| September 22, 2020 | CBD
CBD has piqued the interest of millions of people worldwide who are looking to live their best lives, which has lit a competitive fire beneath many brands in the industry. Some of these big name brands seem to have a clear lead on their competition, but it may surprise you to find that many smaller brands are actually taking an extra step forward to verify their quality for consumers—USDA Organic Certifications.
If you’re looking for products that are verifiably free of pesticides, herbicides, and other harsh chemicals, USDA-Certified Organic CBD Brands may be the way to go. Only a few brands offer a fully organic selection, while others may have just a few USDA-Certified Organic CBD products to choose from. You’ll find a list of both, below.
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Can CBD Be Certified Organic by the USDA?
Hemp, and subsequently CBD, maintained the same classification as marijuana for several decades, making it an illegal crop. After gaining a partial legal status according to the 2014 Farm Bill, the USDA finally declared hemp a certifiable organic crop—but only for farms who adhered to a state pilot program, per the federal regulations at that time.
Thankfully, the 2018 Farm Bill replaced the 2014 bill and effectively removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, granting brands across the U.S. the right to grow and manufacture hemp products. The language of the bill defines hemp as the Cannabis sativa L. plant (which contains less than 0.3 percent THC), and “any part of the plant,” including cannabinoids derived from hemp.
In anticipation for the 2018 bill, The USDA updated their regulations accordingly so that any brand that makes more than $5,000 a year in sales can seek an organic certification for their hemp products—and they don’t specify what types of products can be made from hemp, leaving the option open for brands to seek a certification for CBD products made from hemp.
So yes, CBD can be USDA-Certified Organic, but it isn’t easy, and the handful of brands who have officially achieved this organic status jumped through a number of hoops to get it.
Standards for USDA-Certified Organic CBD Brands
The USDA Organic Certification process is difficult and lengthy, which has seemingly been a deterrent for many brands in the industry, despite various claims to have “organic sources.” The brands that have achieved USDA-Certified Organic status took the long road to do so, which only elaborates their commitment to quality.
In order to start the certification process, brands must find a third-party, USDA-approved certification agency. The agency then evaluates the product according to the USDA’s rigorous guidelines. Assuming the brand passes each step of the certification process, they are awarded a certification that allows them to make one of three claims depending on the overall quality of the final product.
The term “100-percent Organic” can be placed on the label of a product that contains only organic ingredients and is made using only USDA Organic-approved manufacturing processes.
If the label simply reads “Organic,” at least 95 percent of the ingredients meet the USDA’s organic qualifications. The other five percent may be approved chemical additives, most of which are considered “unavoidable” to maintain the quality of the organic product.
“Made with organic ingredients” simply means that some of the ingredients are certified organic, but not all.
Each ingredient is evaluated based on a similar set of standards. According to USDA guidelines, an ingredient can be considered organic if it is:
- Grown from non-GMO, untreated seeds
- Grown in high-quality soil without the use of chemical fertilizers
- Free of beta radiation, which may be a result of poor soil or water quality
- Free of growth hormones and other crop stimulants
- Raised without pesticides, herbicides, or other unapproved chemicals.
- Manufactured only with approved processes, including using only solvents and substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, which excludes most synthetic substances
USDA-Certified Organic CBD Brands
Although the certification process is lengthy and involved, a few dedicated brands have gone the extra mile to procure organic certifications for every product (or almost every product) in their CBD line. If you’re looking for USDA Certified Organic CBD brands with a full selection of certified products, you may want to try one of the following:
Aspen Green offers a small selection of full-spectrum hemp oil that is 100-percent Certified Organic. The fully organic brand also offers CBD topicals, including formulations designed for topical pain relief and various skincare needs, that are made from 98-plus-percent Certified Organic ingredients.
Green Gorilla offers a wide selection of CBD products that is almost fully organic (with the exception of a handful of products, like the capsules and certain pet products), but they offer such an impressive variety of USDA-Certified Organic CBD products that they deserve to be on this list. The brand has full-spectrum CBD Oil and CBD Isolate Tinctures that carry the organic certification, as well as numerous hemp topicals, plant-based CBD gummies, and even organic CBD pet tinctures to choose from.
Haleigh’s Hope is a unique supplement brand focused on offering a full range of USDA Organic CBD Oil products. They partner with the Flowering H.O.P.E. foundation to provide consumer support, especially to those suffering from chronic ailments like cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s, and more. The brand offers a range of potencies and multiple different formulas, like coconut or safflower-based CBD oils, to provide options to those with dietary allergens.
Palmetto Harmony is a vertically-integrated CBD company that takes a hands-on approach to their entire supply chain. The brand uses only USDA-Certified Organic hemp and approved manufacturing practices for every product, and more than half of their products are officially certified. Their USDA-Certified Organic CBD products include the CBD Hemp Oil selection, CBD Pet Tinctures, Full-Spectrum CBD Hemp Suppositories, CBD Vape Oil collection, and both varieties of their CBD Balm.
Every product from RE Botanicals is Certified Organic (with the exception of the CBD capsules). The brand offers a variety of Hemp CBD Tincture potencies and two flavor options—Natural and Peppermint. The Relief Body Oil is a unique roll-on that’s also available in several organic varieties, like Lavender, Mandarin Turmeric, and Ginger Lime. The brand also has one USDA-Certified Organic CBD Pet Tincture, too, so you can extend the premium quality relief to your furry friends.
Brands With Some USDA-Certified Organic CBD Products
While the following brands aren’t fully organic, they do offer one or more products that have passed the rigorous USDA Organic approval process. To find other USDA-Certified Organic CBD products, check out these brands:
Upstate Elevator Supply Co.
Upstate Elevator has a colorful selection of CBD beverages, gummies, tinctures, and more, including a small variety of USDA-Certified Organic CBD products. The organic selection includes two full-spectrum CBD MCT Oil varieties, and full-spectrum CBD MCT Oil Capsules, available in three potency options. Upstate Elevator is one of the only brands on the market with a CBD capsule that carries the organic certification.
Cornbread is a Kentucky-based hemp brand offering a full line of topicals, pet products, capsules and more. The Whole Plant CBD Oil carries a USDA Organic Certification and comes in regular (25mg per dose) and extra strength (50mg per dose).
Vitality CBD has a small selection of full-spectrum CBD oils, water soluble tinctures, and CBD topicals, but the CBD Hemp Oil and CBD Pet Oil are the only USDA-Certified Organic CBD products.
Barlean’s is the only brand to make the list that isn’t explicitly a CBD brand. The brand is an award winning manufacturer of various health supplements, but they have achieved USDA Organic Certifications for both of their CBD Oil syrups, available in Chocolate Mint and Lemon flavor.