In a rush to go to market since legalization keeps increasing, many farmers are cutting corners when it comes to farming hemp responsibly and in a way that’s scalable for the long-term. Ultimately, this can lead to a compromise in overall CBD product quality.
Farming hemp is no easy feat – it requires specialized expertise and knowledge of best-growing practices. Plants should consistently be monitored for oil types, maintain knowledge of which plant genders to grow (and which to avoid,) and finally, maintain responsible farming practices that avoid the use of pesticides and insecticides.
At the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Conference, Tree of Life Seeds CEO Jason Martin addressed and advised farmers – as well as dispelled some of the misinformation – about farming hemp. In this blog, we’ll summarize some of his insights. To watch the entire discussion, watch the video here.
CBD Farming: How to Get Started
For farmers just starting to think about getting into the cannabis space, CBD and CBG crops should be an addition to their current farming practices. Jason urgers potential growers to ask the following questions:
- How can I make this work with the land that I currently have?
- How can I optimize my current labor and equipment in a way that accommodates for farming hemp?
- How does this fit in with the process I currently rely on?
- Where will I get my genetics, and how will I validate that they’re high-quality?
- What kind of buyer am I growing for – and why am I doing this in the first place?
Your goal should be to create an effective, high-quality CBD product without taking any shortcuts. Achieving a successful crop also calls for genetics that are high CBD cultivars that could be grown and stabilized, outdoors, and on a large scale. Farmers should focus on working with a genetic in a seed with a high CBD percentage.
This is because hemp harvesting, inherently, is not easy – and while many farmers are interested in growing the crop, few farmers successfully take on the challenge. Farmers should not rely on marijuana extractors to work with their biomass – these are facilities that specialize in extracting cannabinoids for oil bases in THC-focused tinctures and edibles. That process is not specialized for keeping up with the speed required for hemp harvesting or CBD extraction – nor is it scalable.
But What Does CBG Have to Do With It?
CBG is a newer key player in the space that is a parent molecule of CBD that’s known for its therapeutic benefits. And while it is currently more expensive to produce, one of its defining (and favorable) qualities of the CBG molecule is that it thrives in indoor growing facilities. More people are projected to start farming CBG on the same scale as CBD, as the industry continues to scale. This change should help stabilize the CBD market as supply and demand begin to balance back out.
Whether you’re farming for CBD or CBG, Jason advises farmers to make sure you invest in seeds and varietals that produce the maximum amount. While it seems like you’re saving at the beginning, you’ll end up cutting corners if you buy seeds that aren’t guaranteed to give the most high-quality varietals that are specially equipped to yield the highest amount of CBD or CBG.
Furthermore, he urges farmers to be conscious of who they work with in terms of getting seeds for growing hemp. Because of how connected and interdependent the industry is, farmers, cultivators, and extractors need to support each other and be available to stand by their product – as well as help out the farmers they work with – should anything go wrong in the process.