As the cannabidiol industry booms, consumers are becoming more aware of how to choose the best CBD oil—which usually entails checking the third-party test results for purity. Unfortunately, many brands fail to provide thorough test results to prove the absence of contaminants, like pesticides and heavy metals, sending consumers on a wild goose chase to find a product that meets their standards.
At the grocery store, the USDA-Certified Organic logo is an easy way to identify produce and dairy products raised without pesticides or GMOs, but CBD is no common grocery item (yet!). Is USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil a thing? And if so, where can you find it?
If you’re one of those health-conscious consumers who’s struggling to find clean, quality CBD oil you can trust, we have everything you need to know about USDA Organic certification within the CBD industry, below.
Can CBD Be Certified Organic?
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively making it legal in the United States. The bill defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant” including its derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids—making CBD a part of the deal.
Hemp is now a booming U.S. crop that can be certified organic, and thanks to hemp’s legal definition, CBD products can be certified organic, too. In anticipation of hemp’s legalization, the USDA released guidelines in late 2018 on how farmers and brands can get their certification.
Some brands were quick to act, and there are several USDA-Certified Organic CBD tinctures on the market today. Still, many brands have held back from procuring an organic certification because it’s a slow and rigorous process with strict requirements.
USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil Qualifications
The USDA’s qualifications for an organic certification are rigorous, and brands seeking an organic certification must get it from a third-party agent approved by the USDA. In order for a product to be Certified Organic as a whole, it must be made from Certified Organic ingredients. For that reason, it’s usually easier for brands who own their entire supply chain to obtain an organic certification for their CBD oil.
The requirements set for obtaining this certification cover each area of the CBD manufacturing process, starting with strict soil quality standards and ending with approved manufacturing processes and quality control procedures.
For starters, USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil must be made from hemp that is grown according to the USDA’s organic standards. That means the hemp must be:
- Grown from natural non-GMO, untreated hemp seeds
- Raised in 100-percent naturally fertilized soil, which is repeatedly tested from the time the seed is planted through harvest
- Raised to maturity without the use of growth hormones
- Verified to be free of radiation, including beta-radiation, which often occurs as the effect of radioactive particles contaminating the soil and water supply
- Free of diseases from bacteria, fungi, or parasites without the use of harsh chemical insecticides, herbicides, or other biocontrol chemicals, except for approved levels of certain chemical agents deemed necessary to sustain production.
If the hemp meets these requirements, it can be Certified Organic. A brand using USDA-Certified Organic Hemp can also seek a certification for their products, like CBD oil. Many or all of the ingredients used must meet the same organic requirements as the hemp material.
Plus, the CBD oil must be made according to certain manufacturing guidelines, which restricts the use of certain synthetic substances during the manufacturing process per the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
In general, there are three common ways that an organic product may be represented, and each have a different meaning:
“100% Organic” refers to products in which all ingredients and practices are Certified Organic.
“Organic” is the general term used to describe products in which at least 95 percent of ingredients are Certified Organic. This type of product may include some approved chemical additives.
“Made with organic ingredients” may appear on the label of products that include some Certified Organic ingredients, but many ingredients may be conventional.
Depending on the quality of the final product, it may fall into any of these three categories. With that in mind, “USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil” usually describes CBD oil made from at least 95-percent USDA-Certified Organic ingredients.
Can CBD Be Organic Without Certification?
You may see the term “organic” floating around the CBD industry, but most of these brands are not Certified Organic. Depending on where the term “organic” shows up, the brand could even be violating USDA regulations.
The USDA states that the term organic must not be used on the front label of any product that is not certified, but that brands can still use the term organic to describe ingredients that are organic, or to depict the ratio of ingredients that are organic in a given product.
Of course, the FDA still hasn’t weighed in with final regulations on how CBD oil should be made, packaged, or sold as a food, cosmetic, or dietary supplement, which makes the industry difficult to navigate.
To stay on the safe side, look for the USDA-Certified Organic seal if you want to make sure that your CBD oil is truly organic.
Which Brands Sell USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil?
Although there are plenty of CBD brands that source from organically-grown hemp and use a number of organic ingredients, there are only a few that hold a USDA Organic Certification.
If you’re looking for USDA Organic Certified CBD Oil Tinctures, you may want to check out one of these brands:
Aspen Green offers a small line of CBD topicals and CBD Oil Tinctures, and the full CBD and hemp line is 100-percent USDA-Certified Organic. The Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is available in four, high-potency varieties and has a natural hemp flavor.
Every Green Gorilla hemp product is Certified USDA Organic, including both the Full-spectrum CBD Oil and Pure CBD Oil (THC-free), which are each available in potencies ranging up to 3,000 mg per bottle.
Haleigh’s Hope is a unique CBD oil brand that offers a variety of hemp CBD formulas in a wide range of potencies. The brand focuses on providing only USDA Certified Organic formulas, as well as consumer support through the Flowering H.O.P.E. foundation, which aims to aid patients (including children) suffering from various chronic ailments, like epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease, cancer, and more.
Palmetto Harmony offers a variety of products made from USDA-Certified Organic hemp with USDA-Certified Organic manufacturing techniques, but only about half of their products currently carry the official certification. The CBD Hemp Oil is USDA-Certified Organic and features potencies up to 3,000 mg per bottle in Original and Orange flavors. They also offer a bulk option—32 ounces of Certified Organic Hemp CBD Oil, with 18,920 mg of CBD per bottle.
Cornbread has a variety of CBD creams, capsules, and pet products, but only their CBD Oil is Certified Organic. It comes in three potencies and features a natural flavor.
Upstate Elevator Supply Co.
Upstate Elevator has a broad range of CBD products, but their Full-Spectrum CBD MCT Oil is USDA-Certified Organic and comes in two potencies. Upstate Elevator is also one of the only CBD brands to offer their USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil in capsule form.
As the first national brand to sell USDA-Certified Organic hemp, it’s no surprise that Re Botanicalsoffers multiple high-potency CBD Oil Tinctures that carry the certification, including Classic and Peppermint flavor.
Not every Vitality product is Certified Organic, but they do offer one Certified Organic CBD Oil Tincture that features a natural flavor and is available in potencies ranging from 250 mg to 1,400 mg. They also offer an Organic CBD Oil for pets.
Barlean’s is the only brand on the list that isn’t explicitly a CBD brand, but rather an award-winning supplement brand that has a small selection of USDA-Certified Organic CBD Oil Tinctures, including a Lemon and Chocolate Mint flavor.