The couple created a family culture that took care of their bodies when their son Josiah, 5, was a baby. He had several chronic health problems that were greatly improved by changing his diet.
Inspired by the witness that changing what you put into your body can help your body heal, the Weets family began to take better care of themselves. They also explored other ways they could use the earth to help their bodies feel better.
“I am a firm believer in nature,” said Adam. “God made it all for us.”
Little by little, they learned about the anecdotal benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) products and felt inspired to produce their own – Alpha’s Alternatives, named after Adam’s hometown, Alpha.
CBD is a chemical compound found in hemp. Unlike THC (a component of marijuana), CBD has no psychoactive properties and does not create a “high” – rather, it works with receptors in the body to soothe inflammation and support body function, Adam and Julia explained.
Like many other crops, hemp comes in different varieties, all of which are grown for different purposes. Hemp grown for textiles is very different from hemp grown for CBD extraction. The Weets family uses genetic selection to ensure their crops are CBD-heavy.
Alpha’s Alternatives offers full-spectrum CBD products, which means they contain a minimal amount of THC. Minnesota law requires full-spectrum CBD products to contain 0.3% or less THC, and Adam and Julia maintain a level of just over half: 0.16% THC in their products. The low amount of THC simply helps the CBD do its job, they said.
Alpha’s Alternatives offers products that can be administered topically and orally – namely a roll-on stick for pain and multiple tinctures that are placed under the tongue for quick absorption. Although CBD does not meet the legal definition of a dietary supplement, many users treat it similarly and have successfully used it to treat a wide range of ailments. The FDA has approved a CBD-derived drug prescribed for certain epileptic conditions, but has not confirmed its effectiveness for other uses.
The Weetses do not claim to be medical professionals and cannot guarantee that CBD will be effective for every disease, but they share their opinion about it based on their own experiences and testimonies from others they have heard over the years.
“The main reason we got into the business is to help people be healthier,” said Julia.
Adam added that another goal is education about CBD.
Their products are grown organically, starting in the couple’s greenhouse and bringing the seedlings to the field after a few weeks. Hemp is a tricky plant, explained Adam, which requires precise amounts of water and fertilizer to produce the quality hemp they want to offer.
After a 90-day growing season, the Weeteses pick their hemp wet because it produces more oils that way. Then they cut the flowers by hand and send them through an emptying machine. In the next step, the hemp is dried and then sent to an extractor, which extracts CBD oil from the plant material using liquid CO2.
From there, the CBD oil goes to a formulator who fills the products with olive and avocado oils as carriers and a few drops of essential oils for flavor. The bottles come back to Adam and Julia, who then sell their products.
Several local businesses sell Alpha’s Alternatives products: Enspired Gift Shop in Windom, Royal Treatment Salon in Jackson, Jackson Chiropractic and The Daily Apple in Worthington.
“It was a blessing to hear successes,” said Julia. “We live from these stories.”
In the future, they are considering adding a range of pet products and possibly other offerings to Alpha’s alternatives.
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