Part 2: The Hemp Farm Environment
The Farm Environment
In our experience, the main factor to pay attention to in terms of farm environment is the condition of the soil. Specifically, whether it is ‘uncontaminated’, i.e. that it has not been treated with Round Up type (non-organic) pesticides and non-organic fertilizers.
We are of the opinion that the plant should be grown as close to organic principles as possible which would mean the plant is not grown on farms that have used the aforementioned pesticides and fertilizers. The half-life of glyphosates (pesticides) in the soil is 22 years. We suggest you ask whether the industrial hemp used in any product was derived from either certified organic or organically grown plant material.
Recently, USDA began an organic program for certifying hemp. As the hemp supply chain finds this certification to be important and economically feasible we will see more ‘certified organic’ farms and products (certified by USDA and 3rd party certification agencies) on the shelves.
There are tests that can attest to the cleanliness of a plant, such as glyphosate testing, heavy metals and microbial testing and many producers are beginning to have these tests done. Much of this testing is also done on finished products to ensure potency and purity. At Enerhealth we work with a small group of growers that we have known for some time now and are aware of the practices they use in their farming operations and thankfully all of them follow organic principles.
The genetic make-up of the plant is growing in importance as growers and product formulators attempt to develop plants that exhibit certain cannabinoids more prominently. This enables formulators to select certain genetic strains and formulate to specific conditions. After selection of a genetic strain, the next step is the extraction process, which is perhaps one of the most important steps in the process.
There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace and among the hemp industry regarding the ‘best’ method of extraction to yield the most efficacious herbal medicine. Much of the confusion, in my opinion, emanates from the Marijuana industry and the interaction with hemp industry participants. Many times, hemp extraction techniques are selected only because they have been popular in the Marijuana industry, where the efficacy and purity of the finished products in terms of alternative herbal medicine are not the objective.
Stay tuned for perhaps the most important aspect of the hemp process in part 3, the extraction techniques employed in producing a finished product.