U.S – Researchers from the North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA’s ARS) have discovered that cattle-fed industrial hemp byproduct hempseed cake retain very low levels of cannabinoids in their muscle, liver, kidney, and fat tissues that are safe for consumption.
As of right now, the amount of THC and CBD residues found in edible animal tissues have not been determined, making it illegal to employ highly nutritive hempseed cakes in animal feeding rations.
A group of ARS and NDSU researchers examined CBD and THC residues in the edible tissues of calves that were fed hempseed cake to see if it could be utilized safely as a source of protein and fiber in cattle feed.
The amounts of CBD and THC chemicals in meat products were found to be far lower than the level that international regulatory agencies deem safe for consumers.
Throughout the feeding period, cattle’s urine and plasma occasionally contained cannabinoid residues, and their adipose tissue occasionally contained low concentrations of CBD and THC combined (approximately 10 parts per billion).
CBD and THC levels in the calves fed hempseed cake were below detectable levels in the liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle.
According to the researchers, it would be very difficult for a person to ingest enough fat from calves fed with hempseed cake for them to exceed legal limits for dietary THC exposure based on the exposure evaluation.
According to the study, hempseed cake with a low THC level can serve as a viable source of crude protein and fiber in cow feed without endangering consumer food safety.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will still make the final assessment and give its clearance for the legal use of hemp products in animal feeds.
On December 20, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill), which, in part, eliminated hemp and hemp-derived products, such as cannabinoids, from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). These products must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The Farm Bill attempted to create a legal framework for the sale of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in the United States, but at best the Farm Bill has created a long and winding road filled with potholes and “road under construction” signs, reports Food Safety Magazine.
Although the legislation declared CBD to be harmless and removed it from the list of restricted substances, it did not address its status under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), nor did it prevent states from passing legislation that forbade the sale of items containing CBD.