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Let’s answer the question you may have right out of the gate: hemp does not make you “high.”
It is a similar species to cannabis, and the two look and even smell the same. However, there is one huge difference.
The distinction is that hemp plants contain no more than 0.3% by dry weight of THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. This is compared to marijuana, which usually contains 5% to 20% of THC.
Hemp farming has been legal since the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.
The USDA has set standards to regulate procedures for testing the THC concentration levels for a hemp crop.
What Is Hemp Used For?
Hemp has many potential uses, and the list grows longer each year.
- Hemp fibers can be used in textiles, paper-making or various industrial processes. But approximately 90% of hemp crops are grown for their buds, which are then used to produce CBD.
- CBD has gained a huge following for its purported use for lessening many aches and pains and even mental disorders. Hemp can be taken in a number of ways, including as liquid drops, chewable gummies or even smoked or vaped. Even the seeds have been said to aid heart and blood pressure issues.
- More recently, hemp grains have been found to rank high in nutritional value when compared to standard grains. They are packed with protein, amino acids, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, among other health benefits.
NOTE: You should always consult with your doctor before taking any substances, even those called holistic or all-natural.
How Is Hemp Farmed?
Hemp presents a new opportunity for growers to expand their farms when it comes to the type of crops they produce. Hemp plants usually are fairly easy to assimilate into a farm or orchard cultivated for other fruits or grains or vegetables.
Most equipment and materials for growing hemp are the same as with any other type of farming methods. Although it is an annual crop, it is grown like a vine on vertical trellises.
The plants themselves are moderately easy to grow. The optimal land would consist of flat fields in an environment of hot days and cool nights and a relatively short summer. This makes the Midwest one of the most ideal sites.
Hemp is a summer crop that typically will be farmed between June and early November. During the harvest, labor demands may require two people or more per acre for the picking and cure drying.
In the near future, the industry could see hemp included as a popular rotational crop in large-scale agriculture.
Investing In Hemp
However, you do not need to be an agricultural expert to get on the bandwagon for hemp farming.
- You can buy several acres and then lease out the land to an experienced farmer. Your income could be from both the annual rent plus a percentage of the amount of hemp harvested.
- You could also research crowdfunding platforms that allow you to buy into a hemp or other type farm at investments sometimes as small as $5,000.
Buying hemp seeds to start out isn’t as simple as buying carrot or bean seeds in a farm market store. Indeed, every seed batch can contain differing levels of THC, which can actually threaten a harvest.
On the other side of the coin, seeds that produce buds with lower levels of the oil – 2% or 3% – may not be sellable. Seed quality is extremely important. People in the planning process of cultivating a hemp farm should always do the research and know the specifics of the seed they are considering buying.