By Deborah Caldwell
It all starts with the plants. We use organic arnica, calendula, turmeric, and lemon grass as well as Cannabis.
Our cannabis is organicaly grown on our solar-powered ranch in San Luis Obiso and harvested at peak potency. We use landrace-variety seeds or clones from Equilibrium Genetics to produce the cannabinoid and terpene profiles we’re aiming for.
In 2017 we grew African Haze, Indigo Malawi and AC/DC to make topicals rich in THCa and CBDa (the cannabinoids in the plant are always in the acid form), as well as limonene, caryophylene and other terpenes associated with inflammation reduction.
After harvest we buck off the stems and wash the buds in a 5% hydrogen peroxide solution, then rinse them in RO water [water purified by a “Reverse Osmosis” process] to eliminate any airborne molds and fungus.
We use a commercial five-gallon spinner to get the excess water off, then we hang it to dry.
Topicanna Sungrown topicals are made with flowers. We don’t trim very tightly, but too much leaf matter makes the cream green. It would stain more and would smell stronger.
Once the flowers are dry I infuse them with locally grown organic olive oil in Mason jars, which are bathed for a week at a low temperature —just under 120 degrees— to preserve the cannabinoids in acid form.
I use 1,500 milliliters of fresh, dried cannabis buds per one-quart jar.
Calendula (we grow our own) and arnica (organically grown in Washington state) are added to the infusions for the Synergy formula.
After about three days the chlorophyll starts to transfer, which gives the oil color and scent. Longer than a week it gets very dark.
To exract the oil from the buds we use a plant oil press that applies two tons of pressure and yields about 90% of the oil. The infused oil is sent to SC Labs for potency testing to achieve a consistent product.
Emulsification with all-organic plant oils, waxes and aloe vera yields an absorbable cream. Turmeric extract (from Monterey county) and essential oils (from Elizabeth Van Buren of Santa Cruz) are added for the Synergy Blend. Bare Naked cream is cannabis in all its dank glory. We formulated it for a family member with eczema and other sensitive patients.