To the surprise of many people, the use of hemp straddles several sectors. You can don attire made from hemp, use hemp stationery or even have a breakfast cereal sprinkled with hemp seed. Among these are the use of hemp seed to medicinal purposes. Like CBD oil which cure different illnesses like cancer (find out what is the best CBD oil for cancer).
This begs the question – are we limiting ourselves with regard to the various uses hemp can be utilized for?
Stretching our imagination leads us to the possibility of hemp wine. This is not farfetched for Texas-based TVM Wines. The company is blowing the minds of consumers across 37 states with a hemp-infused wine.
The company’s products, developed for years, are a collection of wine cocktails with a variety of flavors such as “Texas tea” and “rum and Coke.” The exotic flavors aside; the names (“Covert,” “Taboo” and “Forbidden”) are also tinged with a certain playfulness that evokes a secretive and daring adventure.
The company says that the marketing buzz around the names is not meant to overshadow the benefits of hemp as the core ingredient in the wines. The goal remains to help consumers access their favorite drinks but in a more healthy formulation.
The wines produced by the company contain hemp oil which has been scientifically proven to provide consumers with certain benefits. Although the company does not make any health claims about drinking the wine, hemp oil is known to be a dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6, linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.
The company would have preferred the wines to contain CBD oil, a hemp extract which has been proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent potent in treating chronic pain associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. CBD oil also regulates gastric motility giving it the ability to treat Crohn’s disease and colitis.
CBD oil is also a very powerful antioxidant making it suitable for treating skin diseases and in the prevention of multiple sclerosis. Additionally, the oil is used in treating schizophrenic patients due to its antipsychotic properties. Check out here the best CBD oil for sale.
The company’s vice president of sales and marketing, Please Hill says that their efforts to produce CBD-infused wine were curtailed by the federal classification of CBD as an illegal substance. The liberal regulations in Europe have actually made CBD-infused wine a best-seller there. In fact, for TVM Wines, pushing for CBD wasn’t the only hurdle; it took months of tough negotiations with regulators to be allowed to use hemp oil in their wines.
Hill insists that the government’s position is frustrating for an industry with so much potential.
DEA, TTB, AND THE STRUGGLE TO BRING HEMP WINE TO MARKET
The inspiration to develop hemp wine was actually borne out of an idea floated by Friends of the family-owned winery. This was about two years ago when the idea was shot down by Ron Mittelstaedt, TVM Wines’ chairman, and Hill’s father. His opposition was based on federal regulations classifying hemp alongside marijuana as illegal drugs. There was also the stigma associated with hemp and what the public reaction would likely be if the company produced a product laced with an illegal substance.
The discussion stalled until Hill’s sister Beth started exploring the health benefits of hemp. Through her sister’s research, Hill, who suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder, found out that CBD had the potential to treat her condition. The treatment turned out to be more helpful compared to the pharmaceutical drugs she was using previously.
The research, coupled with the actual interaction with hemp led the sisters to convince their father that the plant was worth exploring. The journey to develop a new product became much longer when they encountered government bureaucracy in securing the green light for their invention.
In the past hemp fiber was extensively used to produce strong ropes and sail canvas that was critical for ships mostly during times of war. At some point Fabrics made from hemp were also popular with their textures similar to linen while its medicinal properties were a legend. The plant was considered an important cash crop in the United States until the early 20th-century when it was associated with marijuana. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. government says that hemp is related to marijuana and hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level as defined in the statutes.
In the 2014 Farm Bill hemp can only be cultivated for research purposes. This has made it extremely difficult to grow hemp on an industrial scale in the U.S. However, individual states have been gradually passing legislation to regulate how the crop is cultivated. Under the farm, bill experts have advised that hemp-based products like bubble gum CBD are not expressly illegal in the United States.
The main challenge is with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the regulatory agency that still classifies CBD as a Schedule I drug. This position makes hemp illegal based on its CBD content. Following DEA’s position, the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Board (TTB) declined to approve alcohol products laced with CBD. Even trace amounts of CBD (700 parts per million of CBD) were rejected.
TTB is responsible for licensing of alcoholic products across the United States. For a product to be distributed nationally, TTB assigns a “COLA number” to it for ease of identification after a thorough vetting process.
After the application to use CBD oil and other hemp products like CBD chill gummies were rejected, Hill’s company settled for hemp oil. TTB wasn’t impressed yet since there was no data on similar hemp-infused products.
Most products in the market were merely flavored with hemp but did not have significant quantities of the plant. Hill had to use the example of one unique product that was already in the market. This was Colorado High Vodka which incidentally is vodka distilled from hemp. The presence of a point of reference helped solidify TVM Hemp Wines’ case. However, it was only last year, after a whole two years of back and forth, when TTB agreed to grant TVM Hemp Wines a cola number.
It was a celebration for Hill when the approval came on November 30, a day before the anniversary of her recipe’s formulation.
After the labels were approved later that December the company launched the first hemp wines that hit stores across Texas in January.
REDUCING THE STIGMA AROUND CANNABIS, ONE GLASS OF HEMP WINE AT A TIME
TVM Hemp Wines has come up with interesting names for its wines that evoke curiosity. From “Fantasy” to “Forbidden,” the names bring to the fore the decades of mistrust leveled against hemp due to its relationship to cannabis.
The arduous process to get government approval for TVM Hemp Wines is evidence of the stigma around hemp and the legal hurdles proponents have to surmount in their quest to bring this plant to market as a safe ingredient.
As these legal hurdles fade, albeit slowly, Hill is basking in the initial success as her wines excite the market. Early indicators show that customers are embracing hemp despite the stigma and are eager to try new inventions.
The company’s hemp wines became available in stores across Texas back in January. According to Hill, the products are literally flying off the shelves with the first sale registered 20 minutes after stocking the shelves. For customers outside Texas, the wines can be shipped to 37 states via Vinoshipper.com where TVM Hemp Wines runs a dedicated page. See more at Cbd Oil Adviser.
Hill still harbors great inventions with regard to hemp. She hopes for the day she can produce traditional, dry red wine infused with CBD. It is a dream that can be boosted if progress can be made in the journey towards legalization. Initiatives such as the Industrial Hemp Farming Act have been hailed as a first step in the right direction but have not found support in Congress.
Nevertheless, hemp advocates and enthusiasts are optimistic that the legal obstacles will gradually give way and open up the hidden potential of this remarkable plant. There are many reputable companies in Europe producing very high-quality CBD products like organic CBD oil capsules that are natural and effective and this can only be replicated across the Atlantic if the necessary legal framework is put in place to protect investments.