Our grandparents regularly consumed CBD (and small amounts of THC) via the meat and milk of cows that grazed on wild hemp before it was torn up and destroyed “like a weed” during prohibition.
Prior to prohibition in 1937, wild hemp grew freely across North America and was a natural part of the diet of all grass-grazing animals, including cows, goats, sheep and bison.
Even pasture-raised chickens pecked at the plants, which means CBD, small amounts of THC and all the other cannabinoids we’ve since discovered were also a natural part of the human diet, via meat, milk and eggs.
This may explain why we have endocannabinoid systems/cannabinoid receptors, discovered in the 1990s.
Unfortunately, hemp was almost entirely eliminated from the landscape (torn up and destroyed like a weed) by the mid-1950s, when possession of the plant became criminalized.
Fortunately, Congress finally caught up with science in 2018 and made it legal to grow hemp in America again, recognizing that not all cannabis plants were bred to have high concentrations of THC.
With that hurdle out of the way, hemp growers are petitioning the government to approve the plant as a livestock feed, and the government is listening!
Last year, the US Department of Agriculture spent $200,000 to study just how much cannabinoid content the meat, milk and eggs of hemp-fed animals contains.
The animal-feed ingredient approval process typically takes up to four years, but FDA authorities have promised to fast-track it, which could reduce the wait to 1-2 years, according to Hemp Industry Daily.
But some farmers aren’t waiting for permission.
Pennsylvanian Kreider Farms added a line of hemp-fed eggs to its Chiques Creek brand last December. The chickens are fed with 20% hempseed meal, which the farm claims produces eggs with more omega-3s, lutein, vitamins B12, B2, B5, E, biotin, choline and selenium.
And ranchers in Colorado started introducing the “weed” to their cattle as soon their governor ordered a study on hemp as a livestock feed in 2017.
“We’ve been adding about 10 percent to 20 percent of our pelletized hemp to feed for cattle and pigs,” says Pauli Roterdam Audacious Farms in Denver, Colorado.
“What we’ve seen are healthier animals going for 10 to 20 percent more at auction. Their coats look better. They weigh more. And that’s just from four months on our hemp feed.”
In recent years, humans have been focused on receiving the vast nutritional benefits of hemp via direct consumption of the plant, but the most complete way of reintroducing hemp to our diets involves letting animals pre-digest it for us (the way bison have been doing for thousands of years), Roterdam believes.
“We think we’re going to establish even more rare cannabinoid contents, returning the waste and regenerative qualities back to the soil, which adds more value to our animals, soil and people, returning hemp and CBD to our diet the way it was 100 years ago.”