Introduction to Growing Hemp and Increasing Cannabinoid Production At Home 

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Added 26 September 2021

Hemp is one of the oldest plants in history, yet there’s so much misinformation around it that you tend to get confused. In this guide, we will lay down the basics of how to grow hemp at home. 

Most people think hemp, cannabis, and marijuana are different plants. 


They are all the same, except for a difference in the cannabinoids they contain. 

What is Hemp?


Hemp or Cannabis Sativa is cultivated for industrial purposes. In other words, hemp and marijuana are the same, except for a difference in the level of cannabinoids they contain. For instance, THC, CBD, CBG are all cannabinoids, among hundred of others produced by the cannabis plant. 

Hemp was legalized in the USA recently. Any plant with less than 0.3% THC is considered hemp. Therefore, if you grow a strain with 15% CBD and even 0.4% THC, it’s not hemp. Meaning the amount of CBD doesn’t matter. What matters is the amount of THC. 

When you see someone referring to hemp, even for industrial purposes, they are talking about cannabis plants with minimal levels of THC. 

If you’re looking to grow hemp for CBD, it’s slightly different then hemp used for industrial purposes. Farmers use hemp seeds that have been bred to produce heavy fibrous stalks. Both female and male plants are used to derive fiber. 

On the other hand, the hemp used for CBD or medicinal purposes is explicitly bred to produce lots of CBD. And, just like you get THC only from female flowers, CBD is taken from female flowers. 

So, where do we start? If you’ve grown a few cannabis plants before, the process is pretty straightforward. Hemp grows just like your regular marijuana plant except for the levels of THC. 

The process to grow hemp at home is no different than growing regular cannabis strains at home.

How to grow hemp at home?

Growing hemp is very similar to growing other cannabis plants. You start with seeds, plant them, wait for the vegetative phase, switch them to their flowering stage, and then harvest them. 

The most crucial factor is the cannabinoid production. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are found in the resin or trichomes of the plant. So, what exactly are these trichomes? Well, they are the white hairs or pistils found usually in the buds of the plant. 

Cannabinoids are also found in other parts of the plant, but you’re likely to find the highest concentration in trichomes. Therefore, to grow any particular cannabinoid, whether CBD or THC, you must focus on increasing resin production. 

Now that we got that out of the way, here’s how you can increase the resin production to a reasonable extent:

1. Pick the right strain

Hemp Seeds

As mentioned already, you must pick a strain containing less than 0.3% THC for it to be considered hemp. You cannot force any plant to produce more cannabinoids than its potential. 

Although you get many CBD strains in seed banks today, most of them consist of more than 1% THC, which is not hemp. So finding the right strain can be a slight challenge, but this is bound to change soon. 

However, if your goal is to grow CBD, go on and choose strains with low THC levels and high CBD levels. 

2. Temperature


Keep an eye on the temperature levels at all times. If the temperature rises above 30°C or 86 F, you have a big problem because the heat can kill all the cannabinoids. Similarly, it can destroy the terpenes or aromatic essential oils found in the plant. 

If the heat or temperature rises beyond the threshold, the buds could also get bleached and burned, leaving it completely useless. 

One tip to increasing resin production is to keep the temperature very low during the last few weeks of flowering. This single step can trigger a dramatic increase in cannabinoid production. Although a large output of trichomes does not necessarily mean that you have ample cannabinoids, you can only force the plant to produce as many trichomes as possible.

However, reducing the temperature too low will just halt the production of new flowers. Therefore, switching to low temps once you’re satisfied with the bud production is a good idea.  

3. Choose high-intensity light 


Light is as important to hemp as other marijuana strains. The more the light, the better. However, make sure you don’t exceed 75W per square foot. 

For example, if you grow in a 3’ x 3’ tent, the actual power should ideally not exceed 9’ x 75 = 675W. Installing too many powerful light fixtures in a small tent is a recipe for disaster because it increases the heat and temperature to dangerous levels. 

You also risk burning the cannabinoids in the process, as mentioned before. To control the temperature, install fans or air conditioners, so there’s lots of ventilation. 

When choosing the light fixtures, use any light, including HIDs and LEDs, to grow hemp. Comparing the both, LEDs are famous for producing more resin, whereas HIDs provide more yields. Moreover, you will not have to switch light fixtures while using LEDs when the plant proceeds from its vegetative to flowering stage.

As mentioned earlier, the brighter or more intense the light, the more the resin production. Thus, it’s best to get additional UV light lights because the resin production increases. 

However, keep in mind that these rays can also damage the trichomes and force them to grow taller to defend the plants. In addition, as the plants dry after harvest, these trichomes will easily break down. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a balance and position the lights slightly far away from the plants to get maximum resin. 

4) Humidity

Humidity plays a big role in resin production. Suffice it to say that plants cultivated in dry environments produce much more resin than plants growing in humid environments. As the plant tries to protect its buds from rapid dehydration in arid habitats, it increases resin production. 

Additionally, the plant produces more essential oils or terpenes, flavonoids and increases the aroma and flavor. You can now surmise that the plant tends to grow better when induced to stress. Training them to increase the stress will also increase resin. However, refrain from training them during the flowering phase as it might backfire against your purpose. 

5. Prevent handling the buds

Many growers tend to touch their plants too much as they grow. Although handling the plants to train them is okay, touching the buds too many times will destroy the delicate trichomes. Trichomes simply degrade as soon as you agitate them, so avoid this as much as possible. 

6. Harvest 


You may take great care of the plant and grow fantastic hemp, but it's all for naught if you don't harvest at the right time. It's essential to understand the production of cannabinoids here. At first, the buds produce CBG — another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. 

As the plant grows, the CBG will break down due to its constant contact with oxygen and turn into many other cannabinoids like CBDa. Later, it's further broken down to CBD. The CBD will also degrade into CBN, which is typically found in the last stage. CBN produces more narcotic effects that are similar to a body high. 

 Harvesting at the right time is critical to ensure that your hemp plant is brimming with CBD. One good technique to harvest at the right time is to look at the trichomes through magnifying glasses. You don’t need any sophisticated equipment — a jewelry loupe will work just fine.

As your plant gets closer to its harvest date, check the trichomes. If it’s too early, they will appear white. Harvesting at this stage will not produce buds full of CBD.

Next, they begin to turn milky in color. Finally, as the days pass by, the color will transform into a reddish or amber color, indicating that the plant’s trichomes are at their cycle’s peak.

Wait until half of the trichomes turn amber in color and then harvest them. As explained earlier, waiting further will produce buds full of CBN, defeating the purpose of growing hemp with CBD.

Once you’ve harvested the buds, allow them to cure as usual. However, make sure you handle them carefully, as the trichomes tend to fall off when it’s too dry. If the buds are too wet, you risk fungus. 

Maintaining a balance is very important. We're looking for just the right texture — neither too dry nor wet. Using humidity packs will help to absorb extra moisture. If it's too dry, place a slice of lemon or orange inside the curing container. However, remove them within 14 hours to maintain the balance.


Growing hemp at home is similar to growing any other cannabis strain. The only difference between marijuana and hemp lies in the THC levels. The first step to growing medicinal hemp with loads of CBD begins with selecting appropriate strains, so make sure you choose wisely.


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