The species makes an acid version for each cannabinoid –CBDa, THCa, CBGa, etc. Acid forms naturally convert over time into active cannabinoids, or can be quickly converted in high heat conditions (typical industry method) –a process called decarboxylation. There is some loss during decarboxylation. The formula for calculating total potential THC is: THC + (THCa*.877)=delta 9 THC (Total potential THC). Again, THC (or Delta 9 THC) refers to the cannabinoid post-Decarboxylation, or total potential THC.
THC or tetrahydrocannabidinol: the active ingredient in cannabis, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects. Thus far, THC is the only cannabinoid proven to give the user a “high”. Cannabinoids are found in both high-THC cannabis, and low-THC cannabis, THC is one of many.
Flower samples are prepped and submitted POST THRESH, which means the content we report is post drying and post mechanical threshing, not flower that has been trimmed and gingerly handled. We submit at least 10 samples of post threshed flower each season, and select one that is most representative of the average content. Average content post thresh is an important factor for large scale production.
It’s true that environment plays a role in many plant traits. With some traits it plays a larger role, and some a smaller role. Scientists refer to this by “G by E” or genetics by environment. There is beginning university research to show that cannabinoid pathways are largely controlled by genetics – over 80%, and the remainder 20% is influenced by environment. This is great news! Stable cannabinoid profiles across regions is absolutely attainable in well-bred varieties, as evidenced by many EU and Canadian varieties. It is likely that the variation seen in the current market is due to poorly bred genetics. As with any plant species, the best seed is well bred for adaptation to your specific region and climate. Though major traits will remain stable, variety performance will vary slightly within a region. Importantly, cannabinoid content should not have significant variances.
Well packaged seed with a label that conforms to federal law Get to know the company. Outlandish claims like 100% feminization, 100% germination, extremely high or low cannabinoid content should be validated with respectable 3rd party data. Proof of stability: Stability means the variety has performed consistently for a number of generations. Asking for data on the parent generation can be helpful in determining of the genetics are stable. This is particularly important for THC content. Well-bred seed should have stable THC content across at least 2-3 prior generations Look for AOSCA certified seed: This is 3rd party data that certifies that the particular seed has been grown according to AOSCA Standards to maintain genetic purity. A seed certifying agency works closely with seed growers to help them follow AOSCA Standards throughout the seed production process. AOSCA Standards apply to hemp and a wide range of field crops, turf grasses, fruits, vegetables, woody plants, forbs and vegetative propagated species available for sale. Seed lots that successfully complete the seed certification process qualify for the official “Blue” Certified seed tag, providing assurance to the seed customer that the seed has met standards for genetic and varietal purity. Look for seed that suits your production methods and equipment. Look for seed that has demonstrated performance in your region, or has been bred in your region using data based breeding. Buy seed once you understand the market that particular variety serves. Identify customers for your crop before you plant.
NWG is aiming to make access to cannabinoids more efficient, scalable and high-yielding. Dioecious production is the least costly production method, on average 100x less than any hand cultivation. Hand production of more traditional bushy type CBD varieties is not going away, as it serves the craft, smokeable flower market well. However, as markets mature, in both cannabis and hemp, the data (see BDS analytics reports) shows a shift from majority smokeable flower to majority extracted products. Hand or small-scale mechanical production solutions are not necessary to serve the extracted product market. In fact, a consistently threshed, while still well-enhanced cannabinoid flower serves the process of extraction even better, as that consistent product extracts better, regardless of which extraction method one uses. As a side note, NWG has developed a genetically skewed gender variety of hemp. Hemp is naturally dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on separate plants. NWG has skewed the ratio to 90 percent female because having seed is valuable and scalable. In contrast, the common method of chemical feminization means the producer gets no seeds and must redo the costly process each season. NWG is aiming to make access to cannabinoids more efficient and high-yielding.
A dioecious plant is one where the male and female reproductive systems occur on separate plants. While both plants produce flowers, one plant has the male reproductive parts and the other plant has the female parts. This is unlike a monoecious plant, which has both male and female flowers.
There are many editing targets of interest in cannabis, including some of the editing events that are of interest in other crops and vegetables. At present, the regulatory path for GE crops is not clear, but certainly very expensive. Many of the GE systems require a transformation system and suffer from the same methodological limitations of transgenics. Even GE systems which do not require a transgenic delivery system require a reliable system for generating plants from protoplasts which is also not a reality today. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the freedom to operate with CRISPR-Cas and other editing methods is uncertain due to litigation around the foundational patents.
At present there is not published, reproducible transformation system for getting transgenic events in to Cannabis. There are some who have claimed to have successfully created transgenic Cannabis but this has yet to be validated independently. Ever more product manufacturers are seeking to gain verification from the Non-GMO Project so the motivation to create new, transgenically-based products is waning. This is particularly true given that creation and deregulation of a transgenic event is on average a 13 year process with costs that can exceed $100M. New West Genetics does not plan on creating, much less, deregulating a GMO cannabis seed for the supply chain. However there is value in utilizing transgenic tolls for validation of gene function with in the R&D setting.
No, NWG is using traditional plant breeding techniques to create varieties adapted to production in the United States. However, we are incorporating modern sequencing technology and statistical genetics methods to speed up the development process. This approach allows us to make more informed decisions, thus minimizing the time to market for improved varieties. Ultimately, all stakeholders in the supply chain benefit from higher yielding hemp carrying value-added traits (e.g. high CBD flower).