Hemp farmers in the United States are being introduced to the first THC-free cannabis seeds, developed by Spanish company Hemp Trading in partnership with the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
The Panakeia seeds, which contain none of the psychoactive compound THC but are high in CBG content (18%), are to be produced and distributed in the US by Tesoro Genetics and Front Range Biosciences.
CBG or cannabigerol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in marijuana in lower amounts than THC and CBD but is presumed to be equally beneficial.
The THC-free strain could benefit American farmers greatly as, under current rules, all hemp containing more than 0.3% of THC is required to be destroyed due to marijuana being illegal in the US at the federal level.
However, the interim draft rules from the US Department of Agriculture on hemp farming require labs testing crop samples to report any “measurement of uncertainty” as part of their hemp test results.
This means farmers are protected from criminal charges if their hemp tests for THC levels above 0.3% due to other factors, which can happen.
With the Panakeia seeds, this particular issue disappears. In a statement, the news was welcomed by the CEOs of Tesoro Genetics and Front Range Biosciences.
“Our company’s mission from the beginning has been to provide sustainable and modern solutions to mainstream agricultural practices, and I believe the Panakeia hemp variety will not only encourage more streamlined farming methods, but also introduce more Americans to even more of the potential wellness properties of the hemp plant,” Dr. Jonathan Vaught, co-founder and CEO of Front Range Biosciences, said.
His excitement was shared by Tesoro Genetics CEO John Keating, who predicts Panakeia will mark “a drastic shift” in the hemp market, citing its ability to never fail a compliance test. Moreover, the “high yields and flower quality of Panakeia are exceptional,” he explained.
Finally, Hemp Trading CEO, Ernesto Llosá, said that his company looks forward to entering the American market as it is “key for commercializing Panakeia as hemp is grown here on a large scale.”