420 with CNW — Study Finds That Genetics Cause Hemp Plants to Produce More THC, Not Environmental Stresses

The use of CBD in various applications, including the treatment of depression, anxiety and pain and easing symptoms associated with cancer, has made cultivating hemp for CBD a booming industry. However, when hemp contains THC that exceeds the legal limit, the crop can test “hot.”

THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that gets a person high. Federal and state regulations classify hemp as containing no more than 0.3% THC, meaning that growers can lose their entire crop if the plants exceed the stipulated THC level.

Various articles and websites have claimed that biological or environmental stresses, like crop diseases or flooding, can lead to an increase in the production of THC.

However, a new study conducted by researchers from Cornell University has found no evidence to support the claims that stress increases THC concentration in hemp plants. The study was published in the “Global Change Biology-Bioenergy” journal.

Larry Smart, the study’s senior author, explained that the team’s goal in research was to decrease the risks that growers face as much as possible, noting that this particular study was conducted to prove that stresses don’t have a strong effect on THC increase, which should give hemp cultivators some comfort. Instead, Smart continued, the study proved that it was genetics rather than the  environment that determined the CBD to THC ratio and THC content in hemp.

For the research, Jacob Toth, the lead author of the study, created plots in New York that included control plots and applied five stress treatments to three high-CBD hemp cultivars that were genetically unrelated. These treatments included physical wounding, herbicide, powdery mildew, flood conditions and exposure to ethephon, which promotes fruit ripening.

The researchers then tested the CBD and THC content over a 30-day period as the flowers matured. They discovered that the amount of THC and CBD increased proportionately in all of these cultivars, noting that by harvest time, almost every plant had produced the expected CBD to THC ratio. This excludes plants treated with herbicide, as they were almost dead.

Using a molecular marker that identifies genes that produce THC in cannabis and CBD in hemp, Toth was able to demonstrate that some varieties of hemp included plants that had genes for primarily CBD production and others produced mainly THC. He noted that growers should ensure they get high-quality seeds that produce CBD and avoid varieties that have THC-producing genes, as this would decrease their risk of growing hemp plants that contain more than 0.3% THC.

This study may have huge implications for the entire cannabis sector, including companies such as Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC), since a lot more scrutiny will be needed while selecting hemp cultivars intended for CBD extraction.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/HENC

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