With Hmptns, a new line of CBD products including Accabonac Harbor lotion, Two Mile Hollow extract, and Butter Lane tincture, two South Fork residents are seeking to add cachet to the burgeoning market for therapeutic treatments made from cannabinoids, chemical compounds derived from hemp.
Ed Krug, a builder, real estate developer, and longtime member of the East Hampton Town Planning Board, first discovered the benefits of using CBD last fall after suffering health problems. "I had been diagnosed with a medical condition that caused me to have bone and joint pain, and my wellness practitioner said, 'You really have to give CBD a try,' " he said. "I'm not really keen on taking a lot of standard pharmaceuticals, and none of them were really working and had side effects, plus I wanted something plant-based, so I was game to do it." A soft gel cap combined with a topical lotion has helped for pain relief, he said, and the tincture has been great for treating insomnia.
His business partner, Tom Eslinger, an owner of Unlshd, a creative marketing company, had been introduced to CBD by a client and was pleasantly surprised by its therapeutic effects and the quality of current formulations. "The last time I had seen CBD, which was years ago, it was murky and gross and smelled like bong water," he said. He stopped drinking coffee a few years ago, and a morning dose of Butter Lane tincture now helps him stay focused, he said.
The two had decided to develop their own brand of CBD products while testing a wide array of ones already on the market. "It was like building a plane while you're trying to fly it," said Mr. Eslinger.
One of their main discoveries, Mr. Krug said, was that "all CBD is not created equal." To be first-rate, the hemp from which the CBD is derived must be grown organically because it retains the substances found in the soil. "You have to be certain that it's grown in soil that is pesticide and toxin-free," he said.
They teamed up with David Falkowski, the owner of Open Minded Organics in Bridgehampton, one of the first licensed growers of hemp in the state who has his own line of CBD products, to create Hmptns' Butter Lane tinctures.
"I knew Dave could formulate something pure and clean and special for us," said Mr. Krug. "He extracts it and formulates it using a recipe we came up with together, it has a nuttier, lighter taste than his product." The brand's other products are made at an organic farm upstate.
Those who are skeptical of CBD tend to be under the impression that it "somehow gets you high, that it's pot, which of course it isn't," Mr. Krug said. Hmptns products contain less than .3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, and the brand's Two Mile Hollow tincture is THC-free. Still, he said, "having a little bit of THC does amplify the effects" of CBD, which has proven effective in addressing afflictions ranging from anxiety to seizures, according to a Harvard study.
The Hmptns line is sold at Mary's Marvelous in East Hampton, Lazy Point in Amagansett, and online at hmptns.co. Gift boxes that contain multiple products are available for holiday shoppers looking for a way to treat loved ones to a respite from the stress of 2020. "The pandemic put our business plan off in the early days, but in other ways it's been a bit of a boon," said Mr. Krug. "The reaction we've been getting from buyers is 'This is exactly what we need right now.' "