What is the maximum value of CBD that can be reached in nature? Let's be clear

The great success of products containing CBD has certainly had the extraordinary merit of making known the innumerable properties of hemp to broad strata of the population. On the other hand, however, I have approached people who have little knowledge of the physiology of the plant, further confusion has been created on a topic that for several reasons has always been unclear.

Many clients, especially at their first approach to this world, tend to choose inflorescences with a higher CBD value. The first consideration to start with is that there is no cannabis plant in nature, once dry, that develops a CBD value higher than 20%. So be wary of producers, traders, and laboratory analysis that show a higher cannabidiol value on the label.

In order to understand how to reach this natural limit of cannabidiol and the close relationship between THC and CBD values, we report an interesting article in the specialized magazine Leafly. The legal cannabis information portal considers various data on commercial genetics from more than 1,200 laboratories in Washington state. In short, the result is that commercial cannabis plants can be classified into 3 macro groups based on the relationship between THC and CBD values ​​they develop.

The first is that of genetics with a very strong prevalence of THC, with practically irrelevant cannabidiol values. Continuous research by growers and seed banks has led to the creation of plants with a THC level of nearly 30%. A very high value, just think that already inflorescences with an 18/20% are considered rich in tetrahydro cannabidiol. Among the most famous strains that reach such high percentages we certainly find Gorilla Glue and Girls Scout Cookies, both close to 25%.

We then have the genetics that well balances both major cannabinoids. Values ranging from 5 to 15% of both THC and CBD characterize these plants, which are the most relevant at the medical level. In the last few years, in fact, we have begun to study how the two cannabinoids interact, with important implications not only clinical. It has been seen that CBD alleviates the psychotropic effects of THC, exalting therapeutic ones, and even acting as its antagonist, given that it stimulates a receptor different from THC. But we are only at the beginning of the research.

In the last group, we find instead the genetics that we are most interested in, as they are the only ones we can treat. These inflorescences once dried have negligible THC values and a rather high CBD content. In the USA the strain of this group is the Charlotte Web which presents 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol compared to 20% of CBD. And in most cases, this is the relationship that links the two active ingredients: THC: CBD = 1:20. In the last few months, however, the very famous seed bank Dinafem has launched its Dinamed line dedicated to CBD prevalence plants. The Spanish house claims to be able to reach a higher ratio, approximately equal to a ratio of 1 to 25. In Italy, given that it is possible to treat inflorescences with a THC value between 0.2, it is, therefore, natural having cannabidiol values between 8 and 15% maximum.

Having said this, consequently all the inflorescences that have a higher percentage have counterfeit, or at least unclear, analyzes. Or they are sophisticated with additives, such as terpenes or CBD extracts, which once added to the flower make it possible to overcome that famous 20%. This does not mean that they are harmful or unhealthy products, but they are certainly not natural. So much so that often these inflorescences have a not very pleasant smell due to their own laboratory terpenes. Not only that, the "sprayed" or otherwise added CBD is much more volatile than that which the plant naturally develops and which it holds firmly in its buds. So once heated, (whether cooked, vaporized or burned) that portion of additive CBD tends to shrink considerably until it disappears completely.

It is precisely for these reasons that we advise against choosing inflorescences at their CBD level, which is more or less high. Rather, we invite our customers to inspect the different types of flowers and, why not, to smell them, preferring them for their olfactory qualities.

December 11, 2019 — Chiara Lanza