Did you know China is the largest grower of hemp in the world today? And since America is the biggest importer of Chinese hemp, the CBD oil you consume is most likely derived from hemp grown in China. China can be a significant producer of CBD oil. Their government leadership, however, is committed to safely growing this industry in their country. Find out why China can influence the future of CBD oil and why more regulations are best for everyone.
Why China’s approach matters to the future of CBD Oil
China has been cultivating hemp for textiles, medicine, and food for thousands of years. According to Shuquan Zhang, the director of the Economic Crops Research Institute in China, “Policies and regulations are crucial to the development of the industry…Without legal breakthroughs and legal guarantees, it’ll be very difficult to develop this industry.” Zhang goes on to say exaggerating the benefits or lack thereof of hemp without clinical data is unethical.
China’s example will influence how other countries approach regulating hemp cultivation within their own borders. The policies and regulations China puts in place will likely set the standard for rules and guidelines in other countries, including the US.
Why national regulations are a good thing for consumers
Similar to China, the US also has a long history with hemp cultivation. This history dates as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries. To better understand the current status of regulations for the hemp and CBD industries in the US (and where it’s going), you have to consider the past.
Hemp was a legal crop until it was banned under the controlled substances act of 1970. It became a legal crop again in 2014 and was officially legalized on the federal level under the Farm Bill in 2018. This bill legalized growing crops for the production of hemp-derived products for commercial use.
It took less than a decade for commercialized products to hit the market in the US. The leap from being illegal to cultivate hemp to producing and selling hemp-derived products for commercial use was extremely fast. Maybe too fast. More regulations for standardized testing are still needed. This will ensure products unsafe for general consumption aren’t reaching consumers.
Without testing, there’s no way to ensure quality
China’s example provides a road map for other countries venturing into the production of hemp-derived products like CBD oil. When considering the supply chain, regulations are needed in the following three areas:
- Hemp cultivation: It all starts with the hemp growers. By establishing regulations for growing and testing crops, it’s easier to track who is growing hemp that’s appropriate for producing hemp-derived products.
- Hemp-derived products: Manufacturers will need to ensure the safety of the hemp being used to make hemp-derived products. Providing quality assurance will require working with accredited labs with qualified chemists who follow standardized testing procedures. They’ll be testing for potency, pesticides, microorganisms, residual solvents, and heavy metals. Only the safest hemp will move on from this stage to make CBD products.
- CBD brands: With regulatory guidelines to follow, companies selling CBD products can confidently offer consumers safe, high-quality products.
The final product you receive is safer with standard policies and regulations. Until these standards are in place, it’s critical consumers in the US exercise caution, understand the potential side effects and consult with a healthcare practitioner.
Until more standards are in place, it’s critical consumers in the US exercise caution, understand the potential side effects and consult with a healthcare practitioner.
Time is needed to build the CBD industry safely
China’s slower approach to growing the industry of hemp cultivation isn’t a reflection of a lack of interest. Instead, their thoughtful approach demonstrates their intention of playing a leading role well into the future. They want to get it right from the beginning because they know a lot is at stake.
The quality of hemp used to produce CBD products will remain undisclosed without more regulations. And because the many potential benefits and risks of CBD are yet to be determined, any adverse results for consumers of these products could set the industry back for decades.
China has established itself as the global leader in hemp cultivation for a very long time. It’s clear they plan to continue this dominance as they transition into the production of CBD oil.