Until the 1930s, marijuana was legal, and hemp was in demand. The distinction between the two plants was clearly established. Cannabis was hemp or cannabis was marijuana. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 levied high taxes against doctors prescribing marijuana and farmers who grew hemp, but hemp could still be grown with a permit. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 grouped the cannabis plants together and made both crops illegal, over time the word cannabis became synonymous with marijuana. We somehow forgot about hemp.
With the growing interest in the many potential health benefits of CBD products, more people than ever before are being reminded of the distinctions between the two plants. Although awareness is improving, it is still not uncommon for people to be somewhat uncomfortable when they learn that CBD oil is extracted from hemp.
If you are feeling a bit uneasy with this thought, there is no cause for concern. If you purchase CBD products through a dispensary, there is a chance your product contains more than 0.3% THC. However, if you are purchasing CBD from non-psychoactive hemp oil, your product will contain less than 0.3% THC.
When you are selecting a hemp oil product, it’s important to be sure that the hemp used to make your CBD oil is cultivated using the best farming practices, which we have detailed below.
Hemp and Marijuana are Cultivated Differently
Hemp and marijuana are both potential sources of CBD oil. The CBD from marijuana contains high levels (5-30 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s the cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating effects associated with marijuana use. The CBD from hemp oil does not. These cannabis cousins actually have more differences than similarities. Hemp and marijuana plants not only look different, but they also grow in different environments. Consider the following:
• Marijuana Plants
Marijuana is a short, thick, bush-like plant. Marijuana plants require warm temperatures and a humid environment to thrive. Several states that have legalized marijuana use require that marijuana sold in dispensaries be grown indoors under artificial light. Many marijuana growers rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides registered with their respective states. Marijuana is typically grown for medical use and recreational purposes.
• Hemp Plants
Hemp is a tall, thin, plant that can grow up to 16 feet tall. Hemp can thrive in a variety of climates and typically grows within 108-120 days, outdoors. Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (.3 percent or less), and cannot cause intoxication. Hemp fiber is used for twine, rope, and coarse fabrics. The seeds of the hemp plant are about 30 percent oil and a good source of protein. Since hemp absorbs metals and toxins from the soil, hemp used for edible products, including CBD, should be grown using organic farming practices.
Hemp Used for CBD Products Should be Grown with Organic Farming Methods
Hemp plants are often used for phytoremediation1, the use of plants to clear pollutants and toxins from unhealthy soil. Hemp is ideal for this task because hemp plants grow quickly. These hearty plants pull heavy metals and toxins from the soil and groundwater. The deep roots of the hemp plant are unaffected by the toxins they accumulate. While beneficial for clearing unhealthy soil, this ability to leach contaminants from the ground can be detrimental to your health if your CBD is not grown with extraordinary care.
While hemp is not typically certified as organic, responsible CBD manufacturers know the importance of using hemp grown with organic farming methods to protect consumers from potentially harmful contaminants. Organic farming methods include:
• Testing soil prior to planting to ensure a contamination-free harvest
• Planting organic, non-GMO hemp seeds
• Growing hemp crops without using pesticides
• Growing plants without the use of herbicides, fungicides, or antibiotics
The Importance of Testing Soil and Verifying Product Purity and Potency
Before planting a hemp crop, it is essential that farmers have their soil tested by a neutral third party for potential contamination. If the soil is not proven to be free from heavy metals or toxins before planting, those contaminants will end up concentrated in hemp oil products.
After extraction and product manufacturing, products should be tested again to verify their purity and potency. When making a product selection, you will want to place your trust in a company willing to disclose the batch test results for every product offered. When you can verify the test results, you will know that your CBD oil is as potent and pure as the company claims. Use the lab results to verify that your CBD product:
• Is grown without fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides
• Contains no potentially harmful solvents or microbial contaminants
• Does not contain heavy metal contamination
• Contains .3 percent or less THC (full-spectrum)
• Contains other potentially beneficial cannabinoids (full-spectrum)
• Is THC-free (isolate)
The Number of States Growing Industrial Hemp Continues to Increase
In 2013 the state of Colorado legalized hemp farming. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (US Farm Bill) opened the doors to industrial hemp cultivation for pilot programs and hemp research. Thanks to the US Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products can now be shipped to all 50 states.
Confirm the Quality of Your CBD by Verifying the Best Farming Practices
While any reputable company wants to use hemp grown in soil that is contamination free, most CBD manufacturers don’t have control over every aspect of their business. Those who do not have complete control have to rely on the integrity of their hemp suppliers.
CBDistillery is a vertically integrated company. That means we are in control of every aspect of the production process. Before our organic, non-GMO hemp seeds are planted, our soil is third-party tested to ensure the purity of every CBDistillery product you select. We maintain control over every aspect of farming, harvesting, extraction, and product production. Before our products become available for purchase, they are tested again to verify product purity and potency. You will find the lab results within the images on the product description pages.
Grow your own plants
More states allow growing hemp or marijuana at home. Complete control over the quality of the plants is one of the reasons more Americans start harvesting today. With a few easy steps, you could harvest full-grown plants in a few months!