Not all hemp is created equal. This fact is especially important when it comes to the country of origin for hemp used in cannabidiol (CBD) concentrates.
Hemp: The Great Bio-Accumulator
Hemp is a bio-accumulator; it draws toxins from soil. For example,Italian farmers are growing hemp to remove dioxin from unusable farm soil. In China, hemp absorbed cadmium from the soil that otherwise would’ve entered the food chain.  Hemp roots accumulate heavy metals and toxins. Some of those contaminants filter up to the stalks and leaves. 
Due to 20th century farming and mining practices, significant portions of the Earth’s tenable land are contaminated.  Hemp has great potential for cleaning up polluted soil and restoring agricultural lands. This process of using plants to siphon contamination is known as phytoremediation.
Hemp Origin Matters
By now you might have guessed why it is imperative to pinpoint the hemp origins of CBD concentrate. Industrial hemp grown in contaminated soil accumulates toxins. These heavy metals and contaminants are dangerous when highly concentrated. Imagine your CBD comes from the dioxin-infested Italian hemp mentioned above. Fortunately, they are using hemp for phytoremediation and not to make consumer products.
But if the hemp is grown in a country without regulations and oversight, farmers may not realize their plants are soaking up contaminants. Manufacturers in these countries can cut costs by skipping contaminant testing.
Do Your Research& Choose Wisely
The solution to this dilemma is to research where and how the hemp was grown. Here are some pointers:
- Choose hemp grown in the United States, or another country with a robust and established consumer regulatory program.
- Look for organic hemp farms with FDA approval; organic agriculture has the advantage of restricting pesticide use.
- Verify that the CBD concentrate has been tested by a third party for contaminants.
- Ask for a product’s certificate of analysis (COA), which is a lab test of CBD and contaminant content. The testing lab should meet ISO 17025 standards.
- Avoid CBD/hempproducts and companies that neglect to provide this information.If the label is blank and the product vendor has no idea, run for your life.
CBD concentrates derived from industrial hemp require close inspection regarding the country of origin. With a little research, however, you can ensure that your wellness product is safe and free from toxins.
- Shi, G. et al. “Cadmium Tolerance and Bioaccumulation of 18 Hemp Accessions.” Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. 2012, 168/1/163–173. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-011-9382-0.Times Cited = 23. Journal Impact Factor = 1.429.
- Citterio, S., et al. “Heavy metal tolerance and accumulation of Cd, Cr and Ni by Cannabis sativa” Plant and Soil. 2003, 256/2/243-252. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026113905129.Times Cited = 59.Journal Impact Factor = 2.969.
- Macek T., et al. “Phytoremediation of Metals and Inorganic Pollutants.” In: Singh A., Ward O.P. (eds) Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Soil Biology, 1/135-157. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-05794-0_7.Times Cited (Book) = 52. Times Cited (Article) = 4.