By Martha Zink for The Island Connection
The Kiawah Island Garden Club welcomed Louis Miles of Clarity Nutraceuticals Jan. 17 for an informative meeting about hemp and its various uses.
A letter was read from Crystal Thomas about her personal experiences with growing hemp in South Carolina.
The state created a pilot program for farming hemp in 2018, and the laws are still being amended and changed. Only the growing of industrial hemp is allowed, with strict standards for testing to assure the THC (the intoxicant ingredient) level is below .3%. The percentage can change between testing and harvesting. There are other difficulties, including intense labor and the problem of planting seeds or clones propagated elsewhere, with the resulting lack of control over genetics and pest infestations. Our warm, humid climate presents challenges for hemp farming, especially during the drying and storage of biomass before extraction.
Miles’ interest in science began at Academic Magnet High School. He attended Clemson, earning a degree in biochemistry with a minor in business administration and elective studies in plant medicine and environmental toxicology. He worked in several areas of research, but he wanted to study the health applications of cannabis, so he went to work at a start-up in Colorado that was focused on cannabinoid preparations. He saw the need for advanced cannabis product manufacturing in the Southeast, where the hemp market lacked control and experienced manufacturers, so he formed CBD Carolinas in Charleston in 2018. The company has evolved into a health supplement manufacturer, Clarity Nutraceuticals, which is dedicated to innovation and sustainability.
Hemp is grown for the flowers, fiber and oilseed. Industrial hemp is grown on large farms, densely planted and harvested for fiber and oil seed. Many tobacco farmers in Kentucky have converted to growing hemp. The fiber has traditionally been used for rope, and the hard inner fiber is used for insulation, fiberboard and Hempcrete. The hulled seeds, rich in omega-3, are used for nutrition, and oil pressed from seeds is used for cooking oil, cosmetics and biofuel.
Hemp for medicine comes from unpollinated flowers, which grow large to attract pollinators. One hundred thirteen components have been found in the resin, including CBD, CBN (to induce sleep) and THC. Terpenes, the aromatic component, are mostly lost in the drying process. There is promising research from cell studies, animal models and human testing that show it can be used as an anti-inflammatory and for pain relief and stress reduction. Only one FDA use has been approved, however – for epilepsy. You can find information on websites pubmed.com and scholar.google.com and in a book called “Hybrid” by Noel Kingsbury. If the FDA approves use of an ingredient in medicine before it is marketed as a supplement, it cannot be marketed in supplements, but Congress is actively trying to change that.
Hemp is planted in the spring and harvested in three to four months, dried down to 2% to 13% and the “crude oil” is extracted by solvents such as ethanol, CO2 or butane. If it is not distilled, it is considered full spectrum and can cause failed drug tests.
CBD is delivered in several ways: Tinctures, an extract dissolved in oil or capsules. Powder-based capsules can provide excellent absorption. Topical cream for localized pain works well, but beware of “transdermal” creams unless they are sterile because they can break down skin and introduce contamination. The FDA is unlikely to approve of CBD in food unless “generally recognized as safe,” which is not required for supplements. Examples of CBD in food include gummies, honey or chocolate. Selling hemp flower for smoking is technically illegal in South Carolina.