The industry of growing hemp for CBD is a growing business that has seen much increase over the past few years. This compound is useful in treating pain, anxiety, depression, and even easing cancer-related symptoms. When hemp contains more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gets you high, state and federal regulations are crossed and therefore the plant is considered marijuana and not hemp- therefore, illegal. A new Cornell study proves that genetics, rather than environment, is the determining factor of THC content and CBD to THC ratios in hemp, according to Larry Smart, senior author of the study and professor in the horticulture section of the School of Integrative Plant Science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. More research and breeding is required in order to select appropriate genetics that lead to high CBD and low THC. Growers should also be sure they get genetically high-quality CBD-producing seeds as opposed to varieties with THC producing genes. The USDA decision to raise the THC limit for what is considered a ‘negligent crop’ from 0.5% to 1% THC lowers the legal risk for growers. Overall, these recent studies at Cornell show that hemp can have increased percentages of THC as a result of genetics, and not environmental stress.
Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12880