Many people who would like to grow hemp are aware that they are required by law to test the THC concentration of their plants before they are cleared by state agriculture authorities to harvest and sell their crops. However, the importance of testing hemp goes beyond meeting regulatory requirements. Here is how else hemp testing can help you as a farmer.
Monitoring THC Levels
One of the biggest fears of farmers is that their hemp plants will become “hot” (have THC that exceeds the 0.3 percent legal limit). This concern is well-founded, since there are only two options once the plants become “hot.” First, you are allowed to have another test done to confirm that the findings of the first test were accurate. Once the second test also indicates that the plants are “hot” then you have less than 14 days to destroy those plants.
Regular testing of your hemp plants helps you to track how the THC levels are changing during the growing process. The tests also show how CBD levels are changing, and once CBD peaks, THC levels start rising. The tests show you when the THC is beginning to spike, and you can harvest your hemp before the plants become “hot.”
Predicting Your Earnings
Most farmers grow hemp for CBD extraction. The price that hemp dry matter fetches depends on how much CBD will be extracted from it, so the higher the CBD content, the higher the price that one’s harvest will command.
As mentioned earlier, periodic testing helps you to track CBD and THC concentrations. Experienced hemp farmers in states like Colorado know that initially, the THC level is constant while the CBD concentration keeps increasing as the plants grow. When the CBD level peaks, THC begins rising again. You don’t want to give THC a chance to rise because as it does, the CBD concentration starts dropping.
Regular testing enables you to know at what point to harvest so that the plant material has the highest level of CBD possible. In this way, you will have locked in the price potential of your plants since processors will offer a premium price for plants with high CBD levels.
As you can see, it is important for you to test your hemp plants more times than is mandated by law. You would therefore be well advised to do your research and find out how much it costs to have samples tested in your area, and then include this cost in your hemp cultivation budget. Experts believe that hemp industry actors like Geyser Brands Inc. (TSX.V: GYSR) and Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) can point you in the right direction if you need guidance on selecting a reliable testing facility.
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