Over the weekend, I stopped by the Ranch in Loveland to spend some time at the third annual NoCo Hemp Expo. Not only did I learn a lot about hemp overall during my visit, but it was also impressive and interesting to see the many different ways that the plant is now able to be incorporated into both industrial and nutritional products. From food, to fabric, to art, and to farming, the possibilities of using hemp as a sustainable product go on and on.
All of the vendors and exhibitors that were present at the Expo were excellent in answering questions and providing information about their company and/or products for sale. My favorite part of the day definitely had to be sampling some of the food items that several of the vendors were offering. Dark Heart Coffee Bar was brewing up specialty coffee just for the event and it was amazing! High Hops Brewery was also serving up a tasty beverage that was truly perfect for the occasion – their dry-hemped red ale, called Honey Hemp. Granola bars made by Hemp Heroe are available in a variety of flavors, and are also absolutely delicious if you are searching for a healthy breakfast or snack option to keep you going during the day. Another vendor that I was especially happy to walk away with a few samples from, was Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. Besides having granola bars, protein powder, smoothie mixes and more, their bite-size, crunchy hemp snacks are literally to die for. Also nutritionally delicious were the organic bars by Evo Hemp, made using raw fruits, nuts and hemp seeds. Hemp I-Scream was on-site selling their delicious, gluten-free desserts to customers, and even your dog could score some treats to take home. I overheard several Expo-goers ask whether or not consuming hemp-infused foods and drinks would effect them in any way (as in similar to being high), and furthermore, if ingesting these would lead to showing up positive on a urine test? The answer is no, as there is not enough THC in these types of products to have any psychoactive impact or to show up elsewhere either.
Although it was tough, I pulled myself away from the food booths and explored what else was out on the market that’s being made with hemp. It was interesting to browse through the racks of hemp-based apparel and accessories and see how different companies are able to create such beautiful textiles and clothing pieces. If you weren’t able to check out their actual display’s in person, I recommend giving some of these businesses a visit: Wild Women Wear, EnviroTextiles, and Hemptique. For the home, Kushed Candles makes adorable candles that are infused with hemp oil, as well as other essential oils, which can enhance mood and promote a sense of well-being. When it comes to products to use on the body, my pick goes to Nature’s Root, who specializes in making hemp-infused scrubs, lotions, salves, and balms, using all-organic ingredients straight from their own farm in Sterling, CO. Another booth that really stood out to me, was one in which was a collaborative effort between ConFresco Canvas and Nossourghi Fine Art, displaying mixed media artwork that had been done using hemp-infused paper. Besides all of the fun stuff listed above, there was a wide selection of oils and other similar products available for purchase. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sit in on any of the actual panels that were being held on different topics in the industry, but I did get to listen in on a few demos that were happening and definitely learned more than I walked in knowing. My experience at the Expo really opened my eyes as to what the future holds for this versatile plant. It will be exciting to see how the hemp industry progresses as it works its way into being more mainstream.