One of the best ways to enjoy the curative benefits of CBD is by using natural hemp flower. Not only does flower provide a more organic feeling experience than tinctures or oils, but the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes encourages the entourage effect. Inhaling hemp flower by smoking or vaping provides much higher bioavailability than orally administered CBD like gummies and capsules.
There are hundreds of different ways to find hemp flower, either online or in brick and mortar dispensaries, but nothing is more rewarding than taking a puff of cannabis you’ve grown yourself. For those with little gardening experience, cultivating a hemp crop can seem overwhelming at first. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Follow these 4 tips, and you’ll have your own healthy hemp plants in no time.
Tip #1: Always Start By Germinating Your Seeds
Once you’ve acquired some suitable hemp seeds, you’ll probably be anxious to go ahead and get them into some soil ASAP, but wait up. Before you plant your hemp seeds, it’s essential that you germinate them first.
Start by soaking your seeds in water for around 3-4 hours. Next, wrap your seed in a moist paper towel. You’ll know the germination process was a success when your seed sprouts a small white root. This can take a few days, and while your seed germinates, make sure it remains in a dark area with a stable temperature, and re-moisten your paper towel if it begins to dry out.
Tip #2: Sowing Your Seeds
A budding hemp gardener planting their first seed should typically start by sowing their seeds directly into the soil where they will come to full maturation rather than transferring them later as they grow, so go ahead and get them straight into your garden.
Hemp is a hearty crop that will grow under most conditions, though the time of year will play a role. If you’re in the United States, you’ll want to plant your seeds sometime in the spring, after the average date of the final frost in your area when the soil temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Seeds should be planted at around half an inch deep, and if you’re sowing multiple seeds, around at least four inches apart.
Tip #3: Tending Your Hemp Plants
Now that you’ve successfully planted your hemp seeds, it’s time to take care of them while they grow into adult hemp plants.
Hemp is a naturally drought-resistant plant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need water—especially during the first 6 months of their growing cycle. There’s no exact science as to how much water your plants will need, and it will heavily depend on the type of soil you use, your local climate, and the weather conditions, but you should count on watering your plants at least once a week. This could be increased or decreased depending on rainfall or rising temperature.
Plants that need water will show signs like yellowing or drooping leaves, but it’s best to keep your plants hydrated before they start showing these signs. The best way to tell your hemp cultivar is feeling thirsty is to check the soil by inserting your finger about an inch or two into the soil. It should feel moist but not sopping wet. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water.
Cannabis is naturally pest-resistant, so you should be able to avoid using pesticides unless you see a need. Alternatively, you could grow your hemp alongside companion plants like marigolds which would further discourage an infestation.
Tip #4: Harvesting Your Hemp
Now it’s time for the most exciting part—the harvest! It takes a hemp plant, on average, around 100 days to fully mature. If you planted in May, expect to harvest around October (often referred to as “Croptober” for this very reason).
Before your beautiful buds can be enjoyed, they first need to be dried. Cut the plant down at the base, and hang it upside down until the stalk is no longer pliable and can be snapped. This should take around 3-10 days, depending on the humidity.
Once your plants have dried, simply trim away the excess leaves around your buds, and voila—you’re ready to enjoy your homegrown hemp flower!