However, keep in mind there is some risk involved because it’s still possible to have your shipment confiscated by customs. Much like the case of bringing CBD by plane, your ability to have CBD products shipped to your doorstep will depend on how strict your country is with CBD/cannabis, and on the knowledge of the particular agent checking your shipment.
First… hemp, cannabis, marijuana (slang term)… they’re from the exact same plant species – Cannabis sativa. It’s common to mistake hemp and cannabis unless you know why they’re different. The easiest way to tell? If it’s under .3% THC content then it’s hemp and is classified as legal for academic and educational purposes, according to federal law. What is commonly referred to as cannabis (or medical marijuana) contains THC levels above .3% and can extend into levels between 15-30% THC. Remember, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Without these higher THC levels, there are no psychoactive effects for you.
We also have to look at Federal spending budgets, don’t we? The Federal Appropriations that passed in April, 2017 specifically mentions the Department of Justice is prevented from “implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” Hemp is not medical marijuana, though one could assume if they’re not going after High-THC plants, they’re not going to go after low-THC plants either – especially without the budget needed.
There are three types of cannabis - indica, sativa and ruderalis. While all three produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, cannabis ruderalis (also referred to as hemp) does not contain them in a high enough concentration to have a therapeutic effect. Because hemp products are legal to import to the U.S. and ship from state to state (although growing the hemp plant is federally illegal), companies are taking large amounts of hemp plants and processing them harshly to try and derive enough CBD to call their oil a “CBD product.”
In addition, keep in mind that in many countries where cannabis/CBD is technically illegal, you may still be able to find places that sell it over-the-counter, or be able to bring it into the country or order it online with no problems. This can be explained by the fact that cannabis legislation is outdated and in many places simply not enforced anymore.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
Formulation strength is where you'll notice the biggest misalignment between price point and customer interest. You'll find companies offering 2000 mg or 3000 mg formulas. Not many people are buying these. Instead, they choose formulations that are less potent, less expensive, yet still effective. For most retailers, it makes sense to focus in on these products.
Of all the companies we've interacted with and tested, Joy Organics has been the standout. Their vertically integrated, Colorado-based facility is as impressive as its product line. Joy Organics uses organic, non-GMO hemp to extract its CBD products, from tinctures to topicals to vape products to softgel capsules. We've personally tested their product line, to great success, and we've reviewed the independent batch test results to confirm their high cannabinoid content.
Los Angeles-based PureKana stresses that it extracts the CBD oil for its products from hemp plants that have been cultivated without the use of herbicides, pesticides or other agro-industrial chemicals that may impact upon crops. What’s more, the company states, no solvents go into the extraction process other than carbon dioxide. And to further put potential customers’ minds at rest, PureKana presents the results of third-party testing of its CBD oil tincture on its website – a welcome nod to transparency. That tincture can be found in the company’s own blend of CBD oil drops – the three varieties of which have elicited highly complimentary reviews from users – as well as its capsules and cooling topical ointment. Meanwhile, for anyone with a sweet tooth, PureKana’s CBD isolate-containing gummy bears may just do the trick.
But isn’t that because we are more willing to break our laws? Think about it. Saudi Arabia, for example, has much stricter laws than we do governing every aspect of life. Why aren’t they and countries like them the #1 incarcerators? I’m thinking either because their citizens are more law abiding by nature or are just plain scared of the barbaric punishments.