Hemp is a species of the cannabis sativa plant. Products extracted from hemp are considered legal since they contain lower traces of THC, a psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
Athletes use CBD oil to reduce inflammation and improve mood. Moreover, people with insomnia use CBD oil to reduce high anxiety levels and improve sleep quality. Perhaps the hemp legalization in 2018, which led to the removal of hemp from the illegal definition of marijuana, boosted the popularity of CBD oil among the masses. Unfortunately, hemp strains are not in the limelight compared to CBD strains. In this article, we shall discuss the 13 top hemp strains and how new ones are created.
What are Hemp Strains?
Hemp strains are types of hemp that have different chemical components and compositions. These components include a mixture of terpenes and cannabinoids. The terpenes include myrcene, limonene, linalool, and caryophyllene. On the other hand, the cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
These chemical components are responsible for the effects dispensed by a particular plant strain. Therefore, if there are any differences in these components across the hemp strains, then the strains will cause varying effects. For example, CBD is non-psychoactive while THC is psychoactive. Therefore, CBD does not make you feel high, while THC does.
How To Identify the Chemical Composition of the Hemp Strain
The chemical composition of the hemp strain is defined by the flower profile of the hemp plant. However, the name of the hemp strain does not define the chemical composition of the hemp strain, as commonly thought.
Most people believe that "indica" and "sativa" define the chemical composition of the hemp plant strain. However, these names are used to describe the shapes of the leaves. They neither indicate the chemical composition of the hemp strains nor their specific effects.
A consumer may opt to buy sativa to boost their energy levels and remain focused. This may be due to the misconception they've held for a long time that sativa has the chemical properties that boost energy. However, if the sativa lacks the required chemical ingredients that boost energy, then the consumer would not be able to boost their energy levels and improve their focus.
Furthermore, a consumer would purchase indica with a guarantee that this would help them unwind, relax and reduce stress levels. However, if the chemical composition of the indica does not contain terpenes, which have anti-depressant properties, then the consumer will not be able to benefit from the relaxing properties of terpenes
While developing a new hemp strain, a company should consider the hemp flower's chemical composition and components.
How Hemp Strains are Created
New hemp strains are created when plants with individual properties are identified and combined. However, precision is key, and creating a new hemp strain with an accurate genetic composition can prove much of a hassle. Below is detailed information on how new strains of hemp are created.
Considering the Composition and the Cannabinoid Profile of the Hemp Strains
This is an important step while creating new hemp strains. Hemp growers must be able to identify a hemp plant with all the terpenes and cannabinoids they are looking for, although this is an ideal situation.
Often, hemp growers are forced to add cannabinoids and terpenes to the hemp strain, which takes time and is expensive.
Determining the Desired Effects
Growers must be able to determine the desired effects they want their hemp plants to dispense. These therapeutic effects include: reducing inflammation, reducing muscle pains, improving mood, reducing high anxiety and stress levels, and contributing to weight loss. Once these plants are identified, they are cross-bred to form a new hemp plant strain, although there is more to the process than what meets the eye
13 Top Hemp Strains
These plant strains have a higher concentration of cannabichromene (CBC), one of the most abundant cannabinoids. Luckily, CBC is also non-psychoactive and works
Khalsa et al. (2021) explained that CBC has anti-depressant properties that help alleviate stress, reduce high anxiety levels and alleviate depression.
These hemp strains contain cannabigerol (CBG) as their main cannabinoid. It works by binding with endocannabinoid receptors, precisely CB2. It also blocks compounds from binding further with CB1 receptors, especially when a consumer overdose on CBG.
According to Watt & Karl (2017), CBG has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce muscle inflammation. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBG help in reducing high blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, and treating diabetes
Aqawi et al. (2021) suggested that CBG has antibacterial properties that help in treating harmful bacteria in the body.
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These hemp strains contain THCV as the main chemical ingredient. THCV can be used to help with weight loss. It blocks other compounds from binding with CB1 receptors when consumed in low quantities. However, when consumed in high quantities, it binds with CB1 receptors, which may cause a slightly psychoactive effect.
Is Homogenization Important?
External conditions such as sunlight, rain, wind, and temperature highly determine the hemp plant strain produced. These environmental conditions would make growers have several variations of a single hemp plant, even though it is one strain.
Pests such as spider mites and aphids also determine the plant strain produced by the hemp plant. Simply put, when creating a new plant strain, growers should implement homogenization of the plant because the genetics of the individual plants may vary, even though they are from the same hemp strain.
The Bottom Line
CBD strains are common because more people have embraced the use of CBD oil. For example, CBD gummies are the most popular because they are delicious and easy to customize. However, that enthusiasm is not directly transferred to hemp strains. Hemp strains are uncommon because they are not focused on as much. Hemp strains are not determined by the strain's name but by the flower's chemical composition. Top hemp strains include blue genius, Hawaiian haze, frosted lime, and special sauce. It is also important for hemp growers to carry out homogenization. More clinical studies are required to fully understand how these new hemp strains can be properly developed.
Aqawi, M., Sionov, R. V., Gallily, R., Friedman, M., & Steinberg, D. (2021). Antibacterial properties of cannabigerol toward Streptococcus mutans. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12, 656471.
Khalsa, J. H., Bunt, G., Maggirwar, S. B., & Kottilil, S. (2021). COVID-19 and cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of Addiction Medicine, 15(5), 355.
Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal, 23.
Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In vivo evidence for therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 20.
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