Every morning I wake up to a text from my dad. Barring any significant family news, it begins with a terrible joke. Today’s was “Why did the Viking buy an old boat? Because he couldn’t a-fjord a new one.”
It’s this type of corny humor that Los Angeles-based cannabis brand Dad Grass channels in its pre-rolled hemp CBD joints.
Now, to my knowledge, I don’t believe my dad consumed any cannabis in his youth. But Dad Grass co-founder Ben Starmer recalls a conversation with his own father, “I was driving to the college dorms with my dad,” Starmer tells InsideHook. “He was giving me the ‘have fun but not too much fun’ talk in the car and as that wound down, he shared that he in fact used to smoke a lot of weed early in his high school days.”
That moment of connection, and Starmer’s father sharing “these nostalgic stories of ‘grass’ back in the day,” ultimately led Starmer and his friend and fellow Dad Grass co-founder Joshua Katz to launch the CBD cannabis company, with a focus on humor, quality and positivity.
The idea of a pre-rolled CBD joint isn’t exactly revolutionary. As recreational marijuana has become legalized in more states across the country, and with the apparent ubiquity of CBD products, you’ve likely come across sunscreen, or coffee, or dog treats infused with CBD. CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. But, unlike THC, the primary psychoactive element of cannabis, CBD doesn’t produce a “high.” Instead, it can offer a sense of calm as well as pain relief among other potential health benefits. Those are the qualities Katz and Starmer sought out with Dad Grass.
Joshua Katz and Ben Starmer met while working at Levi’s in San Francisco and shared a passion for cannabis. But they agreed that “today’s weed gets you too damn high,” as Katz puts it.
“A friend turned us onto CBD hemp and to be honest I was really skeptical of it,” says Starmer. “Hemp in my mind was for braiding necklaces with puka shells in 7th grade.” But thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp on the federal level, “a lot of growers began to focus on organic hemp, instead of trying to bolster the THC content,” Starmer explains. “They put a lot of care and love into the rest of the cannabinoids, the primary one being CBD.”
Katz and Starmer found a product they were actually excited about using. They could roll up joints of quality CBD hemp and indulge in a relaxing, high-less cannabis experience. And while they initially anticipated Dad Grass to be a product for folks in states that hadn’t legalized recreational marijuana but where CBD was legal for consumption, they quickly realized that some consumers simply wanted a change of pace. “We’ve seen just as many people order Dad Grass in states like Illinois, California – places where cannabis is recreationally legal,” says Katz. “It’s not just necessarily a THC alternative.”
Nor is it simply a wellness tool. CBD is often positioned through the lens of a medical treatment or a holistic cure to an ailment. But in the same way that kombucha, which is a fermented tea, provides a healthful dose of probiotics alongside a casual beverage, CBD products can be both curative and casual.
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