Hemp seed research and development company, Oregon CBD has gifted $1 million to Oregon State University’s (OSU) Global Hemp Innovation Center to research hemp genomics and explore how the plant can be used in textiles, construction materials, and health and nutrition products.
Oregon CBD has long-standing ties to OSU as co-owners Seth and Eric Crawford have earned several degrees there and their grandfather Loren Gardner graduated from the University in 1954.
Seth Crawford says that the gift, which is the first that the Center has received since its recent opening, is a way for him and his brother to give back to the school that has been a part of their family for decades.
The Global Hemp Innovation Center, which was launched in June by OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is currently the most comprehensive hemp research facility in the United States and operates with an experienced faculty from 19 disciplines and a global partnership that spans four countries.
“There is a tremendous amount of possibility with hemp, and understanding the genetics is key,” said Seth Crawford in a statement. “Philosophically, we believe the public land grant university needs to be the epicenter of that research so that all can benefit from the findings.”
OSU professor Jay Noller says that there has been an outpouring of support and interest in their work at the Center, and that there is currently little information that is available publicly for research despite the fact that private sector hemp genomic studies have been conducted.
Noller says that genomic tools will expand understanding of hemp DNA in different varieties and provide insights for developing specific strains for use in a range of products.
He says that the research may also reveal how genes influence chemical production in hemp and lead to the development of plants that produce a higher yield and are more disease resistant.
Such knowledge could allow hemp growers to better predict cannabinoid levels that are produced in different varieties.