WHITEFIELD, Maine — People all across Maine have been buying products containing CBD -- most of it is made from the hemp plant. Given the popularity of the medication, it may not be surprising that a farm in Whitefield is helping people be able to make their own CBD, by making it easy to get the hemp.
At Sheepscot General Store and Farm in Whitefield, owners Ben and Taryn Marcus thought hemp could be a good rotation crop where they grow strawberries. So, on a hill in the big field, there is a three-acre patch of lush hemp plants.
Some had reached as high as eye level, where Ben showed off the crop. The plants, he says, look virtually identical to marijuana, but there is a vital difference.
“Cannabis Sativa, it's been bred to have really low THC levels and high CBD levels."
There are other farms in Maine growing hemp this year -- some with much larger plantings than the Marcus' have grown. But the Whitefield farm will be unique, because they believe it will be the only “pick your own” hemp field anywhere.
“The definition of hemp on the federal level is less than 0.3% THC," says Taryn Marcus. “So these plants were tested by the state to make sure it's less than 0.3 percent THC, so people will be able to use it for medicine and not have psychoactive elements and not get high.”
They say people will be able to harvest their own hemp and then process it themselves to extract the CBD content, which can then be used in a variety of ways to use for the range of treatments it can provide.
“Make their own medicine," says Taryn.
Ben showed the “buds” or flowers of the plant, which is the most desirable part for obtaining CBD -- but he also says the leaves are often dried and then processed as well.
“There is a higher concentration where the flower is but CBD is in all the plant,” he says.
The couple says word of the pick-your-own has spread through the farm’s newsletter and local news coverage and believe there is a lot of interest among potential pickers. The farm has a plan to harvest, dry and wholesale whatever hemp is left in the field.
More information can be found at the Facebook page for Sheepscot General Store and Farm.
Public picking is on Sept. 27-29. Pickers can harvest hemp from 2-7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.