Recreational marijuana sales in Nevada launched on January 1, 2017, allowing all adults over the age of 21 to purchase up to an ounce of flower and 3.5 grams of concentrates in state-licensed facilities. Since then, it seems that cannabis is not only changing Las Vegas, but Las Vegas is also changing cannabis. The variety of edible products available and the proliferation of vape pens is quite an eye-opener, and during my last visit to MJBizCon, I jumped at the opportunity to call on Remedy, a local cultivation facility creating premier craft cannabis and concentrates.
I met up with Remedy’s cultivation director, Chris Welch, his right-hand man, cultivation manager Seth Holycross, and marketing and sales director Randy Villarba to get an idea of how they operate this outstanding large-scale production center in the middle of some of the hottest and driest land in America. Villarba tells me: “We called our brand Remedy because our goal is to highlight the therapeutic power of cannabis to enhance everyday life through creating high-quality, reliable cannabis products you can trust.”
What’s the Remedy?
Upon entering the facility, we encounter a room devoted exclusively to watering and nutrient solutions. Massive tanks hold water that’s undergone a purification process using reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet light (UV) to kill bacteria and a silica buffer. Nutrient solutions, formulated according to the plants’ particular weekly needs, are stored on site and delivered by an Anderson Aqua system featuring computerized injectors.
To avoid bringing in any pests or cross-contamination between rooms, all workers and visitors at Remedy must adhere to its strict cleanliness standards. Before entering any of the growing rooms, we don full-body protective suits, including booties over our shoes, head coverings and gloves. As we enter each room, we step into shallow trays containing a bleach solution, and we change our gloves each time we exit. For those on Remedy’s grow staff that have pets or grows of their own at home, Remedy provides showers so that any outside contaminants aren’t introduced into the facility. It’s a smart precaution that I don’t see in every large facility.
We first visit the propagation area, where mother plants thrive under T5 fluorescent and LED lighting on two different levels while fans on both sides of the trays keep airflow at a maximum to avoid stagnancy. Clones are taken in rockwool cubes held in trays with clear plastic domed lids to maintain humidity levels and keep them warm as they develop roots.
Once rooted, the healthy cuttings are planted into one-gallon pots and begin their vegetative stage. After 10-14 days, they’re transplanted into five-gallon pots for two to four more weeks of vegging, depending on the strain. Welch, the cultivation director, describes the two-tiered system: “We keep it at 75°F and 50 percent relative humidity with fans everywhere to keep it flowing. Our vegetating plants are lit with Bios LED lighting and we train them into the netting trellis while consciously trying to fill every square.”
Flowers in the Desert
When the plants are ready to start flowering, they’re brought to one of eight different flowering rooms, each staggered by seven days to harvest one room per week perpetually. Five-gallon Root Pouch natural-fiber pots made from recycled plastic bottles are filled with Canna Coco along with a half-gallon of clay pebbles placed on top. The grow rocks keep the top layer of coco moist and protect the surface roots as well.
All the plants are hand-watered based on their individual needs. Remedy assistant cultivator Joey Posney explains to me that, contrary to some cultivators’ practices, none of the containers at the facility are allowed to dry out entirely. “We lift the pots to check the weight, and when we feel like it’s 50 percent dried out or so, we water. We check them twice a day to avoid deficiencies and also because salts will build up in coco when it gets too dry.” The pots sit on cut tubing pieces in order to keep them elevated above the tray surface and prevent the plants from soaking up the outflow.
All flowering plants are lit with Phantom and PL high-pressure sodium (HPS) double-ended dimmable bulbs. Fans blow air down the middle of the rows to encourage airflow below the canopy and to avoid potential issues with mold or mildew. There are 36 lights per room, with a typical harvest of 70-80 dry pounds of flower per room. That’s consistently over a kilogram per light—one gram per watt!
Remedy grows many different strains depending on the demands of the marketplace. Some standouts we saw include GG 4, Durban Poison, Island Sweet Skunk, Sour Diesel, LA OG, Clementine, Lemonade Dream and Remedy’s signature strain, Bio Jesus. Lights are cut for 36-48 hours before harvest to increase levels of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, and to prevent any deterioration of essential oils.
The dry room plays a significant role here in the desert of Nevada. It’s a parched climate to begin with, and that can cause serious issues when trying to slow down the curing process. Naturally, climate control plays a tremendous factor in drying and curing cannabis here. Holycross explains: “We hang our plants longer than most, as long as three weeks! We use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain the proper environment.”
Whole plants hang upside down for a full three weeks and are then dry-trimmed by hand. The longer hang time shortens the curing time, as the plants are essentially slow-cured as they dry. Trimmed flowers are placed into jars, which are opened up, or “burped,” daily for two weeks to a month before the product is ready for store shelves.
“At Remedy, all of our plants are hand-trimmed,” says Villarba. “I truly believe it is that extra hands-on love and touch we give each plant, at every step of the process, that helps create such a potent level of craft cannabis. The quality is right there in the lab results, backed by the flower’s THC levels and overall terpene profile.
“Everyone is always chasing and flexing THC percentages, but I honestly believe it’s all about the terpenes,” Villarba adds. “As the world continues to learn and understand the importance of that terpene profile, that will continue to separate the two different approaches to cultivation in a recreational market. This will only continue to highlight the cultivators that are growing their flower to their optimal potential.”
One by one, Remedy is unlocking each strain’s fullest terpene potential. The company’s certainly flexing with its latest test results. Its Bio Diesel strain (Sour Diesel x Sensi Star) tested at 28 percent THC with a terpene profile reading 12.13 milligrams of b-caryophyllene, 11.11 milligrams of b-myrcene and 4.37 milligrams of humulene per gram. Remedy’s last harvest of its proprietary strain Bio Jesus (Bio Diesel x Gumbo) tested at 32 percent THC, with the top three terpenes reading b-myrcene at 21.21 milligrams, b-caryophyllene at 3.16 milligrams and linalool at 2.97 milligrams per gram.
Remedy’s insistence on hand trimming results in a premium flower that’s getting harder and harder to find as cultivation facilities grow and mechanize the process. Industrial trimming equipment destroys delicate trichomes, but the trimming crew at Remedy take care to preserve the flowers without disturbing the essential oils. Their attention to detail and the gentle process keeps quality at a maximum—the exceptional final product is well worth the extra time and effort.
All flowers undergo extensive lab testing for any contamination, including pesticides, mold, heavy metals or fungus. As Thomas Supp, Remedy’s production manager, tells me, “Before any Remedy product hits a dispensary shelf, we put it through a rigorous series of tests—both state-mandated and internal.”
All in the Concentrates
Any products destined for concentrate production go into a cryo-freezer immediately after harvest to wait for processing by Remedy’s extraction partner, the Colorado-based and multiple Cannabis Cup award-winning company TerpX. This immediate freezing process to subcritical temperatures mitigates any adverse effects due to time lapses that can deteriorate potency, flavor or cleanliness of the finished product. Skyler Cisco, TerpX’s head extractor in Nevada, leads the way for the production of pure and potent cannabinoid-and terpene-infused products such as live resin, wax, shatter, crumble, diamonds and much more.
Butane extraction is handled on the premises in a specially built room featuring an Emotek extraction unit. The TerpX philosophy is to keep the level of terpenes up and the temperature down. The TerpX crew aim to keep the extracts as flavorful and potent as possible while removing all residual butane for cleanliness.
Remedy products include THC-and CBD-rich hand-trimmed flowers, pre-rolls and cartridges as well as infused tinctures, topicals, capsules and syringes. They’re available at Silver Sage Wellness and many other retailers across the state of Nevada. Visit remedyyourself.com for more information.
This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue. For subscription services, click here.
The post Remedy in Las Vegas: a Rare Insider’s Tour of an Exceptional Cultivation Facility appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.