Before you’ve even heard of the word CBD, you’re probably already familiar with its raw plant material, hemp plants. And if you’re well-versed in the cannabis industry, you know that a USDA Organic Certification is practically a gold star approval.
Now, even CBD products are certified to ensure users that they are safe for human use.
This is a rare and good opportunity for consumers as well. Up until a few years ago, locally produced USDA Certified Organic hemp was not made publicly available. In fact, hemp was not at all legal before a new law regarding it was passed.
Thanks to this newfound status of legality, CBD products skyrocketed in the market. Many health enthusiasts were clamoring for a taste of an organic cannabis supplement without the infamous marijuana high.
What is USDA Organic Certification?
What makes USDA Organic Certification such a big deal anyway? The USDA acronym stands for the United States Department of Agriculture.
Following the reauthorization of the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government tasked the Department of Agriculture to oversee the entire hemp industry.
Whereas hemp was under the Department of Justice before and labeled as a controlled substance, it now falls under agricultural commodities.
This is, of course, under the strict limit of all hemp and its byproducts to only contain less than 0.3% THC trace content by dry weight.
In small doses, it does not induce intoxicating side effects. Due to the rise of the production of hemp plants, it was in the best interest of the USDA to authorize organic certifications for producers and manufacturers.
Simply put, once a hemp grower was issued this certificate, it is a stamp of approval that their products are safe for consumption.
What does this “safety” entail?
For starters, it would ensure customers that the hemp materials used to produce CBD are organic, pesticide-free, herbicide-free, and other harmful chemicals are not at all present. It also ensures customers that the products they are buying come from reputable brands.
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Benefits of USDA Organic Certification for CBD
There are multiple benefits to obtaining USDA Organic Certification. Hemp companies that are willing to invest the effort, time, and money needed usually see a payoff in the end.
The USDA Organic seal is one of the most recognized certifications out there, after all.
The organic certification stamp is easily recognizable as well. Trusted brands, especially established ones with their own physical stores, wouldn’t dream of forging or faking the seal.
In addition to this, the USDA organic certification ensures that hemp farmers are using agricultural and cultivation practices that are sustainable and will not damage any natural resources.
CBD brands can also market their products as positive environmental and eco-friendly goodies that could set them apart from other brands.
As a shopper yourself, wouldn’t you opt for the organic option when shopping in the produce section?
This should also apply if you’re thinking of buying your next CBD product. There are way too many companies out there that take advantage of consumers’ lack of knowledge on these things.
This is also a way of making sure that what you consume is healthy, free of contaminants, and passed organic standards.
The USDA Organic Certification is either stamped on a CBD product or it is not. Pick your brand carefully and base off your purchase decisions from factors like these.
What Does it Mean for CBD Products to Be USDA Certified Organic?
As a general rule, being USDA certified organic means that the food is grown and processed according to federal guidelines. It considered things such as:
- Soil quality
- Cultivation practices
- Pest and weed control
- Other relevant factors
Organic producers rely on natural substances as much as possible. They try to reduce using possible contaminants and harmful chemicals that the crops could absorb, and in turn, be absorbed by consumers when eaten or ingested.
In instances where they need chemicals or synthetic substances, it first needs approval according to the criteria set by the USDA.
What does this mean for CBD products? Hemp by nature is a phytoaccumulator. This means that whatever soil it is planted on, it easily absorbs all that is present within. This includes heavy metals, synthetic herbicides, and other toxins in the soil.
As a result, not many hemp growers qualify for USDA Organic Certification. This is especially true if their production and manufacturing methods are not as thorough as the USDA would approve of.
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USDA Certified Organic CBD Products
Also, one lesser-known fact of USDA organic certification is the third-party certifiers that verify the authenticity of these products.
All CBD goods that bear the organic seal must first get approval from a third-party auditor that verifies the product’s entire supply chain.
The audit is to ensure that there are no contaminants from cultivation to manufacturing up until the final product form.
Blosum’s USDA Certified Organic CBD Herbal Botanical Salve is USDA approved and has undergone third-party lab testing to ensure all of its labels are accurate and true.
Its many ingredients, including the production and process of adding essential oils, have also undergone the audit for organic testing.
It has passed the strictest standards when it comes to hemp cultivation.
Another product by Blosum that bears this coveted seal is its CBD Lip Balm 100mg.
It contains other essential ingredients like cocoa butter, beeswax, almond oil, and shea butter that have gone through the same tests.
Though users don’t ingest topicals like salves and lip balms, they can still produce adverse reactions if contaminated with toxic compounds.
Who Can Use the USDA Organic Seal?
In general, most commercial producers of organic crops or livestock can apply and use the USDA Organic Certification after a thorough application process and approval.
Wholesalers, distributors, and retailers can also apply as long as their products undergo a supply chain validation and examination.
The best way to find out if your farm or product is eligible for an organic seal is to contact a reputable organic certifying agent or auditor. The National Organic Program (NOP) can credit third-party agents.
However, not everyone is qualified for this certification. You will need to meet certain requirements and very rigid, strict guidelines for the USDA to even start the application process.
This is why up until today, there are only a select few CBD brands that are organic certified. The pain of the process is worth it, though, according to most brands.
CBD companies also need to use specific extraction processes and USDA Organic Certified ingredients. This includes carrier oils, natural essential oils, and plant, fruit, or herb extract.
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With the vast choices of hemp products circulating the market, it is quite easy to settle for popular ones. However, popularity does not always mean quality or safety for the matter.
CBD products that have USDA Organic Certification are infinitely safer and guarantee a higher quality product simply by the fact that its raw material has been tested and proven by professionals.
While it’s true that these products may be a tad bit pricier than the average ones in the market, remember that health is wealth.
Plus, reputable brands have good deals that you surely can’t pass up on like free shipping and discounts!
USDA Organic Certification FAQs
Is USDA certified organic really organic?
The United States Department of Agriculture is quite thorough when issuing organic certifications.
The process is a long and tedious one, involving much from both processors and third-party laboratories. It ensures that from the raw material to the final products, everything is contaminant-free.
What are the requirements to be USDA Certified Organic?
The National Organic Program (NOP) provides accredited agents to help you get the USDA seal. After complying with all of the forms and documents needed, an agent will review the application. Once approved, they will schedule an on-site inspection.
How much does it cost to get USDA organic certified?
When the NOP initially launched the USDA Organic Certification, the cost was at around $750. This would include all the necessary steps of inspection.
Current fees may vary depending on the certification agent chosen as well. Most will give an estimate before proceeding with the application.