Does CBD Show up on Drug Tests?

Does CBD show up on drug tests?



Taking CBD products can result in failed drug tests if the consumed CBD products contain significant levels of Delta 9 THC.  A basic foundation of knowledge is required to better understand the risk of failing a drug test because of CBD product usage.  The consumer should understand:

  1. the drug-testing process utilized by employers and the federal government or the Department of Transportation (DOT)
  2. how research studies have determined Delta 9 THC metabolizes in the body
  3. the amount of Delta 9 THC contained in CBD products

Drug Testing DOT

Employer-issued drug tests are usually conducted via urine samples with cutoff levels defined by DOT 49 CFR Part 40 and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The urine tests generally attempt to identify THCCOOH, which is the primary metabolite of Delta 9 THC.

The testing is carried out in two stages. The first stage involves initial immunoassay screening (semi-quantitative) with a cutoff level of 50 ng/ml.  If the sample contains less than 50 ng/ml, the subject passes. If the sample contains more than the 50 ng/ml, additional testing is conducted with more sophisticated quantitative GC/MS instrumentation (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry).

The second test has a much lower threshold for failure (more stringent than the first test). That threshold is 15 ng/ml. If the sample contains less than 15 ng/ml, the subject passes.  If the sample contains more than 15 ng/ml, the subject fails.

How Long Does THC Stay in Urine?

Numerous studies have investigated the rates of positive tests following the ingestion of hemp oil containing various concentrations of Delta 9 THC.

Study #1 (2003)

A clinical study on a closed research ward was conducted in 2003[1]  .  That study was double-blind, placebo-controlled, and randomized.  During the study seven participants were administered hemp oil three times daily for five days at various dosages of Delta 9 THC.  All bladder voids were tested for THCCOOH resulting in 4,381 urine specimens.  The general results of the study follow.

The 2003 study results show daily doses of less than 0.39 mg of Delta 9 THC rarely resulted in positive tests via the initial immunoassay screening (50 ng/ml cutoff).  They even had a low probability of testing positive in the event of secondary testing utilizing GC/MS testing methods.

However, positives did occur very rarely for daily doses of less than 0.39 mg of Delta 9 THC. Furthermore, an individual taking a daily dose rate less than 0.39 mg tested negative the vast majority of the time but sporadically tested positive during the course of use, which indicates the timing of testing may be important.

Study #2 (2006)

A 2006 study investigated the levels of Delta 9 THC and its metabolites (THC, 11-OH-THC & THCCOOH) in plasma following hemp oil ingestion.  The inpatient study was randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and within subject.[1]  

Plasma concentrations were determined by GC/MS instrumentation. During the study six participants were administered hemp oil three times daily for five days at various Delta 9 THC dosages.  Unlike the 2003 study, which utilized randomly occurring bladder voids for testing, the 2006 study utilized plasma draws at specific time intervals following ingestion.

Note: Whole blood cannabinoid concentration tests, such as those utilized for driving under the influence, would yield concentrations of about 50% of the cannabinoid concentrations exhibited in plasma tests.  The general results of the study follow.

During the 2006 study, significant concentrations of THC and 11-OH-THC, relative to the federally mandated cutoff of 15 ng/ml, did not show up in plasma tests even at the high daily dosage rates of Delta 9 THC.  On the other hand, maximum concentrations of THCCOOH did exceed the federally mandated cutoff of 15 ng/ml at high daily dosage rates of Delta 9 THC, but they did not exceed the cutoffs at low dosage rates of less than 0.47 mg per day.

Study #3 (2003)

Finally, a 2003 study[1]  illustrated the time-dependent nature of the concentration of Delta 9 THC metabolites in plasma, following administration of two doses (2.5 mg each) of synthetic THC (dronabinol) at 4.5 and 10.5 hours.  The study indicates that THC and 11-OH-THC decay relatively rapidly with THCCOOH exhibiting in plasma for longer durations.

Note: The 2.5 mg Delta 9 THC dose utilized in the 2003 study far exceeds the dosage found in Workman’s Relief CBD products.

CBD vs THC

So how much Delta 9 THC is there in typical CBD products?  A bit of additional knowledge about hemp extracts is required to answer that question.

CBD products utilize a variety of hemp extracts as ingredients, including full spectrum and broad spectrum extract as well as a further-refined product called isolate.  The main differentiating factor between these ingredients is the compounds they contain, including the Delta 9 THC.

  • Full spectrum hemp extract contains multiple cannabinoid compounds (although it is mostly CBD), along with low levels – less than 0.3% — of Delta 9 THC.
  • Broad spectrum hemp extract is similar to full spectrum in having multiple cannabinoid compounds (although it is mostly CBD); however, the majority of the THC has been removed.
  • Isolate contains 100% CBD without any other cannabinoid compounds including THC.

The most beneficial CBD ingredients are thought to be broad spectrum and full spectrum extracts due to the “entourage effect,” which alludes to CBD working more effectively in combination with other cannabinoid compounds.  Because isolate doesn’t contain any of these other compounds, it is thought to be the least effective of the three.

At Workman’s Relief we utilize broad spectrum hemp extract that has non-detect levels of Delta 9 THC for a variety of reasons.

  1. to enable our customers to benefit from the entourage effect
  2. to maintain our USDA certification, which guarantees natural products
  3. to significantly reduce the probability that our products will result in failed drug tests

What Does ‘Non-Detect’ Mean?

When Workman’s Relief products are tested by third parties, Delta 9 THC is not-detected; however, that does not absolutely mean our products contain zero percent Delta 9 THC.  Rather, it means the tests do not identify Delta 9 THC at concentrations that are greater than the limit of quantification (LOQ).  The LOQ refers to the minimum amount of Delta 9 THC the tests are capable of accurately identifying.

What Amount of THC Can I Take Daily and Still Pass a Drug Test?

Numerous studies indicate that consuming 0.39 milligrams or less of Delta 9 THC per day results in a low probability of urine tests detecting THC metabolites greater than the federally required testing limit of 15 ng/ml.

For our dosing recommendations, we conservatively assume that Workman’s Relief ingestible products have Delta 9 THC concentrations at exactly the LOQ. Although, it is likely the Delta 9 THC concentrations are significantly lower.

Internal Delta 9-testing Data

We, as avid users of Workman’s Relief products, subjected ourselves to urine tests at various dosing levels. The results can be seen in Figure 1.  The results in Figure 1 are not meant to be conclusive given the methodology; nor are they our recommendations regarding dosages.

Avoiding Positive Drug Tests

We have simple recommendations for avoiding positive drug tests when taking CBD products.

  1. Utilize products from trusted brands, such as Workman’s Relief, who have purposely manufactured their products to minimize the amount of THC. Products utilizing broad spectrum CBD or isolate are likely to have lower concentrations of THC. However, remember that isolate is likely to be less effective than broad spectrum from a wellness perspective.
  2. If possible, limit daily doses to ensure they do not exceed 0.39 mg of Delta 9 THC per day. See Table 1 for guidance related to Workman’s Relief products.

Take CBD products at a consistent time of day that maximizes the time between taking the CBD product and a likely urine sample. For instance, taking product right after the work

[1] Gustafson RA, Levine B, Stout PR, Klette KL, George MP, Moolchan ET, Huestis MA. Clin. Chem. 2003;49:1114

Affordable CBD Oil

While we wholeheartedly believe in Work, we also understand the constant stress Workmen are under to deliver. That stress often negatively affects their bodies and well-beings, making it difficult to maintain impactful lives.

Between the physical and mental grind of the working week, the unruly shrieks of disobedient children, and discovering that peeling paint often leads to water damage, there isn’t a lot of space to unwind and recover.

These are everyday stressors, which are often the source of irritability and cause a general lack of well-being. What’s worse, they can even impact productivity, which is required to accomplish a hard day’s Work.

Currently, the U.S. healthcare system is not exactly catering to the needs of Workmen. The average cost of 15 minutes of face-time with a doctor exceeds $100 and requires nearly two hours out of the workday to complete. No wonder the average American has more than $100,000 of debt.

Simply put, Workmen are in need of straightforward, effective, and affordable relief; relief that allows them to maintain their workloads and positive presences at home.

Unfortunately, the U.S. healthcare system isn’t cutting it.  That’s where we come in.

Our products are created to provide professional strength at affordable prices. At about $1 per day and 1 cent per milligram CBD, it’s a challenge to find a more cost-effective CBD product on the current market.

Source (https://www.cbdexamine.com/cbd-oil-prices)

Who is a Workman?

You know one when you see their results.
  • An intact joint on a well-worn kitchen table
  • A productive garden amid concrete and steel
  • The smooth flow of traffic on an elevated interchange
  • An organized Little League team and a treehouse in the backyard
  • Comfortable livestock on a frigid winter day
  • A mint condition 1970 Ford Pinto
  • An immaculate firehouse
  • A well-attended church picnic or community program
  • A life repaired after tragedy or addiction

How many work hours in a year?

The standard answer might be 2,080 – calculated from working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. But Workmen know that to be impactful on all fronts of life, many more than the general 2,080 will be required – even if it’s at the cost of their bodies and peace of mind. At Workman’s Relief we believe in Work, and we know a few workmen that are making a difference.

CBD Coffee: A synergistic effect

Natural, plant-based remedies are highly poplular for a wide range of health issues. CBD is one of those natural compounds extracted from Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp that can interact with our body at molecular level and produce incredible results.  It is safe, non-intoxicating and effective in improving the overall performance of our body. It can be taken by different methods but a newer method increasing in popularity is through CBD infused coffee.

What is coffee and how does it help?

Undoubtedly coffee is one of the most famous beverages around the world.  It contains caffeine which has the ability to interact with the central nervous system as a stimulant.  The most prominent effect of caffeine is alertness which is produced as soon as it reaches the brain.  Caffeine is a common ingredient used in medications that are provided to treat headaches, migraines, and drowsiness.  Research has shown that caffeine can also boost the metabolic activity by 3 to 11 percent which can help in quick fat burning.  Not only this, coffee is also jam-packed with essential nutrients such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium and niacin. These vitamins are essential for the body to perform optimally. Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants which can help in scavenging free radicals from the body and reduce oxidative stress.  An oxidant rich diet can reduce the risk of several health diseases including certain types of cancers and heart disease.

What is CBD and how does it help?

CBD or cannabidiol is primarily sourced from Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp.  Even though it is not the only exception is cannabinoids found in this plant species but it is the most popular one because of its incredible therapeutic properties.   CBD is known to interact with the human endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining stability and homeostasis.  By mimicking the function of endogenous cannabinoids, CBD can also promote overall health and wellness.  CBD has been shown in some studies to improve the symptoms of anxiety, seizures, depression, pain, inflammation, acne and psoriasis. CBD can be incorporated into daily life in several types of products including tablets, capsules, topicals, sprays, and edibles.  If you are looking for a new way to boost your daily CBD dose, you may want to consider CBD coffee.

Combining CBD and coffee

CBD infused coffee is a simple drink with several health benefits.  You can enjoy your cold Brew, roast, espresso or CBD latte and since CBD is only required in a small quantity your coffee will not taste or smell like hemp.

 The energizing effect of caffeine and potential relaxing effect of CBD can be combined to provide a tranquil experience.

The best time to take CBD coffee

The perfect dose of CBD varies from person to person as it depends on our unique body chemistry severity of symptoms we are trying to treat and our expectations from the product.

The effect of a natural compound in our body depends on the following factors:

  • Total body weight
  • Body fat percentage
  • Potency of the CBD product
  • Frequency of use

You can take CBD coffee at any time of the day. It would be best to avoid taking it a few hours before sleeping as it can disturb the sleep wake cycle. Taking it in the morning can help you in staying active and going through your morning routine vigilantly. You can also take it in the evening to have some relaxing time after office. Just take it whenever it fits into your routine.

Wrap up

CBD infused coffee is a great way to kick start your day.  However you will have to find out the right dose and amount of coffee that keeps you alert focused and relaxed.  It would be best to avoid taking CBD coffee if you are already using any over the counter medication regularly.  Consult your physician to better understand impact of CBD and any medications you may be taking.

Does CBD help provide more restful sleep?

CBD deeper sleeping

CBD is one of the most popular cannabinoids extracted from Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp. It is completely safe and non-intoxicating, which is why it is preferred by millions of people around the world for its incredible therapeutic properties. Even though CBD is sourced from hemp, a cousin to marijuana, it is considered safe and cannot cause euphoric effects due to the trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
After undergoing a lot of controversy, the 2018 United States farm bill allowed for the cultivation of industrial hemp which contains less than 0.3% of the THC. CBD can interact with the body at molecular level and help it perform various important physiological functions.

How Does It Work?
The human body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system which is the main cell signaling mechanism of the body. Researchers have shown that the endocannabinoid system is a bridge between the body and mind. It is responsible for maintaining stability and balance by carrying out various physiological functions including pain, inflammation, sleep, cognitive function memory and immune response.
There are two main components of the endocannabinoid system that are the ECS receptors and the endogenous cannabinoids. Two main endocannabinoids that interact with the easiest receptors are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol. They interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors that are concentrated in the brain and the immune system respectively.
CBD and other cannabinoids of hemp have a similar structure to those of the endogenous cannabinoids, which is why they can help the endocannabinoid system in performing optimally. Research has shown that CBD cannot bind to the CB2 receptors, but boost the production and uptake of anandamide so that the system works properly.
Research has also shown that CBD can interact with the serotonin receptors of the body and regulate its concentration in the blood. Low level of serotonin is linked with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. CBD can also interact with the TRPV1 pain receptors to reduce ache and pain perception.

Benefits of CBD
The interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid receptors can help in maintaining homeostasis by allowing all systems in the body to perform at their best. Several researchers have shown that CBD could be a potential way to reduce the symptoms of the following health conditions:
• Acne
• Anorexia
• Anxiety
• Chronic pain
• Depression
• Drug addiction and withdrawal
• Epilepsy
• Glaucoma
• High blood pressure
• Inflammation
• Insomnia
• Muscle spasms
• Pain
• Parkinson’s disease

The Food and drug Administration (FDA) has not registered CBD as a prescription medication for all these health issues. However, they have legalized the first CBD based medicine for two rare forms of epilepsy: Lennox-gastrault syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people suffer from trouble falling in sleep or grogginess. The symptoms vary in short-term or acute Insomnia and long-term or chronic insomnia. Acute Insomnia may last up to a few weeks, whereas chronic Insomnia may affect the patient at least 3 Nights in a week for more than a few months.
Insomnia is characterized by certain signs and symptoms that help you make a diagnosis. Among these, the most differentiating ones include:
• Less than 4 hours of sleep at night.
• Inability to bring mind to rest at night.
• Thinking about random stuff at night, making assumptions and future plans.
• Difficulty falling asleep at night.
• Daytime tiredness or sleepiness.
• Presence of depression, anxiety or irritability.
• Increased occurrence of errors.
• Fatigue.

CBD for Sleep
In the recent years, many people have turned to CBD to seek relief for a wide range of health issues. About 80% of Americans face troubled sleep at least once a week. Taking over the counter drugs have many concerned about risk from side effects, and some are not even effective for people. Preliminary research has shown that CBD can help with short term sleep problems. Disturbed sleep is directly related to some underlying health issues such as:
• Mental health conditions such as anxiety depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
• Physical conditions such as pain and inflammation
• Increased intake of caffeine
• Over-the-counter medications that can disturb the sleep wake cycle
One of the major reasons behind disturbed sleep is anxiety and stress. CBD has been shown helpful for reducing the symptoms of anxiety including poor sleep. Anecdotal evidence has shown that one of the two endocannabinoid receptors is related to the sleep-wake cycle. CBD can have a positive effect on these endcannabinoid receptors as well as helping to remedy the sleep-wake cycle.
Another reason behind disturbed sleep is pain and inflammation. Even though opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are more effective in reducing pain and inflammation than CBD, they come with a long list of side effects. The fact that CBD can interact with the CB2 receptors makes it quite effective for reducing inflammation. CB2 receptors are present in the immune cells such as macrophages and neutrophils. Controlled information allows the body to heal quickly from external and internal damage, which will eventually help in having a peaceful sleep.

Optimum CBD Dosage
Research has shown that short term use of CBD is effective for improving sleep patterns. As CBD is not regulated by the FDA for curing any other health issues besides epilepsy, there is no universal consensus as to the dosage that could help with the symptoms of insomnia. CBD effectivness varies between individuals and the effect of equal amounts of CBD varies from person to person. A study conducted in 2004, shows that lower doses of CBD may not help people in falling asleep quickly. In fact, it may make you more wakeful. A larger dose of about 150 to 160 mg of CBD per day can help in inducing sleepiness in most users. However, to ensure that CBD works properly, users should always go for high quality CBD products preferably obtained from supercritical carbon dioxide extraction methods. You can also check the certificate of analysis (COA) or third party lab test for any contaminants or pesticides. Such ingredients in your CBD oil can aggravate your health condition. Always remember the following factors before buying the CBD product:
• The potency of your favorite product.
• The bioavailability of the chosen product type.
• Severity of your condition.
• Your weight and metabolic rate.
• Previous experience with CBD.
• Any over the counter medication that you are already taking.

Side Effects of CBD
CBD is considered quite safe and has not been shown to cause any severe side effects. Some people may experience nausea, fatigue, or changes in weight and appetite after taking CBD. However, usually these side effects are short-lived and fade off quickly on their own. If you intend to use CBD, make sure to avoid it with any over the counter medication. Research shows that CBD can inhibit the enzyme family cytochrome p450, which is responsible for metabolizing several drugs in the body. Taking the medicines with CBD may result in liver toxicity and increased quantity of drug in the blood which can cause other health issues. It would be best to take your physicians advice before considering CBD as the only treatment option for your health issue.

Wrap Up
Undoubtedly, CBD can help with numerous health conditions including sleep problems and insomnia. However, it may take some time for you to figure out the right dose and type of product. It is recommended to begin with a smaller dose and increase it gradually to see the effects of CBD in your body. Always make sure to check the THC content of your product to avoid any inconvenience and legal complications.

References
• Babson, K. A., Sottile, J. and Morabito, D. (2017) ‘Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: a review of the literature’, Current psychiatry reports. Springer, 19(4), pp. 1–12.
• Chagas, M. H. N. et al. (2014) ‘Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep‐related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series’, Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 39(5), pp. 564–566.
• Hsiao, Y.-T. et al. (2012) ‘Effect of cannabidiol on sleep disruption induced by the repeated combination tests consisting of open field and elevated plus-maze in rats’, Neuropharmacology. Elsevier, 62(1), pp. 373–384.
• Shannon, S. et al. (2019) ‘Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series’, The Permanente Journal. Kaiser Permanente, 23.
• Capano, A., Weaver, R., & Burkman, E. (2020). Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study. Postgraduate medicine, 132(1), 56-61.

Meet your body’s best kept secret—the Endocannabinoid System.

You might think that after many centuries’ worth of medical research and ultra-close observation of the human body that we’d know just about everything there is to know about this amazing assembly of systems and sinews. But every so often, surprising new discoveries come to the fore that reveal entirely new processes that can have deep and lasting effects throughout the body. That’s exactly what happened in the late 1980s, as researchers dove deeper into the effects of cannabis, and its component compounds such as THC—and discovered a whole new system in the human body: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

ECS—A growing area of pharmacology research worldwide.

This novel, exciting system is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Since its relatively recent discovery, ECS has attracted more and more interest from scientists. Research to date appears to support a central finding; that the ECS in general affects a number of aspects related to the maintenance of the body’s natural balance.

As it turns out, there are two known ECS receptor types (CB1 and CB2) that can be found on the surface of cells throughout the human body, and that can interact with specific endocannabinoids and enzymes found naturally in hemp-based compounds. These receptors serve as a kind of docking site for a variety of cannabinoid compounds, allowing them access to the cell and its processes.

The Latin root ‘endo’ means ‘within’ and describes the type of compounds the body creates naturally to control certain processes—and that’s where things get really interesting. These receptors also allow plant-derived compounds like CBD (cannabidiol) the same kind of access, enabling externally developed products like CBD oil to have positive effects on a range of bodily functions, but with none of the unwanted effects typically associated with marijuana / cannabis.

Health without the ‘high.’

Dr. Peter Grinspoon, MD puts it this way in a 2018 Harvard Health Publishing article—

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Of the two currently known ECS receptors, CB2 is of most interest to the makers of CBD-based products (like our Workman’s Relief line of products) https://workmansrelief.com/all-products/. While CB1 serves as the entry point for the ‘high’ producing compound THC, CB2 receptors are more prevalent outside the brain, and are associated with a range of conditions including inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures (conditions CBD oil has been said to affect).

From Dr. Grinspoon’s article—

“CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking.”

 “We need more research but CBD may prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.” – Dr. Peter Grinspoon, health.harvard.edu

The ECS provides the access. Now it’s up to us to make the most of it.

In their paper The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator, co-authors Chad A. Salaberry and Laurie Astern write—

“With all the complex cell signals, genetic mutations, and outside influences, how do we manage to stay at homeostasis? The answer is the endocannabinoid system. It is present nearly everywhere in the human body and functions by maintaining the homeostasis of the human body (Alger, 2013).”

This quote really captures the exciting possibilities the ECS affords. Homeostasis is a scientific term that roughly translates to balance. By enabling naturally derived products based on CBD (cannabinoid) to support the body’s overall health and wellness equilibrium, hemp-based producers and manufacturers have an entirely new pathway to serve a huge market of people who are actively looking for natural alternatives to traditional pharmaceuticals. And while the Endocannabinoid System makes it possible, it’s the vast potential of CBD (cannabinoid) products that will make it a reality.

We are at the very beginning of a new era; one of sustainable possibility for producers, and real relief for consumes. As Salaberry and Astern write in their paper’s conclusion

“The ECS is one of the, if not the most, important systems in our body. Its role in the homeostatic function of our body is undeniable, and its sphere of influence is incredible….The ECS may not only provide answers for diseases with no known cures, but it could change the way we approach medicine. This system would allow us to change our focus from invasive pharmacological interventions (i.e. SSRIs for depression, benzodiazepines for anxiety, chemotherapies for cancer) to uncovering the mystery of why the body is failing to maintain homeostasis. Understanding the roles of ECS in these diseases confers a new direction for medicine which may eradicate the use of some of the less tolerable therapeutics.”

That is the exciting hope of the Endocannabinoid System; and cannabidiol (CBD), the natural compound found in CBD oil, is the key to unlocking its full potential. How can learn more about this rapidly growing health and wellness sector? Contact the experts at Driftless Extracts for all the latest on growing, processing and producing the very best hemp-based products around.

 

What’s the big deal about USDA Certified Organic?

Driftless Extracts USDA Certified Organic Hemp Field

What’s the big deal about USDA Certified Organic?

Workman’s Relief hemp oil is USDA Certified Organic. That simple sentence makes a big statement, and took a lot of work to earn—and we’d like to take you behind the scenes to show you just what is takes to be awarded this coveted designation.

It all started in 1990 at the United State Department of Agriculture. As consumers around the country began to understand the value and quality of organic farm products, they weren’t afraid to pay a little extra for produce and meats that were grown and raised without pesticides and hormones. In response to this growing consumer demand, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, mandating that the USDA create the first federal standard for the production ‘organic’ crops.

The market responded to this new premium tier of products quickly, and suddenly the word ‘organic’ was plastered on everything from farm products to cosmetics—whether they were actually made of truly organic ingredients or not. After receiving pressure from actual organic farmers, and the customers who valued their products, the USDA moved to more clearly define what ‘organic’ means, and what products are worthy of the title.

 

USDA Certified Organic Seal
Very few producers and processors have earned the right to display this image—but we did.

 

Organic—a single word that requires a lot of work.

Just how complicated is it to earn a Certified USDA Organic designation? According to the USDA’s own website, it’s a straight-forward five-step process.

I. Develop an organic system plan.
II. Implement the organic system plan. Have it reviewed by a certifying agent.
III. Receive inspection.
IV. Have a certifying agent review the inspection report.
V. Receive a decision from the certifier.

That’s pretty easy, right? Not so fast. There’s a lot more behind each of those steps—especially if your product is made from the produce of multiple farms. Our grower network is focused on producing high quality CBD, fiber, and grain products to the local hemp marketplace, and our experience with certified organic hemp ensures this production from seed to final product. We are partnering directly with grower networks focusing on the same core principles in order to provide a local marketplace dedicated to the beneficial products created from organic hemp.

Everything—certified organic.

The big difference between products that are USDA Certified Organic and those claiming to be “Organically Grown” is the acre of land itself. To be certified, the acre must be proven to have not been exposed to synthetic pesticides or fertilizers for three years. Individual certifiers follow up with the paperwork to ensure complete transparency. The same is true with the crops produced. Every fertilizer, pesticide, and seed applied to the acre must be certified organic. All crops consume nutrients, and hemp is no exception. We simply feed our crops and protect them with fertilizers and pesticides that are certified organic. Most of these fertilizers and pesticides are found naturally occurring throughout the world. Examples include Neem Oil insecticide (an extract from the neem tree from Indian subcontinent) or certified organic chicken litter fertilizer.

The many benefits of USDA organic hemp stem from two main pillars: environmental sustainability, and consumer health. Cannabis is a bio-remediator, which means it consumes and stores excess nutrients, metals, or residual chemicals from the soil. It can be used as a rotational crop to restore and revitalize degraded soil types. This is extremely beneficial if contaminants are present in soil types that are to be returned to a USDA certified organic state. The active soil health practices we implement on our farms include no-till, cover-cropping, rotational grazing, and multi-species cropping systems for enhanced organic growth and sustainability. These procedures achieve environmental sustainability, but they also provide benefits to the consumer.

The USDA certified organic standards require that final products do not contain harmful additives. This is especially important when considering the consumer demand associated with alternative medicine from organic agriculture, and the natural benefits to support a healthy lifestyle. Consumers who know where their material is coming from are more likely to cover the premium associated with organic products. As expected, the cost of organic hemp from seed to final product costs more than conventional practices; however, buying local, knowing your farmer, sourcing products, and transparency are now carrying more weight with modern consumers. For this reason, family farms and their communities are well positioned to capitalize on this mutually beneficial relationship.

Driftless Extracts USDA Certified Organic Hemp Field

Driftless Extracts is the central hub of a growing eco-system of growers.

Driftless has established a leading role in our local community to uplift the agricultural sector and the rural economy in general. Our initial capital raise included 105 investors, most of which are local individuals who share our vision for the company and the future of agriculture. Some of these investors are owner/operators of family farms themselves. This created excitement for those investors and employees who identify and agree with our local economic opportunities – the ability to share in the potential profitability of organic hemp production, and the ability to work with us on our journey. In addition to our own local economy, we established educational pieces to assist other family farms and spur their local economics.

Alternatives to pesticide usage are available for organic production, and understanding the timing, effects, and plant needs associated with those alternatives is critical. We have created organic crop plans and consulting services that use sustainable practices to provide high quality end-products to consumers. The team at Driftless provides a hands-on approach to these practices by helping other growers with organic agronomic problem solving – contributing back to their respective local communities.

It’s not just the right thing, it’s the economically sound thing to do.

Driftless’ dedication to USDA certified organic hemp, preservation of land, and the local economies encompass our mission to propel family farms into the future. Our organic practices help protect the beautiful soil we have been given and builds trust and transparency with our consumers. Our comprehensive educational content and consulting services support other family farms looking to make the same impact. The local marketplace at Driftless provides a platform for family farms competing in the global agricultural sector, and ultimately strives to rejuvenate other local economies with a growing business, quality products, and a sustainable future.

Creating a USDA Certified hemp oil like Workman’s Relief wasn’t easy—but it was worth it. Our growers have a processed product they can be proud of. Our dealers and retailers can offer their customers a high-quality product that’s firmly grounded in the principles of sustainability, with the confidence USDA Organic Certification provides. And our users can access all the potential benefits of CBD oil knowing that the premium quality they paid for is present in every single bottle we sell.

Are we proud to have received the USDA’s highest designation for organic processing and product? You bet we are. And to all the grower partners in our extended hemp-producing network, we say “Thanks for all the hard work. This designation is for you. You’ve earned it.”

Sam Liegel, CCA
Chief Cultivation Officer / Driftless Extracts