There’s a lot of confusion around buying safe hemp-derived products and CBD, but consumers are finding some good rules: ask for a COA, read the label carefully, start low and slow, and one of the big ones: look for US-grown hemp. But why does CBD have to come from the US? While this isn’t a complete blanket statement, it typically is a good choice — let’s get into why.
Hemp is a Bioaccumulator.
The first stop in understanding why you want your CBD to come from the US: understanding the hemp plant itself.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator; this means that when it’s planted and a growing, living plant, it’s absorbing everything in the soil — accumulating it. Hemp is like a sponge that soaks up everything around it, and is often used as a “cleanser” crop in between two types of crops to prepare the soil; this is called phytoremediation.
For instance, let’s say you have harvested a crop of tomatoes, and you want to plant carrots next (bad example, I’m not a farmer). You’d plant industrial hemp (the bioaccumulator) in between the two vegetable crops to clean out the soil (phytoremediation).
If There’s Bad Stuff In The Soil, It’s Going In Your Hemp
Because hemp is a bioaccumulator, it really, really matters where it grows. This is particularly true for regions that have a lot of heavy metals, pesticides, and nuclear fallout. The hemp grown in those areas sponge up the nasty contaminants, and when they’re distilled and made into hemp-extract CBD oil, guess what also ends up in the CBD oil? Yep. All that lethal garbage.
This is another reason that you want to ensure that the hemp is grown for medicinal purposes focusing on being Cannabidiol rich and other cannabinoids rather than plants grown with a focus on textiles and hempcrete.
Hemp Is Not Yet Regulated, But Agriculture Is
Because CBD supplements are not regulated by the FDA or any branch of the US Government, it’s up to the brands to be ethical and safe when procuring hemp. This means you’re trusting the brand to get hemp plants from a safe, healthy farm.
In essence, the only part of the process that is regulated by our government is the agricultural process (via the USDA), which is the closest you’ll come to government-regulated CBD until it’s official. This means CBD coming from the US is potentially the safest on offer.
Not All Foreign Hemp is Bad, BUT…
Just because some foreign hemp isn’t great for CBD doesn’t mean it’s ALL bad. In fact, Danish hemp may rival that of the States’ — but for the most part, hemp grown in the EU is industrial hemp. And China is dealing with “toxic industrial waste,” which doesn’t sound too promising.
Again — this isn’t a foolproof method, but another reminder to do your homework and use this information as a jumping off point. Happy hemp researching, and enjoy your CBD that comes from the US!