There’s a lot of talk about CBD, how to use it, and how it can help to support your health and wellness. But not all CBD oils are the same, and one of the most important checks that you should do before buying a CBD product is to check that it is certified organic.
Why is Organic Hemp So Important?
Because Hemp is a bio-accumulator, bioaccumulation is defined as the gradual accumulation of substances such as pesticides as well as other chemicals in an organism, in this case, the hemp plant. Accumulation happens because the substance is absorbed at a faster rated than it is excreted.
This does have useful applications, especially in cleaning up the soil. An experiment in 2001 by German researchers showed the efficacy of hemp in cleaning up the soil at the Chernobyl site. The experiment showed how effective hemp is at accumulating toxins and was also an important warning for people who use CBD. You need to know where your hemp is sourced from, and it needs to be organic so that there is no risk of consuming toxins.
If you are looking at different CBD options in the UK, you’ll find that the majority of the products come from Europe. This is a good check to do as, throughout Europe, farmers are only legally allowed to grow EU-approved hemp strains, and the growing of these crops is strictly regulated which is good news for consumers as European grown hemp is safe. This makes buying hemp from other regions less optimal as Eastern Europe and Asia, which also produce large volumes of hemp, have far fewer regulations and requirements, so you have no way of knowing if the soil where the hemp was grown was clean.
Can Hemp be Produced Organically?
Yes. Here’s How:
Hemp is a sustainable plant because it is incredibly hardy and grows in extreme environments. It is also naturally resistant to disease and pests. Additionally, it’s also fast-growing and has low water requirements.
This makes it an ideal crop as there is no need for insecticides or pesticides, or fertilisation or irrigation. It naturally thrives in a northern hemisphere climate which is why it is a popular crop throughout Europe and North America.
Because industrial hemp has limited requirements, the process of producing organic hemp crops is straightforward.
The three main steps in the production of CBD are growing, harvesting and extraction.
If you buy CBD oil produced from hemp grown in Europe, you have peace of mind that it has been grown organically without pesticides or fertilisers. And, because hemp farms in Europe are highly regulated, you know that the soil is clean and the hemp can, therefore, be safely consumed.
Organic hemp is grown in countries such as Switzerland and Austria that use sustainable farming methods also have farms that harvest by hand. This ensures that no damage happens to the hemp during the harvesting process and that the hemp has not been exposed to any heavy machinery or toxins.
The two best options for extracting CBD from the hemp plant so that it remains organic is either CO2 extraction or ultrasound extraction.
CO2 extraction is a process that uses carbon dioxide under pressure to pull out specific phytochemicals from a plant. For CBD, the process extracts the essential cannabinoids, waxes and terpenes from the plant.
Ultrasonic extraction is a more advanced, effective extraction process that has a gentle approach ensuring that the plant’s ingredients are preserved. This ensures that the CBD extracted is of the highest quality and purity.
Other CBD extraction techniques that rely on solvents compromise the purity of the CBD and therefore you should be very cautious about purchasing a CBD oil that has not been produced using CBD that was extracted using CO2 or ultrasound.
What About the Other Ingredients in CBD Oil?
With an understanding of how hemp can be grown organically, it’s important to look at the other ingredients in CBD oil. CBD oil will usually only have one other ingredient aside from the CBD, and that is the oil to which the CBD has been added. Most manufacturers will use coconut oil, olive oil or hempseed oil. As these oils are all plant-based, they can easily be certified as organic. Here it will be a case of verifying the source of the oil and ensuring that no chemicals or fertilisers were used in the production of the oil.
For other CBD products ascertaining whether the product is organic or not becomes more complicated as the list of ingredients grows because each ingredient will need to be checked to see whether it has been produced organically.
How Do I Check if the CBD is Organic?
As the main ingredients of CBD oil (the CBD extract and the oil) can be produced organically, the product itself can also be organic.
In the UK, in order to be sold as organic, the product needs to be certified. Different bodies can be applied to for certification which is judged on a number of factors including:
- The effect of the product on human health
- The effects on the environment
- The possibility for contamination
- The toxicity
If the product is labelled as “100% organic” then all ingredients and the end-to-end process can be considered organic. However, if it is labelled as “organic”, then only 95% of the product is organic.
One important thing to keep in mind is that while the ingredients of a product may be grown organically, and that the production process may be considered organic, the product cannot be marketed as organic. To be marketed as organic, the product is required to be certified by an independent third-party lab. This means that some products may not be labelled as organic when, in fact, they are. This puts the onus on consumers to check the growing practices of the producer before making a decision.
If you’re uncertain about whether the product you’re interested in is organic, you can ask the company for verification – just ask to see the certificate of the registration number as not all companies display them on their websites.
Many CBD oils, when you look at the ingredients and growing practices, are considered organic. Particularly because the hemp industry is heavily regulated and the fact that hemp doesn’t need the assistance of pesticides or fertilisers to thrive means that there are a number of different CBD oils made using organic hemp.
Buying an organic CBD oil is essential as hemp is a bio-accumulator and, as such, needs to be sourced from areas where the soil is free from toxins. The best way to check the quality of your CBD oil is to refer to the third-party lab reports for the product, as well as reading reviews to check that the product is of good quality. Refer to the company’s website for more information on how the CBD has been produced as the product you’re interested in may not have organic certification, but the CBD and the production process that the company follows could be organic.