Vireo Health Develops New CBD-Rich Cannabis Strain

Vireo Health and Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed) have developed a “new type” of cannabis plant boasting a cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ratio of 34-to-1, the companies announced. The findings were discovered by an independent third-party laboratory analysis.  

“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,” Vireo Health CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley said in a statement.

The medical benefits of CBD rose to prominence when the CBD-rich “Charlotte’s Web” strain was featured in the 2013 CNN documentary “Weed.” CBD-rich formulas are commonly used for anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory treatments. The ratio of CBD to THC in Charlotte’s Web is around 20-to-1.   

Due to the low levels of CBD in traditional cannabis strains, typically 1-to-1 CBD to THC, a large volume of plants are required to extract relatively small CBD amounts, making high CBD formulation medicine costs high. The new strain, dubbed “Katelyn Faith,” was developed at MinnMed’s Otsego, Minnesota greenhouse and the company expects it to be available in the state in “six to eight months,” according to a release.     

“This is a great example of how patients benefit from our focus on scientific research,” Kingsley said. “This discovery will eventually lead to lower prices for many patients.”

Federal and state laws prohibit exporting medical cannabis across state lines, so Katelyn Faith will only be initially available to patients in Minnesota but Vireo hopes to replicate the strain in the other states it is licensed to operate. Vireo is one of five companies licensed under New York’s Compassionate Care Act who are expected to be open for business Jan. 1.

“We expect that this discovery will ultimately benefit patients in New York as well as Minnesota,”  Vireo Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Dahmer said. “We will work with our partners at Minnesota Medical Solutions and are confident that over time we will be able to develop a similar plant with similar characteristics.”

Photo Credit: Jordan Greentree


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