Just when you thought you had seen it all in the wonder world of cannabis—one company just released a new variety of cannabis that they claim contains 0.00 percent THC. According to a September 15 press release, Orlando-based Bazelet Oglesby is taking an entirely new approach to cannabis marketing—releasing a plant without the prime cannabinoid responsible for heady, psychoactive effects.
The company is now introducing a new plant variety: Cannabis America, which is “100% genetically-free of the psychoactive and illegal compound delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol [THC].”
The team behind Bazelet Oglesby utilized tissue culture development in conjunction with molecular biology in genomics laboratories at universities located in both the US and Israel, which helped them to establish a genetic and genomics library. This, they say, ensures that the plants contain no traces of THC.
“Cannabis America plants have as much THC as wheat, corn or potatoes,” stated Gary Hennen, who serves as director of Bazelet Oglesby and president of Oglesby Plants International. He continued, “The Cannabis America plant variety is 100 percent THC-free and will help expand hemp production exponentially, particularly here in the US. Farmers who have been reluctant to grow Hemp for fear of possessing an illegal controlled substance can now be a part of the hemp economy without fear of breaking the law and losing their investment.”
Both cannabis grown for recreation and hemp are descended from the same genus and the same species, and separated only by THC content (and a handful of other characteristics). The appeal of cannabis plants free of THC is ideal for children suffering from epilepsy, for instance. Charlotte’s Web—a prime example of low-THC/high-CBD cannabis—was developed by the Stanley Brothers and named after Charlotte Figi, who was a source of inspiration behind the medical cannabis movement. Since then, several other low-THC strains have gained popularity in recent years.
The variety Cannabis America could be used for a variety of applications. However, it may be most useful as medical applications for people who need CBD without any traces of THC.
Crackdowns on hemp farms have been initiated based on minute variations in THC content, and based off of only tiny samples that represent entire crops. “The definition of hemp does not automatically exempt any product derived from a hemp plant, regardless of the delta-9-THC content of the derivative,” the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states. “In order to meet the definition of ‘hemp,’ and thus qualify for the exemption from Schedule I, the derivative must not exceed the 0.3 percent delta-9 -THC limit.”
Considering that the DEA’s definition of hemp is draconian for farmers who accidentally grow hemp with too much THC, thus losing thousands of dollars, Bazelet Oglesby officials hope that some farmers who were reluctant to join the hemp industry will reconsider.