THC levels in any hemp-related products are of great concern to most American hemp farmers. Much buzz about cannabis cultivation, distribution, or selling overwhelms many people because the industry is highly regulated. It’s also challenging to identify which hemp strains are lowest in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which vary across sources, varieties, growing environments, and cultivation practices.
Regulating THC Levels
US hemp farming laws dictate that plants must test below 0.3 percent THC to remain compliant and eligible for retail sale. Crops that test above this threshold require destruction and an unfortunate loss of revenue. Even so, the USDA’s interim hemp laws acknowledge that testing cannabis crops is not an exact science, making it hard to predict when a plant might attain these levels. THC levels could increase when a cannabis plant is under the stress of drought, heat, nutrient deficiencies, diseases, and pests attack.

Testing THC levels usually occurs three to five weeks into hemp’s flowering stage. According to most state hemp laws, farmers must test two to 12 inches from top of the crop. Despite the type of hemp seeds a farmer cultivates, harvesting time and intended crop use will dictate how and when to manage testing for THC levels. For instance, fiber hemp matures earlier than other hemp crops, usually between 60 to 90 days.  By contrast, grain hemp usually harvests between 110 to 150 days.

CBD crop harvesting time is largely variable and the most susceptible to THC spikes due to their high flower potency. As such, farmers should test cannabinoid hemp crops frequently and harvest at the first sign of THC.
Cannabis Products Potency
When picking products, especially feminized hemp seeds, buyers should only shop from companies that properly package their products, including COAs that verify the resulting plants’ THC levels. To be clear, the law requires every cannabis package to list product type, ingredients, cannabinoid percentages, weight in grams, etc. Savvy shoppers should always double-check that the THC and CBD concentrations on the Certificate of Analysis (COA) matches the product label.
Key Takeaways
Checking and maintaining the right THC levels is vital for hemp farming success. Hemp crops that test above the nation’s maximum THC are not eligible for resale, which could significantly cost farmers. This is especially true if the trend continues for more than a season or two. To be clear, farmers must destroy “hot” (high THC) crops. Unfortunately, they also risk losing licensing if THC levels spike more than a few seasons in a row. If crops test significantly above their region’s permissible THC levels, more severe punishment than simple crop destruction could come into play.

If you’re a CBD hemp farmer, check out our line of feminized hemp seeds. We offer premium CBD hemp seeds capable of delivering healthy plants and optimal yields. Contact us today to learn more.

Are you a hemp farmer? Tell us about your experience dealing with various THC levels?.