Hemp cultivation is a thriving practice, with the value of hemp production for the country totaling $824 million in 2021. But rearing these plants is not as effortless as it seems; cultivators must consider many factors, from strict government rules to calculated harvest times.
Reminder: US Laws Regarding CBD Flowers Cultivation
The US Farm Bill or the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 made hemp cultivation legal nationwide. But at the same time, this law also placed several strict provisions that cultivators must abide by when rearing these crops. These include
- The final hemp crop must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal for further use.
- Timed testing is mandatory when cultivating hemp. Samples from each batch of hemp must be sent to a government-authorized facility 15 days before harvesting. This precaution is taken to ensure that the THC levels remain legal. The US Department of Agriculture oversees this process.
- The entire crop will have to be disposed of if the THC levels are more than 0.3%.
- If a cultivator's hemp crop is shown to have more than 0.5% THC, the farmer will receive a Notice of Violation.
When Is Hemp Harvest Season?
The CBD flower potency depends, to a large degree, on the harvest time. In colder regions, hemp harvest season begins in September, but for most of the US, early August is the regular season. For a CBD flower to be most effective, the hemp must be fully mature; for that to happen, the plant usually takes around four months. If harvested too early, the plant will not have enough time to mature and produce resin, leading to a low-quality crop. Similarly, taking too long can also lead to a drop in the CBD content of the flowers.
Several visual cues help test the hemp crop maturity to avoid these mishaps. For example, upon maturing, the buds of the hemp plant turn a whitish color, signaling the time for harvest. Larger cultivators can rely on crop testing to check the hemp age, but you can also tell the crop's age by checking the plant.
When harvesting hemp, you should also pay attention to the weather condition as they can play havoc on the crops. Excessive rain may destroy the potency of the CBD flowers, and cold temperatures may cause the hemp to die.
How To Harvest Hemp?
For regular use, i.e., CBD oils and other products, hemp can be harvested using harvesters. These machines help reduce the time and also cut down on labor. But when making CBD flowers, the picking has to be done by hand.
As a result, CBD flower harvest is a labor-intensive job that requires each stalk to be handled with care. This process is more delicate because the potency of the final CBD flowers is affected by how it is handled during harvest. Mishandling and rough picking can result in the loss of precious terpenes that add flavor to these buds.
So, for CBD flower harvesting, workers use knives and shears to cut the buds from the plant delicately. After these flowers are harvested, they are carried off to a facility for further processing. Here the hemp s dried and cured to help preserve its potency and flavor.
Should CBD Flowers Be Dried?
Drying CBD flowers is a crucial step in using these buds. Without drying CBD flowers, you cannot access the full benefits of CBD as the product will be full of moisture from the cannabis plant.
For drying, you can pluck the flowers from the plant once it is fresh or dry. Both these methods possess specific benefits and disadvantages, but the central elements of CBD flower drying remain the same. The purpose of both dry and wet trimming is to
- Get rid of unnecessary plant moisture.
- Preserve the distinct aroma and flavor of the CBD by protecting the terpenes
- Increase applications by improving the flavor
- Remove chlorophyll from the CBD flowers
With industry analysts predicting a CAGR rate of 16.8% till 2030, now is a great time to start hemp cultivation. Since this industry is only expected to grow, there is less risk of loss. However, as a precaution, you should be thoroughly versed in the legislation about hemp crops, both federal and state.
I am the author of many Internet articles and am very passionate about natural remedies. Thanks to my research and studies, I aim to provide the readers with clear and educational information about CBD consumption.