Let’s start by talking about modern hemp products, products that have been available to consumers for thousands of years. From hemp we get primarily leaves and flowers which contain most of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, along with seeds, stems, and stalks, which contain natural fibers and cellulose. The primary value driver today are the natural cannabinoids, seeds, or fiber, depending on the country.
The primary naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp is cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis is among the oldest natural medicines known to man, virtually all people and animals can benefit from using products containing naturally occurring cannabinoids from hemp. Hemp is poised to be a boon for farmers struggling to get by growing low value commodity crops. Farmers will soon be able to grow hemp and products useful for preventing and potentially mitigating a wide range of conditions associated with inflammation and neurodegeneration.
Most hemp products produce very few natural cannabinoids, between 4% and 6%. Randy’s Club uses hemp that produces double the amount of naturally occurring cannabinoids containing both CBD and CBC, a minor cannabinoid that enhances the overall benefits of the final formulation. Most of the natural cannabinoids are found in the trichome, where all cannabinoids and terpenes reside. Those cannabinoids are transferred to the parts of the plant exempt from the controlled substances act (CSA) during manufacturing, which is where we derive them for Randy’s Remedy products. Trichomes are little frosty hairs with bulbous heads on mature flowers and leaves.
While CBD products are relatively new, CBD has been in our diet via hemp seed for at least 12,000 years. Over the next few years this industry is poised to grow in excess of a half-billion dollars.
The 21st century hemp industry is going to be quite different than the industry of years past. The old paradigm grew hemp only for seed and fiber. The value of these crops is limited as the market is mature and competitive.
The new hemp industry is going to be focused on growing hemp to optimize its cannabinoid content, choosing only the finest live varieties and grown to maximize the amount of naturally occurring cannabinoids. These crops will not be able to produce seeds as they will only include female plants, no males. These plants may be grown indoors or outdoors and could produce more than $1M per acre.
A new and still emerging application for CBD flowers is as a tobacco free smoking alternative, that does not contain nicotine or THC, the primary intoxicating chemical in marijuana. This means it could not only be an alternative to smoking tobacco but also an alternative to smoking marijuana.
The product category is now taking off in Italy, especially Switzerland, where 200 companies have applied to the government to sell hemp flowers and where it’s already in supermarket chains. Randy’s Remedy has plans to launch a smoke-free vape product in 2018, so stay tuned.
The US grew about 9,000 hectares of hemp this year, about 4% of the total acreage. Approximate grows were 40,000 hectares in Canada, 44,000 hectares in Europe, and 162,000 hectares in China. Very little hemp is grown in India, South Asian, South America, and Africa, because hemp only grows in temperate climates which traditionally has been above 35 degrees latitude. Cannabis grown in the tropics and subtropical climates are considered drug-type Cannabis and contain more THC than is allowed under international law. The largest hemp producing countries are France, Canada, Russia, and China, and hopefully, the United States.
The historical heart of US hemp production is the State of Kentucky. It was the first state to pass legislation in response to the 2014 Farm Bill which allowed states to pass laws permitting state agriculture departments to implement industrial hemp programs for research and development purposes. Kentucky has had its share of problems. It only grew about 20% of the number of acres that were approved, only 13% have been paid from last year’s crop. A number of regulations have prevented small farmers from getting involved resulted in a less competitive market than we might like.
Nonetheless, Randy’s Club will continue to source and manufacture Randy’s Remedy products in KY and are proud to be a part of the rising US hemp industry. Compared to the industry of the past, this new hemp industry is poised to be a lot more lucrative and beneficial for consumers who are already enjoying the benefits of new hemp health products like Randy’s Remedy. We will keep an eye on the growth and changes in the hemp industry. Please watch for new and improved Randy’s Remedy products in 2018!