Real hemp oil and the US scandal that rocked the nation
There’s a huge interest in hemp oil around the US, particularly after several sensational news stories covered the use of hemp oil as a way of preventing seizures in epileptic children. Real hemp oil shouldn’t make one ill, but several US hemp oil producers may be doing just that.
The ‘holy grail’ that everybody’s looking for is cannabidiol or CBD, and profiteers were quick to recognise the money-making potential of schemes that marketed ‘real hemp oil’. And although there were no conceivable grounds to make claims about the ‘scientific’ nature of their products, that’s exactly what they did.
But then things started to go wrong. There were several reports of people becoming ill after using hemp oil, a product that shouldn’t cause any harm at all. What could the problem be? An independent research organisation analysed three different US-made products and discovered a shocking combination of heavy metals, toxic solvents and dangerous pesticide residues.
The researchers concluded that industrial hemp that had not been organically produced was the beginning of the problem – but no means the end. The use of industrial hemp as a base for the production of hemp oil at least explained the origin of the pesticide residues and the researchers noted that organically produced hemp was the only really safe source material that should be used.
The rest of the dangerous substances found resulted from extraction of the oil using toxic solvents – a scary way of obtaining the oil that, it seems, is widely used even by companies in the US that claim to work ‘scientifically’.
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The problem with US CBD oil production
There’s little doubt that the oil analysed was real hemp oil – but it wasn’t pure hemp oil. There were just too many toxic residues in it for it to be healthy hemp oil. Whether or not this was done in ignorance is beside the point. A dangerous substance was offered as healthful product – and the case history of these three companies serves as a grim warning for US citizens who want to buy locally produced real hemp oil.
Does that mean that we have to give up on hemp oil?
This discouraging news is a wake-up-call rather than a reason to give up on the idea of using hemp oil. But consumers will have to be careful that they find healthful, real hemp oil – and in order to do so, they will have to turn to reputable pharmaceutical companies abroad. Let’s look at the solutions the researchers found:
Organically grown hemp should be used.
Solvent-free extraction processes are recommended.
Although hemp oil producers in the US are mainly flying under the radar, particularly when they claim to produce medicinal-grade CBD oil, European companies don’t need to do this. They can get GMP (good manufacturing practices) certification, and they can send their products to labs for screening and testing. And because the industry is well-established, there are farms that produce organic hemp specifically for the medicinal supplements market.
For now, we should certainly be extremely cautious about the real hemp oils produced in the US, but we can turn to overseas producers in the interests of safety.
What to look for in real hemp oil:
- Organic certification from a third party regulating body
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification
- An established company with a good reputation and a contactable address
Real hemp oil truly holds much promise as a supplement and as a therapy, but quality is an essential ingredient that cannot be overlooked.
Author: Andrea Durrheim