A United States farm bill allowing for the production, sale and distribution of industrial hemp at a federal level was passed in Congress on Tuesday, essentially legalizing the extraction of CBD in the country.
While this bill still allows each state to form its own rules surrounding the substance, this is big news for those looking to make their way into the burgeoning CBD industry. The cannabinoid’s non-psychoactive properties have made it a hot commodity in the cannabis business world.
Dr. Bomi Joseph, Founder of Peak Health Center, ImmunAG, LLC and creator of Phyto Farmacy, tells Civilized that he expects that we can expect a great deal more investment interest in new food products based on hemp.
“The farm bill ensures that people who farm and create products with CBD are not going to be prosecuted,” he said.
“The easy fast growth of the hemp plant makes it a very viable and cheap commercial source for paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed,” Dr. Joesph listed. “The prices for these products are going to fall and there are going to be a vast number of new hemp-based solutions that disrupt the existing players in these industries.”
In Dr. Joseph’s opinion, one of the most exciting prospects of the proliferation of the hemp plant is its potential impact on their environment.
“Toxic heavy metals and organic pollutants are great targets for hemp’s phyto-remediation,” he said. “We have a lot of pollutants in our air, water and soil. Hemp will absorb it voraciously, neutralize them, and break them down into harmless components. This is a very exciting environmental benefit to hemp cultivation that is hardly mentioned.”
“The farm bill also allows each state to form its own rules,” said Dr. Joseph. “California currently does not allow CBD from hemp to be used in foods, and foods are defined broadly. This can still lead to state-specific laws that are bound to be challenged in federal courts.”
Dr. Bill Rawls, author and Medical Director for Vital Plan, who also supports the bill, nevertheless cautions that this might lead to an influx of CBD-infused products that might not have the desired potency for consumers.
“You have some good companies out there that are trying to educate the consumer on how these product can positively affect their lives,” he told Civilized. “But, on the other hand, you also have some unscrupulous companies who are trying to repress that information while selling inferior products.”
“I still think there are some unknowns out there, and just randomly using purified CBD as opposed to the full spectrum herb and putting it in products is a big experiment that we really don’t understand the ramifications for. It’s unlikely that it’s harmful, but there is a chance that overuse can disrupt your endocannabinoid system. We really don’t know.”
While the bill does remove CBD from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, it will still be subject to regulation from the FDA, which might provide a stopgap on the total ubiquity of CBD-derived or infused products.
Still this is a major step for the cannabinoid, and it doesn’t look like the growing consumer interest in CBD will abate anytime soon.