Hemp Genome: By “modern” vernacular, Hemp is distinguishable from Cannabis due to the presence of Cannabidiolic Acid Synthase (CBDA-S) in the bio-synthetic pathway of Hemp versus Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid Synthase (THCA-S) in the bio-synthetic pathway of Cannabis.
A bio-synthetic pathway is s a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process where substrates are converted into more complex products in living organisms (wikipedia).
When these plants are harvested, the “Wet-Weight” of the plant is in the form of CBDA-Synthase (CBDA-S) for Hemp, and THCA-Synthase (THCA-S) for Cannabis, rather than CBD / THC as is commonly believed.
Generally, Hemp use involves immediate processing into Industrial products such as fiber, food, fuels etc from the CBDA-Synthase Taxonomic family. More recently, extraction processes are being used to produce CBD extracts, oils and crystalline salts for Medicinal uses from various parts of the plant.
To achieve “Dry-Weight”, the plant must be cured in a light, temperature and humidity-controlled environment for 6-8 weeks. During this time the THCA-Synthase folds in Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA) to produce Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid – A (THCA-A), or CBDA-Synthase folds in CBGA to produce CBDA.
THCA-A, and/or CBDA must be Non-Exzymatically Decarboxylated once they are cured, to produce THC, or CBD. CBD as previously mentioned is generally produced with intervention short of traditional aging periods that are applicable to natural drying of “Dry-Weight” usage.
The “Dry-Weight” use of Cannabis is where “Marijuana” usage comes from. This is when the final dried produce is heated to release the Carboxyl Group, CO2, and produce psycho-activity in THC.