Well-to-do middle-aged ladies gather round a picnic table, each puffing on her own personal Pax vaporizer. One woman mentions that she recently obtained a medical cannabis recommendation for the first time, and that she has only visited a single dispensary so far. Another informs me that she is a dedicated herbalist, but not particularly familiar with cannabis, and wants to know which strains I prefer for “intimate” occasions. Every few minutes, someone asks how to tell when her Pax is done.
We are on the patio behind the Wu Wei Tea Temple in Fairfax, California, where medical cannabis collective HerbaBuena is hosting a private tasting and education event. Inside, HerbaBuena founder Alicia Rose, who has over a decade of experience as a successful winery consultant, speaks to a crowd of clean-cut couples about the various elixirs and topicals on display.
Potions called “Rock & Roll,” “Lullaby,” “Bliss,” “Full Moon,” and “Quiver” promise to promote creativity, sleep, relaxation, pain relief and arousal with synergistic blends of cannabis and other herbs and flowers. A body balm contains oils of cannabis, coconut, jojoba and avocado and the massage oil includes CBD and almond oil. There are also CBD sprays, medicated breath strips, transdermal patches, gels, capsules, Jayden’s Juice sublingual tinctures “with the highest concentration of single cannabinoids on the market,” and probiotic chocolate.
“I can’t believe this is real,” murmurs a dazed older woman. “It seems like a dream.”
Actually, it seems like a fancy wine tasting with cannabis in lieu of wine. “Wine and cannabis are similar in many ways,” Rose observes. “Both are highly prized and highly regulated agricultural products, and both benefit from being grown with absolute attention and intention.”
Rose witnessed the healing power of cannabis firsthand when her mother, who suffered from a myriad of health problems, made a miraculous recovery by managing her symptoms with cannabis. But she was unsatisfied with the quality of the medicine available in dispensaries. Rose wanted “clean, high-vibrational, balanced medicine that was certified with purity and potency in mind,” so she sought out farmers and herbalists who met her standards.
Since the USDA will not allow cannabis to be labeled organic as long as it remains federally illegal, HerbaBuena went beyond organic by having their cannabis certified biodynamic. The biodynamic certification, most commonly associated with wine, indicates that a farm is operating sustainably as well as organically.
HerbaBuena partnered with Red Tail Ranch, a small farm in Sonoma County that was already operating according to biodynamic principles. Although the 30-year-old Demeter Association had never certified cannabis before, Red Tail Ranch successfully applied for the label.
HerbaBuena now offers six strains of Demeter certified biodynamic cannabis, two of which are CBD-rich, along with several other organically grown strains. All of HerbaBuena’s cannabis is soil-grown under full sun or in greenhouses. The one exception is the cannabis juice, which requires a year-round supply of fresh leaves, and these come from a Clean Green certified indoor grow.
Do biodynamic cannabis flowers truly possess a holistic, spiritual, even magical purity? Perhaps. They are certainly an enticing alternative to cannabis grown in warehouses under electric lights with toxic pesticides, fertilizers and nutrients. Sensitive souls who care deeply about their impact on the environment and what they put into their bodies are quite likely to appreciate the subtly special qualities of a biodynamic high.
Would you try biodynamic cannabis? Let us know.