Study Finds Meat of Cows Fed Hempseed Has Safe CBD Levels

Study Finds Meat of Cows Fed Hempseed Cakes Has Safe THC and CBD Levels for Humans

There is interest in feeding cattle hempseed cakes, so researchers at the USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and North Dakota State University conducted a research project to determine the cannabinoid concentration in the various cow tissues after consuming CBD. The results found that the hempseed cakes were nutritious for the cows, and the meat humans typically consume had safe concentrations of THC and CBD.

Hemp farming has substantially grown since the federal legalization of the crop in 2018. Farmers discovered they had a large amount of hemp plant byproduct, so they pressed the material into hempseed cakes which they then fed to cattle. In this study, the researchers assessed the concentration of THC and CBD in the cow’s muscle, kidney, liver and fat tissues at different metabolic stages.

The USDA press release said, “Scientists found that the concentrations of [cannabinoids] in meat products contributed only a small fraction of the total amount global regulatory organizations consider safe for consumers.”

David Smith with the USDA’s Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit also said it would be difficult for a human to eat enough fat from cattle-fed hempseed cakes to exceed regulatory guidelines for exposure to THC.

The researchers also found that hempseed cakes make a very nutritious source of cattle feed because the cakes can provide cattle with crude protein and fiber. This study supplements a previous study in which researchers found feeding cows hemp reduced their stress. The complete study was published in the Food Additives and Contaminants Journal.

Even though researchers have demonstrated how hempseed cakes can benefit cattle, the Food and Drug Administration has still not authorized hemp as an animal food source. Their stance is that there is not enough data concerning safe cannabinoid residue levels in people’s food from animals eating CBD.

This situation frustrates hemp farmers because approving animal CBD products could open new markets and benefit cattle health. The CBD industry is frustrated with the FDA’s slow pace concerning rules development for CBD in foods and supplements. Though the federal government often moves slowly, hope is on the horizon. Some legislators have filed two bills to accelerate a pathway to FDA regulation. This is important because the FDA has said it will not do anything concerning CBD regulations until Congress acts.

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