The growth of the CBD industry over the past five years is nothing short of amazing. Today, the hemp-derived CBD marketplace is massive, with billions of dollars in annual sales. Some experts believe that the global CBD marketplace could reach 20 billion by the year 2025. However, while the global fascination with CBD can’t be denied, many people don’t know where the cannabinoid originates from.
While there are countless products on the market, most do not realize they are all originally sourced from hemp flowers for sale. Whether it be pet products or topical creams, all CBD products are made from the cannabinoids extracted from flowers. To give you a better idea of where your favorite CBD products come from, let’s explore the topic of hemp flowers.
A great place to start with learning about hemp buds is by understanding the difference between cannabis and hemp. Importantly, both cannabis and hemp plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids – including cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG).
The highest quantities of these complex chemicals can be found in the flower or “bud” of female plants. (This is why many farmers choose to plant feminized seeds.) When a female cannabis or hemp plant remains unpollinated, it produces even larger amounts of cannabinoids in its flowers. As such, all cannabis is grown to produce flowers rich in the cannabinoid THC. Similarly, all CBD and CBG hemp plants are grown strictly for their cannabinoid-rich flowers. However, industrial hemp plants are not grown for their flowers, but rather for the fibers in their stalks.
Hemp flower buds differ from cannabis flowers in their THC content. Importantly, all cannabis sativa plants with flowers that contain less than 0.3% THC are legally considered to be hemp. While lacking in THC, hemp buds are rich in CBD and CBG.
Hemp farmers growing hemp for CBD or CBG can purchase seeds specially bred to produce the highest percentages of CBD or CBG as possible. At High Grade Hemp Seed, we recommend such strains as our Berry Blossom CBD strain or our Matterhorn CBG strain.
Hemp farmers who decide to grow flowers instead of biomass will need to take certain precautions. This notion is particularly true when it comes time to harvest the crop. During this phase, biomass growers can use more commercial methods in harvesting, while flower producers must pay more careful attention not to damage the product.
Hemp CBD biomass is harvested and sold with most plant materials included within the product. As such, biomass features precious flowers, as well as relatively cannabinoid-reduced materials such as stems, stalks, and fan leaves. Conversely, hemp buds are harvested, processed, and sold without the other excess plant material. Understandably, flowers sell for over 300 per pound, while biomass generally sells for less than 10 per pound.
At harvest time, those who plan to sell hemp biomass to a refinery or to extract resin on their own from their biomass can cut down their hemp plants using a combine. Hemp flower farmers, on the other hand, need to be much more careful. Hemp buds are delicate and bruise easily. Farmers must harvest flowers by hand, often using labor to cut plants with machetes, tobacco knives, or shears. Harvesting flowers by hand ensures that the trichomes (the resinous glands in the flower that store terpenes and cannabinoids) are not damaged or contaminated.
While hemp biomass can be dried in a matter of days, hemp flowers need to be dried and cured, which can take weeks in a dry facility. Curing flowers will ensure a smooth smoking experience. Many hemp farmers perform the drying and curing process themselves, which takes a lot of careful handling, a well-designed drying facility, and plenty of patience. (Here’s a handy guide to harvesting hemp for biomass or hemp buds.)
Large-scale industrial hemp farmers tend to grow hemp for biomass. Growing hemp flowers takes a lot of extra focus and care, which can be difficult to manage on a large scale.