Papa's Medicine

Tincture in your toddy

By Nora Mounce

It wasn’t easy for Adam Grossman to watch his father suffer from debilitating back pain. As prescription medication provided little relief, Grossman reacted as many caring family members do: He started Googling for help. Using Internet research, a borrowed crockpot and some good weed from the right friend, Grossman created his first DIY cannabis balm. The homemade meds worked their magic. After a few weeks, Grossman’s father, “Papa,” was able to get out bed and leave hospice. No one was happier to see Papa return home than his loyal pit bull, Barkley. The pair remain forever memorialized on the Papa & Barkley logo, a wellness company based in Humboldt County. 

The experience was a transformative one for Grossman. Today, Papa & Barkley creates healing cannabis balms, tinctures and patches that are alleviating pain and opening minds across California. Since launching Papa & Barkley in 2015, Grossman and his business partner, Guy Rocourt, have heard countless stories that parallel Papa’s experience. Papa & Barkley’s products deliver cannabis via tinctures and topicals packed with cannabinoids, the medicinal compound responsible for alleviating chronic pain, anxiety, immunodeficiency disorders and a range of modern ailments. Papa & Barkley is based in the industrial hub of Eureka to stay in close proximity to Humboldt County’s premium, sun-grown cannabis flowers.  

“There’s a special feeling in Humboldt that’s important to all of us at Papa & Barkley,” says Grossman. Though Papa & Barkley has grown into a reliable brand for consumers across California, the company’s roots in Humboldt County run deep. Rocourt oversees production in Eureka, where his talents as the master extraction artist build on nearly 20 years of experience in the cannabis industry. The company’s commitment to stringent standards is reflected in rigorous testing that each Papa & Barkley product undergoes to ensure products are free of pesticides, heavy metals or additives. As Grossman explains, this obsession with quality begins with sourcing sustainably grown cannabis that thrives in Humboldt County’s unique ecosystem.

“We work with local farmers with generations of experience growing this amazing flower in the richest possible natural conditions,” says Grossman. “We feel privileged to be here and try hard to represent Humboldt’s unique quality of life.”

As legalization transforms the economic landscape of Humboldt County, Grossman understands, “All eyes are on us,” as a leading cannabis company in the legal era. “We feel lucky to be in Humboldt,” says Grossman. “It’s something we don’t take for granted.” Committed to engaging with the community, Papa & Barkley employs Humboldt County residents, supports the local fire department and sponsors everyone’s favorite hometown baseball team, the Humboldt Crabs.

For Humboldt County, transforming cannabis into tinctures and topicals is still a radically new delivery system for the region’s best-known agricultural export. Topicals include salves, ointments or oils rubbed directly onto the skin, intended to ease joint pain, sore muscles, arthritis and inflammation. Topicals with a higher level of THC can spur some psychoactivity for the consumer but if strategically applied to avoid contact with major blood veins, the impact is greatly reduced. To skip the high entirely, Papa & Barkley offers several products with ramped up levels of CBD, one of the cannabis plant’s naturally occurring compounds. Known for its healing properties, CBD products like Papa & Barkley’s 1:30 Tincture allows for many new consumers to experiment with cannabis safely in their comfort zones.*

Though micro-dosing with a tincture looks and feels profoundly different from rolling up a joint, the unmistakable smell and taste of cannabis remain unchanged. When experimenting with the wide array of CBD cannabis products available in California’s recreational marketplace, many of us need a spoonful of sugar to make the cannabis go down. But tinctures, typically suspended in grain alcohol or oil, are incredibly versatile ingredients for the well-stocked home pantry or bar. While cannabis-infused oils or butter are dependable ingredients for preparing cannabis cuisine, tinctures are ideal for the finishing touch in an infused cocktail.

With a nod toward Humboldt County’s green future and the end of an era, this cocktail showcases the old-timey pairing of whiskey and maple, brightened by fresh lemon juice and the grounding herbal flavors of rosemary and cannabis. Whether for health or pleasure, I designed this cocktail for relaxation and healing.


Maple + Flower Smash


2     ounces Bourbon (I’m loyal to Bulleit) 
1     ounces fresh lemon juice 
1     ounces maple syrup
2     small sprigs rosemary  
1     milliliter Papa & Barkley’s 1:30 CBD Cannabis Tincture


Combine bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and a sprig of rosemary in a cocktail shaker. Muddle like you mean it. Add a few large ice cubes and shake. Strain the drink into a tumbler prepared with crushed ice. Top with a float of 1 dropper (1 milliliter) of CBD tincture and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and lemon. Drink to your health.