The cannabis plants at Cannassentials are probably eating better than you.

What that means, however, is that you’re probably smoking better than those who turn to large-scale growers for their cannabis.

At least, that’s the hope of Cannassentials founders Myron Chadowitz and Shane Budd, whose small organic cannabis farm outside Eugene, Oregon recently bagged a slew of major cannabis industry awards largely due to their innovative growing practices.

Earlier this month, Cannassentials took home First Place Best Flower Nose in the medical category for its Orange Haze strain at the prestigious Oregon Dope Cup. A week later at GanjaCon, they earned First Place GanjaCup Awards for Outdoor Grown Flower (Guava Chem) and Greenhouse Grown Flower (Cherry Kush).

These winning strains may sound basic, but their methods are anything but, according to Chadowitz and Budd.

The duo is at the forefront of a movement devoted to sustainable, regenerative cultivation. In other words, they use “living soil” to grow their cannabis, which they say is a far cry from many of the larger scale producers across the state and beyond.

“A lot of commercial flower you get has a little bit of taste in the beginning and then it just tastes harsh and sulphury and it doesn’t burn correctly… that’s because most growers are feeding their plants chemicals and synthetic nutrients since they’re just going for the ultimate weight and yield,” Budd, whose official title is ‘master grower’ with Cannassentials, told Civilized.

“What we’re really going for is a cannabis that we’d want to smoke…so we use top-quality, organic, mostly plant-based ingredients in our composted  soil blend…when you dig down into it, there’s tiny little mites and earthworms and spin-tails. It’s just crawling, every little centimetre.”

The result, according to Budd, is a “farm-to-table cannabis” that tastes and burns amazing because it’s essentially been given a “gourmet meal.”

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“A farm-to-table chef is getting the best local ingredients, taking the food from out in the field and turning it into the best, highest-end meal. Someone who’s just getting Sysco deliveries can still make something somewhat tasty, but it’s just not the same quality,” said Budd.

“[Like farm-to-table chefs], we’re just trying to take it to the highest level, using the highest level of ingredients as well as what’s really local and what’s around us.”

According to Chadowitz, it’s this “old-fashioned” method that earns Cannassentials' award-winning Orange Haze reviews like: “The smoothness was outstanding. The flavor was delicious and coated my mouth. The burnability was perfect and burned consistently.”

“Everything that we’re doing involves more labor, more time, a more hand-made process that’s much more along the old-school farming method… everything is a lot of work, and it means our margins are probably lower than a lot of people’s, but that’s not what it’s about for us. It’s all about this handcrafted method, which I think is what gives us the consistent results at these different events,” said Chadowitz of the products currently available at 10 Oregon dispensaries.

“There’s always going to be a lot of competition and we’ll never win against the big money people or the super large-scale [companies], but we’re pretty confident we can stay in there… because once people taste our stuff, they kind of avoid other people’s.”