Lately, you might have been seeing a lot of articles and social media posts about people growing their own hemp, and getting into at-home potted plant adventures. So, how does one grow their own hemp? And, is it legal to grow hemp?
Many online articles and testimonials are popping up from all kinds of folks – maybe even in your own circles -- who are now growing their own hemp gardens.
How to Grow a Hemp Plant in a Pot
You’re probably hesitant to try growing your own hemp. That’s not surprising. For many years, hemp has been classified in the same manner as marijuana has been. Not only is it legal to grow hemp, but we’re here to teach you how to grow hemp, starting with discussing what hemp is and how it’s different from its sister, marijuana.
What is hemp?
Both “marijuana” and “hemp” are the cannabis family. Their differences lie in their chemical composition and their uses. Hemp is marijuana, minus the famed (and highly-controversial) cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)., the chemical compound causing psychoactive effects that get you “high.” Hemp has remained in a legal grey area since marijuana was first criminalized in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.
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Where does hemp come from?
Hemp is part of the cannabis family, and contains trace amounts of THC -- though smoking it (or consuming it in other ways) will not produce a psychoactive buzz. Hemp may look and smell like marijuana, but it grows much taller and skinnier than marijuana, and is not as rich in aromatic terpenes. Mature plants look more like stalks of sugarcane than the bushy, full look of a marijuana plant’s foliage.
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What is hemp used for?
Hemp has been used for centuries for diverse purposes, but mainly as paper and as a textile. Civilizations used hemp for clothing and rope as far back as ancient Asia in early 2800, B.C. Hemp cultivation was common in the early Mediterranean and European cultures and was later popularized in South America at the same time it was being planted across North America.
Even in the United States, where hemp was illegal to grow for many decades, it was once a cash crop for our founding fathers, farmers who relied on growing it for profit and clothing. Hemp was especially popular during wartime, where the material was used as rope for battles ships and other weaponry. If hemp helped in winning the Revolutionary War why isn’t it considered patriotic? We know that George Washington did grow hemp, among many crops.
Another favorite use is for protein, and fiber, as hemp seeds are a potent nutritional supplement promoting heart health, hormone balance, weight loss, anti-inflammatory support, and pain relief.
Hemp is also used for fuel. Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company made a car run on hemp that was more fuel-efficient than the current models his company was producing.
Low-THC hemp strains are rapidly gaining popularity in the medical marijuana community, as recent scientific studies show how CBD can support myriad ailments such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, diabetes, and even cancer.
Since most CBD products are made from hemp, they are sold in grocery stores and health stores everywhere, even in states where marijuana is not legal.
Legally, hemp is not the same as weed. However, the answer depends on your definition of weed. Hemp is now legally different from cannabis sativa, but it wasn’t always this way. The Controlled Substances Act of 1971 made cannabis a Schedule I drug, meaning it was considered a dangerous drug with no medicinal benefits. Because of their close relationship, hemp was classified the same as cannabis.
Though hemp is in the same family as cannabis, it is not quite the same. There are many differences between the two. As mentioned previously, the main difference is that hemp does not contain THC, the chemical that produces a psychoactive “high.” There are also zero to low percent THC hemp strains. These strains cause minimal to no psychoactive effects and are often used therapeutically.
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Is hemp legal?
With the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), hemp was considered the same as cannabis.
However, it still was not legal to grow it, since it was technically part of the marijuana family and a Schedule I drug. That left hemp illegal to grow even for research purposes, despite considerable evidence showing how beneficial the plant was.
This all changed with the 2014 Farm Bill’s passage, aka the Agricultural Act of 2014. This made hemp legal to grow on an experimental basis. It became fully legal in 2018 with the passage of the farm bill in 2018. That bill legalized hemp for cultivation in all 50 states, including those where marijuana was still illegal for medical and recreational use. Now hemp can be grown everywhere.
Now, the novice user, hobbyist, or farmer for profit can now grow a personal hemp plant without paranoia of a bust. Where once you had to have a hidden field with everything kept under wraps, it’s now easy to grow your own hemp for personal and medical use right in your own house or apartment. You don’t need a large greenhouse, field, or a backyard to grow your own hemp. You can do this in your own bedroom if you wish!
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How to grow hemp?
So, how do you grow hemp? How do you take advantage of growing this extremely versatile renewable resource?
This is easy and inexpensive thanks to grow kits like a Pot for Pot. Our all-inclusive grow kits have everything you need to grow your own hemp seeds in the comfort of your own home. Now you don’t have to hassle with unreliable sources for information on growing hemp. Everything you need is in this kit. Simply supply your own hemp seeds and water!
Here’s how to grow hemp indoors
We usually recommend germinating seeds by soaking them for 24 hours and then placing them in a damp paper towel until they form little tails. You can also use Jiffy Pellets as an easy way to sprout your seeds. If you start with one of our Complete Kits, you’ll have everything you need to quickly sprout your seeds.
Place your seedlings somewhere they will get plenty of light. We recommend a window sill that will be sunny throughout the day if you are growing indoors. Our grow kit has everything you need, but for extra lighting, purchase a Light for Pot. Once your hemp plant begins growing, the fun has begun!
When your plant reaches the next stage of its life, and it has sprouted 4-5 sets of leaves, then it is time to transplant your plant into its final resting place, aka its finishing pot. Transplanting ensures that your plant does not become rootbound and will be able to properly take in water and nutrients.
Don’t have a lot of space in your house, or don’t have a grow room? You can still grow hemp outdoors or in your backyard! Hemp can grow quite tall, and thus prefers to stretch to its maximum size, outside. Just ensure your plants get plenty of sunlight on a back patio or deck.
How to harvest hemp?
Thanks to a Pot for Pot, you have everything that you need to harvest your hemp when the time comes. However, how and when to harvest your hemp depends on what your growing goals are; If growing hemp to harvest the fibers, begin harvesting before your plants seed.
Growing hemp for the seeds? The time to harvest will be when the plant has seeded. Your stalks should be cut down and dried, a process called “retting,” which can take up to 5 weeks.
Pro-Tip: When growing hemp for the seeds, ensure seed husks are hard; if you wait too late, your seeds will start dropping as your plant dries -- the longer you wait, the more seeds you lose!
Harvesting Home Grown Hemp
When growing hemp for its CBD, you need to be extra careful at harvest time. You’ll know when it’s time to harvest when the trichomes on your buds start turning from solid white to a milkier white color when looking under a microscope.
You would not want to destroy all your hard work over just a few percentage points! Trim off your buds using the bud trimming shears you received with you’re a Pot for Pot grow kit. Dry and cure them by hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated area that’s not warmer than 65*F and not more humid than 63%, to prevent mold and mildew from ruining your buds!
Does hemp have “buds” like marijuana does?
Like female marijuana plants, female hemp plants also produce buds. To the uninformed, they look exactly the same as marijuana buds, with trichomes. The difference is that they will not get you high if you smoke them but their CBD content is famed for its support with anxiety or chronic pain.
All buds are trimmed and cured the same way , by properly inspecting each bud for caterpillars, bud rot, mites, mildew and mold. You certainly don’t want to be smoking moldy hemp or using it to make edibles or oil for your friends and family!
What does hemp look like and smell like?
Hemp looks so similar to marijuana, most people cannot tell them apart while experienced growers can tell the difference right away. Hemp grows much taller and skinnier than a traditional cannabis plant, with long, hollow bamboo cane-like stalks .
Hemp does have a smell, but it is not nearly as aromatic as marijuana. It has more of a fresh piney smell, with a hint of citrus. You don’t have to worry about your garden attracting unwanted attention like you would if you were growing marijuana!
How long does it take to grow hemp?
Hemp is an annual plant that needs at least one season of the year to reach full maturity. Most plant it after the last frost, and harvest it in October if growing outdoors. For those growing indoors, we can grow hemp year-round, with multiple harvests each year if you grow hemp auto-flowers.
Auto-flowering hemp plants mature in less than half the time of a regular photoperiod hemp plant. They also do not need a lighting adjustment once they begin flowering. If you get your timing just right, have the right conditions, and use the right tools, you can grow up to 100 ounces per year.
Now, you too know how to grow hemp, and you know how to grow hemp legally yourself, from the comfort of your home. We’re here to help you with the right tools for making your hemp growing project a success!
FAQ On Hemp Plants
Is hemp a CBD?
CBD is derived from hemp. But CBD, unlike THC, is not psychoactive and therefore does not result in a 'high.
Is hemp a drug?
Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa, they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.
Can I grow hemp now?
As of today you can grow hemp legally. President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law on December 20, 2018. It removed the hemp plant, along with its seeds and derivatives, from the Controlled Substances Act.