If there was ever a perfect time to grow hemp in America, it is now. For the first time in over 80 years, farmers can play the hemp game without looking over their shoulders, thanks to the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018.
The legislation allows farmers to legally grow the cash crop for both personal and commercial use. Now, hemp wholesale companies, retailers, farmers, and many other entities would love to know more about growing hemp for various uses.
In this guide, we explore farming and commercial of CBD-hemp in detail. We will give you a rundown on the growing process right from the basics of growing the hemp cone until it is converted into CBD biomass.
Understanding Hemp Varieties
Firstly you need to understand that there are three categories of it: fiber, grain, and high-CBD varieties. Here’s a succinct explanation of each variety:
- Fiber: This type of hemp produces long fibers and biomass and is primarily used in textiles, building materials, paper, composites, fuel, and more.
- Grain: Thanks to their high fatty acid, protein, and fiber content, grain hemp is utilized for food and nutritional needs. Essentially, these varieties produce low cannabinoid content than their counterparts.
- Cannabinoid (CBD) hemp: These are the most sought-after strains of hemp since they find use in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. They are grown as female species for better yields and zero seed production. This is where the money is.
Growing a CBD hemp farm
Before growing cannabinoid hemp, it is always a good idea to find out what the law says about it. Once you understand the legalities and obtain the necessary approvals, the steps followed in growing the crop include the following:
- Choice of Equipment: The first thing is to select the farming equipment to use for planting, harvesting, and extraction the CBD.
- Planting and Weeding: Typically, the planting season begins the end of May till the first week of June. Hemp clones, provided by in-state processors, are transplanted into 40” rows on the ground. After planting, the hemp needs to have sufficient moisture to fix the roots. Weeding is done using hoes or row cultivation. No herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are allowed.
- Harvesting: CBD hemp grows rapidly within the first 60 days. When it reaches maturity, the field will have to be inspected for male plants as these can cause pollination and a drop in the CBD concentration. After between 100 and 120 days, the female-only crop would be heavy with cannabinoid content both on its flowers and biomass, yet less than 0.3% THC. Once harvesting is done, the crop is dragged down to any available drying point—a rack, shed, tobacco barn, fan, dehumidifiers, mechanical dryers, and even straight to extraction.
CBD hemp farming is quite intensive but if done right, it can be a goldmine. The success of the process lies in understanding all the laws associated with hemp and choosing the right equipment. The rest is mostly trial and error alongside wit and instinct.