There are pharmaceutical-grade and sloppily-made cannabis products, and then there are those created by Constance Therapeutics. A San Francisco-based company, they produce standardized whole-plant extracts using sustainable farming and extraction methods.
These formulations fill the gap between traditional small-molecule drugs and recreational cannabis, says Constance Finley, founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics. An expert in cannabis extraction, Finley has more than a decade of experience working with data collection, as well as medical cannabis patients and physicians, to develop evidence-driven products.
“We have focused more on extract knowledge than any other group working with consumers,” Finley explains. “We don’t BS people. We stick to the truth. We say what we don’t know, and we pay careful attention.”
The former clinical psychologist founded Constance Therapeutics in 2014, and it was the first company to receive a manufacturing permit in San Francisco in 2017. Finley tried cannabis after treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that almost killed her. She dove into research, science and cultivation of the cannabis plant. When Harborside dispensary started selling CBD-rich clones in 2009, she recalled, “ … they gave me extras, because they said nobody else buys [them].”
When Steep Hill — the country’s first commercial medical cannabis lab — analyzed extracts, Finley had her oils tested, but couldn’t get them back. The lab had to recalibrate their machines to test her formulations. While average CBD products contained three percent CBD, her oils contained 11 percent, Finley says. Her extracts were also among the first to exceed 72 percent THC.
“We have focused more on extract knowledge than any other group working with consumers. We don’t BS people. We stick to the truth.” – Constance Finley, Constance Therapeutics founder and CEO
These formulations became known as “Constance Oils,” whole-plant extracts made with indoor-grown bud from female plants. Despite the term, her oils aren’t made using entire cannabis plants — just buds. “Other companies use trim, not bud,” says Finley. “We never, ever use trim.”
Constance Therapeutics sources flower from terroir-driven small farmers in Grass Valley, Willits and Humboldt County. Their quality, passion and artisan exploration are unparalleled — so is the soil. “That’s where medicine starts, that’s where pleasure starts — in healthy soil that allows for the best genetic expressions,” she adds.
Finley urges others to take health education into their own hands and use cannabis consciously. Consumers must educate themselves, and also rely on the industry to provide factual information about its products. Finley doesn’t oppose traditional medicine, however: “What I am for is expanding options for people,” she explains, “to be aware that it’s on us how we decide to be treated.”