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Ongoing Project 2020-22: Feeding spent hemp biomass to lambs: cannabinoid residuals, animal health, and product quality

This is our first experiment where we assess the effect of feeding spent hemp biomass to lambs on cannabinoids residuals in meat and effect on animal health and performance

Our long-term goal is to implement the safe use of hemp byproducts in livestock diets and take full advantage of their nutritional and potential medicinal properties to improve animal health and the quality of animal products. The objective of the present proposal is to assess the presence of THC and CBD residuals in meat of ruminant animals fed diets that contain spent hemp biomass. These data are essential for obtaining FDA approval for use of hemp byproducts in ruminant diets. This proposal is predicated upon the fact that hemp is a rapidly growing industry that can provide economically viable and potentially health-improving byproducts to feed ruminants. However, data to obtain FDA approval for hemp use are not available in the U.S. Therefore, there is a critical need to assess the presence of cannabinoid residuals in milk and meat in ruminants fed hemp byproducts and their effect on quality of the animal products and animal health and performance. Our rationale is that data on THC and CBD residuals in animal byproducts and safety are essential for use as livestock feed and this research is needed for the process of obtaining FDA approval for the feeding of hemp byproducts to ruminants. The expanding hemp industry is of very high interest to Oregon and other U.S. livestock producers due to the possibility of obtaining cost-effective, high-quality feed supplements with potential health benefits for animals. The objective of this study is:

To determine the effect on health and meat quality and THC and CBD residuals in finishing lambs fed spent hemp biomass in place of alfalfa as the roughage source. We will investigate feeding level and withdrawal period of spent hemp biomass in place of alfalfa in feedlot-finishing lamb diets. Specifically, we are assessing THC and CBD residuals in meat cuts, along with evaluating growth performance, carcass traits, and meat quality.




  • Parker N., Bionaz m., Ford H., Trevisi E., Ates S. 2021. Effects of inclusion level and clearing period of spent hemp biomass on lamb growth, feed intake and animal health. American Chemical Society Fall Meetings.
  • Nolan, N., Z. Kiesler, S. Ates, M. Bionaz, M. Kutzler. 2021. Feeding spent hemp biomass increases testicular weight and sperm motility in young rams. Western Animal Science Meeting
  • Bionaz, M., S. Ates, R. Muchiri, R. Van Breemen. 2021. Cannabinoids residuals in liver and bilirubin level in blood of lambs fed with spent hemp biomass are highly affected by dose and withdrawal period. 2021 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference.
  • Bionaz, M., S. Ates, E. Trevisi, N. Parker, H.R. Ford. 2021. Feeding spent hemp biomass to finishing rams: effects on blood parameters related to health and metabolism. 2021 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference.
  • Parker. N., H.R. Ford, M. Bionaz, E. Trevisi, S. Ates. 2021. Assessment of spent hemp biomass as a potential feedstuff in ruminant diets. J. Anim. Sci. (ASAS Conference 2021)
Project members: 
Principle Investigator
Principle Investigator
Graduate Student
Graduate Student

Funding Source


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