Down & Dirty with Comanche Compost

Down & Dirty with Comanche Compost

By James Bridges


I was reminded of the Legendary Comanche Chief, Quahna Parker. The Comanche Chief is forever anchored to the rugged land in both family name and in legend in Parker County, Texas. 

 and found a prop Parker County, TX is the very ground where the Comanche Compost Company is headquartered. I had the special opportunity to sit down with the multifaceted creative mind of owner, David Mayer, and the very innovative Director of Education and Product Research, Sage Howell with the Comanche Compost Co.

David started Meyer Materials in 2006. “It’s evolved from my passion with soil and agriculture.” David explained. “We were at the time purchasing farmland and developing it into wetland restoration habitats. We found a property in Fort Worth that we really thought had potential. We eventually started to realize that there were many opportunities to recycle commercial generated food waste such as daily yogurt.”

The team developed a system that would extrude the yogurt out of the fully palletized products deemed to be off just a bit off because of quality assurance. The process allowed them to grab that bulk yogurt, recycle the plastic containers, meanwhile saving the yogurt for repurposing. The yogurt then goes into their composting process. Now that process is used for repurposing. This gave them the ability to add it to manure or alfalfa bedding which is used for example in various rodeos and stock shows. 

Their Fort Worth, TX property had a great deposit of sand, salt and clay. “We started to combine that with the various organic inputs to create something really awesome.” David was smiling ear to ear. “Our select product got into the major landscaping side of the business. We got into garden centers. We stepped up our game, in terms of what we were developing, in the way of potting soils and garden soils. We got into high-end compost product backed products for the retail sector.” David took a breath.

Comanche Compost

The company slowly made their way into the cannabis sector. “It started with the Humboldt Seed Company”, David admitted. “Those guys approached us to develop soils around the seeds that they were trying to pop here in Oklahoma. They were breeding here. They came to me asking about different amendments that they could use for their outdoor grow facility.  They were obviously interested in the compost, but they are also interested in our soil manufacturing capacity.

The Comanche Compost Co. has many capabilities, including taking in peat moss, perlite, core, and things of that nature. By combining these high-end performance propagation tables they are able to achieve the highest performing soils in the region.

“David and I both have a mutual passion for agriculture”. Sage Howell is the Director of Education and Product Research for Comanche Compost Co. “I was growing in a 30000 square foot GreenHouse in Toledo for Fresh Point, Cisco, and Hellofresh. I was developing these vertically integrated propagation systems and hydroponic systems for food. Once I had mastered that, all my focus went to one thing. How can remediate this 19 acres by the Clear Fork River estuary to be an organic farm? So I started to figure out that my cost of inputs was going to exceed what the returns were in terms of food. So I started calling around. I even went to Dublin Texas to work with dairy farms and learn how to make my own compost. I started to get alfalfa from other farms just to make my own compost.  Then I met David. He was really curious what I was up to because I had been calling a bunch of materials people in the industry. 

It was at this point the two forces would meet. David called Sage and invited him to lunch.

“I have some worm compost you may or may not be interested in but I need to learn what you’re doing”, David’s curiosity would not allow for anything less. 

“We hit it off.” Sage smiled and glanced at David. “We spent at least 2 and a half hours discussing the finer points of using bacteria and waste products like coffee grounds. We spoke of turning it into something that could be of value. A product to be added to an agricultural list for a farmer or just somebody that wanted to be certified organic, but didn’t have the means to go buy nutrients from Michigan or Canada or Oregon. We discussed doing it domestically and locally by taking waste streams and turning it into a commodity. Turning soil into a vegetative crop. David approached me with the Comanche Compost and we just ran with it. 

The two passionate innovators decided to build out soils that produce organic flower buds, terpene and cannabinoid profiles that positively impact the landscape of commercial and home growing in the cannabis industry. 

I asked Sage about living soil. “So there’s a big importance, and this is something that you learn on a commercial scale. In Hydroponics you control every single detail from the microbiome in the soil horizon, your water, all the way through the plant being harvested. With living soil, you are not controlling the bacteria load that’s in your water, but you’re allowing it to mimic nature in a soil horizon zone. You’re mimicking the ability to have nutrients cycling through bacteria in your soil by utilizing either a beneficial bacteria microorganism inoculate, which we achieve with our compost. We’re introducing something like yogurt, but we’re letting natural bacteria be alive and present. This versus a sterile compost or a sterile soil is the difference between living organisms living soil and sterile soils. You’re trying to force feed your plants whereas in living soil, the roots interact with the bacteria.”

Sage clarified, “In my opinion it’s a fact that living soils are producing more beneficial plants and good medicine because you’re depending on nature doing its work versus you controlling every aspect of nature. So you know it’s good to have a little bit of the mystery of the soil, but when bacteria and microryza do the work the plants are happier that way.

David talked more about the opportunity to join both worlds. “It’s rather invigorating to know that you are on the cusp of something so interesting that it could change how patients and enthusiasts receive their medicine.” David’s passion was permeating.  “I’m proud to say that we continue to push forward this combination of our coffee grounds and a formula that was developed by American Plant Food Texas A&M and ourselves through very extensive studies. We desire to meld the scientific with the organic so it does offer some kind of a medium that works to the best of it’s abilities within the shortest amount of time.”

Organic composting and the overall complexity of the soil industry is an ever evolving thing. I myself have to do nothing but agree with the methods that are being set in place by Comanche Compost. I have full confidence that outstanding terpene profiles are being produced from their soils. Customer relations in Oklahoma, Texas and the region seem to only rave about what Comanche Compost is building and what kind of materials they are putting into our compost and their soils.

Please learn more about this innovative industry changing company at comanchecompost.com.

We Bought a Farm

By Tab Moura

I’m taking it all in. I’m laying on the floor in my living room, boxes to my right, bong to my left… I just need a minute. I have been in the middle of a huge transition for the last 2 months: two months of repairs, boxes, and making every corner of our old house shine for realtors and prospective buyers. Then 2 weeks in a camper, and what an adventure that was.


Storms, Stress and The Brain By Tab Moura

Now I’m here, I’m just sitting here. Making smoke donuts.

Have you ever felt so plowed over by life that even the good things feel a bit like taking too big of a hit from your favorite bong? I’m there. Sitting on the floor of my own personal farmhouse, just completely exhausted. Moving houses has its challenges, naturally, but we just majorly changed our family culture AND our housing. Moving with older kids is significantly different than when they were babies. Now they have questions.

They test limits, as they always have, but testing limits on .33 acres in the city is a far cry from testing limits out here in the wild. I have used the word “penis” more often than ever before, because we are cattle farmers and my daughters are learning to identify bulls. My oldest daughter went from having never touched an insect before, in her life, to collecting caterpillars and letting them crawl all over her arms. On the farm, kids get in trouble for leaving the porch without boots on— Guys, I killed a 3.5 ft Water Moccasin.

It’s been a very full few weeks, packed with a million questions a day (just ball parking it,) and plenty of late nights hitting the pillow, knowing I would be up with the sun to do it again.

I say, “This is the beginning.”

“Of what?” My husband asks childishly, already knowing what I am gonna say…

“This is the beginning of whatever we want.”

Foraging in Tulsa with Justin Hope

by Anna Ervin

When I was younger, I used to think Oklahoma’s landscapes were so bland. My family traveled a lot through the years, and I remember visiting states with clear blue ocean waters, or mountains blanketed in aspens and evergreens. I would think, why can’t I live somewhere like this. Somewhere that flaunts such beautiful sceneries within an hour’s drive of my home.

Not Your Mama’s Potato Soup By Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

Each time our family would return to Oklahoma, I found myself scowling at the red dirt, or rolling my eyes at the never-ending span of wheat fields and the vast horizons that boasted no oceans or mountains or even hills, really. I carried this mindset with me for years, but I recently had an experience that allowed me to see my sweet home state through a fresh pair of eyes.

Justin Hope is Oklahoma’s very own weed pimp, volunteer trail guide, and one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I was lucky enough to meet up with him for one of the most breathtaking hikes I’ve ever seen, through Keystone Ancient Forest.

Located in Northeastern Oklahoma, KAF is a small portion of the Crosstimbers area. With over 1,300 acres of forest containing oak and cedar that have been standing for at least up to 500 years, this virgin land might just be one of Oklahoma’s best kept secrets, and Justin was giving me the VIP tour.

As we started our journey down the Frank Trail, I could tell that this area meant a lot to Justin, and that he had a deep-seeded respect for the forest surrounding us. “I used to run these woods as a kid,” he boasted. “I grew up on the other side of the river, just a few miles away. I always knew this area as the Eagle Reserve. There’s definitely a lot of history trapped out here.”

Indeed, what makes Keystone Ancient Forest such a rare gem in our state is that the land has hardly been disturbed by developers, due to it’s rough terrain, proximity to the lake, and various other landscape-related roadblocks. Lucky for us, aside from a few oil wells that went up several years ago, this patch of raw Oklahoma beauty has been primarily untapped by the industrial world. This is what allows “history” to hold such strong roots in the area (literally).

“They call this a virgin forest,” Hope continued. “The environment here preserves itself, as long as man doesn’t destroy it. We try to encourage people to stay on the trail.” I noticed as we hiked, that one thing that really set this park apart from others I’ve seen was the cleanliness. Aside from the clearly marked trail, there didn’t seem to be any waste left by other hikers. And, in the off chance that we did stumble upon a cigarette butt, or granola bar wrapper, Justin would quietly pick it up and add it to a plastic bag that he kept in his backpack.

“City folk,” he chuckled at one point, “throwin’ trash down.” He collected the leftover item. “Thank goodness there’s more of us, who want to clean up. It’s easy to do, really. If people would just think about it.”

When we found ourselves halfway into the 2.8 mile trek, we decided to pause for a break. The trail had brought us to an overlook of Keystone lake. I think each of us had the same idea in mind as we returned from our backpacks bearing joints and edibles.

Justin has a long history with cannabis, and thoroughly believes in it’s medicinal qualities. Cannabis helped him get off of a sleuth of pharmaceuticals that had been prescribed to him. Pills that felt like they were killing him, rather than healing.

As the smoke began to settle and we geared up to head back onto the trail, I suddenly became hyper-aware of my surroundings. I had not medicated before the hike, and up until that point I had felt like I was simply an observer of the beauty that surrounded us. Now, was fully immersed in it. Had the trees been this alive and green the whole time? Were the birds just now waking up to sing the soundtrack of our hike, or had I just not noticed them before?

I began to feel so small, like a tiny molecule in this massive, living, breathing organism that surrounded us. Picking up on my quiet observations, Justin commented, “If you think about it, you’re just a grain of rice in this bowl. Just a pebble out here in this world.”

He would slow down every now and then to point out the peculiar way the trees seemed to grow. Some appeared to actually grow through the large stones on the ground, while a few of them had trunks that curved to form a near perfect right angle, as if they had been markers set up by travelers long before our time.

Two trees in particular had seemingly wrapped themselves around each other, winding their trunks around the other in a spiraling motion. I sensed that this was not the work of man, only the divine force of nature could create something so pure and beautiful. “They’re holding each other until the day they die,” Hope observed, before excitedly changing the topic. “Have you heard about Cornnabis? Or Cannacorn?”

I was intrigued. “One of my plants started showing half white-yellow, half green on the leaf,” he continued. “It showed signs of mutation. And a couple of weeks later, I find that there’s corn growing right next to it. The plants, kind of like the trees that were holding hands, they grew up together.”

I admired his unique perspective on nature, and the ways of the universe, and realized that they were not much different from my own. Everything on this floating rock we occupy is so divinely connected. Nature has a way of supporting itself for survival, but in a holistic way.

Certain species of trees that are considered invasive, might compete with the other plant species surrounding them. Occasionally, however, when you find something like those intertwined tree trunks, or Justin’s Cannacorn, you realize that two organisms supporting each other can result in something so pure and beautiful.

Imagine what the world would look like if humans supported each other, or the environment, in those ways, building stronger foundations, lifting each other up.

We approached the Wilson trailhead. “Are you allergic to any poison ivy or poison oak?” Justin asked. “This is a little different from the other trail. We have these tapes up so people don’t get lost.”

I knew things were about to get a little more intense, so I packed up my camera and set off to follow him down a slightly rougher and much narrower path. It was difficult to focus on anything other than the ground in front of me, and Justin seemed to move through these woods like he had done it a million times before, and had rehearsed every step. “I’ve got that Indian lightfoot,” he had told me earlier, referring to his Native blood.

I began to slide into a meditative state as we trekked forward, feeling my heart rate increase as the trail became increasingly more challenging. It had been cold that morning, but the sun was beginning to peak through the canopy of trees overhead, and before long I felt a small bead of sweat work it’s way down the back of my neck.

The Frank trail had felt like a walk in the park compared to this, and I was loving every step of our new path. This was the kind of hiking I had been missing in Oklahoma– slight changes in elevation, challenging routes that forced me to carefully plan every step, and that satisfying feeling of being deep in a forest, far away from society and all its noise.

We paused for a break as I caught my breath and took in the scene around us. It was unlike anything the forest had offered so far. Cliffs of oddly shaped rocks towered over us on one side, a waterfall blanketed in dead leaves trickled nearby, and trees upon trees upon trees were scattered around us in every direction.

I wanted to climb the rocks, hike into the trees, and dust the leaves off that waterfall and run my hands through the stream. Then I remembered Justin’s comment about staying on the trail, and I realized that the reason this park had been so well preserved, was that people like Justin had enough respect for the environment to protect and preserve it. So, I set my “Jungle Book” fantasies aside and inhaled another deep breath of crisp, cool air.

We rounded out the Wilson Trail and headed back to our starting point. On the way, we began to discuss our thoughts on the universe and spirituality. I had previously mentioned the recent new moon to my guide, and, bringing it back up, he asked me if I was sensitive to the moon. I dove a little bit into my views on divinity, and how this hike had shown me the way everything in the universe seems so interconnected, but I was more interested in hearing Justin’s ideals on the topic.

“It is all somehow related,” he told me. “I’ve got the red blood in me, the Indian ways, the ways of One. I’m a true flatliner, so I do believe there’s a reason I’m still here.”

I wanted to tell him that maybe this was that reason, helping people realize the healing power of cannabis and nature, that the earth provides us with every single thing we need to survive, but I had a gut feeling he already knew that.


Follow Justin Hope on Instagram (@skunktail_pharms) for a glimpse at the history and beauty encapsulated by Keystone Ancient Forest, or better yet, plan a visit to the park today. www.sandspringsok.org




Weed Like To Talk About Yarrow

By Tab Moura

Yarrow’s genus name is Achillea Milleforium, after Achilles (Greek mythology) who used Yarrow to treat his soldiers’ wounds.


Bee Responsible, Grow Weed By Tab Moura

If you have collected Yarrow and would like to know how to ingest it, I have a few tips. I am by no means an expert, but I rely on natural methods like these, out of necessity, and they haven’t let me down yet. Yarrow is most known for its healing properties, but first… business.


If you’re new to using herbal medicine, here’s what you need to know… never— I repeat, never eat plants that have been sprayed with chemicals. If you don’t know for sure, just pretend it’s poisonous. Secondly, Yarrow has a doppelgänger, Poison Hemlock. So again, if you don’t know for sure, don’t eat it. If you don’t want to attempt harvesting it yourself, you can find a herbalist to order it from.



Like many plants you can identify it most easily by its leaves. Yarrow and Hemlock both have white flowers, but the leaves of the Yarrow plant are more spiny than the Hemlock leaves, and the Hemlock leaves are fuller and flat. Medicinal Uses of Yarrow:

Historically, Yarrow has been used to make poultices (fresh) to heal flesh wounds in battle. In more recent observations it has reduced heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping (has been used during childbirth to stop hemorrhages), can reduce blood pressure, resolves coronary and cranial thromboses, even helps with varicose veins. Yarrow can even help with many digestive disorders. Lowers fevers, decongests, induces sweating (which is part of detoxing), and is perfect for daily ingestion while recovering from a major illness.


In case you want to make teas or tinctures, here’s where to begin. Start by cutting what you need and hanging it upside down for a time to dry. If you prefer a quicker pace, you may dry them in a food-grade dehumidifier or on low heat in the oven.


Tea – making Yarrow tea is very simple, if you have a preferred way of drinking loose leaf tea, you should be able to steep your tea once it’s dry. If you are unfamiliar with loose leaf teas, I recommend finding a tea bag option that you like. There are disposable bags you can’t fill yourself, some use an organic fabric pouch to wash afterward. Personally I prefer tea balls, which are metal and encase the herb, and it’s reusable.


Tincture – if you’re already familiar with making tinctures for cannabis, you may already have a preferred method. For those just getting started, there are a few options. You can use Glycerin (non alcoholic option), Everclear, Vodka, or any other you’re comfortable with that’s at least 80 proof. You may want to use 5oz of alcohol for every ounce of plant you harvest, and you’ll steep the plant in a dark place for 6-8 weeks. Finally, once it’s time, you will strain the contents with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and store in a dark bottle.


Topically – if you’re looking to use Yarrow on your skin, you can do this a few ways. First used on battlefields, Yarrow can be used fresh, chopped up, chewed or broken up in some way, and placed on a wound. You can also use some of your tincture to mix with a homemade lotion, like in a Beeswax, Shea Butter or Tallow mixture. I recommend practicing mixing a lotion you like before adding herbs in.


I’m enjoying working on this series, writing about common weeds and how they can support our bodies. The last year has taught me that we need to begin digging deeper into wellness, and we have to work together! Do you have a weed you’d like me to write about? Find me on Insta, @tabmoura. I’ll add your request to my list!

Earth Day: The Good I Can Do

by Tab Moura

When I think of Earth Day, I think of— well— the earth. The whole world. All at once. And wow… where do we even begin, right?

Weed Like to Talk About Dandelions, by Tab Moura

We can talk about common topics if you really wanna, like climate, and climate, and viruses, but I feel like sometimes we miss the forest for the trees when it comes to the planet. With all of its enormous planetness, we risk forgetting our neighborhoods and homes. This year I’m looking at the ways I can personally be more earth-conscious. 


Metal Straws – this has been so helpful for my husband and I. We prefer to use glass or metal for our drinkware. Due to our kids’ special needs, we prefer plastic straws for them, but we still buy reusable. 

Bees wrap – this one is growing on me. The wax paper is thick, but with use, it seems to continue to cling better.

Berkey – we were in a really tricky place when COVID began last year. Our tap water is not safe, so we exclusively used bottled water. When water was sold out, we had to get creative. Our Berkey truly saved the day.

Reusable grocery bags – this is just common sense at this point, besides being good for the environment, I am a big fan of how strong they are. 

Reusable water bottles – I love my reusable water bottles, there are so many kinds. Because we have 5 people under our roof, I’ve been able to get a few kinds while we each figure out what style we prefer for functionality. 

Recycling – we have found that whether we have a recycling box or not, we prefer to recycle. You can look around to find your areas’ recycling drop-off locations, or contact the city and request your own recycling bin. Recycling facilities are designed to reduce the effect of our waste on our environment, it’s estimated that the average American produces an annual amount of 2,072 lbs of trash… for obvious mathematical reasons, recycling helps us avoid a Wall-E situation.

Gardening and compost – one of the things we can do to improve the vitality of our Victory Gardens (or even the little tomato plant on your back porch) is to put food scraps from leftover produce in the soil. I’m not gonna get real technical, there are some great resources for learning more about composting. I hope you take a look!

Green medicine – we have had a cannabis industry in OK long enough for us all to acknowledge that those plastic containers begin to pile up pretty quickly. Ideas I’ve seen include: growing at home, bring used plastic containers to the dispo, or even bring a glass container to the disposal. 

Buy used clothing/ donate used clothing – I missed shopping used clothing stores last year! These stores are seriously so fun to explore. I like that they have clothing from multiple decades all in one place, and this also helps to reduce waste. 


What are you doing differently this Earth Day? Have recent events changed your perspective on what you can do to help reduce your own carbon footprint?

Weed Like to Talk About Dandelions

by Tab Moura

Spring is here! I’ve been watching the landscape closely over the last few weeks; the weeds are coming and the bees aren’t the only ones happy to see them. 

One of the most common weeds that I come across locally is the dandelion. Far from being the only wildflower native to Oklahoma, it’s certainly one that everyone recognizes. Traditionally considered a nuisance to the token American lawn, for decades we have dumped weed killer on our lawns when the flowers at our feet are so useful. There are a few weeds I want to share with you, but today let’s discuss Dandelions.

1. Dandelion herb tea

Dry the flowers and stems, steep in hot water with local honey to support the kidneys and increase urine output.

2. Dandelion root coffee

Buy pre-prepared dandelion root coffee from a local store, or roast the roots yourself, before steeping them in hot water to make coffee.

3. Supports weight loss

By mimicking effects seen in a common weight loss drug, dandelion can inhibit pancreatic lipase, an enzyme released during digestion. 

4. May help treat cancer 

A Canadian study conducted a decade ago, noted that dandelion root causes cell death in melanoma and pancreatic cancer cells, without affecting the healthy cells around them.

5. Antioxidants

Able to help manage the effects of free-radicals, Dandelions are able to help protect cells from harm with beta carotene. Carotenoids and polyphenols are both noteworthy antioxidants in the Dandelion plant.

6. Various benefits

Too many to list! Dandelion has shown promising results with managing things like type 2 diabetic blood sugar levels, blood pressure, overall inflammation and also boosts the immune system.

7. Bees

This time of year, Dandelions are the primary food source for bees in most suburban areas! Dandelions have both pollen and nectar, making them important during early Spring, until more flowering plants and trees are available to feed them. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Dandelion, hop on Google to search Dandelion+benefits and see the studies yourself. I like to take time to appreciate the medicines that have been around the longest. No medicine is one size fits all, so if you are interested in giving any of these ideas a try, I recommend making sure you aren’t already taking medications that interact with your kidney or liver, to avoid interactions. More weeds coming soon!


by Anna Ervin

Hempcrete may very well be the future of natural building. This biocomposite material is mold and fungus resistant, fireproof, earthquake resistant, and 100% biodegradable. It has been around for nearly 30 years, and developers are constantly refining their process to make it even better. So, what exactly is it, and why aren’t we seeing more builders utilize the material?

Medicated Lip Balm, by Anna Ervin

I reached out to Jessie Smith of Oaksterdam University to gain a little insight on the benefits of using hempcrete for natural building and to gauge the direction she sees this market heading in. Jessie comes from a family of builders yet grew up with the idea that the expansion of cities was eating up precious farmland.

With an interest in sustainability and living in a natural environment, Jessie went to school for toxicology, where she learned about bioremediation, the process of using plants to take toxins out of our soil and environment and binding them into a carbon-based form.

“Hemp is a bioremediation plant,” Jessie informed me. “It has the ability to reverse climate change and a lot of the problems we’ve created. However, we can’t consume that hemp because of the toxins it has absorbed.”

This is where hempcrete comes into play. “Everyone that’s growing hemp is really trying to get into the CBD market,” Jessie said. “We’re getting a lot of people that don’t understand how sensitive cannabis is and that it’s going to pull in those toxins from the soil. Or they don’t know how to prevent mold and pests, so they’re not able to put their products into the consumer market.”

A Budding New Market

Will this surplus of non-medicinal hemp prompt manufacturers and builders to work with hempcrete on a larger scale? Only time will tell. “Right now, it’s not being utilized as much as it could be,” said Jessie. “There are a couple of companies coming out, pressing bricks. I haven’t necessarily seen commercial uses for it.”

“When you look at natural building over the last 100 years,” she continued, “using those straw, clay, and lime water mixtures, that is starting to pick back up again. Those types of buildings are starting to pop up, but for the most part, it’s residential.”

Up until recently, it has proven difficult for people to get a loan for natural building. However, with the production of hempcrete becoming increasingly common in places like France and Canada, and hemp becoming widely available, more and more lenders are beginning to see the value. “We’re at a tipping point in the market,” Jessie told me.

A Breeding Ground for Potential

“With the progressiveness of Oklahoma Policies,” Jessie said, “how many licenses are on the market, and how much lime is prevalent there, it is a huge breeding ground for potential.” If that’s the case, what is it going to take for Oklahoma to tap into this industry?

Noble Nectar Extracts, by Anna Ervin

With our state being one of the few to allow the outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, we need to first address the issue of cross-pollination. “The pollination radius of hemp is 5 plus miles,” Jessie told me. “Pollen can migrate. When you have hemp pollen fall onto your medical cannabis, you could end up decreasing the potency and medicinal potential of the medical plant.”

“With outdoor growing,” she continued, “you need to make sure that we don’t go to war with each other. Keep hemp production and medical production separate so they are not devaluating each other. Farmers are actually really good at figuring out how to work together.”

“Oklahoma could also learn from Oregon,” Jessie said, “who has hemp and medical cannabis growing. They are figuring it out by county. They are also finding natural pollen boundaries by topography and wind flow.”

As well as figuring out the production of hemp on a large scale, natural building is labor-intensive. We need to be honest in communicating the growing pains that both our outdoor farmers and our builders are going to face in order to see an industry like this take off in Oklahoma.

Is Hempcrete the Future?

Hemp is denser in carbon than any other plant, this is what makes byproducts of the plant so durable. The more hemp we plant, the more carbon those plants will absorb from the atmosphere. According to an article from Architect’s Newspaper, one cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of hempcrete has the potential to absorb up to 287 pounds of airborne carbon dioxide.

While the cultivation of hemp is cleaning up the environment, hempcrete itself could also create a safer, healthier household. When using natural materials, you don’t get the toxic off-gassing that comes with many conventional building materials.

Industry leaders at Hempcrete Direct report that this versatile material is fireproof, earthquake-proof, and moisture resistant, making it ideal for locations (like Oklahoma) that can suffer extreme weather conditions.

“The natural fibers and materials,” Jessie reported, “allow the vibrations of the earthquake to go through the house, rather than cracking and breaking down like concrete. Wildfires go right around hempcrete houses because the embers have nothing to catch on.”

Significantly lighter than concrete and allowing for more energy-efficient transportation, hempcrete could offer a whole new level of sustainability to the construction industry.
History Unfolding

So just to recap, we have a product that is changing the way that we grow, build, and even exist by literally hitting the reset button on our environment, and continuing to provide benefits for our health and safety over time. How exciting is it to be able to witness this potential shift in both consciousness and sustainability take place?

After over an hour on the phone with Jessie, I felt that we had only glazed the surface of this topic. Now that I have realized just how much potential the hemp industry holds for Oklahoma, not just economically, but also when it comes to sustainability and adopting a healthier lifestyle, I look forward to keeping an eye on this industry in the years to come.

Medicated Lip Balm

5 Medicated Lip Balms

+ DIY Lip Scrub Recipe

Note: This article originally stated that Simply Bare’s Feel This Lip Balm was 10mg, but has since been updated to reflect the correct dosage. Feel This Lip Balm contains 50mg of THC, and 50mg of Hemp Fat. 

by Anna Ervin

Two years ago, I was doing my absolute best to get through my first winter living in Colorado. If I’m being completely honest, I had never really thought much about my skin, nevertheless my lips, or the products I used on them. But there I was, four months into what felt like the longest winter of my life, and feeling every last effect of Colorado’s cold, dry weather.

Vegetable Pad Thai with Infused Spicy Peanut Sauce

My lips burned, cracked, even bled that winter. I had never experienced anything like it.  I ran to Pinterest for remedies and ended up learning a lot about what goes into the products we put on our lips in the process. While certain name brands in the cosmetics industry are beginning to look at their ingredients and make some long-overdue changes, there are still a lot of bad apples out there putting harmful products in storefronts.

Considering that your lips are right next to your mouth, I feel like it’s pretty important to pay attention to what goes on them. So what should you avoid? Parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, harsh chemicals, BHT, petroleum jelly, the list could honestly go on for ages.

Imagine trying to keep all of this in mind during your weekly trip to the grocery store. So, I thought I’d make things a little easier and share 5 clean, toxin-free, and for the most part, locally-sourced alternatives, as well as my own exfoliating lip scrub recipe. Oh, and did I mention these are medicated alternatives?


Feel This Lip Balm, by Simply Bare LLC – 50mg THC | 50mg hemp fat

I could not have dreamed of writing this article without mentioning Feel This. Utilizing as much of the plant as possible in order to provide maximum healing effects, Simply Bare is one of the first companies invested in independent research over the benefit of using Hemp Lipids in cosmetics. In addition to being full spectrum, Feel This products are leading the industry in sustainability with their FDA-approved, recyclable packaging and labeling printed with biodegradable ink. The focus of this company is to trigger a lifestyle change for their consumers, one that prompts them to pay closer attention to the beauty industry’s carbon footprint, as well as to the ingredients used in our skincare products.

Seven Wonders CBD Lip Balm, by Key to Nature’s Blessings – 25mg CBD

While most of our options are micro-dosed with THC, this particular lip balm is safe for those who simply prefer the power of CBD. Key to Nature’s Blessings makes their Lip Balm with ingredients like Mango Seed Butter and Tea Tree oil to not only hydrate, but also heal dry lips. Tea Tree oil is also great for relieving cold sores, acne, and bad breath. This balm makes a great gift for friends and family that don’t have an OMMA patient card.

Mint Oil Lip Balm by Mammoth Processing – 8.45mg THC

Another local option, Mammoth Processing produces a medicinal lip balm that boasts 1063MG of terpenes per tube. Terpenes add anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, moisturizing, and mood-enhancing properties to topicals (to name a few). This medicated balm uses a base of coconut oil, beeswax, and organic shea butter for maximum hydration and protection from the elements.

CBD Lip Tint, by Key to Nature’s Blessings – 25mg CBD

In addition to their lip balm, Nature’s Blessings also offers a lip tint for those of us who like to add a little color to our palette. This has personally been my go-to lately. Despite wearing a mask that covers that part of my face, there is just something about wearing a little color on my lips that really boosts my confidence. Made with the same base as the Seven Wonders Lip Balm, the color of this tint is not overwhelmingly bold, instead, adding a subtle depth to the natural color of your lips while still providing moisture.

Lip Bong, by Mary Jane’s Medicinals – 9mg THC / 3mg CBD

This Colorado-born company focuses on a holistic approach by producing all-natural and organic topicals. The packaging on this one claims that no chemical solvents were used in production. With ingredients like cannabis-infused grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils of peppermint, this lip treatment reminds me of my favorite natural products used in my own homemade remedies.



DIY Exfoliating Lip Scrub


2 Tbsp finely ground sugar

1 Tbsp MCT oil

1-2 drops sweet peppermint essential oil (or peppermint extract)


Mix sugar and MCT oil (can also use olive oil, grapeseed, or jojoba) and stir. Add more oil if the mixture is dry. Stir in essential oil or extract a little at a time, perform a patch test, and adjust accordingly. Try to avoid adding too much peppermint or opt to use a different type of essential oil to avoid irritating inflamed lips.

How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?

by Brittiany Ralls

In the last piece “How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?”, we chatted about how cannabis

How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry? (part 1) by Brittiany Ralls

sustainability is hindered in part to laws that restrict the ability of businesses to be able to be more sustainable. Huge bummer, I know. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to participate in programs or come up with ways to be more helpful in the aspect of sustainability. What are some of the steps your business can take to make your cannabis business more sustainable and eco-friendly? There are quite a fews ways, depending on the kind of cannabis business you have. We will start with simple solutions that most cannabis businesses can focus on at the moment to help get you going in the direction of sustainability. These are small things that could be implemented within your cannabis business quickly and easily thus getting you and your employees in the mindset of sustainability.

There are few ways to get started with this and I suggest starting with paper. There are quite a few ways to eliminate the use of paper as much within your cannabis business. Now I know that some cannabis businesses can’t do this completely, especially with programs like METRC that require you to print manifests to carry when transporting cannabis. But, you can eliminate some paper waste by using programs for your employees to clock in and out, dispensaries can use online loyalty systems for their patients instead of paper cards for the patients to keep track of, processors and cultivators can create documents for their testing accessible through QR Codes instead of printing testing papers to go along with the sales they make.

Grandfather of Alternative Rock | Photo Cred: Jeff Hooten | by Brittiany Ralls

Plastic packaging is a huge contributor to the amount of waste generated by the cannabis industry. Currently using plastics that are more eco-friendly will also mean a higher price tag. To keep from having to pass that cost along to the patient most companies opted for what is affordable vs. sustainable. But, with the ability to influence the laws created for this industry we can also create plastic buy back programs for recycling. Implementing recycling procedures for employees will help the entire company in its efforts to be more sustainable in the long run. If your business is a processing company you can use energy efficient equipment to help cut energy costs, as well as, implement systems that help employees reduce waste during production by using automated systems or make sure that your SOP’s are made with sustainability in mind.

These are some quick and easy ideas that can help get you started to becoming a sustainable cannabis business. Putting you ahead of the curve and allowing you to be prepared for the future of what cannabis will be. Cannabis will have the ability to help usher in a new mindset of creating a world that is sustainable and eco-friendly, so long as those within the industry put an emphasis on these factors and ensure that they matter. Which they do and will even more in the future.

Brittiany Ralls




How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?

by Brittiany Ralls

With an ever-growing population, sustainability is going to be an important topic of discussion within the cannabis industry. Recreational and medical cannabis offer little solutions at the current moment to combat the amount of waste created by the cannabis industry.

From the start of growing the plants to the process of selling it to the consumer/patient there is a large amount of waste associated with tracking, labeling, and packaging all products in cannabis. We have all seen it first hand, to the point that a lot of patients have asked for buy-back programs to be put into place because they feel weird about the amount of waste they create from purchasing through a dispensary.

Who can blame them? If this is a concern from the consumer standpoint, why then, haven’t cannabis companies put more emphasis on sustainability? A few reasons really, but one major reason is to blame.

Laws. Good ol’ laws.

Laws in place to protect children, and pets, to protect the companies, to track every single step a plant makes. Laws to make money off of cannabis that the cannabis industry doesn’t benefit from. It can be very frustrating, especially if you are a company whose focus is on sustainability.

With the amount of ways cannabis can be used, many get into cannabis with intentions of using it as a renewable resource. Then, find themselves alone when they see that not everyone cares about sustainability and that a lot of laws even work against making it a sustainable industry.

So we may have some things you have to work around, but it’s not impossible. Which we will discuss in the next part of this series: Steps Towards Making your Cannabis Business Sustainable. Knowing that laws sometimes hinder aspects like sustainability allows us to become more innovative with our solutions for tracking and selling cannabis. Thus, setting standards within the community for what we can strive to achieve.

Since laws can be such a major factor, we know that we need to do our part in making sure laws are in place that support the collective community as a whole. Which includes efforts put towards sustainability for all businesses and consumers alike. By working together to come up with large scale solutions we could change the current progression that cannabis has taken.

To answer the question: How sustainable is the cannabis industry?

Not very. Not yet. But with more legalization happening we can expect that there will be movement in that direction in the future. Which is why we will discuss what steps you can take today to start preparing your business for opportunities to participate in sustainability programs that may come in the future to prompt companies into choosing sustainable options for their business.

Being prepared will set you ahead of that learning curve rather than behind. How sustainable do you want your cannabis business to be?


More from Brittiany

Grandfather of Alternative Rock | Photo Cred: Jeff Hooten