Sowing Social Justice with Terpene-Rich Cannabis Oil
Wildseed. It’s a beautiful name. Some wild seeds grow into weeds, spread or sown by the wind. Some weeds grow into medicine, spread or sown by knowledge, networks, and aid. Social justice is a major part of Wildseed Oil Company, whose two main goals are making high-quality, terpene-rich extracts, and supporting social justice groups focused on ending mass incarceration.
Wildseed sprouted early in 2015, and is co-founded and owned by Erez Gudes and Tim Metz. “At Wildseed, we believe in reparations,” Gudes explained in our email conversation, busily preparing for their official launch this fall. By donating 20 percent of net profits, Wildseed’s goal is to support organizations and leaders who have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. They hope to see the emergence of a cannabis reparations movement from within the industry, and invite anyone interested in working together on this to contact them (see info. below).
“As this new, legal cannabis industry explodes, it’s mostly white men poised to make tens of billions of dollars for selling marijuana while people of color are still very disproportionately targeted for incarceration for doing the same thing,” Gudes added, “the racialized drug war has devastated communities of color. We want to steer resources to those working to combat that imbalance and undo some of the harms of the drug war.”
While Wildseed estimates they are about a year from recuperating investments and being able to donate profits, they are well on the way. Their advisory board will help direct funding, and the company plans to work with social justice foundations to administer the funds. According to Gudes, they will focus on funding people of color and grassroots groups lead by formerly incarcerated people.
“Legalization has both encumbered us with unfathomable complications, as well as offered us incredible opportunities.
Going back to the plant is a natural solution; so, Wildseed begins by producing cannabis extracts sourced in Northern California. “We have an amazing network of farmers that provide material. As we scale up… we prioritize farmers who have organic practices and are responsible with their water use, as the salmon populations and the health of our watersheds is a big deal to us at Wildseed,” Gudes said, describing their company and community. They are activists, community organizers, and farmers who have called Garberville, California home for over 25 years.
Here in Humboldt County, the cannabis cultivation reputation demands high quality. Wildseed is a fully permitted company, and wants to remain small-to-medium in size. That way, they can stick to making high-end vape oils. Gudes explained that Wildseed uses supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to extract their cannabis oil, and no additives of any kind are ever used.
“Supercritical CO2 Extraction,” by Prof. Jeff Sczechowski, Leslie Harrison, Tracie Mustain, and Bryan Williams at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, describes CO2 as a non-toxic supercritical fluid (SCF), whose non-combustible properties make it environmentally friendly. The article notes that the food and beverage industry was the first to use supercritical CO2 extraction in a commercial way, with European companies extracting caffeine from coffee beans using SCF-CO2 in the 1970s. Brewers also used this method to extracts flavorful oils from hops.
Tested by SC Labs, the THC content in Wildseed’s vapes range from 65-75 percent, and 8-10 percent terpene content. My Purple Kush cartridge is 68 percent THC and 9.25 percent terpene. The vapor is very clean and light, no aftertaste of solvent or chemicals, which is refreshing. Perhaps it is because the terpenes, the flavor oils, are preserved due to Wildseed’s extraction methods. Even the color of the oil is a clear, light blond like pale gold.
“We isolate the terpenes in their pure form early in the process and add them back into the final, polished vape oil. This prevents a lot of terpene loss that can be experienced when processing vape oil,” Gudes described. Due to the terpene-rich oils, they do not have to cut the oil with any diluent. “We’ve been getting an amazing amount of feedback. People say it’s the tastiest vape oil they’ve tried,” he said.
After trying both the Purple Kush and their CBD 1:1 cartridges, I was impressed with the quality and flavor. The CBD delivered a sustainable effect.
The vape oil not only looks and tastes clean, it has a flavor that is reminiscent of its once flower-form. Also, a company taking action toward cannabis reparations by using cannabis profits seems positive. I’ll vape to that.
To join Wildseed in sowing justice, go to: WildSeedOil.com