Growing Hemp in Industrial Quantities

Growing hemp in inudstrial quantitiesOnce widely grown throughout the U.S., industrial hemp was banned by federal mandate in 1937 due to its status as a country cousin of cannabis. Hemp was further maligned in 1970 when it was listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. However, hemp doesn’t have the psychoactive properties of cannabis, and its classification was simply a matter of guilt by association. Thanks to a recent congressional agreement, hemp cultivation may be on the verge of becoming legal throughout the U.S. for the first time in decades. A number of state legislatures have also ruled in favor of commercial hemp production in recent years, and the future for current and aspiring hemp producers looks bright.

One of the main benefits of growing hemp in industrial quantities for the commercial market is that it has such a wide variety of uses. Traditional uses of hemp include rope, textiles, and paper, but experts estimate that the plant has over 25,000 commercial uses of hemp, which is great news for those who want to maximize the potential of their crops and guard against the vagaries of an often fickle market.

Following are just seven of the many uses of industrially produced hemp.

Hemp Culinary Oil 

Hemp oil is high in heart-healthy fatty acids and imparts an earthy, slightly nutty taste to a variety of foods. Hemp oil can be added to salad dressings, sauces, cold soups, hummus, and just about anything else that can be enhanced by its particular flavor profile and doesn’t require much heat to prepare. Because hemp oil has a low flash point, it isn’t a good choice for using as a sauté oil. It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator by those who keep it on hand in their home kitchens.

Hemp Culinary Seeds 

Hemp seeds provide a pleasant accent to breakfast cereals, muffins, breads, soups, salads, breading for fish and poultry, and other food items where a bit of crunch and a nutty flavor would be a welcome addition. The seeds are easily milled into flour that can be used to make nutritious and delicious bread products as well as serves as the base ingredient for brewing hemp beer.

Hemp Fiberglass Sports Cars 

A small, independent auto manufacturer used hemp fibers to create a carbon-neutral body for a stylish sports car in Florida. The Renew is lighter than its counterparts made of fiberglass, runs on hemp biofuel, and is said to be as much as 10 times more resistant to dents. Plans to go into mass production are in the works.

Hemp Diapers 

Hemp diaper manufacturers claim that their product is at least eight times as absorbent as cloth diapers and has natural antibacterial properties not found in traditional diaper materials. Hemp fibers also bring significant strength and sturdiness to the table, which is an important consideration when choosing reusable diapers.

Hemp Wine 

Hemp is also making a quite a splash in the country’s wine scene. Hemp-infused wines are popping up in small, boutique wineries from upstate New York to Napa Valley. Hemp oil is added to the wine just prior to bottling.

Hemp Cosmetics 

Hemp-based grooming products include anti-aging serums, all-purpose facial moisturizers, soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, hand and body lotions, massage oils, and formulas designed to alleviate skin irritation and sunburn. It’s also found its way into makeup items such as foundation, mascara, and lip gloss.

Hemp Garden Mulch 

Hemp is also gaining popularity as an all-natural and biodegradable garden mulch. Its fibrous structure keeps it from blowing away as easily as traditional mulching materials such as bark dust and provides it with optimal moisture retention. Hemp-based mulch is completely free of chemicals, has superior insulation qualities, and offers a much higher sustainability quotient than mulches made from timber by-products.

Hemp is a vigorous plant that is typically ready for the market in about four months after being seeded. However, because hemp has been out of commercial cultivation for so long, industrial growers lack available resource material concerning best cultivation practices. Many of those new to hemp production believe that the crop basically grows itself, and while it’s true that throwing a handful of hemp seeds on the ground will most likely produce a few scraggly results with no further intervention, commercial cultivation requires a more comprehensive approach. It simply isn’t possible to grow hemp in industrial quantities, meaning, desirable volume and top commercial-grade quality in an uncontrolled environment. Grow rooms specifically designed for Hemp are recommended for industrial growers of hemp.

Soil 

Hemp is very easily damaged by impacted soils as well as by too much water, so it’s essential that the growing medium has good drainage and aeration. It also prefers soil with a neutral pH or just a little on the alkaline side.

Light 

The right lighting is a critical component of industrial hemp production. Hemp likes bright, consistent lighting that doesn’t emit much heat. Most experienced cultivators prefer LED grow lights to other options.

Temperature 

Hemp thrives in mild climates, so it’s important that the growing environment not be allowed to get too warm or too cold.

Ventilation 

Proper air circulation is a must for hemp cultivation because it helps prevent the establishment of fungal colonies and pathogens. A commercial hemp crop is worth nothing if it’s been allowed to become infested with mold, and other fungal pathogens can easily destroy a crop under the right circumstances. Ventilation also discourages the development of insect populations and helps regulate temperatures.

As an added benefit, growing hemp in a controlled indoor environment prevents crops from being destroyed by unexpected weather events such as hailstorms and flooding.

Contact us for more information on using our customizable grow rooms to maximize crop yields and produce a superior quality of industrial hemp.

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