You cannot consider hemp farming as a new agriculture industry because hemp is a traditional crop farmed for its seed and fiber. However, the cultivation of hemp for the manufacturing of CBD products is relatively new. CBD is a cannabinoid, famous for its medical benefits and almost all the cannabis family plants contain the compound.
If that is the case, then why do people choose hemp in particular and not just any cannabis plant? The reason is the high amount of CBD in hemp extract when compared with other cannabis plants like marijuana. Hemp CBD contains negligible amount of THC, which is another cannabinoid identified in cannabis plants. THC and CBD differ in terms of the effect produced in the body and the law does not permit the production and sale of CBD that contains more than 0.3% THC.
How Does Industrial Hemp and Medical Hemp Differ from each Other?
Industrial hemp was traditionally cultivated for seed and fiber, and they differ from the medical hemp that is cultivated exclusively to produce CBD products. Both plants belonging to the same species has nothing to do with their farming and production methods. They are treated as two different plant types and the selected farming strategies are different.
Cultivation Style of Industrial Hemp
A typical industrial hemp field looks like a corn or sugarcane field with the crops growing close to each other. Since seed is the main aim of cultivating industrial hemp, the plants are usually grown close to one another without leaving much space between them.
Cultivation Style of CBD Hemp
CBD hemp cultivators have to focus on maximizing the CBD content of the hemp. CBD is obtained from the flowers and resin of the plant, and unless the resin and flower production is maximal, the profitability will not be appreciable.
Harvesting Industrial CBD
Special harvesting equipments like combine harvesters are used to harvest industrial CBD, and the machine cuts the plant from its base. The flowering head of the plant is used for seed processing and the stalk is used for fiber processing.
Harvesting Medical hemp
When it comes to the harvest of medical hemp, extra care has to be taken to be sure of the purity. There is a greater chance for the resin rich trichomes to get dislodged if the matured flower heads are not handled properly during harvest. To avoid this, the medical hemp is harvested by hand keeping the flowers clean.
Industrial hemp and CBD hemp serve two entirely different purposes, which necessitates the adoption of different breeding styles and processing methods for each.