Queer Kentucky’s partner 502 Hemp discusses CBD: Is USDA Organic better?

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In the organic trend, consumers are discovering the benefits of avoiding chemicals and pesticides. Certainly, CBD is no exception. USDA organic seals and non-GMO labels are a couple of ways consumers identify quality foods and products. However, does the label make CBD better? No, CBD labeled USDA Organic isn’t better.


The USDA is a voluntary seal in which a product company meets certain government criteria and pays several continual fees according to the USDA website. While the CBD world seems like the Wild West in natural products, it is also misleading having the USDA sticker on a product like CBD.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the CBD oil is a superior product. It doesn’t guarantee a product was grown by a local farmer or processed by the cleanest manufacturing practices. A USDA sticker on a product means that the product paid and met the USDA standard of organic. This extra cost often drives up the price of the product. Ever feel like eating “healthy” or using organic products are too costly? It’s the padded costs of the USDA organic seal.

Natural products, such as CBD, can offer high-quality products without the USDA seal.

How is this possible?

Transparency and open communication with consumers is crucial. Certificates of analysis for CBD offer open communication with lab results of every chemical and cannabinoid present in a CBD product. It also reveals what is not in that CBD product.

502 Hemp’s resources page plainly states the complete absence of pesticides and milligrams of CBD in each batch made. Additionally, CBD products at 502 Hemp use organic MCT coconut oil and other natural organic flavorings. Technically, our CBD products are organic without the added cost of a seal. This keeps our costs down and enables our customers, family, and friends to have quality product without paying extra for a sticker.

So does having the USDA organic sticker truly mean anything different? …Maybe…Maybe not.

Most real hemp farmers in Kentucky simply can not afford to pay for the sticker from the USDA. When it comes to CBD and growing hemp, there are big corporations that have come into Kentucky and started growing indoors and/or bought land that has never been farmed and paid for their USDA sticker. That extra cost may filter down to the consumer and impacts local farmers who cannot afford the USDA process.

Companies with the USDA sticker might be missing other essential food and safety practices set by the FDA.


IOS certifications ensure food safety and prevent potentially hazardous situations. This certification is the basis of a quality product. FDA cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) is another certification that guarantees a different level of cleanliness. Do they also have audit certified FDA cGMP (good manufacturing practices) certifications? Given the choice of having an organic sticker on a product or knowing the manufacturer follows strict cGMP guidelines, it is up to the consumer. 502 Hemp’s manufacturer, Commonwealth Extracts, participates in IOS and is audit certified cGMP. They are the first in the state to be audit certified.

Commonwealth Extracts has set the gold standard in Kentucky processing and continues to produce quality “organic” CBD products. Additionally, their farmers must grow their hemp organically or they will not use it for processing. If any hemp is tested containing pesticides or other contaminates, Commonwealth Extracts will reject the material.

The farmer may then sell the contaminated hemp on the open market to other companies who do not test and thus the contaminated hemp could end up in the CBD supply chain. This is why it is extremely important to know your source. All of the hemp that Commonwealth Extracts uses for 502 Hemp’s products are made from organically grown Kentucky hemp that is third party tested in a certified lab. Commonwealth Extracts’ PhD Chemist, Dr. Ryan McKinney, performs the cannabinoid analysis on all finished products as well.

Quality CBD is more than one label.
It’s a set of certifications that meets or exceeds good manufacturing processes (cGMP). It’s using organic products to meet requirements and going above and beyond for the consumer. Quality CBD starts with quality hemp grown by local farmers which also supports the local economy. It’s a certificate of analysis (COA) to openly communicate the lab results to the consumer.

Discover quality CBD products at 502 Hemp. Our CBD expert staff is here to answer your questions about CBD and provide solid knowledge on the products you and your family are consuming.

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