Hempseed and THC

Hemp Nut Seed

THC concentrations of up to 125 ppm were found on food-grade Canadian hempseed, and all evaluated brands contained higher amounts than the legal limit of 10 ppm THC. The resin containing Cannabinoids adhering to the outside of the seed shell is why I maintain humans and animals have been safely consuming Cannabinoids for millennia, thus hemp flower products including Cannabinoids should be grandfathered as pre-DSHEA ingredients. Simple cleaning removes that resin, otherwise in hempseed oil it becomes concentrated where it can cause a 5 nano DUI for drivers in Canada and Colorado. While Canada has a 10 ppm max THC (3,000 in the US), there is no enforcement thus no reason to comply, as this study shows. Additionally, the industry successfully sued (2004) to be allowed no max THC in the US, so there is little economic incentive to clean adherents, despite being a best practice.

From the 2017 study (emphasis mine) “Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seeds, D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and Potential Overdose,” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research; Volume 2.1:

Conclusion
In comparison, Soxhlet extraction provided consistently higher yields of D9-THC, although it takes longer time than other methods for extraction. This suggests the importance of heating and prolonged solvent cycling in extracting phytocannabinoids from lipid-rich materials such as hemp seeds. D9-THC concentrations of up to 125 μ/g of hemp seed were found in foodgrade hemp seeds, and all evaluated brands contained higher amounts than the legal threshold of 10 μg D9-THC per gram of hemp seeds. Exposure to higher amounts of D9-THC may cause neurological symptoms especially for poor metabolizers of cannabinoids. It would be presumptuous to conclude the source of this excessive D9-THC in the consumer-grade hemp seeds, but could be either contamination during harvesting/processing of the seeds or higher levels of biosynthesis, which is unlikely.

Current methods for validating D9-THC content in hemp may be providing lower and/or inconsistent yields for hemp seeds and could lead to the underestimation of D9-THC content. A more robust extraction methodology such as Soxhlet extraction may be more appropriate for the testing of hemp seed products. One may also consider employing washing of hemp seeds with ethanol or other similar solvents, to remove any contamination to the seeds before packaging; but such change from current practice and new processes must be thoroughly investigated before implementation for consumer marketing. Based on the above findings, it is also recommended that the hemp seeds be analyzed specifically for phytocannabinoid content before release into consumer markets.”

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