Ben James started growing high-CBD hemp when the 2014 Federal Farm Bill was first passed. After a few years of experimentation, Ben and his former business partner, Andy Loughney, started Bravo Botanicals LLC.
“Our approach has been to let the high-CBD hemp plant be our guiding force,” explains Ben. “It’s such a tremendous plant that has so much to offer. We are grateful for the hemp and know that conscious cultivation will inform our roles as farmers and producers and small business owners.”
Respect for the earth and all living things was important from the start. Organic standards were essential but we wanted to take it further. One of Bravo’s primary strategies is to leave the soil structure intact by neither plowing nor tilling, allowing the land to continue its own natural magic. Some other holistic agricultural processes that Bravo employs include the use of soil blocks for starting seedlings without plastic containers, companion plantings to increase field biodiversity, off-season cover crops to fertilize and mulch the soil, and, perhaps the most essential move, applying a healthy dose of well-cured “Guilford Gold” from the organic dairy farm down the road.
Respect for our customers is also at the top of Bravo’s list. “We knew it was important for people of all income levels to have access to this wonderful oil and so we’ve worked diligently to have a lean operation without sacrificing high standards,” Ben explains. “We want to make sure that people know what they are getting and so we post all of our lab results on our website and are transparent about our processes.”
Bravo was fortunate to connect with Kria Botanicals of Burlington, VT, early in their establishment as a premier CBD extraction company. Through this relationship, Bravo gained a lot of knowledge about processing technologies and how vastly different they can be. “Our partners at Kria perform a sub-critical CO2 extraction,” says Ben, describing how the pressure of the CO2 is altered so that it performs like a solvent that can be evaporated completely at the end. “We think this method is better than the more common use of ethanol. Bravo’s plant material never touches ethanol or alcohol. The result is a full-spectrum, natural-flavored, super clean and pure oil that allows for complete expression of the hemp plant.”
In 2021, Bravo added an in-house process involving a high-tech screw press to produce “cold pressed” oil from hemp. We literally squeeze the oil from the hemp and spin it in a centrifuge to clean out all particulate matter and moisture. It’s as close to the plant as you can get. We love that! “There’s a quote attributed to Einstein that we love and often look to for guidance,” says Ben. “‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’ These words of wisdom sum up the screw press. It’s a super simple process that retains the complexity of the plant.”
Bravo keeps it simple all around. It’s all about the CBD. We use very few ingredients in our CBD products. Our CBD Drops have no added flavoring. The mellow, nutty taste is remarkably smooth and pleasant. Our CBD Topicals use only one carrier (Shea or Coconut) and just one essential oil per product. Our first cold-press product, the CannaCaps, uses organic, cold-pressed hemp seed oil as a carrier to honor and perserve its unique quality of being “as close to the plant as you can get.”
So, how do you get started with taking CBD? Ben suggests, “A dose of about 10 mg of CBD is a good place to start. From there, it’s easy to increase or decrease by a few drops at a time to find your most effective dose.” If you are using a topical, you can use as little or as much as you want. Most of Bravo’s customers use CBD for three primary reasons. Sleep, anxiety, and pain. There are other uses, too, but since CBD is not FDA certified, Bravo is not supposed to advertise it’s benefits. So we welcome you to do some research to see if CBD could help you. Then come to Bravo for a simple and honest CBD product that just might become your number one source for relief.