As Canada prepares to legalize cannabis across the country, several changes are being made to current legislation. It’s not just cannabis that contains THC that is set to legally sweep the nation when cannabis becomes fully legalized on October 17. CBD-rich hemp is set to see some changes as well.
In a landmark move, Health Canada established new rules that will allow Canadian hemp farmers to harvest the entire hemp plant, including leaves, buds, and flowers…instead of solely seeds and stalks.
Why is this so important?
It’s no secret that CBD is wildly beneficial for countless health conditions. There are several studies that highlight the health benefits of CBD. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is used for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory, seizures, anxiety, and much, much more.
Here’s the thing, though. All the benefits of CBD aren’t found in the seeds and fiber of hemp. It’s actually hemp flowers that contain the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes that make CBD so effective.
Whole-plant CBD oil sourced from the entire hemp plant allows for all the compounds present in hemp to be utilized by the consumer. To truly obtain all the benefits CBD contains, hemp-derived CBD oil must be made from the entire plant.
“Whole-plant CBD oil” products are those that contain all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that work together to offer the health benefits of CBD. These compounds are not found in the seeds and stalks of the hemp plant, but are abundant rather in the flowers and leaves. The flowers, however, are what contain the highest concentration of CBD and other beneficial compounds.
After proposing the idea to use the entire hemp plant to produce CBD oil in November, Health Canada announced their decision to do so on August 10. These new rules are part of Canada’s Cannabis Act, which allows for the use and manufacturing of medicinal and recreational marijuana throughout the country.
While the Cannabis Act will become effective October 17, hemp producers are allowed immediately to begin to research and experiment with different methods of production that will utilize the whole plant. This will allow for quality whole-plant CBD products to be ready for the public in October when Canada fully legalizes cannabis.
According to Jeff Kostuik of Hemp Genetics International and chair of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), “We need to experiment with harvest, preservation and storage technologies, and this exemption means we won’t waste a year, which would have been the case if we were unable to collect plant material until October 17. The next two months will enable us to research the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant.”
Using the whole hemp plant to produce CBD is a major win for Canada. It’s estimated that “whole plant” harvest has the possibility to produce up to $10 billion in the next few decades. Hemp flowers and leaves, once left to decompose in the fields where hemp plants were harvested, will now be used to produce the high-quality CBD oil the entire plant contains.
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