Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Author: Ellijah Pickering

Cannabis Testing Labs: The Problem With Hemp & Cannabis Lab Testing

Hemp and cannabis brands depend on cannabis testing labs to verify the purity and quality of their products. The inconsistency of cannabis testing labs is indicative of a much bigger problem, which is the lack of checks and balances in the cannabis industry.

The inconsistency of cannabis testing labs is indicative of a much bigger problem, which is the lack of checks and balances in the cannabis industry.

One of the largest problems in the cannabis industry is the inconsistency of quality control.

Buying a cannabis product, from CBD oil to psychoactive cannabis, can be quite scary for a consumer. Due to the lack of standardized product testing, you don’t fully know if the producer’s claims are truthful, if the correct dosage is listed, or exactly what’s is in the product.

The government maintains strict controls over the quality of our food, and supplements and medicines we buy over-the-counter and get from pharmacists. Right now, the cannabis industry doesn’t have that. Instead consumers are forced to trust the word of companies which can obviously leads to issues.

There's growing demand on cannabis & hemp product testing labs, but also renewed attention on their inconsistencies too. Photo: A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf.

There’s growing demand on cannabis & hemp product testing labs, but also renewed attention on their inconsistencies too.

This problem isn’t simply due to the companies that produce the products, but also to the cannabis testing labs themselves. There’s no doubt that testing is important, but without better standards can we rely on those test results?

THE FLAWS IN LAB TESTING CANNABIS PRODUCTS

As revealed by Forbes, not all cannabis testing labs are created equal.

There’s no minimum requirements for things such as equipment, certifications, and merit for lab testers. As a result, cannabis testing labs can vary dramatically from each other.

The biggest problem though, is the lack of a standardized method for testing the various cannabis products. This can mean that the testing procedures for quality and potency of a hemp plant varies dramatically from hemp oil, distillates, to edibles and beyond. The problems multiply since different labs all have different testing methods, claiming that their methods are more effective than others and can give superior results.

The problem is that this creates inconsistencies in the results, since not all labs are using the same method for testing. This obviously can’t continue to happen. Without standardized testing methods for each cannabis product, the results will continue to be inconsistent which defeats the purpose for testing the product in the first place.

DISHONESTY IN LAB TESTING HEMP?

When a company markets a certain product, they want certification for their product, so their consumers can trust the quality of their product. To get these certifications, the companies have to send a batch of product to a testing facility to test for things such as potency, effectiveness, etc.

Problem arise when those results vary from lab to lab, leading to confusion about the quality of the product. This may even be due to the “friendliness” of certain labs over others, freely manipulating the results to meet the expectations of the producers. Manufacturers aren’t the only ones who test their products. Growers test their cannabis for quality too. With their reputations on the line, they want the best test results possible, so it proves the quality of their cannabis or hemp and hopefully leads to more companies wanting them as a supplier.

But again, with the lack of oversight, growers can substitute the product sent to the labs with a more expensive and higher-quality product, thus producing false results for their crops. Of course, this imply doesn’t that all cannabis testing labs and growers do this, but with the lack of standardized guidelines and someone to enforce those guidelines, it’s something that can happen without any real repercussions.

A FLAWED BUSINESS MODEL?

On top of all of this, the business model for the labs themselves are flawed. The costs for lab equipment, buildings, electricity, accreditation, and salaries for lab testers are all very expensive. On the contrary, the going rate for a test on a single batch is typically under $200. Meaning in order for these testing facilities to make a profit and succeed as a business, they have to operate in a high-volume capacity.

While cannabis companies grow at a stunning pace, demand for the labs which test these products grows too. These cannabis testing labs are much different from their government-ran cousins, which have access to more capital, a better talent pool, more experience, and the power of the federal government behind them.

From the expensive startup costs, ferocious competition, increasing pressure from growers & manufacturers and no one to keep them in check, why wouldn’t a laboratory fix their reports for better results? Again, we’re not claiming any or even most labs do this, but there’s little oversight on their results.

SUPPLY CHAIN: THE BIGGER PROBLEM IN HEMP & CANNABIS

This issue goes beyond the testing companies, as the lack of regulation affects the entire supply-chain of the cannabis and hemp industries.

In other words, if no one is keeping the cannabis testing labs in check, then there is certainly no one keeping the growers, transporters, dispensaries, or producers in check. All of this leads to a lower quality product, and one that consumers can’t trust. If this continues to be the case, a distrust can develop between company and consumer. The cannabis industry has grown both in popularity and revenue in the past decade, and a loose-knit system that depends on hand-shake deals and trust is quite simply just not enough for long-term growth.

Fortunately, industry leaders are trying to improve the cannabis supply-chain.

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF HEMP & CANNABIS

So how do we solve this problem and all the other problems present in the cannabis and industries? How do we make sure that the companies we purchase from are actually telling the truth, and that there aren’t any unwanted substances in the product?

Increased federal oversight could help improve the quality of cannabis testing labs, and cannabis and hemp products in general. Photo: A scientist in gloves and a white lab coat examines a test tube of green liquid, with a microscope nearby.

Increased federal oversight could help improve the quality of cannabis testing labs, and cannabis and hemp products in general.

We do this by getting support from the federal government. The federal government is the only entity that can effectively enforce regulations upon the cannabis industry that will keep the different sectors in check. Not only do they have the power of enforcement, but they are the only ones to have the resources capable of quality-checking every part of the cannabis supply-chain.

To add to that, the federal government also has the power to enhance other parts of the industry. In addition to quality control, they can regulate things such as financing, shipping, and further research into cannabis. In fact, federal regulatory support is the single greatest challenge to the entire industry. The support for cannabis is already here, with a large portion of congressman and senators publicly backing the plant. Now we need those people in power to start implementing systems that help build up the industry.

There are signs that this is happening, especially thanks to the recent legalization of industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill. But there’s still a long way to go.

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Hemp Pasta From Sfoglini Adds Nutty Flavor & Nutrition To Artisan Noodles

We visited with New York’s Sfoglini Pasta Shop, creators of three unique hemp pasta shapes, and learned the story behind these delicious products.

When we discovered unique hemp pasta from an artisan pasta maker in New York, we knew we had to find out more.

Long-time friends Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum, created Sfoglini Pasta Shop together in 2012. They’re dedicated to the virtues of sustainability, freshness, locality, and above all else, flavor.

The quality of ingredients and diverse flavors sets Sfoglini (pronounced “sfo-lee-nee”) apart from typical supermarket fare. Sourced from local farms in New York state, Sfoglini’s pastas tell the story of the freshness and flavor of New York’s produce. Along with their standard and seasonal pasta selections, Sfoglini recently added three distinct hemp pasta shapes.

Fusing the superfood nutritional qualities of hemp with their superior pasta-making skills, Sfoglini makes delicious hemp pasta available to kitchens all over the country.

SFOGLINI FOUNDERS ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT FOOD & GLOBAL FLAVORS

The two founders of Sfoglini, Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum, are both creatives at heart.

Sfoglini founders Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum pose in their pasta factory. Sfoglini founders Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum created their unique hemp pasta after visiting an organic hemp farm in New York state.

Sfoglini founders Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum created their unique hemp pasta after visiting an organic hemp farm in New York state. (Photo: Sfoglini Pasta Shop)

Gonzalez studied the culinary arts at the Art Institute of Colorado, then spent about 14 years as a professional chef. He worked in various high-profile restaurants. One of the most notable was El Raco de Can Fabes, a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Sant Celoni, Spain. Gonzalez started making and developing pastas over a decade ago, and that experience drove him to open Sfoglini.

Ketchum on the other hand, was a creative director, graphic designer, and web-designer working for firms in San Francisco & New York. Inspired by the vivid food cultures of both cities, Ketchum pursued a degree in brewing and management at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. To further develop his tastes, he then traveled to Europe where he saw first-hand the diverse food cultures of Italy, France, and Belgium. Recognizing the lack of an artisanal pasta maker in New York, Ketchum jumped on the opportunity to combine his passion for food (particularly pasta) and his skills as an advertising creative to start Sfoglini with his long-time friend.

GOOD PASTA STARTS AT THE FARM

Believing firmly in the philosophy behind locally-sourced ingredients, Sfoglini believes that a good pasta starts at the farm. Sfoglini sources ingredients like corn, rye, flour, and wheat from local farmers in New York State and Massachusetts.

Ketchum told us they even worked with nearby ‘urban’ farms when they first opened Sfoglini. “It was nice to wake up every morning, and grab farm-fresh ingredients on your morning walk to work.”

Sfoglini’s offers a unique selection of seasonal pastas, including Beet Fusilli, Cuttlefish Ink Spaccatelli, and Saffron Malloreddus. This further reinforces Sfoglini’s philosophy for freshness. They get these ingredients at peak-season and are able to give their customers the best of each product. With pasta this good, Sfoglini is being served in some of New York’s most reputable establishments such as  Tom Colicchio’s RiverparkChef’s Club by Food & Wine and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Sfoglini Hemp Pasta spills out onto a kitchen counter, with other ingredients neabry including tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Sfoglini's hemp pasta joins a unique product line that includes season flavors like Beet Fusilli, Cuttlefish Ink Spaccatelli, and Saffron Malloreddus.

Sfoglini’s hemp pasta joins a unique product line that includes season flavors like Beet Fusilli, Cuttlefish Ink Spaccatelli, and Saffron Malloreddus. (Photo: Sfoglini Pasta Shop)

HEMP PASTA COMBINES DELICIOUS NUTTY HEMP FLAVOR WITH HEMP NUTRITION

Sfoglini offers three hemp-based pastas: Hemp Radiators, Hemp Rigatoni, and Hemp Zucca. With three distinct shapes, each pasta offers three different advantages. The radiators and rigatoni work well with pasta dishes that have thicker sauces or cheeses, since their shapes soak up and trap sauces. By contrast, Ketchum told us the zucca pasta works particularly well with dishes that have chopped ingredients, as they tend to get trapped in the clam-shell opening of the hemp pasta.

Obviously, all three pastas have the nutrient-dense qualities of hemp, but hemp also adds a particular nuttiness that further enhances their flavor.

Recommended by a friend, Gonzalez and Ketchum visited JD Farms, the first USDA approved hemp farm in New York State. After touring the farm and tasting their organically-grown hemp, they both knew they had to incorporate it into their pastas. The hemp pastas are growing in popularity, and the rigatoni is one of their top-five best-selling pastas.

We asked Sfoglini to provde us with a simple recipe that highlights the unique flavor of their hemp pasta.

RECIPE: SFOGLINI HEMP RADIATORS WITH RICOTTA

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Sfoglini Hemp Radiators
  • 1 cup ricotta [high quality]
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat 3 quarts of salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add hemp radiators and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Mix ricotta and olive oil in a large bowl. If desired, add 1-2 tablespoons of the pasta water for a smoother consistency.
  • Once pasta is cooked, drain and combine with the ricotta and olive oil mixture.
  • Divide among two serving bowls, add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

The story of Sfoglini further reiterates the wonders and advantages of the hemp plant. An endlessly versatile plant, Sfoglini is now proving to the world that hemp can be delicious! Order their pastas online and make sure to check out Sfoglini on Instagram as well!

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Elxyr CBD Softgels Make Cannabidiol & Turmeric Easy To Swallow

Elxyr CBD Softgels provide a flavorless and easy method to taking your daily dose of CBD, with the added benefits of turmeric.

Elxyr CBD Softgels provide a flavorless and easy method to taking your daily dose of CBD, with the added benefits of turmeric.

These softgels from the Elxyr Company combine the outstanding health benefits of cannabidiol and curcumin, the main natural compound in turmeric. Some research shows that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and may several have other positive benefits. Of course, the Elxyr Company also offers softgels without turmeric in two strengths.

Because they are in a soft gel format, they don’t have the taste or smell of natural CBD. Softgels offer a simple way to take this popular supplement. With softgels, it’s easy to give yourself a reliable dose. They can be taken with other vitamins or supplements anytime. Beginning with CBD-rich hemp strains grown in the U.S., they use a patent-pending water soluble formula to increase absorption.

Elxyr CBD Softgels in two strengths, both with and without turmeric. The bottles are posed against a natural, leafy background.

Elxyr CBD Softgels come in two strengths, both with and without turmeric.

The Elxyr Company paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on to learn more and see our official review of Elxyr CBD softgels.

ELXYR USES NANO-CBD FOR HIGHER BIOAVAILABILITY

Elxyr CBD softgels stand out from other CBD brands through their increased bioavailability. The Elxyr Company uses a patent-pending formula for these softgels which they say makes them many times easier to absorb than others. Produced through a nano-emulsion method, the molecules of CBD in this formula are much smaller than normal. That means you should feel more of the effects of these capsules than others.

The inclusion of turmeric in Elxyr CBD softgels further stands out from the competition. Turmeric is known for promoting digestion, improving blood-sugar control and cholesterol, among other effects.

Their full spectrum CBD extract comes from non-GMO hemp grown in the U.S. using organic growing methods. We appreciated seeing lab results for their products right on the website, though these images were a bit hard to read. We’d like to see more recent results available online, as well.

Elxyr CBD Softgels with Turmeric (Ministry of Hemp Official CBD Review)ELXYR CBD SOFTGELS OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Elxyr CBD Softgels with Turmeric combine the health benefits of CBD and turmeric in a familiar and easy-to-take softgel package.
  • Strength: 25mg of full-spectrum CBD per capsule, plus 10mg of curcumin
  • Price: $94.99 for 30 softgels
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Free shipping.
  • Independent Test Results: Online.
  • Flavor & Scent: The soft gels have no smell or taste. It’s easy and discreet to take Elxyr CBD softgels anywhere.
  • Key Ingredients: Full Spectrum CBD and Curcumin.
  • Complete Ingredient List: CBD oil / Full Spectrum Hemp extract plus Curcumin in Polysorbate Emulsifiers, MCT Oil and Beta Caryophyllene in a Gelatin shell made from Bovine-derived Gelatin, Glycerin, Sorbitol and Water.
  • Other: Also available without turmeric in 10mg and 25mg softgels. The Elxyr Company offers a generous, 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

The Elxyr Company uses U.S.-grown hemp in all their products. They also offer CBD tinctures and CBD pet products.

 

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Cannabis & The NFL: Using CBD & Cannabis In Professional Sports

While the NFL still bans players from using cannabis and CBD, attitudes in other professional sports are beginning to change. Former players, doctors and others are working to let pro-football players and other athletes use CBD and medical cannabis.

With more research shining light on the impact of injuries and treatments of injuries from professional sports, more athletes are coming to the same conclusion: the key to their well-being lies in the cannabis plant.

Professional sports are some of the most well-loved activities of American culture. The mega-arenas of NFL are filled with thousands of ravenous fans screaming for the players to smash into each other as hard as they can, all waiting with nervous energy in hope that their team wins. Watching professional sports can be an exhilarating experience, matched only by adrenaline fueled events such as skydiving or cliff jumping. They also provide fans with an opportunity to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Many fans make their favorite teams a part of their personalities.

Something that tends to get lost in the excitement and joy of being a sports fan are the players themselves. People take their favorite athletes for-granted, never really knowing the extent of dedication and arduous work they do to perform well in the field, octagon, or court. These athletes quite literally give their life to their sports, missing holidays and important family events all to train and play in the sport they love. 

NFL BANS ALL FORMS OF HEMP AND PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS

Athletes are constantly straining their bodies with their workouts and with the impacts absorbed in play. With the constant strain on their body, they sustain considerable damage to their muscles, joints, and sometimes even to their brains. The long-term implications of these injuries are extremely dangerous and can even be life-altering.

A professional football player dives for the end zone while holding a football, dressed in a helmet and other typical gear. Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Unfortunately, the NFL has banned the use of psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) in all capacities. This also includes all products that are derived from the cannabis plant, whether it’s for recreational or medical use. Currently, the players are drug-tested during the start of the off-season training camps, usually for THC. They are subject to random drug tests, but for the most part, are only tested once per season. With regards to CBD, the NFL’s rules are very murky. CBD supplements can also sometimes cause positive drug tests. As a result, players simply refuse to take CBD products, with the fear that they could lead to suspension due to the severity of punishments regarding cannabis.

Below, we will explore the impact of injuries sustained by athletes in the NFL and how the medications prescribed to treat them create a vicious cycle. We’ll also look at how an NFL player and a doctor put their careers on the line to fight for medical cannabis treatments, and how other sports organizations are dealing with the relaxing regulations around all forms of the cannabis plant.

THE TRUE IMPACT OF FOOTBALL ON PLAYERS’ HEALTH

In a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 110 of 111 tested former NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease that is caused by constant impacts to the head area, something that NFL players are no strangers to. Some of the symptoms are memory loss, impaired judgement, depression, anxiety and impulse control issues.

It’s important to note that the only way to test for CTE is if the subject is diseased. Meaning, that the median age subjects in the study were 67 years old, with a median participation in football for 15 years. The sample that they tested were more representative of an older generation of football players, where impacts were harder, and equipment dramatically worse. But this is no defense for the modern game of football, where there are still many players who suffer traumatic head trauma. Players like Chris Borland and Jahvid Best were forced to walk away from the game due to repeated concussions and fear of further neurological damage.

Football helmets sit on a football field. Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

This idea of head trauma has been around for a long time, we have just never really had a name for it. Modern scientific studies and popular movies like “Concussionhave propelled the problem to the public eye. Chronic pains caused by concussions aren’t the only long-term health problems professional athletes face, they can also face long-term damage to muscles and to their joints (especially the knees), which are all treated by prescription drugs.

What this creates is a vicious cycle, where athletes’ bodies are constantly being whittled down by their sports, and their team doctors prescribe them to highly-addictive anti-inflammatories and painkillers, many including opioids. Many athletes get addicted to these drugs, some cases as extreme as taking over 100 pills per week, and many carry these addictions with them outside of their playing careers. This effectively not only breaks down their inhibitions, but also their well-being and family life.

RETIRED FOOTBALL PLAYERS ADVOCATE FOR CANNABIS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

Clearly this is a serious & widespread problem, and a lot of professional athletes are speaking up and fighting for better & healthier methods to cope with the damage of sports. Possibly the biggest proponent of medical cannabis treatments is former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Selected as the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Monroe played in the league for seven years, where he saw playing time for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens.

One of the top offensive tackles of the game, Monroe retired after being released by Baltimore at just 29 years old. At the time of his retirement he had the highest paying contract on the Ravens and was widely speculated that he was released for his medical cannabis advocacy. In a letter to The Players’ Tribune, Monroe explained his decision:

“I’m only 29 and I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some. But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future. The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.”

Since retiring, Monroe has been extremely involved in advocating for cannabis medical treatment for athletes. He was the first active NFL player for cannabis treatments and has worked with many organizations to try and spread the word for cannabis as a viable medicine such as the “When the Bright Lights Fade” campaign.

The campaign features other NFL players such as former pro bowl Quarterback Jake Plummer who face a similar situation to Monroe’s. Created by the non-profit Realm of Caring, they aim to convince the NFL to change the narrative around medical cannabis and are working with researchers at John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania to study the impact of cannabinoids on former and current football players. Monroe has donated $80,000 to the campaign and has continued to actively support many different campaigns fighting for the use of medical cannabis.

THE TRAILBLAZING DR. SUE SISLEY

Another key player in the fight for medical cannabis is Dr. Sue Sisley, who has spent the majority of this decade researching and supporting the medical efficacy of psychoactive cannabis.

Like a lot of us, Dr. Sisley was a skeptic of the medical effects of cannabis, but after working with veterans at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, she saw for herself the medical power of the plant. After her first-hand experience, Dr. Sisley decided to dive head on into the medical marijuana scene. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Dr. Sisley has been part of the first ever government-funded study into the effectiveness of treating PTSD with marijuana. She also took part in the first attempt at treating an NFL player with medical cannabis, outlined in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary series on the plant. She’s even been appointed the role of Medical Director for Nuka Enterprises who produce the 1906 brand cannabis edibles. She does all of this while continuously providing medical care to patients in her private practice (who she runs with her mother, Hanna Sisley). Dr. Sisley is nothing short of remarkable.

Over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified. — Former NFL player Eugene Monroe

While mostly researching the effects of cannabis in veterans, she has also started to do work with athletes, including NFL player Mike James who we mentioned above. She believes that cannabis can be the solution to the opioid and painkiller addictions that run rampant through the NFL.

When asked about the biggest setback that is preventing medical marijuana to be administered to willing patients, Dr. Sisley told us that “the government has systematically impeded studies that reveals the effectiveness of the different application methods of cannabis.”

Without these studies, scientists and doctors are left in a world of chaos when dealing with cannabis. Not only does the impediment of these studies effect the research of application methods, but it effects the research into the plants themselves. With thousands upon thousands of strains, doctors do not know which are more effective with which disease or which ones are good for medical use and for recreational use.

Dr. Sisley also says that there is “no oversight” within behind the cannabis markets yet, at least none that are effective. This, we know, leads to quality control issues within cannabis products. Even the governments’ own approved farm, specifically used for clinical trials, located in the University of Mississippi, has its own quality issues.

Basically, without the support of the federal government, there will always be a lack of understanding behind the medical efficacy of the cannabis plant. This means that veterans and athletes will be left on their own if they seek medical cannabis help.

CANNABIS & HEMP NOW AVAILABLE TO MORE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

The UFC is another major sport organization that has had players speak up on the medical effects of cannabis. Fighters such as Yair Rodriguez and Nate Diaz are advocators for the neuroprotective properties of CBD. In an infamous post-fight press conference, Nate Diaz vaped CBD oil. He told the press that it helps him recover from fights. That particular fight was UFC 202, where Diaz fought for the Welterweight championship belt against Conor McGregor, was a five-round bloodbath. It only shows just how important CBD can be to athletes such as Diaz, where they face can face extraordinary injuries in their sport.

Ice Hockey players embrace on the ice during a game. Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

As a result of Diaz’s advocacy and changes to World Anti-Doping Authority Standards, the UFC removed its restriction on CBD at the beginning of 2018. Other major sports leagues such as the NHL and MLB have also allowed players to take medical cannabis treatments, as they tend to focus on cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs rather than federally-banned substances.

The NFL can learn a lot from these other leagues. After all, Football is the most dangerous of America’s major sports. Football not only has higher rates of injury, but the injuries that can be sustained are often much more serious.

A GREENER FUTURE FOR CANNABIS & CBD IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

In a country that is slowly changing the narrative around the cannabis plant, we hope to see major sports leagues join the change in order to preserve the health and well-being of their players.

With more states legalizing the use of recreational or medical marijuana (such as Michigan) we can only hope that the federal government will start to ramp up its support too. Without backing from the federal government, the cannabis industry and the community around it are forced to fend for themselves, and researchers are left to depend on private donors to fund studies into cannabis.

But, despite all of these setbacks, the cannabis revolution marches on. With advocates like Dr. Sisley and Eugene Monroe working so hard to promote access, we’re confident in the future of cannabis in professional sports.

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Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal: Supercharge Your Mornings With Hemp

Combining the health benefits of hemp and oats with the healing benefits of CBD, our ultimate hemp oatmeal recipe will help you start your day off right. Best of all, it takes just minutes to make.

Hemp oatmeal could supercharge your mornings and help you bet a healthier start to 2019.

With fresh New Year’s resolutions, many of us have pledged to start healthier habits. So, if you’re doing your due diligence to finally start eating healthier, you’ve come to the perfect place.

A bowl of oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and chia seeds added sits on a wooden picnic table near a folded flower print tablecloth. Hemp oatmeal can supercharge your mornings and help you eat healthier in 2019.

Hemp oatmeal can supercharge your mornings and help you eat healthier in 2019.

Today we’re giving you a simple recipe that fuses the nutritional goodness of oats with the superfood capacities of hemp and the benefits of CBD. We’ll also explain some of the health benefits from eating oats and hemp.

BRING THE BENEFITS OF HEMP AND OATS TOGETHER IN HEMP OATMEAL

Oats are some of the healthiest grains available. They provide health benefits like weight loss, lower blood sugar, and even reduce the risk of heart disease. Having a balanced nutrient composition, oats are high in fiber and carbs, and are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals. Only half a cup of oats contains 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, with only 303 calories! This makes oats a super nutrient-dense food, providing you with a good ratio of nutrition to calories. In addition, oats are rich in antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, and lowers blood sugar. To add on to all of that, oats are very satiating and don’t require a lot to make you feel full.

Hemp, of course, is high in plant-based protein, contain good fats, and are also nutrient-dense. One ounce of hemp seeds contains nine grams of protein, twelve grams of fat, and two grams of fiber. It also contains all twenty amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids which our bodies do not produce naturally. Hemp is also extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through the use of hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and hemp oil. I commonly sprinkle hemp hearts into my food and smoothies; you can even mix chia and flax seeds with hemp hearts to create a trifecta of plant-based nutrition.

CBD offers a wide-range of health benefits as well, most notably it’s anti-inflammatory properties and the calming effect it can have on your body. Coming in as an oil or tincture, it’s easily incorporated into liquids in your dishes or even in your water.

Oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are mixed in a microwave-safe bowl. It takes just minutes to mix all the ingredients and cook our "Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal" recipe.

It takes just minutes to mix all the ingredients and cook our “Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal” recipe. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Ellijah Pickering)

MINISTRY OF HEMP’S ULTIMATE HEMP OATMEAL RECIPE

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown-sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shelled hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Fruit or berries and additional hemp hearts as a garnish
  • Your favorite CBD tincture

Preparation

  • Add all dry ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Microwave for 2 minutes on high setting
  • Top with more hemp seeds and mix in CBD tincture
  • Can also top with fruits such as blueberries, bananas, or strawberries
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Waste Not, Want Not: Recycling Hemp & Cannabis Bio-Waste

As the hemp industry booms, it will inevitably product more waste. We looked at two startups recycling hemp and cannabis waste into useful products.

In a world of increasing pollution, two startups are trailblazing new techniques to reduce waste by recycling hemp.

The community based around hemp is famous for its holistic approach to life. Hemp advocates care about living cleanly, reducing their environmental impact, and trying to reduce waste as much as possible.

Industrial hemp is now fully legal in the United States thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, we can expect the hemp industry to grow and produce more waste. Companies like 9Fiber and Kindness 3D see this as an opportunity.

Previously, we reported on Sana Packaging, who use hemp to create sustainable packaging for the recreational cannabis industry. 9Fiber and Kindness 3D differ in that they’re recycling hemp and cannabis waste after it’s produced. They’re helping reduce pollution and helping their fellow human beings at the same time.

9FIBER: RECYCLING HEMP STALKS & FIBER INTO USEFUL PRODUCTS

9Fiber, based out of Silver Spring, Maryland are an agricultural technology company focused on recycling hemp stalk and stem waste. This startup takes hemp bio-waste that’s been put aside by other companies and processes it into raw materials that can be used to make a variety of products.

First, 9Fiber decontaminates any biowaste from federally illegal substances, removing the THC. Next, they process the waste further by removing fiber from the hurd, which is the woody core of the hemp plant. Then, the fiber undergoes final processing before it becomes usable for production. With the recycled fiber and gum-free hurd, 9Fiber is able to make paper, rope, textiles, fuel, bioplastics, fiberglass, hempcrete, and even livestock bedding.

In November, the Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program gave 9Fiber a $250,000 grant. The process to get the grant was a lengthy one, as many startups. With this new funding, 9Fiber plans to expand their operations into Pueblo, Colorado in late 2019. Hopefully, this grant can also help 9Fiber scale with the inevitable boom in hemp production. With the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, 9Fiber’s future is looking bright.

A cluster of stringy hemp fiber separated out from the rest of the plant, photographed against a plain white background. 9Fiber is recycling hemp by separating out the hemp fibers and woody core (hemp hurd). After processing, 9Fiber can reuse these materials in hemp plastic, hempcrete, animal bedding and more.

9Fiber is recycling hemp by separating out the hemp fibers and woody core (hemp hurd). After processing, 9Fiber can reuse these materials in hemp plastic, hempcrete, animal bedding and more.

Adin Alai, 9Fiber’s CEO, told us, “our main goal is to create an entire circular economy.”

While the hemp industry inevitably produces waste, companies like 9Fiber can use that waste to produce other products. Not only is Mr. Alai passionate about his startup, but he believes that the cannabis industry has the potential to be a leading zero-waste industry.

KINDNESS 3D PRINTS PROSTHETIC LIMBS FROM CANNABIS WASTE

Meanwhile, up north in Nova Scotia, Canada, a prosthetic limb production company recycles plastic waste from local psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) shops. After Canada legalized recreational use of marijuana, there has been a dramatic increase in plastic container waste. Based out of Halifax, Kindness 3D turns plastic packaging from psychoactive cannabis products into prosthetic limbs.

A student tries out a 3D-printed grabber hand at a school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kindness 3D takes plastic waste from recreational cannabis containers and turns them into prosthetic limbs.

A student tries out a 3D-printed grabber hand at a school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kindness 3D takes plastic waste from recreational cannabis containers and turns them into prosthetic limbs. (Photo: Kindness 3D Facebook)

Starting as a 3D printing enthusiast, Jake Boudreau started Kindness 3D after coming across templates for prosthetic limbs in an online 3D printing community. Since the creation of the non-profit, he’s been able to send hands to a girl in Costa Rica and a woman in Brazil. He aims to not only recycle reusable plastic waste, but to help people who can’t afford the expenses that come along with prosthetic limbs.

Donate to Boudreau’s GoFundMe and check out the Kindness3D Facebook page!

A GREENER FUTURE THROUGH RECYCLING HEMP

As industrial hemp and cannabis legalization spreads around the world, companies like 9Fiber and Kindness 3D fill an important niche. Efforts like these are vital for reducing hemp waste, and to increase the utility of the hemp plant. Hopefully, recycling hemp will become commonplace, and recycled hemp biomass products can become part of our everyday lives.

Hemp’s future is green, in more ways than one.

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Hemp Supercapacitors Bring Green Tech To A Higher Level

Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology. Hemp could be a key part of making our energy needs more sustainable.

Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology.

At the Ministry of Hemp, we’re a little biased about our favorite plant in the world: hemp. But it seems like everyday we find newer and better ways that it can be used.

One innovation we recently discovered? Scientists discovered how to use hemp in supercapacitor electrodes. A supercapacitor is the lesser-known alternative to traditional electrical energy storage. Right now, a supercapacitor is the second best option for storing power, after batteries. However, more research could change that.

An illustration of a seemingly infinite number of batteries, with a small cluster rising above the others. A green colored battery is higher than the rest.

Supercapacitors could be the future of energy storage, and hemp supercapacitors could prove even more efficient than other materials.

Below we’ll introduce you to hemp supercapacitors and how hemp could play a part in our energy future.

WHAT’S A SUPERCAPACITY, ANYWAYS?

The most famous form of energy storage is the battery, an object that contains two opposing electrical terminals separated by electrolytes. When you turn on the power, a chemical reaction occurs between the electrolytes and electrodes, producing electric energy for your device. Since batteries rely on electrolyes, and electrolytes wear out, all batteries need to be replaced. In addition, batteries take a very long time to fully charge. Today, we use batteries everywhere; in our phones, laptops, and more recently, our cars.

Capacitors work very differently from the traditional battery. In short, a normal capacitor is comprised of two metal plates and an insulating material between the plates called a dielectric. In a capacitor, positive & negative build up on the plates. Rather than electrolytes, capacitors store electrical energy within the plates.

Supercapacitors on the other hand, are different for two ways. Their plates have a “bigger” surface area and the distance between the plates is much shorter. Supercapacitors are usually coated in a porous substance such as activated charcoal. These coatings are called the “supercapacitor electrodes.”  The electrodes serve as more storage on the plates, giving them more surface area to store electricity. Think of normal non-coated capacitors as mops; which can only absorb so much water, and supercapacitors as sponges, soaking up much more water than its surface area. The website Explain That Stuff published a great explanation of supercapacitors in August.

Unlike batteries, supercapacitors charge almost instantaneously and last much longer than batteries. Their biggest drawback, preventing them from being the popular choice, is the amount of energy that is able to be stored within them. Right now, supercapacitors only store a fraction of the power of a traditional battery, but scientists are working hard to find a way around this problem.

THE MIGHTY HEMP SUPERCAPACITOR

Today’s supercapacitors commonly use graphene, a carbon nanomaterial to create electrodes. But making graphene costs up to $2000 per gram.

In 2013, Researchers at the University of Alberta National Institute for Nanotechnology found a more economical material in hemp. These scientists discovered how to process raw hurds (the plant’s woody core) into activated carbons through hydrothermal processing and chemical activation. The final product is one that’s able to soak up more electricity, providing better energy capacity. The solution produces not only a cheaper material — $5000 per ton — but one that performs up to four times better than graphene. Better yet, the solution uses the hemp stems, the part that is often left unused during other forms of hemp processing. With this, the entire plant is used, and no part is left to waste!

A handful of dried hemp cores, looking a lot like wood chips. Hempcrete building material is one common use for hemp hurds or shivs, the woody core of the plant. Someday, they could be used in hemp supercapacitors too.

Hempcrete building material is one common use for hemp hurds or shivs, the woody core of the plant. Someday, hurds could be used in hemp supercapacitors too.

If this solution can be easily reproduced, it would affect far more than just the electronics industries. Supercapacitors represent a fundamental shift in energy storage. Imagine if every battery powered object used hemp powered instead! It would mean that hemp would be undeniable in its utilitarian value. Remaining anti-hemp governments would be hard-pressed to keep the plant banned from commercial use.

LEGAL HEMP MEANS MORE HEMP RESEARCH

With the passing of the Farm Bill — making industrial hemp a lawful agricultural commodity in the United States — hemp research is ready to take a big leap. Someday, we could be driving hemp-powered cars and using phones that are powered by hemp!

Not only will consumer products change with legal hemp, but if hemp supercapacitors are adapted to a larger scale, we might see a shift in the infrastructure of the entire country. The possibilities for this greener, cleaner, and sustainable crop seem limitless! With legal hemp, countless industries stand to benefit.

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CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment Relieves Aches & Pains To Keep You Exercising

If you’re an athlete, CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment might just be the fix to your post-workout aches and pains. After trying this CBD topical, our reviewer recovered quickly and was able to get to the gym more often.

If you’re an athlete, CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment might just be the fix to your post-workout aches and pains.

If you do workouts consisting mainly of bending, jerking, and lifting movements, you are well aware of the joint pains that come with them. Specifically, lifting weights can affect the wrists, knees, elbows, and your back. So, when we heard of the chance to review the CBDMEDIC ointment that targets those sore areas, we jumped at the opportunity.

Our reviewer tried CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment for about a week and reported great results. While they didn’t completely eliminate his aches and pains, they reduced them so much he no longer had “any excuse” to skip going to the gym, even on the next day after a workout. CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects, and CBD topicals are the perfect way to take advantage of this when reducing soreness. This ointment even reduced the pain in our reviewer’s thumbs and hands after marathon “Red Dead Redemption 2” video game sessions on winter break.

In addition, we loved the light, non-greasy feel of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment. It absorbed into our skin easily, and didn’t leave a residue behind unlike some other muscle ointments we’ve tried.

A tube of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment posed with a pair of pink sneakers in a locker room.

CBDMedic Active Sport Ointment is specially designed to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, helping athletes get back to working out.

CBDMEDIC paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on for our full review of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment and to learn more about what makes their CBD topicals stand out in a crowded marketplace.

CBDMEDIC FOCUSES ON TOP-QUALITY CBD TOPICALS THAT TARGET INFLAMMATION AND PAIN

CBDMEDIC’s focus on top-quality CBD topicals is unique among CBD. They designed each topical to target a different kind of pain. CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment is specially designed to decrease inflammation and increase blood-flow. This helps athletes like our reviewer stay active and recover more quickly. While the muscle damage that naturally occurs from workouts causes inflammation, CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory.

CBDMEDIC is the first brand of CBD products registered with the FDA Over-the-Counter registration system. As a result, pharmacists and medical professionals have been recommending CBDMEDIC products since 2016.

CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment (Ministry Of Hemp Official CBD Review)CBDMEDIC ACTIVE SPORT OINTMENT OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment provides joint & muscle pain relief in a long-lasting, natural, and effective fashion. It’s great to apply before, during, or after your workout.
  • Strength: This ointment is available in a 40g tube, a 10-pack of single-application packets, or a 20G pain stick
  • Price: $29.99 – $49.99
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Flat-rate shipping is available for $5.00.
  • Independent Test Results: Available on request.
  • Texture & Scent: This CBD topical has a light texture. It reminded us of  vapor rub by combining potent menthol smell with healing CBD. It’s perfect for quick application.
  • Key Ingredients: CBD plus Camphor & Menthol
  • Full Ingredient List: Full-spectrum Hemp extract with Menthol, Camphor, Beeswax (organic), Clove oil, Sorbic acid, Cottonseed oil, Eucalyptus oil, Jojoba seed oil, Peppermint oil, & Tea Tree oil

CBDMEDIC uses only organic ingredients, including organically grown hemp, in all their products. They also make CBD topicals designed for arthritis pain and for relieving back & neck pain. While we love the quality of these CBD topicals, we did notice it’s difficult to tell exactly how much CBD is in each product and we’d like to see clearer labelling in the future.

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Hemp For Breakfast: The Easy Guide To A Delicious Hemp (& CBD) Filled Breakfast

We’ve put together a quick guide to eating hemp for breakfast, so you can start your most important meal of the day with this nutritional powerhouse. Hemp hearts and CBD oil are interesting ingredients, in that they are really easy to incorporate to your everyday foods.

We’ve put together a quick guide to eating hemp for breakfast, so you can start your most important meal of the day with this nutritional powerhouse.

Hemp hearts and CBD oil are interesting ingredients, in that they are really easy to incorporate to your everyday foods. With hemp hearts, you’ll see it’s a simple additive to the dishes. It’s as easy as putting them into a batter, or even just sprinkling them on top of the dish. With the CBD oil, it’s slightly more difficult to incorporate into your dishes but we’ll give you some simple tips.

HEMP FOR BREAKFAST: THE BENEFITS OF ADDING HEMP & CBD TO YOUR MORNING

Hemp is great addition to so many dishes. It will provide you with all of the essential amino acids and is a major source for plant-based protein. The best part is that hemp is extremely easy to incorporate into your diet. You can simply sprinkle hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) on top of your meals like salads or rice bowls or throw it into your blender to infuse your protein-shakes with hemp power. We recently looked at how hemp is great for keto diets and explained how to make your own hemp milk. However, hemp is an easy addition to almost any diet.

A pan of scrambled eggs with added herbs. Creating a delicious hemp breakfast might be as simple as adding hemp hearts or infusing CBD oil into the butter you use to make eggs.

Creating a delicious hemp breakfast might be as simple as adding hemp hearts or infusing CBD oil into the butter you use to make eggs.

CBD can also be incorporated into your mornings. Not to be confused with THC, the main cannabinoid compound in psychoactive cannabis, these ingredients are completely legal and will not get you high. CBD can ease symptoms of pain and anxiety and generally create a more balanced day. CBD can be found as oils, extracts, tinctures and even edibles. There are even CBD breakfast bars! You can even mix it into your morning coffee, if these recipes don’t appeal.

Since CBD is a liquid, you have to incorporate it into other liquids used. Cannabinoids also bind with fats in cooking. The easiest way to cook with CBD is to infuse the supplement into things like butter, maple syrup, and even into your cooking oil. This process is generally easy, and you can even make it ahead of time. We used Meta Hemp CBD oil for these test recipes (see our Meta Hemp review here!) but you can use any quality CBD oil you prefer.

Below are three of our favorite recipes incorporating hemp & CBD!

PANCAKES WITH CBD-INFUSED MAPLE SYRUP

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of your choice of pancake batter
  • Full spectrum CBD oil
  • ½ cup of pure maple syrup
  • Non-stick spray

Directions:

  1. With this recipe, you’ll want to first make your batter to have it done so you can prepare everything else. Depending on your pancake batter, you might need to add eggs and milk, but sometimes all you’ll need is water.
  2. When stirring, make sure to stir until the batter is smooth and all of the lumps are gone. If you’re adding milk, do it slowly as you stir. This will make your pancakes extra fluffy.
  3. To make the CBD infused maple syrup, pour the syrup into a small saucepan and heat on low. After it’s brought up to temperature, add your desired amount of CBD/Hemp oil.
  4. Continue heating on low for about 5 minutes and set aside.
  5. To make pancakes, it helps to make a pancake assembly station, with batter to the left, the pan in front of you, and your serving plate to the right.
  6. Spray non-stick spray and then pour batter until you get the desired size of pancake. Every minute or so, continuously check the bottom until it’s golden brown. Once it’s cooked, flip the pancake to cook the other side. Again, continuously check so you don’t overcook the pancake.

After that, you’re done in creating your delicious pancake with CBD-infused maple syrup! You can eat it as is, or add things like hemp hearts, berries, nuts, and whipped cream to supercharge the dish.

THE ULTIMATE CBD EGG SCRAMBLE

Ingredients:

  • Four eggs
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ stick of butter
  • Spinach/Kale
  • Full spectrum CBD oil
  • Handful of grape tomatoes
  • ¼ Large Onion, chopped
  • Salt, Pepper, Chili Flakes, Smoked Paprika to taste

Directions:

This is an awesome recipe if you’re short on time, and you want to make a quick & easy breakfast scramble to start your day off right!

  1. We start by preparing vegetables. Quickly chop onions, ready spinach and grape tomatoes. Set these aside.
  2. Heating up your pan with butter over a medium heat. Add CBD/Hemp Oil with the butter. While we wait for the pan to get up to temperature, we’ll prepare our eggs.
  3. Whip four eggs in a small bowl until they are uniform and have a little bit of foam around the edges. Mix in the milk while you whip your eggs. This allows for a fluffier and creamier omelet.
  4. Once the eggs are whipped and vegetables ready, make sure to have your spices nearby.
  5. With the pan up to temperature, we’ll add in our vegetables first. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. After the vegetables have cooked for a little bit, add the eggs and start to scramble them.
We made a hemp breakfast: hemp heart yogurt parfait, pancakes with CBD maple syrup, and CBD-infused veggie egg scramble.

We made a hemp breakfast: hemp heart yogurt parfait, pancakes with CBD maple syrup, and CBD-infused veggie egg scramble. (Ministry of Hemp / Ellijah Pickering)

Making scrambled eggs is fairly easy, but make sure to not overcook the eggs! The cooking process should only take about a minute or so and be sure to keep the ingredients constantly moving with your spatula.

HEMP BREAKFAST PARFAIT

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of yogurt
  • Granola
  • Your choice of berry (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
  • Honey
  • Hemp hearts

This is the easiest of all the recipes, simply gather all the ingredients and stack them in a bowl! You can add to this recipe by adding in flax seeds and chia seeds with the hemp hearts to create a trifecta of awesome plant based nutrition!

 

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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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Hemp Craft Beer & The Breweries That Make It

Hemp craft beer is making a name for itself, with the help of a handful of pioneering American breweries. It began with New Belgium’s “The Hemperor,” but now other breweries both large and small are entering the hemp and cannabis market.

Hemp craft beer is making a name for itself, with the help of a handful of pioneering American breweries.

There are many products that utilize hemp; clothing, skincare products, CBD oils & tinctures, and hemp-enhanced edibles, but there remains a noticeable absence of hemp in the alcohol industry. Most notably, the craft beer market, a market that’s notorious for experimentation to produce unique flavors.

Thanks to unmet market needs and the relaxing regulations towards hemp & cannabis products, breweries such as New Belgium have initiated their foray into the hemp craft beer market. Upon their release of “The Hemperor,” the Colorado brewery gained nationwide media attention due to this trailblazing and delicious beverage.

A pint glass of dark beer sits on a rustic bar top in a darkened bar. While hemp makes an enticing beer ingredient, craft hemp beer brewers face legal and regulatory hurdles before they can bring their brews to market.

While hemp makes an enticing beer ingredient, craft hemp beer brewers face legal and regulatory hurdles before they can bring their brews to market.

Previously, we reviewed The Hemperor and interviewed a local maker of hemp wine. The recent growth of hemp craft beer left us eager to look deeper into this enticing topic.

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HEMP CRAFT BEER MARKET

Other breweries looking to imitate New Belgium’s success must fight a gauntlet of obstacles.

Thanks to the difficulty of state and federal regulations, New Belgium had to experiment with many iterations of The Hemperor. This is because the use of hemp flowers & leaves in products is forbidden by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The use of CBD is also forbidden in alcohol products with national distribution.

Eventually, the brewery landed on hulled hemp seeds as the base for The Hemperor. Hulled hemp seeds, better known as hemp hearts, are an ingredient that can be found in your local supermarket. Hemp hearts are versatile, and can be used in many applications such as making hemp milk. Now, The Hemperor is available in all states except Kansas (party poopers if you ask us).

With the success of New Belgium, major beer companies are looking to get a slice of the pie. Corona & Modelo manufacturer Constellation Brands, Blue Moon founder Keith Villa, and Molson Coors are some of the notable names looking to dip their toes into hemp and cannabis beer. Constellation Brands and Molson Coors partnered with Canadian cannabis producers, while Keith Villa is working with a producer in his home state of Colorado.

BREWERIES THAT MAKE HEMP CRAFT BEER

New Belgium's The Hemperor hemp craft beerNew Belgium Brewing: The Hemperor

New Belgium are experiencing a moment as the most recognized hemp craft beer trailblazer. Released in April of this year, New Belgium have already experienced an instant success with The Hemperor. While they haven’t released a statement with future plans, one can almost be sure that they will release more hemp infused products.

Sweetwater Brewing Company 420 Strain G13 IPA craft hemp beerSweetwater Brewing Company: 420 Strain G13 IPA

This Atlanta based brewery has long been a fan of cannabis culture. Their best seller is the aptly named “420 Extra Pale Ale.” This past June, the brewery finally released their first (of seemingly many to come) hemp-enhanced beers. Their new beverage, “420 Strain G13 IPA,” mimics the famous G13 strain of psychoactive cannabis in terms of smell and taste, without the high. Sweetwater achieves this by infusing the pale ale with hemp, hops, terpenes, and other organic materials.

In a statement in the New York Times, co-founder Freddy Bensch says: “We think the drinker and the cannabis consumer are the same person.”

Bensch means that by releasing their G13 product, the brewery is tapping into a market that’s already connected to their traditional target-market. It’s worth noting that in just a couple of months, the G13 IPA has become their 2nd highest selling product.

Lagunitas Hi Fi Hops Cannabis Craft BeerLagunitas Brewing: Hi-Fi Hops

With the recreational use of psychoactive cannabis becoming legal, California-based Lagunitas Brewery pounced on the new market. Releasing their “Hi-Fi Hops” product line, in collaboration with CannaCraft (a cannabis-extract manufacturer), they offer cannabis-infused sparkling water drinks. Hi-Fi Hops products can only be found in medical marijuana dispensaries in California. While a little more left-field, the introduction of a cannabis-infused sparkling water opens the conversation up from merely a beer product, into a whole slew of hemp, CBD & THC-infused beverages.

Lagunitas is at the forefront of the fusion of cannabis into traditional drinks.

WHERE HEMP CRAFT BEER FITS INTO CRAFT BEER CULTURE

So where does hemp craft beer stand within existing craft beer culture?

Craft beer culture is already at the forefront of counterculture. Craft beers began with mad-scientist brewers looking for new flavors in unconventional ingredients. Long synonymous with bearded, beanie-wearing hipsters, craft beer culture is comfortable standing out. In fact, being different is the greatest asset of a craft beer. One needs only to look at the ingredients and artwork on their bottles to recognize this.

A photo showing three different beers of different colors in pint glasses. The success of New Belgium is bringing a host of new hemp craft beer to market, as well as entries from some larger brewers too.

The success of New Belgium is bringing a host of new hemp craft beer to market, as well as entries from some larger brewers too.

Cannabis and hemp belong to the same family of plants as hops. Breweries such as New Belgium and Sweetwater are using the green & herbal notes of the hemp plant to enhance their IPAs, which already tout flavors of bitterness, freshness and hoppiness.

So, we think that hemp craft beers will fit right in! In fact, we believe it’ll do more than fit in, we think they will thrive. The same hipster beanie-wearing dudes who drink IPAs are probably already using hemp in their breakfasts or daily supplements; so why not have hemp with their beer?

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