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7 Ways Grading Standards Are Improving the Legal Cannabis Market

Cannabis grading standards are bringing greater business sustainability and acumen to the industry by providing improvements and benefits to all levels of the supply chain.

In the Era of Hybrid Strains, Say Goodbye to Indica and Sativa

With hybrids dominating in today’s world, have terms like ‘indica’ and ‘sativa’ grown outdated in favor of science based characteristics through testing and grading?

Meet the Big Tree Family: Brett Fraser, Grading Czar

It goes without saying that most cannabis professionals are passionate about the plant, and Brett Fraser is definitely no exception. Though his journey into the cannabis industry was somewhat unexpected, he brings with him dedication, bright ideas and a determination to do right by a long misunderstood plant.

Grading Explained: How Is Cannabis Trichome Content Graded?

Grading is bringing standardization and clarity to the cannabis industry, but to some, the concept still seems shrouded in mystery. This series, Grading Explained, will break down how each of the four categories — trichomes, color, aroma and bud structure — are graded. Today, let’s begin with trichomes.

Transparent Cannabis Grading Protects The Value of Crops for Buyers and Suppliers

A transparent grading system with a standard open to everyone levels the playing field, so buyers and suppliers, big and small, can get in the game.

When It Comes to Cannabis, Does Size Really Matter?

In the world of cannabis, the size of the flower seems to affect the price, but does it affect the value? Are big buds really better?

3 Ways to Maximize Your Cannabis Grade During Harvest Season

With harvest season finally here it’s time for growers to see the product of their labor, but in order to ensure the cannabis reaches its full potential, producers should keep in mind these three ways to maximize their cannabis grade.

Cannabis Farmers Tap Creativity and Bravery to Contend with the Challenges of Fire Season

As fires sweep across the west coast, cannabis farmers are facing unique challenges in protecting their crops from destruction. Some are choosing to stay put and use firefighting training to fight back the blaze and save their homes, livelihoods and lives.

Does Grow Method Play a Factor in Profitability for Cannabis Farmers?

While the end product of any grow method is always cannabis, the many ways to produce the flower may leave some wondering if one environment produces higher value cannabis than others.

International Cannabis and Hemp Standards Have Developed a Grading System Bringing Equity to the Industry

ICHS has created a grading system that encourages buyers and suppliers to work together to advance the cannabis industry with equity in mind.

Grading Is Bringing Standardization to the Cannabis and Hemp Industries

When you bring a certificate of grade into the equation there is no longer any confusion about what the cannabis is worth on the marketplace.

7 Ways Grading Standards Are Improving the Legal Cannabis Market Cannabis grading standards are bringing greater business sustainability and acumen to the industry by providing improvements and

Choosing the Best Hemp Flower Strains

Deciding to grow hemp for CBD or CBG (a lesser-known cannabinoid that is growing in popularity) is only the start of your decision-making process. Next, you need to determine which hemp flower strain to grow. Ever since the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills legalized hemp farming in the United States, companies like High Grade Hemp Seed have been developing different types of hemp flower. What sets these hemp flower strains apart, and how can you choose the best hemp flower for your farm?

A Quick Look at Hemp Flower vs. Hemp Biomass

You probably know that hemp is an incredibly versatile crop that can be used for thousands of different purposes. Farmers looking to grow hemp will first need to choose what, in particular, they want to harvest. Hemp can be grown for fiber, seeds, or resin (from which CBD or CBG can be extracted).

Growing hemp for CBD or CBG can offer a high ROI. Farmers who want to operate large, industrial hemp farms typically choose to harvest hemp biomass. This biomass includes the hemp flower, stalk, and leaves, which are processed and refined together to extract CBD- or CBG-rich resin.

Smaller farmers often choose to harvest hemp flower, which is the bud the hemp plant produces. (Hemp flowers and hemp buds are interchangeable terms.) Hemp flowers can be harvested, cured, and sold as a complete flower. Many customers smoke or vape cured hemp flowers in order to enjoy the relaxing effects of CBD or CBG. Alternatively, processors may purchase dried hemp flowers in order to extract CBD or CBG. Hemp flowers provide a higher percentage of CBD or CBG than hemp biomass.
When choosing a hemp flower strain to grow on your farm, it helps to keep downstream customers in mind. Here are some of the most important factors to take into consideration when searching for the best hemp buds for your farm.

Terpene Profile

One of the biggest distinguishing factors between hemp strains is their terpene profile. A hemp flower’s “terp profile” refers to its aromatic qualities. A hemp plant’s terp profile is a huge selling point, as hemp bud smokers will often seek out their favorite flavors.

Hemp plants produce terpenes, which are found in trichomes (tiny hair-like structures around the buds, stems, and stalks of the hemp plant). Hemp plants use terpenes to ward off enemy insects while inviting helpful pollinators. Scientists have discovered over 100 unique terpenes, and fascinating research suggests that terpenes, along with other, lesser known cannabinoids, may create an “entourage effect” that enhances the effects of CBD or CBG.

When reviewing different hemp flower strains, pay attention to the terpene profiles. Some hemp flowers, for example, offer fruity or floral notes. Others are famous for heavy flavors of skunk, cheese, and even gasoline. Certain customers absolutely love the biggest, boldest skunky hemp flowers.

Here’s a quick list of all the different terp profiles our hemp strains offer:

  • Berry Blossom: Extremely floral; smothered in exotic overtones of candied raspberries and acai berries.
  • Red Bordeaux: Strong overtones of fresh-cut strawberries and crushed lavender with hints of cherry and gasoline.
  • Merlot: A sharp and robust frame of freshly opened tennis balls and orange peel underscored with rich tones of chocolate and cherries jubilee.
  • Bueno: Aromatic notes of strawberry.
  • Autoflower: Sweet and spicy.
  • Cherry Wine: Complex cherry floral frame with pine skunk undertones.
  • Trophy Wife: Heavy notes of cheese and skunk complemented by cherry undertones.
  • Matterhorn CBG: Effervescent notes of citrus, lemon, and lime.
  • Chardonnay: Strawberry rhubarb jam and candied raspberries.

CBD or CBG Production

Growing hemp flowers for CBD is all the rage, but some farmers are beginning to experiment with growing hemp buds for CBG. Historically, growing hemp for CBG has been very difficult, because hemp flowers simply don’t produce high levels of CBG. CBG starts out in the hemp plant as CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). CBGA can then be broken down into a variety of different chemical compounds, which then break down into CBD and THC. This doesn’t leave much CBGA left over to convert into CBG, which is why normal hemp plants can have as little as 1% CBG.

That is changing, as new hemp strains, including our Matterhorn CBG, have been selectively bred to produce high levels of CBG.
When you search for hemp seed strains, first decide if you might want to stick with growing hemp for CBD or experiment with CBG hemp. If you want to give CBG a try, then look for CBG strains. No matter which cannabinoid you want to harvest, make sure you choose hemp flower strains that can deliver a high percentage of either CBD or CBG. The more CBD or CBG your hemp flowers produce, the greater return you’ll get on your crop. Our Matterhorn CBG flower can typically produce 15% CBG.

THC Compliance

As important as it is to choose hemp flower strains that can produce high levels of CBD or CBG, it’s equally important to ensure that your hemp buds stay in compliance with the law. The 2018 Farm Bill mandated that all industrial hemp plants must stay below 0.3% THC. Going above this level is known as “going hot.” Research from Cornell University research determined that seed genetics play a large role in how quickly THC content increases as a hemp plant reaches maturity. When searching for the best hemp buds, check the strain’s history of THC compliance. If your hemp plants run hot before you can harvest them, you will lose your entire crop! This is why choosing the best genetics is an essential part of a successful hemp growing season.

Your Growing Season

Different hemp flower strains possess characteristics that may be more or less conducive to your farm and growing season. One of the most important attributes of a hemp strain is its maturation cycle. Farmers who live in areas of the country with a short growing season may do better with hemp plants that mature quickly. These farmers may prefer to choose early finishing versions of a certain hemp strain or an autoflower strain. Our Autoflower strain, for example, can be ready for harvest in around 75 days.

Fast-growing hemp strains could also be an ideal choice for farmers with a long growing window and who want to get in a second harvest for the year. In fact, farmers with the benefit of a long growing season can experiment with different types of hemp flower. For example, our Red Bordeaux is an ideal choice for farmers interested in staggering their harvests.

Hemp Flower Yield

The percentage of CBD or CBG your hemp flowers and/or biomass produce will have a large impact on your ROI, but so will the overall amount of flower your hemp crop produces. If you are looking to sell smokable, boutique-quality hemp flowers for instance, you want a plant that produces a large number of flowers, as opposed to a plant that is known to have many leaves, which could increase the overall biomass percentage. This is another factor to consider as you compare hemp strains and decide which to grow.

Robustness

The final characteristic to look for in hemp strains is the overall robustness of the plant. If you plan to grow hemp outside of a greenhouse, you will want to choose hemp strains that can stand up to weather conditions that are normal for your area, which may include heat waves, heavy rains, high winds, or chilly nights. Certain hemp strains are more robust than others and can lower the risk of crop loss during bad weather events. Our Berry Blossom strain, for example, is well known for its toughness. When choosing your hemp flower seeds, take a look at their history and how well they’ve held up for other farmers who have used them.

How Do You Find the Best Hemp Flower?

As this article shows, there are many factors to consider when searching for the best hemp buds. You’ll want to choose a hemp flower strain that produces a high amount of resin for CBD (or CBG), offers a terp profile downstream customers will love, stays within legal compliance, gives you a good yield, fits your growing season, and can stand up to weather conditions in your region.

How can you balance all these different features to find just the right hemp strain that will thrive on your farm and give you the highest ROI? A great option is to start by looking for the best hemp flower company and reaching out to their customer representatives. A knowledgeable representative will learn more about your goals, your budget, and your farm and then be able to make recommendations.

Once you have a hemp strain in mind, the next step is to test it out. It’s a good idea to start small for your first hemp harvest. You may even want to plant just a single acre so you can see how the hemp takes to your soil, what your labor needs are, and what the harvesting process is like. If the plant thrives and gives you a good return, it’s time to plant more next year. (Start by reading our 2020 Hemp Growing Guide.)

Have more questions about the best hemp flower online? Contact us today. We’ve been in the hemp genetics and seed business for almost ten years and have worked with leading farmers and researchers to develop our hemp flower strains. Our strains are widely respected and considered foundational in the hemp industry. Just as importantly, our seeds are also planted throughout the country. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Are you looking for the best hemp flower for your farm? Read this blog to learn some tips from our experts to help you choose the best hemp flower strain.