What are the best plants for extracting and making high quality CBD-rich oil? Cannabis grown for use as a drug, or cannabis grown for industrial hemp? Or does it even matter? When we use the word “cannabis,” we’re usually thinking of consumer and medical grade cannabis with high cannabinoid content and free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals. But “cannabis” can mean a couple of different things.
On the one hand, there’s industrially grown cannabis which is used to make hemp products. On the other, there’s commercially grown cannabis which is used as a drug for recreational or medical purposes.
Hemp plants include plants grown for fiber and plants grown for seed oil. Drug plants include euphoric THC-rich plants and non-euphoric CBD-rich plants.
For this discussion the important difference is that hemp plants and drug plants have different resin contents. Most hemp plants are low-resin plants. Drug plants are high-resin plants.
Medical patients need CBD-rich cannabis oil to treat various symptoms without the psychoactive side effects of THC. But if the source of the cannabis used to create that oil is industrially grown, low-resin “hemp plants,” medical patients are getting inferior, low-CBD medicine.
In short, Industrial hemp is not an optimal source of CBD-rich oil.
But huge interest in the medicinal potential of CBD has catalyzed a rebirth of industrial hemp in the United States.
The problem is with the federal regulations on industrial cannabis production. Federal law prohibits American farmers from growing high-resin CBD-rich drug plants that narrowly exceed 0.3 percent THC. But these high-resin cannabis plants are much better suited for extracting CBD-rich oil than low-resin industrial hemp.
That 0.3 percent THC federal legal limit for industrial hemp is an arbitrary, impractical, and scientifically baseless distinction designed to maintain marijuana prohibition.
In states with progressive marijuana laws like Colorado, farmers are growing high resin CBD-rich marijuana and calling it hemp. These “hemp” growers typically harvest their crop early to minimize THC content.
But if those states export their cannabis products across state lines, their effectively violating federal law. Colorado start-ups are marketing CBD-rich oil to all 50 states, despite the fact that federal law bans the cross-border transport and sale of Colorado cannabis oil products. CBD oil from Colorado grown hemp is not legal in all 50 states.
The sum of all this information is simple: federal law in the United States is hindering the production of safe, legal, CBD-rich cannabis oil for medical use. That’s why medical cannabis advocates argue that caps on THC levels needs to be raised or eliminated.
CBD and THC enhance each other’s therapeutic effects. Most medical patients need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just low THC products.