Knowing Where Your Herbs Come From

Updated: Feb 27

Farm field

Every industry has its Wild West days, but if it is to become ultimately successful, those must give way to consumer protection and controls. Because CBD is now being widely used medically, and is legal in all fifty states when it is derived from the hemp plant, it’s more important than ever to know its provenance and supply chain, which means how it makes its way from the farm to your pain balm or lotion. Where did it come from? What does it actually contain besides CBD? The answers to these questions make a difference.

As consumers, we’re still in the early days of learning that, although it is thought that the blockchain will eventually provide a solution. But right now, testing and “certifying” CBD is far behind where it should be. This is true both in the law enforcement area, where police need to find out whether a citizen is using legal CBD, and in the online purchase area, where unwary buyers seeking relief from pain or anxiety can sometimes buy a CBD product that contains no CBD.

In the case of law enforcement, many police field sobriety test kits cannot tell the difference between CBD from hemp and marijuana. That’s serious because federally CBD derived from hemp containing less than .3% marijuana Is legal whereas THC is not legal in all 50 states.

This creates problems for CBD users whose pain relievers suddenly test positive for pot. What might this mean? If the CBD comes from marijuana, it is more likely to be high in THC. On the other hand, THC is usually found in only trace amounts in hemp, which is what many people use for its medical benefits

“Testing technology is far behind the times,” said James Moody a Washington DC attorney who specializes in cannabis law. I don’t think anyone anticipated the rise in the use of CBD.”

“Judges are being told that a product is being field tested and is coming back positive for THC and that is factually incorrect, “ Moody said. “They very well could be possessing nothing but CBD which is completely legal.”

The second issue with CBD testing comes as people are trying to buy CBD online and want to know how much CBD is in the product they are buying or have bought. This is also a problem for people who are selling CBD, who must know their supply chains.

Companies like No Borders Naturals have found it necessary to control their entire supply chains from end to end in order to be certain about the amount of CBD that is present in their products and where it comes from..

This is even more important for pain management doctors, who have quickly adopted CBD for their patients as a substitute for opiates in order to control the opioid addiction problem in the US. No doctor wants to find out that his prescription has been “diverted” from its intended use and is being sold on the street. But in the case of pain management the amount of CBD in a product must be high enough to constitute a therapeutic dose, and some people who sell CBD do not tell the truth about the amount of CBD in their products, nor do they even have their products tested.

That’s not surprising when you see CBD products being sold by the side of the road. However, we want customers to know enough about what they’re buying to ask the right questions and get answers before deciding CBD does or does not work for them. It works — if there’s actually CBD in the product you’ve bought. And it’s legal, if that CBD comes from hemp.


francine hardaway

Co-founder, Stealthmode Partners, helping entrepreneurs succeed



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