Why Grön made the change from lichen to hemp-based CBD and what it means for you
Starting on March 1st, 2019, Grön will officially make the change from CBD derived from lichen to CBD derived from USDA certified organic hemp. To do this, Grön has partnered with East Fork Cultivars, one of the country’s only fully USDA certified growers from seed to flower. This change, undoubtedly, will come with a lot of questions, so today I want to spend some time going over the motivations for the change, as well as highlight some of the amazing things this change means for both Grön’s products and the CBD industry as a whole.
Why is Grön changing from lichen to hemp-based CBD?
To understand the motivation behind Grön’s move to USDA certified organic hemp, it’s important to know a little history behind the company and what they do.
Grön was founded in 2015 by Christine Smith, an architect turned cannabis entrepreneur with a love for all things sustainable and Scandinavian. From the outset, Christine’s mission has always been to find ways of bringing the healing properties of cannabis and hemp to as wide an audience as possible, with a particular focus on chronic pain sufferers.
To this end, Christine combined her skills as a chocolatier with the newly emerging medical and recreational marijuana markets in Oregon to create some of the most delicious, and most popular, edibles available. Her extreme attention to detail learned over a 20-year career as an architect, combined with her savvy design and business sense, quickly made Grön an industry leader in the Oregon edibles scene.
Early on, Christine recognized the health benefits associated with CBD and saw the value in providing CBD-only products for those wanting to experience the potential healing benefits of hemp without any of the psychoactive effects associated with THC. The problem was that, at the time, hemp was still classified as a controlled substance by the US government, meaning CBD derived from hemp was also controlled, making it exceedingly difficult to sell CBD-only products outside of Oregon’s borders. Naturally, this put a kink in Christine’s plan to make CBD available to people everywhere.
CBD that grows on trees
To get around this problem, Christine turned to a US company utilizing some game-changing science to produce the pure, CBD molecule from a combination of lichen from an Asian pine tree and lemon peel. Because there was no connection to cannabis or hemp, this allowed Grön to sell CBD-only products to a much wider audience, both by opening up the previously closed state borders, as well as bypassing some customers’ apprehensions towards hemp-based CBD.
The 2018 US Farm Bill and new technological advancements
In 2018, two exciting new developments occurred that opened the door for Grön to make good on their original vision of bringing the powers of hemp to as wide an audience as possible while still satisfying their customer’s desires and concerns.
The first was the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill which completely removed industrial hemp from the Controlled Substance Act list, as well as allowed states to regulate the sale of CBD for themselves. This meant that more farmers could not only grow industrial hemp without worrying about running afoul of the federal government, but products made from hemp, like CBD, would be more easily manufactured and sold in states that decide to allow it.
The second development was an advancement in CBD distillation and isolation technology. Not only is it now possible for hemp processors to distill CBD using organic, sustainable processes, but the CBD molecule can also be isolated to 100% purity. This means that Grön can now offer hemp-derived CBD that is absolutely odorless and flavorless, making it indistinguishable from their previous, lichen-derived CBD.
The benefits of a new era of USDA certified organic hemp-based CBD
The fact of the matter is that the switch to USDA certified organic hemp will not only continue to check off all the boxes that lichen-based CBD checked for consumers, but it will result in an all around better product and experience for Grön customers.
The overwhelming message that Grön heard from customers regarding lichen-based CBD is that they liked it because it took care of legality issues, it guaranteed they would not test positive on drug tests looking for THC, it had absolutely none of the flavor usually associated with hemp-based CBD oils, and it was free of pesticides and other heavy solvents that can sometimes be found in agriculturally based oils.
Thanks to their new partnership with East Fork Cultivars, Grön’s new USDA certified organic hemp-based CBD continues to achieve each of these points while also bringing in additional benefits:
- Industrial hemp is no longer a controlled substance under the 2018 US Farm Bill
- All products intended for consumption are guaranteed 100% THC-free
- Free of all other cannabinoids and terpenes, which means ZERO flavor or odor
- All hemp is USDA certified organic from seed to flower, meaning no pesticides or heavy solvents
- Sourced locally in Oregon, meaning lower carbon footprint and stimulation to the local economy
- Increased transparency with test results of crops and finished products readily available
East Fork Cultivars – who they are and what they do
Much of this is made possible by Grön’s partnership with East Fork Cultivars, one of Oregon’s leading craft hemp farms who, starting March 1st, will supply all of of Grön’s hemp-based CBD oils.
East Fork Cultivars was founded in 2015 by Nathan and Aaron Howard with one goal in mind: to grow superior plant-based CBD to help alleviate their older brother’s many medical conditions. Once they witnessed the positive impact CBD had on their brother’s health, Nathan and Aaron were motivated to make that same benefit available to the entire nation, making them perfect partners for Christine Smith and Grön.
Like Grön, East Fork has a deep commitment to environmental and socially responsible practices. This commitment has led them to become one of only a handful of hemp farmers in the country to earn USDA organic certification, allowing them to further become a leader for sustainability. Their farms, located between the East Fork of the Illinois River and the Siskiyou Wilderness in Oregon, operate with regenerative agricultural practices that enrich the entire surrounding ecosystem.
East Fork’s dedication to transparency also make them an ideal partner. Noticing that many CBD products on the market contained inaccuracies in their advertised potencies, and worse, no testing whatsoever for harmful contaminants, East Fork set out to make sure they had readily available test results for every step of the process. All of East Fork’s products are rigorously tested by third-party, state-certified laboratories to ensure product consistency and for the presence of unsafe pesticides and solvents. To back up their claims, all test results are openly available for review.
East Fork’s isolation process
As if becoming one of the hemp industry’s leading farms wasn’t enough, East Fork has also mastered the distillation and isolation process to bring us the purest hemp-based CBD oil available. By isolating the CBD molecule, East Fork can guarantee that zero THC, the intoxicating compound found in hemp and cannabis, makes its way into the finished products.
To make CBD isolate, they first extract essential oils from their USDA organic certified hemp flowers using a high-proof alcohol. They then refine that viscous oil using traditional filtration and distillation processes. Finally, they place the refined oil in an environment that encourages CBD to transition to its natural, crystalline form, making it easy to isolate from other substances found in the refined oil. What is left is the pure, simple CBD molecule.
A match made in heaven
Grön and East Fork Cultivars are excited for what this new partnership will bring to a booming CBD landscape. Despite the switch to USDA certified organic hemp-based CBD, Grön’s tinctures and chocolates will taste exactly the same, still be THC-free guaranteed, and still have all the transparency and test results you have come to expect. In fact, with East Fork’s dedication to organic and sustainable farming practices, together with their rigorous and consistent testing, Grön is even more confident every product they produce will be as consistent as it is wholesome.
But I would love to know what you think about this partnership in the comments below! What do you think about the switch from lichen to USDA certified organic hemp? I would love to get a conversation going. See you in the comments!