Text by Erin Willis, Lead Educator for Onda
The CBD industry is growing like a weed. And while offering more natural alternatives to invasive medical treatments is a step in the right direction, the emerging field’s reliance on conventional agricultural practices is in need of a rethink. Many of the CBD products on the market today are not made with hemp grown using sustainable farming practices. Unfortunately, hemp is seldom recognized as the regenerative, soil-building rotational crop, and plant medicine that it has the potential to be.
A relatively new and unregulated field of agriculture, CBD exemplifies the problems found in mass monocropping for profit. The hemp industry is an opportunity to support agriculture differently, and that's exactly what one company is doing with their line of CBD products.
Onda is the world's first Certified Biodynamic hemp line. They work with natural ecosystems when farming and bottling oils in order to provide their community with the cleanest possible plant medicine. They have methodically built a regenerative model from the ground up. This approach requires a much slower timeline than the CBD industry typically employs. But Onda strongly believes that the deliberate approach is one that will stand the test of time — regenerating both the earth and the people on it.
Onda was born when Stephen Smith, founder and CEO, had the idea that hemp CBD could change lives for the better. "It first came to me as I rushed off to the airport one January morning in 2017," Smith recalls. "I dropped some of my homemade CBD and herb infusion into my tea while heading out the door, not thinking much of it. I was flying home for the holidays after a lousy night's sleep, coming down with a cold, and ached from the previous days' trail run. I settled deep into my seat with utter exhaustion. Surprisingly, I felt relaxed, comfortable, and free of anxiety and soreness. I thought, 'There's something here, and this could change lives.'”
Smith’s fascination with hemp goes back over 20 years since he wrote a high school research paper on its many uses. "My mind was blown by how dynamic this crop is and by the strange fact that hemp is not being used for building materials, medicines, food, or even fiber. This truly feels like my life's work. Time to bring hemp back."
“The hemp industry is an opportunity to support agriculture differently, and that’s exactly what one company is doing with their line of CBD products.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Colorado, Smith explored the Rocky Mountains on a five-month solo motorcycle adventure through South America, which piqued his interest in farming, grape growing, and wine-making. These experiences led him to get his hands in the dirt working for boutique wineries and vineyards in Napa, California. He then worked in Colorado as the Director of Business Development for the first organic distillery in the US and one of the first Biodynamic farms in Colorado. Experiencing six months on this 90,000-acre cattle ranch opened Smith’s eyes to large-scale holistic land management, animal husbandry, and agricultural and economic diversification.