Cultivating Cannabis for CBD
Traditionally, hemp seeds have always been planted very close together. The result is a very tall plant which maximises the production of fibre and smothers any weed growth.
Hemp grown in this way can easily exceed 10 feet in height and at ground level the soil is beautifully conditioned for the next crop. There simply isn’t any undergrowth because light can’t reach through the hemp canopy. The soil is broken up by deep, vigorous roots and the plant naturally absorbs nitrogen from the air and fixes it in the soil.
While this is an ideal method of growing hemp (UK) for fibre, it isn’t good for producing the sort of resinous, oil-laden plants that are best for extracting CBD. For this purpose it is better if the plants can be allowed more space to develop a heavy crop of flowers which, remaining unfertilised and seed-free, will develop trichomes, tiny little stalks which are the plant’s natural factories for producing cannabinoids. Then, until maturity is reached, the more light and nutrients that can be absorbed, the more the trichomes will fill with oil.
So those growing for CBD purposes will nurture each plant on an individual basis to get the most out of it. This is much closer to the techniques used for growing cannabis for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. In the EU, to be grown legally under licence as industrial hemp, the seeds used must be an EU approved cannabis seed type. These aren’t the best varieties for CBD as they were originally selected for fibre production. The varieties that seem to work the best are the shorter plants that were originally selected for producing hemp seed. Of course, the trick is to prevent them being fertilised so that seeds don’t form.
Growing hemp (UK) in this way can produce powerful odours which are more usually associated with psychoactive cannabis. In fact, the smell is nothing to do with the cannabinoid content, it comes from terpenes, compounds produced within the plant which contribute to the ‘entourage effect’, which is how the greatest benefit of CBD as a food supplement can be achieved. If you are taking CBD oil as an supplement for health and wellbeing, it isn’t just the CBD that matters, it’s all the other cannabinoids present in the plant as well as terpenes and other compounds such as flavonoids.
How to apply for a hemp growing licence (UK).
When learning about hemp production in the UK, it’s important to educate yourself about the strict guidelines in place and the processes involved when applying for a hemp growing licence. Here are the basics:
● You need a hemp growing licence (UK) from the Home Office, even when THC levels are below 0.2%
● You must apply using the online application form on the Home Office Drugs Licensing website. You must register with the Home Office and submit the MD 29 application form electronically.
● You must pay a fee with your application. New licences usually cost £580, with licence renewals costing £326.
● Seeds used must be an EU approved cannabis seed type.
● There is no guarantee that a license will be granted and restrictions will apply, but this will differ with each licence application.
The future of growing hemp (UK)
More and more growers, interested in producing CBD are moving towards these more careful cultivation techniques. Hopefully, in the near future, new strains of low-THC cannabis that are better suited to producing CBD will be added to the EU approved list. In the meantime, you can be certain that the highest quality, best value CBD products come from Love Hemp so stock up today – and why not treat yourself by sampling one of our new products? Terpene-infused CBD crystals or our vape kit with CBD e-liquid are our new hottest sellers.