- CBD and Hemp
by Patrick Mower
At Project Hemp Flower we take the quality of the products we sell very seriously. Though there are no federal requirements to do so, we test every batch before making a decision on whether or not to partner with a given farm on a particular strain. But we don’t just test for D9 THC and cannabinoid profiles, as many of the shadier hemp resellers do. Our rigorous testing process checks for other, more dangerous compounds that could be hazardous to your health.
We go the extra mile (and pay more to do so) because safety and quality are our top priorities. In order to do that, we decided to partner with one of the leaders in the testing industry, Think20 Labs. We chose Think20 because they have one of the lowest LODs (level of detection) of all hemp labs in the United States. A low level of detection means we can determine if there are even trace amounts of pesticides or other harmful compounds in a batch.
Most hemp resellers will provide a cannabinoid profile with your order, but that doesn’t give any indication as to whether or not that particular batch is safe to consume. With the exception of a handful of companies who pride themselves on in-depth analysis of their products, most hemp sellers don’t test for things like pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, or Microbials, all of which can have severe negative impacts on your health when ingested!
Pesticides and other chemical residue s are found in a lot of low-quality hemp harvests. I know there is at least one old-school stoner out there who might scoff and say “We used to smoke pesticide-laden buds sprayed with formaldehyde, transported in fuel tanks across the border and nothing bad happened to me!” But that ignores what we now know about consuming pesticides – that they are linked to a number of serious problems including cancer, liver damage, nerve damage, and even reproductive issues. Furthermore, just because people in the past didn’t have access to products that were reliably tested doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take advantage of it now.
In addition to pesticides, heavy metals are a common contaminant in hemp flower that can have devastating effects. Heavy metals like Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Arsenic are highly toxic and the human body doesn’t have an efficient way of removing them so they can build up in the system over time. Heavy metals can accumulate in the soil hemp is grown in and transfer to the plants as they grow. With how toxic and deadly these compounds are, it’s not just irresponsible to sell hemp flower without testing for them – It’s unethical.
Mycotoxins are types of fungus that can form in soil or on the plants themselves. These include Aspergillus (a powdering looking mildew that is a known carcinogen), Botrytis (also called “Budrot”, can appear as a grey or white foam on the bud and leaves, but is not always visible), and Fusarium (characterized by wilting of leaves and is often misdiagnosed as being caused by low nutrients in the soil). Mycotoxins can often be spotted visually, but not always, so testing for them is incredibly important.
What about microbials? Aren’t microorganisms good for you? Well yes, some microorganisms are beneficial to us and there are many others that aren’t necessarily beneficial but also pose no threat to humans. When we say we are testing for microbials that means we are testing for the bad ones – endotoxins specifically. You’ve probably heard of some of them like E. Coli or Salmonella. These deadly compounds can contaminate hemp flower in the same way they contaminate lettuce or other food products.
With the hemp industry in its infancy, there aren’t any standards in place to ensure the products we consume are safe. At Project Hemp Flower we feel it is our responsibility to be on the cutting edge of testing to ensure only the highest quality, safest products reach our customers. But we are only one provider. It is up to you, the consumers, to demand the same level of scrutiny throughout the industry. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”