We all know that organic food is better for our health than non-organic food. Produce that’s free of pesticides and grown with sustainability at its core is healthier, both for the environment and for the people consuming it. So why don’t we expect the same quality from our supplements and health products? When we’re trying to improve our health, it makes sense to find the products which have been produced according to the highest standards possible. It can be confusing to know what to look for and why.
One thing is for certain: wherever possible, go organic.
Hemp plants are a real treat for the soil, for many reasons. Their deep-reaching roots strengthen and repair the soil structure, fixing nitrogen and carbon back into the soil from the atmosphere while they’re at it.
In fact, hemp is so good at removing toxins and heavy metals from the soil that it’s even grown on sites where there has been serious or long-term damage to the soil from radioactive materials or industrial processes.
Any natural CBD extract (i.e. not synthetic) is made by processing hemp flowers into a thick resin. This extract is then mixed with a carrier or other ingredients into the products you choose.
When it comes to organic hemp, the soil and growing processes undergo rigorous testing to ensure the purity of the soil on which it is grown.
With any CBD extract made from non-organic hemp, there will be a much higher concentration of toxins and heavy metals than would be found in organic extracts. Organic certification ensures that no pesticides or synthetic agents were used, making sure the hemp plants are as pure and natural as the specific certification deems acceptable.
The benefits of organic hemp go beyond the final product. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides destroy the microbial life which is so vital to the health and resilience of soils. When hemp is grown organically and without the use of pesticides, the soil is protected from further degradation as well as improving the water retention and nitrogen content.
With so many reasons to go organic, it’s surprisingly difficult to find certified organic CBD…
Why is organic CBD so hard to find?
In the UK, the demand for organic produce is far greater than the supply. With so few farmers growing hemp – and even fewer growing organically – it’s no wonder the high quality and toxin-free extract is difficult to source.
Not-for-profit cooperative Hempen exists to increase the amount of organic hemp grown in the UK, working to build a collaborative industry that supports its farmers, processors and customers.
“We believe that hemp grown for food or well-being consumption should always be organically certified… Organic certification is the only way to know the integrity and safety of the hemp product from seed to shelf.”
Hempen believes in working with other businesses that share their values of community, cooperation and sustainability. They found a supplier in Switzerland that is both organically certified and uses biodynamic and permaculture growing methods.
“This was a hugely motivating factor, given that small scale regenerative agriculture practices are crucial for the future health of our food system, planet and us.”
Organic certification can be a difficult process for farmers to navigate and the rigorous testing can be off-putting. When the benefits of organic hemp and CBD products aren’t fully understood by legislators and law enforcement, farmers are less inclined to risk a growing season with a crop for which they don’t have a guaranteed sale price.
In the future, having a certification process for farming that would regulate the practices and improve produce quality would be beneficial for our agriculture industry and food distribution systems. Until that’s the case, organic products tend to be more expensive to cover the costs of additional processes.
Organic certification remains central to Hempen’s values. They work with multiple partner farms across the UK, supporting farmers throughout the certification process, growing and harvesting, then purchasing the seeds from them before processing the seeds at the Hempen site on the historic Hardwick Estate which has been organic for over 400 years.
The regulations and criteria for organic certification ensure the safety and quality of the products you consume.
Natural CBD extracts are concentrated plant matter. If the extract is organic, you can be certain that you’re only consuming the good stuff!
When you’re looking for organic CBD, be sure to look for the Soil Association logo, so you know that what you’re getting is the best for you.