Talk about opening up a can of worms! The 'organic debate' is one that will no doubt rage on indefinitely, but where CBD oil is concerned, it is something that is vitally important.\nOrganic CBD oil vs. non-organic CBD\nTo begin, let us take a look at the benefits of organic CBD oil vs. non-organic CBD oil:\nPure soil and pure seeds\nThe soil used to grow organic hemp is free from chemicals and toxins. \nThe hemp seeds used to grow the organic hemp plants are 100% pure and untreated.\nNo harmful chemicals\nNo growth enhancers, stimulators or hormones are used to grow organic hemp.No medication (such as herbicides and pesticides) are used during the growing process.\nTruly natural conditions\nThe hemp grows under natural conditions, i.e. water and sunlight, without any form of artificial light or radiation.\nOrganic standards must be followed\nThe whole process from growing hemp to the product being bottled is monitored and scrutinised to the highest levels, resulting in a final product that can 100% be trusted to contain what is on the label.\n100% vegan with no animal testing\nOrganic CBD oil products (including skin care products) are not tested on animals.\nOfficial organic certification\nOfficial organic certification from a relevant body confirms that all the above (and more) have been adhered to (see the section entitled 'The Importance of Organic Certification' below for more information on this).From the above points, it should, therefore, be apparent that non-organic CBD oils have many pitfalls, such as potentially being contaminated with harmful chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, medications and hormones – all of which are more than capable of causing damaging effects to both your health and the world around you. In short, buying organic CBD oil is the best choice you can make with regards to your health and the environment – and I'll explain why (in much more detail) throughout this article.\nThe health benefits of organic\nIt's all well and good producing a list of the benefits of organic CBD oil, but statements such as the ones above need backing up with evidence. So I suggest we get underway by delving into some science – a few peer-reviewed scientific studies to be precise.A French study entitled 'Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk' (1) published its results in October of 2018. The question that the study posed was whether or not there was an association between an organic diet and cancer risk, and to examine this, and they monitored nigh-on 69,000 adults for a total of five years. The results? Those that consumed high levels of organic food had a significant reduction (a whopping 24%) in the risk of cancer. Several years earlier, in 2014, Newcastle University published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition (2) that found organic crops to contain as much as 60% more key antioxidants than crops not grown through organic processes. But not only were the organic crops nutrient-richer, but they also had lower amounts of toxic metals such as cadmium, which is highly toxic in of itself. And in 2016, a study once again conducted by Newcastle University and published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that both organic milk (3) and meat (4) contained circa 50% more omega-3 than non-organic equivalents. But what makes this even more fascinating is the fact that this wasn't just one study – it was a collation of the findings of 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat. Quite conclusive, I'd say.Stanford University did something similar in 2018 by examining 240 studies on organic foods conducted between 1996 and 2011. Once again, nutrition levels were found to be higher in organic crops. “Crops likes apples, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, milk, carrots and grains organic produce has 10 to 30 percent higher levels of several nutrients, including vitamin C, antioxidants and phenolic acid in most studies” (5).Plus, and probably more importantly, it was overwhelmingly found that consuming organic food drastically reduces the amount of pesticides, herbicides, chemical and antibiotics that will go into your body. And – as you're probably aware – greater consumption of such harmful compounds will increase the chances of adverse health effects (6). It would be easy to sit here and list study after study, but I've got a word limit that I must adhere to – and as I stated previously, I want to avoid you dozing off! However, from just these four studies, it is clear that organic food and produce has health-based advantages over its non-organic brethren.\nThe environmental benefits of organic\nNon-organic food and produce are synonymous with the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemicals. But it is not only our health that is negatively impacted upon by them – but it is also the world around us. But to what degree do these chemicals affect the environment?I spent several hours examining studies into the environmental impacts of the use of such compounds, at which point I stumbled upon this quote from a study released in March 2009 in the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Journal:“...pesticide use comes at significant cost. Pesticides have contaminated almost every part of your environment. Pesticide residues are found in soil and air, and in surface and groundwater across the countries, and urban pesticide uses contribute to the problem. Pesticide contamination poses significant risks to the environment and non-target organisms ranging from beneficial soil microorganisms to insects, plants, fish, and birds...”. (7)I could not have put it as succinctly as that.But hold on a minute; where does CBD oil fit into all of this?\nPhytoremediation \u0026amp; the importance of organic hemp\nI'm sure you're aware that CBD products are made from hemp. And it is the truly amazing properties of the hemp plant that make organic CBD products (in our opinion) a necessity if one value's one's health. Why? One word: Phytoremediation.Phytoremediation is the “direct use of living green plants for in situ, or in place, removal, degradation, or containment of contaminants in soils, sludges, sediment, surface water and groundwater” (8) Or, in layman's terms, the use of plants to remove nasty stuff from the ground. So where does hemp fit into all of this? Well, the hemp plant is exceptionally effective and efficient at absorbing the aforementioned 'nasty stuff' (such as heavy metals, pesticides and the like) (9) (10) (11); therefore, where and how the hemp plant is grown is of vital importance. If harmful compounds such as pesticides, herbicides and the like are used to grow hemp, then it is highly likely that the hemp will mop up these dangerous chemicals, which may then find their way into your bottle of CBD oil. Not something you'd want, I assume? No, me neither. Plus, organic hemp seeds are highly concentrated with CBD and many other cannabinoids. A recent study (12) (February 2019) examined 10 commercially available organic hemp seeds and found that not only did they contain high amounts of CBD, they were also dense in 30 other forms of cannabinoids – something that had never been discovered before.\nIs organic CBD oil more expensive?\nWait a second; isn't organic CBD oil more expensive? If you wander around any supermarket and spy the price of the products on offer, you'll often see that organic produce costs more than conventionally-produced foodstuffs – but is this the case where CBD oil is concerned?We were asked this question so much that we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it; you can read it here (I wrote it, so you can rest assured that it is first rate and worthwhile read!).\nOrganic goes mainstream and CBD oil follows\n'Organic' has well and truly gone mainstream, but what does that mean for CBD oil? Before we answer that question, it would be prudent to view the 'organic landscape' both in the UK and the world over. True to form, we'll examine some facts and figures (would you expect anything less?!) to help us get a firm grasp on the national and international organic picture as we stand here in 2019. To do so, we must roll back a year to 2018, which was a monumental year as far as the organic market is concerned.Why? Because for the first time in history, sales of organic food and drink went beyond the $100 billion mark (13). Yes, that's right – one hundred billion dollars. That's a lot of organic produce!As you'd expect, North America and Europe make up the lion's share of the total global revenue (90%). However, this is down from 97% some 14 years ago, which correlates with the growth of internal markets within countries such as India, Brazil and China – all of which have a long tradition of exporting organic crops and produce. When examining individual countries, it will come as no surprise to learn that the US is the global leader, accounting for 45% off all global sales, with countries such as Canada, France and Italy following swiftly behind. In terms of money spent on organic produce (i.e. who the highest spenders are), Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Denmark are leading the way.\nThe UK market for organic\nBut what about the UK? While clearly lagging behind the behemoth known as the United States and other European countries, the UK's own organic market is nothing to be sniffed at. In a report released in February of this year (2019) (14), it was reported that the UK organic market is worth GBP 2.33 billion, exemplifying 5.3% growth on the previous years, with this its seventh year of consecutive growth. Over GBP 40 million is spent on organic produce each week!\nOrganic CBD oil to go mainstream\nMy prediction is organic CBD oil will go mainstream too.Ok, so now we've examined the statistics, what does all this mean in real terms? How will they affect the consumer, and will this have any impact on CBD products such as CBD oil?Well, firstly it is apparent that the price of organic produce is decreasing (15), which is always a good thing where consumers are concerned. No-one can argue with paying less for anything. With the CBD market (and particularly the organic CBD market) still in its infancy, one can only surmise as to what impact all of this may have on CBD and the market itself. But if trends are anything to go by then it is highly likely will be seeing more organic CBD products on the shelves and price decreases over time. That being said, the organic CBD oil for sale in our store is exceptionally competitively priced, so feel free to check that out once you've finished reading this blog post (or head over there now if you're bored!). After collating all the above information and coming to the conclusions I have, something dawned on me; something I'd not previously considered. It's all well and good having organic producers and manufacturers dotted all over the world, more organic products on our shelves and at less cost to us the consumer, but different countries have different rules and regulations regarding what 'organic' actually is. What might be organic in one country, may not be in another. How can you trust products to be what they say they are?This leads us perfectly into our next topic of discussion...\nThe Importance of Organic Certifications\nWhat does 'organic' actually mean? It seems odd that we're discussing what 'organic' means towards the end of this blog post, but it is essential for us to do so in order to look at the specific requirements of organic produce here in the UK and within the EU.According to the Soil Association (16) 'organic' means:- Fewer pesticides.- No artificial colours and preservatives.- Always free range.- No routine use of antibiotics.- No GM ingredients. But what does this translate to in terms of specific requirements for the UK? (17)- Minimum of all ingredients from organic farming (min. 70%). All Soil Association certified products must show the organic percentage on the product packaging.- No GMO, synthetic fragrances, colours, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens or other potentially harmful substances.- Ingredients must be obtained through simple physical or chemical processes with no use of synthetic molecule.- No animal testing at all.For the EU (Ecocert) (18):- A minimum of 95% of all ingredients must be of a natural origin.- A minimum of 10% of the total product by weight must be organic.- A maximum of 5% of synthetic content (all of which must belong to the harmless synthetic ingredients list). - All processes must be audited and Eco-certified.- Synthetic substances such as fragrances, colours, petroleum derivatives, polymers, parabens and other harmful chemicals are forbidden.- No animal testing at all.- Animal products that do not negatively affect the ecosystem, nor directly question animals' lives are permitted.\nFor the European Organic Certification (Bio stamp) (19):In order to receive the European Organic Certification or Bio Stamp the farmer needs to follow a high standard of production rules:- Minimum of all ingredients from organic farming (min. 95%).- Plants need to be nourished through the soil ecosystem (hydroponic cultivation is not allowed).- Limited use of non-synthetic fertilisers.- Restricted use of pesticides.- Chemically-synthesised allopathic medicinal products strictly restricted.- Plant-based preparations can be used as compost.- Organic stock farming follows criteria to secure a high level of animal welfare.From examining other organic standards across the world (20), it is evident that both the UK and EU have some of the most stringent organic requirements across the globe. This means that when you buy organic products (such as organic CBD oil) that have been manufactured to UK or EU organic standards, you can rest assured that it will conform to those standards and be of the highest quality. And, for these reasons, it is exceptionally rare to find legitimate, certified organic CBD oil manufactured from organic certified hemp.Naturally, this leads us the following question...\nWhere to buy organic CBD oil in the UK?\nDoes for the Ageless stock any brands that are certified organic?Another question I can answer with the word 'yes'. At present, we stock two brands that are certified organic. You can browse their wares at the following links:Biopurus is a Czech producer of organic food oils, including whole-plant CBD oil. They carry the European organic certification and follow the mantra of “small is beautiful”. Because of their limited production, we sometimes run out of stock of their products, but we’re proud to retail them and they’re one of our customers’ favourite brands. Whoever tries it tends to stick to it. BioBloom is a better-known brand from the Austrian-Hungarian border. They’re particularly well-certified: they carry the Austrian and Hungarian Bio certificates along with the UK certificate from the Biodynamic Association. On top of that, they’re certified by the patient association Arge-Canna with the AC quality seal. This is also a whole-plant CBD oil with the peculiarity of being CBDa rich.\nFinal thoughts on organic CBD oil\nNow can you see why organic CBD oil is worth choosing? I hope you can!Although I'm not going to sit here and make out like organic CBD oil is the best thing since sliced bread and will have some divine-like effect on your life, it is pretty clear from the evidence above that opting for an organic option where CBD and other products are concerned is the way forward if you value your health and the world around you. My message is simple: Go organic. So next time you're squeezing a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue or sipping on a cup of refreshing and invigorating hemp tea, you can be safe in the knowledge that what is going into your body is natural, clean and good for you. And, for those of you who like lists, here's a concise summary:\n\nOrganic CBD oil is far, far better for your health than non-organic CBD oil, as it will drastically reduce the potential of ingesting harmful chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, medications and hormones.\nOrganic CBD oil has far less of a negative impact upon the environment.\nOrganic CBD oil doesn't always have to be more expensive (but even it if is, it's certainly worth paying the extra for the benefits listed in the aforementioned two points).\nGenuine, organic certified CBD oil and hemp products are seldom found in the majority of online stores (please be wary of products that state they are organic without any legitimate certification), so shop with care (see the links above to peruse the products of two brands that are organic certified to the highest standards).\n\n\nReferences for organic CBD oil:\n1. Baudry, J., Assmann, K., Touvier, M., Allès, B., Seconda, L., Latino-Martel, P., Ezzedine, K., Galan, P., Hercberg, S., Lairon, D. and Kesse-Guyot, E. (2019). Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk.2. Barański, M., Średnicka-Tober, D., Volakakis, N., Seal, C., Sanderson, R., Stewart, G., Benbrook, C., Biavati, B., Markellou, E., Giotis, C., Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J., Rembiałkowska, E., Skwarło-Sońta, K., Tahvonen, R., Janovská, D., Niggli, U., Nicot, P. and Leifert, C. (2019). Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.3. Średnicka-Tober, Dominika, Marcin Barański, Chris J. Seal, Roy Sanderson, Charles Benbrook, Håvard Steinshamn, and Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska et al. 2019. "Higher PUFA And N-3 PUFA, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Α-Tocopherol And Iron, But Lower Iodine And Selenium Concentrations In Organic Milk: A Systematic Literature Review And Meta- And Redundancy Analyses."4. Średnicka-Tober, Dominika, Marcin Barański, Chris Seal, Roy Sanderson, Charles Benbrook, Håvard Steinshamn, and Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska et al. 2019. "Composition Differences Between Organic And Conventional Meat: A Systematic Literature Review And Meta-Analysis."5. Grün, Felix, and Bruce Blumberg. 2019. "Environmental Obesogens: Organotins And Endocrine Disruption Via Nuclear Receptor Signaling."6. Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni, Sotirios Maipas, Chrysanthi Kotampasi, Panagiotis Stamatis, and Luc Hens. 2019. "Chemical Pesticides And Human Health: The Urgent Need For A New Concept In Agriculture."7. Aktar, Wasim, Dwaipayan Sengupta, and Ashim Chowdhury. 2019. "Impact Of Pesticides Use In Agriculture: Their Benefits And Hazards."8. "What Is Phytoremediation". 2019. Unep.Or.Jp. http:\/\/www.unep.or.jp\/Ietc\/Publications\/Freshwater\/FMS2\/1.asp.9. "Phytoremediation Potential of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.): Identification and Characterization of Heavy Metals Responsive Genes" 2019. Accessed May 15, 2019. https:\/\/www.researchgate.net\/publication\/281651509. 10. Citterio, Sandra, Angela Santagostino, Pietro Fumagalli, Nadia Prato, Paolo Ranalli, and Sergio Sgorbati. 2019.11. "Zinc Tolerance and Accumulation in Eight Oil Crops" 2019. Accessed May 15, 2019. Taylor \u0026amp; Francis. https:\/\/www.tandfonline.com\/doi\/abs\/10.1080\/01904161003728669.12. Citti, Cinzia, Pasquale, Panseri, Sara, Francesca, Forni, Flavio, Vandelli, Maria Angela, and Giuseppe. "Cannabinoid Profiling of Hemp Seed Oil by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry." Frontiers. January 24, 2019. Accessed May 15, 2019. https:\/\/www.frontiersin.org\/articles\/10.3389\/fpls.2019.00120\/full.13. "The Global Market For Organic Food \u0026amp; Drink: Trends \u0026amp; Future Outlook - Ecovia". 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. Ecovia. https:\/\/www.ecoviaint.com\/global-organic-food-market-trends-outlook\/.14. "UK Organic Market Hits £2.33B". 2019. Accessed May 15, 2019. https:\/\/www.soilassociation.org\/certification\/trade-news\/2019\/february\/06\/uk-organic-market-hits-233b\/.15. Press, Associated. 2019. "Good News If You Buy Organic Food: It’s Getting Cheaper". Marketwatch. Accessed May 17, 2019. https:\/\/www.marketwatch.com\/story\/heres-why-prices-of-organic-food-are-dropping-2019-01-24.16 "What Is Organic? | Soil Association". 2019. Accessed May 19, 2019. https:\/\/www.soilassociation.org\/organic-living\/what-is-organic\/.17 "Organic Certification Labels" 2019. Accessed May 21, 2019. https:\/\/www.be-ecocentric.com\/html\/labels-bio.18 "Ecocert - Organisme De Contrôle Et De Certification". 2019. Accessed May 21, 2019. Ecocert.Com. http:\/\/www.ecocert.com\/index\/.19. "Legislation for the European organics sector". 2019. Accessed May 21, 2019. https:\/\/ec.europa.eu\/info\/food-farming-fisheries\/farming\/organic-farming\/legislation_en20. "Organic Certification Standards" 2019. Accessed May 21, 2019. https:\/\/www.be-ecocentric.com\/html\/labels-bio.