integrity database cbd hemp

Integrity database cbd hemp

There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp (also known as industrial hemp) refers to the non-psychotropic (less than .3% THC) varieties of Cannabis Sativa. Hemp has a plethora of uses as it can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products. Its seeds and flowers may be used in health foods, organic body care, as well as supplements. The fibers and stalks are used in hemp clothing, construction materials, paper, biofuel, plastic composites, to name a few.

This plant sets itself apart from other crops because it cleans the soil through the process of bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is the gradual accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other chemicals in an organism. Hemp’s unique quality was useful after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. In 1986, nuclear waste was spread across much of Eastern Europe, rendering land unusable. Hemp was the plant of choice to help clean and remediate the soil. Hemp can also sequester carbon back into the earth through a process called biosequestration. In the process of photosynthesis, the plant captures carbon emissions from the atmosphere, which helps to reverse climate change.

USDA Organic Certification & Regenerative Agriculture

Organic Certification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) means that farmers are following specific guidelines when growing their crops. The organic growing method is concerned primarily with the production side of farming and the products used to grow plants. The USDA awards the organic label to produce that is grown following these guidelines:

Soil management: Organic farms must rotate their crops to maintain the nutrient quality of the soil. Instead of using unauthorized synthetic fertilizers, farmers must use animal waste and certified products to add nutrition to the earth.
Cover crops and tilling practices are also used.
Pesticides: Organic crops are maintained without the use of chemical pesticides.
Organic seeds: Farmers plant organic seeds to produce organic crops.
No genetic engineering: Food cannot be altered using genetic engineering, sewage slug, or ionizing radiation. That means that organic foods are inherently free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Regenerative agriculture goes hand in hand with organic practices but goes even further. Regenerative farmers also do everything they can to get the soil healthy and mineralized. This not only leads to healthier crops but builds organic matter, carbon, and good structure in the ground that builds soil resilience. Why not purchase your consumer goods from an organization that pursues giving back to the environment and creates and maintains conditions under which humans and nature can exist in harmony to support future generations?

Be An Informed Consumer

RE Botanical’s brand, Palmetto Harmony, is the first CBD brand that had viable seeds and hemp flower certified along with the flower extracted product line. Before signage of the 2018 farm bill in December, the statement of principles by the USDA specified that hemp crops could be certified organic. Still, the flower and the viable seed were not able to be included in that certification. We grew in our 80,000 square foot facility over the winter and had our flower certified, which then resulted in legitimately certifying our flower only extracts. For further information, please read the statement of principles before the 2018 farm bill via the USDA and click HERE to see our FLOWER certification.

Be an informed consumer and search for yourself from the USDA Database to see how Palmetto Harmony compares to other companies.

Integrity database cbd hemp There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp (also known as industrial hemp) refers to the non-psychotropic (less than .3% THC) varieties of Cannabis

The Challenges of Organic Certification in the Hemp Industry

The hemp industry remains largely unregulated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). With a lack of mandate, it’s understandable that customers are wary about purchasing unsafe hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products. Therefore, quality protocols like organic certification–as combined with safety measures like third-party testing–seem like trustworthy measures to take.

Unfortunately, there are some challenges facing hemp industry companies that are trying to build a reputation for themselves as safe and reliable.

For starters, the FDA has not approved CBD in food or beverages as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (“GRAS”). With that, organic certifiers have encountered difficulties when it comes to deeming a CBD product–more particularly, CBD edibles and beverages–as “organic” and subject to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. In fact, until the FDA provides us with more comprehensible guidelines, certifiers will likely avoid certain products.

However, this isn’t to deem the products unsafe. All companies who’ve earned an organic certification are held accountable to high safety standards. If interested, you can look into the USDA Integrity Database to find out whether a company is organic.

The challenges go beyond food and beverages. It’s understood that in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, all hemp must contain less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Some hemp plants, however, are fortuitously grown past this threshold.

With such a high demand for CBD products, farmers are growing more hemp than ever before. Yet, much of this crop is going to waste as it doesn’t meet with federal guidelines. In fact, the USDA estimated that nearly 20% of hemp lots would be destroyed this year due to exceeding the 0.3% THC limit.

While there was a push for legislation to raise the THC limit to 0.5%, this request was met with refusal.

A farmer might be able to cultivate plants with total THC levels below 0.3% but not all hemp or CBD businesses operate from seed to sale. In other words, many CBD businesses may have little control over whether their farmers grow crops within the legal limits. However, businesses can request a certificate of analysis (CoA) in order to identify exact phytocannabinoid counts.

In addition, many extraction facilities cannot perform all the processing required for CBD products in the market, including THC remediation to compliant levels (at minimum) through processes like chromatography to keep CBD concentrations high–or perhaps just through blending with a carrier like hemp or coconut oil, which also lowers CBD levels.

In such cases, the best option would be to ship oils to someone else’s extraction facility that does have the ability to maintain the integrity of the organic chain.

Yet, if one were to do this, it would come at a cost many businesses can’t add to their plate. To ship, a business would need to dilute its extraction to compliant levels. The only way to truly accomplish this is through organic solvent (such as ethanol). However, this solvent is often met with an egregious tax, making the whole idea of shipping oils to other facilities highly impractical.

Unless your company has control over the entire supply chain–from seed to sale–you may face some additional challenges that other companies don’t have to handle. It’s therefore important to evaluate these issues from all angles before starting a business. And, as with so many aspects of an industry that is still in its infancy, we will likely see many of these policies continually challenged and hopefully improved, so that all participants in the process–including consumers–will face fewer hurdles in their business and personal pursuits.

Image Credit: Rick Proctor

The Challenges of Organic Certification in the Hemp Industry The hemp industry remains largely unregulated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). With a lack of mandate, it’s understandable ]]>