While not an herbal medicine cure-all, cannabidiol (CBD)-infused hemp honey is said to have the same healing ingredients found in marijuana, though without the mind-altering, munchy-craving effects.
Many people nowadays use CBD-infused hemp honey to treat anxiety, nausea, arthritis and a variety of other chronic ailments, claiming amazing results and health benefits.
“I firmly believe in plant medicine,” said Joe Pimentel, co-owner of Luce Farm in Stockbridge, who said he takes hemp honey for occasional pain relief and “can feel the effects within minutes.”
“I don’t use it daily. I use it if I’m sore,” he said.
About two years ago, Pimentel and his wife, Rebecca, started growing hemp for extracting CBD oil on their 206-acre farm as a sustainable farming model.
In June 2017, they released their first CBD product — infused Hemp Honey.
The product combines raw honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries and organic coconut with CBD oil extracted from hemp they grew organically. CBD is a natural byproduct of the hemp plant.
Rebecca Pimentel said the business started with around 100 hemp plants, and has been growing ever since.
“Luce’s Hemp Honey is a herbal medicinal honey,” notes the company’s publicist, Taylor VanDyke. “Some of their customers say they’ve replaced Advil and even some prescription medicines with it.”
Hemp honey is also delicious in coffee, black tea with lemon, herbal tea, and drizzled on yogurt or toast, VanDyke said.
CBD is a common ingredient in the cannabis plant, that is said to possess both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike the better-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and can be found in other plants, like broccoli and kale.
CBD is considered safe, and is legal to be sold in all 50 states in products that contain no more than .3 percent of THC, which is the legal limit for THC in CBD, Joe Pimentel said.
Luce Farm uses a “Super Critical CO2” extraction method that provides for a “full spectrum” of CBD oil that retains the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial ingredients that naturally occur in hemp, he said.
“We heat it to a point where we are able to stir it, then mix in raw honey,” Pimentel said.
The result is a “very consistent, stable (CBD) product” that goes into the hemp honey, hemp-infused oil, hemp topical balm, and other CBD products made at Luce Farm and sold at the Vermont Farmers Market in downtown Rutland every Saturday, Rebecca Pimentel said.
The hemp honey is produced at the company’s kitchen in Bethel. The product is also sold in area retail stores and online, she said.
Green Mountain CBD, another hemp farm based in Hardwick, has been in business since 2015. The company produces a line of dietary supplements and topical products using the hemp it produces and distributes nationally.
Company president Jacob Goldstein said CBD is “proving effective (and is) popping up in a wide variety of products — we think this is great.”
“Luce Farm appears to have a wonderful (hemp honey) product,” he said, adding, they see room for many more hemp products to come out of Vermont.
“Our CBD oil is unique in the industry, as we offer the only nationally distributed CBD products produced using a natural, lipid extraction process,” Goldstein said. “Response to our products has been incredible. Demand is primarily coming from word of mouth, driving market awareness about CBD.”
Joe Pimentel said the feedback from customers has been very positive, although hemp honey is not a magic health bullet.
“I think the public are really thirsting for a new wave of medicines, outside of the pharmaceutical garbage,” Pimentel said.