Farm to Bottle: Are all CBD Oils the Same?
Do you know the farmer who grows the hemp flowers used to make your CBD oil?
We do! That lets us stand by our products with confidence, knowing that they are made from the finest hemp available, grown by small farmers in Kentucky.
Americans are learning more and more about the benefits and beauty of organic fruits and vegetables grown on family farms. Farmers who tend the land themselves using the same methods as generations gone by come to intimately know the soil, the climate, and their crops, helping them bring out the best in their produce. Farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants are growing in popularity among foodies, health conscious families, and community minded people all over the country.
If you are going to go the extra mile to make sure your tomatoes and your broccoli are sustainably grown with love, why not do the same for your hemp?
We know our customers are buying our full spectrum CBD and MCT Oil Tincture because they want to be their happiest, healthiest, and best selves. So we make sure we give the same attention to sourcing our hemp that the chef at a farm-to-table restaurant brings to finding the finest ingredients.
Our full spectrum CBD extracts are made from organic hemp carefully grown under optimal conditions by small farmers in Kentucky’s “Bluegrass Region.” The farmers we work with combine the best in modern techniques and Kentucky tradition to produce a superior crop.
The hills of Kentucky offer the perfect growing conditions for hemp. Agricultural historian, James Hopkins, wrote in 1951 that:
“Hemp will grow after a fashion in almost every region of the United States, [. . .] but its successful cultivation for commercial purposes depends largely on a favorable climate and on fertile soil. An abundant rainfall, coming fairly regularly during the growing season, is desirable since the rapidly developing plants require a large amount of moisture.” (Hopkins 1951)
Kentucky’s rich soil, long growing season, and temperate climate make it the perfect place to grow the plant.
Kentucky farmers have been growing hemp since the 1700’s. During World War II, Kentucky supplied the U.S. military with most of the hemp it used to make rope, fabric, and parachutes – like the one that saved the life of future President George Herbert Walker Bush when he had to jump from a burning plane over the Pacitic.. (Lee 2019, Quarles 2018, Fine 2014.)
The U.S. government banned hemp cultivation in 1970, but last December it became legal again. In Kentucky, a state that has been hit hard by declines in the tobacco industry, going back to cultivating one of the state’s traditional crops is giving farmers the opportunity to be part of creating healthy, sustainable products. (Lee 2019)
The hemp flowers we use in our tinctures come from a handful of farmers selected because their hemp meets our rigorous standards. We know exactly when, where, and how the hemp flowers in every batch of CBD oil we sell were grown and harvested.
Why Organic Hemp?
More and more people are aware of the benefits of organic produce – non-genetically modified plants that are grown without the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers.. Choosing carefully sourced certified organically grown products is just as important when choosing a plant-based supplement as it is when choosing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Organic growing conditions are especially important to guarantee the safety of products made from hemp.
Hemp is a “bio-accumulator” – which means that it draws in more of the minerals and chemicals found in the soil than other plants do. For example, hemp is very efficient at taking up heavy metals from the oil. (Angelova 2004, Shi 2011.) This is great if your goal is to clean-up polluted soil, but not so great if you are growing something people are going to put into their bodies. This means it is extremely important to grow hemp in clean soils.
Bio-accumulators like hemp can also concentrate pesticides. Currently, there is no federal regulation of pesticide use on hemp crops. (Sandler, 2019.) So the only way to be sure that there won’t be pesticide residues in your CBD oil is to do what we do – insist on only doing business with growers who don't use synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
Consistent Dosing: What You See on the Label is What You Get
If you look up magnesium-rich foods on line, you will find that a cup of boiled spinach has 157 mg of magnesium. (Goldman 2017.) But if you cooked up spinach from farms in three different parts of the country with different climates grown from three different kinds of spinach seeds and then took a cup from each batch and tested the magnesium levels in each one, some of the samples would like have less that 157 mg of magnesium and some would have more. Soil, sunlight, rainfall, and subtle differences between different varieties of spinach would all impact the levels of nutrients in each batch.
The same thing is true of constituents in plants that are used to make supplements. Different strains of hemp have different concentrations of CBD, and CBD levels will even vary in plants of the same strain depending on their growing conditions.
So, how can you make sure each bottle and each batch of CBD oil has the same level of CBD present?
There are two methods.
The first method is the easy one, but it has some major drawbacks.
One way to make sure your product contains a consistent amount of CBD is to use solvents to separate and isolate the CBD from hemp flowers, and then mix pure CBD into the each batch of oil at exactly the same level.
The first problem with this method is that many of the solvents people use to separate a single constituent from a plant are very toxic, and the process of infusing the isolated CBD in oil can concentrate those toxins. (Hazekamp 2018.) All the benefits of using organic hemp flowers are lost if you add toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. So we use the safest method available -- using high pressure carbon dioxide to extract crucial constituents from the plant.
The second problem is that if you isolate CBD from the other compounds in hemp, you end up throwing away other beneficial constituents. Plants have complex chemistries, and they rarely produce one constituent in isolation. They produce suites of chemicals that work together to have synergistic effects in plant, animal, and human bodies. Some of these constituents aid in the absorption of others. Some act on different receptor sites than the constituent we think of as the “active” constituent with complementary results. Others help to reduce side-effects.
Recent research has begun to point to complex relationships between the many cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp plants and other compounds, such as the monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that give them their characteristic scents. (Fowler 2003, Russo 2011) Why not just isolate these compounds and add them in at identical levels in each batch of oil? We don’t yet understand all the complex relationships at play. So many people think it is best to trust nature to get the balance right.
When we say that our product is a “full spectrum” product that means that it contains all the hemp plant’s constituents. We use varieties of hemp with levels of THC too low to make anyone “high.”
So, how do we make a full spectrum product that contains a predictable level of CBD?
We combine an ancient method with modern technology.
If you look at really old herbal texts from China, you will see that Chinese herbalists traditionally harvested plants from very particular places at very particular times of year and prepared them according to detailed instructions. Today, we are beginning to see that there are sound pharmacological reasons for doing things this way. (Fruehauf n.d.)
We aren’t growing our hemp by ancient Chinese methods, but we are using some of the same principles in a more modern way. We work with a small number of farmer in one region of Kentucky, and they all plant the same seeds in soil with the same characteristics in places with the same client, tend them in the same ways, and harvest them at the same time. This gives us predictable results, which are confirmed with laboratory testing, so you can get the benefits of a full spectrum supplement and still get a predictable level of CBD in every bottle you buy.
The Farm to Bottle Advantage
Not all CBD oils are created equal.
Our full spectrum CBD and MCT Oil Tincture:
- Is organically grown on small farms in Kentucky
- Is a full spectrum product, containing all the natural constituents in hemp that work together with CBD
- Is grown under strict conditions to guarantee predictable levels of CBD in our products
- Is made without toxic solvents
We are proud to work with some of the best hemp farmers in the country to bring you a product you can trust.
Angelova, V., et al (2004) Bio-accumulation and distribution of heavy metals in fibre crops (flax, cotton and hemp). Industrial Crops and Products. 19 (3)
Fine, D. (2014) A tip for American farmers: grow hemp, make money. Los Angeles Times. June 25
Fowler, C. (2003). Plant-derived, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids as neuroprotective agents. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, 'entourage' compounds and inhibitors of N-acyl ethanolamine breakdown as therapeutic strategies to avoid pyschotropic effects. Brain research. Brain research reviews. 41.
Fruehauf, H. (n.d.) The flagship remedy of Chinese medicine: reflections on the toxicity and safety of aconite. https://classicalchinesemedicine.org/
Goldman, R. (2017) Ten foods high in magnesium. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com
Hazekamp A (2018.) The Trouble with CBD Oil. Medical Cannabis Cannabinoids. 1
Hopkins, J. , J., & Clark, T. (1951). A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky.
Lee, K. (2019) As tobacco sales dry up, Kentucky farmers look to the state’s ‘original crop’ — hemp. Los Angeles Times. February 12
Quarles, R. (2018) Hemp connects Kentucky’s past with its future. Lexington Herald-Leader. June 5.
Romano L:. (2013) Cannabis oil: chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine. Cannabinoids
Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7)
Sandler, L, . et al (2019). Cannabis as conundrum. Crop Protection. 117
Shi, G. et al. (2011). Cadmium Tolerance and Bioaccumulation of 18 Hemp Accessions. Applied biochemistry and biotechnology. 168
White, C. (2019). A Review of Human Studies Assessing Cannabidiol's (CBD) Therapeutic Actions and Potential. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 10.