INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwired - Dec 22, 2014) - Stevia Corp. (OTCQB: STEV) ("Stevia Corp" or the "Company"), an international farm management company focused on the commercial development of products that support a healthy lifestyle, including stevia and hemp and their extracts, is pleased to announce the Company's Hong Kong subsidiary, Stevia Technew Ltd, has confirmed a cost effective protocol to produce synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) that is molecularly equivalent to CBD extracted from the cannabis sativa plant.
Current market prices of CBD range, depending on concentration and source, from $40,000 per kilo to over $100,000 per kilo. Stevia Technew's protocol produces a high purity CBD at less than half the cost of traditional extraction methods providing opportunity to gain market share of a much broader market.
CBD is one of at least 85 cannabinoids (chemical compounds found in both industrial hemp and marijuana) and hundreds of scientific studies have demonstrated CBD's potential in addressing a wide range of serious conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, HIV dementia and many others. CBD is also non-psychoactive and avoids toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses.
CBD's promising potential has been the subject of intense media publicity including the documentary special "WEED" by CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta who spent a year traveling around the world to shed light on the debate of medical marijuana. One of many cases highlighted by Dr. Gupta was Charlotte Figi, a young child who suffered from Dravet Syndrome, a rare and severe form of intractable epilepsy that strikes young children and is not controllable with traditional medication but responded to treatment with an extract from medical marijuana that was high in CBD and low in THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) with no apparent side effects.
Some of the issues faced when producing CBD by plant extraction include the US Federal Law which prohibits the growing of Marijuana, the omission in the definition of industrial hemp to include resin extracted from the bud (where the greatest concentration of cannabinoids reside), and the fact that it is still not legal to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes in the US. Plant extracts can also contain heavy metals and other undesirable impurities if the source and processing is not carefully controlled.
Stevia Technew's protocol utilizes compounds that have no legal restrictions that can be synthesized to create the molecular equivalent of CBD at a fraction of the current market prices.
George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp President, commented, "Perhaps even more impactful for the creation of shareholder value, Stevia Corp is also focused on several patentable applications for CBD and has engaged a patent attorney with the intent to file several provisional patents in the coming months with more updates planned for January 2015."
Further details of the Company's business, finances, appointments and agreements can be found as part of the Company's continuous public disclosure as a reporting issuer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") EDGAR database. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
About Stevia Corp. (OTCQB: STEV)
Stevia Corp. is a farm management company focused on developing highly nutritional, high value products through proprietary plant breeding, excellent agricultural methodologies and innovative post-harvest techniques. Stevia Corp invests in R&D and IP acquisition and manages its own propagation, nursery and plantations as well as provides services to contract growers and other industry growers. Stevia Corp was founded on the principal of implementing socially responsible, sustainable, quality agribusiness solutions to maximize the long-term efficient production of nutritional crops. For additional information please visit: www.steviacorp.us.
About the Hemp Industry Sector
Hemp is a crop that can be grown for food and non-food purposes. As a result of its numerous nutritional benefits, many new food products containing hemp seed and its oil are finding their way into the marketplace, including pasta, tortilla chips, salad dressings, snack products and frozen desserts. Non-dairy hemp "milk" beverages, which provide significant amounts of omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) and protein, are also available. Hemp oil is also used in nutraceuticals and health care products.
As a fiber source, hemp is undergoing rapid growth as a natural fiber in everything from clothing and textiles to automotive composites. The fiber is also gaining popularity as insulation.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) estimated that the 2013 retail sales value of hemp food and body care products in the United States was $184 million. When clothing, paper, auto parts, building materials and various other products are included, the HIA estimates that the total retail value of hemp products sold in the US in 2013 to be at least $581 million.
Seed and fiber uses for industrial hemp are growing rapidly and have increased over 300 percent, serving more than 50,000 products, in the past few years. Much of that growth is coming from the increased sales of hemp food products.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release, which are not purely historical, are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, production of synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) by Stevia Technew, gaining market share, potential of CBD for treating diseases, filing of patents, annual retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S., growth of industrial hemp product industry, product development and business strategy. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects and development stage companies. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.