When it comes to hemp the slogan “Buy American” isn’t just patriotic, it’s a matter of safety. Hemp is an incredible hardy and robust plant that can grow in nearly any climate around the globe. It is this adaptability that is both good and bad. Hemp uses a deep root system that allows it to absorb water and nutrients from every ounce of the surrounding soil. Even in areas that are lacking nutrients with low levels of moisture; hemp is still able to thrive. Unfortunately this also means that any harmful materials that are in the soil are also absorbed by the plant. The absorbing qualities of hemp are so good that it is considered a Phytoremediation plant.
Phytoremediation is the process of using plant life to remove toxins from an area. Several companies contract with foreign governments agriculture agencies to plant hemp in areas that have had ecological or chemical disasters as a way to clean and detoxify the soil. A high profile example of this is currently being used in the northern Ukraine town of Chernobyl. The same Chernobyl that in 1986 had a nuclear reactor melt down.
The hemp being planted inChernobyl is part of a program to remove the toxins from the soil and then sell the hemp itself as biomass to be used to produce ethanol as fuel. While this is a noteworthy and excellent use for hemp it is also cause for concern. What if the foreign hemp used to make cheap CBD products was planted in a contaimined and toxic area? Toxic metals or chemicals found in non regulated soil could easily make its way into the plant material itself and ultimately into the bottle of tincture or a gummy that you or your family could eat.
While using foreign grown hemp from China, India or Eastern Europe might be significantly cheaper it poses a health risk that could work directly against all the reasons you want to take CBD. After all you’re trying to improve your health not make it worse. In addition to the plant itself being filled with toxins the extraction process might not be regulated and conducted properly as well. CBD extracts are made shelf stable through a heating process that destroys unwanted bacteria. If the source of the hemp is questionable the reliability of the extraction process should also be questioned.
US hemps farms are highly regulated by their state Departments of Agriculture. Each farm must comply with strict guidelines or risk losing their expensive license to grow hemp. If your CBD company is not using a farm that is monitored by the Department of Agriculture you could be taking a significant health risk.
The bottom line is that any product not made in the USA doesn’t have the same regulations and safeguards and while it might be cheaper it's a risk we’re not willing to take.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent medical or legal advice in anyway. Before taking any supplements you should consult with your doctor.