What's the Difference Between Certified Organic and Organically Grown CBD?
Updated: Sep 14, 2021
We often see "grown organically", "natural", and even "organic" with no USDA organic symbol, What does that mean? It means you're taking a random person’s word on their version of organically grown.
As long as a farmer has their hemp growers license in a legal state, they can grow for CBD. No one is monitoring how its grown aside from the state requiring THC testing. The farmer can grow their crop using whatever fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides etc. So what is "organic" or "natural" to one person may vary greatly from what is "organic" or "natural" to you. By choosing to become certified organic Dreaming Field Farm CBD is electing to follow a specific set of national standards and opening our processes up for third party inspection and certification.
Hemp Cleans The Soil?!
Did you know hemp is a phytoremediator? If you're wondering what that means, phytoremediation is a process by which a plant is used for "the treatment of pollutants or waste (as in contaminated soil or groundwater) by the use of green plants that remove, degrade, or stabilize the undesirable substances (such as toxic metals)1 Basically hemp is one of many plants that is really good at cleaning up the soil. Even if our "organically grown" farmer isn't using synthetic chemicals on their hemp crop, what was growing on that field years prior? Was it something that required heavy spraying with harsh herbicides like glyphosate or pesticides. How much of that residue is left on the field being soaked up by their hemp crop?
Becoming Certified Organic
As a certified organic hemp farmer everything used during the growing phase needs to
be listed, approved and inspected. In addition to that, a field history needs to be submitted and approved documenting what was grown on the field three years prior. There is also a strong focus on soil health and environmental protection. Rather than waiting for a pest/insect problem, there has to be a preventative plan. For example, at Dreaming Field Farm CBD, we put up blue bird houses around the hemp field. Blue birds eat a variety of insects that could cause crop damage. We also set out potted marigolds around the field to attract beneficial insects. Beneficial insects, like ladybugs, eat insects that cause crop damage.
There also needs to be a plan for weed control. Hemp, when grown for CBD, is grown in
a row much like tomatoes. The rows are several feet apart, which provides ample space for weeds to set in. To prevent weeds from growing in between the hemp rows we plant a variety of grasses and clover. The clover is helpful when growing our hemp crop because as it is mowed it releases nitrogen into the soil which is a vital nutrient that can be used by our hemp plant. Even though this is not our main crop the seeds still have to be approved because many seeds are treated with chemicals which could contaminate our soil.
Here are additional items that are inspected:
Water- a water test needs to be done annually to make sure there are no harmful contaminants
Seed- seeds either have to be certified organic, if none are available then documentation needs to be submitted from the supplier showing the seeds are not treated
Equipment is inspected and listed if it's only used on organic or both conventional and organic. An equipment cleaning log is also kept and inspected
Harvest technique, equipment and even the bags or containers we use. If it makes contact with the crop it needs to be safe. This even comes down to the drying racks we use when drying the hemp. The wood cannot be treated.
Pest Control an approved plan must be in place for any potential pests in or around the facility.
Storage the storage sacks we use prior to extraction need to be food grade.
the list goes on but I think you get the point. 😉
Getting the USDA Seal on our bottle of CBD Oil
Now that the crop is certified, the process of making the CBD oil needs to be certified organic as well. Getting the USDA Organic symbol on your product is
a very tedious process. Dreaming Field Farm CBD felt is was important to go through the process to ensure our customers a safe product. Essentially we welcomed a third party to go through our entire process with a fine tooth comb. Again, at this point anyone with a hemp processor license can "make" CBD oil anywhere under whatever guidelines they feel is safe.
In order to be able to put the USDA organic symbol on our certified organic CBD and CBG oil our entire process goes through a rigorous review. Our water and sanitation process is reviewed in great detail. At Dreaming Field Farm CBD we believe in wearing PPE such as a lab coat, gloves, safety eyewear and a hair net. We also believe in washing and sanitizing our CBD bottles prior to filling. You would like to think these things are standard for anyone making CBD oil right?!
Even things that might seem like a small detail, for example, what kind of soap is used when cleaning/sanitizing the beakers and equipment after making the CBD or CBG oil. Or how and where everything is stored. In addition to washing our hands prior to making our oil we like to use a hand sanitizer. Even the ingredients of the hand sanitizer are looked at and need to be approved.
The ingredients used in our CBD or CBG oil need to be approved as well. For example, the carrier oil we use is a certified organic MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil. Even though it has the USDA organic seal on the bottle we need to obtain the organic certification documentation from the company who makes that specific ingredient. Same goes for any flavoring we use as well as the CBD or CBG crude oil (that part is easy since we grow the hemp : ) .
Every batch of CBD or CBG oil that is made at Dreaming Field Farm CBD can be traced for quality assurance. The final bottle has a batch ID. This ID not only correlates with our third party lab testing (found here on our lab results page) but when we make a batch of our certified organic CBD or CBG oil, we document the batch ID and expiration date of the MCT Oil and any flavoring used. This ties in with a required recall plan. If there was ever a recall on an ingredient that is used in our products we can identify it quickly and notify customers. We are also required to save samples of ingredients and batch samples should there ever be a need for additional testing.
Here are a few more things that are required:
Facility cleaning log
Dedicated equipment We have separate beakers and equipment dedicated for organic use only so there is no risk of cross contamination between our certified organic oils and the other products we make.
Record Keeping System
Packaging & Labeling
With the organic seal on our CBD and CBG oils you can rest assured knowing exactly what is in, or better yet what isn’t in your bottle.
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1. Merriam Webster Definition https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phytoremediation