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Standard Process Adds Hemp to Whole Foods Supplements Line

Photo courtesy of Standard Process

People who seek care from integrative health professionals such as naturopaths or acupuncturists are likely familiar with Standard Process whole food supplements. The 90-year-old Palmyra, Wis.-based company owns its own farms where they grow many of the whole foods used in their products. Brandon Metzger, director of technical and product development for Standard Process, says it was natural progression to add hemp to the company’s product line.

“Any way or possibility that we can grow a crop here in Wisconsin and utilize it in supplements, we will certainly try to do that,” he affirms. “We saw hemp as a real opportunity to evaluate a Wisconsin born, whole foods crop.”

Sara Le Brun-Blashka, director of education, adds that Standard Process had introduced a Hemp Oil Complex in December 2017, but at that point in time Wisconsin hadn’t had a hemp program in place, so they sourced hemp from Europe. As soon as it became legal to grow hemp in Wisconsin, they started growing and testing for production.

Metzger says that for the past two years, Standard Process has worked to understand the challenges of the different styles, strains and growing conditions at their farm. They’re also working on the processing end with the tools and equipment they have so they can make their own hemp extract. In 2019, they started with approximately eight different varieties.

“We also did a collaboration with North Carolina State University, who conducted a study with approximately 30 to 40 strains, grown in different locations throughout North Carolina. We partnered in conducting analysis of the profiles in all of those plants,” he explains. “We had direct access to the data from them through our partnership to understand which varieties we want to grow in Wisconsin.”

This season, Standard Process is growing on a larger scale, with an acre of plants consisting of four strains so they can decide whether they want to grow one particular strain or a combination product with different profiles from the very diverse genetics available. Metzger could not disclose the strains, but he’s also working with third party to develop genetics that aren’t commercially available.

Consult Your Licensed Health Practitioner

Standard Process’ Hemp Oil Complex is a combination of hemp oil with 15 milligrams of phytocannabinoids, along with calamari oil, a source of omega-3 fatty acid, which Le Brun-Blashka says supports the body’s endocannabinoid production. The Hemp Oil Complex also contains TrueBroc, an antioxidant extracted from broccoli. The Hemp Oil Complex is available in soft gel form, and there’s a similar version for canines. Metzger says the soft gel technology allows for synergistic dry powder ingredients like TrueBroc to be added, which wouldn’t keep suspended in a tincture. It also masks some of the off-tastes and provides for more accurate dosing.

On June 1, Standard Process launched a liquid tincture, consisting of hemp and organic olive oil. They will launch a pet version in September. With 90 years in the whole foods supplements field, Metzger says Standard Process has the infrastructure in place to comply with any regulatory guidelines and to send products out for third-party analysis.

But you won’t find Standard Process’ hemp or other products on a store shelf. The company only sells to licensed practitioners in the holistic health realm, such as naturopaths, or M.D.s and D.O.s in integrative and functional medicine, who provide it for their patients. Metzger notes a limited selection of their products are also available through Amazon.

“I think there is a significant advantage of getting hemp through a practitioner because they can really help the individual understand what their true needs are and educate them on any interactions with other things that they’re taking,” Le Brun-Blashka says. “If you’re just going off the shelf yourself, you’re not having that experience that you would by working with a health care practitioner to really guide you through things. It’s not a magic pill, so you really have to take the whole body and whole person into consideration.”

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Prestigious Wisconsin company develops hemp products for practitioners.