High CBD Medical Hemp vs Industrial Hemp
High CBD Medical Hemp is a variety of cannabis specially selected for high levels of the therapeutic compound CBD (Cannabidiol) and low (typically >0.3%) levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
High CBD hemp meeting these criteria can be grown and sold legally in some regions under industrial hemp legislation.
Best Hemp for CBD Production
High CBD hemp is very different from true industrial hemp, however. Industrial hemp has been selected for fibre or seed production, and are often very tall plants with little bud structure.
Over the last decade most CBD production was from this type of plant, generally as a waste product from fibre production in Europe.
In the last few years the focus has shifted to flower production using specially selected high CBD hemp cultivars showing “drug type” cannabis characteristics (better known as marijuana – but in this case with low THC and high CBD and other cannabinoids.)
“Drug Type” CBD Hemp Cultivars
Growing hemp for CBD is more effective when the plants are drug-type plants with high levels of flower and resin production. This means that that High CBD Cultivars are preferred for use as a flower product, or for extraction to create full spectrum medical products. Whole plant biomass of medical hemp is also popular for extraction to create medical products.
Note that many strains of industrial hemp have low THC levels, but only because their total resin production is low. Their CBD:THC ratio is often low, meaning much of the cannabinoid in the extract is THC. When these plants are extracted, the result can be a high CBD, high THC extract which is rarely legal to extract under industrial hemp legislation.
For this reason, farmers wanting to cultivate hemp for CBD production should choose strains specifically selected, tested and approved for high CBD, low THC resin production.
These strains will tend to give the highest yield of CBD per acre while keeping THC levels low and being easier to manage as a drug type crop.