“We Baby Boomers think we’re going to die without getting old,” an insightful colleague told me recently. At the time, we chuckled at the folly of our generation. But lately I am starting to think that we may actually be able to pull it off. And for those who do, cannabis will play a significant part in that aging-without-getting-old process.
Healing with cannabis, like any other plant medicine, invites us to engage in an unmediated relationship between natural sources and our own well-being. And a trip to Humboldt County, California, the heartland and spiritual home of cannabis, is an excellent way to appreciate the plant’s medicinal powers.
Hannah Whyte of Emerald Queen Farms
I recently visited the Emerald Queen Farm, a pristine compound nestled “behind the redwood curtain” in Humboldt County, where cannabis is grown with love and tenderness in native soil, with organic fertilizer under the northern California Sun. Hannah Whyte who founded the farm with her husband Riley Morrison, has deep reverence for the medicine under her cultivation.
“Synthesizing the active ingredient from a plant in a lab diminishes our relationship with our environment and with plants in general,” Hannah observes. “Plant medicine allows for a more dynamic kind of healing, and I think our bodies respond to whole plant medicine better than just the isolated chemicals.”
Shared reverence for plant medicine
Emerald Queen Farms is one of over one hundred small, organic cannabis farms which supply Papa and Barkley, one of California’s leading cannabis companies, with the cannabinoid-rich flower tops that go into their wellness products. Hannah is happy to do business with a company whose values are in line with their own. And P&B shares that sentiment.
Papa & Barkley
P&B is best known for its Releaf line of whole-plant-infused topicals and tinctures for pain relief. For Adam Grossman, the company’s founder, the journey started when a cannabis-based salve he concocted was able to relieve his elderly father (Papa)’s debilitating back pain so he could enjoy his remaining years. (Barkley was Papa’s steadfast canine companion.) Since then, Grossman and co-founder Guy Rocourt have turned what started out as a passion project into a mission.
Quality of life in later life
For older adults, cannabis can enhance sleep, reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, improve mood, and even enhance sexual fulfillment – all measures of quality of life that can be enjoyed through the end of life. But the cornerstone of quality of living is freedom from pain.
Older adults suffer disproportionately from chronic pain. Yet the options for pain relief offered through the traditional medical system are not sustainable for extended use, and can even exacerbate existing conditions. Using cannabis, explains Rocourt, who is also P&B’s Chief Product Officer, doesn’t carry those risks: “The problem with taking Advil or any other pain medication over long periods is that eventually they are going to damage your system. The great thing about cannabis is that it has been shown over time not to have toxic effects. Not only do you get relief from pain, but it can actually increase and enhance bodily function.”
California’s #1 CBD Wellness Brand
According to Grossman, P&B is now the leading topicals company in the state of California. “A few months ago we had 56% of the topicals market share. And I think we’re about number 1 or 2 in the tinctures market on the consumables side. So that’s really our core focus.”
P&B’s California offerings of balms, patches and tinctures are all produced using organic, sun-grown cannabis sourced primarily in the Emerald Triangle, and extracted using the company’s proprietary lipid infusion process to obtain the full cannabinoid profile of the plant. P&B’s tinctures range in cannabinoid ratios of CBD to THC from 1:30, 1:3, 1:1, 3:1 and 30:1, which enable users to experiment to find their optimal dosage. All products are triple-tested for purity across the production process. And the result is the most essential expression of whole-plant alchemy.
Uncompromised quality CBD available nationwide
For consumers outside of California, P&B’s CBD-rich products are sourced, extracted, formulated, manufactured and tested according to the company’s same strict standards. Unlike most CBD products, which are produced from industrial hemp, P&B chooses cultivars that naturally contain the desired cannabinoid ratio, which enables them to produce more medicine with the full benefits of the entire cannabinoid profile, from fewer plants.
Papa & Barkley
The company’s CBD-rich tincture, with 30mg of CBD per serving, is the same formulation as the 1:30 tincture sold in California, which is the company’s best-selling product. That tincture, and the Releaf Balm with 600mg of CBD in a 50ml jar, provide excellent value for premium quality products.
As Grossman puts it, “There’s so much noise in the CBD market. Our real value proposition, to be honest about it, is our focus on pure flowers, pure extraction, to produce products we would want to put on our own, and our family’s bodies.”
Both Grossman and Rocourt speak of the immense satisfaction they experience hearing accounts of how the company’s products have changed people’s lives. But it was the story I heard from Tiana Arriaga, the expert on Humboldt County cannabis farming who helps P&B source its cannabis flower, which spoke so eloquently to me about how cannabis can provide quality of life in the later chapters of our lives.
Quality Time is Quality of Life
Tiana had always had a troubled relationship with her mother, a Baby Boomer who suffered from mental health issues and was critical of her work in the industry. But since her mother started using a high-CBD product, her functionality has improved, and they are now enjoying the best relationship they have ever had.
As Tiana describes it, “I feel that the older population was so stigmatized about cannabis… but then there is that “aha” moment where people realize that it’s actually not a bad thing. That it can help them feel better, and younger, and connect with another whole generation. That in itself is a healing process. And if this medicine can enable you to spend more quality time with your kids, then isn’t it worth it?”
P&B products are available in dispensaries throughout California, and are shipped nationwide through the company’s website.