So, you want to learn how to harvest hemp for CBD?
That’s great! Hemp is a resilient, cash crop and the CBD market is booming and expanding day-by-day. This blog post is specifically for commercial farmers. It’s definitely possible to grow hemp at home*, depending on your State, but we’ll get into that in a separate post.
So the first step is to determine whether or not hemp is the right crop for you to grow. While it’s a cash crop, there are still several factors that contribute to your ability to profitably grow it. Do you have a fully irrigated field? Do you have 1-100+ acres of land available? Can you afford to grow efficiently ($5-6,000 cost per acre)? Do you have the soil that’s conducive to hemp? These are all important questions, and we’ll dive into the answers in a future post, but for now, let’s push forward.
The next question to ask yourself is whether or not you have access to feminized hemp seeds. The female seeds are the ones that will produce the CBD flower, whereas male plants have more utilitarian purposes such as fiber. It’s important to find high-quality seeds, and depending on where your farm is, high-quality seedlings. Regardless of your needs, Hemp Extraction has a sister company called Seedex, which has the capability to provide farmers with free hemp seed to start the season. Checkout their website here.
Before you even plant your seeds, you’ll need to be proactive and get in touch with a dryer to make sure that they can fit your yield in (they get very busy, very quickly towards the end of the hemp growing season).
After you’ve planted your seeds, you’re looking at 90-120 day growing cycle, and once your crops are ripe, you’ve got a small window to get them off to your dryer. Thus, it’s important that you coordinate with your dryer and stagger your planting to ensure that you don’t exceed their capacity with one big harvest.
The equipment with which you harvest is important as well. Manufacturers like John Deere produce solid hemp harvesting equipment, but many of these products are made to spec, so it’s imperative that you get your ducks in a row early in this aspect as well.
Can you dry the hemp on your own? Yes… you could always use a tobacco shed, but the results aren’t likely to sway in your favor, especially if you’re looking to produce high-quality CBD. Home drying is liable to cause variances in the hemp, whereas a commercial drying can offer industrial precision.
Once you’ve gotten your hemp dried, the next step is to extract it. This is the process of converting the resulting hemp biomass into high-quality winterized oil that can then be used to produce substances such as CBD distillate or isolate (check out our important questions page to learn the difference). We don’t like to toot our own horn, but Hemp Extraction, LLC has a pretty darn good setup. We can extract 8,000 lbs. of biomass per day and we’re all about transparency and making sure that you get as much profit as possible from your hard-earned crops. But enough about how great we are—let’s continue onward.
Now, if you’ve done Hemp Extraction LLC’s 50/50 deal, then we’ll sell the oil for you and you can head back to the farm and count your money. If your plan is to distribute yourself, then you’ll need to decide on what the next product is. You can have winterized oil turned into any number of byproducts, but the most popular ones are either isolate or distillate.
Curious about how much your yields could be worth? Give our Hemp Extraction Yield Calculator a try!
Not sure where to find companies to transform your oil? Or where to sell the resulting byproducts? Luckily, we have yet another sister company called GRENex that is primed to be the first marketplace platform connecting every corner of the hemp industry. Here, you’ll be able to list you inventory, chat with buyers/manufacturers, and get top-dollar for yields?
Sounds pretty good, right? That’s because it is! GRENex is still prelaunch, but stay tuned and they should be up and running by the time you’re ready to sell and make some big money! That’s the end for this blog post… we hope you learned more about how to harvest hemp for CBD, but as usual, if you have any questions about growing hemp or extracting it, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk!
*Refer to your State legislation to determine whether or not growing hemp at home is legal for you.