Many countries and states across the US have made it legal to grow and use certain types of hemp for many years. Hemp, reigned from the cannabis sativa L. genetically, falls into that general category, leaving many individuals puzzled about exactly what they’re purchasing actually constitutes as hemp product or cannabis product. Even with the varied and specialized nature of medical marijuana across the world, much debate continues to rage over whether it is a safe medication or simply a fancy name for marijuana. In this ongoing series of articles, we’ll strive to give you a clear understanding of what comprises hemp related goods and services. We begin with a closer look at exactly what constitutes “hemp”.
The word “hemp” simply means any plant whose origin is from the hemp plant, whether grown organically or in an extract form. Some of the most common plants whose origin is from the hemp plant are: alfalfa, jute, pigtail, buckwheat, canary seed, hemp, mung beans, and safflower. Most of these crops are used for fiber, stalks, seeds, oil and medicinally. Some of these plants, like the pigtail and alfalfa, have been modified to make them more drought tolerant, so that they can grow in harsh, arid environments. Most cannabis-derived products, including prepackaged pills, oils and lotions, contain a small amount of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a natural, non-toxic component of the plant that has shown promise in reducing the symptoms of several debilitating health conditions. In addition to reducing the symptoms of cancer and other ailments, CBD is believed to improve the human body’s response to stress.
Many companies creating cannabis-based products intended for inhalation have been caught falsely billing patients with extremely high CBD doses. CBD is only one of the many ingredients in hemp products that are carefully weighed to ensure appropriate dosing. With today’s clinical trials involving large, long term patient populations, the incidence of falsely billed CBD doses is minimal. However, this does not mean that all CBD products are consistently accurate. Companies need to be careful to follow along with all applicable guidelines, and ensure that any information provided is truthful and complete.
Another area that requires close watch is the processing methods used to produce final products. It is not uncommon for companies to use unperformed, or “experiment” processed hemp products, such as CBD-infused lotions, to test their strength and consistency before launching a full-scale marketing campaign. While most reputable companies will use the most efficient, and highest grade medical grade processing methods and ingredients, there is still no substitute for having your final product tested by a third-party lab. While many companies may wish to save time by using lower quality, less expensive processing methods, they still run the risk of invalidating their hemp products patent rights if a final product is found to contain an ingredient that was not included during the testing process.
The final, and arguably most important factor, in determining whether your CBD-infused, hemp products are safe and effective rests in the integrity of the company’s clinical trials. While many companies perform preliminary, generic, or even double blind clinical trials as part of their pre-clinical development process, very few companies have a history of actually completing such studies. Companies that have a history of launching high quality clinical trials are generally the ones that receive the most respect in the industry, because they demonstrate a commitment to accuracy and quality. A company that have completed thousands of clinical trials, and which has also been subject to the FDA’s stringent approval process, is generally a company that will be able to boast the best results possible. While some clinical trial companies may choose to conduct a small number of pre-clinical and pre-standardized clinical trials, for the most part all CBD clinical trial companies must submit proof of enrollment in both the clinical and regulatory areas.
A final consideration when evaluating the safety and effectiveness of any CBD-infused, hemp products is the environmental status of their production facility. Industrial hemp growing is a fairly new phenomenon, and producing high quality cannabis is not necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ process. As such, it is important for prospective buyers to verify the proposed cultivation site and surrounding region for possible environmental hazards. While most hemp growers grow their plants in North America, there are some sub-continent locations that are ideal for growing cannabis under strict conditions. Any potential buyer should consult their local seed dealers and / or Emerald Bowl distributors to find out which regions are suitable for growing cannabis with the highest environmental impact.
While most hemp products sold today contain at least a trace amount of THC, many companies are now experimenting with hemp extracts that contain up to ten percent THC instead. This conversion is a recent trend, and although not well-received within the medical community, many are lining up behind this more potent form of cannabis. Currently, the only state in the United States that allows distribution of any THC-based product is the three-weed cannabis initiative currently being debated in California. Even there, however, only a select group of medical marijuana users are permitted to purchase the plant under any circumstance. Despite the difficulty of obtaining a state-sanctioned medical marijuana distributor in many parts of the country, there remain reliable sources for CBD oil, and research suggests that it is possible to derive up to twenty-five milligrams of THC from the plant, with no apparent side effects.
While the prospect of receiving a comprehensive hemp product list is considered a distant dream, it is not impossible to create a list of hemp clothing items that are already in existence. Several brands of hemp clothing have recently popped up on major online retailer sites, and although the majority of hemp products are not yet available in stores, it is entirely possible that they will soon become a household commodity. A number of hemp clothing manufacturers are taking advantage of new technologies that make mass production of hemp easier than ever before. In the near future, it is possible to walk into any drugstore and purchase a wide selection of hemp apparel. The question then becomes, what will we do when hemp is not just a luxury, but a necessity?
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