ethical hemp

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4 Ways to Support Ethical Hemp and CBD Brands

Be a conscious cannabis consumer, investor and brand owner. Best Practice for creating and supporting ethical, sustainable and conscientious Hemp and CBD Products

Ruby Deevoy

Whether you’re a consumer looking to buy the most ethical CBD products, a CBD brand focused on quality in all areas or a cannabis investor – our tips on best practice for hemp and CBD products will help you get clued up.
The cannabis prohibition we’ve faced over the last almost 100 years has done a lot of harm in many ways – just one of those ways being that it has given rise to many forms of unethical practice within the cannabis, hemp and CBD industries. So much of the raw material used to create cannabis-based products is grown in ways that actually causes environmental harm (despite the environmental good that hemp can do!) and perhaps worse still, feeds into criminal activity and extremely poor working conditions for the people working on the farms and factories.
As with every purchase you make, you can make a stand for the ethical practices you want to see in the cannabis industry. And better yet, if you’re a brand owner or investor, with a little knowledge you can put your money where your mouth is and help to create an industry that does a whole lot of good.
Here are a few things to look for, and why you should look for them:


Know Your Grow: Hemp cultivation matters!

ethical cbd

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Unless you’re creating products using synthesised cannabinoids, the cannabis grow is an extremely important part of the process – and the farms you choose to support should ideally be conscientious of their carbon footprint.
High water and electricity usage is inevitable, even for small craft grows. In fact, a report written by New Frontier Financial Group suggested that US cannabis grows use a whopping 1% of the nation’s entire electricity consumption. Californian greenhouse and outdoor grows have been found to use around 22 litres of water every day between the months of June and October. The key is proper waste management, and lowering usage wherever possible. This might be done by recycling water or using growing methods like hydroponics or aeroponics.
Ask farms about their growing methods before deciding whether or not to work with them. And if you’re a consumer, don’t be shy about posing these tricky questions to your favourite brands – because if they’re doing their job right, they should know the answer.
Want to find out about Dermactiva’s ethical cultivation? Get in touch!


Don’t panic! It’s organic: Why organic hemp is essential

organic hemp

Image by Bethany Szentesi    organic hemp

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – all cannabis grown for consumption must be 100% organic. Cannabis is a bio-accumulator, meaning it absorbs all nutrients – and contaminants – from the soil, air and the surface of leaves and buds. If pesticides, fungicides and insecticides are used to optimise plant growth, these nasty chemicals will end up in your body.
Aside from the health implications of non-organic hemp cultivation, there’s also the environmental impact.
The Soil Association have said that adopting nature-friendly farming, along with other key changes to our food systems, could help keep global warming below 2°C. This is thanks to organic farming reducing greenhouse gases by cutting out manufactured chemical (sometimes fossil fuel) fertilisers imported from overseas.
What’s more, organic cannabis is always wildly superior to chemically grown flowers and tends to boast a beautiful terpene range.


Good Manufacturing Processes

Good Manufacturing Processes CBD

Image by Green Chameleon    Good Manufacturing Processes CBD

Has the cannabis been cultivated using Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP)? According to the World Health Organization, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced according to quality standards. 
The Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) provide comprehensive guidelines for the cannabis industry, covering cultivation, retail/dispensary, extraction, infused products, laboratory, security, packaging/labeling, and business and environmental sustainability. By checking that the cannabis in hemp or CBD products has been produced in a GMP lab or factory you’re covering a lot of bases in terms of good hemp and CBD practice.

The “war on drugs” that has led to almost 100 years of cannabis prohibition is largely based on racism after its manufacture in the US by Harry Anslinger, first commissioner for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the 1930s. The UK simply followed suit, trailing behind a xenophobic rhetoric that still informs our drug policies today. During Ansliger’s time working in his alcohol prohibition enforcement position, he became well acquainted with influential politicians, Washington insiders, and the pharmaceutical industry. When alcohol prohibition ended and Anslinger was left essentially out of a job, they offered their full support when his attention suddenly turned to cannabis.
Still today, A 2021 analysis of marijuana-related arrests in 2020 in New York City’s five boroughs reported that people of color comprised 94 percent of those arrested. And in the UK, ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be arrested for possession. According to the ACLU, black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than any other race and given harsher sentences, some even serving life for possessing small amounts of cannabis. In the legal industry, Marijuana Business Daily reported that the number of businesses with BAME owners was around 19 percent in 2017.
Supporting cannabis brands and farms who respect the broader social movement of cannabis culture, and act accordingly to do their bit to put a stop to in, can help to transform the very foundation of cannabis perception and regulation.


Socially conscientious cannabis

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Image by Priscilla Du Preez    ethical cbd brands

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