Do you ever think about where cannabis comes from? Or what it takes to grow CBD? A group of siblings from Oregon known as the Redwoods have made it their mission to produce CBD honestly and transparently through their company Redwood Reserves.
What is Redwood Reserves?
After marijuana became legal for recreational use in the state in 2015, many people jumped at the chance to sell THC products or grow cannabis. The Redwood family, like many others, took to this opportunity.
In 2016 Ana Redwood left college and decided to start a farm with her family where they would grow cannabis and sell THC flowers. They started Redwood Reserves and now cultivate their own CBD, Delta-8, and THC products and distribute them nationally and internationally.
“We did it all,” Redwood says. “We were out there hands-on doing everything from the cultivation to the trimming.”
She says the first year was great; business was booming because the market had just opened.
But by the second year, Oregon had given out so many licenses that the market became too saturated.
“We were like, what in the world are we gonna do?” Redwood recalls. “We’d just bought a farm, we just hit all this [and bet] everything on the cannabis industry.”
Redwood Reserves pivots to CBD.
At the time the Redwood family was working with a group of veterans called 22 Too Many. The organization was founded to provide support to veterans struggling with PTSD and depression. The program opened a retreat and needed donations of various cannabis products such as CBD.
“They were saying that [CBD] helped them the most,” she mentions. “They were able to smoke it during the day and still function.”
After that Redwood was inspired to pivot into the CBD and hemp industry.
“We decided, [to] just go for it because there was a demand for it,” she says.
CBD can be sold and distributed across state lines and even internationally. With the demand for hemp-derived products growing and the flexibility of distribution, the Redwood family began producing CBD with high health and quality standards.
“Smoking anything is still not healthy for you at all,” she notes. “But at least [with CBD] you're smoking something that has lab results and you know that there are no pesticides or other chemicals. And at the end of the day, it's not addictive.”
Redwood Reserves launched the Better Reserves line including smokable CBD products like their popular CBD cigarette.
Redwood mentions that the convenience of smoking a CBD cigarette and the nicotine cessation properties made this a desirable product.
“There's a high concentration of CBD that helps with the withdrawal symptoms that you feel whenever you’re going cold turkey on nicotine,” she explains. “But it also replaces the act of smoking, with something that's like a better option.”
Redwood was a cigarette smoker herself starting when she was 14. “I saw that there was a product that satisfies the craving. It is like a tobacco smoke, but it's a lot better,” she says, “because [many CBD brands] don’t have any kind of lab results on what's in their product. They're just like, screw you guys, smoke it.”
The Redwoods delved into the smokable aspect, not just medicinal, because there is still a market of people who enjoy smoking.
“I would say that Redwood Reserves is one of the top tier CBD cigarette companies,” she claims, “just because we focus on the tiny details.”
Redwood Reserves uses strict health and quality standards for their CBD cultivation.
Redwood reports that they just finished their seasonal harvest. “I always think it's interesting to see it from a little seed and then a product,” she states. “Most people really can't say that because a lot of different brands don't farm it themselves.”
Redwood Reserves focuses on the quality of their product and strict growth standards. From seed to cigarette, each step in the process is handled with detail and care including testing the soil, ensuring no pesticides are used, selecting high-quality ingredients, and even making use of discarded hemp.
“Everything is grown just naturally with organic standards,” she says, “like our curing and drying process, where a lot of people will skimp on.” Redwood notes that if this process is not handled with care, the flower will not taste as good.
“At the end of the day we also do the machine trim on our flower before we grind it up to put it into the smokes,” she adds. “You're really just getting the parts that have the most CBD and then also taste the best.”
Alongside the curing and drying process, soil testing is the first important step to creating quality CBD products.
“It's a soil remediator,” she asserts. “So they even used it in Ukraine to remediate the soil in the Chernobyl nuclear site.”
Her example illustrates the importance of testing soil because the cannabis plant holds nutrients and toxins surrounding it. “We use only natural practices,” Redwood describes, “because it's a weed, it's a hearty plant, but it sucks everything up.”
They use integrated pest management like ladybugs and grasshoppers, who feed on plant-harming insects. The Redwoods also plant companion crops such as beans and squash to help nurture the soil and distract pests.
Classic farming tactics including crop rotation additionally help the Redwoods to produce quality plants. However, sometimes the growth or harvesting process can be interrupted naturally, which can damage the plants.
The Redwoods have implemented a circular growing process by composting leftovers or fruitless plants. This allows their soil to recover and have the nutrients needed to produce quality CBD each harvest season.
Fun fact, the Redwood family rescues farm animals and uses the discarded CBD flower to make animal feed.
“Animal feeds are 15 percent protein,” she notes. “We tested [the CBD] and then the flower is around 16 to 19 percent protein.”
Redwood has two cows named Ben and Jerry and they love the CBD feed. With this discovery, they’ve saved money on animal feed and can use scraps that benefit their animals tremendously.
Redwood Reserves’s sustainability standards have allowed them to have bountiful farms and products that CBD lovers can enjoy.
“We make products that we would want to use ourselves,” Redwood smiles. “What's the point of having a product that sucks and you're ashamed of it?”
Redwood Reserves produces the first licensed CBD cigarette in Brazil.
With quality in mind, their products have become popular across the U.S. and now internationally. Redwood Reserves has become the first CBD company to receive a license to sell CBD cigarettes in Brazil.
In Brazil, CBD is still considered a controlled substance, so it is used medically. This led Redwood Reserves to gain a permit for selling medicinal products in Brazil. This past year their product was approved by Anvisa (Brazil’s version of the FDA) and they granted Redwood Reserves an import license.
Brazilian customers have to receive a prescription to use CBD products that can help them with drug addictions, smoking cessation, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and more. Using Redwood’s CBD cigarettes has been especially helpful to nicotine addicts.
“It's a lot easier for them to maintain a treatment plan that they are already used to doing in their routine,” she claims, “than giving them a CBD oil and being like, ‘Hey, add this new thing into your life and keep doing it every day.’”
Redwood Reserves has a team in Brazil to ensure the quality of products and services for their customers using CBD to make their lives better.
Redwood Reserves's Oregon-grown CBD is expanding into Europe
Redwood Reserves is working on licensing its CBD products in Europe. “It’s a lot of bureaucracy,” she claims. Redwood is hopeful the process will run smoothly because CBD users in Europe do not need medical cards to consume and some healthcare plans even cover medical CBD.
Thankfully their on-site teams, like the one in Brazil, have helped keep their business alive because they are not allowed to advertise at all. Advertising cannabis products such as CBD is still taboo in most countries, even the U.S., so the Redwood family has relied on word of mouth.
“It’s unfortunate because it's legal, you know?” Redwood points out. “This isn't a drug.”
Despite their hardships with advertising and lengthy licensing processes, Redwood Reserves has become a leading CBD brand. Redwood even mentions they have expanded into the THC and Delta-8 market.
The future of Redwood Reserves and the cannabis industry
Redwood’s favorite product is their new line of blunts that include injected THC and Delta-8 oils. These potent products make for a great way to smoke if you like the feeling of being high.
“In Oregon, many stores don't sell blunts; they just sell joints,” she observes. “So I think it's my favorite because it is a throwback and it's a special thing. I love that.”
Redwood hopes that THC and CBD products will be more widely accepted throughout the world, especially in the U.S. “I think we're still gonna have a lot of political stuff that we'll need to do to make THC and CBD like very common,” she shares. “ Hopefully it's not too far away.”
We can see cannabis advocates and political leaders banding together to research and normalize this plant. Until then, Ana Redwood and her brothers will produce quality CBD for people all over the world—and take care of their adorable animals.
For more information on Redwood Reserves, visit redwoodreserves.com.
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Featured image: Anna Redwood, CEO of Redwood Reserves (C) Redwood Reserves