From pet products to building materials, industry finding many uses for hemp
By Aruka SanchirReporter-Herald Staff Writer
Clothing, food and pets all had one thing in common at the fourth annual NoCo Hemp Expo on a misty Saturday at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland.
The two-day event started on Friday with an event designed for those involved in the hemp industry. Saturday’s event was open to the general public and featured panel talks, artists, demonstrations and more than 100 booths.
Lines of cars filled the muddy parking lot and over 4,500 attendees bustled around to a variety of activities centered around hemp at the events center. Demonstrations such as “Cooking Creatively With Hemp,” “Coffee Roasting and Infusion” and “Hemp Paper Making” occurred every hour for the public. Panelists aimed to inform attendees with talks such as “Hemp 101,” “Industrial Uses of Hemp,” “Essential Oils and Botanical Extracts” and more.
Arlo Abrams, of THR Technologies explains the process behind their of hemp extract on Saturday at the NoCo Hemp Expo at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland. (Logan O’Brien / Loveland Reporter-Herald)
“I was interested in CBD (cannabidiol) oil and I’m getting a lot of information about it here. I think people are learning more at events like this,” said Loveland resident Pamela Thomas.
“There’s a lot of stigma attached to hemp, but I believe it’s going to save the world,” said attendee Chanin Tila.
Waves of attendees streamed in and out through the assortment of booths filled with information and samples. Attendees could try hemp oil derived from CBD at booths, such as THR Technologies and EnerHealth, focusing on health and wellness.
Cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil contains very low levels of THC and therefore, is non-psychoactive.
“Give it a try because we live in an overwhelmingly stressful time right now. We need as much support as we can and that starts with what we put in our body,” said Michael Harinen, a spokesperson for Bluebird Botanicals.
Pets had a popular spotlight in the expo, with companies like RxCBD and Bark Avenue setting out samples of dog and cat treats infused with CBD. They attributed the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD to helping animals, especially older pets, with anxiety and allergies.
“A lot of people tried traditional remedies and found that it didn’t help with their pet’s seizures or anxiety. They found that typically CBD does (help),” said RxCBD co-founder Debbie Cokes.
Before heading to the food trucks parked outside the venue, attendees sampled a variety of foods created with hemp seeds. Carla Boyd, founder of Hemp Way, served hamburgers with hemp hearts and all-natural ingredients. Ari Scherman, co-founder of Evo Hemp, spoke to attendees about the health benefits of the plant while passing out samples of granola bars.
“It’s the most nutrient dense product. Hemp seeds have a perfect array of minerals, as well as a lot of protein,” said Scherman.
Another booth attracting attendees was the Left Hand Hemp company, teaching people how to build with “hempcrete.” With a block of “hempcrete” and “Hemp Hurd” rocks at the booth, attendees could see firsthand the materials used by the company.
“It could be the No. 1 sustainable building material in the country because it will not burn and it’s mold and pest proof. There are no harmful chemicals in it,” said CEO Kelly Thornton.
Much like Left Hand Hemp’s goal, the conversations heard around the expo aimed to inform the public of the sustainability of the hemp plant.
Ashley Tusler examines hemp oil at the NoCo Hemp Expo at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland on Saturday. She said that she hopes the event would help her better explain hemp products to her chiropractic clients. (Logan O’Brien / Loveland Reporter-Herald)
“There are all types of applications for hemp,” said Neshama Abraham, founding Communications Director of the National Hemp Association, adding that all parts of the plant are usable for something. “To make a sustainable environment, buy hemp and enable farmers to make hemp. We want a sustainable planet and we’ve found a plant that’s going to help us to do that.”
Throughout the variety of activities and products at the event, the focus remained on the importance of growing hemp locally.
“We want to help people stay employed and keep the local economy growing. We’ve got the talent,” said Robbie Jaramillo, director of customer support of EnerHealth.
“It’s about revitalizing your community, whether it’s building material, medicine or cleaning products, growing locally is where it’s at. Anyone from the farmers to the end user is going to benefit,” said Dani Billings, president of Nature Roots Spa. “We have to educate people to live sustainably. Education is key.”