Badger G Hemp wins USDA nod for medical cultivation

Apr 16, 2024


The USDA has given its approval to a new form of hemp, known as Badger G, which has been genetically engineered to enhance its medicinal qualities. This decision was made by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which deemed that Badger G did not present any increased risk over conventional crops.

Developed by experts at the Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center, University of Wisconsin, Badger G is tailored to produce higher levels of cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid acclaimed for its therapeutic efficacy. CBG has shown promise in medical research for conditions such as Huntington’s disease and glaucoma.

This genetic adjustment not only amplifies CBG but also suppresses the production of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the component responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effects — and cannabidiol (CBD). The reduction in THC levels is particularly crucial for adhering to regulatory standards and focusing the plant's use on health benefits without psychoactive side effects.

The approval of Badger G is part of a wider trend in which the USDA-APHIS has sanctioned several genetically modified crops this year, including variations of canola, camelina, and potatoes, each engineered for specific improvements like herbicide resistance and disease resilience.

These developments signify a shift towards genetically tailored crops that can meet specific consumer and medical needs, paving the way for future innovations in agricultural science. With Badger G, farmers and medical researchers now have a new tool to explore the potential health benefits of cannabis-based therapies, aligning with scientific advancements and regulatory frameworks.

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