You can’t scroll through any social media on your phone right now without seeing all the projects people have started doing while they stay home. From banana bread and macramé to deep cleans and painting lessons, it seems like everyone’s learning how to do something new. After all, self-improvement is a great pursuit – so we thought, why not teach people how to cultivate hemp? (And if you’re wondering, yes, it’s legal to grow your own hemp at home!)
How Long Have People Grown Hemp?
Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, and has hundreds of uses for products like fabrics, lotions, soaps, supplements, paper, and many more. It has many health benefits to the body as well.
There are still many misconceptions about what exactly constitutes hemp vs. cannabis, but broadly speaking, hemp is a strain of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC – a rule that was set out in the Cannabis Act of 2018. For this reason, you’ll want to start with a strain from a CBD cultivar, as they’re more likely to be hemp and not marijuana. Make room for up to four of the plants at home (unless you live in Manitoba or Quebec), and your hemp-growing journey is underway!
The Best Way To Grow Hemp.
Once you’ve got the room to grow them, you’ll want to choose whether to start from a seed or a clone. Seeds may produce male plants, which have low CBD and cannot create further hemp seeds for oil or other products, but clones don’t grow as large and are often less healthy, even though they have the same DNA and gender as the parent plant.
Whatever you choose, put it in your preferred grow medium – regular soil, coconut husks, hydroponic trays, etc. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, such as water management, cost, time commitment, and maintenance, so it’s best to do some research and find what works best for you. You can also plant hemp outside in a garden area, but timing is important – between the end of May and the late September is ideal. Outside of that range, you run the risk of having seedlings freeze in the ground. Their temperate range is about the same as a human’s – the sweet spot is between 10-32° C.
Soil requires less nutrients than other mediums, and makes the plant more resistant to shifts in nutrient supply. However, it also can be more susceptible to pests or disease. Our official recommendation? Talk to a garden supply store expert for the best information for your area.
Light Sources For Hemp Plants.
If you don’t want to rely on the outdoor sun, there are several interior options to give your new hemp plants the light they need. LED, metal halide, high-pressure sodium (HPS), T5, and compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are all good choices, and as with grow mediums, you can choose the one that best suits your indoor setup. You’ll want to consider things like cost, energy draw, heat emission, and intensity of the light – generally, the higher the intensity, the better the result.
Watering Hemp Plants
The exact amount of water a hemp plant needs will change through its life cycle. To begin with, give less water more often; as it grows and matures, you can increase the amount but lessen the frequency.
Getting the watering right is key to successful growth. Too much can cause root rot, swollen leaves, or stunt the plant’s growth. Too little can stress the plant (which, if done properly, can promote seed production), and even dry it out to the point of no return. Always monitor the health of your plants by inspecting the condition of leaves and stems, and know what they are telling you.
Harvesting A Hemp Plant
If you stay consistent, in a few months you’ll have a sturdy hemp plant that’s ready for harvesting. Depending on the product you’re growing it for, the harvesting method will change, to focus on seeds, leaves, fibres, and so on. If you need an in-depth guide, here’s a document to get you started.
If you have any other questions about growing hemp in Canada or are looking for the highest quality hemp products, Aloha Naturals Co. is here to help.
Reach out to us today and get growing!