USA CBD VS Imported Hemp Oil - Is There A Difference?
What is the difference between USA CBD vs imported CBD oil?
Countries across the globe have started legalizing CBD. The European Union (EU) has established regulatory guidelines for hemp-derived CBD oil which permits the cultivation of hemp with less than 0.2% THC.
Canada passed The Cannabis Act, legalizing the use of marijuana and hemp-derived CBD.
Following the 2018 hemp bill, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all of the US while marijuana-based CBD is legal in selected states.
This begs the question, USA CBD vs imported hemp oil- is there a difference?
Before we delve deeper into this discussion, let’s first make things clear; what is CBD, and how does it relate with hemp and marijuana?
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol, one of the 100 cannabinoids (chemical compounds) existing naturally in the cannabis plant.
Research suggests that CBD may aid the body in different ways by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is a system of receptors responsible for regulating vital body functions such as appetite, immune system response, and sleep.
Although it’s derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, CBD won’t get you high. So, why do you experience mind-altering effects after consuming cannabis?
Turns out, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. So when we say a CBD product is THC-free, it means you can’t get high after consuming the product.
Hemp vs Marijuana- Is there a difference?
Hemp and marijuana are variants of the cannabis plant. Because they both come from the cannabis plant, they have some shared characteristics. They are, however, different when it comes to effects, chemical composition, and even before the law.
Hemp is low on THC and rich in CBD. For cannabis to be considered hemp, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, marijuana is high on THC and is popular for its recreational use.
Before the law, hemp is legal in all 50 US states, while marijuana is legal in only a few states. Even in states where marijuana is legal, you may be required to provide a doctor’s prescription if you want to use it medicinally.
Now that we have background information on what is marijuana, hemp, THC, and CBD, is there a difference between CBD sourced in the USA and CBD imported from other countries?
USA CBD vs Imported CBD
CBD is CBD, why should it matter where it has been sourced?
The US is the largest importer of hemp in the world with imports ranging between raw hemp materials and CBD products for commercial use. Imports mainly come from Europe, Canada, and China.
According to the law, hemp or CBD oil can be imported legally into the US only if it contains less than 0.3% THC. But all hemp products are not the same and here are some of the reasons why locally-sourced hemp may be a more appealing option:
1. 2018 Hemp Bill Compliant
USA grown hemp is likely to be more 2018 hemp bill compliant than any other hemp grown anywhere else in the world.
Although hemp has been legalized in the US, it doesn’t mean that it can be grown like any other plant; The 2018 hemp aims to ensure the highest standard of CBD products.
This means that the hemp should not have more than 0.3% THC and should be organically grown; meaning free from pesticides and harmful chemicals.
US hemp farmers are therefore required by the law to come up with a contingency plan for monitoring the cultivation.
This may sometimes involve hiring a seasoned agronomist who will come up with a plan to ensure THC remains at optimal levels and ensure that the plants are properly hydrated.
Although the law requires that imported hemp be 2018 hemp bill compliant, there lacks a clear regulatory framework to ensure this. This means that, sometimes, substandard products from other countries may reach the US market.
2. Heavy Metals and Insecticides
Hemp plants have highly absorbent stalks. This means that apart from soaking up nutrients they also absorb everything else present in the soil. This includes pesticides, heavy metals or any other harmful chemical.
USA hemp farms have to maintain excellent growing conditions to ensure that the plants do not come into contact with any of these harmful compounds.
Different countries have different hemp cultivation regulations. Others lack stringent measures to prevent heavy metals and insecticide contamination.
Buying hemp products from these countries increases the risk of buying poor-quality and potentially harmful products.
3. CBD and THC Levels
Depending on where and how hemp has been grown, it may have high levels of THC or CBD.
Although it’s a requirement to only import hemp products with less than 0.3% THC, there are no regulations that restrict hemp based on Cannabidiol content.
This means that hemp products (from other countries) with a low CBD strength can easily get their way into the US market.
Factors to Consider When Buying Hemp CBD Products
Just because it’s locally sourced, it doesn’t make your product perfect or the best in the market. Whether you import or buy hemp grown in the USA, you need to consider the following factors:
1. 3rd Party Certification
Don’t just take your vendors word for the truth, ask to see the certificates of analysis from 3rd party independent labs.
These certificates should include among other things; source of hemp, CBD and THC concentration, extraction method, as well as the other ingredients, used.
This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into your body or what you’re paying for.
Most online CBD sites will allow clients to leave feedback on the website after purchasing a product. If you notice too many negative comments, reconsider working with such a company.
Selecting the best company is not enough, you also need to consider factors such as:
1. Form of CBD
CBD exists in many forms. You need to ask yourself, which form can work best for me? The best CBD consumption method will be determined by factors such as your end goal, desired effects as well as your personal preference.
If you are looking for instant results, then inhalation and CBD tinctures may be your best bet.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for longer effects, edibles may work for you.
Still, if you are looking for localized aid, eg, muscle and joint cramps, topical CBD application, eg, CBD creams and CBD bath bombs may be a perfect choice.
2. Isolate or Broad-Spectrum CBD
Isolates refer to the purest form of CBD. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD refers to products with CBD, plus other additional cannabinoids and terpenes.
These compounds work together in perfect synergy bringing about what’s popularly known as the entourage effect.
Final Words on USA CBD vs Imported CBD
Imported CBD is not entirely bad. However, it’s easy to have more control over locally grown and processed hemp since we know exactly where it’s coming from.
You will also be at ease knowing that your product is made as per the rules and regulations made by the government to ensure that you only get a high-quality CBD product.
If you have to import hemp products or CBD, ensure they meet the US standards to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law.
For educational purposes only.