Every farmer knows that soil can make the difference between a bumper crop and a failed harvest. That’s why it’s so important for farmers to take the time to test, prepare, and manage their soil throughout a crop’s growing season. Though hemp has a reputation for growing easily, that doesn’t mean you can ignore your soil. While hemp can grow in many different regions and climates, soil matters. The right soil for hemp can dramatically increase the health of your hemp plants and your yields of CBD or CBG.

Fortunately, farmers with the right know-how and a reliable soil plan can turn most types of soil into great hemp soil. What kind of soil does hemp grow best in? Let’s find out.

The Best Soil for Industrial Hemp

Before we discuss the best soil to grow hemp, it’s important to recognize that farming industrial hemp in the United States is still a relatively new experience. Only since the passage of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills have farmers in the modern era been allowed to grow hemp. That means we’re all still working to figure out best practices, including the best soil for growing hemp. We encourage you to take our suggestions as just that: suggestions. Use them as a basis and start experimenting with your own soil and crop.

the best soil for industrial hemp

With that out of the way, here’s what we can tell you about the best hemp soil conditions. Hemp loves to grow in loose, well-drained, and loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. It also prefers deep soil that is rich in organic matter.
Don’t have well-aerated, loamy soil? Not a problem. We’ve found that hemp can also grow well in clay soil that is well-drained, and even sandy soil as long as you give extra focus to irrigation and fertilization.

It’s also imperative that your soil doesn’t include heavy metals. Hemp is famous for its “bioaccumulative” properties, meaning that it can absorb many properties from soil, including, according to Hemp Industry Daily, “radioactive elements, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, explosives, and fuel.” This makes hemp an excellent option to clean up abused soil (hemp has even been planted around Chernobyl), but it can be very problematic if your soil contains dangerous substances!
How do you know if your fields have the best soil to grow hemp? More importantly, if your hemp soil conditions are less than ideal, how can you make over your soil to improve your hemp harvest? Fortunately, farmers have a lot of tools and options to improve their soil for hemp.

Test Your Soil

Before you even consider growing your first hemp crop (or really any cash crop), you must perform soil testing for hemp so you can understand what you are working with. A soil test will give you the pH of your soil as well as the nutrient balance of the soil. You’ll see where your soil is deficient and where you may have an overabundance of certain elements that might hurt your crop.
It’s a good idea to test your soil several months before you plan on planting, so you have time to perform your soil prep.

Create an Irrigation and Soil Nutrient Plan

Your soil test will give you the information you need to create an irrigation and nutrient plan for your fields. This plan should start with steps to prepare your field before planting, including addressing any nutrient deficiencies before you add your hemp seeds or starts.

Bringing your soil up to health is only the beginning: Your plan should also include steps to maintain the health of your hemp soil throughout your growing season.

The second part of the plan will feature your irrigation strategy. Remember that hemp plants need well-drained soil. Overwatering hemp plants is a common and disastrous mistake. Our research has found that drip irrigation, pivot irrigation, and floor irrigation can all work well with a hemp crop.

Prepare Your Soil for Hemp

Most farmers need to perform some interventions to make their soil more conducive to hemp. If you are starting a brand-new field, you will likely have to do more work than on a field you’ve been working for many years. Your soil test will guide you on how to prepare your soil. Your goal should be to build the health of your entire field ecosystem.
Here are a few quick suggestions on the specific nutrients in your soil:

Nitrogen

Hemp is all about the nitrogen. If your soil testing for hemp shows that your soil is lacking in nitrogen, don’t be stingy in adding plenty of nitrogen to your soil before you plant. The Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension suggests adding 150 pounds of nitrogen for every 1,500 pounds of yield. Again, test, observe, and experiment to find the right amount for you.

Phosphorus

Farmers growing hemp for CBD or CBG will want to give their crop plenty of potassium to support good flower growth. (The majority of a hemp plant’s resin is produced in the flower of the female plant.) However, be careful not to go overboard with the phosphorus; consider adding 50 to 80 pounds per acre.

Boron

Not all soil will need extra boron, but it’s still important to check your soil test to determine if you are boron deficient. It’s also a good idea to perform a leaf analysis at the midpoint in your growing season to check if your plants might need additional boron.

Fertilizer

Hemp does best in soil that contains lots of nutritious organic matter. That could be compost, fish emulsion, kelp extract, or whatever organic matter you prefer. Just make sure to check the nutrients of your fertilizer to make sure you aren’t adding too much of a specific nutrient to your soil. For example, some compost includes high levels of potassium, and too high of a level can make it harder for your hemp plants to absorb much-needed calcium. Most compost suppliers can provide a nutritional analysis of their compost. This article from Cannabis Business Times provides a suggested fertilizer schedule for hemp.

Invest in Hemp Seeds with Good Genetics

No farmer’s hemp soil will ever be perfect, which is why you can increase your chances of a good harvest by investing in hemp seeds with strong, reliable genetics. Many of today’s top hemp seed strains have been bred to be robust and to withstand challenging weather conditions and imperfect soil conditions. Our Berry Blossom strain, for example, is grown in nearly every state in the US and is prized for its toughness. Our Merlot strain is also noteworthy for its robust constitution. (Learn more about how hemp seed strains can make or break your hemp farm.)

Hire an Agronomist

How do you interpret your soil test, and how do you use it to develop an irrigation and nutrient plan for your fields? You don’t have to! One of the best decisions you can make as you begin planning your future hemp crop is to hire an agronomist. These “crop doctors” can guide you through every step of preparing your field for planting hemp, including developing the best soil for industrial hemp. For example, an agronomist can suggest the right soil test, then use those results to build an irrigation and nutrient plan for you. They can offer specific instructions on what nutrients to add to your soil as well as other interventions to improve the quality of your soil. Agronomists also keep track of the latest and greatest research and can give you the most up-to-date advice on improving your hemp yield.

Growing hemp is complex, and the margins between financial success and failure are thin. Give yourself an extra edge by working with an agronomist. (You can also help yourself by reviewing our Hemp Farming 101 infographic.)

Be Patient

You cannot change your soil overnight even if you use the best-practices suggested in this article or the recommendations of your agronomist. Accept the fact that it can take years to shift the structure and nutrient composition of your fields, especially if you are working with a new field. Your agronomist can provide you with a multi-year strategy that will gradually shift your soil over time. Put in the work, and it will pay off.

Another aspect of being patient is to recognize that even the best soil to grow hemp won’t stay that way if you ignore it. Your soil constantly changes, especially as you rotate your fields and plant different crops. Test your soil regularly and continually revise your soil management strategy based on the results. Your soil is just like your crops—it needs regular care and attention!

Keep Experimenting

Your soil is different in ways big and small from the soil of other hemp farmers, which is why your results will vary from theirs. Only through experience and experimentation will you learn how to create the best hemp soil conditions for your fields. Don’t be afraid to test different levels of nutrients as well as different CBD hemp strains or CBG hemp strains to see how you can get the largest and highest quality yield. Your agronomist can help you evaluate your results and suggest other factors to test in the future.

Have More Hemp Soil Questions?

We could only scratch the surface on the topic of soil for hemp in this article. If you have more questions on soil testing for hemp or which hemp strains do best in which kinds of soil, we’d love to answer them! Contact us today.

The growth of the CBD industry over the past five years is nothing short of amazing. Today, the hemp-derived CBD marketplace is massive, with billions of dollars in annual sales. Some experts believe that the global CBD marketplace could reach $20 billion by the year 2025. However, while the global fascination with CBD can’t be denied, many people don’t know where the cannabinoid originates from.

While there are countless CBD-infused products on the market, most do not realize they are all originally sourced from hemp flowers. Whether it be pet products or topical creams, all CBD products are made from the cannabinoids extracted from flowers. To give you a better idea of where your favorite CBD products come from, let’s explore the topic of hemp flowers.

Hemp Flowers and Cannabis Flowers

A great place to start with learning about hemp buds is by understanding the difference between cannabis and hemp. Importantly, both cannabis and hemp plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids – including cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG).

The highest quantities of these complex chemicals can be found in the flower or “bud” of female plants. (This is why many farmers choose to plant feminized seeds.) When a female cannabis or hemp plant remains unpollinated, it produces even larger amounts of cannabinoids in its flowers. As such, all cannabis is grown to produce flowers rich in the cannabinoid THC. Similarly, all CBD and CBG hemp plants are grown strictly for their cannabinoid-rich flowers. However, industrial hemp plants are not grown for their flowers, but rather for the fibers in their stalks.

Hemp flower buds differ from cannabis flowers in their THC content. Importantly, all cannabis sativa plants with flowers that contain less than 0.3% THC are legally considered to be hemp. While lacking in THC, hemp buds are rich in CBD and CBG.

Hemp farmers growing hemp for CBD or CBG can purchase seeds specially bred to produce the highest percentages of CBD or CBG as possible. At High Grade Hemp Seed, we recommend such strains as our Berry Blossom CBD strain or our Matterhorn CBG strain.

Growing CBD Hemp Flower vs. Growing Biomass

Hemp farmers who decide to grow flowers instead of biomass will need to take certain precautions. This notion is particularly true when it comes time to harvest the crop. During this phase, biomass growers can use more commercial methods in harvesting, while flower producers must pay more careful attention not to damage the product.

Hemp CBD biomass is harvested and sold with most plant materials included within the product. As such, biomass features precious flowers, as well as relatively cannabinoid-reduced materials such as stems, stalks, and fan leaves. Conversely, hemp buds are harvested, processed, and sold without the other excess plant material. Understandably, flowers sell for over $300 per pound, while biomass generally sells for less than $10 per pound.

At harvest time, those who plan to sell hemp biomass to a refinery or to extract resin on their own from their biomass can cut down their hemp plants using a combine. Hemp flower farmers, on the other hand, need to be much more careful. Hemp buds are delicate and bruise easily. Farmers must harvest flowers by hand, often using labor to cut plants with machetes, tobacco knives, or shears. Harvesting flowers by hand ensures that the trichomes (the resinous glands in the flower that store terpenes and cannabinoids) are not damaged or contaminated.

While hemp biomass can be dried in a matter of days, hemp flowers need to be dried and cured, which can take weeks in a dry facility. Curing flowers will ensure a smooth smoking experience. Many hemp farmers perform the drying and curing process themselves, which takes a lot of careful handling, a well-designed drying facility, and plenty of patience. (Here’s a handy guide to harvesting hemp for biomass or hemp buds.)

Large-scale industrial hemp farmers tend to grow hemp for biomass. Growing hemp flowers takes a lot of extra focus and care, which can be difficult to manage on a large scale.

Products Made from Hemp Flower Buds

Anyone who has been paying attention to the health and wellness industry knows that CBD oil is one of the hottest new products. CBG oil has also started to rise in popularity. Resin from the flower is processed and the CBD and CBG-rich oil is extracted and then added to a multitude of products. In contrast, a hemp flower is the unprocessed bud from the hemp plant.

A dried flower contains the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes. Consumer demand for smokable hemp flowers is increasing and entrepreneurs are rising to the occasion and producing boutique-quality flowers for the market.

Smokable Hemp Flower

Smoking CBD or CBG hemp flower is becoming more popular. Whether smoked in a bubbler, pipe, or as a pre-rolled (or self-rolled) joint, people enjoy the relaxing, calming effect that CBD and CBG delivers. Vaping flowers using a vape pen is also a popular trend. Those who don’t want the “feel” of smoking hemp buds can vaporize their flowers in a dry herb vaporizer.

Do note that the legality of smokable hemp flowers is under scrutiny in a number of state markets. According to the National Hemp Association, “smokable hemp flower … has a negative perception amongst many lawmakers.” Not only do hemp buds closely resemble cannabis flowers, but when burned, certain cannabinoids like THCA actually become psychoactive. For reasons such as this, many states have opted to make smokable hemp flowers illegal.

If you are planning on growing and selling smokable flowers, it is highly recommended you do appropriate research on the laws of your given marketplace.

What is Smokable Hemp Good For?

Why do consumers love buying and smoking hemp buds?

Cannabinoids without psychotropic effects

Scientists are just beginning to learn how the cannabinoids in hemp plants affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and memory. Many people believe CBD and CBG can offer physical, psychological, and emotional benefits related to the endocannabinoid system. (Here’s what we know about the scientific research on CBD and the scientific research on CBG.)

Hemp flower gives people the ability to take CBD and CBG without any unwanted psychotropic effects. As set out in the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp plants must contain less than 0.3% THC. That’s not enough to make users feel “high.” For those who want the benefits of CBD and CBG while still feeling focused and sharp, hemp flowers are a great option.

Smoking hemp flower is also a good alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes and may even help users quit cigarettes. An early study found that smokers who wanted to quit smoked cigarettes 40% less compared to a control group when they were allowed to smoke CBD hemp flower instead.

Enjoyable terpenes

One of the most popular benefits of smoking hemp flower (as opposed to consuming CBD or CBG oil) is that hemp buds offer a strong and unique fragrance, known as its terpene profile. The terpene profiles of hemp flower vary dramatically. Some are floral or fruity, while others include heavy notes of cheese, gasoline, and skunk. While that might sound off-putting to the uninitiated, many consumers absolutely love cheesy or skunky hemp flower.

Here at High Grade Hemp Seed, our Merlot strain is famous for its sharp terp profile of opened tennis balls, orange peel, chocolate, and cherries jubilee. Alternatively, our Trophy Wife strain is equally beloved for its deep aroma of cheese and skunk with cherry undertones.

Better bioavailability

Consuming CBD or CBG through a tincture or food slows down the activation rate of the CBD or CBG. On the other hand, smoking hemp flower buds allows the CBD or CBG to pass immediately through the lungs and directly into the bloodstream. Not only does this mean smokers can feel the calming effects of CBD or CBG almost immediately, but it also means they enjoy a higher effect (known in scientific terms as a higher bioactivation rate) because the CBD or CBG isn’t processed in the digestive system or liver first.

Full spectrum experience

The final benefit of smoking hemp flower is that a consumer can enjoy the full spectrum of cannabinoids within the bud. Remember, besides CBD and CBG, a hemp flower contains many different cannabinoids as well as terpenes. Some hemp flower consumers believe that the “whole is greater than the parts,” meaning that the positive effects of CBD and/or CBG can be enhanced in concert with all the other chemical compounds in the hemp flower. This is known as the “entourage effect.”

Should You Grow Hemp Flowers Instead of Biomass?

Growing hemp flowers instead of biomass is not for the faint of heart. However, farmers who are willing to accept the challenges and risks of hemp buds have the opportunity to see a strong ROI on this still-emerging field. More and more consumers are actively searching for smokable flower and entrepreneurs are looking for farmers to partner with to get more products to market. (Check out our ultimate 2021 Hemp Growing Guide.)

If you decide to grow smokable hemp flowers, make sure you research the laws in your state. Regulations change quickly, so make sure your compliance team is up-to-speed on the latest developments.

High Grade Hemp Seed sells a range of feminized hemp seed strains that offer consistently high rates of CBD or CBG and world-class terp profiles. Contact our knowledgeable representatives today to learn more about growing hemp buds

The success of your CBD or CBG crop will depend on when and how you harvest your industrial hemp. Small decisions during the hemp harvesting process can have a big impact on your return on investment. The best practices of harvesting hemp are not yet set in stone, so farmers are learning how to harvest hemp through trial and error, and their methods are refined with each harvest season.

So, how do you harvest hemp? In this article, we’ll give you current best practices based on our experience working with industrial hemp farmers for almost a decade. It’s important to note right out of the gate that the best advice on how to harvest industrial hemp will depend on your particular hemp crop. Harvesting methods will differ depending on whether you’re harvesting for seeds, fiber, or oil. In this article, we’ll look specifically at how to harvest a hemp crop for CBD or CBG.

The harvesting process can be broken up into three broad phases:

  • Choosing the right harvest time
  • Harvesting your hemp
  • Drying and curing your hemp

Part 1: Choosing the Right Time to Harvest Your Hemp

As a rule of thumb, full-term hemp requires 100 to 120 days to mature. Early finishers can be ready for harvest in 90 to 100 days, and autoflowers can finish in roughly 75 days. Your results, however, may vary, so monitor your crop closely as it gets close to maturation.

Choosing the right time to harvest your hemp will impact your ROI. If you harvest too early, your plants may not reach their full resin potential. Harvest too late, and your flowers could lose their potency. (Yes, CBD and CBG potency drops quickly after hemp plants reach maturity.)

To hammer home how important good timing is, consider that harvesting 1,000 pounds of hemp biomass with 7% CBD instead of 8% CBD will mean a loss of approximately 10 pounds of CBD oil. With CBD oil selling at roughly $5 per gram, losing just 1% of CBD potency will result in a loss of $20,000 per 1,000 pounds of biomass.

As if finding this balance wasn’t difficult enough, farmers must also keep in mind that THC rates rise quickly as hemp plants reach maturation. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farmers must keep their hemp crop below a 0.3% THC threshold. If you wait too long to harvest and your crop’s THC potency rises above 0.3%, you’ll have to throw away your entire crop.

How to Decide When to Harvest

For most farmers planting full-term hemp on a traditional schedule, harvest time will land between mid-August and early October. Farmers with a small hemp crop used to be able to use visual cues to determine the ideal time to harvest their crop. Looking closely, farmers could spot a plant’s trichomes (small, mushroom-like glands on hemp flowers). When the trichomes turn from clear to a milky white color, the plants are ready for harvest. Nowadays, even small farmers need to test to stay in compliance with regulations so going on visual clues is not recommended for beginners.

Industrial hemp farmers are better off determining the right harvest time by regularly testing their plants for cannabinoid content, pests, mildew, and contaminants. These tests can be costly, but they will more than make up their price by helping farmers start the harvest when their plants are at peak CBD or CBG potency. Additionally, most states require lab tests before a hemp harvest, so you’ll want to check the laws in your state. Know your state regulations and stay in compliance to ensure your harvest is ready for the market.

Weather May Dictate Your Harvest

Farmers also need to keep an eye on the sky when choosing the right time to harvest their hemp crop. Farmers in the north of the country or at high altitudes must watch for an early cold snap. Hemp is a robust plant, but it can’t survive a hard frost. Additionally, harvest season also coincides with hurricane season, so farmers on the East coast and Gulf coast need to track hurricanes and tropical storms. Heavy rain and wind can damage plants, wash away terpenes, and saturate hemp, making it more difficult to dry and cure.

Part 2: Harvesting Your Hemp

When it comes to how to harvest hemp, the right method will depend on what you intend your end product to be. If you plan on harvesting biomass for CBD or CBG extraction, you can simply use a combine to cut down your hemp. However, if you want to have boutique smokable flowers, there’s only one good option: you’ll need to harvest by hand.

Harvesting hemp by hand keeps the flowers clean and ensures that the resin trichomes in the flower stay intact, which is essential for providing a quality smokable product that looks great on the shelf. CBG trichomes are even more sensitive than CBD trichomes and require as few touch points as possible.

Harvesting hemp by hand is labor-intensive. Workers typically use machetes, shears, or tobacco knives to cut the stalks and bring the hemp to a waiting wagon or trailer. Where to cut the hemp depends on how the farmer intends to dry it. If you plan on screen-drying your hemp, you’ll want to cut smaller sections, so it is easier to lay them on the screens. If you are going to hang dry, you can afford to cut larger sections of the hemp.

Understanding Your Labor Needs

One of the most common mistakes new farmers make is underestimating the labor requirements of the hemp harvesting process. Farmers who don’t bring on enough labor could face dire financial consequences if their harvest falls behind schedule and their mature hemp plants run hot.

Farmers need to hire enough workers to efficiently harvest their hemp. They also need to build the harvesting time into their overall hemp schedule to make sure their plants don’t over-mature while the laborers work. It’s a good idea for workers to start harvesting hemp with the largest and densest flowers. Workers may also want to start by cutting top flowers first, leaving lower flowers to mature a little more before a second pass. The ACS Laboratory suggests that 15 experienced workers can harvest five to six acres of hemp per day.

New Farmers Should Start Small

We strongly recommend that farmers plant only a few acres of hemp for their first season, or even just a single acre. Planting a small amount of acreage will help farmers understand how much labor they need per acre of hemp, so they can scale up appropriately when they plant more next year. Also, planting a single acre of hemp lets farmers experiment with growing techniques and helps them understand how hemp performs on their farm before making a large investment in the crop.

Part 3: Drying and Curing Your Hemp

Some farmers send their hemp biomass directly to a processor after harvesting, but many choose to dry and cure the hemp on their property before this step. Drying the hemp helps lock in the hemp’s quality and potency. If a hemp plant isn’t cured properly, it could grow mold or lower the quality (and overall market value) of the product.

Drying is another part of the hemp harvesting process where farmers use different methods and are actively experimenting to improve their outcomes. All farmers will agree that drying requires a drying facility. This should be a roofed structure with good ventilation. Many farmers use a barn, shed, or warehouse to serve as their drying facility.

While drying methods vary, some farmers have suggested that the ideal environment is a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at 60%. Farmers will need a temperature-controlled facility and should strongly consider installing dehumidifiers to get just the right environment for their crops.

Ventilation Is Key

One of the most important factors in the curing process is good ventilation. Farmers should work to achieve a slow, even dry through the use of multiple fans installed in the facility.

How to Dry Hemp

When it comes to drying hemp, methods vary. Some farmers use racks or screens. A common method is to hang hemp plants upside down from wires. If you plan to use this method, we recommend that you break off the branches of your hemp plants and hang them individually, ensuring that all the flowers are dried evenly. One final option is to use a mechanical dryer.

When Is Your Hemp Dry?

How dry does hemp need to be before a farmer can send it off to the processor? Typically, farmers will want to get below 15% moisture (below 12% is even better.)

Hemp biomass can dry quickly, reaching the right level of dryness in 24 to 36 hours. Drying hemp flowers will require more time. Depending on where a farmer lives and the setup of the drying facility, drying flowers can take between three and 10 days.

Curing Your Hemp

Some processors will expect farmers to go beyond drying their hemp and cure the hemp as well, which means taking out even more moisture. This will require several more weeks in the drying facility. Curing adds a lot of time to the drying process, but it also locks in the smell and taste of the smokable flowers.

Final Testing

During the drying and curing process, farmers will also want to test hemp plants one more time. The final test will let farmers know the CBD or CBG content of their crop and ensure the crop is under the THC limit. The test can also show any contamination that could affect the quality of the crop.

What’s Next?

The last step in the curing and drying process will depend on what the processor asks for. Some farmers can send their dried hemp directly to the processors. Others will shuck the hemp, removing the stalk. Still, others will trim the hemp, cutting away the leaves and sending only the flowers. Trimming can be performed by hand or, for larger operations, with the help of a mechanical trimmer.

Have More Questions on How to Harvest Hemp?

Here at High Grade Hemp Seed, we get the question “how do you harvest hemp?” all the time, and the answer really depends on your goals, your budget, your farm, and your personal preferences. It turns out that the question of how to harvest industrial hemp has many different answers and none are necessarily wrong. If you still want to know how to harvest your hemp crop using our high-CBD seeds or our high-CBG strain, contact our representatives today and we would be glad to lend you our expertise.

A new crop is showing up on farms across the country. In August of 2018, U.S. farmers planted 27,424 acres of hemp. Just a year later, that number skyrocketed to 128,320 acres across the country and 2020 numbers are now at a whopping 465,762 acres. What is behind this jaw-dropping increase in hemp farming? The answer is that hemp offers farmers a variety of great benefits. This versatile and sustainable crop can be a great addition to most farms. Here are 10 useful benefits of hemp farming.

1. Hemp Can Grow Almost Anywhere in the United States

Many farmers are limited by the crops that will grow in their planting region. This may mean certain lucrative cash crops are out of reach. Not so with hemp (at least for most farmers). Hemp is a highly robust crop that can grow nearly anywhere, except for very dry deserts or high, mountainous areas where large-scale agriculture doesn’t happen anyway.

Chances are that you can successfully grow industrial hemp at your farm. Note, however, that hemp does grow best in well-drained soil, so you may need to do a little extra work if your soil doesn’t offer ideal drainage.

Want to get started growing hemp? Download our 2021 Hemp Growing Guide

2. Hemp Is an Endlessly Versatile Crop

From paper to biodiesel fuel to wellness-promoting oil, hemp can be turned into an almost endless supply of different products. In fact, there are over 25,000 different uses for hemp, including food, building supplies, textiles, skincare products, oils, and more. Every part of a hemp plant can be used in some way, shape, or fashion.

This versatility gives farmers growing hemp many different options when it comes to making a profit on their hemp crop. They may even be able to harvest different parts of the hemp plant to earn even more from each harvest.

3. Hemp Can Offer a Great ROI

Let’s get down to business: Farmers need to earn a living, and hemp is a great way to do it. Many farmers are making a strong profit by growing hemp for CBD and/or CBG. CBD is extremely popular in the health and wellness industry, and interest in CBG is quickly rising. According to a 2019 article in The Fresh Toast, while farmers typically earn $1,000 per acre of corn, some hemp farmers have reported earning as much as $30,000 to $40,000 per acre growing hemp for CBD. These results are not typical of all hemp farmers, especially new farmers, but it does speak to the earnings potential that CBD and CBG can offer.

Interested in making a greater profit on your hemp crop? Take a look at our 10 tips for increasing hemp farm profits

4. Hemp Is a Highly Robust Crop

Risk comes with the territory for farmers. There’s always the chance that a crop can be damaged by rough weather, pests, or disease. While hemp is not impervious to these harms, it is a highly robust plant. Hemp is known for being resistant to common pests and diseases that can take down other, more vulnerable cash crops. Additionally, because hemp tends to grow so quickly, it usually outpaces weeds that could compete with it for resources.

That doesn’t mean farmers growing hemp can afford to take their hands off the wheel and assume their crop will grow without any problems. Farmers need to always keep an eye on their hemp crop for any signs of disease or pest issues.

5. Autoflower Hemp Can Grow in 75 Days

Farmers in colder climates need to work within a short growing season. On the flip side of the coin, farmers in warmer climates may have the ability to plant more than one harvest in the same field. In both cases, autoflower hemp seeds can give farmers the fast grow time they need. Autoflowers typically mature in 70 to 75 days, which cuts weeks off the time of full-term hemp (which may take 100 to 120 days to mature). Autoflowers are a great option for a short growing season or can give farmers more flexibility in planning their crops and getting the most use out of their field.

Here’s what you need to know about growing autoflower hemp

6. Hemp Nourishes Your Soil

Most cash crops leach nutrients from the soil in order to grow, forcing farmers to continually add chemical fertilizers into their fields. Some farmers are adopting the old tradition of rotating their fields to give their soil time to recover. Hemp can speed up this process by actively revitalizing the soil.

Hemp roots reach deep into the soil to hold it together and prevent erosion. The roots also loosen up the soil, making it more welcoming to the next crop. While a hemp crop is planted, it naturally aerates the soil and adds helpful deposits of carbon dioxide into the soil.

Lastly, hemp creates a lot of healthy biomass after it is finished growing. Farmers who grow hemp for CBD or CBG only need to remove the plant’s leaves and buds, and can turn the rest into biomass that can decompose and feed nutrients back into the soil. All these factors can revitalize soil.

7. Hemp Doesn’t Need Lots of Water

Water isn’t cheap no matter where you live. Farmers in dryer areas of the country, like in the southwest, have to pay even more for water, which may make thirsty crops, like avocados and almonds, expensive crops to grow. While hemp is not technically a low-water crop, it does require less water than many water-hungry crops.

Farmers who want (or need) to keep their water bill low can do so by growing hemp.

8. Hemp Doesn’t Require as Much Pesticide and Herbicide

The EPA has a number of approved pesticides and herbicides that can be applied to hemp crops. Each state also has its own rules and regulations so the state Agriculture Department should be contacted. Despite the EPA’s approval, many, if not most, CBD hemp farmers prefer to maintain the chemical purity of their crop. They prefer to use biologics and Integrated Pest Management to maintain the purity of their product in order to maximize downstream product value.

9. Hemp Is a Great Way to Diversify Your Crop

One of the ways farmers balance out risk is to diversify their crops. Hemp is a great option for farmers who want to lower their risk by adding a new crop to their portfolio. All of the benefits of hemp farming we’ve already pointed out help make a great case for diversifying with hemp.

Hemp grows fast, nourishes the soil, doesn’t require a lot of water or chemicals, and can be turned into lots of different products—and it can offer a great ROI. If you want to switch things up on your farm, it’s time to start thinking about hemp farming.

Here’s how to start a hemp farm

10. Hemp Is Good for the Environment

Farmers understand that combating climate change is synonymous with protecting the future of farming. Hemp can help with that battle. Aside from requiring fewer chemicals and less water than most cash crops, and helping to prevent soil erosion, hemp does one other great thing for the environment: it loves to gobble up carbon dioxide, which it then feeds right into your soil. According to the Hemp Foundation, “Experts say that every ton of hemp can sequester 1.62 tons of CO2.”

Hemp is also actively being used as a sustainable alternative to many different materials. An acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four to 10 acres of trees, and hemp grows to maturity in four months, whereas trees require in 20 years or more to reach maturity. Companies have also started experimenting with hemp plastic and “hempcrete”, a building material that is actively being used in Europe and is starting to appear on U.S. building projects. Researchers have also found that hemp biodiesel is a viable and renewable fuel alternative.

Why Plant Hemp?

You’ve now got 10 reasons to seriously consider hemp farming. Hemp is hardy and robust. You can grow it nearly anywhere, including places with a short growing window or areas of the country with limited water. Hemp can be turned into nearly anything, giving you lots of options to make money by meeting market demand. Achieving a high ROI with hemp is possible, especially if you grow hemp for CBD or CBG. Hemp can also keep your soil healthy, limit your use of pesticides and herbicides, and help you fight climate change.

Want to know even more benefits of hemp growing? Contact High Grade Hemp Seed today. We’d love to tell you about the unique benefits of our CBD hemp strains and our Matterhorn CBG strain.

The hemp plant contains over 100 unique chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Recently, the cannabinoid known as “cannabigerol” or “CBG” has been gaining serious attention in the industry. However, scientific research on CBG is still in its infancy and the medical community is just beginning to understand potential applications for this new cannabinoid.

Since the cannabinoid CBD has gained so much popularity over the past 5 years, hemp growers, processors, and retailers have been looking for the next big thing. With such a massive market demand for CBD, it only makes sense to expand on the current cannabinoid marketplace. Yet, before the CBG space can realize its potential, there must be a good deal of cannabigerol research conducted.

One of the big challenges that might be slowing down cannabigerol research is that industrial plants typically yield only minute amounts of CBG (about 1% or less). That, however, is changing with the introduction of specialized hemp strains bred to produce more CBG. Strains like High Grade Hemp Seed’s Matterhorn CBG can produce up to 15% CBG, which may help give this under-studied cannabinoid the boost it needs.

Farmers who are considering planting hemp for CBG may wonder, “What are the benefits of CBG?” Though CBG research is still in its infancy, some scientific results have been very promising. High Grade Hemp Seed wanted to walk you through current CBD research and its potential uses for wellness.

CBG and the Endocannabinoid System

In order to understand how CBG might affect the human body, you must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a newly-discovered neural network within the human body. Scientists theorize that the ECS functions to maintain the body’s systems in homeostasis, or a state of balance.

In discovering the ECS, researchers also discovered that the human body produces its own cannabinoids known as “endocannabinoids.” Scientists also realized that endocannabinoid deficiencies can develop into several medical problems. It is precisely this lack of endocannabinoids that can be rectified with the help of cannabinoids from the hemp plant – such as CBG and CBD.

Importantly, the ECS is thought to run throughout the human body, including the nervous system, digestive system, and immune system. The ECS is believed to help regulate:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Digestion
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Immune function
  • Pleasure and reward system

The ESC extends throughout the body and so it follows that the effects of cannabinoids would vary according to the location of the receptors. There are two types of receptors: CB1 (in the brain and nervous system) and CB2 ( in the immune system). While other cannabinoids interact with one or the other, CBG appears to bind with both, potentially giving it the power to affect homeostasis in multiple systems.

If studies on the ECS are correct, imbalances in the endocannabinoid system can wreak havoc on your overall wellness. To this end, current CBG health research also implies that the cannabinoid could be extremely helpful in curbing many forms of endocannabinoid deficiencies.

1. CBG and Glaucoma

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over three million Americans have glaucoma, a condition in which high ocular pressure damages the optic nerve. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause vision problems and, eventually, blindness.

The human eye is known to host many endocannabinoid receptors. A study published in 2008 found that cannabinoids, including CBG, may help to relieve pressure inside of the eye. This could make CBG an effective treatment for glaucoma. It will be interesting to see where cannabigerol research goes with glaucoma in the coming years.

2. CBG and Cancer

Early-stage research has already shown that CBD can inhibit the spread of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer cells. Though these studies were conducted on animals and in test tubes, the potential for CBD as a cancer treatment is exciting to say the least.

What about CBG and cancer? Unsurprisingly, little research has looked at how CBG may help fight cancer. One study published in the journal Carcinogenesis, however, did find that CBG might reduce the growth of cancer cells in rats with colon cancer. This early-stage research is promising and should be continued. CBG proponents would love to see institutions put more money into researching the cancer-fighting properties of CBG.

3. CBG and MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become the bane of hospitals, health clinics, and nursing homes. This dangerous bacterial infection is infamous for its ability to resist most antibiotic treatments. In 2017, nearly 120,000 people in the U.S. contracted MRSA, and almost 20,000 died. The hunt is on for an effective MRSA treatment.

Medical researchers are currently looking at CBG as an antibiotic treatment for MRSA. To illustrate, McMaster University conducted a study on the effectiveness of CBD on MRSA. They concluded, “CBG had antibacterial activity against drug-resistant MRSA. It prevented the ability of that bacteria to form biofilms, which are communities of microorganisms that attach to each other and to surfaces.”

It will be interesting to see how CBG health research evolves in the future with treating MRSA.

4. CBG and Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a rare and cruel genetic disorder that progressively breaks down nerve cells in the brain. Individuals with the disorder usually start to exhibit symptoms in their 30s or 40s and face a long, slow mental and physical decline.

While there is no current cure for Huntington’s disease, a fascinating study on mice with Huntington’s found that CBG was “extremely active as a neuroprotectant.” CBG’s neuroprotective properties could make it a potential treatment for a variety of neurodegenerative disorders besides just Huntington’s disease.

5. CBG and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Endocannabinoid receptors are active in the digestive system, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that cannabigerol benefits could extend to certain diseases linked to the gut. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is actually a group of diseases that attack the colon and small intestine. The most well-known IBDs are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In a study on mice, CBG seemed to reduce the inflammation that is a hallmark of IBD, which could go a long way toward helping alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of IBD. The authors of the study suggest that CBG be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.

6. CBG as an Appetite Stimulant

A study on rats in the journal Psychopharmacology found that CBG was a reliable appetite stimulant. The rats in the study gobbled up more than twice their normal food intake and ate extra meals when taking CBG. The appetite-boosting properties of CBG could be helpful for patients struggling to eat and maintain weight, such as individuals with cancer or HIV.

Appetite stimulation has long been a popular medical application of cannabinoids. The most widely known cannabinoid “tetrahydrocannabinol” (THC) was originally used to help with appetite stimulation for both cancer and AIDS patients. One might argue that THC is so effective in this application that it led to the eventual legalization of medical cannabis in states like California and Colorado.

7. CBG and Bladder Dysfunction

Involuntary bladder contractions are a condition no one wants to experience. A mouse trial of five different cannabinoids found that CBG showed the greatest impact on reducing bladder contractions. The authors of the study also found that CBG reduced bladder contractions in the human bladder.

More CBG Health Research is Needed

While the CBG benefits highlighted in this article are highly promising, it’s important to reiterate that these are all early-stage studies. It should not be assumed that just because CBG showed a certain impact on animals or cell cultures that it will have the same health properties in humans. Even more, we want to stress the fact that CBG products should only be purchased from highly reputable sources.

There is no doubt that CBG holds great promise for the medical community. However, to realize the latent potential of CBG, doctors and researchers must conduct well-funded human trials. As the CBG industry continues to gain momentum, we hope that the medical community will give this little-known cannabinoid the attention it requires.

The growth of the CBD industry is nothing short of spectacular. Just a few short years ago, “cannabidiol” (CBD), was an obscure cannabinoid only known to select groups of cultivators and scientists. In like fashion, hemp was federally illegal and only valued for its fibers and seeds.

Today, things look much different for hemp and CBD. The worldwide CBD market was valued at an astounding $2.8 billion in the year 2020. Even more, global hunger for “everything CBD” has stimulated the growth of a massive hemp industry, including growers, processors, and retail stores. While such amazing growth is exciting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that CBD helps people.

People from around the world use CBD to treat both physical and mental ailments. Yet, the FDA has only approved a single CBD medicine – that being epidiolex. This drug is made from synthetic CBD and is prescribed exclusively for seizure patients. Beyond epidiolex, our understanding of the cannabinoid from new CBD research and patient testimonials.

While we continue to wait on formal FDA recognition of CBD, there are a myriad of intriguing findings that show great promise for the cannabinoid. High Grade Hemp Seed is excited to see where CBD research studies will lead us in the future.

A Growing Understanding of CBD and the Human Body

The cannabis plant contains over 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. Because hemp has been illegal to grow in the United States for so long, there is precious little research on many of hemp’s medical properties. That is quickly changing.

CBD research studies are revealing a growing list of potential health benefits. The width and breadth of these benefits likely has to do with how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Introducing the Endocannabinoid System

One of the most exciting advances that has come directly from cannabinoid research has been the discovery of a biochemical communication system within the human body known as the endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are just beginning to understand this intricate and complex system, which helps to regulate:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Fertility

Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and have been shown to respond to cannabinoids, like CBD. This can help explain why CBD research has shown so many varied effects throughout the body.

What are the health benefits of CBD? Researchers are just starting to answer that question. Here is what we know about the potential medical benefits of CBD.

1. CBD and Pain Research

Many CBD advocates swear that CBD makes their aches and pains disappear, but what does the science actually say on this matter? The available research does seem to support the fact that CBD can offer pain-relieving properties. A double-blind study of 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that patients who took Sativex, a nasal spray that includes both THC and CBD, reported significantly less pain than the placebo group. Additionally, a study on rats found that rodents who received injections of CBD seemed to feel less pain in response to surgical incisions.

What is behind the pain-relieving properties of CBD? It all comes back to the endocannabinoid system. Researchers hypothesize that CBD (and possibly other cannabinoids) may impact endocannabinoid receptor activity and interact with neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feeling pain. Writing for the Harvard Health blog, Dr. Grinspoon explains that CBD has been shown to impact both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are the two most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.

Importantly, CBD could offer relief for pain sufferers who have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, “In 2019 … 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers.” Unfortunately, many of these people got introduced to painkillers through a legitimate medical need, which eventually led to addiction. If CBD could help a fraction of these people find relief from their pain, it would be a wild success.

2. CBD and Anxiety Research

With a third of Americans now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever to understand what treatment options are available, especially for people who prefer natural remedies. In some cases, CBD may be the answer.

A double-blind study of 57 Brazilian men found that those who took 300 mg. of CBD felt significantly less anxiety during a simulated public speaking test than those who took a placebo. What’s interesting is that the same effects were not seen in subjects who took 150 mg. of CBD or 600 mg. of CBD, so dosing is an important consideration.

In a fascinating CBD case study in The Permanente Journal, researchers explain how CBD oil helped a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder lower her anxiety and improve her sleep. Similarly, in the United States, many military veterans report relief from PTSD symptoms through the use of CBD.

3. CBD and Epilepsy

CBD has long since been proven to be an effective treatment for epilepsy. The only FDA-approved CBD drug in existence, epidiolex, is regularly prescribed to treat cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both severe childhood epilepsy conditions greatly hinder the overall quality of life for sufferers. Due to the fact many of these patients are resistant to anti-seizure medications, CBD has given them a new lease on life through epidiolex.

One of the most well-researched medical benefits of CBD is its ability to effectively treat symptoms of epilepsy. CBD has been used in cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, severe childhood epilepsy conditions that are often resistant to anti-seizure medications. In a landmark double-blind study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that an oral solution of CBD was able to lower seizures in children with Dravet syndrome. The median frequency of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 in the study group, while the decrease in seizures in the control group was minimal. It is studies like these that have made CBD increasingly accepted in the eyes of mainstream medicine.

4. CBD and Multiple Sclerosis

Nearly one million people in the United States over the age of 18 live with multiple sclerosis, a disease where the immune system eats away at nerve coverings, causing disabling nerve damage throughout the body.

A tragic hallmark of the disease is a muscle spasticity, which happens when the muscles stiffen and can’t be relaxed or stretched. Muscle spasticity can impede movement and speech and even make it difficult or impossible for a person to walk. A study that used Sativex on a group of 276 people with MS found that nearly 75% of the research subjects reported less muscle spasticity, offering needed relief and increased quality of life.

5. CBD and Heart Health

Can CBD health benefits include an improvement in overall health and wellness? One promising study points to the fact that CBD may help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is an indicator of heart disease and can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

This small CBD case study recruited nine healthy men to take a single 600 mg. dose of CBD oil. Even after just one dose, the men showed a lower resting blood pressure when compared to the placebo group. The men who took the CBD oil also showed a lower increase in blood pressure when put under a stress test.

6. CBD and Cancer Treatment Symptoms

For years, doctors and scientists have been searching for ways to help cancer feel better during treatment. Chemotherapy often leaves patients feeling weak, nauseated, and in pain. THC has long been used to help counteract these unpleasant cancer treatment side effects, but can a non-intoxicating cannabinoid like CBD also help?

A small, double-blind study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology recruited patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and gave them a combination of THC and CBD. Patients who received the THC and CBD reported fewer side effects from the chemotherapy than the placebo group.

7. Other Exciting Potential CBD Health Benefits

Many of the most exciting CBD research is still in the early stages. These studies have been conducted on test tube samples or in animals. While these avenues of research have a ways to go until they reach human trials, the results are still worth mentioning. These studies go to show that there is still so much we have to learn about CBD and how it affects the human body.

  • CBD and Cancer

Don’t believe anyone who says that CBD can cure cancer; however, test tube studies and animal studies have found that CBD can inhibit the spread of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Much more research must be done in this area, so keep your eyes peeled for more advanced studies in the future.

  • CBD and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are a dark reality for an estimated 22 million Americans. So many struggle and fail to break free of their addictions. CBD may be able to help. A review of 14 studies, including animal studies and pre-clinical human studies, found that CBD may offer therapeutic properties related to addictions to opioids, cocaine, and psychostimulants. Some data even suggests CBD could help with tobacco addiction.

  • CBD and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects 34.2 million people in the U.S. and can dramatically lower quality of life and lifespan. A promising study of diabetic rats found that CBD treatment lowered the incidence of diabetes by 56% and also reduced inflammation related to diabetes.

  • CBD and Acne

Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the skin. When the skin produces too much sebum, it can block pores and lead to acne. Those with blemished skin can take heart in a test tube study that found CBD oil stopped sebaceous gland cells from creating too much sebum. The CBD also had an anti-inflammatory effect.

What Is the Future of CBD Research?

The CBD industry is here to stay. Yet, while thousands of patients report profound positive impacts from CBD, we are still waiting on formal approval from the FDA. As the CBD continues to gain mainstream acceptance, many hope it will eventually replace harmful pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers and sleeping pills. However, we must be patient as the medical field works towards eventual approval through its CBD research studies.

Whether you are a medical patient curious about CBD, or a hemp grower interested in CBD seeds, it worthwhile studying the potential applications of the cannabinoid. In doing so, you can make educated decisions on whether to consume CBD or grow CBD hemp.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, you can bet we’ll keep an eye on all the emerging CBD research studies for you. In the meantime, contact us today to learn about our many high CBD strains of hemp.

Interested in growing hemp for CBD or CBG? You’ll need to learn as much as you can about the hemp plant itself. That starts with understanding the difference between male and female hemp plants.

Every hemp farmer must be able to identify males and females out in the field. Why? Because if your goal is to produce as much resin as possible (which can be processed for its CBD or CBG), then it’s all about the ladies. Keep reading to learn why your profits lay with female hemp plants.

Male vs. Female Hemp Plants

Hemp (also known as cannabis) is a dioecious plant, meaning that individual plants form female or male reproductive organs. Hemp plants can be male, female, or hermaphrodite.

Many hemp farmers would love to be able to tell whether a hemp seed will eventually grow into a male hemp plant or a female.  This is possible through DNA testing of a seedling that is just a few weeks along. Outside of this genetic test, the way to tell a hemp seed’s sex is to plant it in the ground and wait four to six weeks until the hemp plant reaches the “pre-flower” stage.

At around six weeks of growth, farmers should be able to accurately sex their plants by looking closely at the crux of the plants’ branches, also known as the plants’ “nodes.” Male hemp plants grow small pollen sacs at their nodes, while female hemp plants grow bracts. As the female plant matures, wispy, hair-like stigma grow from her bracts, which catch the pollen released by the male. Hermaphrodite hemp plants will typically grow both male and female sex organs.

The Problem with Male Hemp Plants in Your Fields

In order to harvest as much resin as possible from your hemp crop, you must cull your male hemp plants and prevent pollination of your females. That’s because your resin crop resides in the flowers of your female hemp plants.

As a female plant matures, she grows flowers, or buds. While both male and female hemp plants produce small quantities of resin in their leaves, the vast majority of resin is produced in the flowers of female hemp plants. The flowers are what CBD and CBG farmers harvest, and are the ticket to your resin crop.

When male plants successfully pollinate female hemp plants, the females grow seeds in their buds. The energy it takes for females to create seeds is energy they can’t use to create more resin. Unsurprisingly, pollinated females are smaller than unpollinated females and produce far less resin. Additionally, seeded flowers are a hassle for farmers. No customer wants to buy seeded buds (which can make smoking the buds a harsh and unpleasant experience), and de-seeding buds is time-intensive and expensive.

How Can Farmers Prevent Male Hemp Plants from Pollinating Their Females?

Farmers who buy regular hemp seeds (which include a mix of male and female plants) will need to figure out whether each plant is a hemp male or female in order to prevent the males from pollinating the females. They will have to plant their seeds, wait until the plants reach the pre-flower stage in four to six weeks, and sex all their plants. Early in the pre-flower stage, the sex organs of male and female hemp plants can be difficult to distinguish. Some farmers like to use a magnifying glass to help them successfully sex their plants. Another option is to wait toward the end of the pre-flower stage when the sex organs are easier to see, but farmers must be careful. If they wait too long, their hemp plants could mature, and the males could pollinate the females.

When a farmer identifies a male plant, that plant should be culled from the field. This system is time- and labor-intensive, especially if you plan on planting several acres or more of hemp. It also requires you to essentially eliminate half your crop after spending four to six weeks cultivating it.

Farmers who want to sex their plants earlier have another option: they can work with one of several labs across the country to sex their plants. However, this option is expensive and is not practical for large-scale industrial hemp farmers.

One final option that many hemp farmers choose is to invest in feminized hemp seeds or feminized hemp starts.

Male Hemp Plant

A Quick Note About Hermaphrodites

As we mentioned, hermaphrodites contain the sex organs of both male and female hemp plants. That means they also have the ability to pollinate female plants and should be culled from your fields along with your males.

Some hermaphrodites are the result of poor seed genetics, but hemp plants can also become hermaphrodites as a result of trauma or stress. Some of the most common triggers that cause plants to “herm out” are:

  • Disease
  • Bad weather
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • High temperatures
  • Inconsistent lighting (when growing indoors)
  • Plant damage

If your plants have undergone stress, like a major weather event, or you notice plants with damage, such as broken branches, take the time to check to see if they are hermaphrodites and need to be culled.

 

Should You Consider Buying Feminized Seeds?

One of the simplest ways to keep male hemp plants out of your fields is to invest in feminized hemp seeds. Feminized hemp seeds are selectively bred to grow into female plants exclusively. Top hemp seed companies have been able to achieve feminization rates of nearly 100%, though no company can guarantee entirely female seeds.

Feminized seeds tend to be more expensive than a regular batch of seeds, usually double the price or more, depending on which hemp strain you purchase. However, consider the fact that buying regular seeds means you’ll need to cull approximately half your crop and the price difference isn’t so great. Feminized hemp seeds will also save you the trouble of all the labor that goes into culling your males.

Here at High Grade Hemp Seed, we’ve achieved a feminization rate of 99.8%. That’s really good, but it means you should still double-check all of your plants when they reach the pre-flower stage. Even a few males can pollinate a large number of female hemp plants (the wind can carry their pollen across your entire field). Feminized hemp seeds can be a great way to dramatically lower the number of male hemp plants in your field, but they can’t eliminate them.

A final option is to invest in feminized hemp starts. These germinated hemp plants are still too young to sex, but since they are grown from feminized seeds, you can expect the same high rates of feminization from your starts as you would from feminized seeds. Feminized starts are a great option for newer farmers and those without a greenhouse infrastructure. Every start has a strong taproot, which will help the plant stay healthy and strong once you’ve planted it in the field.

Feminized Hemp Seed

In Defense of Male Hemp Plants

Lest you think we’ve been too hard on males in this article, at High Grade Hemp Seed, we actually love male hemp plants. They are a central part of our crossbreeding process. Male hemp plants allow us to constantly test and breed for new strains of hemp, including exciting, industry-changing strains like our Matterhorn CBG or boutique strains like our Cherry Wine and Berry Blossom.

For most hemp farmers who do not plan on creating new hemp plant crossbreeds, however, male hemp plants have no place in their fields. For that reason, we only sell feminized hemp seeds and feminized hemp starts. We believe that offering feminized seeds and starts gives hemp farmers the best chance for success and will earn them more in the long run when compared with regular seeds.

Got Questions?

Hopefully, now that you understand the difference between male and female hemp plants, you understand the value of feminized hemp seeds. Have more questions about male vs. female hemp plants? Contact us. We’d love to help you learn more about hemp seed genetics as you plan your next hemp crop.

As the cannabis and hemp industries continue to gain acceptance in the mainstream, there has been an increased interest in cannabinoids. With a surge in popularity for both CBD and THC, cannabis and hemp have become big business. Looking specifically at the hemp-derived CBD space, national legalization has attracted the attention of major players in the retail business, as well as health and wellness. Today, you can find CBD products on the shelves of major retail stores such as Kroeger, CVS, and Neiman Marcus.

With such a massive interest in CBD products, horticulturists, scientists, and business people alike have been on the hunt for the “next big cannabinoid.” All eyes are now turning to another non-psychoactive cannabinoid known as “cannabigerol” or CBG.

As a leader in seed production, High Grade Hemp Seed always keeps a close eye on new developments in the industry. As such, we wanted to give you an overview of the new cannabinoid CBG and help you understand how it is different from CBD.

Here’s what you need to know.

The CBG Cannabinoid Explained

Hemp contains hundreds of cannabinoids. The two most well-known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As research on cannabinoids has expanded, many researchers and health industry experts have begun looking into CBG.

CBG has been referred to as “the mother cannabinoid.” When a hemp plant is young, it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). This compound then breaks down into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) as the plant matures. Without digging too deep into the science, the CBDA and THCA are then converted into CBD and THC, which can be extracted from the buds and resin of the hemp plant after harvest. The leftover amount of CBGA is also converted into CBG.

Understanding the basics of this process is important for farmers because it helps to explain why CBG cannabinoid is more difficult (but also potentially more lucrative) to cultivate. As leaders in CBG hemp breeding, High Grade Hemp Seed is in a unique position to offer this advice.

CBG vs. CBD Hemp

How do CBD and CBG compare to each other? First, let’s look at some of the similarities between CBD and CBG. For starters, both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating, unlike THC. This makes both CBD and CBG popular compounds for those who want the health benefits cannabinoids can offer without the psychoactive side effects of THC.

Early research also seems to indicate that CBG and CBD may possess some overlapping health benefits as well as unique benefits. Both cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating:

  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Reproduction
  • Appetite

In a nutshell, the endocannabinoid system works to stabilize the body’s internal environment, which could be the reason research shows that CBD affects so many different parts of the body and impacts a variety of conditions. While we know that both CBD and CBG influence the endocannabinoid system, there has been far more research into CBD. As such, a big reason why CBG remains so obscure is an overall lack of research. This notion is particularly true for human subjects.

Recently, scientists have turned their attention to CBG. While these studies are still in their infancy, they have yielded some interesting results. For example, research has shown CBG to have “analgesic and anti-inflammatory” properties. As such, CBG could prove to be an effective pain medicine and alternative to addictive prescription drugs. We still have a long way to go, but these positive results surely mean that advanced studies on CBG effects are in the works.

Growing and Producing CBG Hemp

Why is CBD so much more popular than CBG? Why is there so much more research on CBD and so many more CBD products? The answer is simple: CBG has historically been very difficult and expensive to farm.

Remember how we told you that CBG is “the mother cannabinoid” and that CBGA breaks down into THCA and CBDA as a hemp plant matures? The more that CBGA turns into other cannabinoids, the less CBG remains. Hemp farmers who want to cultivate CBG traditionally had to harvest their hemp crop early before the plants could mature very much. This meant that farmers gave up on the chance to cultivate CBD in order to grow CBG.

Until recent advancements in hemp breeding, plants have traditionally produced low amounts of CBG. To illustrate, early hemp strains only produced <1% of CBG within a plant. This statistic stands in stark contradiction to high-CBD strains, which contain as much as 10-16% of CBD.

If that weren’t bad enough, levels of CBG were so low in hemp plants that many farmers were forced to invest in specialized production equipment to isolate and purify CBG extract. Otherwise, they paid higher prices for third-party extraction.

As CBG is such a novel cannabinoid, most hemp farmers are not yet focusing on CBG production. Therefore, CBG fetches a far higher price tag in the open market. A 2020 study suggests that while CBD earns $2,000 per kilogram, the same amount of CBG can bring around $30,000. That’s over five times the value of CBD.

Even with the promise of such a big potential payday, farmers may still be hesitant to take the risk of trying to cultivate CBG. Fortunately, hemp genetics is advancing at a breakneck pace, and several strains of CBG hemp have recently hit the market.

All About CBG Hemp Strains

Hemp breeders like High Grade Hemp Seed, are working hard to develop hemp plants that produce more CBG. To illustrate, our customers love our Matterhorn CBG strain. Remember how traditional hemp plants could only produce 1% CBG concentrate? With Matterhorn, we have upped CBG concentrations to an astounding 15% potential. This amazing new strain gives hemp farmers the ability to generate serious profit by growing specifically for CBG.

Farmers who are considering cultivating CBG strains need to do their homework. Many of the CBG hemp seeds coming to market are brand new strains, and there are always disreputable companies that make big promises their seeds can’t keep. Do your research on a seed company before making a sizable investment. Work with a hemp seed company that has been around for several years and that has a good reputation for their other hemp seed strains.

It’s also a good idea to invest in feminized CBG seeds. You’ll pay a little more upfront, but you will save time and heartache by planting 100% female hemp plants. Even more, you can avoid the extra labor expenses of removing male plants from your crop.

If you haven’t planted hemp before, or if you don’t have a greenhouse infrastructure on your property, you should consider choosing CBG seed starts. By starting with seedling plants, eliminate the extra work and materials needed to sprout seeds. At High Grade Hemp Seed, our seed starts also come with a strong taproot that will help your plants stay healthy throughout your growing season.

Should I Grow CBG Hemp?

Is cultivating CBG worth the extra investment, work, and risk? A different way to think about these questions is by considering the value of diversifying your crop. CBD is a hot commodity now, but an increasing number of farmers are cultivating CBD flowers.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we believe CBD hemp will always be worth planting and will still give farmers a great ROI. However, we also know it never hurts to diversify your income. CBG hemp can both complement and hedge against CBD prices and can also position you at the very forefront of the CBG market. Some of the latest cannabinoid studies have found that CBD and CBG create a stronger, positive health effect when taken together.

If CBG becomes as hot as CBD, farmers who are experienced in growing high-yield CBG strains, like Matterhorn CBG, will be in a great position to feed a growing demand, especially for a previously hard-to-produce product.

Contact us today to learn more about our Matterhorn CBG or any of our CBD hemp strains. Our knowledgeable representatives can tell you all about how to grow Matterhorn CBG and how CBG hemp differs from CBD hemp. We are happy to discuss your crop plans and answer any questions you might have.

There are a number of benefits to growing autoflower hemp crops. In an increasingly competitive industry where efficiency is directly tied to profitability, you need every edge you can get. To this end, being able to control your harvest windows and dictate the speed of your crops are great advantages. Autoflowering CBD strains from High Grade Hemp Seed allow you to do just this.

Not only do autoflowering plants give you precision control over your hemp harvests, but they also allow you to grow multiple crops in a year. As such, you can stagger your hemp flower harvests, so you can keep a revenue stream coming in all year. Finally, several autoflower harvests per year allow you to sell your flowers for better prices during non-peak seasons.

For those farmers curious about autoflower grow techniques, High Grade Hemp Seed put together this definitive autoflower grow guide.

What are Autoflower Hemp Strains?

Let’s start with the basics: What is autoflower hemp and how is it different from other types of hemp strains?

Traditionally, all cannabis sativa plants are known as “photoperiodic” plant species. This means, hemp experiences different growth phases as dictated by periods of available sunlight. The amount of sunlight changes throughout the year, from spring planting until autumn harvest. Importantly, hemp plants transition from vegetative growth to flowering phase when there is an even 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

As the name implies, autoflower plants automatically grow flowers. Importantly, they don’t require a change in the light or the season. Autoflower hemp strains are the descendants of cannabis plants grown in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia. In these cold countries, the cannabis plants had to learn to grow quickly to make the most of short growing seasons. They shed their reliance on the light cycle, allowing them to grow and flower in record time.

Today’s farmers can now use seeds from autoflowering plants to grow precision CBD hemp crops.

Why Choose Autoflower Hemp Seeds?

Before we jump into our tips for growing autoflower plants, let’s look at why you might want to consider choosing autoflower seeds instead of photoperiod seeds.

Speedy Growing Cycle

Most hemp strains require over 100 days (sometimes up to 120 days) to complete a grow cycle. Autoflower strains, on the other hand, are speed demons when it comes to growing. Most strains reach maturation in 7 to 10 weeks, allowing farmers to grow multiple harvests per year in warmer climates. This fast growth rate also makes autoflower strains a great option for farmers who live in colder climates with short outdoor growing seasons.

High Resiliency

The great ancestors of today’s autoflower hemp seeds had to survive in some of the world’s toughest climates, which makes autoflowers some of the most resilient hemp strains around. As such, if you live in an area where cold weather and frost come early, autoflowers genetics are likely a great choice.

Resistance to Pests

Pests and insect infestations are a threat to any crop, but autoflowers grow so quickly, insects often don’t have enough time to do the plants much harm. This makes autoflower crops more pest-resistant than most other hemp strains.

Cannabinoid and Terpene Production

In the past, autoflower plants have been criticized for producing lower-than-average amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes. These days, however, hemp seed companies like High Grade Hemp Seed have been hard at work breeding autoflower strains that boost CBD yields and provide tantalizing terpene profiles your customers want.

How to Grow Autoflowers in Soil

Growing autoflower hemp seeds in soil isn’t so different from planting other strains of hemp. The primary difference is you have more options on when to plant autoflower seeds.

Step 1: Revise Your Operation

Growing autoflower hemp is a different ballgame than traditional photoperiodic cultivation. The speed at which autoflower plants reach maturation affects nearly every facet of a farm operation.

There are several factors you must consider if you plan on growing autoflower hemp:

  • Plant size: Because autoflower plants mature so quickly, they do not grow nearly as large as photoperiod hemp strains.
  • Plant count: To keep your harvests profitable, you must grow more plants to compensate for the smaller size of autoflower plants.
  • Harvest schedule: Whether you are staggering multiple harvests in a season, or just growing a quick crop, harvest times will be much different than seen with traditional hemp crops.
  • Labor: If you are staggering crops, be sure you have available labor on hand during atypical harvest times.

Step 2: Schedule Your Planting

The beauty of autoflower hemp seeds is that they can grow throughout most of the year as long as they don’t experience frost or too much rain. That gives you a lot more flexibility in when to plant. In some parts of the country, planting can start in early spring all the way through to late fall.

Figure out your planting goals: Do you want to focus only on autoflowers and cycle as many harvests as you can? Or do you want to get an autoflower harvest at the beginning and end of the year around your other, longer-growing hemp strains?

Step 3: Germinate Your Plants in a Greenhouse

At High Grade, we often recommend germinating your seeds in a greenhouse infrastructure to give your seeds the best chance for survival. Autoflower plants don’t have as much time to recover after they are transplanted outdoors, so you may want to experiment with greenhouse propagation techniques. If you decide to germinate your seeds in a greenhouse, it’s a good idea to give your new seedlings a few weeks to grow in the greenhouse before transplanting.

Because autoflower plants are smaller than normal, you must also plan for a larger plant count during germination. This means you will need more propagation materials and greenhouse space if you are growing autoflower crops.

Step 4: Prepare Your Soil

Your robust autoflower hemp seeds don’t need as much nutrition as other hemp strains, but they still appreciate a little nourishment. Test your soil before planting and double-check that your soil doesn’t contain high levels of sulfur, potassium sulfate, or rock phosphate.

Step 5: Keep Your Soil Well-Drained

Hemp plants, including autoflowers, grow best in loose, well-drained soil. Adjust watering to your particular climate. Autoflowers do well with surface drip irrigation, subsurface drip irrigation, pivot irrigation, and flood irrigation.

Step 6: Harvest Your Plants Sequentially

Your autoflower hemp plants will be ready for harvest between 7 to 10 weeks. Consider harvesting the colas on the tops of the plants first in order to give the lower buds a little more time to mature before harvesting them.

Step 7: Germinate Your Next Crop

To create the fastest cycle between harvests, begin germinating your next crop of non-autoflower hemp seeds in your greenhouse as you are harvesting your autoflower crop in the field. Once your harvest is complete, you should have a whole new batch of germinated hemp plants ready for another round of growing and harvesting.

Growing Autoflowers Indoors

Thinking of growing autoflower seeds indoors? You’ll need to set up a well-designed grow space. Make sure to set up proper lighting and irrigation and that you have the ability (and the right equipment) to maintain the right temperature and humidity levels.

Step 1: Plant Seeds in a Single Pot to Avoid Replanting

Autoflowers grow so quickly that they don’t have the time to recover from a big stressor like replanting from one pot to another. Instead, plant your seeds and grow them to maturation in a single pot. If you want to attempt to create a strong canopy in your grow space, plant the seeds in smaller pots so you can keep your plants together.

Step 2: Prepare Your Soil Properly

Autoflower hemp plants prefer light and airy soil. They don’t need the same amount of nutrients as other strains of hemp. Be careful about using pre-made soil mixes with too many nutrients. Plant your seeds in only lightly fertilized soil.

Step 3: Limit Watering

Be careful about overwatering your autoflower hemp plants. As we mentioned, autoflowers don’t recover well from major stresses like a deluge of water. Give the soil enough time to dry between waterings. A lighter watering schedule will also help you prevent mold.

Step 4: Determine Your Light Scheme

The beauty of autoflower hemp plants is that you don’t have to commit to a rigid light schedule like you would with photoperiod plants. However, you still need to give your autoflowers plenty of nurturing light to help them grow strong.

There is a lot of debate on how much light to give industrial hemp plants. Farmers who want the highest resin yields and have a little more money to invest upfront may want to use a 24-hour light cycle. Farmers who want to save on energy costs can still get good results using an 18/6 schedule, which refers to 18 hours of light and six hours of darkness.

Step 5: Control for Airflow and Humidity

Autoflower hemp plants do best in moderately warm temperatures, so try to keep your grow space at a cozy 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Good airflow is also an important component of keeping your plants happy and healthy, so use a ventilator to keep humidity low.

Step 6: Harvest Sequentially

When your indoor autoflower hemp plants are ready for harvest, take the colas and the buds from the top first in order to give the lower buds a little more time to mature. This will help you get even more resin from your harvest.

Step 7: Rinse and Repeat

You know the drill by now. If you have space in your grow room, consider germinating your next crop of seeds while harvesting your current crop. Take advantage of the fast-growing speeds of your autoflowers to achieve multiple harvests in a year.

Talk to High Grade Hemp Seed about Autoflower Strains

To give your autoflower hemp crop the best chance for success, look for the seeds with proven genetics. At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are proud to offer our feminized autoflower seeds, which are known for uniform growth, as well as great cannabinoid and terpene production.

High Grade Hemp Seed takes great pride in helping our clients achieve success in the hemp industry. This guide on how to grow autoflower hemp only scratches the surface of this complex topic. If you want more tips for growing autoflower, contact us today.

So, you want to start an industrial hemp farm—good choice! The 2018 Farm Bill finally made industrial hemp farming legal in the United States. The passage of the bill set off a bonanza of hemp farming, fed by the rabid popularity of CBD oil and the recent, growing interest in CBG oil. According to a market research report, the industrial hemp market could be worth up to $26.6 billion in the United States by 2025. That’s all to say that hemp may be a highly lucrative crop for farmers.

If you’re wondering how to start a hemp farm, you have a lot to learn before you plant your first seed. While tales of huge hemp profits are certainly alluring, farmers must make sure they fully understand the hemp market, the regulatory landscape of hemp, and the agricultural requirements of this unique crop before starting a hemp farm. Fortunately, we are here to help. We’ve been working with farmers for years to help them earn the most from their hemp crop. Consider this your guide to hemp farming 101.

Step 1: Do Your Homework

Planting a new crop is exciting, and you may be itching to start buying seeds, especially if the planting window is quickly closing for the season. Resist the urge to rush into a new endeavor, especially one as complicated as growing hemp. Instead, be patient and do your homework.
Learn everything you can about growing hemp and your state and local hemp regulations: Perform research online and speak with local farmers in your state who own hemp farms. Here are some of our favorite online resources for hemp farmers:

Additionally, check to see if your state has a hemp grower’s association you can join. This could be an excellent avenue to network with other local hemp farmers.

Step 2: Clarify Your Industrial Hemp Goals

It’s best to start out with your goal in mind, then work your way backwards. Begin thinking about which hemp products you want to grow. For most hemp farmers, their hemp crop of choice is CBD oil, but some farmers choose to grow hemp for seeds or fiber.

Step 3: Begin Identifying Potential Customers

Ideally, you’ll want to have customers lined up before you harvest your hemp crop so you have a fast and easy way to unload your harvest. Unlike with corn and grain, there are no hemp silos where you can drop off your hemp after harvest.

Finding customers early can also help you decide which strains of hemp seeds you should purchase. For example, if you find a CBD manufacturer who wants smokable hemp flowers (also called buds) with a specific terpene profile (the aromatic quality of the flower), you can search out hemp seeds to meet that need. You may also find customers who want a CBG oil supplier—that could easily be you.

 

Step 4: Create Your Hemp Farm Business Plan

Yes, you knew this one was coming. Drafting a business plan is challenging, but to help inspire yourself, think of your business plan as a “proof of concept” test. It’s far better to discover problems while in the planning stage of your hemp farm than out in the field when you’ve already laid down a big investment.

Make sure your business plan includes important sections like:

  • A SWOT ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis
  • Local hemp market overview
  • Your sales strategy
  • Your operating plan
  • Your farm’s organizational structure
  • Your financial plan, including a funding analysis and profit & loss forecast

We strongly suggest that you keep your profit estimates modest. Many online articles like to tell stories of farmers clearing $40,000 or more per acre of hemp. While these profits may be attainable by some, it is unlikely that first-time hemp farmers will see this level of return. By keeping your profit estimates reasonable, you can ensure that you’ll be able to meet your expenses. And if you beat expectations? Icing on the cake.

If you are having trouble developing your hemp farm business plan, reach out to your local hemp farmer’s association if one exists. You may also want to work with an agronomist who has experience in hemp farming.

Step 5: Develop a Plan for Testing and Compliance

One of the unique challenges of starting a hemp farm is that farmers must abide by the USDA’s strict guidelines regarding the THC content of their crop. According to these guidelines, your hemp plants must stay below a 0.3% THC threshold. You will be responsible for frequently testing your plants to ensure compliance, which is regulated by your state.

We recommend that you begin testing your plants a month after germination and test every two weeks. You may want to test even more frequently as you get closer to harvest. Search for a reputable testing facility now so that you can ensure that you’ll be able to consistently and accurately test your plants.

Step 6: Create an Irrigation Plan

Hemp can thrive with a variety of irrigation systems, including surface drip irrigation, subsurface irrigation, pivot irrigation, and flood irrigation. Now is the time to decide what type of irrigation system you want to use, as it will affect your overall costs, especially if you need to purchase a new system.

Step 7: Get Your License/Permit/Registration

The 2018 Farm Bill requires that every state create and submit a “state hemp plan,” which includes information on how the state will actively track industrial hemp farming within its borders. That means each state has its own regulations regarding hemp farming.

You will almost certainly need to request some form of license or permit in order to farm hemp in your state. You may also need to register with your local city or county. Reach out to your state’s agricultural department to determine what type of permissions you need. You may also want to hire an attorney with industrial hemp experience to make sure all of your paperwork is above reproach.

Step 8: Invest in Equipment and Labor

What new equipment will you need to ensure the best outcome for your hemp crop? For example, if you plan on buying hemp seeds, we strongly recommend that you start them in a greenhouse. (Don’t have a greenhouse? Try hemp starts instead of seeds.)

Hemp is also a labor-intensive crop, so it’s a good idea to recruit a crew of experienced workers who can help you cull male plants, watch out for pests, and maintain ideal field conditions. We recommend checking your fields daily.

 

 

Step 9: Prep Your Fields

As the day to plant your first hemp crop grows closer, you’ll want to make sure your soil is in ideal condition to help your plants grow fast and strong. The best way to prep your field will depend on your farm’s soil conditions and your regional environment.

It’s a good idea to test your soil for elemental sulfur, potassium sulfate, and rock phosphate to make sure the levels aren’t too high. You’ll also want to make sure your soil is well-drained before planting.

Step 10: Buy Your Hemp Seeds

With everything in place and planned out, it’s time to purchase your seeds. If you’ve performed steps two and three, then you should know exactly what type of hemp crop you want to cultivate. For example, perhaps you want to grow hemp specifically for CBG production or maybe you want to grow hemp with a fruity terpene profile.

Decide whether you want to invest in hemp seeds or hemp starts. (We don’t recommend using hemp clones since they will never grow a taproot, which make the plants more fragile.) You may also want to consider purchasing early finishing seeds, which will allow you to stagger your harvest and use your labor more efficiently.

Look for a hemp seed company that has been around for at least a few years and is passionate about the genetics of their seeds. We strongly recommend that hemp farmers invest a little more upfront and purchase feminized seeds to ensure the highest resin yields possible. When male hemp plants pollinate females, resin yields are substantially lower. (Here’s everything you need to know about feminized hemp seeds.)

Finally, if you find a hemp seed strain you want to try, purchase your seeds from the original company that created that hemp strain, not a seed reseller. The original company will be able to provide you with much more information and personal guidance during the planting, cultivating, and harvesting process.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are here to help you as you prepare to start farming hemp. We would be glad to tell you more about our many tried and proven hemp seed strains, including industry favorite Berry Blossom, Cherry Wine, fast-growing Auto Flower, and one of our newest strains, Matterhorn CBG, bred specifically to increase CBG production.

Contact us today—we’ll be happy to help you learn more about how to start a hemp farm.