‘Why I Develop Hemp’ | alive
For more than 20 years, Canada’s hemp farmers have been sowing and harvesting a crop that has, according to some reports, become the second largest of its kind in the world. Canadian hemp production is primarily intended for food and industrial uses. But things are changing …
New hemp regulations in Canada have recently made it easier for hemp farmers to harness the potential of their crops to grow a new medicinal option: CBD.
Hemp farmers, a new breed, are filled with passion, purpose and love.
Frances “Franny” Tacy is all about love. She’s your cool cousin who does bizarre things on this farm outside of town – you know, the place with “LOVE” on the rustic barn where baby goat yoga takes place. Tacy is a former pharmaceutical executive (known then as the “Hippie in Heels”) who became a villain. She is also working with The Utopian Seed Project to reintroduce native plants that are bringing back traditional strains from okra to beans.
In 2017, she started growing hemp on Franny’s Farm, a 33-acre love affair. Today she says
“Our farm is that incubator for ideas that are realized and never before implemented.”
By the time Tacy switched from pharma to farm in her career, she already had a farm in an area known as one of the most biologically diverse in the country. So, Tacy wondered, why not go deeply green
“That’s why I’m so in love with this plant,” enthuses Tacy. “Hemp fits the model… of sustainability and regenerative agriculture. It’s the only plant we know can feed, clothe, protect, and provide medicine. “
Tacy sees the big picture. Every hemp farmer I’ve spoken to is like this. A certain Esprit de Corps. A final vision of a world full of better alternatives.
Frederick Cawthon has given up his executive career but still holds his MBA like a lion tamer’s whip. He has attracted investors, built a team of skilled growers, and employs dozens of farm laborers to run his 85-acre hemp farm.
Michael Bowman also plays a dual role as a farmer and a lawyer. He planted his first hemp field in 2014 and quickly became an activist. In the corridors of power he became “Mr. Hemp.”
According to Bowman, seed and chemical companies make most of the decisions for corn and soybean growers – what to plant; when to use chemicals; where to deliver harvested plants.
“What is magical about this plant,” he says, “is that it opens the right side of your brain. You start thinking about everything you could do with it. You look at all the interesting products and great labels. People feel really more responsible and they feel like they can really do something with this plant. There is hardly any way to do this in traditional agriculture. “
Bowman’s son graduated from agricultural school but didn’t hear the siren song of returning to the family farm – until Dad planted hemp.
“We have to reinvent ourselves in these rural areas,” says Bowman. “This is one way we can do it.”
Upstream, hemp farmers see the potential of hemp to feed people, run family businesses and revitalize rural communities. Downstream, they see hemp’s ability to disrupt every industry that is building everything in your home right now – from building materials and plastics to fuel and medicine. Everything is possible and everything starts with your work. Their love.
“The feeling that you are out there brings me back to my childhood. It’s like being one with nature, ”says Cawthon of the times when he goes to the fields. “There’s a blessing in that silence because you can think out there – and when you let your hands work on something, it becomes a peace.”
C of A: radical transparency for CBD
A hemp CBD product may have a QR code on the label (or on its website) that will take you to analytical test results that indicate the quality – also known as a certificate of analysis.
We spoke to Holly Johnson, PhD, a pharmacognosist with more than 20 years of experience, for some insight into interpreting a Certificate of Analysis. (Call it a “C of A” if you want to use inside jargon.) These are her top tips.
- Check the date – is the report specific to the bottle in your hand or just an example of the types of tests the company generally does?
- Look for “total THC” levels (sometimes referred to as “maximum THC” or “potential THC”) – these should be below 0.3 percent.
- Beware of “THC-free” or “zero THC” claims. Such claims mean that THC levels are too low to be detected in these tests, but that doesn’t mean that a drug test may not pick up THC.
- Look for very little CBDA. CBDA can be converted to CBD, but you want real, not potential, CBD.
Full spectrum versus broad spectrum hemp extracts
Generally, while these terms are being discussed, a broad-spectrum hemp extract has been processed to remove the THC so that the finished product contains less than 0.01 percent THC. In a full spectrum hemp extract, none of the compounds were completely removed.
Basically, a full-spectrum hemp extract will likely have a little more THC than a broad-spectrum hemp extract, but both will be below the legal 0.3 percent THC threshold and both will contain CBD. The more important difference? A full spectrum hemp extract will have
Ethan Russo, MD, a leading CBD researcher, has postulated that full-spectrum hemp is more effective as a “phytochemical factory” and therefore has higher therapeutic value thanks to what is known as the “entourage effect”.