Low-THC Cannabis: A New Twist on Hemp
Without question, the 2018 Farm Bill opened up a world of opportunity for the farming industry with the legalization of hemp. Suddenly, hemp became the trend and was being added to everything under the sun, including foods, beverages, cosmetics, and even bedsheets. CBD became an instant sensation, as producers carefully labeled their products “hemp-derived,” separate themselves from its controversial cousin, cannabis.
Cannaflower is hemp by legal definition, the way it is grown, harvested, and marketed makes it more akin to cannabis.
Taking a completely different strategy, one hemp producer, Cannaflower, is leaning into, and aligning itself with, the more infamous herb. With consumer education at the core of their mission, CEO and co-founder Will Treinens hopes to blaze a new path with smokable, low-THC cannabis.
I recently sat down with Will for an interview to discuss their approach and the impact it has on cannabis stigmas, and here’s what I learned.
What’s the Difference Between High-CBD Hemp and Low-THC Cannabis?
In a word, NOTHING.
Hemp is cannabis — by scientific classification. The standards of THC potency are imposed by governments, not Mother Nature. So, although Cannaflower is hemp by legal definition, the way it is grown, harvested, and marketed makes it more akin to cannabis.
The variants in the cultivars allow professional breeders to perfect characteristics, no differently than Pioneer DuPont worked for decades to perfect corn genetics. Stabilizing the genetics of a plant takes years of selective breeding. While the recreational cannabis market is working to produce higher and higher THC content, low-THC producing cannabis cultivars are highly sought after in the hemp industry.
Watch this video on our YouTube Channel: Seed & STEM!
Will explained that their methods for growing hemp aren’t what you’d expect. When we think of hemp farms, we typically think of vast, expansive fields of tall, stringy industrial hemp. Yet, hemp grown for consumption purposes is grown much, much differently.
In fact, Cannaflower is following in the footsteps of the cannabis industry in how they cultivate their products. Much of their products are grown indoors using regenerative techniques to ensure a clean, quality yield that is also environmentally friendly. But they don’t just trust the processes — they rigorously test their plants throughout the entire seed to sale process.
Cannaflower provides laboratory analysis for each of their products, including potency, terpenes, contaminants, and heavy metals.
Why Smoke Low-THC Cannabis?
Many traditional cannabis consumers look at smokable hemp the same way many alcohol drinkers look at non-alcoholic beer. What’s the point?
However, with low-THC cannabis, there are several segments of consumer who I believe might enjoy the lighter version:
· Make Tolerance Breaks Tolerable — Tolerance is a dirty word to the recreational consumer. To combat the body’s ability to build a THC resistance, consumers must take an occasional break to bring their tolerance back down. Low-THC cannabis offers smokers the ability to reduce their tolerance without giving up the cannabis.
· Kick the Nicotine Habit — many people have reported being able to reduce or altogether quit smoking nicotine-based cigarettes using smokable hemp. One thing is for certain, hemp is showing potential for health benefits — cigarettes have no redeeming value whatsoever.
· Functional Effects without the Paranoia — look, not everyone can handle the psychoactive effects produced by the highly potent cannabis strains in the legal cannabis industry. Low-THC cannabis can provide a functional, light effect more conducive to productivity, focus, and clarity.
Is Low-THC Cannabis for You?
Before you run out and buy some, there are a few caveats I feel I need to mention. Although hemp is legal across all of the US and Cannaflower can legally ship their product to all 50 states, it’s up to you to find out how your state feels about the smokable products.
For example, my Iowa friends — you may want to think twice before purchasing smokable hemp products. Unfortunately, your Republican Governor, Kim Reynolds, vision is tainted. Rather than merely decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and reducing the police’s workload, she opted to criminalize smokable hemp and increase their workload and overcrowd jails. As a serious misdemeanor in Iowa, retailers selling smokable or inhalable hemp products, or consumers caught using them, face up to a year of jail time and a fine of $315-$1,875.
Why? Because roadside tests used by law enforcement in the state can’t tell the difference between low-THC cannabis and the real thing. So rather than adapt to a new industry, Iowa lawmakers choose to criminalize it.
Other states that have enacted some type of smokable hemp ban include:
My Two Cents on Cannaflower
So, I have been on a mission lately to taste and compare smokable hemp, aka low-THC cannabis. As a former budtender and daily cannabis consumer, I feel like I have higher-than-average standards for the products I consume. I have a strong background comparing the various products in the cannabis market, so why not spend a little time evaluating this new segment in hemp?
But first off, I want to thank Cannaflower for sending me samples of their products in exchange for an honest review.
As a writer and content creator, I’m so impressed with Cannaflower’s marketing. From their packaging to their content — this company is on-point, taking smokable hemp to a whole new level with a simple twist in perspective. Calling their products low-THC cannabis, rather than smokable hemp, immediately sets it apart from other companies.
Additionally, the quality of their flower is top-shelf. When I worked as a budtender in Denver, we had several strains of low-THC cannabis we carried on our dispensary’s medical side. Strains like AC/DC and others that naturally produced low THC levels often brought premium prices at $40-$60 an eighth, and this rivals them all for half that price.
I tried several different strains from Cannaflower, including Hawaiian Haze, Lemon Drop, and Sour Space Candy. The first thing I noticed was the aromas of each of the varieties. The nose on the different strains was impressive; these products are obviously terpene-rich.
Smoking them was even better.
The effect of these products is light and mild, especially for seasoned cannabis consumers. However, despite a high tolerance, these products’ effects were calming, clear-headed, and alert. Although I felt relaxed, I didn’t feel sedated, which provided a lovely, productive mood that carried through the morning.
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