About half of the world market for hemp oil is currently used for food and food supplements (de Guzman 2001). For edible purposes, hempseed oil is extracted by cold pressing. Quality is improved by using only the first pressing, and minimizing the number of green seeds present. The oil varies in color from off-yellow to dark green. The taste is pleasantly nutty, sometimes with a touch of bitterness. Hemp oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids (of the order of 75%), which can easily oxidize, so it is unsuitable for frying or baking. The high degree of unsaturation is responsible for the extreme sensitivity to oxidative rancidity. The oil has a relatively short shelf life. It should be extracted under nitrogen (to prevent oxidation), protected from light by being kept in dark bottles, and from heat by refrigeration. Addition of anti-oxidants prolongs the longevity of the oil. Steam sterilization of the seeds, often required by law, allows air to penetrate and so stimulates rancidity. Accordingly, sterilized or roasted hemp seeds, and products made from hemp seed that have been subjected to cooking, should be fresh. The value of hemp oil from the point of view of the primary components is discussed below. In addition, it has been suggested that other components, including trace amounts of terpenes and cannabinoids, could have health benefits (Leizer et al. 2000). According to an ancient legend (Abel 1980), Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, survived a 6-year interval of asceticism by eating nothing but one hemp seed daily. This apocryphal story holds a germ of truth—hemp seed is astonishingly nutritional.
Traditionally, hemp stalks would be water-retted first before the fibers were beaten off the inner hurd by hand, a process known as scutching. As mechanical technology evolved, separating the fiber from the core was accomplished by crushing rollers and brush rollers that would produce a nearly clean fiber. After the Marijuana Tax Act was implemented in 1938, the technology for separating the fibers from the core remained "frozen in time".
About 9% of those who experiment with marijuana eventually become dependent according to DSM-IV (1994) criteria. A 2013 review estimates daily use is associated with a 10-20% rate of dependence. The highest risk of cannabis dependence is found in those with a history of poor academic achievement, deviant behavior in childhood and adolescence, rebelliousness, poor parental relationships, or a parental history of drug and alcohol problems. Of daily users, about 50% experience withdrawal upon cessation of use (i.e. are dependent), characterized by sleep problems, irritability, dysphoria, and craving. Cannabis withdrawal is less severe than withdrawal from alcohol.
Hi Colleen, it's almost a year later and I'm wondering how you're doing. I'm experiencing a recurrence of Stage 3 ovarian, originally diagnosed in 2011. I've decided to get some chemo, not sold on another 6 cycles though. As a new MMJ patient, I'm still going to go through with Rick Simpson Oil (THC+CBD,) and I just joined a program with my local dispensary to get CBD capsules for $2 each when I order them at least 30 at a time. I hope you're doing well!! I'm off to do more research on dosing. **NOTE: If you have ANY experience with CBD treatment of ovarian cancer, PLEASE respond. Thank you!!
Kent, My mother has suffered from severe migraines since she was a child. Six weeks ago, she received the hemp oil tincture (I do not know what dosage). She does not take it daily. She rubs a drop or two on her temples at the start of a migraine. The drops worked more effectively for her than her medication did, and now that is all she uses. Hope this helps.
I have lower back pain with some arthritis and arthritis in my hands.ive recently tried CBD Oil. It really does work. I have the drops and ointment. They both work. Because of the back pain I never would have been able to go on a hike with my family. We had a lot of fun. And "No Pain", all day. I'm also Type 2 diabetic. Anxious to see what my A1C is next month. I'm a believer.
There are new CBD companies coming online every week – these span the range from truly awful to really great. So how to choose the best? The quality of the CBD oil itself is obviously the most important factor – and many companies do take the quality of their products seriously. To reward those companies, we gave more weight to the quality of the product than any other category.
Cannabis lowers the pressure in the eye that causes optic nerve damage leading to glaucoma. Research has shown conclusively that marijuana users experience lower internal eye pressure while the body metabolizes THC. However, the psychoactive side effects of using THC to treat glaucoma make cannabis a nonviable medication for most people with the disease.
The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, D.O., a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
Lewis has even built his own machine to process the hemp. Using a Patagonia grant, he created a piece of equipment called a “break”, which incorporates design details borrowed from early European flax roller breaks. Lewis’s invention is a one-of-a-kind machine. It works by separating the hemp’s woody core from the fibers which are used in textiles. According to Lewis, the highest quantity of finished hemp fiber processed in a day using the machine is around 60lbs – which means about 600lbs of raw material. A newer version of the break, which Lewis is currently working on, will have a capacity to produce about 2000lbs per day of raw material.
Concerned about Mykayla’s stomach cramps, Krenzler, who lives in Portland, Oregon, sent a sample of the oil off to Going Green Labs in Albany, Oregon. Like most labs catering to the cannabis industry, Going Green mainly performs THC potency tests. According to Krenzler, when the lab tested his sample, it found that the Real Scientific Hemp Oil contained much more THC than HempMedsPx had claimed—3.8 percent, instead of roughly 1 percent. Krenzler said he was “disturbed” by the finding, and also by the implications it had for other parents of sick children. Medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, but Krenzler noted that in other states that have not legalized pot, anyone purchasing a product with more than a trace amount of THC could find themselves in legal jeopardy. “I feel that HempMeds had misrepresented their product,” Krenzler said.
For many, the medical and therapeutic potential of cannabis is what makes legalizing the marijuana plant such an important political and social task. Federal prohibition has established barriers to comprehensive cannabis research in the United States. However, researchers in other countries continue to make significant contributions to our knowledge of the cannabis plant and how it affects the human body.
No ongoing clinical trials of Cannabis as a treatment for cancer in humans were identified in a PubMed search. The only published trial of any cannabinoid in patients with cancer is a small pilot study of intratumoral injection of delta-9-THC in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, which demonstrated no significant clinical benefit.[19,20] In a trial (NCT02255292) conducted in Israel, oral cannabidiol (CBD) was investigated as a single salvage agent for recurrent solid tumors. The study was projected to be completed in 2015; however, no results have been published. A small exploratory phase II study (GWCA1208 Part A [NCT01812603]) was conducted in the United Kingdom that used nabiximols, a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD in a Cannabis-based medicinal extract oromucosal spray, in conjunction with temozolomide in treating patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. The study enrolled 21 patients. Final results have not been published.
Our award-winning support staff, experienced cultivators, and network of healthcare practitioners are here to help remove barriers to medical cannabis. We’re honoured to be part of a movement that’s helping Canadians across the country access their medicine; and as we grow we will continue to provide patients with reliable access to safe, consistent, and effective medical cannabis.
Rather than keeping people out of the industry, Money thinks regulators should focus on helping farmers sell their products: for example, by connecting them with the "biomass brokers" who deal in the fibers, stalks, and seed matter produced by industrial hemp. "What I'm finding is that a lot of farmers in Wisconsin don't know what to do with their products," she said. "We tried to get a list of licensed farmers to help connect them with brokers, but the state wouldn't release that list."
CBD interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) or endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1980’s, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response. Like an acrobat on a highwire, as the environment around us impacts our normal balance, the endocannabinoid system “corrects” by mediating our body’s reaction to keep us level.
This is a huge, HUGE step for N.C. First of all farmers can FINALLY make money off land that has grown tobacco for generations. FINALLY doubter I finding out there are many uses for the plant. Perhaps one of the biggest things is the impact on the environment. Most products, if not all, are biodegradable. Also, a huge factor is that in the field of medicine. Will this lead to medical and/or recreational marijuana? Time will tell. As for me, I quit smoking it 20 years ago. I do, however, believe any and all forms of cannabis should and will be made legal. Legal, if for no other reason, so we can stop making people who smoke it into criminals, filling up our jails and prisons. This will free up police, etc.. to finding real criminals. Last, but defiantly not least, IMHO, there is the N.C. aspect. That being I thought we would never, EVER see this time in N.C. Even if it is just industrial hemp for now, it’s a start. Who knows, in the not too distant future, legislatures and law enforcement will become open minded enough to legalize all forms of cannabis, HOPEFULLY. With the youth of these times moving into the right fields, and of course us boomers weighing in, it won’t be too long. AMEN
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France is Europe's biggest producer (and the world's second largest producer) with 8,000 hectares cultivated. 70-80% of the hemp fibre produced in 2003 was used for specialty pulp for cigarette papers and technical applications. About 15% was used in the automotive sector, and 5-6% was used for insulation mats. About 95% of hurds were used as animal bedding, while almost 5% was used in the building sector. In 2010/2011, a total of 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) was cultivated with hemp in the EU, a decline compared with previous year.
No, as long as the plant is used correctly then no it’s not a bad thing. I’m sure there’s probably more good capability about that plant that people know or don’t know. No matter how it’s administered, as long as used properly it’s a good thing. It probably has more healing capabilities than people know about and since big Pharma or whoever it is out there discovered this, that’s probably why they made it illegal for all we know. Yes, I know there’s no money in cure which would hurt big Pharma but oh well! If they want to keep us away from the cure and keep us all sick, I say go for it anyway and go for the cure.
Furthermore, medical cannabis use is legal in many more places than recreational marijuana use. Current research, alongside patient and caregiver testimony, attests to the many medicinal applications of marijuana. From pain to serious neurological diseases, medical cannabis is emerging as a safe and viable alternative to many common prescription medications.
In the U.S., we live in a culture where more is often perceived as being better. And it’s easy, without even thinking about it, to apply that approach to CBD dosing. But when it comes to CBD, more is not necessarily better. In fact, for many, less CBD is more effective. One way to determine your optimal dosage is to start with a small amount of CBD for a couple weeks and then slowly increase your dosage, carefully taking note of symptoms, until you’re seeing the results you want.
Ten trials have evaluated the efficacy of inhaled Cannabis in chemotherapy-induced N/V.[35-38] In two of the studies, inhaled Cannabis was made available only after dronabinol failure. In the first trial, no antiemetic effect was achieved with marijuana in patients receiving cyclophosphamide or doxorubicin, but in the second trial, a statistically significant superior antiemetic effect of inhaled Cannabis versus placebo was found among patients receiving high-dose methotrexate. The third trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial involving 20 adults in which both inhaled marijuana and oral THC were evaluated. One-quarter of the patients reported a favorable antiemetic response to the cannabinoid therapies. This latter study was reported in abstract form in 1984. A full report, detailing the methods and outcomes apparently has not been published, which limits a thorough interpretation of the significance of these findings.
CBD is a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, which may also contribute to an anxiolytic effect. This likely means the high concentrations of CBD found in Cannabis indica mitigate the anxiogenic effect of THC significantly. The cannabis industry claims that sativa strains provide a more stimulating psychoactive high while indica strains are more sedating with a body high. However this is disputed by researchers.
The challenge to find lighter and longer-lasting energy storage devices (e.g., batteries) can be found in almost every sector. Hemp could prove to revolutionize battery life by aiding in the development of faster, smaller and cheaper supercapacitors. A supercapacitor is an energy storage device that can discharge powerful infusions of energy, needed only in small bursts. Such powerful discharges are used in braking systems of electric vehicles, the powering on of computers and new technologies such as rapid phone charging or cordless tools.
Jump up ^ "Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v Prince (Clarke, Stobbs and Thorpe Intervening) (Doctors of Life International Inc as Amicus Curiae); National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Rubin; National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Acton and Others". The Constitutional Court of South Africa.
It’s easy to see why vaping has become such a popular method for consuming marijuana. The method is remarkably discrete and produces none of the telltale “weed smells” that often betray cannabis users. Vape pens and other hand-held devices are portable and convenient. They’re free of many of the harsh marijuana plant compounds that can harm your lung health, like tars. And companies are getting better at crafting high-quality, flavorful vape cartridges with a wide array of cannabinoid profiles.
Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.
However, it is important to note that the production of derivatives or products made from whole industrial hemp plants, including sprouts, or the leaves, flowers or bracts of those plants, cannot be authorized by a licence issued under the IHR. Most activities with whole industrial hemp plants, including sprouts, or with the leaves, flowers or bracts of the plant, fall outside of the application of the IHR. These activities are controlled under the CDSA and are not authorized under the IHR."
Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug in the world, for no reason other than the fact that it produces a psychoactive chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol. Still, recreational marijuana use, which involves pursuing the euphoric sensations produced by cannabis consumption, is steadily becoming more and more legal, both in the United States and abroad.
The use of Cannabis as a mind-altering drug has been documented by archaeological finds in prehistoric societies in Eurasia and Africa. The oldest written record of cannabis usage is the Greek historian Herodotus's reference to the central Eurasian Scythians taking cannabis steam baths. His (c. 440 BCE) Histories records, "The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy." Classical Greeks and Romans were using cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa. In 1545, cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber. In North America, cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown for use in rope, clothing and paper.
Hemp, (Cannabis sativa), also called industrial hemp, plant of the family Cannabaceae cultivated for its fibre (bast fibre) or its edible seeds. Hemp is sometimes confused with the cannabis plants that serve as sources of the drug marijuana and the drug preparation hashish. Although all three products—hemp, marijuana, and hashish—contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces psychoactive effects in humans, the variety of cannabis cultivated for hemp has only small amounts of THC relative to that grown for the production of marijuana or hashish.
The term kief refers to the sticky, bulbous crystalline formations on the tip of a gland called a “trichome.” Trichomes are external resin glands packed with the chemicals that give marijuana its flavors and smells, called “terpenes.” They also contain high concentrations of cannabinoids. These chemicals which interact with our body to produce marijuana’s signature effects.
Hi, Congrats on finishing chemo & radiation that’s awesome!! I wish you the best of luck!! I was actually wanting to know about dosage for cancer as well..My parents both have recently been diagnosed with cancer 4 months apart and are currently going thru chemo together. I have tried looking for the dosage info but can never find what i’m looking for..I want to try to help lesson the chemo side effects and hopefully kill some of the cancer cells. Can someone please help us?Thank You Christy
This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
Jump up ^ Blest-Hopley G, Giampietro V, Bhattacharyya S (May 2018). "Residual effects of cannabis use in adolescent and adult brains - A meta-analysis of fMRI studies". Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 88: 26–41. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.03.008. PMID 29535069. This may reflect the multitude of cognitive tasks employed by the various studies included in these meta-analyses, all of which involved performing a task thereby requiring the participant to reorient their attention and attempt to solve the problem at hand and suggest that greater engagement of this region indicates less efficient cognitive performance in cannabis users in general, irrespective of their age.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in both cannabis and hemp. By using stringently controlled organic hemp – which only contains trace amounts of THC – we ensure that our lab here at Royal Queen Seeds can extract all of the CBD goodness, without any worry of THC contamination. RQS CBD Oil contains less than 0.2% THC, making impossible to get high with it, and legal in most EU countries.
Cannabis has long had an image problem, because of the extremely widespread use of “narcotic” cultivars as illegal intoxicants. The US Drug Enforcement Administration has the mandate of eliminating illicit and wild marijuana, which it does very well (Fig. 54–56). Those interested in establishing and developing legitimate industries based on fiber and oilseed applications have had to struggle against considerable opposition from many in the political and law enforcement arenas. The United States National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) information web site on marijuana, which reflects a negative view of cannabis, is at www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/Marijuana.html, and reflects several basic fears: (1) growing Cannabis plants makes law enforcement more difficult, because of the need to ensure that all plants cultivated are legitimate; (2) utilization of legitimate Cannabis products makes it much more difficult to maintain the image of the illegitimate products as dangerous; (3) many in the movements backing development of hemp are doing so as a subterfuge to promote legalization of recreational use of marijuana; and (4) THC (and perhaps other constituents) in Cannabis are so harmful that their presence in any amount in any material (food, medicine or even fiber product) represents a health hazard that is best dealt with by a total proscription.
It’s also worth noting that more and more people now use cannabis for medicinal purposes, as it is known to offer pain relief for some chronic conditions, as well as stimulate the appetite for people who are sick and may not feel like eating (such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy). Despite evidence that cannabis has medical benefits, you should always discuss your options for medical treatment with your doctor and use medical cannabis under their supervision.
Researchers in New Zealand have studied whether cannabis can be used to treat severe motor and vocal tics in those suffering from Tourette syndrome. The study concluded that subjects who took a controlled THC-CBD medicated spray showed marked improvement in the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics post-treatment. Although the study is only a small clinical trial, it is one of the first to specifically analyze the effects of cannabis on Tourette syndrome.
Several studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting in the advanced stages of illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Dronabinol (tetrahydrocannabinol) has been available by prescription for more than a decade in the USA. Other therapeutic uses of cannabinoids are being demonstrated by controlled studies, including treatment of asthma and glaucoma, as an antidepressant, appetite stimulant, anticonvulsant and anti-spasmodic, research in this area should continue. For example, more basic research on the central and peripheral mechanisms of the effects of cannabinoids on gastrointestinal function may improve the ability to alleviate nausea and emesis. More research is needed on the basic neuropharmacology of THC and other cannabinoids so that better therapeutic agents can be found.
Today, you’ll find nutty-tasting (hull-less) hemp seeds and their oils baked in breads, cookies, and cakes, blended in smoothies, or tossed into quinoa and pasta dishes, burgers, pizza, vegetables sautés, soups, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, and salad dressings. It’s a niche market, with a growing number of specialty outlets due to a growing understanding of this food’s nutritional benefits.
Fig. 3. Photograph of Cannabis sativa. Left, staminate (“male”) plant in flower; right, pistillate (“female”) plant in flower. Fig. 4. United States National Institute of Health, University of Mississippi marijuana plantation site, showing variation in plant size. A tall fiber-type of hemp plant is shown at left, and a short narcotic variety (identified as “Panama Gold”) at right.
My Wife had Polio at age 5 and the lingering damage to the L leg and muscle drove her crazy. At age 21 she was using heavy doses of muscle relaxers and pain meds. Needed to bomb herself at night to get some sleep. A Post polio group in West Palm Beach told her about Marijuana and she got some from the Jamaican health aide that was her constant helper. After 5 months she quit all meds. All of them. Slowly came out of the drugged state the meds had caused from 15 years of use. We separated good friends and I know she has gone back to school and getting a degree. All from the help of a plant from Jamaica. I never understood the statement this plant has no viable medical value. Something smells in the politics of this prohibition. Shame.
I totally agree. The greed of the pharmaceutical with their lobbyist to stop the government from making it a schedule III drug so much more research can be done. They do not care about the people, just money. We the people must rise up and let our government know, we care more about our friends and family than the money they give, to you congress men/women and senators get, and we VOTE. The only power we have is writing or calling congress men/women and senators, huge rallies and each and every ones VOTE. They would rather stay in office, than even receive big monies from big pharm for their campaigns. VOTES will win over.
Laboratory evidence indicated that cannabidiol may reduce THC clearance, increasing plasma concentrations which may raise THC availability to receptors and enhance its effect in a dose-dependent manner. In vitro, cannabidiol inhibited receptors affecting the activity of voltage-dependent sodium and potassium channels, which may affect neural activity. A small clinical trial reported that CBD partially inhibited the CYP2C-catalyzed hydroxylation of THC to 11-OH-THC.
Some immediate undesired side effects include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills and reddening of the eyes. Aside from a subjective change in perception and mood, the most common short-term physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, increased appetite and consumption of food, lowered blood pressure, impairment of short-term and working memory, psychomotor coordination, and concentration.
Jump up ^ Russo, E. B.; Jiang, H.-E.; Li, X.; Sutton, A.; Carboni, A.; Del Bianco, F.; Mandolino, G.; Potter, D. J.; Zhao, Y.-X.; Bera, S.; Zhang, Y.-B.; Lü, E.-G.; Ferguson, D. K.; Hueber, F.; Zhao, L.-C.; Liu, C.-J.; Wang, Y.-F.; Li, C.-S. (2008). "Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia". Journal of Experimental Botany. 59 (15): 4171–82. doi:10.1093/jxb/ern260. PMC 2639026. PMID 19036842.
An in vitro study of the effect of CBD on programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines found that CBD induced programmed cell death, independent of the CB1, CB2, or vanilloid receptors. CBD inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor–positive and estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner while having little effect on nontumorigenic mammary cells. Other studies have also shown the antitumor effect of cannabinoids (i.e., CBD and THC) in preclinical models of breast cancer.[19,20]
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names,[n 1] is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract.
Yet when one looks at the industry more broadly, there is cause for concern. In February, as part of an investigation into the marketing claims of six hemp oil companies, the FDA analyzed 18 CBD products. What it found was disturbing: Many of these supposed CBD products were entirely lacking in CBD. Of the products tested, six contained no cannabinoids whatsoever. Another 11 contained less than 1 percent CBD. The product that tested highest in CBD, at 2.6 percent, was a capsule for dogs. In states that have legalized CBD, regulations can require CBD products to contain at least 5 percent CBD, more often 10 or 15 percent.
Both in Canada and the US, the most critical problem to be addressed for commercial exploitation of C. sativa is the possible unauthorized drug use of the plant. Indeed, the reason hemp cultivation was made illegal in North America was concern that the hemp crop was a drug menace. The drug potential is, for practical purposes, measured by the presence of THC. THC is the world’s most popular illicit chemical, and indeed the fourth most popular recreational drug, after caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. “Industrial hemp” is a phrase that has become common to designate hemp used for commercial non-intoxicant purposes. Small and Cronquist (1976) split C. sativa into two subspecies: C. sativa subsp. sativa, with less than 0.3% (dry weight) of THC in the upper (reproductive) part of the plant, and C. sativa subsp. indica (Lam.) E. Small & Cronq. with more than 0.3% THC. This classification has since been adopted in the European Community, Canada, and parts of Australia as a dividing line between cultivars that can be legally cultivated under license and forms that are considered to have too high a drug potential. For a period, 0.3% was also the allowable THC content limit for cultivation of hemp in the Soviet Union. In the US, Drug Enforcement Agency guidelines issued Dec. 7, 1999 expressly allowed products with a THC content of less than 0.3% to enter the US without a license; but subsequently permissible levels have been a source of continuing contention. Marijuana in the illicit market typically has a THC content of 5% to 10% (levels as high as 25% have been reported), and as a point of interest, a current Canadian government experimental medicinal marijuana production contract calls for the production of 6% marijuana. As noted above, a level of about 1% THC is considered the threshold for marijuana to have intoxicating potential, so the 0.3% level is conservative, and some countries (e.g. parts of Australia, Switzerland) have permitted the cultivation of cultivars with higher levels. It should be appreciated that there is considerable variation in THC content in different parts of the plant. THC content increases in the following order: achenes (excluding bracts), roots, large stems, smaller stems, older and larger leaves, younger and smaller leaves, flowers, perigonal bracts covering both the female flowers and fruits. It is well known in the illicit trade how to screen off the more potent fractions of the plant in order to increase THC levels in resultant drug products. Nevertheless, a level of 0.3% THC in the flowering parts of the plant is reflective of material that is too low in intoxicant potential to actually be used practically for illicit production of marijuana or other types of cannabis drugs. Below, the problem of permissible levels of THC in food products made from hempseed is discussed.
Given the uncertainties and handicaps associated with hemp, it is fortunate that there are compensating factors. As noted, as a crop hemp offers some real environmental advantages, particularly with regard to the limited needs for herbicides and pesticides. Hemp is therefore pre-adapted to organic agriculture, and accordingly to the growing market for products associated with environmentally-friendly, sustainable production. Hemp products are an advertiser’s dream, lending themselves to hyperbole (“healthiest salad oil in the world,” “toughest jeans on the market”). While the narcotics image of C. sativa is often disadvantageous, advertisers who choose to play up this association do so knowing that it will attract a segment of the consuming population. In general, the novelty of hemp means that many consumers are willing to pay a premium price. It might also be said that those who have entered the hemp industry have tended to be very highly motivated, resourceful, and industrious, qualities that have been needed in the face of rather formidable obstacles to progress.
In 2017, the cultivated area for hemp in the Prairie provinces include Saskatchewan with more than 56,000 acres (23,000 ha), Alberta with 45,000 acres (18,000 ha), and Manitoba with 30,000 acres (12,000 ha). Canadian hemp is cultivated mostly for its food value as hulled hemp seeds, hemp oils and hemp protein powders, with only a small fraction devoted to production of hemp fiber used for construction and insulation.