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Things are shaking up in the hemp industry -- a THC-free hemp strain has been developed by the Spanish company, Hemp Trading. In addition to being THC free, the new hemp strain produces higher levels of CBG (cannabigerol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
But what does this mean? Can hemp really be THC-free, and if so, how can we use it?
What is THC-Free Hemp?
Hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa family. It has been used for centuries for medicinal and industrial purposes and remains in very high demand around the world thanks to its many applications.
Hemp does produce THC, which is the psychoactive component in plants from the cannabis family, but it doesn’t produce large amounts of it and is therefore not known for its high-causing effects like its cousin marijuana.
Hemp also produces cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBDa, CBC, and other substances such as terpenes (limonene, pinene, etc.) and flavonoids. In addition to this, hemp plants are rich with vitamins A, E, B complex, and C, Omegas, and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, among others.
But it is hemp’s THC content which has made it hard to cultivate freely. Since THC has been categorized as a controlled substance in the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971, it is not legal to grow THC-producing plants without special licensing in the UK and the majority of the world.
This has made it complicated to cultivate hemp plants(not to mention cannabis plants) for CBD, which is why the matter is still a bit sensitive in the UK. But the future seems promising now.
Thanks to the efforts of the Spanish company Hemp Trading, there is now a strain of hemp which is completely THC-free. If other companies have access to this strain of hemp, this means that the cultivation of hemp plants for CBD or other purposes can be much simpler, since the THC matter will no longer be involved.
What Uses Can THC-Free Hemp Have?
CBD cultivation is one of the most recent uses for hemp plants. There are certain strains of hemp plants that produce high levels of CBD, and these are used in the production of CBD and other cannabinoids.
The process to extract CBD is lengthy -- especially when there is THC involved, since the laws in the UK only allow less than 0.2% THC in all hemp and cannabis-derived products, including CBD products.
So in order to separate the CBD from the THC in the hemp extracts, there needs to be a thorough isolation process, making the process more complicated, driving up the prices of production and the prices of CBD itself.
Since cannabis and hemp plants naturally have THC in them, there is always the possibility of some THC getting into hemp and cannabis-derived products. However, now that there is a possibility of THC free hemp, there is the promise of these THC-related issues not being a problem (including the high prices!).
In addition to this, the Spanish company, Hemp Trading, has found a way to make this strain of hemp produce increased amounts of cannabinoids, which means that not only will it be easier to isolate the cannabinoids (without the presence of THC), but it will also be much more abundant within the plant, making it much more efficient in the long-run.
The Cultivation of Other Cannabinoids
Hemp doesn’t just produce CBD, but it also produces 100+ other cannabinoids. Many of these are just now being studied, but others have been found to have medicinal potential, which is very promising.
For example, the cannabinoid CBG (cannabigerol) has recently been studied by the British Journal of Pharmacology, and they have found that CBG has many potential medicinal applications and that it could even be used to treat a variety of different ailments and diseases.
Up until now, the actual applications of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes are being investigated, but there are many promising effects being discovered recently. But until we have more information on these effects, we cannot use them with any certainty.
Why THC-Free Hemp Has So Much Potential
For starters, THC-free hemp plants can be a great source for cannabinoids. This means that we can begin expanding the cannabinoid markets and begin further exploration into how cannabinoids can affect and possibly benefit our daily lives.
Secondly, THC-free hemp means lower CBD costs, since the production of CBD and other hemp-derived products will no longer include the time-consuming and cost-inflating process of THC elimination.
THC-free hemp can be the key to world-wide hemp production, and can even open the doors to CBD in countries where THC remains illegal (which is practically the whole world) since there will no longer be any reason to outlaw it for its THC content.
In addition to this, there is a possibility of making this THC-free strain of hemp the ‘common’ type of hemp, meaning all the hemp from here on can be THC-free, further allowing us to incorporate hemp into many aspects of our lifestyles.
So as of now, we are still exploring the future uses of THC-free hemp plants. But from what we know now, we can see that this opens the door to many new possibilities in the hemp-derived product market, and we can only wait and see how the world will use this innovation.