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CBD In The News

Hemp Around the World: The Globalization of Hemp

May 17th, 2021 by David Kranker

Hemp Uses Around The World

In 2018, the United States legalized the industrial production of hemp through the Farm Bill after virtually outlawing it with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Before this time, hemp was a legal and highly prized crop throughout the United States. Today, the U.S. is the third largest producer of hemp in the world. To be legal under federal law, hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

While hemp has a complicated history in the U.S., it has long been used for a variety of purposes throughout the world. For example, the hemp plant has been cultivated in China for more than 6,000 years. Today, hemp is used in a variety of ways throughout the world, including right here in the United States.

From construction materials to biofuel, hemp is being used to make products, boost health and wellness, and even clean up the environment. Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn about the global uses of hemp.

What Countries Grow Hemp?

Hemp, a species of the Cannabis Sativa plant, can be grown in a number of environments. Ideally, hemp is grown in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral soil (ph 6.0 to 7.0). A hardy plant, hemp can be grown in a range of climates – which means that it can be grown almost anywhere in the world.

Hemp is currently grown in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Hemp-producing countries include:

  • China
  • Romania
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • United States
  • Lithuania
  • Germany
  • Malawi

These countries (and others) grow hemp for a variety of purposes, from fiber for rope and cloth to food products like hemp seed oil to CBD. Each country has its own laws regarding industrial hemp production, with some countries (like Ecuador) allowing hemp with as much as 1% THC to be cultivated, while others (like Lithuania) limiting THC content to 0.2%.

The global market for hemp is valued at $5.56 billion, and is projected to grow to as much as $27.72 billion by 2028. The top hemp-growing countries include:

  1. China
  2. Canada
  3. United States
  4. France
  5. Chile
  6. North Korea

Importantly, because of the different standards for growing hemp around the world, there are strict rules about importing hemp seeds and plants into the United States. While hemp products can be imported to the U.S., they may not comply with American laws and regulations surrounding hemp, such as THC content.

How Is Hemp Used Around the World?

Hemp was first cultivated during the Sung Dynasty in China, in around 500 AD, for use in making cloth or textiles. The plant was then exported to Europe around 1,200 BC, where it spread throughout the world. Pieces of hemp cloth have been found in archeological digs throughout the world, including in Mesopotamia (Iran and Iraq) dating back to 8,000 BC.

Hemp quickly became one of the most important crops in the world. In fact, hemp was so important in the United Kingdom that in 1535, King Henry VIII passed a law that required all homeowners to sow ¼ of an acre or be fined. In the United States, it was grown in nearly every state from Massachusetts to California.

Traditionally, hemp was used to make products such as:

  • Cloth
  • Fiber for rope
  • Paper
  • Natural medicines
  • Food
  • Printing ink
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Currency
  • Canvas

Today, scientists and entrepreneurs have found even more innovative uses for hemp, both in the United States and around the world.

For example, hemp is being used to clean contaminated soil. In places that have toxic or polluted soil, such as Chernobyl, the roots of the hemp plant can absorb harmful chemicals – making the land safer and potentially allowing other plants to flourish there again. This type of bioremediation is possible because hemp is such a resilient and hardy plant.

In other countries, such as the UK, hemp is being used as a form of biofuel. To make this fuel, known as cellulosic ethanol, the harvest hemp plant is shredded, heated with chemicals to release the cellulose, treated with enzymes and then fermented. The resulting environmentally-friendly fuel can be used just like biofuels made from corn or sugarcane.

Hemp is also being used to create a 100% biodegradable type of plastic. While hemp plastic isn’t new (Henry Ford designed a car made of hemp plastic in 1941), it is becoming more popular globally because this product is strong, versatile, nontoxic, and biodegradable.

In countries throughout the world, including the U.K., hempcrete – a composite material that can replace concrete – is becoming a popular building material. Made from a mix of hemp hurds and lime, sand or pozzolans, it can be used for construction and insulation. Hempcrete is easier to work with than concrete, and is ideal for most climates.

The recent rise in lumber prices has also spiked an interest in alternative sources for wood. Hemp wood is a revolutionary new building material. Hemp is cheaper and faster to grow than trees. One acre of hemp can produce the same amount of cellulose fiber as four acres of trees. This makes hemp a more affordable source for lumber. Hemp wood is better for interior building than exterior building, but it could still help to alleviate demand for lumber that is causing price spikes.

Another intriguing use of hemp has been developed in Canada, where hemp fibers were turned into carbon nanosheets, which can be used as electrodes for supercapacitors. This product can store energy better than traditional nanosheets, and costs far less at $500 per ton as opposed to $2,000 per gram. Hemp-based nanosheets could be used to power houses, cars, and other products.

Of course, hemp can still be used in many of the traditional ways. Hemp fiber is a great eco-friendly way to make clothes, as hemp does not require as much water to grow as cotton and is fast-growing. Clothing made from hemp is longer-lasting and often higher in quality than clothes made from synthetic fibers.

Hemp seeds and hemp oil continue to be used as a great source of nutrition for people and animals alike. With tons of vitamins and fatty acids, foods made using hemp seeds (sometimes referred to as hemp hearts) and hemp seed oil are highly nutritious. Hemp seeds are often found in bird seed mixes, and can also be used to supplement livestock feed.

One of the best uses for hemp continues to be as a source of cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally-occurring compound that has been linked with a number of health and wellness benefits. Once extracted from the hemp plant, CBD can be infused into oils, creams, lotions, or even added to edible products.

Hemp is a plant with nearly limitless potential. It is environmentally-friendly, highly nutritious, and can even help us clean up our soil. This plant hasn’t just played an important role in our past – it promises to be a major source of innovation in the future, both in the United States and around the world.

Interested in Adding Hemp to Your Diet? Start Here.

There is a lot to like about hemp – particularly when it comes to the potential health benefits of this plant and its compounds. If you want to give hemp a try, CBD products may be a great option for you.

When purchasing CBD, look for products that are made from hemp grown in the United States so that you can be sure that it will contain no more than 0.3% THC and be fully legal. Because hemp has the capacity to absorb harmful chemicals from the soil, it is also critical to only purchase CBD products that have been independently tested by a third party laboratory, with results available for your review. That way, you can check for the presence of contaminants as well as the levels of THC and CBD in the product.

At Green Wellness Life, we aren’t doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any condition. Instead, we offer our own insight into CBD as well as the latest scientific research. We only sell CBD products made from American industrial hemp that have been independently tested for quality and purity.

Ready to get started? We’re here to help. Call at (888) 772-7875 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, or email us at any time for questions or simply to learn more about CBD.

Sources:


Hemp Laws on the Horizon

February 22nd, 2021 by Hannah Laing

Let’s get political: Hemp laws

It’s time to do a thing that seems risky in the United States: talk about politics. Before you close your browser and try to forget that electoral politics exist (for sanity’s sake), take a few deep breaths and read these next words: I am not going to talk about the election or political parties. What we will be focusing on is the new administration’s policy regarding CBD and, to a lesser extent, cannabis in general. 

Currently

Let’s start with a couple key points:

  1. First, before we begin, I think it is important to understand where we are now, as of February 2021, fifteen states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized cannabis and marijuana.
  2. Two of those states, South Dakota and Montana, have delayed voter-approved legalization with hearings in court and funding withdrawal, respectively.
  3. Federally, THC is illegal, while CBD and hemp-derived products (from the body of the plant, not the flower or seeds) are legal. This distinction will come into play later.
  4. States that have fully legalized cannabis and marijuana and twenty-seven states have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.

So Is federal legalization on the way? Let’s take a look at the political environment surrounding cannabis.

The Potential Future of Cannabis Legislation

The stance of the current administration is positive. The vice president is from California, a state that recognizes marijuana as recreationally legal, and also regards other cannabis products as fully legal. As for the president, he has neither been a vocal advocate or opponent of federal-level legalization. It is important to note, however, that some of his appointees have track records that are favorable to cannabis: Assistant Secretary of HHS Dr. Rachel Levine and former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to head HHS. 

Not just the White House – Marijuana Reform Bills In Congress

One of the largest developments in news relating to federal-level legalization comes from Congress. Senate majority leader, Charles Schumer, has brought forth reform bills that seek to federally de-schedule marijuana, reinvest tax revenues from sales into communities, and expunge criminal records for possession. This bill, known as the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, passed in the House of Representatives last year, but failed to pass in the Senate.

It is likely that, given another vote, it would pass both houses. If it did so, not only would all cannabis and related products be federally legal (recreationally and otherwise), but research could be conducted in universities without the red tape that currently exists, banks could loan money to businesses eager in operating in the cannabis industry, and farming and shipping would become far easier as legal status at state level would no longer be a concern. 

In addition to this, Schumer has also stressed the importance of making sure that the FDA does not overregulate the industry upon legalization, allowing businesses to operate without excessive government interference. It is unlikely that Biden would veto any of the above proposals if they were to make it to his desk. 

USDA’s Final Rule on Hemp In limbo?

Upon entering office, the Biden administration put out a memo asking all federal agencies to “consider postponing” all rules that have not yet taken effect for 60 days. One of these rules is the USDA’s final rule on hemp, which largely affects harvesting, processing, and growing across the United States. Some of the regulations included within the USDA report are: 

  • an expanded harvest window time from 15 days to 30;
  • alternative options for disposing of or remediating hemp that tests above the compliant THC level;
  • an increased standard of negligence from 0.5% to 1% THC. This means hemp that tests above 0.3% but below 1% THC will not be considered a negligent violation, but it will still need to be disposed of or remediated.

It will take some time before consumers and farmers can know the regulations that will govern their industry, due to the postponing of rules such as these. 

Hemp Laws: Where CBD stands (and why legalization of marijuana is in your best interest)

Fortunately, CBD is federally legal. Regulations and logistics can be complicated at times, but businesses can operate (and some thrive) so long as they follow regulations. But a lot of related industries (and research) are hindered by federal scheduling of cannabis and marijuana.

  • Feel like CBD helps you with pain, but would like more information on why that is, medically? Federal scheduling of cannabis and marijuana places a lot of red tape around universities and institutions that want to use the substance for research purposes.
  • Wish your CBD products were cheaper? Banks fear loaning money to farms and manufacturers that deal with cannabis due to federal policy, thus restricting business growth.
  • Want products that are safe and include the ingredients that they claim? The FDA cannot approve anything that would be in opposition to federal law. So, even if you do not want to use marijuana, the de-scheduling of cannabis (with high THC content) benefits you as a CBD customer. While separate in terms of use, they are legally and economically related.

Stay Informed

Rules and regulations governing cannabis in the United States seem to constantly change, especially in the past few years. We might even have federally legalized marijuana within the next year. Anything could happen. Here at Green Wellness, we will work to keep you updated and aware of all the major news and information that we believe you need to make healthy and informed decisions. As always, If you’d like to learn more or have additional questions, press the live chat button, call us at (888) 772-7875 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST),  fill out our online contact form, or visit our storefront if you’re local!


Covid-19 Relief Bill Impacting Vape

January 26th, 2021 by Hannah Laing

Recent Legal Changes Affecting CBD Vape Products

The legal status of CBD vape has always been somewhat complicated. Why is that? In large part because, in the eyes of most lawmakers, CBD vapes are no different from traditional tobacco and nicotine vapes. It is because of this egregious error in classification, and poor drafting in the most recent Covid-19 relief bill, that as of late April, CBD vapes can no longer be easily shipped.  Past legislation has recognized the difference between nicotine and non-nicotine vapes.  This legislation is intentionally broad enough to include both. 

Can they still be shipped at all? Yes, but with much more difficulty now. By including vaping products within the recent act, Congress has stipulated that manufacturers and retailers will be banned from shipping vaping products to adult consumers using the USPS within the next 120 days. All orders of vaping products will be required to ship using an alternate, considerably more expensive service that verifies the recipient of a package is at least 21 years old. Furthermore, starting 90 days after enactment, all Internet and mail-order retailers will be required to file voluminous monthly reports with State, Native tribes, and local governments disclosing the identity, address, and product orders of all customer orders to their jurisdiction.  We at Green Wellness Life are committed to customer privacy and are not comfortable with this reporting. 

Congress explained the inclusion of this in the Coivid-19 bill by using the narrative of protecting children from online vape sales (the title of the original Congress bill containing this text was the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act – also referred to as PACT), despite the fact that it is already illegal under federal law to ship vaping products to minors. And, it is not as if there is a lack of enforcement of the current law; the FDA has regularly cracked down on businesses that sell or have sold to minors through mail. Additionally, while many retailers have been taking advantage of the USPS’ ID delivery confirmation service for years, the bill effectively ends this program. 

The PACT Act requires online retailers to collect state/local taxes before shipping orders, register with the federal government, and provide detailed information on a monthly basis to the tax department of each state it ships too – including the names and addresses of each customer. As USPS would be banned from shipping vape products, companies (like ours) would be forced to either use UPS/FedEx (and FedEx will be ending all shipping of vape products in March of 2021), or wait for our customers to come into the store to purchase vape products in person. 

So why was this provision added to the Covid-19 relief bill? Likely for the same reason that a lot of other, non-pertinent legislation was stuffed in at the last minute. But, even ignoring the ethics of this, the official stated purpose of this section was to reduce vaping of nicotine products in minors. What the supporters of this section failed to mention is that less than 6% of youth report buying vapor products online, according to the CDC’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Most young people report getting vapor products and other age-restricted products from friends, family, and informal sources.

What Steps Can You Take?

First, you are always welcome to read the wording of the bill that led to this. That is one benefit of our government: information is accessible, just not always easy to find. The links are here: 

Next, if you feel that this change in the rules is unfair and unnecessary, you can contact your representative or senator and voice this concern. Don’t know who that is? No worry! You can easily look up that information using one of these two tools:

Don’t worry too much about the format if you opt to send them a letter or an email. Just make sure to be professional, brief, focused on your topic, and to state your concern multiple times. It needs to be urgent and needs to highlight your concern as a voter. You don’t need to convince them with fancy rhetoric, or give them a presentation on why they should rescind this section of the bill. Just show them that you are passionate and why this matters to you.

Final thoughts

We really hope that you can work with us to point out to representatives and senators that this bill is damaging and does not protect those whom it is designed to protect. It is because of this bill (and the associated increase in shipping cost) that, as of this point in time, we plan to cease all shipment of vape products in April. It is simply too invasive and expensive. We don’t want to stop offering this service to you, but our hands are tied. Help us untie them by contacting your member of Congress. And, as always, feel free to reach out to us through email, social media, or phone. We would love to hear your opinion on this information.


2020 CBD Holiday Shopping Survey

October 29th, 2020 by David Kranker

CBD holiday shopping statistics

The CBD market is one that continues to grow year over year with analysts projecting sales of over $23 billion in the United States by 2025. So far, 2020 has been no exception to the trend of growth with CBD sales increasing in many markets due to stress induced by the pandemic, but what will the remainder of the year bring? Will industry sales finish off strong with the holiday season fast approaching? What kinds of CBD shopping trends will emerge in the coming months?

The team at Green Wellness Life had these exact questions in mind. So, we decided to conduct our own holiday shopping survey for the CBD industry. We surveyed 100 consumers across the United States who expressed that they will be conducting holiday shopping this year. The results of our survey can be found below.

There Will Be More Of A Focus On Health & Wellness This Year

CBD New Year's Resolutions

Our survey indicated that consumers will place more of an emphasis on shopping with health and wellness in mind this year. That’s a finding that may not be that surprising considering the ongoing pandemic and high levels of stress induced by the election year and an unpredictable economy.

A whopping 87% of consumers indicated that improving their overall health and wellness was a New Year’s resolution for 2021. While 54% of consumers said that their spend on health and wellness products would remain unchanged from last year, 29% plan to spend more on health and wellness products this year compared to 17% who plan to spend less. More consumers plan to spend more than less, which should result in an overall net increase in sales for retailers selling health and wellness products this holiday season.

Just Under Half Of Consumers Will Be Buying CBD Products This Holiday

Buying CBD for the holidays

While a majority of consumers are looking to improve their health and wellness in the coming months, not everyone is looking for CBD products (yet). 49% of consumers surveyed plan to use CBD products during the holiday season. 46% of consumers plan to buy CBD products for themselves and 42% of consumers plan to buy CBD products for others.

The Planned Spend On CBD Products Varies

The largest portion of those planning to buy CBD products this year appear to be shopping for one to two products. 42% plan to spend somewhere between $50 and $100 on CBD products this holiday season. 15% indicated an intent to buy $100 to $200 worth of CBD products. Another 24% plans to spend $200 or more on CBD products this year.

Price & Deals Offered Will Be The Most Important Deciding Factors

CBD deals and prices

Those that are planning to buy CBD products this year indicated that price and deals offered will be the biggest factors they consider when deciding what to purchase. The study found that 31% of those buying CBD products indicated price as the largest deciding factor. The strength of the product was the next largest factor at 28% followed by the perceived credibility of the website or store at 17% and the product’s convenience of use at 12%.

CBD Products Are Showing Up On Holiday Wish Lists

CBD products are showing up on holiday wish lists this year. Our study found that 36% of consumers surveyed have a CBD product on their wish list.

Over Half of All Consumers Would Be Excited to Receive a CBD Product as a Gift

CBD as a holiday gift

While only 36% of consumers have a CBD product on their wish list this year, 55% of consumers stated that they would be excited to receive a CBD product as a gift this holiday season. This is just one more reason for consumers to consider adding CBD products to their holiday shopping list.

Reasons CBD Products Aren’t On Holiday Shopping Lists

unsafe CBD products

There were a few different reasons why CBD products didn’t make it on the shopping list for some consumers this holiday season. Of the consumers that said they weren’t planning on buying any CBD products this year, 53% said they wouldn’t be doing so because they simply aren’t interested in CBD products.

Outside of a lack of interest, 23% are concerned that the products may not be safe, 11% feel the products are too expensive, 9% aren’t sure they work, and 2% are worried the products might be psychoactive.

It would appear that CBD brands still have some educating and reassuring to do for the 23% that are worried about product safety and the 2% that fear the products are psychoactive. Further education on the benefits of CBD products may also spike interest in some of the consumers that said they weren’t interested in CBD products.

More Consumers Could Benefit From CBD Products

While just under half of all consumers expressed intent to purchase CBD products this holiday, almost all of the consumers surveyed could benefit from the use of CBD products. 42% of consumers surveyed admitted to getting holiday depression on an annual basis. As previously mentioned, an overwhelming majority of consumers (87%) noted that improving their health and wellness would be a part of their 2021 New Year’s resolution. Moreover, 86% of consumers expressed intent to buy skincare, haircare, or bath and body products this holiday season. CBD infused products could be beneficial for all of these consumers.

  • For those with holiday depression, studies have found that CBD induces fast and sustained antidepressant-like effects. There are many CBD products on the market that are well-designed for mood improvement.
  • Hemp oil can also be very beneficial for skin, because it is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids along with vitamin A and vitamin B. CBD oil-infused skin products make for great moisturizers and may even help to combat acne. Those looking for skincare products should certainly consider CBD topical skin products. Those looking for bath products might also find CBD bath bombs and bath salts more enjoyable than their non-CBD counterparts.
  • Last, but not least, CBD holds many potential benefits for improving overall health and wellness. CBD can help to relieve stress, reduce chronic pain, aid the immune system, and more. Starting to regularly use CBD products now could give many consumers a head start on achieving their New Year’s goal of improving their overall wellness.

Thus, while over half of consumers aren’t intending to purchase a CBD product this holiday season, many of those same consumers may actually be looking for a CBD product without knowing it yet. CBD brands looking to increase sales and exposure will need to make the benefits of CBD products clear to the aforementioned groups who could stand to benefit from them.

About Green Wellness Life

Green Wellness Life was founded with the goal of providing as many people as possible with affordable access to natural, safe, and holistic complementary health products. Green Wellness Life specializes in selling CBD products that are independently lab-tested, environmentally sustainable, and backed by research.

We are not doctors. We cannot diagnose or treat any medical conditions, but we can provide you with recommendations on our favorite products and the latest scientific research on CBD. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding CBD or CBD products. You can call (888) 772-7875, press the live chat button, or fill out a contact form to speak with a member of our team.


The Environmental Benefits of Hemp

October 26th, 2020 by Quinton Charles

QuintonBy Quinton Charles, Op-ed blogger

With an ever increasing concern about climate change, we are all doing our best to positively impact our environment. There are lots of ways someone can help protect Earth like recycling, reducing water waste, using renewable energy, investing in energy efficient appliances, and much more. These aren’t new concepts, hopefully, but what may be new to you is the use of hemp to promote ecological sustainability and help the environment! If you are looking to do your part every day (or support companies that do), hemp is a fantastic way to do so. How, you ask? Let’s dive into the science behind hemp’s ability to do the Earth good.

Hemp’s Impact On Soil Quality

While most people are aware that plants are necessary for the creation of oxygen and sustaining ecosystems, not as many are aware of the vital role that soil plays in that process, and how hemp can restore soil. Because hemp is so porous, the plant fiber works like a sponge and will actually suck up heavy metals and pollutants from the soil.  

The health of that soil determines what plants can grow and whether those plants are able to  produce oxygen by converting carbon dioxide. Low-quality soil is not typically able to grow plants that are beneficial to human and ecological health, so hemp’s ability to clean up that soil can be a huge benefit. Read the rest of this entry »


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