CANTON — A local farm’s hemp strains are being showcased in the Flwr City Cup cannabis flower competition this weekend in Rochester.
Grasse River Hemp grows hemp plants that have a high cannabidiol, or CBD content and a low tetrahydrocannabinol, THC content. THC is found in cannabis plants at much higher concentrations, which causes the high from consuming marijuana.
Grasse River Hemp co-owner Joseph P. Eisele said it’s the farm’s first year being involved with the Flwr City Cup, but he’s been notified that Grasse River’s hemp flower has made it into the top 20 strains.
Grasse River Hemp sells products made with locally grown high-CBD, low-THC hemp plants that Mr. Eisele says can be an alternative remedy for many common ailments. He co-owns the company with Dean D. Laubscher and his daughter, Madison G. Laubscher.
“CBD is incredible. It’s definitely changed my thought process on everything. It’s an amazing natural remedy,” Mr. Eisele said. “We’ve been researching this plant probably five years. I was dead set against this plant my whole life because I didn’t know how incredible it was. All of our bodies have thousands and thousands of receptors for the cannabis plant, both the CBD plant and the high-THC marijuana plant. They’re the same plant. Ours by law has to have a very low amount of THC, 0.3% THC.”
Strains of marijuana generally contain anywhere from 5% to 30% THC.
The human body has an entire network of receptors and enzymes that naturally absorb THC and CBD, known as the endocannabinoid system, ECS. The body naturally makes endocannabinoids. According to a Healthline article, viewable at wdt.me/yXHwoL, researchers believe endocannabinoids are related to maintaining homeostasis, or stability within one’s body, which they accomplish by binding with cannabinoid receptors. THC interacts with the ECS to cause the high from marijuana, but it doesn’t absorb CBD the same way.
“Experts aren’t completely sure how CBD interacts with the ECS. But they do know that it doesn’t bind to (cannabinoid) receptors the way THC does. Instead, many believe it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down. This allows them to have more of an effect on your body. Others believe that CBD binds to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet,” according to the Healthline article.
Grasse River Hemp sells CBD oil in tincture form, CBD skin balm and CBD pet chews on its website.
The tinctures can be added to food or beverages, or swallowed on their own. Grasse River Hemp is prohibited by law from calling its products medicine. However, many users claim that CBD can remedy a variety of mental and physical health issues, from chronic pain to anxiety.
The pet chews, Mr. Eisele said, were formulated in conjunction with the Canton Animal Clinic.
“The pet chews are actually probably our most amazing product out of everything. We worked with a veterinarian to help formulate it. We call it a joint and mobility chew. It’s not something you train your dog to sit with,” he said, adding that they contain 12 mg of CBD per chew. Mr. Eisele said they are helpful for pets with hip or joint issues.
The balm, he said, can be applied directly to the skin to treat a number of conditions, ranging from sunburn to psoriasis or eczema. It can also be used as a lip balm.
Grasse River Hemp also sells the raw hemp flower, which can be ground up and smoked, but it’s not online yet.
All of the farm’s products are made with hemp grown in St. Lawrence County. Mr. Eisele said they grow in the spring and summer, and that yield is big enough that they don’t need to grow in the winter.
“You don’t have to grow large acreages of this stuff. The yield of even an acre is incredible … it’s so fast-growing and so high-yielding you don’t have to grow year-round,” he said.
With New York state recently legalizing high-THC cannabis, he said they are considering growing that in the future.