What is a Cultivar?
...and why does it matter?
Cultivar, or cultivated variety simply refers to plants that are selected for desired characteristics and bred to preserve or maximize that characteristic.
For example, most modern crops like corn, soy and wheat (as well as ornamental plants like roses, geraniums and even palm trees!) have been cultivated over the course of history to produce the highest crop yields, retain the most desirable flavors, appearance or resilience to disease, drought or even pests.
Wait a minute...
This sounds a lot like Genetic Modification. Well, in theory it is, but it is not exactly what we currently call GMO. Modern Genetically Modified Organisms are engineered by botanists by implanting genetic material or chemically altering a plant’s gene structure. What we are talking about today is actually more along the lines of selective breeding.
There are now countless cannabis cultivars designed for different purposes, but most common is the selective breeding of different varieties to tailor the output of various Cannabinoids. What this means for the consumer is that some plants are selectively bred together to yield a production level of THC, while others are bred to produce the maximum concentration of CBD and suppress THC production.We when talk about hemp (sometimes called industrial hemp) we are talking about specific varieties of the Cannabis sativa L. selectively bred over time to suppress the plants production of THC (the famously psychotropic compound in marijuana that gets you high) so that the plant can be utilized for various industrial purposes without running afoul of the federal government’s narcotic laws.
Amongst these hemp varieties are cultivars designed specifically to produce extremely high levels of CBD for medicinal consumption. Two of these strains are called Otto II and BaOx. These are the two strains from which Common Ground products are based.
So what’s the benefit of a high CBD hemp cultivar? Why would we take the time and energy to produce extract from these plants and not another strain of cannabis? Well, efficiency is the answer.While can be a fantastically agreeable and resilient crop to farm, like any crop, it requires precious resources. Some more scarce than others. Amongst those resources is:
1. Water - which often comes in short supply here in Colorado
2. Clean Soil - cannabis is a bio-accumlator. Meaning it will leach vitamins, minerals and even toxins from soil. Proper land and soil and is absolutely vital to quality CBD production.
3. Energy - both electric and fossil fuel. Unfortunately, CBD production is a energy intensive. We farm outdoors in the beautiful Colorado sun, but that means that we have to use trucks and tractors to plant and harvest. The drying, extracting and refining processes also require a lot of energy.
4. Human Capital - the most important of all of our resources is the expertise, attention and handcrafting that goes into farming, testing, extracting, testing, formulating, testing again and eventually delivering a top quality product to our customers.
It is logical that if we can produce 4-5x the CBD per pound of crop, then we will be able to use only a fraction of the precious resources that would be required of a low yield crop.