A Cut Above: Vermont Hemp Health Has a Vision and it is All About Quality
At The 420, we are always eager to learn and discover the highest quality products. Hundreds of manufacturers approach us every week with new brands. When Charlie Stanley, founder of Vermont Hemp Health, walked through our doors six months ago, we were not planning on adding new tinctures to our slate. His passion, deep knowledge and commitment to next level excellence had us fully engaged.
We believe in his vision, and hope you do too:
What was the impetus for you to start Vermont Hemp Health? Please share your origin story.
I started Vermont Hemp Health for a few reasons. The first was anxiety. I had entered the entrepreneurial world and oh boy, was my anxiety building up. I had done freelance film work prior to starting Vermont Hemp Health and got a call from one of my friends in Vermont. He had told me about CBD and how it looks and smells exactly like THC Cannabis but it doesn’t get you high. At the time, I had been prescribed medication for my anxiety. Over time I noticed it actually made my anxiety worse. My thoughts became erratic, and it was changing my personality entirely. I had been wanting to get off them for quite some time but couldn’t find anything to wean myself off. I did tons and tons of research and even consulted with cannabis companies in Canada about proper dosing for a withdrawal from a benzodiazepine. I decided it was time to get off the prescription medications and try to just take CBD.
I tried for months taking absurd doses of CBD (200-500 mg a day) but it was so expensive and I found it wasn’t enough to fully transition off the prescription medicine. I looked into more medicinal marijuana techniques and realized the biggest problem was that none of the CBD I was taking was sourced from flower or bud. It was all “Whole Plant” extract. During harvest, I made it a priority to treat our plants the same way you would a medicinal marijuana plant. Ultimately the goal was to have the best CBD flower that resembled excellent THC products with a great smell and flavor. I decided try to wean off my prescription drugs again but this time with “Whole Flower” CBD. I noticed a huge difference in how it reacted with my body. While the other CBD products sort of worked, this worked in a much more significant, noticeable, better and different way. It felt more consistent, I had a cleaner feeling in my head, and less side effects from the withdrawal symptoms overall. I would compare it to how you feel when you eat organic or raw food vs. a burger from a fast food restaurant. It just felt better and I knew that I had to share it with more people.
That is when I decided to really start Vermont Hemp Health in 2017. I sold all of my camera equipment, bought a 9 acre farm, and moved to VT to start growing and selling Whole Flower CBD. It has been a journey since we started but the positive feedback we get for a quality product is what really keeps driving us forward. I started Vermont Hemp Health to really save myself and now that I am 3 years off prescription medication, I want to do the same for anyone with similar struggles. I want to spread knowledge about the power of Whole Flower CBD and the quality differences of CBD and let people try and decide for themselves what they want to put into their bodies.
We think that your extraction method is superior to most. Can you talk about why you chose a lipid extraction, its’ benefits and the science behind it.
We feel lipid extraction is a much more potent, safer, cleaner and traditional method of delivering CBD into people’s bodies. This is for a multitude of reasons. The first reason is quality. We only use the highest end CBD flower in our lipid infusion. As a result, you need less material overall to extract the higher cannabinoid content. Also the flower holds many of the terpenes which affect and ultimately drive the effects of the CBD. So when we extract, the only process we are doing is taking flower, heating it in our organic coconut oil, binding the cannabinoids with the fat molecules, and then straining out the oil for consumption.
Majority of brands use Co2 Extraction. CO2 Extraction is a multi-step process that uses compressed carbon dioxide to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from a whole entire plant. It is proven that the more you run CBD material through Co2, ethanol, alcohol, or butane that it degrades the quality of the CBD trichomes, leaving you with an inferior product. Think of it like processed food vs. unprocessed. When we do a lipid extraction, it promotes absorption of cannabinoids that are taken orally, significantly increasing bioavailability. We are focused on quality and efficiency of the CBD being delivered.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a Hemp farmer?
The biggest challenges that we face as Hemp Farmers are usually the weather and elements. Hemp farming is very hard, laborious and enjoyable work. The truth is you are taking care of thousands of little baby plants and it can be quite stressful. First they are in the green house as little sprouts and then you have to put them out in the field which is the scariest. They have about a week for their roots to adapt to the soil and then they start growing like crazy. You have to hope that no major storms come through, or a late frost.
We found that the best place in the Northeast Kingdom to grow is way up north near the mountains. This is because the weather patterns in other parts of Vermont are erratic. Typically there are times when it can be sunny for weeks and seems like no rain will fall. We are fortunate, because in the mountains, rain clouds randomly fly over us. It could be the clearest skies and then all of a sudden we wil have a sun shower for 10 minutes. This gives the plants the water they need to keep growing on their schedule. So I’d say the biggest challenges we face as a hemp farmer is mostly what is out of our control…the weather.
In addition to your CBD tinctures, we now carry your CBG oil?, Can you fill us in on this newly researched cannabinoid and its benefits.
When we first heard about CBG we literally couldn’t believe our ears. I mean, CBD had just come out and now there was this whole new cannabinoid! We were so excited to start producing and selling it to the public…but what was CBG? And what did it do vs. CBD? We got our first pound of 18 percent CBG flower called “White CBG” because the trichomes literally look like snowflakes. When I first got it, I couldn’t wait to try it and see what it did and how it reacted with my body. I vaporized about 1 gram of the flower and oh boy, was I feeling it. It was an immediate sensation of feeling in the zone. If you wanted to do something that you felt unmotivated about it, it would help you break through that wall to do the task at hand. I also felt an immediate sense of relief.
Similar to CBD but more uplifting, almost stimulating. Research has shown that CBG is the stem cell or precursor to THC and CBD and potentially helps produce anandamide which is also referred to as the bliss molecule. This helps balance your memory, motivation, superior cognitive processes and movement control. Overall CBG is just another really awesome and potentially more powerful cannabinoid that gives you great benefits.
In addition to your tinctures, we really love your fresh flower. Can you talk about its quality? Can you tell us what to look for when choosing flower?
We feel the biggest gap for consumers is not being aware of the quality of CBD they are taking. This is because they can’t physically touch, smell, or feel the CBD material that their oil comes from. We grew four different strains last year. BaOx, Medicine Woman, Hawaiian Haze, and Cherry Wine. We chose these strains because of their diversity in terpene profile, smell, and flavor. When looking for good quality flower, you want to find something that smells pungent. When you squeeze it to smell it, you go “Oh damn!” and when you smoke it, it’s smooth and flavorful. You want to find out where it was grown, how it was grown and what nutrients were added. It’s also important to make sure it has 3rd party lab testing to ensure the CBD content is what it says it is. The flower is the most important part of the CBD. Without the flower, you can’t know the quality of your CBD,
When doing any type of infusing or extraction, the source material is the most important. If that isn’t good quality, then your infusion or extraction won’t be either. So when looking for good quality flower, ask what strain it is, where it was grown and what material it is from, Ask how it was extracted and to see the lab tests. The same questions should be applied to your oil.
If you could time travel to any era, which would it be?
If I could time travel to any era, it would probably be the era of the future. With technology becoming so advanced and our world potentially relying more on AI and robots, I can only imagine what it will be like in the year 2300 or 2800. I think it’d be cool to see how everything advances with the hope of a positive future. I want to see flying drone cars, jet packs, 3d house printers, crazy virtual reality games, and probably some of the most advanced cannabis products you could ever imagine. Look how far cannabis has come in the past 10 years and then imagine how they will look in a few hundred years…it is cool to think about.
Perhaps there will be many different cannabinoids developed as their own strain and will be available to grow. I can only hope in the future, cannabinoids are treated more like medicine where certain ones are given to you on a daily basis to help stay balanced and healthy. I am hoping for a future in which it is more utopian and AI and robots take care of us at an increasingly modernized level. I think it’d be cool to have organic farms run by AI to provide the whole world with organic food. Mainly I’m just interested in the crazy technology and what lies ahead for us as a human race. Should be cool!