Harnessing the Power of Agricultural Hemp: A Regenerative Farming Technique to Restore Soil Microbiology

Harnessing the Power of Agricultural Hemp: A Regenerative Farming Technique to Restore Soil Microbiology

In our modern world, agriculture has often been a driving force behind environmental degradation and loss of soil health. However, there is a growing movement towards regenerative farming practices that aim to restore and rejuvenate our soils. One such technique that holds immense promise is the use of agricultural hemp. Hemp, long misunderstood and unfairly stigmatized, is proving to be a champion in revitalizing soil microbiology, which is crucial for healthy and sustainable farming. In this blog post, we will explore how agricultural hemp can be used as a regenerative farming technique to bring back healthy soil microbiology.

Understanding Soil Microbiology

Soil microbiology is a fascinating field of study that focuses on the microscopic life forms that exist within the soil ecosystem. These microorganisms include bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, parasites, and protozoa. They play a vital role in nutrient cycling, organic matter decomposition, and maintaining soil structure. Healthy soil microbiology is essential for nutrient availability, plant growth, and the overall health of our planet.

The Problem: Soil Degradation

Over the years, conventional agricultural practices, such as monoculture farming and excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, have taken a toll on our soils. These practices disrupt the delicate balance of soil microbiology, leading to reduced microbial diversity and activity. Soil degradation results in reduced soil fertility, increased susceptibility to erosion, and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The Solution: Agricultural Hemp

Agricultural hemp, or industrial hemp, is a versatile and sustainable crop that offers a promising solution to soil degradation. Here’s how hemp can help restore soil microbiology and promote regenerative farming:

Deep Root System: Hemp has an extensive root system that can penetrate deep into the soil. These deep roots break up compacted soil and improve aeration. This process also helps to prevent erosion, as the roots anchor the soil, reducing runoff.

Nutrient Uptake: Hemp is known for its ability to absorb and accumulate nutrients from the soil. As the plant grows, it takes up various nutrients, which are later returned to the soil when the plant is harvested. This natural nutrient cycling contributes to the restoration of soil fertility.

Carbon Sequestration: Hemp is an excellent carbon sequesterer. As it grows, it captures and stores atmospheric carbon dioxide in its biomass and roots, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.

Weed Suppression: Hemp’s dense canopy and fast growth help suppress weed growth, reducing the need for herbicides in farming.

Microbial Diversity: Hemp cultivation fosters a more diverse and active soil microbiome. This diversity is crucial for nutrient cycling and maintaining soil health. It provides a better environment for beneficial microorganisms to thrive and support plant growth.

Reduced Chemical Dependency: Hemp cultivation typically requires fewer synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides, compared to many other crops. This reduced chemical dependency positively impacts soil microbiology by preserving microbial populations.

Agricultural hemp is more than just a cash crop; it’s a powerful regenerative farming technique that can restore soil microbiology and promote healthy, sustainable agriculture. By harnessing the deep roots, nutrient cycling, and carbon-sequestering abilities of hemp, we can rejuvenate our soil and create a more resilient and environmentally friendly farming system. As the world continues to seek solutions to combat climate change and soil degradation, hemp stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing the potential for regenerative agriculture practices that benefit both the land and humanity.

Understanding the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis and the Role of Cannabis Seeds

Understanding the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis and the Role of Cannabis Seeds

On August 1st, Minnesota joined the growing list of states legalizing recreational cannabis use. Coincidentally, residents immediately began searching for marijuana seeds.

Back in 2012, Colorado and Washington pioneered the legalization of recreational cannabis use, and over the past decade, nearly two dozen jurisdictions, including three territories (most recently the US Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia, have followed suit. Today, about half of Americans reside in states where cannabis is legally accessible.

With the widespread acceptance and regulation of cannabis, more consumers have developed a keen interest in cultivating their own plants and cultivating their own buds at home. However, the ability to buy seeds comes with certain restrictions, as most states limit the number of plants that can be grown in a household simultaneously.

Many aspiring home growers aim to save money by producing their supply, and some relish the opportunity to nurture a plant from seed to flower in their own gardens. In certain states, buying seeds remains the only legal way to obtain cannabis.

For instance, in Minnesota, most recreational dispensaries won’t be operational until 2025. This delay is due to the state needing time to establish an oversight system for its forthcoming retail market. A few recreational stores have opened in tribal nations, which have sovereignty and can operate independently from the state.

Virginia finds itself in a different situation. In 2021, the state legislature legalized recreational cannabis use and possession, but they haven’t set up the necessary regulations to create a commercial marketplace for cannabis products. In the interim, some local horticulture companies and smoke shops have resorted to selling or even giving away seeds as a workaround.

After Maryland legalized recreational cannabis in July, volunteers from the local advocacy group Maryland Marijuana Justice organized a statewide seed giveaway, distributing 30,000 cannabis seeds to the public for free. They saw this as a milestone in cannabis policy reform.

In Minnesota, shops only began selling seeds last month, but some retailers have been selling them for a while due to the unclear legal status of seeds. Online cannabis seed banks, serving customers nationwide, have seen a significant increase in business, particularly in the first two years of the pandemic.

The reasoning was simple: if you’re concerned about obtaining your medicine, you’re more likely to grow your own. However, many seed shipments have been confiscated by the US Postal Service.

Cannabis seeds occupy a peculiar place in the intersection of botany and the law. While cannabis itself remains a Schedule I controlled substance, seeds contain little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component responsible for the euphoric high. Due to an intriguing provision in agricultural laws, the THC content, or lack thereof, in cannabis seeds might classify them as ordinary seeds.

In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp production, a specific cannabis variety characterized by low THC levels. Hemp has various applications, from energy production to agriculture and manufacturing. However, hemp can’t produce a high because it contains less than 0.3% THC when dry.

In the past year, a lawyer named Shane Pennington specializing in federal cannabis regulation wrote a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency to clarify the status of cannabis seeds. He argued that cannabis seeds, with their negligible THC content, should be considered akin to hemp. The agency surprisingly agreed with Pennington, a determination now known as the “Pennington letter.”

Pennington felt vindicated by this letter but cautioned that due to the novelty of this legal area, individuals could still face issues if authorities continue to enforce outdated or conflicting laws. “People need to be very careful,” he emphasized.

In a way, cannabis seeds straddle a gray area. On their own, they escape strict control due to their minimal THC content. However, because they have the potential to evolve into controlled substances through careful cultivation, sellers often adopt unusual marketing strategies to mitigate risks.

Elevate Your Cannabis Harvest: Expert Post-Production Techniques

Elevate Your Cannabis Harvest: Expert Post-Production Techniques

If you’ve been dedicating the last year to growing your own cannabis, and you’ve recently completed a successful harvest, you’re likely eager to indulge in your homegrown buds. However, it’s crucial to remember that your work is only halfway done. The next steps in the process, including drying, trimming, and curing, are vital to elevate the quality, flavor, and smokability of your freshly grown flowers.

The post-harvest steps, whether you’re a commercial cannabis company or a small-scale grower, are pivotal in ensuring the quality of your crop. Each step in the cannabis post-production process offers various methods and techniques, which can significantly impact the final product. To shed light on the best practices and help home growers maximize their harvest, we spoke with three seasoned cultivators.

Emphasized the importance of post-production, noting that it accounts for 50% of producing high-quality end-products. Rushing the drying process or leaving too much fan leaf on the buds can ruin a visually appealing flower.

Also highlighted the need to adapt post-production methods to the specific genetics of each cannabis strain. Different strains require distinct handling during cultivation and post-production.

After harvesting, the next step is drying your buds. Proper drying is essential not only for preserving and enhancing terpenes but also for preventing mold and bacteria growth. Different cultivators employ various techniques, such as hanging plants upside down in canopies, maintaining specific temperature and humidity levels, and ensuring even airflow in the drying room.

Curing involves placing properly dried cannabis in airtight containers to eliminate harmful bacteria, mold, and chlorophyll. This process contributes to a smoother smoke, retains flavor and terpene profiles, and reduces unwanted chlorophyll. Curing durations can vary, ranging from seven to ten days to as long as 17 to 28 days, depending on factors like bud size.

Trimming involves the removal of sugar and fan leaves from around the bud. It’s a critical step in preserving a product’s shelf-life. The trimming process can vary, with some growers opting for on-stem trimming to minimize handling and disturbance to the trichomes.

Dry Trim vs. Wet Trim:
There’s a debate between dry trimming and wet trimming. Some cultivators prefer dry trimming, while others employ a two-stage method of both wet and dry trimming, adapting their approach to the specific strain.

A Close Shave Vs. Leaving the Leaf:
Preserving the bud structure is a key consideration during the trimming process. While consumers prefer not to see excessive leaf on the buds, it’s equally important not to over-trim. The balance between manicuring the buds and preserving their structure is crucial.

Preserving Terpenes:
Terpenes, the compounds responsible for cannabis strains’ unique aromas and flavors, are essential for crafting a desirable final product. Maintaining terpenes involves careful control of temperature and humidity throughout the post-harvest process.

It’s All About the Humidity:
All three experienced growers stressed the importance of maintaining the correct humidity levels throughout post-production. Proper humidity control, achieved through methods like dehumidifiers and fans, is crucial to preventing mold and preserving the quality of the buds.

Pro Advice for Home Growers:
For home growers, the post-production process is just as critical as it is for commercial cultivators. Proper drying and curing, along with careful trimming, are essential to ensure your hard work results in a high-quality end product. Home growers should create a controlled environment for drying, use glass jars for curing on a small scale, and be mindful of temperature, humidity, and airflow.

Understanding the intricacies of post-production processes in cannabis cultivation can help you appreciate the nuances and craftsmanship that go into producing high-quality cannabis products. Whether you’re a small-scale home grower or a commercial cultivator, the right post-harvest techniques are essential for achieving the best results.

DIY Cannabis Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Your Own

DIY Cannabis Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Your Own

Making a cannabis tincture using decarboxylated cannabis is a popular way to create a concentrated and versatile cannabis-infused liquid.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Ingredients and Equipment:1/4 to 1/2 ounce (7-14 grams) of decarboxylated cannabis
High-proof alcohol (e.g., Everclear, vodka, or rum)
Glass jar with a tight-sealing lid
Fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Amber glass dropper bottles for storage
Mixing bowl
Measuring cup


Prepare the Cannabis: Start by ensuring that your cannabis is properly decarboxylated as explained in the previous instructions.

Measure the Alcohol: Determine how much tincture you want to make and measure the appropriate amount of high-proof alcohol. A common ratio is 1 gram of decarboxylated cannabis to 1 ounce (30 ml) of alcohol, but you can adjust the ratio based on your desired potency.

Combine Cannabis and Alcohol: Place the decarboxylated cannabis into the glass jar. Pour the measured alcohol over the cannabis, making sure it’s completely covered.

Seal and Store: Seal the glass jar tightly with the lid, and store it in a cool, dark place. Shake the jar gently once a day to help with the infusion process. Let it steep for at least 2-4 weeks for optimal results. The longer you steep it, the more potent the tincture will become.

Strain the Tincture: After the steeping period, strain the tincture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a mixing bowl. This will remove the plant material and leave you with a liquid tincture.

Bottle the Tincture: Use a funnel to pour the tincture into amber glass dropper bottles for storage. Amber bottles help protect the tincture from light, which can degrade the cannabinoids. Seal the bottles tightly with the caps.

Label and Store: Label your tincture bottles with the date of preparation and the strain (if applicable). Store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Dosage: Tinctures are typically administered using a dropper. Start with a small dose (e.g., a few drops) and wait for the effects before taking more. The potency of your tincture will depend on the strength of the cannabis and the duration of the infusion.

Use in Recipes: Cannabis tinctures can be consumed orally by placing drops under the tongue or added to food and beverages for a discreet and convenient way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.

Remember that cannabis tinctures can be potent, so it’s essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase if needed. The onset of effects is usually faster when taken sublingually (under the tongue) compared to ingesting it.

Additionally, be aware of the legal regulations regarding cannabis and alcohol in your area, and consume tinctures responsibly and in accordance with local laws.

Mastering the Art of Decarboxylating Cannabis Buds

Mastering the Art of Decarboxylating Cannabis Buds

Decarboxylation is a crucial step when preparing cannabis for use in edibles, tinctures, or other infusions. This process activates the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, by removing a carboxyl group from their chemical structure, making them more bioavailable and psychoactive. Here’s how to decarboxylate cannabis:


Cannabis buds or trim


Baking sheet or oven-safe dish
Parchment paper

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 240°F (115°C). This is the ideal temperature for decarboxylation because it activates the cannabinoids without burning or vaporizing them.

Prepare the Cannabis: Start by breaking down your cannabis into smaller pieces. If you’re using whole buds, you can break them into smaller nugs or use a grinder to achieve an even consistency. The goal is to expose as much surface area as possible to ensure even decarboxylation.

Line the Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet or oven-safe dish with parchment paper. This will prevent the cannabis from sticking to the surface and make it easier to collect afterward.

Spread the Cannabis: Spread your prepared cannabis evenly on the parchment paper in a single layer. Avoid piling it up, as this can lead to uneven decarboxylation.

Bake in the Oven: Place the baking sheet with the cannabis in the preheated oven. Set a timer for 30-40 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on factors like your oven’s accuracy and the moisture content of your cannabis. During this time, the cannabis will undergo decarboxylation, and you may notice a subtle change in color and aroma.

Check for Doneness: After about 30-40 minutes, check the cannabis. It should appear slightly browned and have a fragrant, toasted aroma. If it still looks green or has a “grassy” smell, you may need to bake it for a few more minutes.

Cool Down: Once you’ve achieved the desired decarboxylation, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cannabis to cool completely. It’s essential to let it cool before using it in recipes or infusions.

Use or Store: You can now use the decarboxylated cannabis in your desired recipe, whether it’s for making edibles, tinctures, or other cannabis-infused products. If you’re not using it immediately, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency.

Decarboxylated cannabis can be quite potent, so be sure to use it in moderation, especially if you’re new to cannabis-infused products. Remember to adhere to local laws and regulations regarding the use of cannabis in your area.