As the CBD craze sweeps the nation, consumers can find the cannabis in everything from soft drinks to deodorant. Hemp fields now cover vast swathes of American farmland and professional sports players are celebrating CBD on social media. It sure is exciting to watch cannabis reach the masses, but one can’t help but think that the plant has more than a three-letter acronym.
For a new take on the cannabis industry, I visited Tweedle Farms outside Portland, Oregon, last fall to learn about the company’s success in providing high-quality smokeable cannabis and how it has educated a whole new breed of consumer about the importance of lesser-known compounds found in cannabis.
My journey north that early November morning from southern Oregon began on a sour note, passing countless acres of discarded, rotting, low-THC cannabis plants waiting to be stripped for form isolation and transported to customers in that sad, vacant state. It’s all full spectrum goodness in the name of pure CBD. I drove through the coastal range into northwest Oregon, and found the farm just below its namesake Tweedle Road, surrounded by Douglas fir and rolling pastures. Fortunately, after arriving at Tweedle Farms’ headquarters, co-founder James Green and COO Andrew Grover lifted my spirits with their perspective on the positive aspects of cannabis proliferation.
The mother of all cannabis
At Tweedle Farms, Green and Gruver focus on the cannabis flower, which includes not only cannabinoid CBD but also other compounds — such as terpenes and fatty acids — that can contribute to the plant’s healing properties.
Founded in 2016, the company started out as a small-scale cannabis producer, but quickly morphed into an online, flower-stirring powerhouse that ships high-quality cannabis products across the country. The business now has more than 20 full-time employees made up of family and friends between the farm in northwest Oregon and the shipping and receiving office in Portland.
“The website went live at the end of February 2018, and we got our first few orders within a few hours, and we didn’t even know it was available until now,” says Gruver. “We had no idea what we were doing, and we didn’t even have envelopes or packaging together.”
Demand quickly escalated beyond the stock of the namesake plantation, so the company began sourcing high-quality cannabis flowers from local farmers and friends. At headquarters, the buds are closely inspected, given a final manicure and tested by one of Oregon’s accredited labs for potency and pesticide and terpene content before selling.
We include a notice for law enforcement, actual COAs [certificates of analysis]terpene analysis and every bit of information we can provide about every product we ship to customers,” says Gruver. “We try to be as transparent as possible.”
“Having the first pure CBG lines hit the market has ignited this fire for young cannabis. There’s a lot we don’t already know about them, and it’s exciting that we’re moving in this direction.” Andrew Grover
Gruver and Green say they’re most excited to share the new terpenes and young cannabinoids with their clients. Last year, they grew a small amount of CBG-rich flowers on their farm and created a slew of products that spotlight them. CBG It showed promising results as a potential cancer fighter in preliminary studies. Research has shown that it can also significantly reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma.
“After the first pure CBG lines hit the market, these lit a fire for young cannabinoids,” says Gruver. “There’s a lot we don’t already know about them, and it’s exciting that we’re moving in this direction.”
During a tour of the stock, the husband showed me a bunch of beautiful, hand-brushed flowers that look and smell almost identical to their THC-laden cannabis counterparts.
“This spring we did a run in our greenhouse with extra lights that was basically like an indoor run [of high-THC cannabis]”The flowers were absolutely gorgeous,” says Green.
The company’s sales are dominated by high-quality smokeable cannabis flower, but Tweedle Farms also provides concentrates, themes, tinctures, and nutrients.
Education and exploration
Green and Gruver attribute much of their company’s success to the wealth of information about their products that they provide to those who generally don’t have access to it or are too shy to enter dispensaries and CBD stores. Two full-time employees answer every phone call, email, Facebook message, and online review to pass as much data as possible to browsers and buyers.
“We both come from the THC side of cannabis, so we try to replicate the dispensary experience for everyone who comes to our site,” says Gruver.
With a customer base that is often new to cannabis use, they have also worked to educate consumers and expand their understanding of the compounds in cannabis as a whole.
“We do our best to keep certain strains in stock, but we like to rotate interesting varieties,” says Grover. “If someone calls looking for a strain we don’t have on our shelves, I find three or four varieties with similar cannabinoid and terpene profiles and suggest they try it at a discount and let me know what they think.”
“Now we have people all over the country experimenting with new strains and really exploring their options with cannabis,” Green explains. “It’s great to see people looking for new terpenes, or strains with an interesting story.”
While talking to the duo, I was also struck by their general commitment to the environment. Their farm chooses biodegradable row covers in an age where thousands of acres across the country are covered in standard plastic intended for landfills and waterways. All of their flowers are shipped in resealable compostable bags, hemp plastic tubes and concentrate containers made from reclaimed ocean plastic.
“Sustainability is really at our core,” says Gruver. “From our farming techniques to our packaging, we try to do everything we can. If we have to pay more for a higher quality, more sustainable product, we always will.”
This story was originally published on printed edition of hemp now.