The popularity of hemp-derived products has surged in recent years, driven by the growing interest in natural remedies and holistic wellness. As consumers become more discerning about the quality and authenticity of the products they use, the demand for USDA Organic certified hemp products has also risen. In this post, we will delve into the intricacies of ensuring that a hemp product is USDA Organic certified, understanding why isolate CBD products cannot be organic certified, exploring the costs and time associated with obtaining a USDA organic certification.
How to Ensure a Hemp Product is USDA Organic Certified
The USDA Organic certification is a hallmark of quality and authenticity for hemp products. To verify whether a hemp product is USDA Organic certified, you can follow these steps:
Check the Label: The first step is to look for the USDA Organic seal on the product label. If the product is indeed certified organic, it will prominently display this seal. However, this should not be the sole basis for your assessment, as some products may falsely claim to be organic.
Verify with the Manufacturer: Reach out to the manufacturer or producer of the hemp product. They should be able to provide you with a copy of their organic certification, including the certification agency and certification number.
Use the USDA Organic Integrity Database: The most foolproof method to confirm the organic certification of a hemp product is to consult the USDA Organic Integrity Database. This database contains detailed information about all USDA Organic-certified operations, including hemp farms and producers. You can access the database online and search for the specific operation or product you are interested in. If the operation is listed, it is USDA Organic certified.
Visit the USDA Organic Integrity Database website: https://organic.ams.usda.gov/integrity
Enter the name of the operation or producer in the search bar.
Review the results to confirm their organic certification status.
By using these methods, you can ensure that the hemp product you are interested in is genuinely USDA Organic certified, giving you confidence in its quality and adherence to organic standards.
Why Isolate Cannabinoid Products Cannot Be Organic Certified
While numerous hemp-derived products can obtain USDA Organic certification, isolate cannabinoid products, such as CBD, CBG, and CBN, stand as exceptions. These products are generated by isolating individual cannabinoids from the hemp plant, resulting in a pure form of each respective cannabinoid. This isolation process entails the utilization of various chemicals and solvents, which contravenes the principles of organic certification for several reasons:
Chemical Solvents: The production of isolated cannabinoid products typically involves the use of chemical solvents like hexane or acetonitrile to extract the specific cannabinoids. These solvents are not endorsed for use in organic farming and processing.
Non-Natural Processing Methods: Organic certification mandates that products undergo processing using natural and organic techniques. The extensive processing and refinement required to create isolate cannabinoid products do not align with these organic standards.
Purity vs. Organic: While isolate cannabinoid products may boast high purity and quality, they do not meet the criteria for organic certification due to the utilization of non-organic solvents and processing methods.
It is essential to understand that this restriction applies specifically to isolate cannabinoid products. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum cannabinoid products, which encompass a broader array of compounds from the hemp plant and are processed using organic methods, can indeed attain USDA Organic certification.
Explaining the Cost Factors Behind Organic Certified Products
Obtaining USDA Organic certification for a hemp operation or product, even for white-label partners, necessitates a substantial investment of both time and money. Here’s a breakdown of what contributes to the cost:
Certification Fees: The USDA Organic certification process entails fees paid to the certifying agency. The cost varies based on the size and complexity of the operation or product, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Inspection Costs: Covering the expenses related to on-site inspections by the certifying agency, including travel, accommodation, and inspection fees, adds to the overall cost.
Record-Keeping and Documentation: Meeting organic standards requires maintaining meticulous records of farming or production practices. This process is time-consuming and may require investments in dedicated record-keeping systems.
White Label resellers:
It’s crucial to note that white-label resellers, who repackage and market products under their own brand, must also ensure that each product they offer is certified organic. This means they may undergo a similar certification process and incur related expenses.
Application and Review: The process commences with submitting an application to a USDA-accredited certifying agency. The agency reviews the application and conducts an initial assessment, which can take several weeks to months.
Certification Decision: Following the inspection, the certifying agency evaluates all documentation and inspection reports. The time to reach a certification decision varies, typically spanning from a few weeks to several months.
Annual Renewal: Importantly, organic certification isn’t a one-time endeavor. It necessitates annual renewal, involving ongoing costs and inspections.
In essence, the cost of USDA Organic certification reflects the commitment to rigorous standards, sustainable practices, and the careful oversight required throughout the production cycle. While these products may have a higher price point, they offer consumers confidence in the reliability and quality of organic hemp products, aligning with their values for environmentally friendly and sustainable options.