CBD Hemp Seeds
CBD Hemp Seeds are the essential starting point for any large scale medicinal hemp cultivation project.
Rhizo Sciences works closely with farmers and seed breeders to select the most suitable and commercially viable high CBD hemp genetics for a specific location or project.
Hemp seed is available as regular seed or unfeminised – for all CBD hemp production we recommend using feminised hemp seeds whenever possible. This will minimise the amount of pollen and thus seeds that occur in your crop, boosting CBD yield.
How to Choose CBD Hemp Seeds
When growing a hemp crop for CBD production, selecting a suitable seed variety is an important consideration.
While seed merchants often boast of their high CBD levels (often 15% or more) they rarely address the major risks and considerations that farmers should plan for to ensure they meet their hemp license conditions, such as growing certified seeds or managing THC content effectively.
High CBD Hemp Seeds
Traditional industrial hemp has CBD levelsof 1%-3% and a small flower yield as they are primarily bred for fibre and grain/oilseed production.
Increasingly farmers are choosing specially CBD hemp seeds and growing specifically for CBD oil production. Modern CBD hemp seeds contain up to 15% to 20% CBD in their flowers
CBD hemp varieties have been selected for drug production characteristics while also selecting for low THC.
The result is a plant that often looks, smells and yields a crop more reminiscent of marijuana than of traditional industrial hemp.
Ideal CBD Hemp seeds will produce a crop with the following characteristics:
- Heavy flower production and yield
- Large flowers which are easily trimmed
- Heavy resin production and yield
- High CBD and other cannabinoid levels in resin
- Low THC and THCA levels in resin
- Attractive bouquet and terpene profile
- Lower levels of wax and pigments in resin
- Resistance to pests, mold and other diseases, especially those that impact flower/resin quality
- Able to stand up unsupported in field with heavy flower yield
- Resistance to weather, especially during flowering/harvest
- Drought, cold, heat resistance
- Multi-use characteristics, such as being suitable for simultaneous fibre or seed harvest along with CBD flower.
CBD:THC Ratio – the most important number for CBD hemp
While seed breeders, brokers and farmers often get excited about their CBD content, boasting levels of 20% or even more, the most important numbers for CBD hemp farmers to look at and understand is the CBD:THC ratio.
While high CBD is attractive, in reality the CBD content and the overall value of the crop is generally limited by THC regulations.
In most states, THC levels must not exceed 0.3%. In some states and regions this can be as low as 0.2% or as high as 1%.
But the devil is in the detail.
While most state and federal regulators and law enforcement will test for Total THC (THC + THCA) most seed merchants ignore THCA, and will often claim their seeds have high CBD levels with <0.3% THC or even 0% THC.
While it’s exciting to grow 20% CBD hemp flowers, if the THC content exceeds 0.3% your crop may be required to be destroyed.
Even if you live in a state which only tests for delta 9 THC and permits higher levels of THCA, it is difficult to ship this flower, so the market is limited, reducing price.
For this reason, most farmers harvest their crop at around 10% CBD well before peak flowering, to ensure they comply with <0.3% THC.
Even then, this requires a CBD:THC ratio of 34:1. Most CBD hemp varieties have CBD:THC ratios of around 20:1 or 30:1.
Make sure you check this number and ask for examples of past crop tests to confirm the variety you are choosing meets these criteria.
Over the next few years we can expect to see clarification of THC levels by regulators, and also the breeding of high CBD hemp varieties with ratios of 40:1 to 60:1.
CBD Hemp Cultivars
Over the last few years, with the explosion of interest in CBD oil production from hemp, breeders have created a wide range of specially bred CBD Hemp Cultivars and made them available to hemp growers.
When choosing a cultivar, it is important to identify a variety appropriate to your local environment, cultivation style and equipment, and in particular that meets your regulatory framework.
Note that in many states and countries, hemp farmers are restricted to growing a limited range of CBD Hemp varieties. In many regions they require varieties to be certified within that state or sometimes in another recognised territory.
WHen selecting CBD Hemp seeds it is important to check with your state hemp regulator to find out what CBD Hemp varieties you are permitted to grow.
Certified CBD Hemp Seeds
Certified CBD Hemp Seeds have been certified by a state or federal body such as the Department of Agriculture.
For example, Cherry Wine hemp seeds are approved in the US State of Colorado, and are one of the few high CBD varieties currently approved internationally. Finola is approved in Europe and Canada, and is a multi use variety which produces fibre, grain and also has respectable CBD levels of 5% or more.
Do your homework on your local requirement for certified seeds before purchasing.
How to buy CBD Hemp Seeds
When buying CBD hemp seeds, make sure you deal with knowledgable hemp seed vendors who have validated the quality of the seeds.
You don’t want to be a guinea pig for someone else’s breeding experiment.
Even worse: planting non-compliant hemp seeds that test over the legal limit may result in an unsaleable crop, enforced crop destruction or even criminal charges.
Always buy quality seed from a trusted breeder who can demonstrate successful crops with full test results.
Important Test Results for CBD Hemp Seeds
- Germination Report – look for 95%+ Germination rate
- Feminization report – if buying feminised seeds, look for 99%+ feminisation results
- Cannabinoid Potency (Certificate of Analysis, aka CoA
- CBD and CBDA Content – look for CBD > 10%
- Delta 9 THC – look for THC <0.3%
- THCA – in most regions total THC (THC + 0.87*THCA) must be under 0.3%
- CBG, CBC etc – some of these cannabinoids can be valuable, but processors may only pay for CBD
- Seed certification.
It is important to understand what stage of harvest any test results were taken, and how the test sample was selected.
Many CBD seed breeders and vendors will claim 15% to 20% CBD flower with less than 0.3% THC, but need two different tests to prove it!
Ideally you can see multiple repeat tests, taken from representative samples from different crops, each showing compliant tests.
The safest option is to see the official test results submitted to the department of Agriculture – these will typically have lower CBD levels and give you a more realistic expectation for your crop yields.
Feminised CBD Hemp Seeds
Most Farmers growing for hemp seed now choose to grow with Feminised CBD Hemp Seeds.
To grow hemp for CBD production you generally want to use female plants only (the exception is if you also plan a seeded crop).
Normally, half the seeds from a hemp plant will be female, and half will be male. This means that you need to manually identify and remove all male plants to prevent contamination of your female plants with pollen from male plants.
This is most often done in a nursery prior to field planting
When planting thousands of seeds per acre, this is a labor intensive and expensive.
For this reason, most hemp farmers growing for CBD oil choose to grow with feminised seed.
Feminised CBD hemp seeds have been produced from a female flower pollinated with a male flower from a female plant – that means both their parents are actually female, and all the offspring will be female.
Benefits of Feminised Hemp Seeds
The major benefit of Feminised hemp seeds is you can dramatically reduce the labor on losses associated with removing 50% of male plants.
This won’t completely remove all males, so it is important to check for male plants and male flowers on plants during the vegetative and pre-flower growth phases, as one male can fertilise a whole field of female plants.
Feminisation, when done correctly will generally yield 99%+ feminisation, which means there may still be small numbers of males in a field of thousands of female plants.
Problems with Feminised Hemp Seeds
The main problems with feminised hemp seeds relate to the cost and the risk of buying fraudulent seed.
While unfeminised hemp seeds may cost $0.10 to $0.50 c each, feminised seeds can cost much more – typically $1.00 to $5 per seed.
This means that if planting 2000 seeds per acre your cost might be $2,000 to $10,000 per acre.
The benefit is higher yields and lower labor costs – essential if planning very large crops.
This high price has attracted scammers to the industry who prey on farmers, selling unfeminised hemp seed (often totally unsuitable for CBD production) to unwary farmers at feminised seed pricing.
For this reason you should always insist on seeing test results when buying seed and only buy from trusted vendors.
Autoflowering CBD Hemp Seeds
When buying CBD hemp seeds you may come across autoflowering seeds. Autoflowering hemp are a group of varieites which have been bred to flower at a predictable age independent of day length.
While most cannabis is diurnal and flowers in response to short days (signalling aproaching winter) Autoflowering hemp flowers after a certain period of growth.
This allows hemp to be grown at different times of the year, or to be planted early for early harvests.
Autoflowering hemp seeds can be ideal for non-temperate hemp farming such as tropical and subtropical regions such as Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Caribbean, etc).
CBD Hemp Starts
CBD Hemp Starts are hemp seedlings which have been started in a nursery and are ready to for hardening prior to being transplanted into the field or larger containers.
Typically costing around twice the price of CBD hemp seeds, buying CBD hemp starts reduces the costs, risk and time of germinating and planting and germinating hemp seeds yourself.
CBD Hemp Clones
Similar to hemp starts, hemp clones are young plants ready for hardening or field planting.
While hemp starts are seedlings, hemp clones are cloned from a mother plant.
Properly bred and propogated hemp clones often grow quickly and are more consistent than seedlings, but may not be as robust in the field because they lack the strong tap root of seedlines.
Hemp clones are ideal for indoor cultivation or early harvests in pots or irrigated fields.
Buy CBD Hemp Seeds
Discover some of our CBD Hemp Seed varieties and contact us to place an order.