Been hearing more and more about CBD? Well, before we decided to grow it for the first time in 2019, I had never heard of it myself. This stuff is purported to reduce pain, help with insomnia, decrease inflammation and help with joint and muscle pain...of course, the FDA is still in testing mode, so we're not allowed to say that CBD has any medicinal qualities or that it can help prevent any diseases. Most of what we know about CBD comes from the testimonials of folks who use it.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cousin to marijuana without the psychoactive response. This means, it won't make you "high." CBD won't leave you feeling sedated, euphoric, intoxicated or altered in any way. What researchers are finding, however, is that CBD might be beneficial for insomnia, anxiety, inflammation and pain. In 2018 the FDA approved the first CBD medication, Epidiolex, which has been found to decrease seizures in children with certain types of Epilepsy.
IS IT LEGAL TO GROW?
Yes, growing CBD (Industrial Hemp) is now legal and was removed from the DEA's Schedule 1 Controlled Substance designation after the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, it is not a crop to grow in the same manner of corn or tomatoes as it is highly regulated. To grow CBD hemp, farmers need to apply and pay for a state license. Once a farmer has a license to grow CBD, strains and seeds need to be approved and recorded in a Planting Report, and then the crop has to be tested by an independent lab right before harvest to make sure that the THC levels are below the legal limit of 0.3%. If the crop tests above this percentage in THC, it must be destroyed. This could be very costly considering last year's (2019) seed prices for good quality CBD averaged $1 per seed depending on quantity needed! This year's crop (2020) is getting tested this week, however, we have much less to lose this year as we only grew a few plants.
HOW DO YOU HARVEST? Here are a few of our hired helpers harvesting (and below hanging) last year's (2019) crop. Not only are inputs on growing this crop costly, but it's hand labor dependent for most growers. In other words, CBD is typically hand-planted, hand-harvested, hand-trimmed, hung to dry, and in all ways, hand-processed. Ultimately, hand work is better for a CBD crop as its potency is highly impacted by the rough manipulation of mechanized equipment. Plus, only a few ENORMOUS growers have the money to test out John Deere and other agriculture companies CBD/Industrial Hemp planting, harvesting and drying equipment.
In case you were wondering why all of William's farm machinery sat out all last winter it was because his machine sheds, barns and greenhouse were employed over the winter for drying our hemp. It hung from ceiling to floor in most of our buildings leaving no room for anything else.
Harvesting and hanging it to dry was a lot of work, but maybe not as much as work as "bucking" or "trimming" the flowers for sale. Once the hemp dried and cured this winter, we set to pulling it off the stems, or bucking it, as it is called. We devised a few machines to help with this slow, arduous process, but found the more aggressive the wapping, scraping or striking against the plant, the more CBD percentage we lost as it's delicate trichomes, which contain the majority of the plant CBD, were getting knocked off. The only viable manner in which to strip the leaves and buds from the stalk was by hand, and with over 5000 plants, our shop was full of "buckers" most of the winter!
Trimming is even more labor intensive as each flower bud must have all fan leaves removed while trying to make sure not to lose too much of the resin that contains the highest percentage of CBD. I should note, the entire CBD plant contains the cannabinoids, but they are most concentrated in the flower. Also concentrated in the flower is that lovely aroma that the plant gives off from the terpenes. Some describe it as a skunky odor, while others pick up hints of coffee and chocolate. The terpenes in our CBD are actually more on the lemongrass side of things and so pair well with citrus and minty essential oils.
HOW TO TAKE CBD
CBD can be consumed in many ways. One of the most common methods for ingestion is through a tincture of alcohol or oil. CBD taken through an oil tincture is usually taken sublingually (under the tongue for a 60 second hold then swallow) or can be massaged into skin. People report that taking CBD sublingually can help with insomnia, anxiety, inflammation and pain if taken daily. An alcohol tincture is sometimes called a "Bitters," an infusion of alcohol and herbs that can be added to cocktails or other beverages. Taking CBD through a tincture allows for continued results many hours after consumption.
For localized relief, many people enjoy using a balm or massage butter to relieve pain or inflammation in joints or muscles.
Of course, just like marijuana, CBD Hemp can be smoked. In this case, carefully trimmed flower can be used to make joints or fill bowls/bongs. Smoking CBD is reportedly the fastest method to get the cannabinoids into the body to bring more immediate relief.
This is a tricky thing to figure out as each person can respond quite differently to CBD based on body chemistry, weight and gender. As it is new to the FDA, there have been no determinations regarding dosing. Most people I have talked to who use CBD for pain, anxiety or insomnia, tend to take CBD in a daily dosage. Below is a link to a dosing calculator that I found helpful in determining how much CBD to take.
We recommend starting with a 1/2 dropper for 5 days and see how you feel. Pay close attention to changes in sleep, anxiety or pain, then adjust dosage as needed. If you stop taking CBD for two days after taking it for 5, you will likely notice the absence of its effect on you.
Each full dropper contains approximately 1ml. The milligram potency for each of our products is:
CBDA 900mg | 30mg per ml (full dropper)
CBD 1400mg | 47mg per ml (full dropper)
Click here for an Online CBD Dosing Calculator and HELPFUL information page about how to use CBD.
CBD FOR SALE AT THE FARM STORE
We have a variety of CBD products available for sale at the farm store. We carry two different tinctured CBD oils and one tinctured "Bitters" infused in alcohol with 1500 mg per ounce. Our CBD oil is processed with our own sunflower oil and comes in a 1400 mg one-ounce bottle or a CBDa with 900 mgs per one-ounce bottle.
WHAT IS CBDa?
Basically, before heat is applied to the cannabinoids, it is in its raw form, an acid, called CBDa. Once heat is applied to CBDa, it converts to CBD. In order to extract the higher concentrations of CBD, the CBD must be decarboxylated, or heated over time to unlock its therapeutic effects. Even after the decarboxylation process, some of the acids remain. Our CBDa is decarboxylated with less heat and time in order to retain the acid. Research is finding that CBDa is a powerful treatment for inflammation and anxiety. This one is my personal favorite for it's slightly energizing effect on my mood. Plus, I sleep better when I take a little each day.
BALMS AND BUTTERS
For those of you looking for a topical application, we offer a variety of balms and butters. Our balms are made with our sunflower oil, beeswax from a local beekeeper, our CBD oil and essential oils for an added light scent. We also offer a "Naked" balm that has no essential oils for those of you who may have sensitivities.
Our MASSAGE BUTTERS are made with the same ingredients as the balms, but are whipped to make them lighter and easier to apply to larger areas such as back or hips.
SMOKEABLES - We offer both flower for sale as well as pre-rolled joints. Of course, if you are interested in creating your own tinctures, the flower could be used for that as well.
We are happy to sell flower, CBD oil or bucked plant material in quantity as well. Contact us through our email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions regarding bulk orders. Our farm store only stocks small quantities.
Hopefully the FDA will continue to move forward on the research for CBD as its medical supports appear quite promising. I know lots of people love the idea of using natural herbs as medicine. Of course, diet, nutrition and exercise are probably the most important methods for health management. Speaking of which, I need to get off this chair and head out for a walk!
We're open Thursday - Sunday 9-5 and would love to see you! If you can't make it to the farm for a physical visit, you can order our CBD products online through our shop at this link.
Take Care. Stay Warm. Wash Your Hands. Wear a Mask.
With LOVE signing out,
Bossy Flossy and below, Sweet William