By Katie Devoe

As the cannabidiol industry surges, you’ve probably heard “derived from industrial hemp” more than a couple of times. In fact, industrial hemp powers the majority of cannabidiol products on the market, especially the ones manufactured by brands who are concerned with consumer safety (and their own reputation). But what is industrial hemp CBD? Is it so different from regular hemp and cannabis derived CBD that it needs its own technical classification? If you understand the facts, you’ll see that it really is. 

The History of Hemp and Cannabis

It’s first important to note that hemp has not always been considered a controlled substance, and at one point was freely grown and manufactured, leaving open opportunity for the creation of hemp-based goods. In fact, hemp has been cultivated and utilized for centuries for making textiles, ink, paper, bank bills, and more. In fact, some of the original Levi’s jeans were made from hemp

Hemp continued to be an important source for many products until the US Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 associated hemp with marijuana, a form of cannabis utilized for its high THC content, which required growers to obtain a DEA permit in order to grow hemp. Later, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 defined hemp and marijuana as the same plant and labeled both as a schedule 1 drug, halting most growing operations and production. 

We now know that although hemp and marijuana are both derived from the cannabis species of plants, they are actually very different at their core, mainly because hemp lacks psychoactive effects. 

industrial hemp vs marijuana

More recently, lawmakers in Kentucky, Colorado, and multiple other states were involved with efforts to legally separate hemp from marijuana to allow legal production once again. In 2014, the Farm Bill allowed states to create individual pilot programs that allow the growth of hemp by certain institutions, like universities, to legally grow and research industrial hemp. 

Four years later, the Farm Bill of 2018 declassified hemp as a Schedule 1 substance, allowing farmers to grow hemp legally as an agricultural crop under the USDA. Though regulations are still underway, farmers are expected to be able to take full advantage of this new hemp farming law by the end of 2019. 

Cannabis vs Hemp vs Industrial Hemp

Cannabis known for its high THC content, which can range from 3-30%, is often called “marijuana” and is utilized both recreationally and medicinally across the country. The main difference in hemp and this form of cannabis is that hemp naturally contains only trace amounts of THC. Additionally, the two plants look very different. Cannabis grown for its THC content is often bushy and grows lower to the ground, while hemp grows very tall and slender, reaching heights up to 16 feet. 

The term “industrial hemp” refers to a class of hemp that contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Industrial hemp must be grown under a permit obtained from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which helps place regulation and accountability on growers, ensuring that they provide high-quality hemp with a THC content that is consistently below the legal limit. 

Instead of the high THC content popular with medical marijuana, industrial hemp boasts a considerably high cannabidiol (CBD) content. Research regarding CBD, which was discovered in the 1940s, was put on the backburner to THC for quite some time. Now, researchers have discovered a multitude of health benefits for the cannabinoid, making CBD one of the most sought after natural wellness supplements of our time!

industrial hemp

What is Industrial Hemp Used For?

Because industrial grade hemp is naturally rich in CBD, fatty acids, fiber, and fibrous material, it’s potential uses are virtually endless. Generally, CBD is marketed either as a fiber or a seed. The fibrous material, or material derived mostly from the stalks of the plant, is frequently used for making textiles, paper, plastics, building materials, auto parts, and much more. This innovative approach is rapidly advancing since hemp-based plastics and textiles are considerably “greener” than many popular options, like petroleum-based plastics or synthetic fabrics. 

The seeds are generally marketed in one of three ways: as a food, as an oil, or as a whole product designed for making extracts. As a food, hemp seeds are often sold as an additive or topping (like for salads) or as an ingredient in premade goods, like hemp seed cereal bars. 

Hemp seeds are most often sought after for utilizing the hemp oil since the oil can account for up to 50% of the weight of the seeds. This oil can be used in multiple ways but is often sold as a cold oil for cooking or adding to salads, pasta, and more. Hemp oil also makes a great carrier oil for CBD, which can be extracted from the seeds, but is also commonly extracted from whole plant material, like hemp flowers.

These extracts generally take place in a lab, like the ISO-certified labs we use at CBD Nationwide and are overseen by highly trained engineers. Cannabidiol (and often the full spectrum of cannabinoids found in the strain) are extracted from plant material that meets “industrial” qualifications and used to manufacture industrial hemp CBD products. 

What Types of Products Can Be Made from Industrial Hemp CBD?

After CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, it can be used to manufacture a variety of products. At CBD Nationwide, we produce industrial hemp CBD products in our own facilities and are one of the only true in-house manufacturers in the nation. Our hands-on production model and close eye on the manufacturing process has allowed us to create hundreds of innovative industrial hemp CBD products for our clients. 

Industrial hemp CBD can be used to make everything from CBD topicals, like lotion and deodorant, to edible industrial hemp CBD products like gummies and tinctures. People also use industrial hemp CBD to make isolate products (which have all other terpenes and cannabinoids removed) in the form of CBD tablets or powder. 

Each industrial hemp CBD product is unique from the next since our clients control what goes into every batch we produce for them. Because our industrial hemp CBD is of the highest quality available, it blends well with most natural ingredients, carrier oils, essential oils, and more to create unique products that meet your private label CBD needs. 

industrial hemp cbd uses

The Benefits of Industrial Hemp CBD vs Cannabis Derived CBD

Industrial hemp was defined in order to place regulations on hemp crops legally grown in the country. This regulation helps enforce consistency amongst crops that are purchased through legal vendors. That means there are several benefits to industrial hemp CBD, although cannabidiol can technically be sourced from other cannabis plants if desired (and in an area where this type of cultivation is legal). 

As a small CBD brand, utilizing a CBD manufacturer that sources from high-quality, industrial hemp gives you security. Industrial hemp CBD products that are properly manufactured by our trained engineers contain a high concentration of high-quality CBD and always less than 0.3% THC. 

In the cultivation of hemp, especially for industrial hemp CBD products, many aspects can affect quality, like soil and water contaminants, improperly controlled growing cycles and improper harvest time. Hemp farmers who grow industrial hemp are also required to follow USDA regulations and maintain other strict cultivation standards, which means they can produce cleaner, higher grade crops than underground growers. 

Because industrial hemp CBD products are sourced from reliable, industrial-grade materials, they are more consistent. Plus, these industrial hemp CBD products are legal, as industrial hemp is protected under the Farm Bill. CBD products sourced from wild hemp strains or cannabis may not necessarily be legal for sale across the country, causing big trouble for distributors. 

At CBD Nationwide, every product we manufacture is derived from high-quality, industrial grade hemp. We source from the highest quality plant material available, tracking the chain of custody from seed to sale. We have an in-house analysis process and outsource to a third party, ISO-certified laboratory for the Certificate of Analysis that backs out products to prove their high quality, potency, and lack of THC. 

Because we pay close attention to every step of the manufacturing process and ensure that the hemp we use is grown according to federal regulations, we can better ensure the safety and success of every CBD brand we help produce. Our close eye and expert documentation helps set us apart from the competition, providing an unmatched level of confidence for our private label and CBD wholesale clients.