Demand for THC-free cannabis is growing…
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – or THC, for short – is perhaps cannabis’s most well-known byproduct.
You know it as the part of the cannabis plant that gets you “high.”
And other than its cousin, CBD, THC is the cannabinoid the cannabis plant produces in the largest quantities.
Depending on your line of work, it’s also the one that could get you into trouble if it shows up on a drug screen.
But with so much money in the legal cannabis market right now, innovators are finding new ways to meet the needs of a stunningly wide variety of cannabis consumers – even when that means avoiding THC altogether.
We’re learning that THC is simply no longer needed to create high-quality cannabis products that people will love.
The Many Faces of Cannabis Consumption
Today, 90% of Americans have access to some form of legal cannabis – and it shows. Athletes, veterans, professionals, parents, and grandparents are all using cannabis at record rates.
But not everyone is looking for products high in THC.
It could be an athlete using CBD cream to calm their muscles after a hard workout, but who could get kicked off the team should they consume even trace amounts of THC.
It could be a veteran who turned to medical cannabis for a service-related injury like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but who would be risking certain federal benefits should THC show up on their next drug screen.
Or it could be a professional mom using cannabis to unwind after a long day at the office, but who can’t afford the mind-altering effects of THC with four young kids at home.
All these people are cannabis consumers with money to spend – and cannabis companies are working overtime to create new products that will meet this THC-free segment of the cannabis market.
Former professional soccer player Rachael Rapinoe saw an opportunity to create a reliable CBD product for athletes that would not interfere with the rules and regulations that come along with professional athletics, where a positive THC test could get you suspended from the team or worse.
So, she created her own line of CBD recovery products using CBD isolate – which contains 0% THC. CBD isolate takes one extra step to create during the extraction process, but for athletes like her, it’s well worth it.
But CBD is just the beginning of the THC-free cannabis market.
See, the cannabis plant produces over 100 different cannabinoid compounds, each with their own therapeutic properties and potential medical applications just waiting to be discovered.
[FURTHER READING] Your Comprehensive Primer on Cannabinoids
And the most innovative operators in cannabis are taking their THC-free cannabis products even further by taking advantage of these other cannabinoids the cannabis plants have to offer.
For example, Aspen Valley Hemp Company is taking advantage of cannabigerol (CBG) to create a unique CBG-dominant strain of flower that contains 0% THC. CBG is thought to have sleep-inducing effects, but it is an extremely rare compound that the cannabis plant typically only generates in levels below 1%.
This increased use of minor cannabinoids to create THC-free cannabis products is a trend I expect to see more and more of in the coming years as processes like biosynthesis are used to manufacture these incredibly rare – and valuable – compounds.
(Today, only one company has actually figured out how to bring the price of one of these rare cannabinoids down from $2.1 million per ounce to $15 per ounce. You can learn more about that incredible opportunity right here.)
But there’s one area of the cannabis industry that’s taking THC-free cannabis even further yet.
THC-Free Cannabis in the Lucrative World of Cannabis-Based Pharmaceuticals
Creating a pharmaceutical is an incredibly complex process, and pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products must prove to be consistent, reliable, safe, and effective in treating the condition or disease they are meant to before hitting the market.
And THC, though it has its own therapeutic properties, is a big concern for drugs where the end consumer is a child or someone with serious health concerns.
But the payoff here is worth it.
Take GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH), which created its pharmaceutical-grade CBD drug Epidiolex – which contains absolutely no THC – for the treatment of rare childhood epilepsy conditions Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gestaut syndrome, as well as tuberous sclerosis.
When Epidiolex became the first cannabis-based drug to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2018, it was a big step forward for the cannabis market – and for the cannabis-based medicine movement. Since then, Epidiolex sales have blown expectations out of the water.
Even during the height of the coronavirus crisis, this company has been bringing in over $110 million in Epidiolex sales alone each quarter.
GW Pharma’s success with Epidiolex proves that you don’t need THC to profit from cannabis.
The opportunities in creating pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products are endless, and it’s a sector that holds a lot of money to be made for folks like you.
In fact, I’ve been working with a cannabis biotech startup founded by a world-renowned physician that’s in the process of bringing 27 cannabis-based therapies to market.
And this team of pharmaceutical industry titans is going live with its startup for the first time ever in a virtual event tomorrow, September 2 at 1:00 P.M.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
4 responses to “Beyond THC: Creating a New Wave of THC-Free Cannabis Products”
September 01 2020