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CBD In Spain: Hemp Market Neglected In Spain Due To EU CBD Ban

The absence of CBD oil at Spain’s biggest cannabis trade show reflects turmoil over the legal status of CBD in Spain and throughout the European Union. Find out what we learned at Spannabis 2019.

Recent regulatory changes have cast doubt on the legal status of CBD in Spain and throughout the European Union.

Editor’s Note: This article on CBD in Spain is a continuation of our recent series on CBD and hemp around the world. See more in our articles on CBD in Canada and CBD in Uruguay. -KO

Spain is one of the most progressive cannabis hubs in Europe, with a network of hemp farms. grow shops and cannabis social clubs throughout the country. Spannabis, which took place this year from March 15 through March 17, is the largest cultivator tradeshow in the country. However, the absence of CBD oil there is an example of the regulatory turmoil that’s currently frustrating the European market.

Spannabis is Spain's largest cultivator event attracting a mix of industrial and hobbyist growers as well as cannabis advocates and users. Photo: Dozens of people crowd around the entrance to the Spannabis convention.

Spannabis is Spain’s largest cultivator event attracting a mix of industrial and hobbyist growers as well as cannabis advocates and users. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Tasha Kerry)

Unsurprisingly, the concept of using cannabis or CBD as preventative healthcare is still relatively new in Spain, and got little mention at Spannabis where the focus is on grow ops and gadgets. However, at this year’s event, “education” and “social responsibility” were the buzzwords on everyone’s lips, and hemp was making its presence felt in new ways.


In summer 2018, the EU notified the industry through the Novel Food Act, which places restrictions on any food items not in regular use prior to 1997, that it was no longer legal to sell CBD oil as a food supplement in Europe. In September, the organizers of Spannabis sent out an email announcing that CBD oil for human consumption was banned from the event though hemp seeds and skincare products are allowed in line with EU guidelines.

The EU’s Novel Food Act is not, however, legally binding, leading to disparities across EU countries, as some choose to implement the guideline while others ignore it. The lack of regulation means the market looks different in each country. Switzerland is leading the pack with almost 600 CBD companies selling domestically and abroad. In Italy and Austria, consumers are going crazy for hemp flower as a substitute for tobacco. It’s possible to buy CBD oil in pharmacies or health food shops in some member states, but not Spain.

Due to the EU's Novel Food Act, CBD Oil for human consumption was banned from this year's Spannabis but oils for topical use were allowed. Photo: A collection of topical CBD oils available at the Spannabis expo.

Due to the EU’s Novel Food Act, CBD Oil for human consumption was banned from this year’s Spannabis but oils for topical use were allowed. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Tasha Kerry)

“Spain is one of the drivers of the CBD market in Europe, but right now, self-regulation is guiding the industry,” explains Jaime Muñoz of Natureight, a CBD manufacturer based in Holland with offices in Spain, “and everyone continues to sell in spite of the risks because consumer demand is so high. That’s the point, consumers want this product, and the regulation needs to catch up with the market.”

A recent report from the Brightfield Group predicts that the EU CBD market will grow by up to 400% over next five years, meaning it could be worth €1.7 billion (almost $2 billion) by 2023. In line with the recent World Health Organization recommendation to reclassify cannabis, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) is campaigning to update the Novel Food Act. The EIHA presented a proposal for the regulation of the European hemp industry to the EU Commission on March 12th.

“We asked for clear rules to be put in place in order to facilitate the growth of the industry across Europe,” confirms Lorenza Romanese, director of the EIHA, adding, “What’s most important is to let the market choose the competitors. Plus, Europeans naturally prefer to buy locally so if we take the right steps, hemp offers the chance to create cottage industry producing premium local products.”


Though the Spanish parties Cuidadanos and Podemos are eager to follow Canada’a legalization model, Pedro Sanchez, Spanish prime minister has made it clear that, for now, he has “bigger problems” than cannabis. On top of that, the Spanish minister for Health, Maria Luisa Carcedo, announced last November that there’s “no scientific evidence” to back the therapeutic use of cannabis.

So while cannabis is fast becoming a wellness niche in other progressive markets, it remains the domain of an underground culture made up of clandestine growers and stoners in Spain, as evidenced by the clouds of smoke choking the halls of Spannabis, and the reggae on blast outside on the patio. CBD is, however, changing the conversation.

Alchimia's offices in Figueres are built with sustainable hemp to create an environment that reflects the company's ethos of Growing Happiness. Photo: An internal view of a modern "green" office building.

Alchimia’s offices in Figueres are built with sustainable hemp to create an environment that reflects the company’s ethos of Growing Happiness. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Tasha Kerry)

“In Spain, cannabis users can access THC through the social clubs, so of course that’s what they’re going to choose,” explains Marc Selan, president of Organic Oz cannabis social club, Barcelona. “I’ve started offering CBD strains in my club as a way to talk about the medical benefits of cannabis. Moving forward, it’s all about education.” Selan says novice users typically choose CBD strains while seasoned users want choice.

Issac Sunyer, sales director with Alchimia Web, an online seed bank, agrees that buyers of their CBD strains are a new market. “We’ve built up a catalogue of more 1600 strains to provide consumers with choice, and have been selling CBD strains for five years,” he says. “We see that buyers of CBD strains tend to be older and are not your typical cannabis user, which is why education is so important. Correct product labeling will be key to brand success in coming years.”

Alchimia strikes a chord with both novice and seasoned users by harnessing hemp to switch the conversation on cannabis to wellness. Their offices in Figueres are built with hempcrete and feature a Zen garden to promote the brand’s message: Growing Happiness. Staff are offered flexible working hours, and in-house initiatives like starting the day with a hug are encouraged.


Swaran Singh of iGreen Swiss, one of many new ventures visiting Spannabis, believes that socially responsibly brands will lead European hemp and cannabis market into the future, as “it’s what the new generation of consumers demand.” He also believes CBD is “just a phase.”

“In two to three years time, 80 per cent of companies will be gone, as the market consolidates,” he says. “Right now, Germany is setting the example for regulation because they have the trust of government and that’s what we need in the rest of Europe to win market confidence.”

“CBD has opened the market but medical cannabis is the real business,” he continues, adding a warning: “But it’s getting expensive to get in. It can take up to five years to yield a good crop, and the final product must be top quality, so it’s a huge investment. At the moment, investors are losing money, which is causing a lot of uncertainty.”

Daniel Musters, founder of CTgrow, a designer of environmental control systems for indoor grow ops, agrees that investors are restless, and governments are making it more difficult to get into the industry now because “they want to make cannabis clean.”

Hemp flower, like this brand for sale at Spannabis, is growing in popularity across Europe as a substitute for tobacco. Photo: Various hemp flower smoking blends available for sale at Spannabis.

Hemp flower, like this brand for sale at Spannabis, is growing in popularity across Europe as a substitute for tobacco. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Tasha Kerry)

“What hemp and CBD can do is change the stigma around cannabis,” he says, “And that’s already happening with these new hemp projects that are springing up around Europe. We just designed a system for a project in France, and it’s amazing. The whole community is involved, and it’s transformed the local economy because people are working in the greenhouses, making oils, creams, food, you name it. Hemp has injected new life into this town.”

Back on the pavilion at Spannabis, the presence of hemp is more subdued though there are long lines at the Canna Beer stand and lots of people munching on hemp chips. In the halls, the handful of CBD companies includes Greenmotiv, a Spanish distributor of creams and oils for topical use, and Naturflow, another Spanish company selling hemp balms, both targeting the wellness market.

In amongst the crowd are signs of the health and wellness market that’s coming. Lisa Guerra-Watson is an ex-real estate agent with an autoimmune condition who’s getting into the sector to educate women on the health benefits of a cannabis lifestyle and has created a brand called Seedella.

“This is an amazing event,” she says of Spannabis, “And it’s fun to be able to smoke a joint but I’m surprised by how little focus there is on the health benefits of cannabis here. We need a second event for that.”

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Hemp Food Wraps: Sustainable Food Covering As A Substitute For Plastic

Hemp food wraps, created by an Australian couple from local hemp and beeswax, are a new, sustainable alternative to plastic for covering food. The same business also offers hemp soaps and artisanal hemp paper.

Hemp food wraps, created by an Australian couple, are a new, sustainable alternative to plastic for covering food.

After launching her hemp business with her husband, Maxine Woodhouse didn’t want to concentrate on products she felt were already being done, like oil and protein power.

So she chose something that would stand out – hemp beeswax food wraps.

Available in funky retro tie dyed colors, which makes them perfect for a dinner party, you might say they really are the bees’ knees of food wraps.

“We decided we wanted to have something different because we want our business to be a bit unique from everyone else, so we went ‘okay what if we dyed them and dipped them and we get our beeswax’,” Maxine Shea, co-founder of Australian-based business Hemp Collective and Fields of Hemp, told us.


The locally made wraps, which can be purchased online, are all-natural, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, water-resistant and sustainable.

An Australian couple created sustainable hemp food wraps using local hemp and beeswax. Photo: A picnic party place setting including a bowl covered with a hemp food wrap.

An Australian couple created sustainable hemp food wraps using local hemp and beeswax. (Photo: Hemp Collective)

The beeswax is sourced locally and infused with organic coconut oil and pine tree resin from the Byron Bay community in northern NSW, not far from where Shea and her husband and business co-founder Mike have a hemp farm for industrial use.

“People go ‘oh is it farmed from bees that are being harmed’ and we went ‘well no the bee keepers look after their bees,’” Maxine said.

With a background that includes studying and teaching about waste education, the product also fits in with the ethos of the couple and their business.

“We came up with the hemp beeswax wrap because we’re trying to eliminate plastic within our business. I come from that zero waste (belief) and also moving forward I think it’s important to do that for society,” Maxine said.

“There’s so much going on with plastic at the moment that it is an unsustainable product and it is killing a lot of wildlife, so the beeswax wraps made sense.”

Perfect for storing food and keeping produce fresh – from vegetables and fruits to flowers to kids’ lunches – the list of uses for the wraps is endless, say the Hemp Collective.

The biodegradable wraps, which can be moulded into a pouch or cone (no pun intended) are also easy to use, are water-resistant, and are easy to wash.


Following their launch, the Hemp Collective unveiled their hemp paper and hemp business cards.

“I couldn’t find any hemp business cards. I thought ‘no one’s actually making them in Australia’,” the entrepreneur said.

“We went ‘okay you know what we could actually do wedding invitations, we could do all sorts of things with it.’ But the business cards were what we started out with.”

The fact that it’s a premium product again sets it aside from the others that do exist, Maxine said.

Photo: Hemp food wraps molded into a cone shape to hold fresh fruit on a table.

The reusable sustainable biodegradable hemp food wraps can also be turned into pouch or cone shapes for serving snacks. (Photo: Hemp Collective)

The Hemp Collective’s soaps come in myrtle, activated charcoal, lavender oil, peppermint and eucalyptus, and oatmeal flavors. Ingredients include organic cold pressed coconut oil, purified water, Australian hemp seed oil, and organic unrefined shea butter.

“There’s probably seven ingredients in there and it’s all either organic or Australian,” Maxine said.

Next up they will launch their hemp shampoo and conditioner bar range. A healing balm is also in the pipeline.

The main concern for their products, Mike said, is that they are producing high quality.

“We made sure that we got not just any coconut oil, we made sure that it either came from a sustainable source but also good quality,” he says.

“The same with the shea butter.”


The couple’s business is based in the small town of Mullumbimby, not far from the tourist hot spot Byron Bay, with a wall of hemp that the community helped make for their office.

“We said we’re going to build this hemp wall. Ten people (said) ‘oh we’ll come and help’,” Maxine said.

“We hand harvested that hemp. The community has been amazing around here.”

The couple, who have been together for 17 years, were based in New Zealand, where they had a distribution company, before they moved to Australia in 2017.

Photo: Three different colors and textures of hemp paper from Hemp Collective.

In addition to hemp food wraps, Hemp Collective makes hem paper and body care products. (Photo: Hemp Collective)

Maxine had earlier given birth to the couple’s son who was diagnosed with a severe form of eczema. Maxine was later diagnosed with a brain tumor, a type that affects only one to two per cent of people. In New Zealand, they were given some CBD oil.

“When we came over here, we did a whole change and we looked at hemp and went yeah, I think there’s something in this,” Mike said.

“And then the food law changed (in November 2017) and that’s when we thought ‘well this is what’s going to get the wheels moving for the hemp industry.’”

The couple say they have recurring customers and their main customers are probably mostly female, but their ages are different.

“The soap gets an older demographic whereas we feel like shampoo bars and conditioner bars are going to be good for that travellers 18 – 35 type age groups where they’re kind of on the move,” Maxine said.

“It’s perfect for travel, you just shove it in your bag. You don’t have to carry all these big bottles.”

“Artists are loving the paper.”


Maxine said there’s also some exciting things happening “behind the scenes”.

“We really want to start getting some infrastructure happening around the region, farmers growing but growing so they’re actually going to get better yields and outputs and also money because farmers are always struggling,” she said.

Maxine Shea poses with a collection of Hemp Collective products and a small hempcrete wall.

Maxine Shea poses with a collection of Hemp Collective products and a small hempcrete wall. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Pearl Green)

She said the Australian hemp industry was “stifled due to a range of different things”.

“It’s stifled due to thought process the fact that there’s stigma around the products,” Maxine said.

“Australia is behind due to its crazy policies.”

Maxine said her vision for the hemp community in Australia was one where people could collaborate but every single person could still have a niche within their business that sets them, their story, and their product apart.

“If everyone can work together you’ve actually got a bigger way of talking to government and getting things changed,” she said.

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CBD Vs. Kava Kava: Two More Natural Remedies Compared

With so many herbal remedies available to consumers, its easy to get confused. How do the benefits of CBD and Kava compare? What about the side effects?

Alongside cannabidiol, other natural herbs are receiving a lot of attention, so we thought we’d compare CBD vs. kava today.

In our previous article, we compared CBD and kratom, another popular herb.

Within recent times, alternative medicine and natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular. More people are looking for ways to improve their overall health and well-being that doesn’t involve taking pharmaceutical drugs.

It’s no surprise that hemp-based substances such as CBD, have risen to prominence based on its unique therapeutic abilities. However, there are other herbs like kava, sometimes called kava kava, also receiving attention for similar positive effects. But can you really compare kava with CBD? If we were to pit CBD vs kava, which of the two would come out on top?

In this article we’re going to explore exactly that. We will examine how the popular CBD matches up against the lesser known underdog, kava. Through this comparison, we hope you can better determine which herbal remedies support your needs.


CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a lot more popular than Kava. It’s certainly more widely used. Cannabidiol is one of the main compounds found in the hemp plant and its primary role is to create balance within the body. CBD is non-intoxicating and helps ease symptoms of a variety of common conditions including stress, anxiety and pain.

CBD offers numerous benefits without a high, unlike kava which can cause mild mind-altering effects. Photo: CBD oil bottles posed on a wooden table with hemp buds.

CBD offers numerous benefits without a high, unlike kava which can cause mild mind-altering effects.

Quite notably, scientists are studying the potential use of CBD to treat some more serious ailments like cancer. Today, you can find CBD in just about anything. There are capsules, gummies, tinctures and if those are too boring, you can even find CBD-infused beverages and food.


Kava is an herb native to the Pacific Islands. People in places like Hawaii, Fiji and Tonga used kava for hundreds of years.

Typically, the root of the plant is used to make an extract. Kava is thought to have calming, analgesic and stress relieving properties. Traditionally, they would dry and crush the root into a powder, then mix it with water to make a drink.

Herbal supplement companies today use more sophisticated methods of extraction in order to maximize the concentration of its main ingredients, kavalactones. The final product is usually a capsule that contains anywhere from 30% to 90% concentration. There are 18 of these kavalactones found in the kava plant and they’re responsible for its potential benefits.

Unlike CBD, which is non intoxicating, these kavalactones can also induce a high and even mild hallucinations due to their psychoactive nature.


CBD is well-known for its wide range of therapeutic applications.

Cannabidiol works with our endocannabinoid system to regulate the body’s internal processes. Many people all over the world are using CBD to help with issues such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation. Part CBD’s appeal is the lack of psychoactive effects. Apart from the more common uses, it also has the potential to treat even more severe illnesses such as schizophrenia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, bone disease and more, though a lot more research is needed.

In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a marijuana-based CBD medicine, to treat seizures related to some forms of epilepsy. This was a major triumph, as it marked the first time the FDA recognized the medical benefits of cannabis. With more research, we can expect to see more CBD based products being introduced to the mainstream in the future.

Kava is much less researched than CBD. The kavalactones found in the plant interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain to create its calming, euphoric effects. Kava is mainly used to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some suggest that it can be a natural alternative to treating anxiety disorders. More research needs to be done to really determine its effectiveness as some studies have produced mixed results. This makes it a bit more difficult to form any real conclusions.

It is also said that kava can be useful in promoting sleep, and therefore has the potential to treat sleeping disorders such as insomnia. In one 2015 study involving over a thousand participants, researchers could not really prove any noticeable difference when compared to placebo.


One reasons that CBD is becoming so popular is that it has very minimal side effects. Studies have shown that even when consumed at relatively large doses, it typically does not cause any adverse reactions that may jeopardize the user’s health. CBD is a non-addictive substance that doesn’t require larger doses after prolonged use. CBD is arguably safer than many pharmaceutical drugs in use. No fatal overdoses by CBD have ever been reported. Even in the rare instances where users report side effects, they are usually mild symptoms such as dry mouth, drowsiness and nausea.

While there's some evidence that kava may help with stress, insomnia, and similar issues, there's also evidence that it may cause damage to the liver in some cases. Photo: A spoonful of powdered kava root resting on a wooden table.

While there’s some evidence that kava may help with stress, insomnia, and similar issues, there’s also evidence that it may cause damage to the liver in some cases.

Kava on the other hand, can have various side effects, especially when consumed in large doses. Some of these may include: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, skin issues and liver damage.

Perhaps the most severe of these is related to its impact on the liver. An overview from the National Institutes of Health found between 50 and 100 cases of liver injury related to kava consumption. While some kava advocates dispute these claims, there is some evidence that links kava to hepatotoxicity.

Whether or not similar adverse effects are found among Kava’s traditional consumers, this still raises concerns about the quality of the kava supplements being sold commercially. Additionally, there may also be some negative reactions when consumed with other substances like alcohol, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and diuretics. With these potential risks and minimal research, kava needs to be consumed with caution and under the right medical supervision.


In the US, CBD is legal throughout all 50 states as long as it is derived from hemp (0.3% or less THC). The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge step forward for the cannabis industry. It rightfully removed restrictions on hemp by revoking its schedule I classification. Even though hemp is now legal on a federal level, there have been police raids on CBD stores in states like Texas, due to conflicts between state and federal laws. U.S. Consumers, in general, haven’t faced any legal penalties for possessing or purchasing CBD.

Kava is also considered legal in the US. However, it’s important to consider the 2002 advisory issued by the FDA warning of its potential liver damage. Certainly, more research needs to be done on the herb to confirm or deny those statements, but remember just because its legal doesn’t mean its safe. Another consideration: Poland banned kava, while countries like France, Canada, Germany and Switzerland have some restrictive measures in place.


Hopefully this helps to paint a clearer picture of what these herbal remedies are and how they compare to each other.

CBD is widely used and researched, with a long list of holistic benefits and limited side effects. While kava, on the other hand, does show some potential to treat stress related symptoms, its long list of side effects and lack of definitive scientific research suggest that consumers should proceed with care.

With all these things into consideration, which do you think is better?

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CBD Supply Chain: How the Hemp Industry Is All Connected

Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations. From growers to extraction to the final CBD oil you take, there are many steps along the way.

Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations.

Most people are unaware of the sheer complexity that goes behind putting their favorite product on the shelves. Exploring those complexities will help show how your favorite CBD product goes from plant to final product and explain the cost of CBD.

“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work,” said Keith Butler, co-founder and chief formulator for LifePatent.

LifePatent is one of our favorite CBD brands, so we reached out to Butler for an insider’s view of the process.


To understand the CBD supply chain, we must first consider what a supply chain even is and what it means to a business.

A supply chain is essentially the bones & muscles of a company. The supply chain is comprised of raw material producers, system processors, customer service, truck drivers, factory floor workers. Hell, even the IT guys are part of it. This is why a good supply chain manager or team is essential in a healthy business. Whenever you buy, move, make, sell, service or repair you are using your supply chain. A supply chain is successful when all the links in the chain work together smoothly.

A spoon stirring a coffee cup on a bed of coffee beans. Creating CBD coffee is simple: Simply stir CBD oil into your favorite coffee drink.

One example of a supply chain is the process that goes into creating coffee, from growing to roasting to the final cup in your favorite cafe.

Let’s consider a simple cup of coffee at your favorite cafe. First, farmers grow and harvest coffee fruit (probably somewhere in South America). Further processing happens before shipping coffee overseas or to America. Then drivers, packagers, trucks, fuel and further processing are needed to get it to the companies who order the beans.

Those companies (part of the chain itself), roast, package, test and ship those coffee beans to different retail spots. Then coffee shops grind the beans and make them into a cup of coffee for you to buy.

All of this goes behind making a cup of coffee. Keep in mind this is a simplistic version of the real coffee supply chain. The real thing is much more complex. Depending on size and scope, a business might cover just one aspect of the supply chain — such as coffee roasting. Or they might oversee the entire process from coffee fruit to cafe. The same can be true of the CBD supply chain.


The hemp industry is growing at a break-neck pace.

Valued at $3.1 billion at the end of 2017, the industry is currently projected to triple that figure by 2022. When you factor in last December’s Farm Bill, the industry is only going to grow faster. This is not simply an American story as Canada, France and China have successful and fast-growing hemp industries.

The hemp and CBD supply chain begins with hemp seeds. Photo: A macro (high detail) close-up photo of hemp seeds against a yellow background.

The hemp and CBD supply chain begins with hemp seeds.

Truly, the hemp plant is making a resurgence in popularity, mainly due to the robustness, simplicity, and ease of hemp farming. Not to mention over 50,000 different uses of the plant, from car panels in France, to hemp hearts grown in Canada and the massive hemp-textile industry in China.

Butler told us:

“The supply chain begins with the seeds. Today’s hemp genetics can be incredibly complex and equally as complex to acquire. With the explosive growth of the hemp industry, supply side beginning with something as simple as a seed can be a challenge. The companies who have access to the unique seeds and genetics are even harder to find. Once the seeds have been secured the supply side begins with the farming process.”


This fast-growing industry has attracted many businesses, from retailers, producers, suppliers, farmers and so on and so forth. The supply-chain is growing just as fast as the industry itself. One simply needs to look at all of the different CBD-brands that have seemingly come from nowhere to see the pace of growth in the industry.

“Although hemp is a weed and is considered an easy plant to grow, making medicinal hemp is a little more complicated. The plant will require proper sun, moisture, nutrients and protection,” Butler said. “All of these factors will determine the level of medicinal quality which can be achieved, but the process takes months of time and patience not to mention luck and skill.”

But the support infrastructure necessary to power the hemp supply chain is still lacking in many places.

“Once the flower has been collected by the farmer it needs to be dried, again, a straightforward process which is not so simple. Sure, solutions are being created to simplify the harvesting and drying process, there are even systems which require no drying at all,” said Butler. “But these systems are few and far between leaving most farmers to do it and the old-fashioned way, by hand. Once the harvest has been dried it must be transported to the extraction facility.”


But it’s not all rainbows & sunshine as the American hemp industry is seriously hampered by inconsistent federal and state level legislation.

While the aforementioned Farm Bill certainly helps, there are still major grey areas in the classification of hemp. The production of hemp is now federally legal, and the Farm Bill removed CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, but the industry is closely watching upcoming decisions by the FDA.

“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work.” — Keith Butler, LifePatent

As a result of incomplete government regulations, and inconsistent state laws and policies, some members of the CBD supply chain still face legal risks, resulting in occasional police raids on CBD stores and arrests of truckers transporting industrial hemp between states.

“Things can get tricky here depending on whether you plant to extract locally, in state or out of state,” Butler commented. “For those who need to transport over state lines to extract a whole new set of obstacles arise in the supply chain.”

He continued:

“Recent seizures of hemp being transported across state lines after the passage of the 2018 farm bill show us that many places didn’t get the memo. And worse yet some states have challenged the legality of hemp even after its removal from the controlled substance act.”

All cannabis businesses still have to operate on a cash-only basis. Banks cannot offer financial services such as bank accounts or business loans. Alongside the clarification of CBD products by the FDA, the financial side of the business is the biggest supply chain obstacle for cannabis and hemp companies to overcome. With continued bi-partisan support of the STATES act, this may soon be fixed.


Butler explained the definition of hemp, pinned to 0.3% THC, also causes issues:

“To date the definition of hemp outside of less than 0.3% THC by dry weight has not been defined causing a whole new challenge for the hemp products producer. When extracted a 0.3% THC hemp plant will create extracted oils which can be in excess of 3% THC now. A number that can be 10 or more times above the legal limit of hemp, but it is from the legal hemp plant but now the oils appear to the world as cannabis despite the fact they are hemp derived. It is this single undefined issue that drives the extraction, formulation and bottling of most hemp products. When the hemp is extracted the THC levels increase as do all the other cannabinoids.”

Third-party lab tests help ensure that the final CBD-infused products consumers purchase remain under the legal limits of THC, but the extraction process puts hemp brands at risk. Butler thinks the issue may need to be solved in the courts:

“Unfortunately, no one in the government has addressed this reality and until someone with the resources required to put up a fight gets stopped and arrested with hemp oil extract the hemp industry will continue in the conundrum of can I transport the undiluted oil from extraction to a different state for bottling and formulation.”


“Creativity and ingenuity are the hallmarks of the American people and those in the hemp industry are more akin to the pioneers, blazing the trails to a better future,” Butler told us.

So next time you enjoy your favorite CBD tincture, soft-gel, cream or simple hemp-hearts, keep in mind the complex CBD supply chain necessary to bring that product to your table. The issues above reflect that more legislation may be needed to protect the hemp industry, though fortunately Sen. Mitch McConnell and other hemp supporters in Congress seem to be willing to undertake the effort.

“I know for guys like myself and the people with whom I began this journey with nearly 40 years ago, we found a way and now hemp is legal,” Butler concluded. “For the future I expect the new pioneers will create new trails and find new ways to bring our beloved plant to the peoples of the earth.”

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Meet Jessica: Discovering Hemp & Why I Take CBD

Hi! I’m Jessica, the video producer for Ministry of Hemp. In today’s video I’m going to tell you a little about me, how I discovered hemp, and why I take CBD.

Hi! I’m Jessica, the video producer for Ministry of Hemp.

In today’s video I’m going to tell you a little about me, how I discovered hemp, and why I take CBD.

Want to keep getting to know me? Follow my Instagram.


Subscribe to the Ministry of Hemp on YouTube for new videos every week.

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NoCo 6: Hemp Farmers Plan A Sustainable Future At NoCo Hemp Expo

10,000 people attended the sold-out 2019 NoCo Hemp Expo, better known as NoCo 6, held for the first time in Denver, Colorado. From the latest in hemp technology to discussions of regenerative agriculture, the event left us hopeful about hemp’s future in the U.S.

Judging by the sixth annual NoCo Hemp Expo, or NoCo 6, the American hemp industry is poised for explosive growth in the coming years.

Begun in 2014, the NoCo Hemp Expo celebrated its first year in Denver, Colorado on March 29 and 30. An estimated 10,000 people, the largest attendance ever, crammed into the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Center for the sold-out show. The move to Denver came after the 2018 NoCo Hemp Expo outgrew the event’s former location at a convention center in Loveland, about an hour’s drive to the north. Organizers are already looking for a bigger home for the 2020 event.

While there were numerous CBD vendors vying for attention, NoCo 6’s expo hall also featured the latest in hemp innovations. All through the event, panel discussions looked to the future of a fast-growing industry, with a focus on building sustainable hemp in America.


The legalization of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill promises to open up new uses for hemp, thanks to an increasing supply of U.S. grown hemp. It’s clear from NoCo 6 that the industry is already reinventing itself.

The NoCo 6 hemp fashion show, organized by Enviro Textiles, showcased the growing variety in the field. Highlights included a tailored hemp suit, silky hemp robes, and even hemp backpacks.

Photo: Hemp guitars and a hemp ukelele from Silver Mountain Hemp Guitars, on display at NoCo 6, the 2019 Noco Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado.

Silver Mountain Hemp Guitars, part of the WAFBA family of hemp brands, on display at NoCo 6 Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado.

Morris Beegle, the founder of the NoCo Hemp Expo, also showcased products from his WAFBA family of brands. These included hemp notebooks, hemp clothing, and hemp instruments from Silver Mountain Hemp.

Going even deeper into hemp’s potential, high-tech hemp brands showed off the latest in hemp innovation. Green Spring Technologies impressed us with their injection-molded hemp plastics, and their hemp 3D printing display. We were equally excited about PF Design Lab and their bicycle frame made from hemp!

There was also a delicious variety of hemp and CBD-infused foods to sample, from Hempress’ hemp chai tea to decadent CBD chocolates and cookies from Incentive Gourmet.


Sustainability was a recurring them of the panels at NoCo 6.

A panel of regenerative agriculture experts described hemp as part of a larger solution to the environmental crisis.

“It’s not just about hemp standing alone,” said Tara Caton of the Rodale Institute.

Mike Lewis of Third Wave Farms agreed. Sustainable farming isn’t just about the crops but about “giving back to the land but also the people and community around the farm.”

A Kentucky hemp grower, Lewis also founded Growing Warriors, an organization that helps veterans become farmers.

One of the most forward-thinking groups at NoCo 6 were the members of the indigenous farmers panel. Marcus Grignon, of Hempstead Project Heart, warned about the dangers posed by patents on hemp. Environmentalist and Native American hemp advocate Winona LaDuke led the panel in calling for investing in an “indigenous hemp economy.” They also called for more hemp education, so that the next generation is better prepared to sustain the hemp industry.

Journalists and hemp media professionals also gathered on a panel, moderated by Ministry of Hemp Editor Kit O’Connell. The group also included representatives of Cannabis Now, Honeysuckle Magazine, and the Nutrition Business Journal. Recurring themes were the continuing normalization of hemp after decades of stigma, and the need for better, clearer, more transparent language when reporting on hemp and hemp products like CBD.


There are still challenges facing the industry. The USDA has yet to release its guidelines for hemp growing. The FDA is considering how to handle the boom in over-the-counter CBD supplements. And there are still barriers preventing people from participating in the hemp industry. A clause in the 2018 Farm Bill bans most people with drug felonies less than 10 years old from participation in the hemp industry. No other crop faces similar restrictions.

Overall, though, the mood at NoCo 6 was upbeat and the event left us hopeful. After navigating the crowded halls of the convention center, it’s easy to believe hemp sales could reach $2 billion by 2022, or even before.

With so many passionate people excited about our favorite crop, it’s hard to imagine any barriers the hemp industry can’t overcome. Whether it’s ensuring consumers can access safe, reliable CBD oil, or exploring the future of hemp plastic and textiles, the future of hemp is developing right before our eyes.

Drew De Los Santos, Jessica St. Cyr, and Matt Baum contributed additional reporting for this article.

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CBD VS Kratom: Comparing Two Popular Natural Remedies

When it comes to comparing CBD vs. kratom, these two natural supplements don’t have as much in common as you might think. While both offer some real benefits, CBD remains the safer choice in most cases.

Both CBD and kratom are getting a lot of attention, so we thought we’d compare their relative benefits here.

You’ve most likely heard of the hemp-derived compound CBD before. It’s been the talk of the town in realm of alternative medicine for quite some time, and has really developed a reputation as a natural route to relief of many conditions or their symptoms.

But there are some other herbs besides hemp, that have also been growing in popularity for their therapeutic properties. In this article we will take a look at kratom and how it really compares to CBD.

Some people claim kratom can be an effective substitute to CBD. But, is this really accurate? On the surface, they may appear to have some common ground. As you begin to dig deeper it becomes more apparent that they’re really quite different.


Nowadays, CBD or cannabidiol can be found in many different types of consumables.

Photo: A collection of CBD tinctures in assorted bottles, decorated with hemp buds. Our guide to CBD tinctures explains how to pick the right supplement for your needs.

CBD oil, extracted from industrial hemp, is a safe, non-psychoactive supplement with numerous benefits.

You can find it in traditional forms like CBD tinctures or capsules and even more creative products such as CBD coffee. The main role of this compound is to create internal balance, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Part of what makes CBD so special is that it’s non-psychoactive, unlike the well-known THC, the main active ingredient in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). CBD can help you improve your mood, deal with anxiety and even support pain relief, all without experiencing mind-altering effects.

CBD also shows the potential to treat many more serious conditions. As scientists conduct more research, even traditional doctors increasingly support the use of cannabidiol.


Kratom, also known as “mitragyna speciosa,” is a tree that originates from South East Asia. It grows naturally in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. People from these areas have used kratom for thousands of years. Traditionally, natives of these areas chewed the leaves for its stimulant-like properties. Kratom has a long history of use as an opium substitute and in more recent times has become popular as a recreational drug.

The plant’s main active ingredients are mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine (7HMG). These two compounds induce their effects by interacting with the body’s opioid receptors. Mitragynine is the chemical thought to be responsible for the therapeutic effects, whereas researches attribute psychoactive effects to 7HMG. The clinical research on kratom is still very limited. This lack of research also prevents kratom from catching on like CBD.


CBD has a relatively long list of applications. It’s most commonly used to help with anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain and inflammation.

Although many consume it to feel more relaxed and manage stress related symptoms, it is also becoming quite popular in the fitness community to help with recovery and pain management. Apart from those practical uses, CBD is also being researched for its potential to treat more severe ailments such as: cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, diabetes and many others.

When comparing CBD vs. Kratom, one major difference is that CBD is non-addictive and appears safe even at relatively high doses, while kratom can pose risks of dependency and other side effects. Photo: Powdered kratom in a white bowl sits atop whole mitragyna speciosa leaves.

When comparing CBD vs. Kratom, one major difference is that CBD is non-addictive and appears safe even at relatively high doses, while kratom can pose risks of dependency and other side effects.

Kratom is used mainly to reduce anxiety, relieve pain and help with opiate addiction. As research surrounding the herb seems to still be in the early stages, no solid conclusions can be drawn as of yet. Based on user accounts, and the natives who’ve grown the herb for centuries, there may be some truth behind some of the promoted benefits. Some individuals have claimed it is particularly effective in breaking dependency on stronger opioids like heroin and oxycodone. However, more clinical trials need to be conducted before it can be recognized as a reliable method of treatment.


CBD is great not only because of its numerous benefits, but because CBD has limited side effects. The versatile cannabinoid, is proven to be non-addictive, and is still safe to consume even in large quantities. To date, there have been no CBD related deaths ever recorded. Some mild side effects that may be experienced by users include nausea, dry mouth and drowsiness.

Kratom however, starts to a lot look less appealing when we begin to examine the side effects. Although it’s promoted to be a solution to opiate addiction, there is also the risk of becoming addicted to kratom. Frequent use is generally not recommended, as it increases the chance of dependency and also exposes the consumer to other potential risks.

Some relatively common kratom side effects include vomiting, nausea and constipation. But the list doesn’t stop there, as there are even more severe symptoms that may arise from kratom use such as seizures, psychosis, respiratory depression, liver toxicity, and increased blood pressure. When we consider all these side effects, they could heavily outweigh the benefits.


The 2018 Farm Bill forced the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove hemp-deriveed CBD from its list of illegal drugs. The bill formally legalized industrial hemp with a THC content of 0.3% or lower as an agricultural commodity, rather than a controlled substance.

Even with this monumental move, there are still some restrictions varying from state to state. While consumers can generally access CBD both in stores and through online CBD brands, some CBD stores still face the threat of police action.

While recent legal changews support access to CBD, kratom may face further restrictions in the near future. Photo: A gavel with the scales of justice behind it.

While recent legal changews support access to CBD, kratom may face further restrictions in the near future.

The legality of kratom remains a bit more undefined as it is not regulated on a federal level. However, there are some states that have banned the substance like Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, Vermont and Washington, D.C. In 2016 the DEA announced their intentions to classify kratom as a schedule I substance. The announcement was followed by intense public outcry, and since then they have not yet made any advances to restrict it on a national level.

Even the FDA issued a statement warning of kratom’s adverse effects. The FDA attributed 36 deaths to kratom in 2017. Last year, there was a salmonella outbreak related to kratom products which affected 199 people across several states. The nationwide controversy led to a massive recall, and once again shed negative light on the herb, which may eventually lead to its restriction on a larger scale.


When we examine all the factors above, we’re better equipped to evaluate natural remedies.

While some people compare kratom and CBD as herbal supplements, they’re in two completely different lanes. CBD is a lot more recognized, with a strong backing of user testimonies and scientific research.

While kratom may treat some conditions, due to minimal research and a growing list of concerns, it is likely to be restricted before it is accepted on a wider scale. While we don’t support legal prohibition of natural substances, users of kratom must be aware of the risk of dependency and other potentially harmful side effects.

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Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen Offers Smooth, Citrus-Flavored Natural Relief

Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen provides all-natural CBD oil in a gentle, tasty vape that is simple to operate and pleasant to use. This rechargeable vape from Joy Organics works…

Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen provides all-natural CBD oil in a gentle, tasty vape that is simple to operate and pleasant to use.

This rechargeable vape from Joy Organics works through simple inhalation with no need to press buttons or turn on or off, which makes for a more intuitive process than many other rechargeable pens. We enjoyed the mild citrus flavor and smoothness of this vape and were impressed by its elegant design.

Photo: A brunette woman in an orange sweater and long pearl necklace holds an elegant Joy Organics CBD vape pen in one hand.

We were impressed by the elegant design, ease of use, and delicious citrus flavor of Joy Organics CBD vape pen. Most of all, we enjoyed its potent, relaxing effects.

Joy Organics 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 about Joy Organics and their delicious CBD vape.


The advantage to vaping over other methods of CBD oil delivery is that the user should feel a response to the oil within a minute or two, so dosing can be very straightforward. You know if you’ve had enough to relax, feel better, or sleep deeper quite quickly. That said, if you are new to vaping, it might be a good idea to inhale a small amount at first and only hold it in the lungs for 10-15 seconds, as suggested on the box.

Even if you are accustomed to vaping, keep in mind that Joy Organics uses a distillation process that transforms their oil into nano-sized emulsions. Their CBD is more bioavailable than many other oils. This means that each inhalation goes far. We experienced relaxing effects using half the amount our reviewer generally requires.

Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen comes with everything you need to get started. The box includes a battery and a cartridge containing 450ml of CBD. We almost missed the USB charger, tucked away under the white insert in the vape’s box. This vape uses standard 510 threading, so it is compatible with your existing equipment. You can also buy just Joy Organics CBD Vape Cartridge as a refill or use it with your existing batteries.

The Joy Organics rechargeable vape pen requires no button to press and works with a simple inhalation, similar to an e-cigarette. The vape is smooth, with absolutely no harshness, and the taste is decidedly grown-up: a faint citrus flavor with hints of vanilla.


Joy Organics makes their CBD from industrial hemp then further processes it remove any trace of THC. Their CBD is broad spectrum and organic, using only hemp grown in the United States. All products are shipped free, and Joy Organics offers a 30-day 100% money back guarantee if you don’t find that the products work for you.

Joy Organics is a family-owned company with a commitment to giving back. They give a portion of sales to nonprofits, and offer products from charitable organizations at their retail locations.

Joy Organics also posts some of the most detailed third-party lab results we’ve seen. Both internal and third-party tests verify that each lot contains the right amount of CBD oil as well as passes pesticide tests. The third-party certificates even include a QR code customers can scan to verify the authenticity of the report.

Joy Organics offers their products online as well as at three retail locations in Fort Collins, CO, Austin, TX, and Deer Park, IL.

Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen (Ministry Of Hemp Official CBD Review)JOY ORGANICS CBD VAPE PEN OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen provides smooth, pleasant vaping delivery of pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil in one convenient, elegant package.
  • Strength: 450mg of broad-spectrum CBD oil per cartridge.
  • Price: $99.95 for a vape pen + cartridge; $79.95 for replacement cartridge only.
  • Customer Service & Shipping: 30-day money-back guarantee on all products. Free shipping.
  • Independent Test Results: Online.
  • Flavor & Feel: This vape oil and pen provides a mellow, gentle vape with a mild citrus flavor and no harshness. The effects were more relaxing than some other CBD we’ve tried.
  • Ingredients: CBD oil / Broad-spectrum Hemp extract in Organic MCT Coconut Oil, plus Added Terpenes from Fruits and Plants.
  • Other: This brand offers a generous 30-day money back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

Joy Organics makes their products from organic hemp grown in the USA. Joy Organics is one of our Top CBD Brands. They also offer tinctures, softgels, salves, pet products, and beauty products.

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NoCo Hemp Expo 2019: Patents For Hemp? Bodies & CBDA Decarboxylation

Ministry of Hemp visited NoCo Hemp Expo 2019. Jessica, Drew, Kit, and Matt from Ministry of Hemp headed to Denver for NoCo Hemp Expo 2019. This video has just a…

Ministry of Hemp visited NoCo Hemp Expo 2019.

Jessica, Drew, Kit, and Matt from Ministry of Hemp headed to Denver for NoCo Hemp Expo 2019. This video has just a few of the many highlights from the trip. Marcus Grignon from Hempstead Project Heart talk about patents on hemp during the Indigenous Perspectives of Hemp panel, Kit O’Connell, our very own editor in chief, talks about language in the hemp industry, and Keith Butler from Life Patent tells us about how our bodies process CBDA!

Hemp fashion on display at the NoCo Hemp Expo 2019 fashion show, ranging from a tailored hemp suit to hemp hoodies, Hawaiian shirts and t-shirts.

Hemp fashion on display at NoCo 6’s fashion show, ranging from a tailored hemp suit to hemp hoodies, Hawaiian shirts and t-shirts. (Ministry of Hemp / Kit O’Connell)

NoCo 6 was a blast, we can’t wait for next year!


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Farming The Fields Of Green: The challenges of the Hemp grower in America

In the third episode of Podcast, host Matt Baum looks at the promises and challenges of hemp farming in the United States. Plus our first coverage of the 2019 NoCo Hemp Expo.

Farming The Fields Of Green: The challenges of the Hemp grower in America
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

00:00 / 00:32:34

Welcome to episode 3 of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast! This time on the show we’re talking about what goes into hemp farming and the challenges facing today’s hemp farmer.

This episode’s guests include:

Our new Regulation Wrangler (cool title right?) Jenn Price from Golden State Govt. Relations where she serves as a consultant in the cannabis industry. Jenn opens the show talking about the challenges of USDA and FDA regulations that could slow down the industry.

Josh Hendrix, Director of U.S. Hemp Production for CV Sciences, Inc and Plus CBD Oil, talks about hemp farming and the challenges of growing a crop that’s been illegal for 75 years.

And finally, the show closes with an introduction to the Indigenous Perspectives of Hemp panel at this past NoCo Hemp Expo in Denver Colorado. Olowan Martinez of the Oglala Sioux Tribe spoke about a major issue facing tribes growing hemp on reservation lands that I hadn’t even considered.

We want to hear from you too. Send us your questions and you might hear them answered on future shows! Send us your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, email [email protected], or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.


As always, you can find download the complete show transcript here:

Read more about hemp farming in the U.S.:

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