Federal Study Finds 9 in 10 Samples of Smokable Hemp Exceed THC Limits

The cultivation and manufacture of hemp has burgeoned since the crop was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, with a 2021 report from the federal department of agriculture estimating crop production to have a value of more than $820 million. Of all hemp produced, at least 75% is floral hemp, which includes smokable hemp. Hemp products are largely unregulated and are often available in convenience stores or smoke shops as well as online, where anyone can purchase regardless of their age.

Recently, investigators at the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted an analysis on smokable hemp products. The analysis determined that more than 90% of samples contained more than 0.3% THC.

According to the farm bill, marijuana products must contain no more than 0.3% THC to be categorized as hemp. Products with higher levels of THC are classified as Schedule I substances and are prohibited by federal law. This is because marijuana is still an illicit substance at the federal level. The report notes that this distinction is crucial in determining whether marijuana seized by officials is legal hemp or illegal cannabis.

For their study, the investigators worked with researchers from the State University of New York Albany to analyze 53 smokable hemp products from five commercial manufacturers for different cannabinoids, including THC-A, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC. To arrive at their results, the investigators utilized a liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection (LC-PDA) technique using a methanol extraction method.

In their report, the investigators stated that 93% of the samples had more than 0.3% THC levels, despite being marketed as hemp. This means that the samples could be qualified as federally illegal cannabis. They added that almost one-half of online documents presented by manufacturers differed from corresponding labels. It should be noted that the product names and manufacturers aren’t included in the report.

The investigators theorize that lack of agreement may be because of differences in testing techniques, variability in different batches, sample inhomogeneity and online documentation and/or labels that don’t represent actual products. Improving accuracy is necessary, particularly since a limit on cannabinoids was placed on the crop and legal actions are based on final measurements.

In their conclusion, the investigators noted that their findings highlighted the need for homogeneity measurements for batches, accurate analytical measurements and reference materials in the marijuana industry to establish measurement accuracy.

The investigators’ findings were published in the “Forensic Chemistry” journal last month. The study was funded by the National Institute of Justice, under the justice department.

The findings of this review make a strong case for keeping a close eye on hemp products in the same way that cannabis products sold by companies such as Software Effective Solutions Corp. (d/b/a MedCana) (OTC: SFWJ) are regulated in the states where marijuana is legal.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Software Effective Solutions Corp. (d/b/a MedCana) (OTC: SFWJ) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/SFWJ

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