Once you have found land with good soil, ample irrigation, and determined a sales outlet for your hemp product, it might be time to start sourcing seeds. There are hundreds of CBD and dozens of CBG strains and a vast sea of breeders from Europe to the USA to China, so how can you be sure that the seeds you are getting are high quality?
When the hemp industry sprouted in Kansas last year, many inferior breeders and distributors sold defective seeds causing small farmers to quit after year one due to low germination and high costs. The best way to ensure that you’re starting the season on the right foot is to source seeds from trusted breeders. While the price may be higher than other options, we recommend beginning strong to ensure high germination and growth, leading to better yields come harvest.
It is important to note that some high-quality CBD varieties can run hot (above 0.3% total THC) if left to grow to full maturity. This is due to a higher overall cannabinoid content and ratio than other genetics. It is normal for quality CBD varieties to have ratios of 25:1 (CBD:THC) – meaning if the genetics claim a 25:1 ratio, a plant that contains 7% CBD would also contain 0.28% THC. (To do this math, divide your CBD percentage by the ratio). We urge caution should a seed breeder or distributor claim a CBD ratio higher than 35:1.
An interesting option is to add a CBG variety into your strategy. CBG has much higher ratios than CBD, often reaching 100:1 (CBG:THC). Its low THC percentage allows the CBG plant to reach full maturity without the risk of going hot. Also, CBG and its derivatives (such as oil and isolate) tend to sell at a higher price point than CBD. The downside is that CBG is less well known, the market is smaller, and the plant is more fragile. That said, we usually recommend growing both CBD and CBG if possible on the farm.
While there are several seed breeder brands that we have used and would recommend, we would like to highlight the following three companies:
Oregon CBD is now offering triploid genetics (aka sterile seeds that cannot get pollinated by feral hemp or nearby hemp farms). While these seeds are slightly more expensive, they can be beneficial for outdoor hemp grows.
Pros: Offers sterile genetics, reputable, strong yields, high-quality feminized seeds, years of experience in both CBD and CBG seeds.
Cons: More expensive, can still run hot.
Another recommendation of ours is EcoGen BioSciences, which boasts “genetics [that] are the product of years of crossbreeding between hemp strains with the highest CBD content and the lowest THC content.” EcoGen is one of the largest vertically integrated hemp company in the country. They are a very reputable brand.
Pros: Can be less expensive, quality feminized seeds, reliable, high yields, long history in CBD.
Cons: Currently doesn’t offer sterile genetics, can still run hot.
Phytonyx is another family favorite. They have been in the industry since 2016 and are well known for their CBD and CBG varieties, including Siskiyou Gold CBD and Serenity CBG – both of which Sunnland has planted in previous years.
Pros: Quality feminized seeds, offers certified organic seeds, experience in CBD and CBG genetics.
Cons: May work better in some climates than others, currently doesn’t offer sterile genetics.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on seeds, seedlings, and clones to help determine which is best for you! Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram to request topics and let us know your thoughts! Feel free to like and share this post to help spread the word.
Sunnyland Kansas, LLC has purchased and planted seeds from Oregon CBD, EcoGen BioSciences, and Phytonyx in previous years. We plan to use Oregon CBD’s sterile genetics in the 2021 grow season. Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Sunnyland Kansas, LLC.