INDUSTRIAL HEMP VS. WHOLE PLANT CANNABIS: HOW MUCH DOES YOUR CBD SOURCE MATTER?

In recent years, the medical cannabis community has been buzzing about cannabidiol, a.k.a. – CBD, and its ability to bolster many health benefits while being free of an intoxicating, psychoactive affect. There are numerous conditions for which scientific and clinical studies have shown the efficacy of CBD as a therapeutic medicine: chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, sleep disorders, and alcoholism – just to name a few! CBD works with receptors throughout your endo-cannabinoid system to fight convulsions, inflammation, and even cancerous tumors.

CBD is non-toxic; it does not leave its users feeling drugged or “stoned,” rather it acts quickly to provide relief to an assortment of ailments. Today, we find CBD available in a seemingly infinite variety – anything from topical salves to chewy, salted caramels to top-shelf dabs – an ocean of possibility for the consumer to navigate. With so many different products, what is your best option? Educating yourself! You will then be able to make a well-informed decision as to what medicine is best for you.

How do those of us in the industry produce CBD medicines? We are left to choose between two main options for sourcing our CBD medicine. One option is to produce CBD as a byproduct from industrial hemp varietals that have been bred and cultivated for their vegetative or seed producing properties. The other option is to produce CBD medicines as a primary product from cannabis flowers that have been bred and cultivated for their medicinal properties – this second option is, without a doubt, preferred because the quality of medicine is miles above what we can produce as an industrial hemp by-product.

The CBD that can be harvested from industrial hemp IS valuable, and it IS worth capturing, however, it pales in comparison to what can be produced from cannabis flowers that were primarily cultivated for medicine, not cultivated for fiber or seed stock, and processed for medicine as a secondary use. Hemp grown commercially for fiber or seed is limited in the amount of THC it can produce – limits were set to reduce the possibility of hemp fields being pilfered by individuals for its psychoactive properties. To be classified as industrial hemp, the flowers must maintain a THC level below .2%  – this low THC requirement prevents the synergistic effect of THC and CBD together. Furthermore – extracting the cannabinoids after having processed for hemp or seeds means the material will have suffered, causing an amount of degradation to the cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes, before we even begin to extract medicine from the material.

At Seed 2 SoulTM Farms, we choose to make our CBD medicine from cannabis flowers that have been purposed for healing. In doing this, we receive back everything we put into it. There is simply more to work with when using medicinal cannabis flowers. Within the CBD-rich cannabis strains we find anywhere from a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio up to a 20:1 CBD:THC ratio, with levels of resin being produced that can yield high quantities of medicine from a relatively small amount of flowers. Furthermore, these flowers, and the medicine they produce, are much more likely to provide a full spectrum medicine – allowing an array of cannabinoids and terpenes to work together, synergistically, to provide a greater benefit – the whole is indeed greater than simply the sum of its parts.

We will always advocate having a relationship with the plant – from the cracking of the seed, all the way through, to the processing of clean, organic medicine for the patients. Any plant that is grown in one of our Seed 2 SoulTM Farms, you can rest assured that they received plenty of love and individual attention – something not possible with large-scale industrial hemp production. Our ladies consistently show us their appreciation of our hands-on cultivation and organic growing methods by blessing us with the best medicine we have had the honor of providing to our patients. We did not pull our methods out of a hat; they have been carefully developed, over the course of years. We are always watching and listening to our beautiful ladies – letting them tell us what they like.

When we choose to make medicine as a byproduct of industrial hemp – it requires a very large amount of vegetative material to produce a small quantity of mid-level quality medicine. This product is definitely beneficial, and worthy of collection – yet it is not on par with the alternative. The production level would not meet the medical demand, nor would the quality level. The world can benefit immensely from the continued breeding and cultivation of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis flowers – neither should be unappreciated. It should also be pointed out that it goes both ways – hemp cultivated for medicinal, cannabis flowers could also serve a secondary purpose for textiles.

However, it should not be a debate as to which produces the more desirable, medicinal product – the data clearly shows the medicinal superiority of cannabis flowers, every bit as much as the data clearly the superiority of industrial hemp, in relation to textile and seed production.

We advocate cultivation of both types of hemp – but advise the community to see that each has it’s primary purpose, for which it is best, and that secondary purposes, although they do not produce the same quality or quantity, they are still viable as supplemental sources of CBD, secondary to their textile and seed uses.

Seed 2 SoulTM Farms and Soil King Signature Series continue to push for clean, organic production methods. We believe in feeding the microbiology in the soil, that it may in turn, provide nurturing love to our medicine – from soil to oil, from seeds to souls. As the cannabis industry moves forward, our mantra remains the same: health before wealth, quality over quantity.

Written by Michael Williams,

for Seed 2 SoulTM Farms and Soil King Signature Series