VIREO HEALTH AND MINNMED DEVELOP NEW CBD-RICH CANNABIS PLANT
“Katelyn Faith” Strain Could be the Most CBD-Intensive Plant in the World
Otsego, Minn. (December 16, 2015) – Vireo Health and its subsidiary Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed) announced today that they have developed a new type of cannabis plant that is extraordinarily high in CBD, one of two of the primary medicinal components of the plant. Vireo Health believes that the new plant is the most CBD-rich plant in the world, and that the discovery could lead to more affordable cannabis-based medicines for Minnesota patients.
“This is a great example of how patients benefit from our focus on scientific research,” said Kyle Kingsley, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health. “This discovery will eventually lead to lower prices for many patients.”
The cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two primary medicinal components in the cannabis plant. In a typical cannabis plant, CBD is much less abundant than THC. CBD has been found to be especially useful as an anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory treatment, and could also be useful for treatment of a number of other medical conditions. High-CBD formulations also have little to no intoxication side effects.
On November 19th, an independent third-party laboratory analysis found that a new Vireo Health cannabis strain had a CBD-to-THC ratio of 34-to-1. For context, the CBD-to-THC ratio of cannabis typically sold for medical use is around 1-to-1, and around 20-to-1 for “Charlotte’s Web,” a particularly high-CBD strain used in medicines. The 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” made Charlotte’s Web famous, causing many to move to Colorado to access the strain.
“This is likely the most CBD-rich strain in the world, though it’s difficult to know for sure, because testing is not as rigorous and transparent as it should be,” said Kingsley.
CBD levels of traditional cannabis strains are relatively low, so numerous plants must be grown to produce CBD-rich medicines. This can make the cost of medicine burdensome for patients who require high doses of a CBD-rich formulation. Within about six to eight months, Vireo Health hopes the expanded availability of its new CBD-rich plant will lead to lower prices for Minnesota patients using CBD-rich formulations.
Under current state and federal laws banning the exportation of medical cannabis across state lines, the new strain cannot be used to help patients outside of Minnesota. Vireo Health hopes those laws will eventually be adjusted to allow more patients to benefit. In the meantime, the company plans to use its cutting-edge horticultural techniques to attempt to develop similar CBD-rich strains in New York, where it is also licensed to operate.
The new strain was discovered through MinnMed’s painstaking process of developing hundreds of plant strains, and testing the content of each strain in its in-house laboratory. A few hundred plants of the newly developed strain are already being grown in MinnMed’s greenhouse in Otsego, Minnesota.
MinnMed has dubbed the strain “Katelyn Faith” in memory of Katelyn Faith Pauling, an eight-year old girl from Montevideo, Minnesota who often accompanied her parents as they vigorously advocated for medical cannabis at the Minnesota State Capitol. Katelyn passed away due to complications from Battens Disease, which causes seizures. She passed away on March 20, 2015, before the Minnesota medical cannabis law became effective on July 1, 2015. Her condition would have made her a prime candidate to benefit from high-CBD medicines.
“We named this special plant after a special little girl,” said Kingsley.
MinnMed currently serves state-certified patients at its patient centers in Minneapolis and Rochester. It is one of two manufacturers licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health to treat patients with customized cannabis-based medicines in capsule, oil and tincture form. Under Minnesota’s medical cannabis law, smoking of raw cannabis-based plant material is not permitted. Vireo Health of New York, another subsidiary of Vireo Health, is one of only five licensed manufacturers in New York State. More background is available at minnesotamedicalsolutions.com, vireohealth.com and health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/.
Contact: Joe Loveland, Minnesota Medical Solutions, 651-248-8534, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available upon request:
- Legend lab report
- Photograph of plant