As you may well be aware of (or not!), there is currently an explosion in the realm of hemp extract products. Everywhere you go, you may be hearing about new applications of CBD, hemp collaborations, and all types of new product innovations, especially hemp-infused alkaline water and other beverages. Part of this stems from hemp’s new status as a fully legal substance under new federal laws.
Another aspect of this is much more straight-forward and simple: people are actually getting results. Folks from all walks of life are experiencing benefits due to hemp extracts and moving forward with their lives powerfully — all in a natural way! For instance, many have found CBD helpful in surprising ways; read about Black Rain Warrior Yvonne and her experience using CBD to manage cancer.
We’re just as excited as you are to delve into the wonders of this newly tapped resource. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the top benefits of CBD products — why they’re so popular, how it’s made, and various advantages of hemp extract.
Hemp’s Status as a Newly Legal Substance
On December 20, 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law. This is the first and perhaps the most major reason for the new upsurge in hemp extracts, oils, and products. Among other changes, the law removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it is no longer considered an illegal substance under federal law.
Substances that are placed on the controlled substances list are highly regulated, and include opioids, stimulants, and other substances we commonly refer to as “drugs”. They are evaluated using two criteria:
- The potential for medical treatment applications of the substance, and
- the potential for abuse of the substance.
Those substances higher up on the list have a low potential for medical use and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Therefore, removing hemp from this list completely signals a new shift in attitude of both the federal government and society as a whole.
What it means is this: People are starting to recognize that hemp extracts are 1) have good potential for medical use, and 2) have a low potential for abuse.
What is Hemp Extract Oil? How is it Created?
The hemp extract market is populated with a wide range of hemp-based CBD products. Some of these range from very good quality products to products that are poor in quality, untested, and derived from low-grade hemp sources.
It is important to select only high-quality products that are organically grown since the hemp plant can absorb many toxins from its surroundings as it grows. At Black Rain, our extract is carefully sourced and selected for its rigorous processing and testing methods.
Our hemp extract oil is created through a special seven-step process involving:
1. Organic Farming Methods
First, proprietary strains of phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp are grown in nutrient-dense soil. Organic farming practices ensure the purity of the hemp plant from start to finish. State-of-the-art farming techniques ensure safe, regulated, potent, and consistent hemp quality.
2. Processing of the Raw Hemp
Next, the hemp plants are harvested, dried, and warehoused. They are milled into a coarse powder and shipped to a processing and manufacturing facility for the next steps. The milling process follows strict industry standards.
3. Extraction and Separation of Solids
At this stage, the hemp undergoes extraction and purification. This ensures that beneficial elements of the hemp plant are preserved intact in the extract. These include the beneficial phytocannabinoids, flavor elements, and terpenes; at the same time, unwanted compounds are removed. The result is a very pure, high-quality hemp extract.
4. Food-Grade Distillation Methods
While the product is already very pure at this stage, the oil then undergoes a distillation process. This further separates the hemp extract from other compounds that are used in the previous extraction stage.
5. Removal of THC and Further Refining
Any trace amount of THC is removed during this step. THC is the compound that produces psychoactivity or the “high” often associated with cannabis usage. Also at this stage, proprietary technology removes other compounds still present, such as chlorophyll, wax, and other minute traces of compounds
All production runs are rigorously tested for quality and potency, both in-house and through a third-party facility. This ensures that the extract is pure and consistent across batches. This stage is highly important, though many companies that produce inferior products may skip out on this testing.
7. Nanoemulsion Processing for Better Bioavailability
Lastly, Black Rain’s hemp extract source undergoes a unique process that transforms the oil into smaller nano-sized emulsions. Other hemp oil particles can be anywhere from 150 to 5,000 nanometers in size; the nanoemulsion processing reduces our particles to around 25-60 nanometers. The oil is then more readily absorbed, increasing the bioavailability of the final product even further.
Not all CBD or hemp extract products follow such a rigorous manufacturing procedure. Be sure to check your sources to ensure that you’re consuming only high-quality CBD products.
Additional Benefits of Hemp Extracts
Here are some practical benefits associated with the hemp-infused product revolution:
- Convenience: CBD alkaline water, energy drink mixes, and softgels can easily be consumed on the go and incorporated into your existing hydration routine.
- Alkaline Benefits: When combined with alkaline water, hemp extract provides a whole host of other benefits, including great hair and nails, and metabolism-enhancing qualities.
- Tastes Great!: CBD drinks are easy to consume, taste great, and don’t “taste like medicine”.
- Affordable: CBD products provide affordable, accessible alternatives to more expensive products, (which can also be addicting in some cases).
- Non-psychoactive: Hemp oil products generally contain no THC, meaning they won’t make you feel “high”.
After seeing these reasons, it should be clear to you why there’s currently a revolution in the breadth and depth of hemp extract research and applications. As the research and innovation continue, more and more people can begin to live their lives powerfully and fully, to the best of their capacity.
How Best Hemp Growing Practices Affect Your CBD Products
Hemp is a truly amazing, yet complex plant. On the one hand, it is providing benefits that have the potential to revolutionize the way we think about wellness and even our own bodies. On the other hand, the plant is very sensitive to the way it is grown, raised, and harvested.
Unlike other types of plants, hemp requires highly specific conditions for growing, especially in cases where it is to be used for hemp extracts and CBD products. But unless you’re thinking about growing your own hemp, you might not be interested in these aspects. Why should you care about how your hemp growing practices?
Simply put, because it affects the quality of your end CBD product! Inferior hemp growing techniques and practices lead to inferior hemp extracts and CBD products. In fact, poor hemp growing practices can even lead to products that are dangerous for consumers and that lower the overall bar of the industry.
Here are some hemp growing factors you should pay attention to and inquire about:
Best Hemp Growing Practices: Organic Farming Methods
One of the bottom line aspects that you shouldn’t compromise about is that your hemp products should be sourced only from organically-grown hemp. That’s basically a given. Why you may ask?
Hemp is an extremely “thirsty” and absorbent plant; it tends to “suck up” various elements from the soil and the surrounding air. This includes, among other things, toxic chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals. So much so, in fact, that hemp is often recruited to “clean up” soil by growing it in areas where it will absorb the toxins from the soil to prepare the soil for the next crop harvested there.
Thus, hemp should be grown under organic conditions only. If it’s grown on the side of a busy road somewhere, the hemp plants will be absorbing all those toxic chemicals from traffic pollution. And by “somewhere”, we are pointing to the fact that a large number of hemp products are still sourced from outside of the U.S. If at all possible, always try to buy only CBD products that are home-grown in the U.S. under certified organic methods.
It All Starts with the Seed
Not all hemp varieties are the same. In particular, industrial hemp is generally categorized into three main classes: fiber, grain, and cannabinoid varieties. Obviously, the cultivation of hemp for CBD purposes needs to start with a cannabinoid variety. Drilling down even further, not all cannabinoid hemp varieties are the same either; some are superior to others.
In order to maximize phytocannabinoid-rich yields, farmers must first select a variety of cannabinoid hemp that is associated with better cultivation, higher yields, and high CBD content. Again, if you’re purchasing your CBD from sources outside of the U.S., there is often no way to trace where the hemp comes from, or what type of plants were selected for the process.
At the moment, sourcing high-yield, CBD rich hemp stock can still be challenging. Hemp breeders are working diligently to master stable hemp seed production that is consistent and can be reproduced across multiple batches. Farmers should pay close attention to the source of their seeds, as well as any clones that they use to propagate their harvests.
One of the main stereotypes of hemp is that it’s a “hardy plant” that requires little to no attention when growing it. While this may be somewhat true (hemp can thrive in “difficult conditions”), the plant is still susceptible to various pests. In particular, hemp plants can be vulnerable to pests such as gray and white mold, insect damage, and infection from pathogens.
Thus, the challenge for health-conscious hemp growers is to address these potential pitfalls in a way that avoids dangerous pesticides or other unhealthy farming methods. If you’re wary of potential pests that have affected your hemp product, try to inquire about how a particular grower addresses issues like mold and insects.
This can give you insight into the amount of care that a particular grow operation puts into their plants and products. If this information is not available, there’s always another avenue: third-party testing.
The Importance of Third-Party Testing for Hemp Products
Lastly, one of the main problems plaguing the hemp industry is that we still live in a time when not all hemp products are subject to third-party lab testing. Testing remains largely voluntary in many areas; this means that growers and extractors might not always need to reveal exactly what is in their products or how it was grown.
Testing in any hemp growing operation needs to happen consistently, and frequently as well. Testing should occur not just at the end when the hemp extracts are finalized, but very early in the process as well.
Farmers should have their soil tested before planting to identify any possible contaminants. This is important because as mentioned, any toxins or heavy metals present in the soil will eventually end up in concentrates and hemp extracts.
If you’re into reviewing CBD products and tests for yourself, you should look to ensure that the hemp:
- Is free from any heavy metals and toxins
- Does not contain harmful pesticides, solvents, or microbes
- Has been grown organically and without the use of pesticides
- Does not contain THC (unless it is specified to contain it)
- Was grown and sourced in the U.S.
- Lab-tested for purity
- Refined using food-grade distilling methods
- Processed for increased bioavailability
The source of your CBD and hemp products truly matters. By understanding some of the basics of how hemp should be grown, you’ll be in a better place to select the CBD products that will work best for you.
Easy Ways to Add CBD to Your Routine
You may have some idea about how effective hemp oil can be and the plethora of benefits it offers. What you might not know is exactly how to integrate hemp oil products into your lifestyle. The good news is that it can be incredibly easy and seamless to begin exploring the various hemp oil uses and applications.
As a matter of fact, your overall routine likely won’t change that much with the introduction of hemp oil. Most hemp extract-based products are easy to use and convenient and don’t require any additional equipment or special tools.
Here are some easy ways to add CBD products to your daily routine:
Top CBD Uses: Morning Pick-Me-Up
One of the most popular hemp oil uses is to create a state of mind that is extremely relaxed, clear, and focused. In this regard, hemp oil is an excellent way to start off the morning and clear out the previous night’s fog. For many, CBD beverages have replaced their morning cup of coffee.
This is an exciting application since as many of you know, coffee has a number of side effects which many may be familiar with. In contrast with hemp-infused alkaline water products, coffee can be highly acidic, meaning it can wreak havoc on your stomach, teeth, and overall well-being. It is also highly addictive and is associated with “the crash” hours later. Hemp extract beverages can provide a nice alternative that is free of such side effects and unwanted crashes.
Fitness: Pre-, During-, and Post- Activity Support
Another great hemp oil use is in connection with your current fitness routine. Beverages like hemp-infused alkaline water can be used for pre-workout energizing, as well as post-workout recovery. Since most people drink water anyway in connection with a workout, it’s easy to simply drink hemp-extract water to support your exercise.
A number of hemp oil and CBD oil products are specifically geared towards the active individual. For instance, there are CBD energy mixes that contain electrolytes, vitamins, and other additional elements that provide support for active people and athletes.
CBD can also be mixed in easily with protein shakes, smoothies, and other beverages to create tasty drinks. New habits don’t necessarily have to taste bad or be hard to swallow!
Hobbying: Increased Creativity and Focus
Many people engage in hobbies as a way to hone the mind and provide a state of playful relaxation in contrast with a busy workday. CBD and hemp-infused alkaline waters are great for generating this type of relaxed awareness.
Whether your hobby is dancing, woodworking, playing music, or drawing, using CBD can help you get in the zone and clear your cluttered mind to let the “creative juices” flow. Having fun is an important aspect of staying healthy!
Overall Hydration Throughout the Day
Besides fitness and exercise applications, CBD-infused beverages are just basically a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day. Whether your job involves working in the office or being out on the road, everyone needs to stay hydrated. Caffeinated drinks like energy drinks and sodas are not exactly recommended for hydration; a better alternative is a CBD beverage.
The combined benefits of alkaline water are an additional incentive to use hemp-infused beverages throughout the day. Alkaline water is associated with a number of advantages, and when combined with CBD extracts, you have a delicious alternative to sweet carbonated drinks.
Winding Down Time
Lastly, an easy way to make hemp extract a part of your daily routine is to consume it in the late afternoons or evenings as a way to relax and unwind after a long day of work. Again, CBD beverages can be a viable alternative to other substances like wine, which may not be for everyone.
When combined with other natural sleep-enhancing ingredients like melatonin and chamomile, hemp extract is a great way to relax and let the stress of the day melt away. Many people like Lisa A. have used CBD to help with insomnia, nerve damage, and other issues that may be rooted in a stressful lifestyle.
Good Habits Make for Good Times
Having a solid, well-planned routine is essential for success in any endeavor. Whether it’s devising a new workout schedule, or carving out time for a hobby, it’s important that you plan ahead of time for success.
In the same way, strong habits can benefit greatly from integrating hemp oil and CBD into your existing regimen. From the beginning of the day to the end, and everywhere in between, CBD products can be incorporated with very little adjustment or changes on your part. Have any ideas of your own for hemp oil uses? We’d love to hear them. Get in touch with us and let us know your favorite way to use hemp oil.
This article is not intended to be medical advice. Our products are not cures for any of the ailments listed in this article. We highly recommend everyone speak with their physician and understand the limitations and use of hemp-derived products.