How to Grow Hemp for CBD in Wisconsin – Step 8: Processing for Flower

Cannabis flower high in CBD has hundreds of benefits. Although the majority of CBD products on the market today are produced using CBD oil, there is still a solid demand for the flower in smokable form. Those who smoke CBD buds report various positive effects such as (but not limited to); a reduction is seizures, inflammation, pain, and anxiety. The effects of smoking or vaping the flower are nearly instant, which is an added benefit as well. It should be noted that those with respiratory issues are prone to negative reactions in their lungs, just as with any smoke.

Growers who process their flower for smokable/vaping purposes first dry their buds properly after harvest. As stated in Step 7, curing the flower is highly suggested in order to take the product to the premium level. After the buds are fully cured, it’s time to break down the flower using a grinder. Once the flower is all ground up, roll a cigarette using hemp-based rolling papers. Reputable brands include RAW and Zig Zag. It’s also a good idea to use a filter, which is sometimes referred to as a crutch. This enables smokers to properly hold the cigarette without damaging its integrity. Selling your crafted smokes in packs of 5-20 has been a pretty lucrative plan for growers in the past. Also, many users enjoy the process of rolling their own, so just selling the ungrounded flower post-cure is also an effective business plan.

How to Grow Hemp for CBD in Wisconsin: Step 6 – Drying

A location to dry your hemp should be determined before you even put plants in the ground. It’s a detail that could potentially be overlooked, but it’s of the upmost importance that the drying process begins immediately after harvest. The plants will be full of moisture once taken from the ground, so a proper drying facility is vital in order to prevent the plant material from molding. Structures such as a barn with a roof, walls and a large open space are ideal for drying.

Solid ventilation is very important, so hanging the floral biomass spaced appropriately along strings or set on open racks are the two most commonly used drying setups. Several industrial fans should be utilized during and after the plants are set up in the drying structure. The temperature in your drying space should sit somewhere between 60-70 degrees F, and a humidity of 60% should be maintained.

While some growers will rush through the drying process, this runs the risk of improperly drying the flower and leaves a chance that the buds will rot from within. Ideally, a slow-dry process with consistently high airflow will cure the hemp and produce and higher-quality product.

Farmers have found that hanging whole plants upside down on wires is inefficient, as the resulting closed umbrella shaped plants will prevent ventilation in the center. Due to this effect, growers are advised to dry individual branches of flower. Although this is a bit more intensive, it will pay off in the long run with properly dried biomass, and a higher market price.

Howdy farmers!

Photography By PRO Stock Professional /

My name is Sam Higginbotham and welcome to The Industrial Hemp Blog! I’m currently a senior studying Electronic Media and Advertising at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Alongside finishing my education, I’m also focused towards the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp.

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” ~ Henry Ford

Before we take the dive into more specific news and details of this industry, I figured it’d be best to start by clarifying the most common misconception surrounding industrial hemp;

FALSE: Hemp and Marijuana are the same thing.

(L)Industrial Hemp (sativa) – H. Zell | (R) Marijuana (indica) – Axsadi Sánchez de Tagle

Although both plants are a part of the cannabis family, the two are drastically different on chemical and industrial levels. While marijuana (right) plants are grown in a manner to grow to average height and focus towards higher flower yields, industrial hemp (left) plants are grown taller and skinnier in order to maximize stalk yields during harvest.

Asides from physical appearance and cultivation techniques, these plants also differ on a chemical level. The majority of marijuana grown is cultivated with high THC percentage as the main focus. THC is the psychoactive component found in marijuana buds, which is why people catch a buzz when smoked. Industrial hemp contains minuscule amounts of THC, generally below 0.3%. This is not nearly enough to get psychoactive effects. Furthermore, the flower that hemp does produce is usually high in CBD, a chemical which has been shown to naturally calm your mind, promote relaxation, and ease pain caused by a multitude of health issues. I hope this provides some clarity on this hot topic, and feel free to post any questions you may have in the comments section. Thanks for reading and stop by again soon!

-Sam Higginbotham