Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, do-it-yourself has become more popular than ever. Stuck at home for months on end, many Americans decided to try their hand at baking bread, home improvement projects, and even gardening. Some of these projects were a roaring success – and others were quickly relegated to the dustbin.
Given the popularity of CBD, you may be wondering whether you can grow your own hemp – and thus make your own CBD products – at home. The answer depends largely on where you live, as only 19 states allow individuals to grow cannabis plants for personal use. If you do live in one of these states, it is possible to grow your own hemp, either from seed or from plant cuttings.
Growing Hemp at Home
If you have decided to grow hemp at home, the next step is to learn how to do it. Most farmers grow hemp plants from seed. You can also grow hemp from cuttings of mature hemp plants.
The Cannabis species is dioecious, which means that the male and female flowers grow separately, on male and female plants. When a hemp seed is germinated, the seeds will contain approximately 50% female and 50% male plants. You can also purchase “feminized seed” that will only produce female plants.
Typically, hemp flowers are harvested from female plants. Hemp fiber – which can be used to make rope, cloth, and other products – can be harvested from male and female plants. If a female plant is pollinated, it will produce seed (grain).
Hemp plants have four stages of growth: germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering. If you plan to grow your hemp from seed, your process will start with germination. Remember: to be considered hemp, it must contain 0.3% or less THC, so choose your hemp seeds carefully.
To germinate your seeds you will need to follow the following steps:
- Soak the seeds in water for 8 to 12 hours; and
- Plant the soaked seeds 1 inch deep in a seed starting mix.
To successfully germinate hemp seeds, the soil should be kept at a temperature of between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be maintained using a seedling heat mat and thermostat. Using a humidity dome for the first week or two can keep the humidity at an ideal range of 65 to 70%. Grow lights should be kept on for 18 to 24 hours per day, and a nitrogen-rich fertilizer should be used to water or mist seedlings.
Caring For Hemp Seedlings
Once the seedlings have rooted to the bottom of the container, they can be transplanted to a 4 to 5 inch container. When these seedlings have rooted to the bottom of this container, they can then be transplanted to a larger container or fabric grow bag.
Growing Vegetative Hemp
At this stage, the vegetative hemp transplants should be kept at a slightly higher temperature of 60 to 80 degrees F, and at humidity levels of 40 to 70%. Water the plants consistently so that the root zone stays moist, but not soggy. Grow lights should remain on for 18 to 24 hours per day, which will encourage more leafy growth and keep them in a vegetative (non-flowering) state. The plants should be fed weekly with a natural fertilizer.
Growing Flowering Hemp
After the hemp plant grows in the vegetative state for 30 to 60 days, you can then trigger them to flower by changing the lighting to 12 hours on/12 hours off per day. During this time, make sure that air circulates around the plants and that humidity is between 40 and 50%. Do not over-water the plants, and switch to a fertilizer that has nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for weekly feedings.
Most farmers grow hemp plants indoors, where the temperature, humidity, moisture, and other factors can be more readily controlled. The best way to grow hemp is to use a grow tent, which will keep plants isolated in a controlled environment. You can buy grow tent kits that will have everything you need to start growing.
If you want your plants to grow outside, they can be moved outside once they reach the flowering stage. You shouldn’t transplant a hemp plant outside until after the last frost, or when soil temperatures are over 50 degrees F.
There are typically strict limits on the number of hemp plants that you can grow at home. However many plants you have, you can still harvest the CBD-rich flowers, the stalks and stems for fibers, and the hemp seeds. By hulling the hemp seeds, you can then consume the healthy hemp hearts contained inside.
Hemp is a perennial plant, which means that it will come back year after year. In other words, the work that you put into growing hemp now can ensure successful hemp crops for years to come!
Is It Legal to Grow Hemp at Home?
In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp in the United States. Under this law, hemp is considered an agricultural product rather than a controlled substance. To be considered hemp (as opposed to marijuana), the plant must have less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive substance in marijuana).
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis species. The two plants share much of the same characteristics, including beneficial compounds like cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. The main difference between the two is that hemp plants have high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and relatively low levels of THC, while marijuana plants have much higher levels of THC (up to 30%).
Under federal law, it is legal to grow hemp in all 50 states. However, the Farm Bill only set up a framework for the commercial or industrial production of hemp. Under this law, hemp producers must seek a permit from their state, tribal authority, or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Farm Bill does not contain any provisions for residential production of hemp. As such, your ability to grow hemp at home depends on where you live. While most states have a program for the industrial production of hemp, only 19 states allow individuals to grow hemp at home:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
Importantly, the laws for each state vary considerably, so it is important to check your state and local laws before starting your hemp-growing project. These laws were largely written with marijuana in mind, so there are typically limits on the number of cannabis plants that you can grow. Many states only permit home growing under certain circumstances.
The Benefits Of Growing Hemp at Home
Growing hemp at home is appealing for many reasons – you can control the quality of everything you put into the plant, and then use it however you would like. It is especially enticing if growing plants is a hobby you enjoy, or think you’d enjoy.
You may not grow enough hemp to be able to extract your own CBD or process the fiber into rope or clothing, but you will likely be able to grow enough to harvest a decent supply of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are great in smoothies and on salads. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, and essential fatty acids. If growing hemp is something you think you’d like to try, Grow Green Wellness carries all the supplies you’ll need to get started.
It’s important to remember that growing and harvesting hemp will require time, labor, and some money. After harvesting hemp, you will also need to put in a fair amount of work to have something that you can use (like threshing hemp seeds by hand to remove the heart from the shell).If you want immediate access to quality hemp products, Green Wellness Life has you covered. You can buy CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, raw CBD oil extracts, CBD topicals, or CBD capsules directly from our online shop. By shopping for products that are independently tested, you can be sure that you are getting high quality CBD – without impurities or anything that you don’t want.
Green Wellness Life only sells CBD products that are tested by a third party laboratory, with the results made available online for your review. All of our products are made from CBD that has been extracted from industrial hemp grown in the United States. If you aren’t ready to take on growing your own hemp at home (or if it isn’t legal in your state), you can have peace of mind in knowing that our products are safe, effective, and made with your health and well-being in mind.
Your Source for Hemp and CBD Products
Although hemp has been grown for thousands of years throughout the world, we are just beginning to understand its full potential. One of the main components of hemp, CBD, may help you improve your health. The easiest way to take advantage of these benefits is by purchasing CBD products from a reputable company.
At Green Wellness Life, we aren’t doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any medical condition. We can offer you our own insight and experience with CBD, and provide you with the latest research into this all-natural compound. Our company only sells CBD products that have been independently tested and that are produced from industrial hemp grown in the U.S.
If you’d like to learn more or need help choosing a product, we are here for you. Give us a call at 888-772-7875 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., EST), or fill out our online contact form. You can also click the “live chat” button to speak to someone.