But there are benefits to customized formulations that I hadn’t before considered. Calm skews heavily CBD, you’ve got a body high without any of the mind altering effects of THC.
“THC activates a system in our own bodies called the endocannabinoid system,” says Igor Grant, the director of The University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) and the chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego. The CMCR studies the effects of cannabis on HIV Neuropathic pain and how it impairs your driving skills. “[They’re] signaling molecules that have to do with functions as basic as appetite control, inflammation, coordination, memory and other cognitive functions. The effect of THC is to affect these circuitries in the brain. CBD does not appear to have direct psychoactive effects. It doesn’t cause changes in cognitive function or emotions. Or neurologic coordination issues.”
Typical marijuana flower has a THC to CBD ratio of 20 or 40:1. Hmbldt’s Calm has THC to CBD ratio of 10:1. Relief is 2:1. With Calm I don’t experience paranoia—that running commentary of how high I think people think I am. I can even write on it which makes it singular to any marijuana I’ve ever sampled.
There’s a new formulation that hasn’t hit the market called Focus with a CBD to THC ratio of 4:1. It will be blended with cannabinoids that narrow your attention span to the task in front of you without compromising your creative process.
Samantha Miller the chief science officer at hmbldt says there’s a spectrum of response to cannabis but she blends to cover the bases. For one in four people, CBD is an upper for the rest of us it isn’t. “I’m trying to effect a balance between who’s going to go one way and who’s going to go another and how to help bring some of that 25 percent over,” she tells me.
She also adds cannabinoid profiles that drives towards the myriad issues associated with each ailment. “There’s a lot of different issues with sleep—going to sleep and staying asleep,” she says. “Those root causes could be anxiety, pain, restless leg syndrome—there’s all of these sleep disrupters. The THC and terpene profiles shut off the frontal cortex get you into that mode where you can be sedated and CBD inhibits the enzyme in our liver that breaks down THC so that extends the benefit while you sleep.”
When Miller talks about terpenes, she means the essential oils that give fruit and plants their smell and flavor, likeLimonene in citrus peel or Myrcene in mangoes. Paired with cannabinoids they do all sorts of other things.
Before hmbldt, Miller pioneered cannabis testing with her lab Pure Analytics. The majority of CBDs strains available domestically had their start in her lab, from two to over 80 in the span of a year. She’s personally tested tens of thousands of strains. She’s also sampled thousands of types of cannabis. Hmbldt formulations have been tested by over 750 consumers, with three to seven iterations for each “destination” or effect. And while Miller manipulates CBD and THC ratios and percentages and Terpene profiles, akin to twirling dials on a sound mixing board, the oil inside the pens are blends from strains grown in Humboldt county. “In Sleep you have fuel strains like OG Kush and Sour D and Bliss is three different Jack Herer strains that I blended,” says Miller. All the formulations reflect what she calls “the terroir” of hmbldt. “In Relief one of the Terpene profiles is from a strain called Silly Strawberry that was developed by Sunshine Johnson,” she says. “Her family owns the regional radio station.”