How Seasons & Harvesting Methods Impact Hemp & CBD
Have you ever taken a product regularly and felt yourself wondering; “I swear this is different to the last one I took?” or “why is the color different, did I get the right oil?”, and if you haven’t, well, you likely will.
Hemp plants have an annual growth cycle, but with the introduction of indoor growing, times have changed and it is no longer limited. Generally though, when growing hemp outdoors – the plant is faced with seasonal and external factors that can influence its growth and consistency.
Seasons: Generally, hemp is planted in the beginning of spring, and it carries out its growth period through to autumn/fall where it should finally be ready to harvest and in winter is when the cutting, curing and drying process begins. Outdoor growers rely on the natural environment to encourage the growth and flowering of their hemp, while indoor growers can force the flowering stage by exposing the plant to 12 hours of constant darkness over a period of weeks.
Rainfall and moisture: The thing is, these growth cycles and consistencies are often changed by the weather, altitude and level of rainfall. High rainfall and soil moisture is imperative to obtaining high yields of hemp and even mild climates allow for faster maturity than excessively cold or hot regions. The plant has a very specific growth need, and if there is heavy rainfall in the beginning of its growth – it could be detrimental on the establishment of the hemp.
The sensitivity of the plant is so intricate that it should take around 6 weeks for the process of cutting, trimming, drying and curing.
Temperature: Temperature also has a massive impact on the hemp plant and in turn, the impact on the CBD in the plant. Slow drying with air flow cures the hemp and as a result, produces a higher quality end product with better cannabinoid and terpene spectrum which is ideal.
And arguably the main point;
Extraction methods: Apart from these factors, even the CBD oil can be affected by extraction methods, hence why some CBD oils vary in colour, consistency and taste. When there is a tint of green, it means that chlorophyll has been extracted and passed through to the finished CBD oil. Some extraction methods use CO2 as a solvent to extract the oil, which is considered far more pure and clean. Other methods are used to isolate the CBD extract by a process called distillation which also varies in methods.
Think of CBD as a fine art. There are no single or absolute ways to get the EXACT same result every time, but the color, taste and consistency is never an adequate portrayal of quality. Sometimes the same product will vary in noticeable factors, and that does not mean there has been an impact on the quality, and we think that is important to note.
Rather than self-assessing a product based on noticeable factors, you should request or study the lab reports from your preferred brand and supplier.