As the cannabis industry grows by leaps and bounds, one of the biggest concerns is the possibility of pesticide exposure when using CBD. Exposure to even a small amount of toxins can lead to headaches, physical problems, body pain, and more. Also, many pesticide chemicals are carcinogenic. The only way to combat the potential for pesticide exposure is to make sure that the cannabidiol products you purchase are clean and free of pesticides.
Hemp and Soil Phytoremediation
Hemp has the unique characteristic of being a soil remediator (also called a soil sucker). When the plant grows, it sucks the nutrients out of the soil. However, in addition to pulling up the nutrients through the plant’s vascular system, it also takes in the contaminants. Its vacuum-like suction of the soil purifies it. Its ability to clean the soil of contaminants is so impressive that around the world many cannabis fields are regularly cultivated in areas that have sustained heavy metal exposure. In Chernobyl, hemp crops have been used to purify the region of the radioactive metals that had leached into the soil after the nuclear reactor meltdown.
Heavy Metals in the Soil
In many areas of the world, the soil is naturally contaminated with heavy metals. Farmers have struggled with this situation for decades. However, nowadays in the United States most farmers do check their soil using modern techniques to rule out heavy metal contamination.
Pesticides and CBD
The risk of pesticides is like that of heavy metals. Pesticides are sprayed on the plant or applied to the soil to combat pest problems. The cannabis plant pulls up the pesticides into its fibers in the same way that it does heavy metals. In addition, the buds of the hemp plant cannot be effectively cleaned of pesticide residue due to the danger of mold growth.
High Percentage of Pesticides in CBD
The prevalence of pesticides in hemp has been an ongoing problem for years. In 2016, Steep Hill Labs issued a report that stated 84.3% of all cannabis samples had tested positive for pesticide residue. Although this was a few years ago and laboratory testing has become more prevalent, the high percentage remains concerning and clearly indicates that CBD and pesticide exposure has been a major problem. Consumers must remain vigilant and only purchase CBD products from reputable brands, such as Also Organics, that source their products from USDA-certified organic hemp.
Dilution of CBD to Hide Pesticides
Another worrisome factor that consumers must consider is that pesticides become concentrated in CBD oil. The Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids journal recently published a report titled “The Trouble With CBD Oil” which reveals the concerns of CBD and pesticide exposure in the following statement, “If any of these contaminants [pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, etc.] were present in hemp used for CBD extraction, they would likely end up in the concentrated form in the resultant oil. The general rule-of-thumb for pesticides in concentrates is this: expect about a tenfold increase in pesticide burden versus the flower used for extraction.” This means that the concentration of pesticides in the plant material multiplies by 10 when extracted and concentrated into an oil.
Third-Party Laboratory Testing and Pesticides in CBD
Third-party laboratories and in house analytical labs use equipment that offers what is called a Limit of Detection (LOD). A LOD refers to the minimum amount of substance that can be detected in a sample. This is used to detect not only the cannabinoids like THC and CBD in hemp but also the level of pesticides. With extraordinarily little regulation, the LOD tests vary widely between labs. Sadly, some unscrupulous manufacturers exploit the lack of regulation in the industry and will reduce the concentration levels to mask pesticides, heavy metal, and other contaminants so they fall below the LOD detection. They do this by adding extra oils to dilute the product. Clearly this drives home the importance of purchasing CBD products created from USDA-certified organic hemp.
Dilution of CBD to Hide Pesticides
Sometimes consumers become confused and they think that dilution of the pesticides in a CBD product is a good thing but by diluting the level of pesticides in the sample, they are also reducing the percentage of CBD. For a consumer to receive an accurate dose of CBD then they must take more of the product which again pushes up exposure to the pesticide by increasing the dose. The only reason to dilute CBD products for lab tests is to hide the number of pesticides in the product.
USDA Organic Certification
A USDA organic certificate is bestowed on farmers who comply with organic set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. At Also Organics, we are currently pursuing USDA organic certification for the entire product line. With an organic certificate, a consumer can rest assured that the product they are buying is free of pesticides and heavy metals.
At Also Organics, we take purity seriously. Our products are made with the finest high-quality ingredients. They are infused only from USDA-certified organic hemp grown in the USA which is free of pesticides and heavy metals. You can examine the third party analysis reports for each of our products here.