While the marijuana industry has been growing greatly in North America, it is not the only one. The hemp industry is also seeing a rise of new farmers and start-ups due to changes to regulations throughout Canada and the United States.
This influx of hemp farming and start-ups are directly related to a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that has allowed for CBD hemp use. This has resulted in 14 states recently allowing for CBD oil, despite still considering recreational marijuana use illegal (and even a felony).
For those who don’t know, hemp is a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant that typically contains very little THC and an abundance of CBD. With this allowance of CBD oil and increased demand for this effective non-psychoactive cannabinoid, the industry is growing quite rapidly. Currently, the United States has 24 states that now allow for hemp farming - particularly in the southeastern area.
The changes to legalization surrounding CBD has not only resulted in a boom in the industry but also an increased need in harvesting and trimming technologies within this sector. Hemp farms are huge, spanning dozens of acres and containing hundreds of plants requiring a great deal of time and effort - especially when it comes to harvesting.
One of the ways that new technology has improved the processing time for hemp is with the introduction of high capacity buckers and trimming machines suited to the demanding needs of hemp farms.
Once your CBD hemp has been harvested, you can either dry the plant prior to processing it or you can process it wet. This is similar to harvesting marijuana and is greatly dependent on the preferences of the grower. If you choose to process your hemp plants dry, it is required to hang the plants for three to seven days to ensure they are thoroughly dried.
Typically the plants are hung upside down in a well-ventilated area and should be checked every 24 hours. For individuals who prefer to process their hemp wet, once it is harvested it goes straight to bucking.
Whether you process your hemp wet or dry, bucking is a vital part of the process. Also known as de-budding or de-stemming, bucking is the process of removing the flowers and leaves from the hemp stalk. Some farmers will take this untrimmed material and process it as is for textiles or building materials. However, farmers looking to capitalize on the legalization of CBD oil will take their bucked material and use it to produce CBD oil or distillates.
With the exception of farmers that use the whole plant, most growers will require a bucker in order to efficiently process their harvest.
There are two different types of buckers that are currently available to cultivators. The first type using a cutting action to cleanly separate the buds from your stem, such as the GC bucker line from CenturionPro Solutions. The clean cut produced from this style prevents the large crown buds from breaking into smaller pieces, thereby keeping the structure of the flowers fully intact and preserving the look of your bud.
This is ideal for farmers looking to sell CBD flower in the marketplace as many consumers judge these products on appearance, as well as smell.
The other type of buckers in the industry uses rollers, which pull the stem into the machine and “pop” the flowers off. One example of this is the HP bucker. This is much quicker than the cutting version, therefore allowing you to continuously feed the bucker for more efficient de-stemming.
This type of bucker is well suited for farmers that want to produce CBD oils, where the appearance of the bud is less important. It is also ideal for harvesters that have a lot of hemp to process and require the most efficient de-stemming and trimmer systems available.
Hemp Trimming Solutions
Once your hemp has been de-stemmed, it is time to trim the product! As mentioned earlier, you can either process your hemp wet or you can choose to dry it prior to trimming. This greatly depends on the goal of the farmer and the purpose of the product. Similar to cannabis, wet trimmed product tends to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and has a reduced chance of mold, ensuring the harvest remains viable.
On the other hand, dry trimming produces a gentler smoke. For individuals looking to produce large amounts of CBD oil, wet trimming is the more efficient method. If you are producing CBD for smoking, dry trimming provides more benefits to the final user.
To meet the needs of the hemp market, trimming companies now provide a variety of large-scale trimming machines. These industrial trimming systems can process anywhere from 250 to 1,800 pounds per hour. Companies such as CenturionPro offer both wet and dry tumbler options allowing farmers the option to trim either way!
You can also opt to double-up and receive two sets of wet tumblers or two sets of dry tumblers, thereby ensuring optimal efficiency and prevents downtime when cleaning.
Regardless of whether you are a large-scale industrial hemp farmer or someone with a backyard cultivation, there are many options for de-stemming and trimming your flower.
The only real question is - are you harvest-ready?