Originally Posted by kelly1376
Any progress on fighting that battle?
Also I'm curious about what % THC can a bud be and still be considered type III hemp? From what I understand the .3% THC includes the entire weight of the plant, not just the bud. So you have a bud that tests at 5% (or whatever) THC, if you throw all the leaves and stalks in there and take a sample that relative THC% goes way down. I hope that makes sense.
From your white paper I gather you'll throw all the leaves, stems, and buds together then take random samples and THC has to be less than .3% by weight. But couldn't you get that number even lower by including the stalks if you had to?
Hi Kelly, no battle to fight really--a lot of folks in the cannabis community freaked out over nothing (myself included in the initial hours after it was announced, as seen above!). Not the first time, won't be the last. The HIA v. DEA (2003) decision, in conjunction with the 2014 Farm Bill, precludes the DEA from listing any non-THC cannabinoid in the CSA without a full scheduling process--which they did not do. I would encourage anyone who doubts this to give the DEA's public relations department a call and just ask, they'll tell you the same thing.
Type III cannabis isn't (scientifically) defined by a THC percentage, rather it describes underlying genotypes. Type I plants have THC synthases turned "on" and CBD synthases "off"; type II has both turned on; type III has THC turned off and CBD on. That said, it's not actually a binary on/off switch; nonfunctional alleles are still capable of converting CBG, just in trace amounts. I think I note this in my white paper, but active CBD synthases are more efficient at converting CBG to CBD than their active THC counterparts; this is why type II plants tend to have significantly larger amounts of CBD than THC in the overall cannabinoid fraction (generally 2:1, but we've also seen up to 6:1 in special circumstances). The general working hypothesis now is that the opposite is true for non-functional synthases; in other words, nonfunctional THC synthases are more efficient than nonfunctional CBD synthases at converting CBG to their respective final products. This explains why high THC plant varieties (type I) have much higher ratios of THC to CBD than their high CBD (type III) counterparts. This is visible in the F2 generation of a cross between a high THC parent and high CBD parent; the 18.8% of progeny that are THC dominant have ratios that range from 1:30 up to 1:400 CBD to THC, while the 18.8% of high CBD plants are much lower (10:1 to 40:1 generally), though the upper bound for each is directly related to the respective parent's ratios.
THC concentration limits are set at 0.3% by the 2014 Farm Bill, but the sampling protocol is the main arbiter of which varieties actually meet the requirement. In Oregon, our Ag department does a good job of taking "representative samples" which include some leaf and stalk; stalks comprise between 27%-28% of the final plant mass. California, which is about to start working on their rules, will be required by law to test the flowering tops in the field before harvest, as well as flowering tops after harvest to ensure compliance (a much higher bar to hit than Oregon for sure). Some farmers in Oregon do as you suggested and simply mulch the entire plant to ensure that they remain below 0.3%. What we have found is that customers (particularly large extractors) really don't like having stems in the final material though, so we do not mulch whole plants. It is, as you stated, a way to lower your overall THC concentration, but would definitely not affect it enough to make a 5% THC plant compliant.