Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

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Best CBD Gummies | Reviews of the Top CBD Gummies Online

People love taking supplements in the form of “adult gummies,” from vitamins to CBD oil. in this review, we picked the four brands that offer the best CBD gummies and ranked our favorites in terms of strength, customer service, price and flavor..

I adore the chewy delight of a gummy candy, and I loved getting the chance to pick out the best CBD gummies.

I may be a bit biased, because I’ve always enjoyed gummies, from gummy bears to gummy worms, and they’re even better when you add the healing power of CBD. Obviously I’m not alone: store shelves are full of gummy adult vitamins and numerous other nutritional supplements in candy shapes. When it comes to CBD oil, the beneficial supplement made from industrial hemp, it’s no surprise there are lots of sweet, chewy CBD treats for sale now, too.

The appeal of CBD gummies is obvious: the flavors and texture make CBD easy to ingest, particularly if people have trouble swallowing pills or dislike the flavor of conventional tinctures. While all gummy supplements should be kept out of reach of children, some kids do take CBD, particularly for especially serious forms of epilepsy, so CBD gummies have an obvious appeal for those parents. It can also be easier to take a precise dose with edibles like gummies compared to a dropper of liquid CBD tincture.

It could be argued, and not without reason, that gummies represent empty calories and needless sugar added to our diets, but I know that I’ve taken my vitamins more consistently since I started buying gummies. It makes sense that other people would find CBD easier to take regularly if it comes as a candy, and for them the benefits may easily outweigh the caloric costs.

A bowl overflowing gummy bears in a rainbow of colors. When it comes to the quality of CBD gummies, not all are created equally.

Unfortunately, when I started looking into CBD gummies, I found that very few products met our standards of quality. Because the CBD market is largely unregulated, it’s important to be very careful which products you choose. In the end, I found just four companies met the MInistry of Hemp’s high standards for CBD products: CBD Infusionz, CBD Living, Go Green Hemp, and Pure American Hemp Oil. (Continue reading for our full review!)

I’ll outline below what standards I used to judge these products, which combine both subjective standards (like how did it taste?) with objective ones (like quality and cost). Then I’ll tell you who made the best CBD gummies, and a little bit more about each brand.

A GOOD BEAR IS HARD TO FIND: THE PROBLEM OF POOR QUALITY CBD GUMMIES

To research this article, I looked at all the CBD gummies I could find for sale online, and also looked in many of the shops local to me in Austin, Texas which sell CBD products. I was disappointed by how few shops appeared to offer good, quality products.

Many were from vendors I’d never heard of, and some of those brands had broken or nonexistent websites or other online presence. Few were transparent about the source of their CBD oil, and almost none offered lab results to prove the purity of their contents or the products’ purported strength.

For this article, I only reviewed products which are clearly labeled in terms of their strength, and that make third-party lab results available to buyers.

Some online brands were as bad or even worse. Most don’t offer lab results and didn’t respond to our inquiries. One brand even appeared to be deliberately misleading customers by linking to lab results that didn’t match the products being offered for sale. Many are also unclear about the strength of their products.

Why does it matter? Because hemp absorbs toxins from the soil where it’s grown, it’s crucial that hemp is grown organically in soil free from major sources of pollution. Since the CBD market is unregulated, third-party lab results are the only way to guarantee that customers can know the product actually contains CBD, how strong it is, or to make sure there are no toxins or impurities.

For this article, I only reviewed products which are clearly labeled in terms of their strength, and that make third-party lab results available to buyers.

PRICE, FLAVOR, CUSTOMER SERVICE: PICKING THE BEST CBD GUMMIES

In addition to lab results, I reviewed each of the four products on the following criteria:

  • Price,
  • Strength (the dosage of each edible)
  • Customer service and shipping,
  • And flavor.

While some brands offer more than one type of CBD gummy, I chose to review just the gummy bears. While working on this review, I stopped taking my usual CBD tincture and took the gummies instead. All four brands of gummies seemed to help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including chronic pain and insomnia, which is the primary reason I take CBD.

In the end, I happily finished all the products we bought for review. So even though I strongly preferred the flavors of some CBD gummies more than others, I’d encourage readers to try all the brands listed below to figure out which they like best — especially since taste is highly subjective.

With that out of the way, here are the best CBD gummies, ranked from my most to least favorite brands:

  1. CBD Living: These gummies tasted and looked the most like regular gummy bears and all their lab results are available online. If you want the classic gummy bear experience plus CBD, CBD Living is your best choice. On the downside, their shipping was slower and more expensive than other brands.
  2. CBD Infusionz: This was a very close second: these gummies taste great, but more like a homemade candy then a real gummy bear. CBD Infusionz also has unique flavors and options for their gummies. Unfortunately, they are still working to get their lab results online but will provide them by email.
  3. Go Green Hemp: These gummies looked a lot like a classic gummy bear, but they tasted very medicinal. These were the gummy bears I enjoyed eating least out of all the products (but I still ate them all). However, I’m ranking them higher than Pure American Hemp because their lab results are easier to access.
  4. Pure American Hemp Oil: These looked almost identical to Go Green Hemp in packaging and shape, and also had a moderate medicinal aftertaste. Pure American Hemp offered fast shipping and great customer service, but are still working to get all their lab results online (you have to email them right now for the gummies’ results).

Click above on a brand, or continue reading to see our mini-review of each type of CBD gummy, including details about what makes each brand unique.

CBD GUMMIES OFFICIAL REVIEWS

CBD Living Gummies have a true, classic gummy bear flavor with almost no aftertaste.

CBD LIVING GUMMIES

  • Price: $20.00 (+ $10 standard shipping)
  • Strength: 10 milligrams each (10 bears per bag, 100mg total CBD per bag).
  • Customer Service & Shipping: CBD Living had the slowest & most expensive standard shipping of all the varieties.
  • Test Results: Online.
  • Flavor: Like the classic “gummy bear” you ate as a kid, with barely any medicinal aftertaste.
  • Other: Also available in bottles of 30 bears at a discount, or as CBD-infused sour gummy bears, cherry rings, and sour apple rings.

CBD Living Gummies won my “Best CBD Gummies” award because they taste like a delicious, classic gummy bear and, even more importantly, third-party lab results are available right on the website. Compared to the other brands, CBD Living uses packaging very similar to prescription medicine bottles, which could be a turn off for some shoppers. While they don’t offer as many gummy types as CBD Infusionz, they do offer some appealing options in addition to the basic bear. They also offer some other unique products like CBD bath bombs and chocolate bars. While it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, their standard shipping option seemed slower & less affordable than the rest.

CBD Infusionz gummies come in a variety of flavors, strengths, and unique AM & PM options

CBD INFUSIONZ TRIPLE LAYER BEARS

  • Price: $19.99 (+$ 3.99 standard shipping)
  • Strength: 5 milligrams each (10 bears per bottle, 50mg total CBD per bottle).
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast response to customer service questions; slow but inexpensive standard shipping.
  • Test Results: By email only.
  • Flavor: Like a fresh candy from your local sweet shop. Delicious!
  • Other: Many unique flavors plus “AM/PM” gummy options; 99 cent sample pack available.

CBD Infusionz Triple Layer Bears taste delicious, but more like a handmade candy than the classic “gummy bear” taste some people might crave. However, this brand mostly ranked second because the lab results aren’t on their website yet (they told me they’re working on this) but they will send them by email if you ask. Their basic gummies contain just 5 milligrams of CBD each, which some customers might prefer. Although stronger gummies are available, they cost a bit more money. However, CBD Infusionz offers over a dozen different kind CBD gummies, from sour apple rings to “Starfish gummie yummies.” In addition to regular CBD, they also offer “AM” gummies (which include caffeine) and “PM” gummies (with melatonin).

Go Green Hemp offers easily available online third-party lab test results, but their CBD gummies had a strong medicinal aftertaste.

GoGreen Hemp CBD Gummy Bears

  • Price: $21.99 (+ $6.99 priority shipping)
  • Strength: 10 milligrams each (20 bears per bottle, 200mg total CBD per bottle).
  • Customer Service & Shipping: GoGreen Hemp had good customer service and offers affordable and fast priority shipping.
  • Third Party Lab Results: Online.
  • Flavor: All the bears had a medicinal aftertaste, with the red bears tasting especially bitter.
  • Other: No other flavors available but GoGreen also offers CBD capsules, a topical ointment & dog chews.

GoGreen Hemp CBD Gummy Bears were my least favorite CBD gummies in terms of flavor. The red gummies, in particular, had a noticeable and somewhat unpleasant medicinal aftertaste. Even so, they were still effective at easing my fibromyalgia symptoms, and I finished all the bears while working on this review. The main reason GoGreenHemp is ranked third, rather than last, is that they make their lab results available right on their website. So even though I found the flavor less appealing, they make it easy for customers to verify the product’s purity and strength, which I really appreciate. This is what every brand should be doing.

Pure American Hemp Oil’s gummies had a more noticeable aftertaste, but the company had great customer service.

PURE AMERICAN HEMP OIL GUMMIES

  • Price: $38.95 (+ $5 standard shipping)
  • Strength: 10 milligrams each (30 bears per bottle, 300mg total CBD per bottle).
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Pure American Hemp Oil had the fastest standard shipping, and fast, friendly customer service.
  • Test Results: By email request (for gummies, other products have online results).
  • Flavor: A noticeable medicinal aftertaste, especially in the red bears, but less bitter than GoGreen.
  • Other: Pure American Hemp Oil also offers CBD tinctures and gel caps.

Pure American Hemp Oil’s gummy bears are very similar in shape and packaging to GoGreen Hemp. They were less bitter than GoGreen, but still had a medicinal aftertaste. After some deliberation, I ranked them last because of the combination of poor flavor and the inaccessibility of their lab results, which you currently have to request by email or Facebook messenger for most of their products. Like Infusionz, they told me they’re working to add lab results to their website soon. They also cost more money than GoGreen. On the other hand, Pure American Hemp Oil had great customer service, and the fastest standard shipping of any brand. These CBD gummies also did a great job of helping me sleep at night.

Did we miss a brand of CBD gummies? Email kit@ministryofhemp.com.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Eradicating Cannabis In Kansas: A Lost History Of Hemp Uncovered

Many people don’t know that hemp was studied at great length in agriculturally-based states like Kansas. What better location to research crops than one of the largest remaining prairie ecosystems in the world?

Many people know government agencies and private companies influenced the prohibition of cannabis and industrial hemp.

However, something many do not know is that hemp was studied at great length in agriculturally-based states like Kansas. What better location to research crops than one of the largest remaining prairie ecosystems in the world?

Ironically, since Kansas was one of the last places to end hemp prohibition, what ultimately matters most was who funded and guided those studies that helped make it illegal in the first place. Historical information I recently uncovered shows that institutional proof exists about the importance of industrial hemp in Kansas, and why its reintroduction is crucial for numerous reasons.

Farmers care deeply about the environment and decisions are based on markets, therefore understanding these lessons of our past are more important now than ever.

For decades, America’s Heartland was a large contributor to the hemp industry. In fact, according to a state agriculture report, Kansas even ranked first in the U.S. for bushels per acre in 1863. But then, during the beginning of the war on drugs, hemp was banned along with psychoactive cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana.

An illustration of a hemp grower in Kansas harvesting a crop, circa 1901.

Despite prohibition, hemp simply refused to disappear from the Kansas landscape. When I was young, my father told me he participated in a project studying eradication methods of wild hemp in Riley County while earning his biology degree at Kansas State University during the 1970s. After searching for the report on and off for years, I finally found the work my father participated in, along with two others in September of 2017.

UNCOVERING THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF HEMP IN KANSAS

While citations can be found on the internet, full versions are restricted except by going through thousand-dollar paywalls requiring login information. After a challenging process, complete with archivists looking through original documents in a vault and sending them electronically, within a couple weeks I had one of the only (if not the first) digitized copies of “Identifying and Controlling Wild Hemp (Marijuana).”

What I found was that these reports helped legitimize the “war on drugs,” which forced millions of people into incarceration, in addition to justifying the use of taxpayer dollars for entering farmers’ lands to eradicate a plant. These efforts however, were not based on thoroughly-vetted evidence. When looking closely, the research projects benefitted competing industries because they were directly funded by chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The authors also gave acknowledgements to the state’s Marijuana Control Steering Committee.

Plus these studies originated from and referenced medical research, even though the intended purpose was agriculture-based. Much of the wording reflected what the aforementioned influencers wanted to categorize the plants as a single, weed-causing infestation that had to be eliminated (since embracing it would decrease their profits and those of other industries like cotton and wood paper).

These conflicts of interest in our country’s hemp history can no longer be ignored by environmentally-conscious farming communities. One of the most important and damaging of all findings claims a farmer could either practice deep plowing, which we know now is economically inefficient, and damaging to soil health. The only other option required farmers to use tons of chemicals “without disturbance of the soil profile.” The work also documented and even encouraged methods of eradicating “wild hemp” including harmful chemicals my father used that are known to cause fertility issues and even cancer, such as 2-4-D.

A final and crucial finding admits the varieties of cannabis that grow throughout Kansas are not only low in potency, but they do not fluctuate in cannabinoid content. This means authorities knew at the time of its ratification there was not an objective or scientific justification to outlaw hemp based on the sole argument that it was thought to be a drug — because of its agricultural origins, you simply could not use this hemp to get high.

An industrial hemp plant grows tall in a densely planted farmers’ field.

A FUTURE FOR CANNABIS IN KANSAS?

Thanks to modern genetics, it is becoming more commonly accepted that cannabis cultivated for medicinal or recreational purposes cannot be grown anywhere near industrial hemp, since cross-pollination is proven to always result in decreased potency. Variations between fiber and ‘drug’ types come in many forms, ranging from physical appearance and time of harvest, to expression of certain traits.

Taking into account limitations and biases during the early years of cannabis research, this data allows us to rediscover the importance of scientific integrity. Together we have the collective responsibility to identify and accept inconsistencies we find, and prevent the suppression of information that does not result in beneficial policies for our citizens or environment.

Farmers know industrial hemp grows well in many climates and requires fewer overall resources compared to other commodities like corn and soybean. Even as a rotational option to improve successive yields of other crops, hemp is proven to help in multiple aspects. Its cultivation promotes ways of regenerative and sustainable agriculture that are desperately needed, especially in places like Kansas after decades of depleting resources for irrigating water-intensive crops. Simultaneously, our soil and ecosystems need remediation from the damage of conventional farming practices.

Through embracing modern science to reduce harm and improve our environment, farmers are in a unique position to right the wrongs of the past. They can lead the way against unfounded restrictions, like the laws restricting hemp growing, that hold back progress for us all.

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Why The Hemp Industry Is Suing The DEA Over CBD Oil | HIA vs. DEA

Hemp businesses and consumers could soon be celebrating the end of the DEA’s attempts to prevent Americans from producing or selling cannabidiol (CBD) extracts, depending on the outcome of a new lawsuit. Dozens of members of Congress have expressed their support for legal CBD oil in a brief filed in the case.

Hemp businesses and consumers could soon be celebrating the end of the DEA’s attempts to prevent Americans from producing or selling cannabidiol (CBD) extracts.

On Dec 14, 2016, the DEA published a new rule establishing a new drug code for “marijuana extracts.” The rule states that extracts from the “genus cannabis” plant containing any cannabinoid “will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances.”

This rule poses a significant challenge to hemp producers and consumers in the U.S. who, up to now, have been legally producing and consuming CBD and hemp oil under the Agricultural Act of 2014.

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), along with other petitioners, has challenged this rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition, a group of lawmakers have declared their support for CBD, filing a document in the case insisting that Congress already made CBD legal, and that it remains legal, thanks to the Agricultural Act.

While consumers continue to freely access CBD oil, the DEA’s rule has cast a shadow over producers and vendors, and this lawsuit could go a long way towards easing their worries.

A hearing date is set for February 15, 2018 in San Francisco, though the case could last for months.

While consumers haven’t faced any reported legal threats so far, some hemp CBD shops in states with relatively strict controlled substance laws have seen their inventory seized by local law enforcement and their operations shut down.

“The industrial hemp industry has seen exponential growth across the United States since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2014, and this case represents the most significant challenge the U.S. hemp industry has seen to date,” Garrett Graff, an attorney for the petitioners, told Ministry of Hemp.

A gavel with the scales of justice behind it. The HIA vs. DEA case could have long-lasting repercussions for the hemp industry and CBD consumers.

The outcome of this lawsuit could be crucial not just for the hemp industry, but also for the thousands of people who benefit from taking CBD.

WHY THE HIA VS. DEA LAWSUIT MATTERS TO HEMP PRODUCERS & CONSUMERS

The DEA’s long war on industrial hemp dates back decades, but Congress began in earnest to correct this situation about four years ago. The Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the 2014 Farm Bill,) created an exemption from the Controlled Substances Act by defining industrial hemp grown in an authorized research program as separate and distinct from marijuana.

Nevertheless, the DEA obstructed farmers from participating in hemp research programs, prompting a lawsuit from the state of Kentucky in 2014. Because of continued DEA obstruction of the Farm Bill, Congress was forced to pass a rider to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill in September of 2016. This rider provided that no funds may be spent by the federal government interfering in legitimate hemp research.

The headquarters of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The DEA insists the CBD extracts made from hemp are illegal, despite the 2014 Farm Bill which made hemp growing and research legal in the U.S. on a limited basis (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Sebmol, CC-BY-SA license).

Despite these two provisions of law, the DEA continues to assert publicly that CBD derived from hemp is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, sending a chill over potential hemp business investors. The case is important because the DEA’s overbroad treatment of virtually all CBD as a controlled substance has resulted in uncertainty in the blossoming hemp economy.

WHAT THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION GETS WRONG ABOUT CBD & HEMP

The federal Controlled Substance Act creates an exemption for the stalks and seeds of the cannabis plant as legal substances because they only contain traces of THC. Congress, in the 2014 Farm Bill, expanded this exemption of stalks and seeds to include all parts of the industrial hemp plant grown in an authorized research program, only requiring that hemp products contain 0.3 percent THC or less. But the DEA has not acknowledged this fact, as it continues to assert that any CBD extract — even one made from legal industrial hemp — is a controlled substance under federal law.

The petitioners made significant progress in the briefing stage of the case by forcing the DEA to admit that not all cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). The DEA now admits that the source of the CBD determines whether it falls under the CSA. If the source of the CBD is an exempt part of the plant (stalks and seeds), according to the DEA, then the CBD falls outside the CSA and is legal. What the petitioners argue is that the Farm Bill created an additional exemption for Farm Bill-produced hemp, which the DEA’s rule effectively wipes out. An agency cannot rewrite a law in this way, and petitioners seek a court order setting aside the rule on this basis (as well as others).

The DEA attempts to argue, without basis, that the exemption provided by the Farm Bill is a limited exemption only applying to hemp that is being grown or cultivated, and when the hemp leaves the field it magically becomes a controlled substance. This contradicts the plain language of the Farm Bill which protects research hemp “whether growing or not.” It also ignores Congress’s clear intent to grow hemp businesses in interstate commerce through marketing research involving hemp grown in research projects.

28 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR CBD IN HIA VS DEA LAWSUIT

A hemp farmer inspects his crop. The HIA vs. DEA lawsuit aims to end the uncertainty around the legal status of CBD extracts made from industrial hemp.

In fact, the 28 Senators and Representatives who crafted the hemp portion of the Farm Bill emphasize this very point in a recent and potentially very significant “amicus” brief filed in the case in support of the petitioners.

“It is truly remarkable that nearly thirty elected Members of Congress have taken the opportunity to prepare an amicus brief in this matter in support of the Petitioners,” Graff said. “Congress has spoken, yet again.”

These members of Congress assert that CBD and any product derived from Farm Bill hemp is legal, so long as it adheres to only one requirement: that the THC level be 0.3 percent or less as provided in the Farm Bill.

Further, the brief states that “Congress legalized … any commercial marketing of industrial hemp extracts and derivatives, so long as the products fell under the THC threshold level.”

A DAY OF RECKONING FOR THE HEMP INDUSTRY

Hemp industry attorneys representing the petitioners in the case are cautiously optimistic, especially after receiving Congressional support.

Graff told us, “Our clients, the HIA, RMH, and Centuria Foods, are truly humbled by this show of support from Congress concerning this critical matter.”

While consumers continue to freely access CBD oil, the DEA’s rule has cast a shadow over producers and vendors, and this lawsuit could go a long way towards easing their worries.

It would appear that February 15 will be a day of reckoning for the DEA in its quest to defy Congressional intent. Regardless of the outcome of this case, hemp farmers and businesses will continue to push for federal legislation fully legalizing commercial hemp production. But a favorable ruling would bring us much closer to that outcome.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Texas Winery Offers Unique Hemp Oil-Infused Wines | Texas Hemp Wine

It’s a product years in the making, but Americans in 37 states can now try hemp-infused wine, the creation of Texas-based TVM Wines. For the wine’s creators, the product is about more than just capitalizing on an increasingly “hip” ingredient.

You can wear hemp fashion, put hemp seeds on your oatmeal, even write on hemp paper, so why not sip some hemp wine?

It’s a product years in the making, but Americans in 37 states can now try hemp-infused wine, the creation of Texas-based TVM Wines.

TVM’s new hemp wines are actually wine cocktails, infused with flavors like “rum and Coke” and “Texas tea,” and graced with playful names like “Forbidden,” “Covert” and “Taboo” that invite drinkers to take part in something secretive and daring. However, for the wine’s creators, the product is about more than just capitalizing on an increasingly “hip” ingredient: they’re believers in the benefits of hemp too.

“We really truly want to help people,” declared Elease Hill, vice president of sales and marketing at TVM Wines.

Each glass of hemp wine contains a full serving of hemp oil, and while Hill stops short of making any health claims about drinking the wine, there’s ample scientific evidence that hemp oil itself can provide real benefits to consumers. If Hill had her way, the wines would also include CBD oil, an extract of hemp that can offer relief to symptoms of numerous conditions from arthritis to chronic pain. However, her efforts to develop CBD-infused wine, which has already become a best-selling product in Europe were thwarted by government regulations and the ongoing war on drugs, and it took months of struggle and negotiation to even bring her hemp wines to market.

Two bottles of TVM Hemp Wines, in “Fantasy” and “Covert” flavors, are artfully posed outdoors. TVM’s Elease Hill spent months negotiating with the government in order to successfully bring hemp wine to market.

“Until the government gets off their high horse and leaves hemp alone we can’t do anything with CBD,” Hill said, with obvious frustration in her voice, when we spoke to her by phone last month.

DEA, TTB, AND THE STRUGGLE TO BRING HEMP WINE TO MARKET

Friends of the family-owned winery first suggested the idea of a hemp wine “about two years ago,” according to Hill, but her father, TVM’s chairman Ron Mittelstedt, was initially resistant due to hemp’s uncertain legal nature and lingering stigma.

The idea lingered, and soon after Hill’s sister Beth began to research hemp’s benefits. Hill herself also discovered that CBD could treat her Attention Deficit Disorder more effectively than pharmaceutical drugs. Armed with both first-hand experience and knowledge of Spain’s “Cannavine,” they were able to change their father’s opinion and began the long process of developing a new product — only to discover that there were seemingly miles of red tape in their way.

Hemp was once a staple American cash crop, and in regular use for its medicinal benefits, until it was made illegal alongside its close cousin, marijuana, in the early 20th-century. The 2014 Farm Bill legalized hemp growing in the U.S. again for “research purposes” (including market research), allowing each state to set rules around the growth of low-THC industrial hemp. Legal experts believe the farm bill, along with other legislation and legal precedents, mean that hemp-based products are fully legal in the United States.

However, the Drug Enforcement Administration continues to insist that CBD is fully illegal, and other government agencies have followed their lead.

Pres. Barack Obama signs the 2014 Farm Bill, which relegalized hemp growing in the U.S. Despite this and other legal precedents, government agencies continue to resist the sale of legal hemp products like CBD-infused hemp wine.

“When the DEA came out and said CBD is a Schedule I drug, the TTB, the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Board, they were not going to approve any alcohol products that contain CBD unless it was in trace amounts,” Hill explained.

Without TTB approval, TVM’s products wouldn’t be assigned a “COLA number,” a crucial designation required for national distribution of alcoholic products. She soon discovered that the agency had an absurd definition of what constitutes a trace amount. At one point, the TTB rejected an earlier formula because they claimed it contained 700 parts per million of CBD, a miniscule measurement far below what could cause any effect.

Even after after agreeing to use hemp oil, rather than CBD oil, Hill still had to push for final approval. One additional challenging factor? Hemp-infused products are rare: most similar products are merely flavored with it rather than containing substantial amounts of actual hemp. One exception, which helped Hill make her case to the TTB, is Colorado High Vodka, which is actually distilled from hemp plants.

After almost two years of work, the TTB agreed to grant TVM Hemp Wines a cola number late last year. “We finally got approval actually one day before my birthday on the formulas, which is December 1st.”

The agency approved the labels later that month, and the first hemp wines went on sale in Texas stores in January.

REDUCING THE STIGMA AROUND CANNABIS, ONE GLASS OF HEMP WINE AT A TIME

The names of the hemp wines, from “Forbidden” to “Fantasy,” hint at the way cannabis has faced misunderstandings, mistrust, and persecution under the war on drugs. Hill’s struggle to receive government approval for the products, shows that the stigma around this plant is still alive even as legal barriers theoretically fall away. The early response to her wines, on the other hand, is a sign that everyday people are excited about hemp, rather than afraid of it.

A red sock monkey (don’t worry, he’s over 21!) enjoys the sweet taste of TVM’s “Forbidden” hemp wine cocktail. Consumers’ excitement over hemp wine shows the stigma around cannabis is disappearing.

“It wasn’t even on the shelves for 20 minutes and someone bought two bottles,” Hill said.

TVM’s hemp wines are already for sale — and selling fast — in several stores in Texas, with more coming soon. For the rest of us, curious hemp enthusiasts in 37 states can order the products from TVM’s page on Vinoshipper.com.

Hill isn’t done making hemp products, but she’s hoping Congress will clear up the legal confusion around hemp first. Efforts like the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would have fully legalized hemp and hemp products from coast to coast, have stalled in Congress so far, but advocates are hopeful that support for total legalization is growing rapidly.

“I need these bills to pass through so we can create a traditional, dry red wine with the CBD infused.”

We can’t wait to try it!

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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The Right & Wrong Way To Legalize Hemp In Kansas

It is hard to understand how Kansas, a land of beautiful prairies and the nation’s third highest number of agricultural acreage, is one of the last states to end prohibition of industrial hemp. But will farmers be shut out by the new legislation?

It is hard to understand how Kansas, a land of beautiful prairies and the nation’s third highest number of agricultural acreage, is one of the last states to end prohibition of industrial hemp.

Thirty-four states have now passed hemp legislation including New York state.

In fact, Governor Cuomo recently earmarked over $2.6 million for a hemp processing plant and seed certification program, and wants to make New York state a national leader in hemp production.

With China and Korea leading the world in hemp production, Russia now the world’s largest exporter of wheat and other nations increasing grain production, the U.S. is no longer the world’s only agricultural superpower. Hemp provides for over 50,000 products spanning across 10 different industries. My coalition, Kansans for Hemp, has conducted community forums across the state and continues to hear that farmers need the Kansas Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to allow hemp legalization bill HB 2182 to have a hearing, dropping any proposed legislation that leaves farmers out. Research was already conducted at Kansas State University during the 1970s, now it is up to Kansas lawmakers to not “research out the farmers” as some lawmakers have proposed.

WILL FARMERS GROW HEMP IN KANSAS? A TALE OF TWO HEMP BILLS

Given the low prices for wheat, corn and soybeans, Kansas farmers desperately need a more profitable alternative. Because of low prices, farmers have to increase yields per acre to break even or make a small profit. Increased supplies of grain put downward pressure on prices, and we have a vicious economic cycle that farmers cannot escape — unless they have the economic freedom to diversify commodities and grow a more profitable crop.

A dense field of green bamboo-like industrial hemp stalks grows tall in the summer sunshine. Industrial hemp can be harvested for thousands of uses.

The people of America’s Heartland know good public policy is made through input from many stakeholders, so when introducing a new commodity offering as much opportunity as hemp does it makes sense why the number of those involved increases. In 2017, two hemp bills were introduced and as with most revenue-generating issues, there are now multiple influences attempting to guide the outcome.

One hemp bill (HB 2209) was introduced which only allows universities the ability to cultivate hemp for research purposes, it never had a hearing. The second bill (HB 2182) is closely modeled after laws in Tennessee and Kentucky. It was passed out of committee and passed the House floor by a vote of 103-18. The house bill was then sent to the Senate Ag committee, however the Chairman (Sen. Kerschen) chose not to deal with it because of how late it was in the session. The state lobbyist and Kansans for Hemp were told there would be a hearing in 2018.

The first day of 2018 session, Chairman Kerschen instead introduced a Senate version of HB 2209, titled SB 263. To be clear, both SB 263/HB 2209 are limited, watered down legislation that is in fact not in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill, Sec 7606, the landmark federal legislation which re-legalized hemp in the U.S. HB 2209 also cuts out farmers completely as it leaves out crucial details of any licensing administration processes, and excludes other entities like technical and community colleges from doing research.

A source told us that there has been a pledge of money from the representative who introduced the House version, to help with the research (which seems unethical). Chairman Kerschen is ignoring HB 2182, including the 103 votes from the House, and held a two-day hearing on SB 263 which again is not what we have continuously heard that Kansas communities want or need.

KANSAS LAWMAKERS MUST STUDY OTHER STATES’ HEMP LAWS

Kansas needs to look no further than across the western border into Colorado to see there is room for all when it comes to this rapidly expanding industry.

A farmer harvests hemp with a tractor under a cloudy sky. Legal hemp in Kansas must allow for growing by everyday farmers, not just academic institutions.

However, contrary to what some organizations claim additional, exclusive research is not necessary under the 2014 Farm Bill. Pilot programs which are open to farmers (like HB 2182 establishes) are approved under a state’s department of agriculture, and do not require oversight from any other agency, including law enforcement.

By contrast, bills like SB 263 completely take farmers out of the equation which will not only yield inaccurate or non-comprehensive research conclusions, but distrust will come from farmers who will continue to not be allowed to gain crucial experience necessary to understand best methods for propagating, cultivating, and harvesting industrial hemp.

Lawmakers could also look to the restrictive hemp laws in Virginia for an instructive example of what not to do. As reported in January by Marijuana Business Daily, laws in that state make it impossible to profit from hemp growing, and as a result interest in the crop has languished, with just 100 acres grown in 2017.

“We’re way behind the ball,” Virginia farmer Graham Redfern complained to Marijuana Business Daily’s Kristen Nichols.

LEGAL HEMP IN KANSAS OFFERS HOPE FOR FARMERS

With downward trends in markets, our rural and frontier communities need support now more than ever. Hemp is a perfect opportunity where they are willing to collaborate with the state and other entities on something that is new and exciting.

Research and production must be happening simultaneously, because how we move forward as contributing leaders is through both innovation and practical application. Kansans are known for dreaming big, but we cannot allow our own fears or the stories we tell ourselves guide decisions that negatively impact our children and grandchildren’s futures.

In 1863, Kansas was the number one producer in the nation of bushels per acre of industrial hemp. Now is the time to be courageous and give this legacy crop back to Kansas farmers, and help contribute to the nation’s largest developing industry. On February 1, 2018, SB 263 passed out of committee with amendments to the full Senate. It has yet to be determined if farmers will be included in a Kansas industrial hemp program.

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How Yoga & CBD Can Reduce Stress & Help You Feel More Connected | Yoga And CBD

If you suffer from stress or related conditions such as anxiety and depression, you certainly aren’t alone. These are two of the most common illnesses in the world, but fear not; there are many natural ways you ease your stress.

If you suffer from stress or related conditions such as anxiety and depression, you certainly aren’t alone.

These are two of the most common illnesses in the world, but fear not; there are many natural ways you ease your stress. Spending more time in nature, yoga and CBD products all harness the power of nature to heal and balance our bodies.

In this post, we highlight the many ways that Mother Nature can help us lead a calmer, more balanced life.

Seated in lotus position at sunset, a woman cups her hands over her heads. Yoga and CBD, like other forms of self-care, can ease stress and anxiety.

THE POWERFUL EFFECTS OF YOGA

Over the past decade, numerous studies have revealed that yoga has the ability to significantly lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Thus, this ancient practice is used in everything from cancer therapy, to substance abuse recovery, eating disorder recovery, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even recovery from breast cancer.

Researchers believe that stress relief comes from three major sources: the yogic asanas or poses (which involve intense coordination between body and mind), controlled breathing (which lowers the heart and breathing rates) and mindfulness (yoga is often accompanied by meditation, which aims to keep us “in the present moment”).

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful ways we can stop stress in its tracks, because it allows us to escape the frequent ruminations about the past or worry about our future. When we keep the mind in the here and now, we are able to breathe better, focus more, and create a mental state that is incompatible with panic attacks and general anxiety.

A woman practices a yoga handstand atop a mountain. Studies show time spent in the outdoors has measurable benefits.

YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Yoga, especially when performed in the Great Outdoors, can deeply enrich our spirituality, since nature itself has very similar benefits to those bestowed by yoga –– including stress reduction and a deep sense of mindfulness.

Recent research proves that those who are more spiritual, are generally happier. Somehow, believing in a greater power than ourselves enables us feel less insignificant, isolated, and anxious. Yoga helps us tap into our inner need for spirituality, while nature is an outward manifestation of the life force that runs through all of us.

A person dressed all in white practices tai chi on a beach.

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO YOGA

Yoga is far from being the only mindfulness based activity; there are more to choose from, including Tai Chi. Systematic reviews have found that Tai Chi has powerful psychological benefits, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Research currently recommend that Tai Chi be adopted in education institutions because of the many benefits it can bestow on students.

Of course, Tai Chi also has important physical benefits, which are in fact very similar to those of yoga. These benefits include improved flexibility, stability, balance, and lung capacity, along with reducing stress.

YOGA AND CBD FOR STRESS

CBD is increasingly being used to battle stress, owing to its ability to react directly with cell receptors, including serotonin and dopamine receptors. It is vital not to confuse CBD with THC (the cannabinoid responsible for the ‘high effect’ of marijuana). While THC can have many benefits, CBD offers numerous positive effects for its users while leaving their mental state mostly unchanged.

CBD is often taken as an oil but also used topically to treat skin conditions and inflammation, or even consumed in sweets like gummies. It is just one of the many naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. Because of how CBD interacts with serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain and nervous system, more of these neurotransmitters can flow through the body, resulting in a greater sense of calm and wellbeing.

CBD MIMICS THE HUMAN BODY’S NATURAL ‘CANNABINOIDS’

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system, a part of the nervous system which is responsible for important functions including mood, pain tolerance, memory, sleep, and appetite.

A model of a CBD model. A growing amount of evidence shows CBD, found in all cannabis plants, can benefit humanity.

It also helps maintain homeostasis, the self-regulating process through which the body tends to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions changing conditions in order to promote its own survival. This stability, commonly referred to as a ‘dynamic equilibrium,’ helps maintain temperature, blood oxygen levels, moisture, etc.

The endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the body; these are put into action by important neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. CBD mimics these endocannabinoids, and can thus help the body maintain many vital functions. Thus, CBD has benefits that extend beyond stress busting; it also promotes heart health, helps fight inflammation, promotes healthy skin and hair, and more.

A MULTI-LAYER APPROACH TO BATTLING STRESS

If you think you may have anxiety or depression, it is important to check in with a doctor. Working alongside your therapist or other health professional, you can take many approaches to  battling these conditions.

It is important to tackle stress from a multi-layered perspective, too. Holistic activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness meditation, and time spent in nature have proven to be a useful complementary therapy for anxiety and other stress-related conditions. CBD, an almost miraculous supplement made from natural hemp, can be an important part of our anti-stress toolkit too.

Whatever approach you take, if you make time to care for yourself and your wellbeing then every other part of your life will seem a little bit easier.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Hempcrete Homes Are Sustainable, Durable, And Healthier To Live in

Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative?It’s called hempcrete, a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime.

Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative?

It’s called hempcrete, a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime.

The United States is perfectly positioned for a hempcrete building boom. Interest in green building is growing as people seek out sustainable, low-cost alternatives to traditional buildings made from petrochemicals or dwindling natural resources like wood. At the same time, the stigma around hemp is disappearing as more learn about the plant’s benefits. Hempcrete has unique health benefits and, because it enables low cost, modular design, it could even be a part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.

“It’s just an awesome material,” declared Greg Flavall, CEO of Hemp Technologies, a leading builder of hempcrete homes. “I’ve never seen anything like it and we have studied other materials like flax, corn stalks, linseed oil stalks, even wood, and hemp wins by far hands down.”

A pair of hands holding dried, shredded hemp shivs, which look a bit like wood chips. They are ready to be mixed with lime and water and formed into blocks.

In 2009, Hemp Technologies oversaw the first permitted hemp home build in North America, in North Carolina. However, hemp’s uncertain legal status sent Flavall to New Zealand, where the crop was legal to grow for use in building materials. He’s traveled the world helping create hempcrete structures ever since, working on everything from jungle cabanas to wine tasting rooms. Now that hemp is becoming popular in the U.S., demand for his services is skyrocketing here too.

We recently caught up with Flavall to learn more about why hempcrete is better than other green building materials, and to hear about one of his most recent projects, a home retrofit which could soon be part of an upcoming TV show on hempcrete homes.

HEMPCRETE IS HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE TOO

Agricultural hemp is the close cousin of psychoactive cannabis or “marijuana” (the plant people consume to get high). While marijuana is prized for its flowery tops, hemp is grown for its tall, fibrous, leafy stalks which are a little bit similar to bamboo. Hempcrete is made from hemp shivs, which are the fibrous, woody core of those stalks, also known as the hurd. The shivs are chopped up into chips, which are mixed with water and a lime binder to form concrete-like stone slabs that have a pleasant, earthy appearance that many people find appealing.

Hemp is a more sustainable option than many other commonly grown crops, because it requires very few pesticides and can easily be grown in very dense plots. But the benefits don’t stop there, especially when it comes to hempcrete homes.

“We have seen, anecdotally, reductions in healthcare cost and absenteeism because of living in a hemp building,” Flavall said.

Like many aspects of hemp science, more research will be needed to prove how significant a health benefit hempcrete can have for its occupants, but Flavall’s claims make sense when you consider the many documented beneficial characteristics of the material. Much like the original hemp plant, hempcrete is known to be extremely pest resistant. It’s also extremely durable and fire resistant, which is especially important when Flavall builds in environments like New Zealand, where both rain and seismic tremors are extremely frequent.

“Hempcrete works so extremely well. It dries out, it continues to breathe, and it makes the indoor quality of living phenomenal.”

A close up of the surface of a hempcrete wall. The woody texture of the hemp shivs is still visible in the finished product, which many homebuilders find appealing. (Photo: Flickr / Jnzi’s Photos, CC-BY Creative Commons license)

As hempcrete dries, it absorbs the carbon dioxide produced by the occupants and grows harder, essentially turning to stone. Not only does this make the building stronger, but it makes hempcrete into a carbon-negative building material by leaving less of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere than is produced by building with it. Even in this form, hempcrete remains “breathable” — homes remain rain proof but permeable to gases and moisture are less prone to mold and better for the overall health of their occupants.

According to Flavall’s calculations, hempcrete buildings in the U.S. remain carbon neutral even though most of the hemp used in current building projects must be imported from overseas. It’s also a surprisingly affordable option: he said it meets or beats other common building materials in up-front costs when used properly, in addition to incredible savings on heating and cooling costs over the lifetime of the building.

“At the end of the day when you turn the key to move into your new home you’re at the same price as regular construction,” Flavall said.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH HEMPCRETE: HEMP HOME RETROFIT BECAME A ‘RELATIONSHIP BUILDER’ FOR PETERSEN FAMILY

“Our hempcrete project began with a passion for natural building,” Stacey Petersen told us.

Greg Flavall (left) with Stacey Petersen holding a wheelbarrow, during the hempcrete retrofit of the Petersen’s home in Missouri. Building with hempcrete was so easy, everyone could help out. (Photo: Facebook / HT Global Hemp House Build TV Series, used with permission).

After other sustainable building fans tipped her off to their work, Greg Flavall and Hemp Technologies led a major hempcrete retrofit of the Petersen family’s home, located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in December 2017.

The simplicity of working with hempcrete allowed everyone, even family friends, to participate in the building process.

“It’s not rocket science to build like this and it really brings people together,” Petersen recalled. “It was a relationship builder on top of having our house insulated with hempcrete.”

Stacey’s husband, Jon Petersen, is the Pastor of Ministries at Desperation Church In Liberty, Missouri, and their embrace of the hemp is another sign that the stigma around this misunderstood crop is disappearing. Not only are they already planning their next hemp project using leftover supplies (“a greenhouse or a mother-in-law cottage,” Petersen told us), but they also use CBD oil, an extract of industrial hemp, to ease symptoms of severe epilepsy in their 10-year old son, Jeriah.

A growing body of research suggests CBD oil helps kids with epilepsy, and that’s been true for Jeriah as well. While not a miracle cure — he still suffers from severe seizures that sometimes land him in the hospita l– the supplement seems to reduce the number of seizures. Perhaps even more importantly, Stacey Petersen believes it helped the family wean Jeriah off a potentially dangerous medication which was actually making his symptoms worse.

‘There’s one kid in Colorado who’s been trying to wean this drug for a year and a half, it’s so intense, and we were able to do it in about 2 months.”

The Petersens are continuing to use CBD as Jeriah explores other forms of treatment, and his illness also inspired their interest in hempcrete. Since Jeriah uses a wheelchair, the Petersens swapped their previous multi-story home for single-story 1960s house of about 2300 square feet.

“My son, obviously he has a lot of challenges so we need healthiest living environment possible for him,” Stacey Petersen said when I asked her about the appeal of hempcrete.

But she also told us she loves that hempcrete is fire and termite resistant, and requires very little upkeep. “Anything to make my life more simple I’m all about that!”

HEMPCRETE HOMES ON TV AND HEMPCRETE AFFORDABLE HOUSING: LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE

The retrofit of the Petersen’s new home was filmed for a prospective new TV series, “HT Global Hemp House Build,” currently being developed in a partnership between Flavall and Diana Oliver of Thunderbird Productions, producer of the Hempsters documentary series. The show is currently seeking sponsors, but they’ve already filmed multiple episodes including the one featuring the Petersens which will be cleverly titled “The Hempster and the Pastor.”

Poster for the upcoming TV show, “HT Global Hemp House Build TV Series,” from Hemp Technologies and Thunderbird Film & Entertainment Co..

Flavall and Oliver worked together on a pilot episode in 2011, along with Ervin Dargon of Mingo Video, but the sudden death of Flavall’s business partner, Dave Madera, from cancer, cut the initial phase of the project short. The first episode is dedicated to Madera.

Last year, with Flavall once again building with hempcrete in the U.S., they decided to revive the show.

Oliver told us, “It’s a homeowners dream to lessen their carbon footprint and build a beautiful house to last generations that is mold, pest and fire retardant.”

The timing for a show like this seems perfect to Flavall, who said interest in hemp and hempcrete is booming. Even though he’s been legally building with hempcrete in the U.S. and elsewhere for almost a decade, he credits the current rising interest to the spread of marijuana legalization.

“I’m a Baby Boomer and I’m seeing a lot of those Baby Boomers coming back to me and saying ‘I guess now that it’s legal to smoke it’s legal to build with it.’”

Next, Flavall hopes to help tackle the affordable housing crisis in the U.S. by building add-on units to existing homes, made from hempcrete. “We have a lot of interest from people who have the ability to build an addition or retrofit their garage or put up a detached ‘granny flat.’”

Hemp can help “bring their mom and dad home, or bring the kids home, whichever it is, and create additional space with low impact.”

Between the growth of green building, and widespread interest in “tiny homes,” Flavall believes hempcrete has a big future in the United States.

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Top Hemp News Of 2017: US Moving Toward Hemp Legalization Despite Some Setbacks

2017 was an exciting year for supporters of hemp. The stigma surrounding this plant has continued to decrease as more and more people discover hemp’s almost limitless uses. While hemp…

2017 was an exciting year for supporters of hemp.

The stigma surrounding this plant has continued to decrease as more and more people discover hemp’s almost limitless uses. While hemp isn’t completely legal in the U.S. (yet), there’s growing bipartisan support in Congress, and at every level of our government, in support of full legalization.

And since we’re big fans of CBD oil, a healing supplement made from hemp, we were thrilled that more people learned about CBD and its many benefits. Global attitudes are changing too, with some of the most influential authorities on international drug policy also changing their tune about CBD in 2017.

It’s not all good news, of course: cannabis still has some powerful enemies, but overall this year gave us hope for hemp. Below, we’ll look at the highs and lows of hemp over the past 365 days.

THOUSANDS DISCOVER CBD OIL AS GROWING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SUPPORTS CBD’S BENEFITS

 

One of the most remarkable stories of 2017 was a study published in August by HelloMD and Brightfield Group which revealed that 42 percent of CBD users give up pharmaceutical drugs. Though it’s not a fully scientific, “double blind” style study (the 2,400 people who responded were drawn exclusively from the user base of HelloMD, a pro-cannabis website), it shows that many people are discovering that CBD helps them feel healthier.

That’s probably no surprise given the ever-growing mountain of scientific evidence supporting the use of CBD. An important study released in May by the New England Journal of Medicine gave new support to the idea that CBD can help kids with epilepsy:

The average number of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 in subjects receiving CBD, versus a reduction of just .8 in the control group who took the placebo. Additionally, about 43 percent of the subjects receiving CBD saw their seizures decrease by at least half. 5 percent actually became completely seizure free with CBD, compared with 0 of the controls.

Much more research into CBD oil’s benefits is needed, but over the past year we’ve looked at preliminary evidence that suggests it can help with chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation and joint pains (especially topical CBD), schizophrenia, and depression.

INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITIES RETHINK GLOBAL DRUG POLICY ON CBD

In April, the World Anti-Doping Authority ruled that athletes will be allowed to use CBD oil starting in 2018. Though they made the policy change in 2017, many sportswriters point to the choice by MMA fighter Nate Diaz to vape CBD oil after a bout in 2016 as a key influence in the change. UFC fighters will also face different rules when it comes to drug testing thanks to his act of defiance, and we expect more people — not just athletes — will be open to trying CBD as a result.

 

 

The main meeting room at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva. (Image by Thorkild Tylleskar on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA license)

Of even greater importance for the future of international drug policy, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, a division of the World Health Organization, reported that CBD oil is safe and should remain completely legal. The ECDD, whose recommendations help determine which substances remain legal and illegal on worldwide, went even further by suggesting CBD oil deserves further scientific research because of its incredible potential:

“There is also evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions,” noted the ECCD. … The “diverse” range of conditions for which CBD has been considered by scientists as a possible treatment is “consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia [controlling the flow of oxygen], anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic [pain relieving], anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and anti-tumor properties.”

Although the WHO still considers psychoactive cannabis to be a dangerous drug without medical benefits, we were pleased to see that the committee will be reevaluating other cannabinoids, and the plant as a whole next year.

DESPITE THAWING ATTITUDES TOWARD HEMP, STATE & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STILL FIGHT AGAINST CBD

 

The WHO’s support for legal CBD oil puts the global community at odds with some elements in the U.S. government that continue to fight against the legalization of hemp and cannabis. In late 2016, in a move that many hemp experts consider absurd, the DEA declared that CBD oil illegal. Industry advocates insist that various Congressional bills and legal precedents make CBD legal to extract from hemp and sell, and they’re ready to go to court to keep it available if necessary.

In general, individual CBD consumers have not been affected by these legal challenges and even the DEA admits that individual CBD users should be safe from prosecution. However, there were a few unfortunate and costly crackdowns against CBD vendors.

Indiana State Excise Police seized CBD products from dozens of stores in the state over the summer. A detailed investigation by the Indianapolis Star revealed that a law meant to legalize CBD for people with epilepsy had provided police with an excuse to crack down on CBD vendors, even though the law (unlike a similar one that just went into effect in Texas) doesn’t provide patients with a clear way to legally buy CBD.

Although the Indiana Attorney General later insisted that CBD is illegal, other state officials (and their dogs) vowed to resist, with lawmakers promising to revisit the issue in an upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.

CANNABIS HAS INCREASING BIPARTISAN SUPPORT AMID US HEMP BOOM

More states began their own hemp programs in 2017, or expanded existing programs to great success. Vote Hemp reported that the U.S. grew 23,346 acres of hemp in 2017, a significant increase from 2016’s total of just 9,770 acres. This growth is just the beginning, with Wisconsin among the latest to jump on the hemp legalization bandwagon and states like Pennsylvania promising to significantly increase the number of acres allowed in 2018.

 

Hemp returned to the U.S. in a big way in 2014 after decades of prohibition, with the passage of that year’s Farm Bill, which re-legalized the growth and sales of hemp for research purposes. With hemp appearing on more and more farms of all sizes since then, this once-controversial plant has increasing support in Congress, even among some of the most conservative lawmakers. While the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a bill to completely legalize hemp in the U.S., stalled in 2017, the fact that it had enthusiastic sponsorship by both Republicans and Democrats suggests it’s only a matter of time. John Ryan of Ananda Hemp agreed with us when we asked him about the bill in August:

“Whether this bill gets passed or not this is a growing movement, this is an unstoppable movement. We will get this stuff done whether it’s this …  bill or not. This plant will be legalized.”

Attitudes are changing in individuals too. With every person who tries CBD or another hemp product, and with each state that legalizes recreational or medicinal marijuana, more people realize that what was once called a “demon weed” is actually a miraculous crop that can help humanity.

Despite some dark moments over the past year, it seems like they’re great things ahead for this plant. We hope you’ll join us in nurturing America’s love affair with hemp in 2018.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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World Health Organization Says CBD Safe, With No Potential For Abuse

A division of the World Health Organization declared CBD oil to be safe, with many potential benefits, and recommended that it should remain fully legal. The recommendations came in a…

A division of the World Health Organization declared CBD oil to be safe, with many potential benefits, and recommended that it should remain fully legal.

The recommendations came in a report from the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), which advises the global body on how to handle various substances that could be addictive or otherwise harmful.

The authors were unambiguous about their assessment: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

The report also outlines numerous potential benefits of CBD, though the authors emphasized that more research is needed. The findings are an important sign of the shift in attitudes toward this beneficial extract, which thousands of people use regularly. It also places WHO policy at odds with that of the United States: last year, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued frightening statements insisting that CBD remains illegal.

CBD oil is a nutritional supplement made from agricultural hemp, a close relative of psychoactive cannabis, or marijuana, the substance that people consume to feel high. By contrast, while CBD causes few if any side effects, a growing body of evidence suggests it could help conditions ranging from depression to some forms of chronic pain. The hemp industry has promised to fight the DEA in court, if necessary, and so far individual consumers haven’t faced legal trouble as a result of buying CBD-only products.

As we’ll explain below, we believe the latest findings from the WHO could be an important part of changing how CBD is treated, worldwide.

WHO: ‘CBD IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ABUSE’ BUT HAS GREAT HEALING POTENTIAL

 

 

The south face of the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva. (Wikimedia Commons / Yann Forget, CC-BY-SA-3.0 license).

The ECDD’s report was actually published in November, but received renewed attention from policy makers and in the media after the Dec. 13 publication of a set of the committee’s recommendations for various narcotic substances. The committee raised a serious alarm about the risks posed by carfentanil, a dangerous synthetic opioid similar to the notorious fentanyl, but their response to CBD was sharply different.

While the ECDD wants to see the strictest possible controls put on carfentanil and other synthetic opioids, they argued that CBD should remain totally legal and recommended further investigation of its potential benefits.

“The ECDD therefore concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances,” the WHO reported.

The ECCD’s report on CBD goes even further, both in suggesting that CBD is safe for human consumption and that CBD has many potential benefits that deserve deeper research.

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

“CBD is not associated with abuse potential,” the authors wrote. They also reported that numerous studies have found that CBD is nontoxic with few side effects. Preliminary research, they noted, even suggests that CBD “has no effect on embryonic development.”

Just as importantly, the report acknowledges the growing body of scientific evidence which suggests CBD has great healing potential. “The clinical use of CBD is most advanced in the treatment of epilepsy.”

Many epilepsy sufferers, including children with forms of epilepsy that are difficult to treat through conventional means, have discovered that CBD can offer sometimes significant relief to their symptoms.

“There is also evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions,” noted the ECCD. “However, this research is considerably less advanced than for treatment of epilepsy.”

Additionally, the “diverse” range of conditions for which CBD has been considered by scientists as a possible treatment is “consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia [controlling the flow of oxygen], anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic [pain relieving], anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and anti-tumor properties.”

The authors add that CBD might even help with tobacco and other forms of drug addiction. The report also includes a rather remarkable chart outlining all of CBD’s potential benefits:

 

Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Report on potential CBD benefits.

 

WHO REPORT ON CBD CAN LEAD THE WAY TO BETTER GLOBAL DRUG POLICIES

The ECCD’s primary role is to advise the WHO and its member governments (including the U.S.) about how to handle mind-altering substances. Based on their recommendations, drugs are “scheduled,” or listed in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1961 international agreement that determines which drugs are illegal, and which are considered to have medical benefits despite their risks.

By recommending that CBD oil remain unscheduled, the ECCD sends a powerful message to the global community that CBD should be legal. While stopping short of openly recommending the use of CBD, the WHO also clearly expressed the need for more investigation into CBD and other similar “cannabinoid” substances.

It’s not the only recent sign of thawing international attitudes toward CBD. As previously reported by Ministry of Hemp, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets global policy for substance use in sports, will allow athletes to use CBD starting in 2018.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the debate rages on between hemp advocates who say CBD is both legal and beneficial and government officials who insist it is, and should remain, a “Schedule I” substance — in other words, an illegal drug deemed to have no medical benefit whatsoever.

We believe there’s every reason to hope that the overwhelming body of scientific evidence about the benefits of CBD, and the support of influential bodies like the WHO, will eventually force the United States to reevaluate its stance too. Thanks to the ECCD and so many passionate advocates for legalization, It’s only a matter of time before CBD, and cannabis in all its forms, are fully embraced as a miraculous gift to humanity.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Top 5 Ways to Identify High Quality CBD Oil

CBD oil is an amazing supplement, but now it’s also a growing industry and that means there are unscrupulous scam-artists trying to rip off consumers, too. Are there signs of…

CBD oil is an amazing supplement, but now it’s also a growing industry and that means there are unscrupulous scam-artists trying to rip off consumers, too.

Are there signs of quality CBD oil that you can use to determine if it’s reliable or snake oil?

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for consumers to determine which CBD brands and product claims’ are trustworthy. With the growth in popularity of CBD oil, new brands and merchants are coming out every day with promises to offer you the best, high-quality supplement. However, there are few regulations, if any, to help monitor and regulate these claims.

We conducted some research to help you identify high-quality CBD from its low quality counterparts when selecting CBD oil for sale online.  

HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY HIGH-QUALITY CBD OIL?

Cannabidiol, or CBD is an extract taken from cannabis plants. Although present in marijuana, CBD oil is most commonly extracted from agricultural hemp.

This is because these varieties of cannabis contain less THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that produces psychoactivity in humans; in other words, THC is what makes people feel high. CBD offers many of the health benefits of medical marijuana without the high, making it more versatile and less controversial to both users and the community.

However, quality matters: low-grade CBD oil may not offer the same levels of benefit offered by top rated CBD oil because of a variety of factors, and it could even potentially contain harmful toxins.

Here are five ways to identify top quality CBD oil:

1. Manufacturing CBD: It Matters How CBD Oil Is Made

 

Unfortunately, due to the young age of the CBD oil industry, there aren’t any regulations that control the manufacturing process. This means that different CBD brands may have different extraction methods in order to process CBD oil from hemp.

Some companies, especially those who sell their products at a ridiculously low price, may use cheap methods when extracting CBD oil. This requires toxic solvents that are dangerous to our health such as propane, hexane, pentane and butane. Two of these are commonly used in gas stoves and ranges, such as propane and butane, and all of them are hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum.

Others companies use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process CBD. The ethanol, which is essentially grain alcohol, is used to remove unneeded toxins and residues from the base hemp plant. This method of extraction is generally considered to be the extraction process that yields the highest amount of cannabinoids among the different refinement processes as well as being considered the safest method of extracting CBD for human consumption.

In addition, CBD oil can be extracted and manufactured through “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This process involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an extremely cold environment. Supercritical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment, more complex refinement process and production expertise, but it ensures that CBD oil maintains its purity all through the process.

  • SUGGESTION – Before purchasing any CBD oil, research the vendor’s production methods. The information can be found on their website, or through talking to a customer service representative. We highly suggest going after CBD processed through ethanol and/or supercritical CO2 extraction.

2. Growing Hemp: The Source of Your CBD Matters

 

Like any manufactured product, one of the best ways to ensure quality is to use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil because of the hemp plant’s characteristic as  a “hyperaccumulator.” This means that the hemp plant easily absorbs anything that is present in the ground that it was cultivated and farmed. If a hemp plant grew on rich soil, the resulting plant will be of high quality that can produce CBD oil in the same high-quality as well.

Being a hyperaccumulator also has drawbacks: If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oils will also reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins.

Sadly, some manufacturers would choose to purchase low-quality hemp to process as CBD oil, and such hemp may be polluted with heavy metals. These manufacturers only have profit in mind, and don’t care about the possible consequence of their products. This is one reason why CBD oil risks getting a negative reputation.

  • SUGGESTION – Look into where the CBD brand sources their hemp from. If available, try to find US grown hemp, as US farmers are required to get certified by state departments of agriculture. Such information can be found on the retailer’s or manufacturer’s websites as well as through their support center.

3. Check The Amount of THC Present In CBD Oil

 

A computer-generated model of the THC molecule

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is one of the cannabinoids present in both marijuana and agricultural hemp, and it is the substance responsible for giving a psychoactive effect on the body. It is what gives a user a “high.” The reason why hemp is used over marijuana when creating CBD oil is because of the former’s innate low levels of THC over CBD, making it perfect for CBD oil processing.

Although low, the original amount of THC present in hemp may still cause a certain level of psychoactive effects when processed incorrectly. Remember, CBD oil is made from the extracts of hundreds, even thousands, of hemp plants, therefore, no matter how small a percentage of THC there is in hemp, it may still have a high concentration on CBD oils that have been processed poorly, especially since the equipment needed to properly process CBD oil from hemp can be costly.

  • SUGGESTION – The optimal level of THC present in CBD oils should not exceed more than 0.3 percent, so make sure that you check the labels or ask for lab results for the CBD oils before purchasing them.

4. Check For a “Whole-Plant” or “Full Spectrum” Label

 

Another quality of a good CBD oil is that it is manufactured using the whole plant. CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but in reality, it is a cheaper material than whole plant extracts.  Using the whole plant, rather than using only one part, ensures that the oil contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone.

  • SUGGESTION – Check the labels on the product to determine if the manufacturer uses the whole plant in their products, or check their websites for the information. Some brands use the term Whole Plant while others could use Full Spectrum.

5. Check for third-party lab results when buying quality CBD

 

A high quality brand of CBD will always provide third-party lab results to their consumers. Some laboratories finds favorable results, while some products fail these tests. These independent labs exist to ensure that CBD oil is everything it claims to be, with a high level of CBD, low THC, and lacking in impurities that can be harmful to consumers.

  • SUGGESTIONS – A reputable brand of CBD oil should always have recent lab results available. Some provide them on their website, while others include them in the packaging or both. Good customer service is another sign of quality CBD oil, so check in and get them to help you if you’re having trouble finding the lab results.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CHOOSING QUALITY CBD

CBD oil is growing in popularity every day and were happy to say that it’s here to stay.

While most brands want to deliver high quality products, not 100 percent of companies maintain this same level of integrity. CBD regulations and enforcement are likely to increase as time progresses, especially after full legalization of hemp. But until this happens, you the consumer must be cautious about what CBD brands to trust.

We have gone through five important things to look for when purchasing CBD oil and offered some suggestions on how to determine if your brand checks out. It is important that you do your own research before making your choice.

While buying CBD can feel intimidating at first, with a little knowledge you’ll be ready to make the right purchase.

 

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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