How Many Seeds Does a Hemp Plant Produce? Hemp Farmers Answer!
Both Hemp farmers and enthusiasts have this question in common, how many seeds does a Hemp Plant Produce?
To find this answer, I researched what Hemp farmers of small and large farms are saying about their plants. Small-scale hemp farms report 100 to 2,000 hemp seeds per plant depending on how the plant was grown. Bulk harvesting, on the other hand, measures seed amounts per overall weight rather than by each individual plant, and approximate 27,000 seeds per pound.
How Hemp Seeds Are Made
Watch the video below to learn how Hemp seeds are made and how to tell the difference between the different types of Hemp seeds!
The Wonders of the Hemp Seed
While making things with hemp has never been banned here in the US, growing it was outlawed (alongside all marijuana-related substances) in 1957 and wasn’t relegalized until much later; in fact, it wasn’t until 2013 that we had a fresh commercial planting. According to Modern Farmer, that crop was harvested by a farmer in Colorado named Ryan Loflin and came in at 55 acres total.
Now, with the introduction of more and more legalization laws and hemp-based products worldwide, there has never been a better time to jump into the hemp seed economy. From 2016 to 2017, for example, the amount of hemp grown jumped from 10,000 acres to about 26,000—ringing it at a whole lot more than Ryan Loflin’s 55.
But the process of harvesting hemp seed is not as simple as tossing a few in a pile of dirt. Despite hemp’s rich history in the United States and its current rise to stardom, its relatively recent reintroduction means that there’s still an unfortunate lack of internet-info on the subject. And the more you read about hemp—including the profitable and multifaceted hemp seed—the more you’re going to want to learn more.
Fortunately, that’s where I can help. In this article, I’m going to guide you through some of the most important need-to-know basics of hemp seed, including all the ways you (or your customers) can make use of it, what the hemp seed economy looks like right now, tips on how to grow your own hemp seeds, and the answer to the important question: how many seeds does a hemp plant produce?
I’ll get into what makes that question of “how many seeds does a Hemp plant produce?” so important in a moment; first, let’s explore the wonders of the hemp seed itself.
How to Use Hemp Seed
Nearly gone are the days where your friend sees the hemp-infused hand soap in your bathroom and snickers to himself, saying, “Hey, isn’t this weed, are you trying to get me high?” No, Eric, my hemp seed soap won’t get you high—I seriously doubt you’ll be able to find THC in any hemp product, in fact—but it will moisturize your hands like crazy!
Despite what people like Eric might think, one of the most fascinating properties of hemp seed is its versatility of use. I’ve combined hemp seed oil with various food and drink concoctions myself, including adding it to baking and pasta, but it can even be sprinkled in as dry herb if you want to get the full nutritional benefit while adding a special little spice to your dish. Just like any other herb you’d find in your kitchen drawers, hemp seed is surprisingly easy to use; you can even drink it when brewed into herbal teas or mixed in with smoothies, and you can take supplements if you’re in a hurry.
Eating/drinking hemp seed isn’t the only way to use it, however; you can also apply the seed topically. The oil from hemp seed is “lipid-soluble”: it can easily penetrate your skin and soak its benefits directly into your body. That means you can choose where you want the effects most concentrated, all while moisturizing your skin as a bonus—just ensure you’re testing the oils first to avoid any chance of bad rash. Rub a tiny bit on the back of your hand or somewhere else inconspicuous, then wait and see if your skin gets red or not. You can also dilute the hemp seed oils to lessen the intensity/risk of reaction, and they make a terrific addition to a bath, lotion, or compress towel! Combining hemp seeds with other products is an easy process, and getting creative with it is sometimes just as fun as using the resulting mix.
If you feel yourself missing the scent of hemp while using the above methods, or if you’re the type of person who always has a scented candle in your bedroom and a mini diffuser in your car, then you can always make use of hemp seed’s aromatic properties—after all, our nose and our brain have a tight-knit bond. Try dabbing a cotton ball in some hemp seed oil and placing it near your vehicle’s AC vent, or next to you at your workstation. Or, for a quick fix, try dropping some in your palm—just a tiny amount will do it—and cup your hands for a slow, gentle inhale. You can even create your own hemp seed diffuser using a bottle, oils, and reeds!
So, what effect can you expect from all these different hemp seed uses? That depends on the person. My favorite is their ability to relieve stress and anxiety, which is one of their primary uses around the world and can be harnessed through any of the above application methods. CBD, a multifaceted property of many hemp products, has more anxiety-reducing and health-improving effects than I could possibly list here.
You can even combine hemp seeds with other oils for a calming, nostalgic effect; plus, since hemp needs no THC content, it’s legal to consume no matter where you live in the US. Sorry Eric. No hand soap high for you.
The Hemp Seed Economy
How often have you walked into your hair salon, spa, or aromatherapy shop only to find various hemp products strewn across the shelves and displays? Personally, I know that my local shops seem to have more and more green plants popping up on their bottles and logos—sometimes to the point where the whole store might as well rebrand as a hemp boutique. But guess what: those lotions, creams, and oils? They only represent a fraction of the hemp economy.
The value of growing and selling hemp seeds has been booming since its relegalization. Profits from hemp seed production have more than doubled since 2007, jumping from 3.4 to 9.7 million dollars—and, after about five to ten years, that number is projected to increase by another 30 million. That’s almost a 900% increase! Could you imagine where that number would be if hemp growth had never been illegal in the US? Or, alternatively, can you imagine where that number will be in another decade or so?
It’s no surprise that selling hemp seeds has become so explosive. Above, I described some of the ways you can personally benefit from the seeds themselves, but that doesn’t even include the numerous industrial capabilities of the plant. Hemp can be used to create paper—which was one of the main reasons people were suspicious of its criminalization all those years ago, as many suspected it was removed from the economy by traditional paper manufacturers fearing a cheap alternative. Hemp can also be used for fibers and cellulose. And, of course, for food.
The only drawback of hemp is really another of its strengths: the more space and tender loving care you give the plant, the better it will produce. Which means planting as many hemp seeds as you can into one crammed space, like you might with some other crops, is not the best idea… but as long as you avoid conditions like that, you’ll be rewarded with more product at higher quality than you would otherwise.
One important thing to remember if you’re buying or selling hemp seed is to go for genuine. Depending on where you live, there are different rules, regulations, and guidelines for how to label hemp seeds—whether buying or selling, you’re likely going to want to familiarize yourself with them. No, magic marker labels won’t cut it. In Indiana, for example, bonafide seeds are labeled with strict categories that include info like where the seeds came from, their purity, any “inert matter” (stuff that isn’t seed), and etcetera.
Growing Hemp for Hemp Seed
If you plan on growing hemp or selling hemp seeds, it’s important to know some basic guidelines for how to best care for your crop—no matter if it’s a full acreage or a personal garden you’ll be looking after. Below are some important tips for beginners to hemp. To make it a little less confusing, I’ve split it into four categories: sex, yield, soil, and “wait… what?” If you’re having a tough time with the first three, then jump to the last.
The most important thing to remember about hemp plant sex is that the females are superior. Sorry, male readers, but Purdue University says so. Male hemp plants die sooner (meaning they don’t produce nearly as much fiber as their female counterpart) and do not set their own seed (meaning, for our purposes, they’re almost useless). Talk about lazy.
Don’t toss those male plants in the compost quite yet, though: they’re still a vital component of your farm, if only to keep the female plants producing seeds. After all, no males mean no pollination. For best results, try breeding female hemp plants as the majority of your crop, but make sure you have at least a small portion of males to keep the seeds coming and coming.
In the big producer game, hemp plants can produce 500 to 1,200 pounds of hemp seed per acre. Which is a lot. But, for our purposes, that doesn’t mean too much.
More important for people like you and me, however, is the fact that hemp seed can be produced using little-to-no chemical involvement. Often called a “dry” or “clean” crop, hemp has been tested and grown in excess without any fungicide, pesticide, or other nasty words that end in “-cide,” and many CBD oil stores sell entirely organic product on their shelves because of this.
That means a cleaner, easier process for you and me, but it also means less upfront cost associated with your crop. And, as a bonus, it means the labeling process described earlier might turn out a little easier for you—after all, no chemicals used means no chemicals to declare on your packaging.
Think that hemp can be grown just about anywhere? “Think again,” says Purdue University (not a direct quote, but pretty close). According to them, “Hemp grows best on a loose, well-aerated loam soil with high fertility and abundant organic matter, with a pH of 6.0-7.5.” If you’re struggling to find the right base-acidity balance for your soil—or if you don’t know what the heck “loam soil” is supposed to be—I would recommend asking your local gardening store or farm outfitter. They’ll give the right advice and show you the product to match.
Purdue also says that “[w]ell-drained or tiled clay soils can be used,” but warns that, if you’re not structuring your soil correctly or failing to drain your clay, your whole garden can ruin itself when the plants “damp off.” In other words, having a proper hemp farm irrigation system is essential.
Sandy soils can also work for growing hemp—again, if you have the right irrigation system in place—but the costs for using this soil are likely too high for any benefit other than personal. So, if you didn’t know “sandy” soils existed until I just mentioned it now, you’re in luck: all you have to do now is avoid them.
If the above info is more complicated than you expected, or if you’re now feeling discouraged about your new hemp garden idea, then set those feelings aside for now! It only looks complicated because most of this information is intended for farmers planning to grow acres and acres of hemp crop.
If you’re a complete beginner to all of this, here’s the basic rundown (and all you need from the above to start a personal-use garden):
- Your garden should consist of mostly female plants, but at least some males.
- It’s possible to grow hemp and harvest hemp seed without a drop of pesticide.
- Hemp farm irrigation systems are an important friend to your garden.
- Hemp grows best in loam soil with high fertility and organic matter, plus a pH of 6.0-7.5.
Ask your local supplier (or Google) for help with deciphering any of those steps. None of them are as hard as they might look—in fact, hemp is a pretty easy plant to grow compared to some other crops.
How Many Seeds Does a Hemp Plant Produce?
Remember when I mentioned how important this one question is? Well, after painting the full picture, I think we can finally get back to it: how many seeds does a hemp plant produce?
The answer: a lot. Above, I told you about the yield that hemp crops can produce per acre—which was also “a lot”—but numbers like that don’t mean much to me and my local business/personal use. The important thing to me, when I first started looking into hemp seed uses and hemp seed sales, was how much value I can actually get from my own plants.
That’s what makes the question so important. Asking “how many seeds does a hemp plant produce” is essentially asking “is hemp worth the effort?”
To find this answer, I wanted to see what real-world individuals are saying about their own plants and firsthand experiences with farming them. Among people like myself, the consensus seems to be that each individual plant can easily produce around a 1,000 seeds for use. Some suggested that they can easily find themselves with hundreds without even trying and have even (gasp) thrown away the excess at times.
Others suggest that the number of seeds produced by each plant can vary dramatically, ranging between 100 to 2,000 depending on the growth. This is good news: hemp is not the most difficult crop to grow, and with the tips provided above, you can easily find yourself with more hemp seeds than you know what to do with. Just promise me you won’t throw any out like that other person… at least try a nice herbal tea, first.
The hemp industry is one with many branches, and hemp seed—with its multitude of uses, both personal and in business—is a terrific way to grab hold of this rising economic force. Or just grow a little hemp, harvest the seeds for your own use, and plant the remainders to grow fresh new additions to the garden. After all, up to 2,000 seeds per personal hemp plant is a lot of wiggle room to play around with.
With the tips provided above, you should be well on your way to wherever you’d like to go with hemp and hemp seed. I hope I’ve sparked or strengthened your interest in this wonderful, multifaceted plant!
Discussion Question: Were you surprised how many seeds a Hemp plant produces?
Thank you for taking the time to read How Many Seeds Does a Hemp Plant Produce?
To your health,
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org