As a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp can now be legally grown in the United States. However, while hemp has come a long way and is, for the most part, socially and politically sanctioned across the U.S., regulations on hemp’s farming practices are still far behind its first wave of progress.
If you’ve been following along on our blog and have read our articles on the truth about spirulina, proprietary blends, or CBD bought from Amazon; you can probably guess what’s coming next. Let’s take a deep dive into why it’s important to purchase CBD products created with outdoor-grown, organic hemp. We’ll explore what organic hemp is, how hemp is certified organic, and take a closer look at outdoor cultivation’s impact on hemp’s overall quality.
What is organic hemp?
Organic hemp has been certified by a USDA-approved agency that regulates and verifies that the cultivation method of industrial hemp plants complies with national organic standards, verifying that the hemp has been grown without the use of chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
Can hemp be certified organic?
Any part or derivative of a hemp plant can be certified organic, as long as the hemp product is not making health claims, including:
How do you certify organic hemp?
Getting hemp certified organic will depend on what stage of production the hemp is in. For example the process for those who plan to grow hemp crops and have them certified organic will be much different than those who have a completed hemp based product they would like to have certified organic. Here’s a helpful breakdown of the different stages of organic hemp certification:
Producers are those who grow hemp and would like to have it certified organic. Hemp producers often have to go undergo a stringent certification process involving a full inspection of crops. Crops can only be certified organic if the land hasn’t been tainted by prohibited materials (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) for at least 36 months before the crop is harvested. If the land has never been tainted by prohibited materials, the certification process is likely to move much quicker than the average 3-month certification time period.
Producer/Handlers are those who grow hemp (see above) and plan to process it into a product.
Handlers are those purchasing a raw hemp product, and turning it into a product.
Food Processors, Restaurants, Distributors, Retailers
If personal crops aren’t being grown, there is no required transition period and they’re welcome to apply at any time.
Is organic hemp better than regular hemp?
Organic hemp is better than regular hemp because it is the more safe, environmentally-friendly, and clean alternative.
Organic hemp ensures safety
The difference between organic hemp and regular hemp is that while organic hemp has gone through stringent inspection to verify that it meets organic guidelines and standards, regular hemp has not.
This is not to say that regular hemp does not possess the quality or freshness that organic hemp possesses, but with the choice of organic hemp, you guarantee that the hemp product you’re consuming follows strict governmental guidelines intended for your safety.
Organic hemp is environmentally friendly
Toxic chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used to grow regular hemp crops turn out to be terrible for the environment. Interdiscplinary Toxicology reported that these compounds can have detrimental effects on water supply and air quality and possess the potential to be devastating for wildlife ecosystems. By mitigating the use of these harmful, non-organic farming practices, we’re working towards a better world. Read more on how hemp helps the environment, here.
Organic hemp is clean
What most people don’t know about the hemp plant is that it is actually a phytoremediator, which means it’s a plant that restores balance to the soil it’s planted in. In fact, farmers will plant hemp just to heal compromised soil because hemp has the ability to work like a plant-vacuum, cleaning the soil while it grows.
However, this can become an issue if you purchase hemp from a non-organic supplier. Even if a hemp supplier grows crops that are free of pesticides, if the soil that it’s grown in was recently contaminated by chemicals, there is a high chance that the hemp crops will contain the heavy metals or pollutants that were once in the soil that can be harmful to humans when ingested.
Is it better to grow hemp indoors or outdoors?
The topic of growing hemp indoors or outdoors is highly debated when it comes to which one is ‘better’. There are a number of factors that affect hemp grown indoors vs. hemp grown outdoors. Let’s explore a few.
When hemp is grown indoors, growers have complete control; they can closely monitor the temperature, light sources, CO2 production, and humidity to produce their crops exactly as they’d like. But the ultimate challenge of indoor hemp, is recreating the incredibly complex outdoor natural environment. Outdoor grown hemp is in direct contact with sunlight, fresh air, natural water, and ‘nature’s helpers’ like wasps, ants and ladybugs who help to fight off natural mites.
Indoor and outdoor hemp are said to be of similar quality, but there are a few differences. When the conditions present during cultivation are completely controlled as they are in the case of indoor grown hemp, it’s likely that the hemp will have a different aesthetic appearance, which is difficult to achieve with naturally grown hemp.
Outdoor grown hemp will be, of course, subjected to all of nature’s elements, which might cause it’s overall appearance to look different. This is not to say that it doesn’t possess the same quality, taste, or effect. In fact, some CBD enthusiasts prefer the look and taste of outdoor grown hemp to the almost too perfect appearance of indoor grown hemp. However, finding those who’ve grown outdoor hemp (as Neurogan does), is much less common, as many growers opted to grow hemp inside due to legality.
Purchasing products made from Organic hemp is your best bet to ensure your product is safe, environmentally friendly, and clean. Indoor or outdoor grown organic hemp comes down to your personal preference, however, we’re big supporters of the all-natural outdoor grown hemp movement. Learn more about our all-natural, sun-grown growing process, here.