The 2018 CannaTrade event in Switzerland was memorable for the way CBD products have become part of normal Swiss life. Canna Trade is an event that first appeared in 2001 following the Swiss hemp-boom in the 1990’s. Today CannaTrade is a professional and well organised event which attracts some of the biggest names in the European CBD industry. Dutch Passion’s highlights of the 2018 CannaTrade fair are listed below.
CBD rich cannabis was everywhere at CannaTrade, buds were on display at the expo, some in extravagantly sized jars. You can buy CBD rich cannabis buds in Swiss CBD stores, Tobacconists and even Lidl Switzerland sell them. There is a massive choice of varieties available. The CBD rich cannabis buds look and smell just like THC rich cannabis, but they don't get you high. By Swiss law, THC has to be under 1% in the dried CBD cannabis buds. And you can smoke it, or vape it quite openly. The Swiss are tolerant and open minded about CBD rich cannabis use. Swiss hemp stores sell a huge range of products, foods, nutritional supplements, tinctures, clothing and everything else.
In Switzerland CBD-rich cannabis is quite openly sold and used as a tobacco alternative. So who would know if you smoked some THC rich cannabis? it smells the same and no-one would know unless the weed was tested. It was claimed that the Swiss Police have a gadget which can quickly check if THC levels are over 1%, though few Swiss people have ever seen a test being carried out. And at CannaTrade itself the Police kept a very low profile, if they were present at all. And yet there were plenty of people smoking CBD rich cannabis and no doubt many of them had sneaked some THC rich weed into the joint as well. CBD-rich cannabis plants are also grown in the Swiss CBD shops, and there were lots of CBD plants at CannaTrade too. Now that Lidl Supermarket is selling CBD weed in Switzerland, it seems that public opinion has firmly accepted CBD rich cannabis.
The Swiss now have a number of suppliers that grow CBD rich Hemp and cannabis varieties. The best quality CBD weed is grown indoors under LED grow lights, this is also the most expensive and the buds look just like normal cannabis buds. Some growers also grow it outdoors and in greenhouses. As well as the Hemp varieties that were traditionally grown, many of the better quality Hemp growers are now growing specially bred low THC cannabis varieties such as Dutch Passion CBD Charlotte’s Angel and CBD Auto Charlotte’s Angel. Both contain around 15% CBD with THC levels of below 1% and usually around 0.6%. These varieties are higher yielding than Hemp, with traditional looking cannabis buds. By comparison some of the Hemp varieties have lower CBD levels and the buds look light and airy.
Many people think the CBD model will eventually be used when THC rich cannabis is legalized in Switzerland. One worry is that there are still reports of low quality growers of CBD weed. We heard of people that dry their crops outdoors in the sun to reduce drying times from 7 days to 48 hours, but this will significantly reduce terpenes, aroma and taste. And we heard of growers that deliberately leave their buds in the sun to ensure that THC is broken down to well below 1%. Fortunately we also heard that the best growers are using USA-style production facilities with top quality LED grow lights such as Fluence. These growers get the highest prices for their crops, with superior flavor, smell and appearance. Prices for the CBD weed are reasonably competitive since there are some rumours of over-supply following the investments which have flooded into the CBD industry in the last year or two.
One of the new companies at CannaTrade was Excite LED. This is a high quality Swiss manufacturer of LED grow lights, popular with some of the larger growers of CBD rich cannabis. They have a great reputation for build quality and performance, and their products have been tested and approved by Crazy LEDs, Dutch Passion’s sister company. The Excite LED grow lights use 125W of power and sit on a purpose built rail. This allows several lights to sit fairly close to the crop canopy, but because the light comes from several sources (rather than just a single point) the canopy gets even light coverage without an optical ‘hot spot’ in the middle. The Excite technology delivers unusually high efficiency levels of 2.9 PPF/Watt on their fSpectrum model, and 2.8PPF/Watt on the iSpectrum model.The Excite fSpectrum uses a fixed light spectrum that delivers excellent results in bloom and veg. The Excite iSpectrum allows 2-channel spectral control and dimmable power, it’s more expensive but allows full grower control. Both grow lights produce excellent quality cannabis, even light distribution, and have excellent build quality and can be bought at Crazy LEDs with an €85 e-voucher to spend on the Dutch Passion website.
May 25th 2018