Cannabis Light: how to grow it and how much to make according to CBDTHERAPY

Hemp, not only in Italy, is the crop of the moment. The cannabis light phenomenon, at first underestimated and little considered, has been the driving force that has created unprecedented interest and ferment around this plant. According to recent estimates more than 4 thousand hectares of hemp will be sown in this 2018 from the north to the south of Italy: in 2017 it had been less than 3 thousand, 5 years ago we were at 400 hectares, so we have seen a 10-fold growth in cultivated areas in just 5 years.

While the problems that globalization has brought to our local farmers are well known, having a product for which there is currently a great demand and that can be sold at profitable prices is appealing to everyone. Not to mention that hemp is also an excellent rotation crop because of the fact that it improves and aerates the soils in which it is grown, ensuring a better yield for what will be grown in the field in the future. The ability of different farms to finalize quality production, and the ability of the market, based on demand, to absorb new Italian production will have to be tested.

To lend a hand to the many farmers who have sowed hemp or are about to do so with the goal of harvesting its flowers, we had a chat with the guys from CBD THERAPY, a company in Florence, who successfully grow and market Cannabis Light.

Which of the certified varieties are the best if you want to produce inflorescences?

In fact, we believe that there are no dioecious varieties more suitable than others for inflorescence production. Since these are all genetics that have been selected over the years for fiber production, the best solution for the cannabis light market is to directly select the most interesting phenotypes and move forward with those, noting that there is in fact greater phenotypic variability than among different cultivars.

What can be the initial investment to cultivate an acre of land?

If one decides to cultivate in the open field, outdoors, the initial investment is not very high; one must provide for classic plowing, which will necessarily be followed by tilling to refine the soil and implement an irrigation system, possibly drip. Other fundamental facilities turn out to be a shed for drying and for various post-harvest work such as cleaning the buds and a good tanning, so as to obtain a superior quality product. We must also consider that the cultivation of hemp intended for inflorescence production presupposes a great deal of labor, which may be more or less significant depending on whether we choose to start from seed or from already selected female seedlings. Taking all this into account, an estimated investment on one hectare can range from 6 thousand to 12 thousand euros.

Cannabis sativa L. prefers fresh, deep soils that are rich in organic matter and well draining. However, hemp still turns out to be a fairly rustic and ubiquitous crop, and therefore with certain precautions we can go about affecting the soil structure, which

We can improve with an organic soil conditioner such as manure, in case it is poor in humus, and with the correct irrigation that should be established according to the soil texture and the climograph of that particular geographical area.

What preparations should be made?

It depends on the nature of the soil; definitely a 20-40 cm deep plowing, harrowing or milling, and possible fertilization based on soil analysis.

Is irrigation necessary or recommended?

Historically, hemp was a crop made in dryland or at most by providing relief irrigation; this was true in the case of crops located in humid areas and with dense planting (food and fiber production) such as to ensure lower plant evapotranspiration. However, in the case of a planting sixth made for inflorescence production, we will have a relatively limited number of plants in the field, about 5,000 females per hectare, and in this case it is mandatory to make an irrigation system taking into account that the plants evapotranspire more and that the summer seasons are becoming increasingly dry. Consider that last year’s spring-summer agricultural season had 75% less rainfall than the 10-year average.

How do you go about fertilization?

Fertilization can be accomplished through the use of a well-matured organic soil conditioner such as manure, to be placed in the field close to winter plowing, and urea or granular nitrate fertilizers can also be planned for use at the time of transplanting. On average, however, on the first cropping cycle, unless depleting species such as monoculture cereal crops had been grown in that field for a long time, no fertilization may also be planned without incurring deficiencies or significant lowering on production.

When and how should the flower be harvested?

Cannabis Light should be harvested when the flowers have reached full firmness with dark, nearly shriveled pistils and the highest percentage of resin on the flower, which generally when ripe

turns out amber. Obviously, if we grow in the open field, we must also take into account the weather conditions and make an estimate on the best harvest time based on this as well.

How much dry inflorescence is produced with a field crop per hectare?

Considering 5000 females per hectare and an average of 100-200g dry per plant, 500 to 1000 kg per hectare could be produced.

How much is an average kilogram of Canabis Light sold for?

The price I think turns out to be very variable depending on the quality, and I think in 2022 as there is much more supply, prices could range from 200 to 1000 euros per kg for bulk sales by farmers.

The selling price based on what characteristics does it change?

Price changes based on quality, and this is achieved by three things basically: starting genetics (clones), farmer skill, and post-harvest. This last aspect is very important to have a high quality product with the right drying and perfect cleaning of the leaves, which if done manually leads us to achieve the best possible product.

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