Growing hemp isn’t as easy as it seems!
Adam Aberle, President of Rock Hemp Corp. said the hemp plants are definitely divas and like to be pampered and cared for a lot.
Aberle, his wife Kristina and kids Andrew,2, Addison, 6, Ava, 8, and Kaylee,12, have recently grown their first fields of hemp this summer.
With hemp gaining popularity after the federal government’s removal of it from the list of controlled substances, many farmers and vendors have stepped in the hemp industry. After the Farm Act 2018, hemp is now considered as an agricultural crop that can be produced like any other crop without any legal implications.
The family launched a new business that would supply the growing demand for CBD oil and will be opening the Hemp Hut Inc. in early January in Janesville.
Cannabidiol, or popularly known as CBD, is one of the most widely touted compounds derived from hemp. It is a non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory chemical that helps reduce anxiety, stress, insomnia, and improves overall wellness. It is also used to treat muscle soreness and spasms, chronic pain, inflammation, injuries, and other ailments.
CBD has garnered trust from thousands if not millions of people all across the world. Research suggests that CBD is a potent substance that has a significant influence on diseases. However, there’s a lot to explore to fully comprehend the long-term effects of CBD.
Aberle said the CBD business is profitable, and while they haven’t sold everything they grew this year, the sales are gradually picking up.
Many people hopped on the CBD bandwagon in a “green rush” without completely doing the research work and have already quit the market after wrestling with the plant. Nonetheless, Aberle said he loves farming despite the hard work.
He further said that he envisions a long-term relationship with hemp.
Adam from Beloit, who runs an auto restoration company, was awestruck when he used CBD oil to treat his long-standing back pain. He used a CBD infused topical lotion and found the product extremely useful.
Adam said that it isn’t like hemp kills or numbs the pain, it completely eliminates it.
Despite its popularity, CBD has also been criticized by law enforcement officials due to the lack of evidence supporting its medical claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD based prescription product, Epidiolex, an oral solution that is known to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
While some companies market their CBD products as alternatives to regular medication, the FDA condemns such acts and recently issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally marketing their CBD products. It also warned companies that were selling low-quality products under the label of CBD.
While the FDA has not completely approved CBD and its products, Aberle said his family and friends have reported positive results. Aberle’s wife, Kristina said CBD took away her pain associated with endometriosis.
When Aberle discovered that Wisconsin was legally allowing the cultivation of hemp, the garden grower and lifelong entrepreneur decided to begin his research. He learned that there were organizations that were just farming hemp, selling it or processing it for CBD oil, and some doing all three.
With an inclination towards natural products, Aberles decided to give a try to hemp cultivation and extract CBD oil from the plant’s flowers. The family rented out 2.9 acres of land west of Beloit. After growing seedlings in a greenhouse, nearly 3,600 plants went into the ground in June.
While hemp is a sturdy plant and grows quickly, those specifically grown to extract CBD oil need more pampering due to their delicate flowers. They need to be distanced father apart resulting in a higher threat of weeds.
The family invested about 10-12 hours a day giving proper care and attention to the plants. Aberle said that although the plant has an amazing will to survive, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the best yield off of it.
They harvested the hemp in October, a bit later than planned because of the rain. They cut down the plants to dry them and hung them in racks in an outbuilding. Aberle explained how he dried the plants for five days to three weeks before he pulled out the dried fan leaves, the five-pointed leaves that are associated with hemp plants.
Since there are not many affordable options for equipment for hemp processing, many tasks had to be completed manually by hand. Once the leaves are removed from the dried flowers, the remaining flowers are sold to people who want to smoke hemp.
Hemp is like marijuana, only it is non-psychoactive and doesn’t get users high.
These trimmed flowers are ground down for CBD oil extraction. The Aberles have enough materials for their first product offerings under Rock Hemp Corp. such as holy anointing oils, tinctures, infused coconut oils, infused butter, and salves.