Hemp is used in more than twenty-five thousand products all over the world, ranging from food, paper, and textiles, to nutritional supplements and beverages. It’s used for CBD oil, fiber, seeds, feed, and food. A whole range of products such as cosmetics, insulation materials, and even animal feed can contain hemp. While marijuana products and hemp are both species of the cannabis plant, hemp can usually be distinguished by the low THC concentration. Since the Farm Bill passed last year, you can expect to find AOSCA hemp on the market, but what is AOSCA hemp and what can it tell you about the hemp’s quality? Let’s learn more.
The AOSCA is highly regarded for its important connections to the hemp industry and its mission to ensure quality and purity. AOSCA hemp is strictly regulated. The seeds that are certified by this organization meet certain standards in terms of the THC content and the seed’s purity and quality. These seeds can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. The organization was formed in order to set and establish the standards in terms of purity and the production of industrial hemp.
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How the Farm Bill Changed The Hemp Industry
The passing of the Farm Bill changed many things in the agricultural world. The legalization of industrial hemp is the future, and since hemp is now legal in every state, there will continue to be many changes in the agricultural world in the foreseeable future.
The Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as a type of cannabis that has a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or less. The passing of this bill made it legal to grow hemp in all fifty states. The bill also allowed universities and departments of agriculture to produce and grow hemp as part of pilot programs or research. This resulted in forty-one states participating and creating state laws that focused on governing the research. The procurement of seeds for these programs was very controlled and restricted to imports.
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies has set in place certain standards for industrial hemp seeds. This was put in place back in 2014 and is based on Canadian Industrial Hemp Regulations. The strict standards of this association are designed to verify variety and purity but does not regulate the levels of CBD or THC in the hemp. The Colorado Department of Agriculture launched the initial industrial hemp seed certification program back in 2016. This program was designed to validate which of the hemp seeds would yield the type of hemp that would fall in the 0.3 percent THC content that’s mandated by state law. Tennessee and Kentucky have also produced certified industrial hemp seed. Companies in other states are also making plans to begin production. Considering the inconsistencies in terms of seed varieties that are available, growers have reported that it’s incredibly complicated to source certified seeds. This is generally due to the lack of infrastructure and led to the importing of seeds from European and Canada seed growers.
Procuring viable and legal seeds can be very challenging for commercial growers and research programs located in America. These seeds were difficult to obtain due to the fact the hemp was regulated under the Federal Controlled Substances Act until the Farm Bill came into effect. Since the passing of the Farm Bill, limited hemp research has been allowed and many states have taken independent action in order to regulate these seeds. To date, a total of four states have established certification programs or specific licenses for hemp seed producers and distributors.
Currently, California requires the breeders of hemp seeds to register with the county agricultural commissioner. Indiana allows a hemp grower who has a hemp seed production license to produce the seeds. These licensed growers are then able to retain the seeds for the propagation of future crops or sell the seeds. In Maine, the commissioner of agriculture can issue licenses to seed distributors if their seeds are obtained from a certified source.
The passing of the Farm Bill doesn’t mean that any person can begin growing their own crop of industrial hemp. The bill changed federal policy in regards to industrial hemp such as the removal of hemp from the list of controlled substances and now has hemp categorized as an agricultural product. Some state governments were chosen to act as the main regulatory entity for growing hemp on a commercial level and we’re required to create regulatory programs. These state regulatory bodies must coordinate with any related state agency, such as the drug enforcement agency in order to create a plan. This plan was then submitted for approval to the USDA. Hemp growers in states where the local government that declined to create a regulatory system for hemp cultivation are required to apply for a license under the federal program.
A plan made by the state must include specific requirements such as testing methods and keeping track of land, in addition to the disposal of any plant that exceeds the max THC concentration.
Once a state has a plan in place that’s approved by the USDA, it can cultivate hemp for the transfer of hemp products across states for non-commercial and commercial purposes. At this point, there have only been a couple of states that have submitted this type of plan.
The growth of plants is only allowed in production as long as it’s a crop that’s regulated. However, hemp is now considered a mainstream crop and is treated as an agricultural commodity. This helps farmers to receive protection under the Federal Crop Insurance Act, which will protect them against any crop loss. The Farm Bill doesn’t provide any restrictions that are related to the possession, sale, or transport of any products that are hemp-related.
The Role of the AOSCA
There are many organizations that have been formed throughout the years to ensure the purity of seeds, in an attempt to ensure crop and product consistency and standards. The AOSCA is one of many organizations that focus on seed quality and purity, but they have a very important role in the industry.
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies sets standards for the production of industrial hemp seed, which ensures the differentiation between marijuana and hemp due to the difficulty that often comes with differentiating between these two types of crops seeds, in addition to quality control. This organization is dedicated to assisting growers in the promotion, distribution, identification, and production, of crop propagation materials and the certified classes of seeds. The organization was established way back in 1919. The organization features seed certifying agencies all over the country and a global membership that includes:
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Their mission is to facilitate and promote the movement of plant or seed products in international, national, and local markets using coordinated efforts of other seed certification agencies that are designed to verify, document, and evaluate that a plant or seed meets certain standards.
- The main purpose of seed certifying organizations is to establish a minimum standard for the identity and genetic purity, in addition to recommending the minimum standard in terms of quality for each of the classes of certified seeds.
- This organization is also responsible for standardizing seed certification procedures and regulations, as well as operating procedures in inter-agency seed certifications.
- The AOSCA must also periodically review agency genetic procedures and standards
The major purposes of AOSCA are:
- For the purpose of genetic purity and identity. This organization will also recommend the minimum standards for seed quality for the classes of certified seed.
- The standardization of seed certification procedures and regulations, and operational procedures in inter-agency seed certification.
- The review of agency genetic procedures and standards and procedures in order to assure compliance with the Seed Act.
- The cooperation of seed regulatory agencies in order to determine the regulations, policy and procedures that relate to the distribution and labeling of seeds that are moved in international, inter-state, or intra-state commerce.
- Cooperates with the OECD, also known as the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and other international organizations that are involved in the development of policies, procedures, regulations, and standards in order to encourage and expedite the movement of seeds in improved varieties.
The AOSCA also assists other agencies in the distribution, identification, production, and promotion, as well as the use of the certified seed classes and other types of propagating materials of the different varieties of crops.
Are There Certified Terpenes?
No, terpenes do not have to undergo rigorous testing processes or the extensive quality testing procedures that hemp seeds do. Instead, it’s entirely up to the manufacturer to provide third-testing in order to show the public that their products offer a certain level of purity and quality. To learn more about terpenes, click here to read my buyer’s guide.
Can CBD Oil Be Certified Organic?
Companies that produce CBD are not required to test their products for concentration and quality. While there are companies out there that claim that their CBD is organic, they may not be. However, these companies can apply for USDA certification, which will ensure that the CBD is green, clean, and safe. If a CBD product is USDA certified it should have a sticker on the label.
What Does CBD Do to Your Brain?
CBD, just like all cannabinoids, produces effects in the body via their attachment to certain receptors that are found throughout the body and in the brain. The CB1 receptors in the brain are responsible for our memories, appetite, mood, emotions, pain, movement, and coordination. However, since CBD is not a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC is, it doesn’t have any type of sedating effects. Instead, it can provide improved mental clarity, mental focus, and can naturally relieve aches and pains that are associated with nerve and joint pain or inflammation. CBD drops, such as Diamond CBD Full Spectrum MCT Hemp Oil can be used to treat a variety of health conditions, but the standard formula is non-sedating, just like most CBD-based products. Instead of a mental effect, most people simply reported a relief in their symptoms with no type of mental changes.
So, what is GMP Certification: is Hemp GMP Certified?
GMP certification involves a system that’s designed to ensure that products are consistently controlled and produced based on quality standards. It’s designed to reduce the risks that are involved in pharmaceutical productions that are not caught during the testing phase. This certification covers many aspects of the production process beginning with equipment, facilities, materials and even the personal hygiene of the staff. To learn more about how hemp is evaluated during this type of quality control testing, click here to read my article on GMP certification hemp- why to look for it.
Thanks to the passing of the Farm Bill, hemp is now legal in every state. Since legalization, it’s more important now than ever to ensure that the seeds that are used meet certain standards in terms of quality and purity, and that’s where the AOSCA comes in.
Essentially, AOSCA hemp is strictly regulated. Seeds that are certified are appropriately classified as hemp quality seeds, which means that they contain a low amount of THC, typically, 0.3. This organization also ensures the promotion, production, and distribution of certified seeds. This organization has established and set the standards of seed purity and the production of industrial hemp seeds, in addition to providing quality control in terms of purity. Seeds that are certified by this organization come from industrial-grade hemp that produces pure hemp seeds that can be used non-commercially or commercially.