As the great American philosopher Kermit the Frog once said, “it’s not that easy bein’ green”. But when it comes to proponents of the power of plants, it’s tough to find many camps more devout than the vegan and hemp/cannabis communities. In fact, some studies report that the population of the United States that follows a vegan lifestyle has grown from around 1.6 million in 2014 to well over 19 million. Over that same period, CBD product sales in the US have increased from $108 million to $1.6 billion.
It would be hard to live in 2022 without hearing about veganism or CBD but that doesn’t mean you don’t still have questions. Maybe you want to know where they both stem from? Maybe you’re considering turning over a new leaf? Maybe you want to branch out into a more ethical and sustainable way of life? Maybe you’re wondering if I’m ever going to run out of plant puns? (The answer to that last one is, thankfully, yes). In this article we’ll take a dive into veganism and hemp-based products so that you can arm yourself with all the information you need. Now, let’s get to the root of all this (last one, I swear).
What is Veganism?
There is some variability in the ways different people who identify their diets and lifestyles as vegan practice it, but the plain language definition of veganism is the practice of avoiding the use or consumption of all animal products. For most vegans this means not eating animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and even honey but also not wearing clothing derived from animal products like wool and leather. This often extends to avoiding cosmetic and toiletry products that may contain animal products or be tested on animals, and even abstaining from pharmaceutical products that involve animal trials.
The reasons for deciding to become a vegan can vary as well. For some it may be purely dietary, or a matter of personal taste, for others it could be motivated by environmental concerns about commercialized meat consumption or sustainability, and for many it is purely about eliminating the exploitation of animals by humans.
For someone just beginning to live a vegan lifestyle, identifying whether a product is vegan or not can be difficult because animal products have a habit of sneaking their way into seemingly safe items. Things like gelatin, beeswax, as well as certain types of flavorings, dyes, and preservatives are often used in ‘natural’ products that don’t truly qualify as vegan. However, thanks to the growing popularity of the vegan lifestyle, there has been a corresponding growth in the availability of vegan products, as well as the clear labeling of products as vegan.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally within the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in a variety of plants, as well as naturally within your own body. These compounds interact with your bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is vital to maintaining balance within a wide range of your body’s processes. You can learn all about the endocannabinoid system here but some of the processes the ECS helps to maintain include:
- Short term memory
- Motor activity
- Immune system
- Digestive system
When your ECS is out of balance, one or more of these processes could also be thrown out of whack, causing unwanted symptoms that range from physical discomfort to mental distress. If this happens, a person can supplement their ECS with CBD products to help restore that balance and provide a variety of therapeutic effects. The Green Dragon’s blog has an abundance of resources if you’d like to learn more about CBD or the ECS.
Because CBD is derived from the hemp plant, it is completely legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD is also not psychoactive, which means that it does not have mind altering effects. Because it is not psychoactive, CBD will not get you high. If a high is what you’re looking for, you’re going to need a THC product.
What is Delta 8 THC?
When you think of THC, you’re probably thinking of Delta 9 THC which is the prominent cannabinoid associated with the cannabis plant. Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid with a very similar chemical structure to Delta 9, but thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is federally legal when it is derived from hemp plants. Because it occurs in relatively small concentrations in hemp, Delta 8 is often synthesized from CBD or isolated and concentrated before being re-added to a hemp-based product. Like Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC is psychoactive. This means it will get you high in addition to the other therapeutic effects it provides. If you’d like a more in depth look at what Delta 8 is and how it is cultivated, you can read an in-depth article here.
The practice of avoiding the use or consumption of any animal products.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive, naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp as well as other plants. It can be used as a supplement for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in providing therapeutic support to a wide variety of the body’s internal processes.
Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that occurs naturally in hemp plants and can also be derived chemically from CBD. It has therapeutic and mind altering effects when interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Yes. In their pure forms both CBD and Delta 8 THC are vegan because they contain no animal products, nor are any animal products used when extracting or synthesizing them. However, some end products like capsules or edibles may contain animal products, so be sure to purchase a product that is clearly labeled as vegan.
Are CBD and Delta 8 THC Vegan?
Yes. In their pure forms, CBD and Delta 8 THC are both vegan products, as they are derived from hemp plants without the use of any animal products. However, tinctures, capsules, and gummies can ultimately end up with ingredients added that can make a CBD or Delta 8 THC product no longer vegan. Gelatin is often used in the making of capsules and gummies, and preservatives can be added to tinctures, so it is important to make sure that the product you use comes from a reputable source and includes labeling that specifies that it is in fact a vegan safe product. At The Green Dragon CBD, you can find a variety of products suitable for those living a vegan lifestyle.
How do I Add CBD or Delta 8 THC to a Vegan Diet?
If you like the visceral calm of a classic smoke, CBD and Delta 8 THC flower are available to be rolled up or packed up in any way you prefer. Flower also has the added advantage of being very unlikely to be contaminated by any kind of animal product in the process before it reaches its final home.
CBD capsules are a perfect way to supplement your ECS if you want a simple, no-nonsense way to add cannabinoids to your body. CBD capsules can also be paired with other supplements, like vitamins for general health or melatonin for a better night’s sleep. However, the types of casing for a capsule and pill may affect the product’s vegan status, so be sure to find one that explicitly states that it is vegan friendly.
Gummies, candies, and other treats are another great way to introduce CBD and Delta 8 THC into your routine. However, this is where a vegan should be the most careful. Depending on the kind of edible, you could run into any number of animal products including milk, eggs, white sugar, animal fats, gelatin, or non-vegan food coloring. If the edible has been produced using only vegan-safe ingredients, it will be clearly labeled on the packaging or in the product’s online description information
Tinctures and Oils
Tinctures and oils are a great vegan option when it comes to CBD and Delta 8 THC supplements. This is where you’re going to find the purest concentration of the cannabinoid of your choice, and they are unlikely to be contaminated by food products. They can be easily added to a cup of coffee, a smoothie, on top of salad, or just consumed as is. Still, because of the current lack of regulation in the CBD industry, it is important to buy from a reputable source that uses high quality ingredients that are laboratory tested, and clearly labeled as vegan.
Your Next Step
Whether you’re a lifelong vegan or just starting down the path, there is a wealth of options in the CBD and THC world for you to find therapeutic relief without compromising your way of life. If you’re ready to see what we have for you, browse our products above or simply type ‘vegan’ in the search bar at the top of the page. We’d also love to hear from our vegan customers about their favorite vegan tips, products, or recipes below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, SCOTT JONES
Scott Jones is a freelance writer, author, and digital marketer from Akron, Ohio. He loves to research and write about any and all topics that fascinate him, including CBD. He could afford to watch a few fewer movies and eat a few more vegetables. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Instagram, or read other posts by Scott.