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Innovation & Hemp Technologies

‘Hemp to be Free’: Nil-Cannabinoid Dual-Use (Grain:Fiber) Hemp in Development 

‘Type V’, cannabinoid free hemp’–compared to Type I (high THC), Type II (moderate THC & CBD), Type III (high CBD), and Type IV (high CBG) cannabis–would ensure THC compliance regardless of crop maturity.  Development of Type V hemp with combined fiber fractions on lower stalks and seed production on upper branches is underway to provide a dual-use alternative crop for Texas producers across millions of acres currently cultivated in cotton, sorghum, and other crops.

The nutritional value of hemp seeds is remarkable, having an ideal balanced omega-6: omega-3 fatty acid ratio (2.5 : 1) that is similar to salmon and far superior to soy (6.9 :1 ), corn (60 : 1), olive (> 100 : 1), or sunflower (> 100 : 1).  Hemp seeds have been consumed throughout history, and Texas A&M University researchers are working to further improve their nutritional value. One PhD student in the Industrial Hemp Breeding Program (Christopher Garcia) is currently working to induce plants to double their chromosomes. This results in exceedingly large seeds, increasing their value as a grain crop and luxury food. 

Another PhD Student in the program (Joshua Van Dyke) is working to develop hemp completely free of cannabinoids in order to reduce the THC-compliance risk for farmers seeking to grow hemp for its grain and/ or fiber commodities.

Interest and funding in grain: fiber hemp in TX has to date been very limited, but if successful his project would essentially guarantee farmers 100% compliant hemp crops.  Providing this level of security could alleviate the hesitancy that significantly hinders mass cultivation of hemp.

Texas A&M University’s industrial hemp breeder (Dr. Russ Jessup) has prioritized both Christopher and Joshua’s projects in order to develop dual-use (grain: fiber) hemp cultivars that are economically attractive to farmers, industrially suitable for fiber markets, and nutritionally superior for consumers.

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