It's a question being raised by an increasing number of people around the world: is it gluten-free? It's asked by athletes, those with celiacs disease, and health-conscious individuals. As CBD use increases, considering if a given hemp-derived product is gluten-free is important for millions of users across the world.
Luckily, the hemp plant is naturally free of gluten, but that doesn't mean that all CBD products are as well. There are important considerations based on the type of product and ingredients inside that you need to consider if you're looking for a gluten-free option.
Gluten is a specific type of protein that is commonly found in grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt, durum, semolina, farro, triticale, and kamut. Gluten is what gives dough it's stretchy and elastic consistency - it helps foods maintain their shape. Gluten is most commonly found in foods and drinks containing wheat, barley, and rye. Examples include bread, soup, pasta, cereal, beer, malt, and yeast.
There are three primary groups of people who choose to avoid gluten:
For those who don't have any gluten-related issues, it is common to think that gluten-free is just a fad. As you can see from the descriptions above, this couldn't be further from the truth. For those who fall into one of these 3 groups, avoiding gluten is an important, health-impacting decision.
CBD products are used by such a wide range of individuals, that the intersection with a gluten-free population is a guarantee. There are even stories of those with Celiac Disease seeking CBD specifically. Since hemp extract is a new ingredient for many, general knowledge on the plant and CBD products containing it's extract is not common.
If you're looking to CBD oil and wondering if it's gluten-free - the first thing to know is that the hemp plant is naturally free of gluten. While this is fantastic, it doesn't paint the whole picture. CBD products are produced using an extract from the hemp plant, but this extract is almost always combined with additional ingredients to create the end product.
What this means is that to find a gluten-free CBD product, you need to be looking at the entire ingredients list.
Hemp products are sometimes processed in plants that also handle gluten-containing products. The plants can also be grown in close proximity to other gluten-containing plants. This means the chance of cross-contamination is present. That said, this is most common in the hemp seed industry, not in the hemp CBD industry.
Hemp seeds are grown as a source of protein and processed with other similar foods. As we've discussed in-depth, quality CBD products will be utilizing the flowering tops of the hemp plant during extraction, not the seeds. Most quality CBD growers and processors are working exclusively with hemp. That said, this is something to consider when choosing a product, and sometimes hempseed oil is used as a carrier.
Since the CBD-rich hemp extract is gluten-free, looking at the other ingredients in a product is the key to determining if a product meets the definition. These products are commonly gluten-free:
The two big product categories that are at-risk for gluten content are:
Armed with this knowledge, be sure to read the label for each product you're choosing. Also, seek out high-quality brands, specifically, those who's products are manufactured in hemp-CBD exclusive facilities which lowers the risk of cross-contamination.
Here at Big Sky Botanicals, our products are all gluten-free!