Many of us only see hemp and cannabis in stores and online. We scroll through lists of products until we find our favorites and wait in lines to pick them up from stores. Even though you love your favorite hemp and cannabis products, you may not put much thought into their origins. From gummies to vape pens and liquid tinctures, all of these products started as a seed in the earth. Today we will discuss growing hemp, from personal plants to mega-farms.
When we discuss growing hemp, we must consider several parts of the process. It is essential to discuss how the plant grows, the legality of growing hemp, growing hemp yourself, and huge farms that harvest fields of hemp. Once we discover how each of these aspects function, we can learn how hemp makes its way from a seed to your favorite products. Once you finish this article, you will greatly appreciate the effort it takes to create your favorite gummies, distillates, and oils. Also, learning about how hemp grows might inspire you to try growing hemp.
Growing Hemp Naturally
The seed that creates the hemp plant comes from Cannabis Sativa. You may not have known, but hemp and cannabis are the same plant. The only difference between hemp and cannabis is their THC content. Legally, hemp must possess less than 0.3% THC per plant. Therefore, the way hemp and cannabis grow are identical.
As hemp grows, it requires a constant rotation of light and water to reach its peak. Hemp originates as seedlings, which quickly take root in the soil. Once they grow, they are transferred to larger and larger pots until they reach their maximum potential. They need lots of water and should experience about 12 hours of light and dark. If you want to learn more about the exact nature of growing cannabis, you can look here.
As hemp plants grow, one fascinating element emerges: not all plants bear the famous hemp flower. Hemp flower is the part of the hemp plant that goes into everything from CBD oil to Delta 8 gummies. About 50% of the plants bear flowers, and 50% do not flower. The reason for the split is the hemp plant is dioecious, meaning hemp plants bear different flowers on “male” and “female” plants. The male plants have smaller flowers that spread pollen. The pollen fertilizes the female plants, which creates seeds. If you wish to harvest hemp flowers, you must do so with unfertilized female plants. Therefore, any hemp you have ever smoked or ingested originated as an unfertilized female plant. The fertilization process is also how farmers can grow low-THC cannabis, also known as hemp. Overall, the only reason hemp exists is because of the long process of farming dioecious cannabis plants.
Growing Hemp Legally
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal in the United States. Additionally, growing hemp was also made legal. However, the legal regulations for growing hemp are still quite restrictive.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal, it left much of the regulation of hemp to the states. Therefore, each state has different legislation regarding hemp products’ growth, sale, and consumption. Some states require growers to obtain permits, whereas others are fine with large-scale cultivation. Each state varies wildly, so if you are interested in starting a farm or growing personally, you should have an extensive understanding of your state’s laws regarding hemp.
Growing Hemp Personally
If you want to grow a personal array of hemp and cannabis plants, you must be in the right state to do it legally. Currently, only 18 states allow personal hemp cultivation. Therefore, if you live in one of these states, you can achieve your hemp growing dreams.
When you decide to grow personal hemp, you must be well-equipped. You will have to get the appropriate tools like pots, fertilizer, UV lights, and a space for growing. Once you have all the equipment, you can buy hemp seeds online. You can purchase “feminized” hemp seeds, meaning that all the seeds you buy will grow into flower-bearing female hemp plants. After many arduous hours caring for your hemp plants, they will bear the beautiful hemp flower. Once you have the hemp flower, it is only a few steps into making it into your favorite products, or you can grind it up and smoke it. Without a doubt, cultivating hemp plants will give you an immense appreciation for hemp farmers and producers.
If you are personally farming hemp, you can only grow a handful of plants. Industrial hemp farms can grow fields of hemp, enough to keep all of America stoned. However, they have to go through serious red tape to open up. Some states do not allow large-scale hemp cultivation, and every state has an extensive permitting process. Getting a farm started can be a huge hassle, and that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Farms must obtain enormous quantities of seeds for hemp. Once the hemp seeds begin to sprout, farmers must pay special attention to the THC in the hemp plants. The government might shut down their entire operation if their hemp plants have more than 0.3% THC. Also, hemp plants that fertilize other hemp plants can create plants that have higher THC content. Therefore, farmers must pay extremely close attention to male-female fertilization.
Once the plants are grown and harvested, these mega-farms must find buyers to take on their hemp. These buyers can range from indie online stores to giant brands that line store shelves. Then, these farms can pack up all of their hemp and ship it across the country, and plan for next year’s harvest. The grind of industrial cultivation is one few people understand. Still, we can all appreciate the hard work it takes to make our favorite cannabis products.
You might have thought that growing hemp was a breeze, but cultivating hemp is no easy task. Hemp must be grown in closely monitored conditions to bear the beautiful hemp flower. Although hemp is federally legal, hemp laws differ from state to state. If you are looking to start a personal hemp stash, make sure to consult your local laws. Once everything is in legal order, make sure to care for your plants properly, so they bear flower. Industrial farms have to deal with massive amounts of red tape, but the payoff is worth it. Hemp products around the country come from hard-working farmers who bring the best possible products to market. The next time you take a hemp product, remember how much work it took for hemp to grow from a seed into a worldwide phenomenon.