WeedLife News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

The critical difference is the pace at which these compounds build up effects. Here are some others.

Hemp and marijuana plants contain many active ingredients. However, a lot of focus is on two specific natural compounds found in these plants: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Most consumers have recently found out that there are two types of THC molecules in hemp and marijuana — Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. How do you choose your edibles now? While the list of top Delta-8 gummies can make things easy, some of you might want to find out more about Delta-8 and Delta-9.

Here is everything you need to know about these two compounds, including the key differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9.

THC: Short Recap

If you were wondering what ingredient is responsible for the “high” effect, it’s THC. It is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. Marijuana contains it in higher concentration than industrial hemp.

Will Congress Boost Hemp Total THC Limit To 1%?

Women’s History Month may have passed, but it’s always a good time to honor the strong women working in male-dominated industries like STEM. Not only is cannabis male-dominated, so are many different technological areas like science and engineering. But, women are working in these spaces and fighting for greater representation. 

The Winter Emerge 2020 Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo featured a panel adorned with women making moves in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and cannabis. Titled “STEM Women of Cannabis,” and moderated by Mara Gordon, the panel covered the pros and cons of working in industries that often lack female representation. 

We Need More Women in STEM

Mara Gordon developed some of the first data-driven treatment protocols utilizing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis for seriously ill patients. She also co-founded Aunt Zelda’s, Calla Spring Wellness, and Zalira Therapeutics Limited. Gordon is a part of the engineering sector of the STEM industries. 

Moderator and Aunt Zelda’s Co-Founder, Mara Gordon

Gordon explained, “I’m a process engineer by training and started out in a very male-dominated industry and moved into engineering after burning out from a very, very stressful male-dominated field and I went right smack into another one. When I first started working in Silicon Valley and in the private industry with these skills, I was often just overwhelmed with the differences and how we were treated. Even subordinate males to me were treated better sometimes by upper management. Even so, bringing those skills over to cannabis has been really an amazing journey for me.” 


Cannabis infused beverages are quickly becoming a burgeoning vertical of the entire cannabis industry and this is a trend that we are excited about.

After Constellation Brands (STZ) made a $4 billion investment in Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) (CGC), we knew that cannabis infused beverages were going to be a major part of the market over the long-term and continue to monitor how the industry advances.

After Constellation decided to enter the legal cannabis industry, additional alcohol companies such as Molson Coors (TAP) jumped on the cannabis beverage bandwagon via a partnership with HEXO Corporation (HEXO.TO) (HEXO) and this is a relationship that we are closely following.

During the last year, we have noticed a substantial increase in the number of companies that are focused on the cannabis beverage market. Aphria (APHA.TO) (APHA) took a different approach when compared to Canopy Growth and HEXO and acquired SweetWater Brewing Company for approx. $300 million.

We are favorable on the approach that Aphria took with the US market due to the existing infrastructure that SweetWater has. Shortly after the deal was completed, Aphria announced a merger agreement with Tilray (TLRY) and we expect the combined company to be the largest cannabis business in the world.

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Cannabis companies haven't made many deals outside of its own industry, but a couple of the more notable ones have involved tobacco. Altria (NYSE:MO) invested $1.8 billion into Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) back in 2018 to take a 45% stake in its business. And last month, British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) invested roughly $176 million in OrganiGram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI), which represents a 20% stake in the cannabis company.

Not only is the cannabis industry moving further into the mainstream as more states legalize marijuana, but there's also a growing pressure on the tobacco industry to diversify its offerings. And a new projection could put pressure on tobacco companies to act sooner rather than later.

Could all the smokers disappear?

According to analysts at Jefferies, conventional smokers could be gone from many markets around the world within just two decades. This isn't because smokers won't still demand the products, but instead that countries are trying to move away from smoking and tobacco companies by offering reduced-risk products (RRPs). Analysts point to vaping and oral nicotine as alternatives that smokers may end up turning to. 

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) sells IQOS, an electronic cigarette that heats tobacco rather than burns it. However, it still has a long way to go in proving it can be a meaningful alternative for smokers. One quarter of the $28.7 billion in net sales that Philip Morris generated last year was related to RRPs. And of that total, IQOS accounted for just 7%. Switching to other products likely isn't all about safety, either, as tobacco companies also need to find more avenues to grow. Philip Morris' 2020 revenue was down from 2019's tally of $29.8 billion, and its top line is nearly unchanged from what it was in 2017. British American Tobacco's sales also declined in 2020 and over two years are up just over 5%.

Why cannabis may be the ideal option for tobacco

A big reason why industries are hesitant to get involved with cannabis is that it's risky. Federal prohibition means that products can't be transported into the U.S. from abroad or across state lines, and some businesses aren't willing to risk damaging their wholesome images. That's what Berkshire Hathaway executive Charlie Munger pointed to in a 2019 interview, saying it would be a mistake if soft drink giant Coca-Cola were to ever attempt to mix marijuana with its products.

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Cannabis and innovation go hand-in-hand. From growing to packaging technology, consuming to creating, cannabis influences many innovative ideas.

Innovation in cannabis isn’t always as visible as it is in other industries. Cannabis is still budding and because it’s been illegal for so long, much of its innovation has happened behind closed doors.

As space continues to grow, entrepreneurs are becoming more comfortable sharing their ideas and advocating for a more transparent industry.

The cannabis community is ripe with innovators developing thoughtful solutions to emerging problems. Here are a just a few bringing their ingenuity to the space.

Presto Doctor

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Researchers believe they may have identified the chemical primarily responsible for complaints regarding the smell of some marijuana and hemp cultivation operations.

We recently mentioned complaints in connection with the smell of hemp farms – some of them anyway – are far from being uncommon. But it turns out what has been described as a “skunky-like” odor may have nothing to do with certain terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in many plants previously thought to be responsible.

A research team consisting of Byers Scientific, Iowa State University and Texas-based odor experts used a triangulation approach of analytical chemistry to potentially identify the primary culprit as being 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (321 MBT). This compound is among seven contained in a skunk’s spray that give the critter its smelly reputation.

321 MBT is also the same chemical causing the skunk-type aroma and odd flavour in “light-struck” beer. This occurs when beer is exposed to strong light, which causes certain compounds in hops to degrade. Light-struck beer is also known as “skunked” beer and is one of the reasons beer is usually stored in brown rather than clear or green bottles, as brown glass transmits less visible light.

There’s a connection between hops and cannabis – they are in the same plant family (Cannabaceae).

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The consumer goods business has seen its share of fads—and then some. Often it seems that not a day goes by when a special ingredient or other differentiator hailed as “transformative,” “groundbreaking” and “game-changing” simply fades away, consigned to the dustbin of marketing past. From hero to zero, the cycle is exceptionally swift.

Product makers are increasingly searching for that extra little something that can help appeal to discerning consumers—and make a splash on social media. They are forced to find that ingredient, additive, or differentiator which can start and sustain buzz while also meeting consumer needs. Yet finding a genuine superstar is very difficult.

Almost all of us can call to mind one of those miracle ingredients that were hailed as the next big thing, only to become the last nothing. At one point, you could taste the tang of ginger in every other health drink—that is, until consumers realized they didn’t really care for it all that much. Just a few years back, you couldn’t wash your face without feeling the harsh scrub of micro-beads, until we realized the damaging effect they have on the environment. Glitter even had its moment in cosmetics, until someone sagely pointed out that it breaks down on the skin, potentially causing harm.

In this challenging environment, we might be tempted to dismiss anything that draws too much attention too quickly as mere hype. And in most instances, we’d be right to do so. But cannabinoids present a different case for a number of substantive reasons.

Since the breakout of CBD over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of hype. But the reality is that far from being a fad, cannabinoids stand to have profound effects on the way we make and market hundreds of consumer products across dozens of major industries. I believe there are three main reasons we will continue talking about cannabinoids well into the future:

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Yep, you read that right: you can now get paid to study cannabis! Cannatech healthcare company Veriheal just announced a $20,000 Innovation in Cannabis scholarship for students pursuing cannabis degrees. 

The scholarship first launched in 2020, but last year only gave out $10,000 in scholarship awards. This year, it has been doubled to offer 20 $1,000 scholarships to those who qualify. 

“With this scholarship fund, we’re putting $20,000 directly into the hands of a new generation of innovators who will help shape the future of our industry,” said Veriheal co-founder and co-CEO Joshua Green. “The cannabis category is growing at an extraordinary rate, and there are many complex problems that must be solved across all sectors, from finance and technology to science and education. At Veriheal, we’re fortunate to be in the position to support budding entrepreneurs from all walks of life and bring diverse, fresh perspectives to the cannabis field.”

How To Apply

To qualify for the scholarship, high school seniors and college students must submit a 1,000+-word essay explaining how they plan to improve the cannabis industry. Winners will be chosen based on these essays.  

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Thanks to global cannabis reform victories, the legal industry is spreading to virtually every corner of the planet through new concepts like crowdgrowing. Cannabis may still be prohibited in various countries, however, momentum for reform is greater than ever and the future of the cannabis industry is extremely bright.

No other industry is as exciting as cannabis right now, and with legalization still in its infancy by most measures, the potential for profit is astronomical.

With that in mind, it’s not exactly shocking that innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors of all types are scrambling to try to get into the legal cannabis industry. Everyone wants to get in on the action, and understandably so.

Unfortunately, the barrier to entry into the cannabis industry has been very daunting historically, and that is especially true for cultivation operations. Cultivating cannabis takes land, structures, equipment, staff, and other resources, and that doesn’t even get into licensing and permits. The monetary costs involved create a situation that involves a lot of risk.

To make matters worse, that is the best-case scenario. In many legal cannabis jurisdictions cultivation licenses are not even available because rules and regulations are such that only a limited number of licenses are up for grabs. 

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The vape mail ban which goes into effect tomorrow, is said by government officials to be for the protection of children. However, as blocking the safer way of smoking, while offering no better options, the vape mail ban will likely hurt kids even more.

It’s almost here, the last day for us to legally send you out delta-8 THC vape carts. Due to the vape mail ban which is about to go into effect, we will no longer be able to send out vape carts for a little while. So literally ‘right now’ is your last chance to take advantage of these great Delta-8 THC deals, so we can mail it out while it’s still legal to do so.

Ban on shipping delta-8 THC, CBD, e-Juice carts & more

The whole thing has been fishy from the get-go, with Trump signing off on the omnibus corona relief bill last December, setting into motion a flurry of new laws concerning how tobacco products and cannabis products can be sent in the mail. How would such laws be part of a corona relief bill? Good question. The Omnibus Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief Package is an omnibus bill, which means it functions differently than other laws. They are made to include many different laws on many different topics, and as such, are not debated in congress as they are too expansive and varied to debate. They simply need to pass a vote and that’s it.

Omnibus bills often carry ‘riders’, or unrelated laws that have nothing to do with the main subject matter, and are known as a way for the government to pass legislation under the cover of night. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means what it sounds like. Doing something in darkness so no one can see. Other similar methods of keeping pending legislation away from regular citizens, and passing unpopular laws, include voting on laws in the middle of the night, voting on holidays, not releasing draft legislation to the public, and promoting bigger media stories to divert attention.

So we can infer from how it was passed that it wasn’t desirable for us (the public) to know a whole lot about it. The bill had actually already passed both houses of congress by last summer in a different form, but President Trump originally had no desire to sign the bill. He did so later on in the year. The provision for the mail vape ban, called the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, goes into effect on March 28th. The ban is specifically on tobacco vape products, with cannabis products falling into this category due to 2008’s Federal Law for Control of Tobacco Products bill.

mail vape ban

Industrial hemp is an incredibly sustainable and versatile crop that is able to produce a range of products. These include: textile, paper, ropes, insulation material, fibre boards, bioplastics, compost, animal bedding, fuel, paint, feed, food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and medicinal preparations.

The crop also possesses a range of environmental benefits. So, what are they?  

Hemp grows easily in a wide range of climates with few resources. It is also naturally resistant to most insects and kills weeds without chemicals. This means fertilisers aren’t needed as the crop grows densely and regenerates quickly.

Through the process of phytoremediation, hemp is able to remove harmful contaminants to improve soil quality. Hemp converts large quantities of extracted nutrients into useful products due to its large root system digging deep into the soil, stabilising and protecting the plant from erosion.

Hemp has a crucial role in a greener and more sustainable society. It is excellent at carbon sequestration, rapidly capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. For every tonne of hemp produced, 1.63 tonnes of CO2 is removed from the air. Hemp absorbs 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. This is approximately equivalent to 34,496 miles travelled by an average car.

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The uncertainty of the pandemic has forced many people to be more health-conscious and aware of what they’re putting into their bodies.

Being healthy is so much more than just vigorously washing your hands — although that doesn’t hurt.

It’s also being mindful of the hidden chemicals or pesticides that we eat, drink, and even smoke. 

While cannabis has been deemed essential due to all its healing, medicinal qualities, it’s important to research how your cannabis was cultivated.

But, how does one determine if what they’re smoking is actually organic or just more corporate greenwashing? 


The future of cannabis in cosmetics in China looks bleak following an announcement by China’s National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) that it plans to ban cannabis compounds for use in cosmetics.

According to the Notice on Amending Inventory of Prohibited Cosmetic Ingredients for Public Comments posted on NIFDC’s official website, the authority is proposing to prohibit the cosmetic applications of cannabis-related ingredients, including cannabis sativa kernel fruit, cannabis sativa seed oil, and cannabis sativa leaf, as well as CBD.
 
The public has until April 19 to submit their feedback.

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Cannabis concentrates have been around for about as long as humans have been enjoying the benefits of cannabis, but the way they’re made and consumed has evolved dramatically in just the past few years. If there’s a single style of concentrate that epitomizes this seismic shift in cannabis technology and culture, it’s definitely shatter.

Produced in crystal clear sheets of glittering golden glass, nothing else looks quite like a slab of superb shatter. The shimmering clarity invites you to gaze into its reflective surface, while the tantalizing aroma (and the promise of swift, efficient cannabinoid impacts) urge you to, well, shatter it and consume the intoxicating vapor hidden within.

Shatter is more than just one of the most popular concentrate styles on the market, it’s a symbol of the new wave in cannabis and a high watermark for ambitious extractors who want to make the best. Its dramatic aesthetics often inspire shock and confusion in the uninitiated — and even those who enjoy dabbing shatter often know little about how its made.

The History of Shatter

Long gone are the days when smoking hash in America meant purchasing a piece broken off a brick shipped from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Morocco: By the early ’90s, the advent of prefabricated “kief boxes” and “bubble bags” inspired a dry sift and ice water hash boom that transformed the U.S. market into a largely domestic affair. NorCal dispensary shelves were overstocked with bubble hash by the early ’00s — just in time for the next revolution in cannabis: solvent extraction, which is how shatter is made.

What Is Solvent Extraction?

Solvent extraction isn’t new — it’s used in countless industrial processes, including the decaffeination of coffee and the production of perfumes and food flavors. In fact, none of the “new” techniques for making concentrates are really new, but the application of solvent extraction to cannabis was absolutely groundbreaking. Solvent extraction is complicated, but essentially, a solvent is run through cannabis plant matter, which strips the desirable oils from the plant. Because of its low cost and wide availability, butane has emerged as the most popular solvent option for hydrocarbon extraction, which has led to the term Butane Hash Oil or BHO.

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Connoisseurs prefer it, lab tests confirm it. Producers of high-quality cannabis extracts can’t afford not to use it.

Three methods for extraction have been dominant in the cannabis market so far.

The primary difference between them is the solvent they use to process the plant into its final, consumable form. Extraction using CO2 was the first method to gain widespread acceptance in the recreational cannabis market.

CO2 can produce the shelf-stable oils used in vape cartridges and continues to be a popular option. Ethanol was another common solvent long-used by small producers, though professional-grade equipment for production at scale came along significantly later.

But it’s the third method, extracting cannabis with hydrocarbons (butane and propane) that has the most potential to serve consumers in the mature marijuana markets of the future. We can already see those preferences taking hold in the present.

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For much of the past year, the threat of the COVID-19 virus has overshadowed one obvious fact: the major cause of death in America traditionally has been heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 655,381 U.S. citizens died in 2018 from heart ailments (edging out cancer, which placed second at 599,274).

And when it comes to heart problems, many experts in the health field blame refined sugar as a major cause.

“(O)ne area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health,” said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Speaking to the Harvard Medical School newsletter, Harvard Health Publishing, he added, “Excess sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented.”

In a 15-year study, published in 2014, Hu and a team of colleagues discovered that those who consumed between 17 and 21 percent of their calories from added sugar had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who consumed 8 percent or less.

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We all know about delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Recently, delta-8 THC started making a strong impression as an alternate form of THC, with slightly different benefits. We even know there’s a delta-10 THC. So, how many THCs are there out there, and how are they similar?

Well, it’s finally happening, the new vape ban will stop retailers from being able to send vape products through the mail in the US. Luckily, you can still pick up products in dispensaries, and you can still order until the ban starts. Just a few days left, so check out these great Delta-8 THC deals before we can’t send them out to you anymore!

Delta-9 and delta-8 THC

The first guy to synthesize THC was chemist Roger Adams. He was the first to identify the compound in the 1940’s, although he was not able to isolate it. This was done in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam and his team, although Adams was the first to isolate CBD. Mechoulam was able to benefit from Israel’s less restrictive cannabis research laws. He and his team wanted to figure out what it was in Indian hash that was making people act so intoxicated.

The answer, he found, was THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. To be more specific, he isolated the most common form of THC found in cannabis plants, delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC itself does not actually exist heavily in any cannabis plant, but is instead produced from THCA which decarboxylates (generally through sun exposure or heat) to become delta-9 THC. It was learned in the 1940’s that there were many different forms of THC, although how many THCs can be created, was a mystery (and still is).

In the last year or so, another form of THC has been getting more popular, partially due to the 2018 US Farm Bill which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp for certain purposes. As a form of THC which does not exist in large enough amounts on its own, delta-8 THC requires being sourced from delta-9 THC. It’s formed through an oxidation process, which results in a compound that has shown in testing to have less psychoactive response, to produce less associated anxiety and panic symptoms, to be effective for use with nausea and vomiting due to illness and treatments, and which, due to the oxidation process, is actually more stable over time than delta-9.

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One of the terms that is often used in the cannabis industry is “purity.” From a scientific perspective though, purity doesn’t actually have a lot of meaning; it simply implies that a substance is free of contaminants. And when it comes to a regulated consumable product like cannabis, that’s really a no-brainer.

When many people discuss purity in cannabis, they’re often talking about the more complete makeup of the plant or product. Making sure the contaminants are below a safe and acceptable level is part of the story, but the ideal goal is to have full knowledge of all the compounds that are present in a cannabis sample. This includes THC and CBD, as well as dozens of other molecules that must be tested and measured. After all, people deserve to know what they are putting into their bodies. This is where advanced analytical testing comes in.

To get this comprehensive view, a sample goes through a series of tests to provide the necessary data. It’s a complicated and highly scientific procedure — those who aren’t familiar with cannabis testing are often surprised to find how closely it resembles standard pharmaceutical work, with measures in place to protect sample quality and built-in procedures to validate the results.

All of this testing falls into two main categories: testing for safety and testing for efficacy. There are different tests for unprocessed cannabis and for the products (isolates and distillates) derived from cannabis, and these tests should happen at every step of the cannabis production lifecycle in order to protect the consumer and ensure a quality product.

Testing purity to ensure safety

Cannabis is an agricultural product and ensuring purity of the plant material shares a lot of similarities with the tests performed on any consumable agricultural product. The main priority is to make sure it’s safe to consume.

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Delta 8 THC is a shelf-stable, mildly psychoactive, minor cannabinoid that has been quickly gaining popularity over the last couple years. Also climbing into the mainstream are products made with cannabis distillates, which allow for incredibly potent products with accurate dosing. When combined – Delta 8 THC Distillate – we have a powerhouse product that’s full of therapeutic benefits and steadily flying off the shelves.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Before we talk about the medical benefits of this cannabinoid, let’s talk about what exactly Delta 8 THC is, and how it’s different from the more well-known, Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring, minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Although it’s structurally similar to Delta 9 THC, there are some major differences as well.

For example, Delta 9 THC is the cannabis plant’s most abundant psychoactive compound, whereas Delta 8 is only found in trace amounts. As a matter of fact, Delta 8 is not even produced by the enzymes in cannabis, rather, it is created when Delta 9 THC oxidizes and slowly degrades into Delta 8. Further degradation of Delta 9 would create the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol).  

When it comes to the chemical difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, it all comes down to one molecule. In chemistry, “Delta” refers to the double bond in a compound’s molecular structure. Delta compounds have more electrons and will interact with the body in a different way than single bond cannabinoids. The difference between the Delta THC analogues comes down to where the double bond is located on their chain of carbon atoms. Delta 9 has this bond on the 9th carbon chain, and Delta 8 THC has the double bond on the 8th carbon chain. It seems like a small difference, but it can be significant.

Similar to its more dominant counterpart, Delta 8 THC is a partial agonist for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although it seems to have a stronger affinity for CB1. This means there are effects to be felt in numerous different parts of the body, despite having weaker psychotropic potency. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes delta-8 THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

What Medical Conditions Could Be Treated With Delta 8 THC

Insomnia

Inadequate sleep can have a profound impact on one’s health. In the short-term, it can affect mood and judgement, the ability to learn and retain information, and it can increase the possibility of an immediate accident or injury. Over a longer period of time, lack of sleep can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even early death.

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The enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) and the legalization of hemp and hemp derivatives, including cannabidiol (CBD), has led to a massive CBD craze in the Yes, workout clothes!) According to a 2019 study conducted by Cowen Research, the sales of these products are expected to reach $16 billion by 2025.

Yet, the potential of hemp lays beyond CBD. Indeed, as the market becomes saturated, and the value of hemp and CBD declines (the aggregate price of hemp biomass dropped by 79% from April 2019 to April 2020), U.S. companies will need to — and should — turn to other product offerings.

The good news is that they need not look far. The hemp plant is an underappreciated and high-value crop used in a wide range of products and product types, ranging from food, textile, automotive parts, and construction supplies, just to name a few.

Virtually every part of the hemp plant has a purpose.

Hemp seeds are rich in protein, fiber, omega-3 fats and other essential nutrients and vitamins, and can also be ground into flour.

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