“I tried your hemp extract, and think the flavor is outstanding, nicely done. The terpenes used for flavoring are a delicious combination.” - D. Clapp, Bellingham
We first brought Alluvial Farms Wellness full spectrum hemp tincture to market in the summer of 2021. We updated the supplement facts part of the label in late 2021. Here is what it looks like now. Below the label you will also find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this tincture.
What is the difference between THC cannabis and hemp? I like to compare it to the difference between a roma tomato and a beefsteak tomato. They are both the same species but have been bred over time to express one characteristic or another. Over time the CBD cannabis plant has been bred to produce increased amounts of the cannabidiol (CBD) compound and less than 0.3% of the THC compound. CBD cannabis and THC cannabis are both the same species of plant.
How and where do you grow your hemp? We first got a license from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to produce hemp in 2020. This is a $1200 license fee that is renewed annually. WSDA will also charge the farmer for a required annual field inspection and chemical analysis of your plants within 30 days before your harvest in order to verify the plants contain less than 0.3% THC. In 2020 and 2021 we grew our hemp in the soil of our fields. Just before planting in 2022 we completed construction of a 30’ x 150’ greenhouse and transplanted our seedlings in June directly into the ground inside the tunnel. Hemp is an annual heat crop like a tomato plant. In our climate we start it from seeds in trays in the late spring, transplant it late in June, and harvest by October. Greenhouse production helps to provide the heat units the plant needs to produce flowers, and helps keep plants dry in late fall as flowers are maturing, which prevents mold and other fungus from ruining the crop.
How do you get from the hemp plant in the ground to the tincture? We harvest by cutting flowering stalks by hand. We stack them in our flatbed trailer wrapped in a clean tarp, and transport them to neighboring Hopewell Farms. There we rent three shipping containers that they have retrofitted into dryers for their own certified organic herb production. Propane dryers force hot air into a false bottom in the container and within a few days, plants are dried and stabilized. From there we bring the dried flowers and leaves back to the farm and run them through a small shredder. The resulting biomass is brought to our colleagues at Ascension Concepts in Blaine. Trinn Hatch and Carina Rodriguez run this family business 45 minutes from us in the Whatcom county coastal town of Blaine. They have their own brand of wellness products that they call ‘Jampha’ and they distill and co-pack hemp and other herbal products for a handful of other producers like ourselves.
To distill our hemp Ascension Concepts uses organic ethanol cold extraction to create a crude oil which is then processed through short path distillation. This removes all other plant material and solvent to leave a pure, solvent-free distillate. We bring distillate back to the farm to make our salve in-house. Ascension Concepts also uses the resulting distillate to co-pack the tincture for us. They do this by adding the distillate to the Organic medium chain triglycerides (a.k.a. fractionated coconut oil), along with a mix of Organic, botanically derived, essential oils (a.k.a. terpenes) to provide aroma, flavor, and effect. This is the origin of the word ‘balance’ on our current label. That is the name that Trinn and Carina have given to this terpene profile.
What is the ‘natural flavor’ listed on the label? We previously listed the terpenes on the label as “natural flavor”. This has been updated now to specify that the flavor and aroma of the tincture is enhanced by the essential oils named in the ingredients list. The label also now specifies that the terpenes used are certified Organic and are botanically derived.
What is “full spectrum” hemp extract? We work will full spectrum hemp distillate, or extract, in contrast to the alternative ingredient of CBD isolate. Processing hemp biomass into full spectrum distillate creates a resin like substance that is easy to add to salves and tinctures. At this stage it does contain traces of the THC compound, as well as other plant essences, or phytochemicals, which all act together in a symphony on the human nervous system. In contrast CBD isolate is a totally pure end product that is free of anything besides CBD. Isolate is made by processing hemp distillate a few steps further using winterization, filtration, decarboxylation, and distillation to remove fats, waxes and chlorophyll. This leaves an odorless, flavorless white powder known as CBD isolate that contains no traces of THC or other phytochemicals.
See below for a laboratory analysis of Alluvial Farms Wellness full spectrum hemp tincture. Here you can see the amounts of phytochemicals present in our tincture, other than CBD, as well as CBD content, in a sample of tincture sent to our lab of choice in October of 2021.
Is the tincture certified Organic? Our premium CBD oil tinctures are made entirely of certified Organic ingredients. Alluvial Farms certifies our hemp plants as Organic through Oregon Tilth. The coconut oil, and the terpene essential oils are the only other two ingredients and are also certified Organic. We are talking with Oregon Tilth now to determine if we can update our tincture label to call the tincture itself Organic. This will also include a discussion with our processor in order that they certify their facility as Organic. i look forward to researching if this option is currently available to them, and how we can support this next step for their business.
Is your whole farm and everything that comes from it certified Organic? Each year we work with our certifier Oregon Tilth to choose what list of crops or livestock we will certify that year. This year for example we will certify our hemp, grapes, barley and pastures as Organic. We did go through an Organic livestock audit in 2020 and passed, but decided to relinquish that certification in favor of the third party Animal Welfare Approved certification which we achieved in 2020 and will continue to maintain. We relinquished the Organic meat certification in order to be able to use anthelmintic medications when needed for animal welfare reasons, and also to be able to use local, non-organic sources of grains that we know are naturally produced. This gives us a necessary flexibility to be able to provide high quality feed to our animals when certified Organic sources of grain are either not available or priced beyond our ability to afford.
Is the variety of hemp you are growing known to promote any specific effects? Because hemp has only been legal in the united States since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, there is very little peer reviewed study of the plants effect on humans. That said, I can quote the website Mr. Hemp Flower, and their review of the ‘Cherry Blossom’ variety that we have grown for the past three years: “Cherry Blossom hemp flower is best recommended for those seeking physical and mental relaxation, improved sleep, or relief from inflammation-related pain. This strain’s profile also exerts a mood-boosting effect that helps to reduce the effects of daily stress and mental tension. Cherry Blossom hemp flower is perfect for pairing with desserts and wine tastings. It’s sweet, berry and floral aroma highlights foods and sparks the mood at social events.”