Is Hemp and CBD Legal?

Hemp became legal in 2018 and is regulated by the FDA. Because of regulations and banking rules, it is much more difficult to sell products containing CBD, especially in edible form. Most credit card processors view this space as ‘high risk’ – and put it in the same category as gambling and adult services. This is why you won’t see many supermarkets selling edible CBD products, because high-risk credit card processors charge a lot more to process CBD transactions. 

One of the key requirements for legally selling CBD products is to provide COA (certificate of analysis) for the products showing exactly how much CBD is present, and also verifying that the THC content is below the required .3% limit.

Any legitimate product should have a link or some reference to a COA. If it does not – avoid it.

What About Hemp Extract?

Hemp extract may or may not contain CBD. Again, it should be clear on the label. But products like hemp milk will not contain CBD. Raw hemp leaves will not contain CBD.

Hemp Sourcing

There have been reports about some CBD products containing significant amounts of heavy metals and pollutants. This is because hemp has a wide tolerance of climate and soils, and in a race to cash in on this trend, some plants were grown on previously contaminated soil. Because of this, we highly recommend only using USA-grown hemp, and even USA hemp should be scrutinized as to where it is cultivated.

Hemp Tea Versus CBD Tea?

This can get kind of confusing because not all hemp tea is CBD tea, and not all CBD tea is hemp tea. CBD is most commonly extracted into an oil which can be taken orally (i.e. a medicine dropper) or topically – such as cream applied directly to the skin. But oil and water do not mix, so adding some drops to tea will result in your body absorbing very little CBD.

There are some more industrial processes that convert the CBD into a dry, shelf-stable state. In theory this can be added to any beverage. Often additional fat binders are involved to help with absorption. But either way, it’s a processed form of CBD; much like most vitamins are a processed form of nutrients found in food. 

Therefore you can’t exactly trust a label that just says ‘contains CBD’ without knowing what exactly that means. There was a recent scandal over CBD bottled water which when tested, contained virtually no CBD.

Hemp Tea

In a way, hemp tea is a more simple, holistic source of the various flavonoids and terpenes naturally found in the plant. These include:

  • Caryophyllene – A spicy smell, providing medical value for ulcers, arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Limonene – This citrus-smelling terpene offers anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties; and it can also help with depression and heartburn.
  • Linalool – Medicinal value includes potential relief for depression and anxiety. This terpine has a sweet flowery smell.
  • Myrcene Myrcene offers an earthy smell and may be good for relieving muscle tension, insomnia, and chronic pain.

Hemp leaves, just like regular tea leaves, can be infused in hot water to create an herbal elixir. However just taking dried and cured hemp leaves and infusing them in water will not yield usable CBD. A good way to think of this is that certain foods release more nutrients when cooked versus eaten in a raw state.

The same applies to hemp. In order to make the CBD bio-available, the hemp needs to be ‘cooked’ or in technical terms, undergo decarboxylation aka ‘decarbing’. This process uses heat to convert cannabinoids into a readily-absorbable form. Therefore some will smoke hemp flowers, because smoking and vaporizing will instantly decarb the cannabinoids. While you can drink a hemp leaf tea, if it has not been decarbed you won’t find any CBD in it.

How Much CBD Should One Consume?

This can vary. For example, someone with chronic pain may be prescribed CBD in very high quantities, like 600mg, which is supervised. For everyday wellness and the relief of minor symptoms, there is some questionability around some products that contain very small micro doses, such as 5-10mg per serving. Some have said that products with 25mg or more are typically required to have any effect. While there isn’t an exact science on what is the ideal dose, it often comes down to the person and how their body metabolizes and responds to it.

Does It Work?

I can’t speak for every study, but during my hemp tea exploration, I did feel a sense of calm and relaxation after taking it. It was noticeable after numerous tests.  One of my co-workers complained of lack of sleep, so I gave him some hemp tea to try out. In our non-scientific test we used a FitBit to monitor his sleep patterns before and after. The graphic below shows the deep sleep percentage the days prior to using the CBD tea.

Introduction to Hemp and CBD Tea – Part 2 - Graph of sleep quality

In this example, the 4 days prior showed ‘deep sleep’ between 14.5% – 19.8%. The first night the hemp tea was used, deep sleep jumped up to 27.9%. Not bad! ( Note from editor – Anecdotal evidence from a very small data set over a very small time period is unreliable. Your results may vary. )

I’ve also used caffeine-infused hemp tea when I wanted something during the day that could provide me with the calm focus I needed, sort of like the L-theanine found in tea. Regardless, it was a pleasant feeling, but not drowsy and inhibiting.

In Summary

  • Buy Hemp or CBD that has clear labeling and links to COA’s 
  • Know where the tea comes from
  • Ask a doctor before using it to treat medical conditions
  • Take notes to see what dosage levels seem to have any effect on you

Hemp tea is worth looking into as an alternative tea. There are many beneficial compounds found within aside from CBD, and we are sure to see even more promising studies in the future. Hemp has a unique flavor, but it mixes and blends well with many common herbal ingredients. For example, chamomile, mint, and even chai spices! The farmer I met drinks iced hemp tea throughout the day.

Kevin Borowsky
CEO Magic Leaf Tea

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