North America is bustling with Hemp crops this growing season, and there’s talk of more and more planting in the seasons to come. It appears the majority of more recent Hemp cropping efforts are for the production and harvesting of CBD, the highly sought after medicinal compound found in Cannabis. Historically, Hemp has been cultivated in North America for Food and Fibre ie stalks for rope or textiles and seeds for their oil and protein content.
Regulations vary in North America from Country to Country, State to State and Province to Province to greater or lesser extents.
The majority of these Hemp crops being grown for their CBD content have tight restrictions placed on seed sourcing. This has created a situation where producers are forced by legislation and law to select and buy “approved” hemp varieties. Most of these varieties are not likely to produce over 6% CBD. In fact, most will be closer to 3% while keeping with THC values of 0.3% or less (as often mandated).
Now, take modern CBD drug cultivar genetics and compare. There are feminized seed sources that re capable of producing over 20% CBD consistently that also carry a beneficial terpene profile. However, some of these genetics may produce 0.3 to 0.7% THC (not enough to create a high), for example, along with 5 to 10X increase in CBD versus “approved” hemp varieties.
So, to sum that up in the context of hemp crops vs CBD, a producer has to grow 5 to 10 times the acreage to achieve the same end yield of CBD, which is not likely to be as high a level of quality, simply to satisfy current regulatory standards. To reiterate, the 20% + CBD strains (versus 3-6%) are not producing enough THC to get anybody high.
In short, that’s nuts. That’s 5 to 10 times the resources and expenses to achieve a lesser end result. And to what end, who really benefits from this?
Regulation for growers needs to address CBD production specifically—lumping CBD production and Hemp into the same crop, especially for mandatory seed sourcing, is a mistake. Other countries have created workable allowances for high CBD strains with very low THC levels that work for farmers and CBD producers, ie 1.0%THC or less is allowable, ie Colombia, European Nations, etc.
Undeniably, the increase in Hemp farming licenses issued is a positive step forward in renewing the value of Hemp production in North America. However, due to modern breeding and selection, crops for CBD may not really be “hemp” anymore. It’s like comparing the brick weed of the 70’s to what is harvested at present day and age in a modern cultivation facility; they are simply worlds apart.
While following regulations is not optional, having the voice of the growing community heard in public forums where decisions are influenced or made surrounding Cannabis crop production is as important as it ever has been. Facts are difficult to debate, especially when resources like fresh water for crops are becoming increasingly scare in important growing regions—growers need policies and regulations that are based on facts and the needs of the public whether as consumers or co-inhabitants of this planet and it’s shared resources.
The motto, is as strong as it’s ever been and should not be forgotten or cast aside in the face of relaxing legislation and regulation, and that’s OVERGROW.