted to go the all-natural route while his doctor wanted to put him on pharmaceuticals—we are so happy we did not. Also, before she started taking gummies, Bella was easily distracted in class and spent a lot of time looking out the windows not focused on her classwork. Now, she is completing her classwork in a timely manner, her grades are improving, and she is now at grade level for reading and math and no longer behind.

So what I understand you to be saying is that CBDs are instrumental to the healthy function of our mind and body? 

Of course! One of the most complex systems in the human body is called the endocannabinoid system where we have CB1 and CB2 receptors all over our body, so as human beings we were pre-genetically disposed to the hemp plant.

Another thing most people don’t know is that cannabinoids naturally occur and are passed from mother to baby if the mother is nursing. Whether the mother has or has never used hemp, these important cannabinoids naturally occur in the mother’s body—it’s really amazing.

Go on YouTube and see the amazing videos and stories of people who had cancer, Lyme disease, immune deficiencies, epilepsy, and other conditions that have been cured and greatly helped by CBD use. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so whether you are sick or just want to protect yourself from illness, cannabinoids are an option you now have.

How does the CBD concept work into your own health and wellness values personally?

As I mentioned earlier, I use it for my insomnia, lower back pain, and anxiety. The vape and wax help me with my anxiety tremendously, as they take the edge off right away.

I love that I don’t get “high” because the psychoactive ingredient is removed. I don’t like the buzzed feeling so much and I love that I can take CBD without getting high.

What is the perception that others have of you, you wish you could change?

Honestly, nothing. I stand behind my products and the thousands of customers, friends, and people that know me, know that I put others before myself. If someone posts a question in our 5000-member Facebook group, many times I just pick up the phone and call them. I don’t know of many business owners that do that. I often spend 20-30 minutes answering questions and concerns as well as providing our lab reports because transparency is very important to us.

That’s pretty amazing. It speaks to your commitment to the process. This is not a standard, “I think I’m going to go into X profession” kind of thing. It’s off the grid, so to speak, and something one must put some considerable thought into before jumping into the “Green Gold Rush.” Was there a pivotal moment when you determined you were going to get on this course?

Yes, my mother died of cancer 16 years ago and after I started CBD products a few years ago, I saw what CBD and other cannabinoids due for cancer patients. I thought, “What if I could share this with others?” Two years and thousands of satisfied customers later, I am so happy I decided to pursue this avenue.

There is nothing more satisfying when someone tells you they slept the first full night in 20 years, or their child is excelling at school. Being told that someone in chronic pain has discontinued their use of opiates because the CBD helps control their pain or that someone’s cancer is in remission when everything else failed is deeply rewarding.

I have to imagine that there are a lot of considerations in the business you have to be aware of to operate legally. Our political climate is changing dramatically and we are seeing some opponents to legal medicinal hemp being seated in the Cabinet. Do politics and law impact or play into how you do business?

Yes, there are very strict guidelines you must follow to be compliant with federal hemp guidelines. You need to have certain levels of THC in your products, under .3% THC, and must obey all federal and state guidelines. We work to comply with every regulation and stay ahead of the changes as they occur. We test the products we sell to our customers in an objective third party lab to make sure the products we sell are legal and compliant.

It sounds like you are all about doing it “right” with regard to the law. I think consumers would ultimately feel more comfortable doing business with a company that has a finger on the pulse of the law—not only to protect the business but also the consumer in such a pioneering new industry. At the end of the day, what would you say is the mission behind AON MotherNature?

To offer the best hemp products at the best price available on the market. New and improved strains come out all the time and we are on the cutting edge.

We also use terpenes to enhance the effects of our products and are constantly modulating our terpene profiles to maximize the effectiveness of our products. We offer a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked. I don’t know of any other companies in the industry that stand behind their products in this way.

Obviously, alternative medicine is taking hold in the market, and more and more people are searching out a more holistic approach to personal healthcare. With legal CBD in 16 states, and recreational weed now in 9 states, what do you see happening in medicine and pharma with the growth of the medical marijuana industry?

Pharma is going to try and take over the CBD industry and the government will figure out a way that it can be taxed. Since 2002, the government has held the patent to CBD and with the millions that big pharma pay yearly, they have started getting involved and will continue to explore CBD more and more.

Big pharma’s problem is that they want a patentable product and you need to isolate a specific compound to do that. We believe that is the wrong philosophy because the scientific evidence supports the “entourage effect,” which basically means that the whole plant works together with terpenes and the 80 cannabinoids to give you the best effect.

Going back to the 9 states that now allow recreational use, how do you see the recreational weed affecting the medical marijuana space as it grows in popularity and legalization in other states?

I see more oversight possibly and people not understanding marijuana as being used for therapeutic use. Because states are now recreational, people will look at it as a drug for recreational use and abuse as opposed to what it really is—natural medicine that been here since the beginning of time.

Interesting… Only time will tell and we will have to see how that goes. This side of alternative medicine is a really unique, if not very personal, intimate experience. It is “medicine” by your definition. For those interested in knowing more about AON MotherNature products, what makes your company unique, and for those interested in doing business with you, what should our Modern Gladiator readers know about you, and your business methodology?

I know Mercedes uses this quote: “The Best or Nothing.” My business partner spends time every day searching for ways to make hemp products better and better. Our products today are better than they were just a few months ago and we want this trend to continue. is our webstore of hemp-based cannabinoid products for pain, anxiety, neurological protection, heart protection, Lyme disease support, and on and on. In short, it is a wellness site for people looking for natural solutions for wellness that have minimal to no side effects. 

I have really enjoyed getting to know you, and learning so much about you and your company as well as the industry. Thank you! This is your chance to give your thirty second pitch. Any last details you can think of, that you think readers should know?

Give organic hemp a try. Whether you have a specific ailment or are just looking for a supplement that will help protect your body and mind, I think hemp product should be at the top of your list.

My conversation with Matt Duncan was illuminating and fascinating all at once. I learned a great deal and understood the man behind the mission and the core of the business. It would seem that Matt and his partner Kip fit the AON slogan We Rise by Lifting Others as they endeavor to heal the world, one relationship at a time.

The conversation on this controversial topic continues to evolve daily. Like that of cyber and smart technology, the CBD industry introduces new ideas and innovative concepts every day, and we are only just beginning to tap into what is possible with what is being touted as “the miracle plant.”

The CBD Encanntress would like to thank AON MotherNature for their generous time and candor. For more information, to reach out to Matt at AON MotherNature, or to browse their product line, go to

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