If you’ve heard more talk lately from farmers thinking about switching their crop to hemp, it’s not a coincidence. Hemp farming is on a steady rise in America. Whether you’re wondering why the interest in hemp is blooming or you’re looking into planting it yourself, we answer the seven most common questions asked by first-time hemp farmers.
Is hemp legal?
Historically, hemp has been illegal to grow in modern-day America, with one period of exception. During World War II, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1932, which banned all hemp and marijuana plants, temporarily lifted. The country encouraged farmers to grow as much hemp as they could to support the war effort. After the war, this push subsided. Only recently did America finally join the majority of the world by allowing states to legalize hemp farming. Although most states have made hemp legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, there are a few holdouts. If you are thinking about hemp farming, make sure you do your research to understand the policies where you live.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
The only major difference between hemp and marijuana are their levels of the natural psychoactive compound, THC. Although they both come from the cannabis plant, hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC. It has none of the high effects of the marijuana plant when ingested. This is a very important distinction. If a farmer’s hemp harvest tests as anything over 0.3 percent, the plants must get destroyed in places where marijuana is still illegal.
Is there market demand for hemp products?
Yes. One of the best things about growing hemp is the diversity of products made with it. CBD in particular is projected to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry in the next few decades. And for good reason. Lots of folks are touting it as a miracle cure for diseases and anxiety. While nothing has been medically proven, we are discovering new benefits from CBD all the time. Another exciting product is the emerging hemp-based bioplastic industry. With the right technology, hemp-based plastics are becoming more common as an alternative to plastics made with fossil fuels. Hemp plant fibers are also an awesome textile. They’re used for everything from clothing to ropes to concrete.
How to source your hemp seed?
This is an important question. Since the legalization of hemp there has been an influx of seed merchants on the market. But there is a fine line between legal and illegal hemp harvests. This means that getting your hemp seed from airtight sources is crucial.You’ll also need to consider how you plan to harvest your plants. Only female hemp plants get harvested for CBD, so having too many male plants in the mix won’t give a good yield. Don’t forget that buying clones is something to consider, too, especially if you can trace the parent plant and know its qualities are something you want.
When shopping for seeds, you want the feminized version of the strain you’ve selected. Make sure the listing for the strain shows its parent genetics. You may also want to research the popularity of the seed to ensure there’s high demand for your yield.
Is hemp easy to grow?
Yes. Hemp’s resilience makes it a relatively easy crop to grow. It is naturally pretty resistant to pests, so requires less maintenance than other crops. Plants harvested for CBD need a bit more attention during their grow, particularly with regular defoliation. However, those harvested whole provide farmers with a simple switch from more traditional crops.
Can you grow hemp organically?
Because of its resilience, hemp is a fantastic option for organic farming. It grows well with less fertilizer and also isn’t as susceptible to pests or disease. Because of CBD’s popularity with the health and wellness crowd, demand for organically grown hemp is growing in popularity all the time, too.
Can you grow hemp inside?
Hemp, especially hemp being grown for CBD, is well-suited for environments where you can control how much light the plant gets. That means hemp does great inside, either in a greenhouse, with supplemental lighting, or with artificial lighting.
Get the rest of your questions answered
The possibilities of using hemp in so many different applications makes it a great option for farmers. Especially those looking to grow a more profitable and adaptable crop. At Arbor Vita8, we know how confusing it might be to get started growing hemp. That’s why we specialize in helping hemp farmers by providing the support and assistance they need. From the prep and seedling process all the way to final harvest, we’re here. Contact us today for more information!