Best USDA Organic CBD Online
For years, the iconic “USDA Organic” label has served as a symbol of trust and hope for consumers fatigued by contaminated food products. Some shoppers even believe that the USDA Organic label actually makes a difference in hemp product quality, a belief that’s ultimately no different than mistaking a fairy tale with reality.
What is USDA Organic status within the context of the hemp industry, and is it true that organic-certified CBD products are always better? Let’s unravel the mysteries of organic CBD in this guide.
What does it mean for CBD to be “organic?”
In the widest-possible sense, a CBD product is organic if it has been produced using no harmful synthetic substances or glaringly unsustainable practices. Generally, products are considered organic if they are made using natural means, limiting undue processing wherever possible and taking extensive safeguards to prevent contamination.
The overall ethos of the organic movement is one thing, however, and USDA Organic status is entirely another. Originally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established oversight for organic products as a way to ensure consumers that products labeled as organic were actually made using organic and sustainable production principles.
It’s ironic that the American people trusted their federal government to serve their interests in this regard. Over time, USDA Organic certification has essentially become the costly price of admission into a club of high-priced items for which consumers don’t mind paying a premium. Lack of proper oversight and downright bribery have allowed standards to loosen to the point that the USDA has recently embarked on a massive effort to stamp out organic food fraud.
What is USDA Organic certification?
USDA Organic certification is a type of certification provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is awarded to products that have been deemed in compliance with a set of sustainability and environmental standards determined by unelected executive officials, not representative lawmakers.
From its inception, the USDA Organic certification program has been rife with fraud. As far back as 2010, watchdog network Food Safety News (FSN) found that “oversight of organic food has been lax since the agency’s organic program was launched in 2002,” basing its findings on a report released by the Office of the Inspector General.
These days, buying a product simply since it sports a USDA Organic label is a hallmark of gullibility. Most genuine organic manufacturers now also have their products certified by third parties, recognizing that their customers share their lack of faith in USDA Organic standards.
Does the USDA certify CBD?
Short answer? Yes, the USDA certifies CBD products. Does the USDA certify CBD itself? No. More importantly, does USDA certification even matter for CBD? Probably not.
Starting in 2019, the USDA provided documentation signaling its intention to begin providing organic certification for products containing CBD. USDA policy states that CBD products containing hemp produced in the United States must be “produced in accordance with the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and/or the 2014 Farm Bill.” CBD products containing imported hemp must follow “existing regulations and guidelines.”
So, as long as your CBD products are derived from hemp that is legally grown in accordance with US federal law, they are technically eligible for USDA organic certification. With USDA Organic fraud so rampant it’s the subject of local headlines the nation over, though, it’s a surprise that American consumers care much whether their CBD has the USDA Organic label or not at this point.
How do you know if a CBD product is USDA organic?
It’s quite easy to tell if a CBD product is USDA Organic because it will usually feature the iconic “USDA Organic” logo somewhere on the labeling. This logo features the capitalized words “USDA ORGANIC” within a circular field with white-on-green lettering.
If it has received USDA Organic certification, a CBD product label will also often feature another statement somewhere on its labeling providing more information. Long story short, CBD manufacturers are usually careful to make sure it’s easy for shoppers to notice their products have been USDA certified.
What types of CBD products can be USDA certified?
The USDA does not appear to make any specific restrictions regarding the types of CBD products that can be eligible for USDA Organic certification. The only restrictions that apply seem to be (1) that the hemp used for extraction be produced in keeping with the 2014 Farm Bill or relevant import protocols, and (2) that products submitted for certification adhere to all general criteria for USDA Organic certification.
So, if your product would otherwise be eligible for USDA Organic certification and the hemp it contains was produced using acceptable methods, it may be eligible for certification. Use the USDA’s Organic 101 Fact Sheet to learn what the federal agency generally requires of products submitted for organic certification.
What is the process for receiving USDA organic certification of CBD products?
The process of having a CBD product USDA-certified is generally the same as the process used to certify any other product. The only difference is that which we’ve already covered: CBD used in products submitted for certification must be derived according to USDA guidelines. Otherwise, you should follow the USDA’s general Organic 101 certification plan (linked above), which can be summarized into the following five steps:
- Make a plan for keeping your operation within organic standards
- Implement the plan, and have it reviewed by a certifying agent
- Receive a full inspection from a certifying agent
- Review the inspection report with the agent
- Submit the report to the certifier, and await results
Is it worth it to acquire USDA certification for CBD?
It is our opinion that USDA Organic certification is rarely worth it for CBD or any other type of product. Informed consumers now look to other forms of certification to determine if a product is truly organic and safe for consumption. CBD producers must go through extra hoops to receive certification, and all that to contend with the general suspicion shoppers have that USDA Organic certification is not even available for CBD products.
With other organic certifiers having a much better reputation and government bureaucracy becoming less trusted by the day, it is our perception that USDA Organic certification is not worth pursuing for any CBD producer. That’s not to say you’ll never see a Secret Nature product with a USDA organic label, but other certification systems tend to carry more weight.
The USDA’s fraud problem
There was a time in the early 2000s when USDA Organic certification was considered to be the best remedy against rampant mislabeling of organic and natural foods in the United States. It quickly became apparent, however, that the system was easy to exploit with fraud. It is also widely suspected, but never fully confirmed, that USDA officials commonly take bribes to give out fraudulent certifications knowingly.
A decaying standard of confidence
The USDA has recently begun a campaign to eliminate fraud in the organic industry. While this development initially seems positive, it only takes a few moments of contemplation to realize that giving the federal government more bureaucratic power over the organic certification process will just lead to further bloat and corruption while raising price tags for producers and consumers alike.
It’s time to accept that USDA Organic certification has never been relevant from the beginning. States, local governments, and third-party companies can do a much better job of ensuring the safety and quality of their local food supply than a megalithic, centralized federal bureaucracy. This outdated and decaying apparatus of consumer protection now does more harm than good, making it incumbent upon CBD companies to prove the organic status of their products in other ways.
What is the best USDA certified organic CBD you can buy online?
If you want to make sure you are buying organic CBD, we hope by now that you at least are beginning to question the legitimacy of the “USDA Organic” label. This may seem like common sense to some people, but the mere presence of a symbol on a label is not actually the same thing as assurance of the quality of a product.
To determine whether or not your CBD is organic, you may need to do a little bit of research. Find out more about how the hemp used to make a company’s CBD products is farmed, then learn about the extraction methods employed. Next, research each individual ingredient used in the product you’re considering.
Perhaps the most useful determiner of the organic status of a CBD product is not its label but its lab report. Let’s take a moment to remember what it means for a product to be organic in the first place: the organic movement began to make sure that harmful contaminants were not present in products intended for human ingestion.
A comprehensive lab report provided by a reputable analytics laboratory is a far more definitive judge of the organic status of a product then a green-and-white circular label doled out by an almost comically corrupt federal government institution. If the lab report says there are no contaminants in the product and the company is able to provide evidence that it used organic methods during production, that’s the information you should trust.
The bottom line: Does USDA organic certification matter for CBD?
No, USDA Organic certification does not matter in the CBD industry. That is far from saying it is unimportant whether or not a CBD product is organic. Rather, we are simply implying (based on considerable evidence) that USDA organic certification is not the same thing as actually being organic.
For a product to be organic, every aspect of its production must be free of contaminants and dangerous, synthetic chemicals. The end product must be similarly contaminant-free and not contain any harmful substances. Furthermore, organic products must be produced in a sustainable manner that does limited damage to surrounding ecosystems.
All of the above is true for Secret Nature products. It will remain true whether or not the USDA says so.