At Pet Releaf, we’re honored to partner with veterinarians who have the same vision as us—to change what healthy means for pets. Our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Colleen Smith recently shared the importance of USDA Certified Organic hemp as well as toxic solvents and the dangers they can have on humans and pets. If you’re new to this topic, read on below as Dr. Colleen Smith goes deep into the subject.
As we value transparency, we upload all of our 3rd party lab testings to showcase there are absolutely no heavy metals or toxic solvents compromising the quality of our CBD pet products. To learn more about the importance of organic farming and product testing within the CBD industry, read below to get Dr. Smith’s input!
Written by: Colleen Smith, DVM, CVA, CVCP
Hemp is known as a bioaccumulator, meaning that it draws toxins from the soil faster than it can excrete them, in a process known as “Phytoremediation“. So, knowing that your CBD is Organic Certified and tested for Heavy Metals puts the confidence in your hands that you are getting a safe product.
What does it mean to be USDA Certified Organic?
The term “USDA certified organic” means that a government-approved certifier has inspected the growing and processing conditions to ensure they meet official standards. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the term “organic” refers to any crop that is grown or produced without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMO), sewage sludge or ionizing radiation. The soil from which harvested crops are intended to be sold as organic, must have had no prohibited substance applied to the soil for a period of three years immediately preceding the harvest of the crop. Healthy soil is full of life, including good bacteria, fungus, and earthworms.
To this end, “organically-grown hemp” refers to hemp that has been grown under these stringent conditions. Therefore, “organic CBD oil” (or organic hemp oil) is CBD oil that’s organic on two levels — it’s extracted from organically-grown hemp and then it’s processed with no synthetic chemical additives.
In addition, many of today’s most conscientious growers, such and the farms PetReleaf works with, are now participating in “regenerative organic” practices — organic farming methods that emphasize soil health and maintenance, while conserving soils and pastures so that the land will continue to be sustainable for generations to come.
Why is organic CBD oil better?
Thanks to strict growing conditions, organic hemp is “cleaner” because it’s free from synthetic-chemical pesticides and fertilizers and hasn’t been genetically modified or exposed to chemical toxins. As a result, organic CBD oil is healthier and closer to its natural state.
Let’s look at two major sources of toxins: Glyphosate and Heavy Metals
Glyphosate – It is now estimated that we spray more than 4.5 billion pounds of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) in the soils, plants and waterways of our planet. After Roundup Ready crops were introduced in the mid 1990’s the water-soluble pesticide would then work its way into the grains, fruits and vegetables as well as groundwater. It has now made its way into air, rivers, oceans and rain. Glyphosate has been found in adults, children, pets, livestock, and wildlife. Some countries have begun to restrict or outright ban the use of glyphosate.
This toxin causes inflammation in all parts of the body and it appears that since glyphosate became prominent, many inflammatory diseases have dramatically increased. From cancer, to neurologic to auto-immune to chronic gastrointestinal issues. We are all getting sicker from it!
Heavy Metals – we are referring to naturally occurring elements found in the soil of our planet. These metals include: Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Zinc, & more. We do need some metals (such as iron, copper, and zinc) to maintain optimal health for our bodies. However, some of these metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, & cadmium are known to be highly toxic and fall into the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Class 1 category. Class 1 lists substances that are “human toxicants that have limited or no use in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.” Toxic heavy metals can be differentiated from other pollutants, since they cannot be chemically degraded or biodegraded but can be accumulated in living organisms. This can cause various diseases and disorders even in relatively lower concentrations. Once absorbed, the body is unable to efficiently remove them. These metals accumulate over time, so frequent, prolonged exposure can put you or your pet at serious risk.
Although these elements are naturally occurring in soil, they are also a result of industrial and agricultural pollution. When the soil is unhealthy, farmers need to add nutrients for crops to grow, causing contamination by fertilizers and other soil amendments. Industrial sources of heavy-metal pollution into the environment includes mining, fracking, nuclear power stations, metal processing, conventional power plants, petroleum combustion, plastics, textiles, paper processing plants, and others.
Potential effects of heavy metals on all of our bodies:
- Lead affects the brain and the nervous system and can lead to convulsions, behavioral disorders, and more.
- Mercury affects the brain, the thyroid system, and the kidneys.
- Cadmium can damage the lungs and may even lead to lung cancer.
- Arsenic can cause various types of cancers in the body.
Chemical pesticides and fertilizers can deplete the soil of its natural nutrients. Heavy metals are found in not only hemp plants, but many crops that we eat daily. They create chronic inflammation in the body that unchecked becomes a devastating disease.
Remember a plant is only as healthy as the soil it’s planted in.