What really qualifies as High CBD Hemp genetics?
High CBD Hemp or “CBD Rich Hemp” can refer to a few different scenarios. What percent CBD is characterized as High CBD or CBD rich? In marijuana, 3-4% CBD has been termed to be considered high. This is the case as most marijuana is very low in CBD. Hemp is a much different story.
To understand more fully, we need to look at how cannabis has gotten to the point that it is today.
Cannabis Sativa includes both hemp and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are the same species. Hemp is the term for cannabis that is at or below .3% THC. Marijuana is the term for cannabis that is over .3% THC.
Prohibition can be blamed for the majority of marijuana plants being so low in CBD. Prohibition breeds high concentrations of the banned substance in black markets. For example: During Alcohol Prohibition, beer nearly disappeared. It is much easier to transport a few bottles of moonshine than a barrel of beer that have similar effects.
The same thing happened with marijuana. When a breeder would find a plant that was stronger than the others, he would focus on those genetics without realizing he was breeding the CBD out of them. After decades of these practices, it is very rare to find CBD rich plants in the marijuana pool. This is why 3-4% CBD is considered high for marijuana.
Hemp on the other hand had its THC bred out off it. Fiber hemp plants have better qualities when they aren’t spending their time producing THC and terpenes. So, a lot of cannabinoids and terpenes were naturally bred out of hemp in order to focus on creating the best fiber plants. Later on when marijuana became demonized, laws were passed to require hemp plants to posses no more than .3% THC as they were already running similar numbers.
Terpene profiles are the main factor in distinguishing consumable cannabis plants from non consumable plants. Standard Industrial hemp plants may not be consumable, but it is possible to find hemp that runs up to 7% CBD. The strain “Finola” from Finland is one of these such plants. Studies have suggested that CBD is 20-100 times more effective when grown with consumable terpene profiles. This is why we find CBD from these plants to be of very low grade. Many companies are claiming that CBD from similar genetics is considered High CBD Hemp or CBD Rich Hemp. We disagree!
Although 3-4% CBD is considered rich for marijuana, this is more of a timing issue than anything. We have grown marijuana plants upwards of 20% CBD. It just isn’t very common yet. Our current “Ma’at” hemp strain is running 16-17% CBD and under .3% THC. This plants smells like marijuana, tastes like marijuana, smokes like marijuana, and gives the same effects as our CBD products.
One can spend years crossing “Finola” genetics without getting much over 10% CBD. One would also have a tough time changing the terpene profile from a non consumable to a consumable plant. It is very difficult to breed cannabinoid and terpene content back into a plant. For these reasons, we consider a High CBD Hemp plant’s terming to currently start around 10-12% CBD. We actually have a 12% CBD hemp plant that we love working with because of its terpene profile. It also has high amounts of other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG.
Most companies are claiming that their 30% CBD oil is made from CBD Rich Hemp. We disagree. Our CBD oil runs from 60-75% CBD depending on the extraction method. 30% CBD oil is extracted from 3-7% CBD fiber and seed producing non consumable hemp genetics.
So, in conclusion, a High CBD Hemp or CBD Rich Hemp plant should be considered over 10% CBD (this will change with time as genetics improve). As cool as a 20% CBD plant is, the quality of the terpene profile is most important part. Any plant that induces headaches when smoking is not a good starting point for producing CBD products.
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