Source: LA Weekly
It’s late afternoon on a recent Monday in Venice, and fast-walking Angelenos enter and exit the busy Erewhon health foods market like ants frantically prepping for a storm. Two perpendicular tables near the entrance to the market entice shoppers to stop and take a gander at the goods laid out before them. Energetic staff in matching hats stand ready to serve up some samples and talk about the products: CW Hemp’s CBD oil and a cannabis coffee blend served by a real, live chef. Almost every person stopped to ask questions, seemingly undaunted by the fact that hemp is cannabis (this is Los Angeles, after all), yet a few were surprised that it won’t get you high and, furthermore, that it is sold legally in stores like this one.
Renowned “ganjier” and cannabis chef Holden Jagger brews up his proprietary “Holiday Helper”— a concoction of spices, coffee, and CW Hemp CBD oil — using extension cords, a blender, and a french press. Beaming as he explains the ingredients to each person, he remarks on the quality of the product. “The CW oil is so clean, so smooth, and won’t get you high,” he gushes, literally rubbing his hands in excitement. “I’m always seeking high CBD strains to pair with my meals and this stuff is the best.” The drink is spicy, with a hint of something chocolate. “That’s the MCT,” he explains, holding up a bottle of Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil in Milk Chocolate. “There’s about 5mg per sample cup of CBD, the perfect amount to ease anxiety and take the edge off. Plus, CBD is a good way to combat a small overdosage of THC during consumption.” Chef Jagger says he infuses cannabis in his low-dose, customized meals (salts, sugars, marinades) and professes his hope for full legalization in the near future.
The story of the Charlotte’s Web strain begins with the Stanley Brothers, the men behind the eponymous company and CW Hemp products. Two of the seven Stanley Brothers are present at this event (all named with “J” names), including CEO Joel Stanley. He sips a “Truth Tonic” from Erewhon comprised of 17 super-food ingredients including reishi, ghee, gynostemma tea, and, of course, his CW Hemp, which is sold in the store. “I take it twice a day,” he confides. “Right under my tongue or in a tonic like this one.” He gestures to the “Truth Tonic” cup he’s holding.
Originating as a plant called “Hippie’s Disappointment” (aptly named for its inability to give the euphoric effects that a typical THC-rich plant produces), Charlotte’s Web grows as wild, feral hemp, breeding high CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, the cannabinoid substance in cannabis and hemp that is non-psychoactive but maintains documented medicinal benefits, known for its anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant effects. With a low, almost undetectable level of THC (less than .3 percent) this plant qualifies as hemp and not medical marijuana. According to the 2014 US Farm Bill, hemp is excluded from the definition of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and give states the exclusive authority to regulate the growing and processing of the crop under state law, thus negating the need for a medical marijuana recommendation to purchase products made from these plants. They’re sold in health food stores, like Erewhon, all around the country.