What Is New West Genetics?
The federal farm bill of 2014 defines hemp as “the species Cannabis sativa with a THC content of 0.3% or less”. The same species is grown in both instances but hemp undergoes selective breeding to ensure lower THC levels. Hemp does in fact contain all of the other 80+ cannabinoids and terpenes found in what is typically thought of as medical marijuana. We refer to marijuana as “high THC cannabis” and hemp as “low THC cannabis”. Currently, NWG works solely in hemp, due to regulatory fluidity and the fact that everything we improve in hemp will be applicable and transferred to higher THC varieties when the regulatory environment opens up.
In compliance with the 2014 Federal Farm bill section 7606, we are registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
- The cannabinoid or cannabis industry is estimated to be 14 Billion by 2020. (Forbes)
- The craft brewery market was 22 Billion in 2015. (Brewers Association)
- The hemp grain market in 2015 was estimated at 600 million. (HIA)
Currently, New West Genetics has customers in the nutraceutical cannabinoid industry, the brewery industry, and in the human and animal food nutrition markets.
We are the engine enabling the rapid development of scalable, diverse and sought after products for the industrial hemp and cannabis industries. We serve other businesses by providing specialty bred hemp genetics (seed only), wholesale hemp flower, and nutritious hemp grain for human and animal consumption.
New West Genetics’ Products
Seed certification provides growers and farmers third party verification that a seed will perform as advertised. This can be related to the rate of germination, yield percentage and harvest uniformity. For hemp seeds the Department of Agriculture or the state agriculture university will test to verify that the THC content is stable and below 0.3%. The Colorado Department of Agriculture tested NWG Rely© in the field season of 2016 and certified that this variety passed the THC validation. New West Genetics is excited to submit Rely© for AOSCA certification in the 2017 field season.
This term refers to seeds that are genetically pure to the varietal identity. Certified seeds are labeled through an official seed-certifying agency (AOSCA) program that helps make genetically pure seeds (field crops, turf grasses, fruits, vegetables, woody plants, forbs and vegetative propagated species) available for sale. Once seed has been certified, it qualifies for the official “blue” certified seed tag and meets state, federal and international seed law requirements.
The similarities in the aromas emitted by the flowering plants Humulus lupulus (hops) and Cannabis sativa (marijuana) has led to a movement among commercial and home brewers. The Cannabaceae plant family is very unique and quite exclusive; among its’ limited members are Cannabis and Humulus. Aside from their similar flower structure both of these species contain terpenes, which are found in most of the plant and fungi across the planet. Terpenes are responsible for the aromatic compounds that give cannabis its aroma and beer its distinct flavor. Brewers are crafting new recipes using these varying and isolated terpene profiled hemp plants to make beer in delectably exciting new flavors.
Brewers’ Hemp© refers to specialty varieties bred and designed after working in collaboration with brewers to develop flavor profiles based on specific, unique terpene and cannabinoid content. NWG verifies that each unique profile meets exact brewer’s specifications and enhances their craft brewed beverages.
We will not sell our high CBD seed in the United States yet, but what New West Genetics can do is work with interested companies and contract to grow these high CBD seeds on the client’s behalf.
Absolutely! Rely© is a certified grain variety that is bred specifically for the Western region. In season 2018 we will have Rely© grain readily available for retail product makers.
As of Winter 2017, all of New West Genetics seed has been spoken for until Q4 of 2018! We will however be contacting farmers and growers to contract grow some of the 2018 and on seasons. Please order here if you are interested in contract growing for us.
No. CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound defined by its chemical characteristics which distinguish it from all other compounds in the physical universe. Any suggestion that CBD derived from hemp is different from that of marijuana is false. This would be akin to suggesting that calcium derived from the milk of a cow is different from that of a goat. In fact, it is less contentious since hemp and marijuana are slight variants of the same species. It is true that the final CBD extract from a hemp cultivar may differ from that of a marijuana strain for features such as the terpene and/or cannabinoid abundance. However, these characteristics will also distinguish different strains of marijuana since they have been selected for different attributes (e.g. %THC). There is no reason that a hemp variety could not create a CBD extract identical to that of marijuana, differentiated only by its low THC content. The quality if either the marijuana or hemp may vary, but the essential compound of CBD remains CBD.
Identifying what cannabinoid/s is/are affecting which neuro-pathways will take a tremendous team of professionals from multiple disciplines in science. The ability to use marker-assisted breeding will help this happen faster and pinpoint with certainty the pathways desired for selection. This will make medicinal solutions more stable and predictable for product makers and consumers. New West Genetics is building the background knowledge necessary to move Cannabis sativa’s potential into a data-based reality.
In 1988 Devane et al reported the existence of cannabinoid binding sites in the human brain. This CB1 receptor was cloned in 1990, and identified as part of the family of G protein-coupled receptors. A second cannabinoid receptor, CB2, was discovered in 1993 (Munro et al. 1993). We now know that these 2 cannabinoid receptors exist in all chordates and evolved hundreds of millions of years ago (Pertwee et al 2010). The presence of these receptors implies that humans (and other chordates) produce their own compounds that bind to these receptors. Two such endogenous or endocannabinoids have been discovered and characterized. There is currently an ongoing effort to understand which cannabinoids are affecting which neuro-pathways will take a tremendous team of professionals from multiple disciplines in science.
Cannabinoids are a subset of terpenophenolics that are unique to the species C.. sativa. There are 70 known cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa (Flores-Sanchez and Verpoorte 2008), with the most abundant being Δ9 THC (Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBN (Cannabinol). Several of the genes controlling the biosynthesis of these compounds from a Cannabigerol precursor have been identified (Taura et al. 1996). The amount and type of cannabinoids produced is influenced by both genetic variation among Cannbis sativa plants and the environment (de Meijer et al. 2003). Cannabinoids are at highest concentration in glandular trichomes of the plant, and therefore genes controlling trichome development will also influence the amount of cannabinoids a given plant produces.
No, NWG does not perform genetic engineering on any of our varieties. NWG uses traditional plant breeding techniques to create varieties adapted to production in the United States. We incorporate modern sequencing technology and statistical genetics methods to accelerate the development process. This approach allows us to make more informed decisions, thus minimizing the time to market for improved varieties. Ultimately, all stakeholders in the supply chain benefit from higher yielding hemp carrying value-added traits (e.g. high CBD flower).
Yes, it’s true! However, the best seed is well bred for adaptation to your specific region and climate. Though major traits will remain stable, variety performance will vary slightly within a region. Importantly, cannabinoid content will not have significant variances. Rely’s© THC content varied minimally across the landscape of Colorado. Every plant stayed well below 0.2% THC in every location regardless of altitude, rainfall, or other regional growing conditions.
In botanical terms, all three are generally defined as a group of offspring descended from a common ancestor which share common morphological and/or physiological characteristics. In cannabis, there is an unofficial distinction.
A cannabis strain can be defined as a group of plants created asexually through clonal propagation. This is the most common form of plant production in the marijuana industry. Clones, by definition, are nearly identical genetically with the exception of the random mutations during plant cell division in the development of the “mother plant” (the plant from which a population of clones is generated). Mutations are almost always deleterious. A single mother plant creates a finite number of progeny so the maintenance of a strain requires cloning from the progeny of the original mother. Mutations accumulate with each successive generation so that, eventually, clone quality (e.g. cannabinoid profile.) deteriorates to the point that the strain is abandoned. Some may refer to this mutational load as genetic drift but this is a misnomer.
A cannabis variety (or cultivar) can be defined as a group of plants created sexually through propagation of seed. The seed of selected plants (those expressing the characteristic of interest) are used for planting the following generation. Mutations undoubtedly occur during sexual reproduction but they only impact a single individual which can be removed from the population by the breeder. As soon as an individual carrying a mutation is used as a mother plant, all derived progeny will inherit the mutation.
Citations and Relevant Cannabis sativa Research
Atakan Z. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. 2012;2(6):241-254. doi:10.1177/2045125312457586.
Bielecka M, Kaminski F, Adams I, Poulson H, Sloan R, Li Y, Larson TR, Winzer T, Graham IA. Targeted mutation of Δ12 and Δ15 desaturase genes in hemp produce major alterations in seed fatty acid composition including a high oleic hemp oil. Plant Biotechnology J. 2014 Feb 10.
Bócsa I, Mathé P, Hangyel L. (1997) Effect of nitrogen on N tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in hemp (Cannabis sativa) L.) leaves at different positions. J. Int. Hemp Assoc. 4: 80–81.
Clarke RC (1981) Marijuana Botany: An Advanced Study: The Propagation and Breeding of Distinctive Cannabis. Ronin, Berkley CA
Etienne P. M. de Meijer, Manuela Bagatta, Andrea Carboni, Paola Crucitti,
V. M. Cristiana Moliterni, Paolo Ranalli and Giuseppe Mandolino (2003) The Inheritance of Chemical Phenotype in Cannabis sativa L. Genetics 163: 335–346
Flores-Sanchez IJ, Verpoorte R. PKS activities and biosynthesis of cannabinoids and flavonoids in Cannabis sativa L. plants. Plant Cell Physiol. 2008 Dec;49(12):1767-82.
Flores-Sanchez IJ, Choi YH, Verpoorte R. Metabolite analysis of Cannabis sativa L. by NMR spectroscopy. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 815:363-75.
Gadzicki D, Müller-Vahl K, Stuhrmann M. A frequent polymorphism in the coding exon of the human cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) gene. Mol Cell Probes. 1999 Aug;13(4):321-3.
Harm van Bakel, Jake M Stout, Atina G Cote, Carling M Tallon, Andrew G Sharpe, Timothy R Hughes and Jonathan E Page (2011) The draft genome and transcriptome of Cannabis sativa. Genome Biology 2011, 12:R102
Johnson, Renee (2012) Congressional Research Service Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity, a report prepared for Congress -RL 32725 http://www.naihc.org/images/NAIHC/crs_report_2012.pdf
Kreitzer FR, Stella N. The therapeutic potential of novel cannabinoid receptors. Pharmacol Ther. 2009 May;122(2):83-96.
Lydon JA, Teramuraand H, Coffman CB (1987) UV-B radiation effects on photosynthesis, growth and cannabinoid production of two Cannabis sativa chemotypes. Photochem. Photobiol. 46: 201-206.
Mechtler K, Bailer J, de Hueber K (2004) Variations in ∆9-THC content in single plants of hemp varieties. Ind. Crop Prod. 19: 19-24.
Miller LK, Devi LA. The highs and lows of cannabinoid receptor expression in disease: mechanisms and their therapeutic implications. Pharmacology Rev. 2011 Sep;63(3):461-70.
Montford S, Small E (1999). A comparison of biodiversity friendly crops with special reference to hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). J. Int. Hemp Assoc. 8: 533-63.
Munro S, Thomas KL, Abu-Shaar M. Molecular characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids. Nature. 1993 Sep 2; 365(6441):61-5.
Pertwee RG, Howlett AC, Abood ME, Alexander SP, Di Marzo V, Elphick MR, Greasley PJ, Hansen HS, Kunos G, Mackie K, Mechoulam R, Ross RA. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXIX. Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands: beyond CB₁ and CB₂. Pharmacology Rev. 2010 Dec;62(4):588-631.
Shannon L. Datwyler Ph.D. and George D. Weiblen Ph.D. Genetic Variation in Hemp and Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) According to Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms. (2006) Journal of Forensic Sciences 51: 371–375
Small E, Marcus D (2002) Hemp: a new crop with uses for North America. ASHS Press, Alexandria VA. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html
Staginnus C, Zörntlein S, de Meijer E. A PCR marker Linked to a THCA synthase Polymorphism is a Reliable Tool to Discriminate Potentially THC-Rich Plants of Cannabis sativa L. J Forensic Sci. 2014 Mar 3..
Taura F, Morimoto S, Shoyama Y. Purification and characterization of cannabidiolic-acid synthase from Cannabis sativa L.. Biochemical analysis of a novel enzyme that catalyzes the oxidocyclization of cannabigerolic acid to cannabidiolic acid. J Biol Chem. 1996 Jul 19;271(29):17411-6.
Tholl, 2006, “Terpene synthases and the regulation, diversity and biological roles of terpene metabolism”, Current Opinion in Plant Biology 9 (3): 297-304)
US Farm Bill: Agricultural Act of 2014 H.R. 2642 http://naihc.org/images/stories/farmbill_ih.pdf
Van Bakel H, Stout JM, Cote AG, Tallon CM, Sharpe AG, Hughes TR, Page JE (2011) The draft genome and transcriptome of Cannabis sativa. Genome Biology 12: R102.