Hemp Farming is the first link in a very long CBD supply chain. Unfortunately, growing hemp for cannabinoids is no simple task. Notably, the FDA approved commercial hemp farming via the 2018 Farm Bill but remains staunch on its stance against THC. As such, hemp farmers must follow strict protocol to avoid fines and crop losses while encouraging cannabinoid and terpene development.
When sourcing a CBD supplier, you must consider their hemp flower source. Notably, cannabinoids only develop on hemp flowers, which require diligent care for optimal production.
Unfortunately, even small mistakes can be costly when it comes to hemp farming, thus prompting some farmers to sell sub-par material. Improper cures, for example, could leave farmers with moldy harvests or bland terpene profiles, whereas ill-timed harvests could result in low cannabinoid levels or non-compliant products.
Fortunately, VCM has perfected their hemp farming model, so you’ll never have to worry about your cannabinoid hemp source. Today, we’d like to explain why our hemp farming practices are so consistent, thanks to our lead farmer, Will Brownlow.
Entering the Hemp Space
Brownlow started as a tobacco farmer, which made his transition into hemp farming seem only natural. Notably, tobacco also requires special growing expertise, which translated naturally into hemp farming following a decline in tobacco consumption.
Importantly, Brownlow is a certified cultivator in both Tennessee and Kentucky. Notably, he sewed his first hemp seed in 2015 and has been growing cannabis in Kentucky every season since. Aside from the occasional two-legged thieves, his journey as a CBD hemp farmer has been a continued success.
Determining the Best Cultivars for Hemp Farming
Brownlow grows two CBD-heavy cultivars and two CBG-heavy cultivars for cannabinoid extraction. He notes that, while a particular variety’s cannabinoid content is important, real success lies in the ability to balance cannabinoid production with federal compliance.
Notably, the FDA defines hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC dry weight. Though hemp produces significantly more CBD than THC, the plants may still produce the illicit chemical, especially later in the season. The moment those plants produce more 0.3 percent THC, they become federally illegal and must therefore be destroyed.
This, of course, is a challenge for hemp farmers; the higher the cannabinoid content, the higher their harvest’s value. Fortunately, Brownlow has perfected his testing, harvesting, and curing strategy to avoid THC spikes while ensuring his hemp flower is always high quality.
Feeding the Soil
Notably, hemp crops require specialized nutrition for optimal cannabinoid and terpene production. However, hemp is also a phytoremediator, meaning that it pulls nutrients (and contaminants) from the soil. As such, each season’s crop has different nutrient demands, which largely depends on the last season’s performance.
Baring this in mind, Brownlow tests the soil each season to ensure each crop receives the proper care. He never grows on contaminated soil and always modifies his crops’ nutrient regimen based on each cultivar’s needs and soil composition. Consequently, his harvests always have high cannabinoid and terpene levels without any heavy metals or other contaminants.
A Careful Cure is Crucial
The last step in the hemp farming process is a careful cure. To clarify, curing is the process of drying cannabis flowers slowly to protect cannabinoid and terpene integrity. Drying flowers too fast may cause cannabinoids to degrade or volatile terpenes to evaporate, leaving behind low-potency, hay-flavored hemp flower.
To avoid this concern, Brownlow cures all of his hemp flowers on the stem in well-controlled environments. This allows the buds to dry slowly by pulling moisture from the stem for an even cure throughout each bud. Once sufficiently dried on the stem, Brownlow and his team hand-pick each bud to preserve the brittle trichomes. Next, he stores the buds or sends them to our processor for extraction.
Hemp Farming Final Thoughts
The best CBD products come from high-quality hemp farms. As certified hemp cultivators, we proudly produce high-quality hemp flower for cannabinoid extraction and product infusion. Importantly, we’ve been growing cannabis in Kentucky and Tennessee for many years. As such, we’ve perfected our hemp cannabinoid production and compliance strategy, so you don’t have to.
To learn more about our hemp farms or in-house hemp products, contact us or check out our product catalog now. Don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter while you’re at it!
Abby is a freelance cannabis writer and Founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace and training platform designed to connect cannabis creatives with businesses that need their services. Learn more at CannabisContent.net