Canada Legalizes Harvest of Entire Hemp Plant

Effective immediately, hemp farmers in Canada are now allowed to harvest hemp flowers, buds, and leaf material.

Health Canada revised its Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) last week to allow hemp farmers in Canada to immediately collect and store all parts of the hemp plant, including hemp flower, bud, and leaf material. Previously, hemp growers were limited to farming the versatile plant for its seeds and fiber.

The new rules are expected to increase the availability of cannabidiol (CBD), an all-natural and non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis plants like hemp. Now a highly sought-after supplement, CBD naturally encourages balance and wellness by supporting the body’s endocannabinoid system.

“These new parts [of hemp] are economically valuable and will provide a new source of CBD and potentially other cannabinoid products,” said the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), in a statement.

The new rules around the harvesting of hemp are part of the Cannabis Act, Canada’s recreational marijuana law that is scheduled to take effect October 17. Rather than requiring hemp growers and processors farmers to wait until then, Health Canada issued a new exemption to Section 56 of the CSDA on August 10, giving farmers time to learn best technologies and procedures for processing.

“We need to experiment with harvest, preservation and storage technologies, and this exemption means we won’t waste a year, which would have been the case if we were unable to collect plant material until Oct. 17,” said Jeff Kostuik, a field agronomist at Hemp Genetics International and chair of the research committee at the CHTA.

“These next two months will enable us to research the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant.”

Farmers will be able to begin selling the previously disallowed parts of the plants once the Cannabis Act takes effect in October. Those interested in obtaining an exemption to harvest the full hemp plant will have to apply for a license under the new guidance.

“They now have the ability to capture some of the ingredients and some of the value we are currently leaving on the ground,” said Russ Crawford, CHTA president.

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Versatility of Hemp

Thought to be one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops, hemp has more than 25,000 product applications.

Hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa L species of plant, along with marijuana, but contains no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dry weight. THC is the intoxicating compound found in marijuana. This means that hemp-derived products are non-intoxicating.

Instead, hemp is grown to manufacture a number of products, including:

  • CBD supplements
  • Food
  • Body care products
  • Paper
  • Textiles
  • Building materials
  • Bioplastic
  • Biofuels

Hemp is naturally higher in CBD, making it an ideal source for CBD products. CBD can be easily extracted from the plant in the form of CBD oil. This hemp-derived CBD oil can be consumed directly or infused into other commercial supplements designed to promote health and balance, like:

More on Hemp and CBD

You can learn more about hemp and cannabis, cannabinoids like CBD, and the uses of cannabis on our education page, or visit our news page to keep informed about developments in the cannabis industry.

Hemp-derived CBD supplements are available in the United States and in over 40 countries. CBD hemp oil products can be purchased from the Medical Marijuana, Inc. online store. You can also check out our Buyer’s Guide to help you choose the right CBD product for you.