Last year, CBD Oil was something people were just learning about, the hemp extract that has been shown to be so beneficial for pain, anxiety, and so many other issues. Back then CBD seemed to be difficult to find, and people were always excited to find that we carried it in the store. Now, a year later, it seems that CBD is everywhere and is sold by a hundred (even more than that, truly) different brands. With the recent flood of different CBD products in the market, it’s even more important to be sure that you are choosing a quality brand with certified ingredients.
Talking about health concerns, it is not wrong to say that people have actually become very particular about the product they use, where it comes from and how it is made? This is majorly why the demand for certified organic CBD is high these days. The high demand for certified organic CBD oil products definitely increases the pressures on the manufacturers because they have to meet a particular quality standard to stay in the competition.It’s easy to find CBD products that claim to be made from hemp grown using organic practices. And there are even more brands that tout their products as all natural. But why is it so challenging to find organic CBD products that bear the official USDA seal?
What Is USDA Organic Certification?
The organic agriculture movement traces its origins to the early 20th century. And in the US, it really started picking up steam in the 1970s. That’s when consumers started becoming more aware of industrial agriculture’s potential to have a detrimental impact on the environment.
It wasn’t until 1990, though, that Congress passed legislation to create legal definitions of “organic” agriculture. This law, the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), led to the creation of regulations for organic food and fiber. It also created an advisory National Organic Standards Board. Their task was to recommend substances that could be used in organic farming to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The group then helped to create the regulations for organic products.
It took more than a decade to finalize and implement those rules in 2002. So, what does “organic” mean, from a legal perspective?
For produce to be labeled organic, it must be certified to have met certain standards. Very simply put: growers must not use prohibited substances like (most) synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
And for packaged foods with multiple ingredients, at least 70% of those ingredients must be produced organically. While the remaining 30% doesn’t have to be organic, it must conform to a set guidelines. For example, a manufacturer can’t include genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic products.
And how does that certification work in the real world? Well, the USDA makes the rules, but they don’t actually perform certifications. Rather, third-party certifying organizations evaluate the farms and processors to ensure that they meet the standards for USDA certification.
What Makes Hemp Plants Organic
Let’s begin with talking about what organic hemp is? Hemp plant extracts the cannabinoid chemical compounds that composite the CBD oil product. When we say extraction, the process of extracting hemp oil from the plant is not as simple as it sounds. In fact the organic 100% natural method of hemp oil extraction from the plant is so time consuming. And involves so many steps to be followed. That it is virtually impossible to ever get your hands on 100% natural smarts organic CBD oil product. And also if you’re looking for a certified organic CBD oil product.
As it is known, hemp is a bio-accumulator plant. This means that hemp draws everything near it. And absorbs everything from the soil, water and air that it breathes in. Hence, a hemp plant can never be 100% organic because it will be contaminated. And by toxins on some level that it has absorbed by the soil or from the air.
In order to grow organic hemp, the following requirements need to be met.
The plant seeds need to be 100% organic, pure and untreated. There should be no chemical hindrance with the plant seeds. Which must be in its complete organic form by all means.
The next requirement for an organic hemp plant is the soil conditions that need to be 100% natural. No chemicals and absolutely no toxins present. Moreover, the soil must be maintained in its purest form right throughout the time when the hemp plant grows.
No growth hormones
Farmers often use growth enhancers, stimulators and hormones to grow hemp plants to full form. Otherwise the plant takes too long to grow and that much time cannot be taken. Because there is a persistent manufacturer and consumer demand that needs to be met. However, a basic requirement for organic hemp plant is that its growth is all-natural. And has not been stimulated by any growth hormones or enhancers.
Plants are living beings and therefore are not safe from any diseases. They have problems of their own that come arise whilst the plant is growing. The farmer needs to use plant protection products to prevent and cure the plant disease or else the entire crop might damage. However, a basic requirement for ‘organic’ hemp is that it has not been treated by any biocontrol products including herbicides.
As we all know, plants need to basic things to grow; light and water. The basic source of light is of course the sun but when the sun does not come out for days or sunlight is blocked by heavy clouds, the farmers have no choice but to resort to artificial means of light radiations to prevent the inhibition of plant growth. However, organic hemp should not be grown using any processed or synthetic light but must only be grown with help of natural sunlight.
Brands can mislead you to believe their products are organic
The unfortunate result of this ever-growing competition is that many brands ‘claim’ to sell 100% organic CBD oil products. Allow us to inform you that all such claims are false. Manufacturer companies claiming to sell certified organic CBD are scamming their customers. Hence, it is imperative that when you set out to buy a CBD oil product, you must know what your expectations should be and how ‘pure’ or ‘organic’ can you get?
The first thing that needs to be understood by the consumers is that organic hemp is not as common as you are made to believe it is. Even if you are willing to pay a high price for organic hemp, there are no promises that you will get natural CBD. The high cost is never a guarantee for natural product. Hemp plants i.e. non-psychotic cannabis are the basis for CBD oil products. The growth of organic hemp plants is not possible fast enough to meet the demands of the customers. Moreover, the process of organic hemp plant growth is extensive and complex. It wouldn’t be wrong but to just say that CBD cannot be certified organic because organic hemp plants do not exist.
Standards For Organic Hemp Set By USDA
In order for CBD oil product to be certified, the hemp plant that makes it should be certified organic. Be it hemp plant or any other crop – it must fulfill all mandatory requirements set by USDA. The department of agriculture in America has set a standard for everything from seed plantation to soil condition, soil management and plant growth that must be adhered to in order for a plant to be labeled organic and natural.
The first factor is the amount of toxicity the plant can release in its environment. Hemp plants are bio-accumulators meaning they can absorb almost everything (regardless of good or bad) from its surroundings. Naturally a toxic plant is unlikely to result in a 100% pure organic CBD oil product.
Impact on human health
The next thing is the impact of the plant on the human health which is determined by the method that is used for farming.
Effect on eco-system
All living beings be it animals, plants or humans decompose to become part of the soil again. Therefore, this is another consideration made by USDA to determine how organic a plant is; they study the effect its components can have on the environment and ecosystem.
Interaction with chemicals and other materials
Anything that has been interfered by chemicals such as growth enhancers are no longer pure. Its organic form has been over-layered by synthetic chemicals. This is a very important consideration that needs to be made. That is prior to certifying a plant or crop as ‘pure’ and organic. If the crop or plant has interacted with chemicals, preservatives or any other contaminated materials on any level. It cannot be organic.
Soil and soil management
Many would be surprised to know that USDA even considers the soil on which the plant grows. And even how later the soil is maintained in its healthy form. The soil requires having a certain pH level in order to felicitate the plant growth. If the farmers use artificial means to maintain the pH levels of the soil. It is unlikely to be pure any longer.
Types of organic certification
Another thing that people must be aware of is the different types of organic certification that a hemp plant can have. Consumers either settle for the complete synthetic plant or look for 100% purest hemp plant. However, there are basically three different levels of organic certification for any plant or crop.
The first certification is for 100% organic and pure. In the 100% organic process, all processes and elements used are pure and in natural form.
The organic certification is for plants that have been grown with up to 95% natural ingredients. But the process has been completely synthetic.
Made with organic ingredients
The only certification that you can get for your hemp plant by USDA is made with organic ingredients. This is a process in which some of the steps and ingredients are kept organic. But most of the process and elements are synthetic. It is a rightful combination of synthetic and natural.
What Should You Look For In CBD Oil Products?
The one thing that should be pretty clear to you by now is the fact that. You expecting to find CBD oil products with a 100% organic certification is certainly not possible. There are so many requirements and conditions for a hemp plant to be all natural. As we discussed above, it is not possible for a hemp plant to grow organically all on its own. The environmental conditions, the ingredients used and the process of hemp plant cultivation can never be kept all natural.
So this brings us to the question of what you should look for in the CBD oil product. It is rather simple. The organic CBD hemp oil product should come with a USDA certification for ‘made with organic ingredients’. This is the least organic certificate. But the only one that you should expect for your CBD product by any means.
It is important to be aware that any company that promises 100% organic CBD oil is lying to you. And basically scamming you to pay extra money for nothing.