Since plants growing in legal outdoor operations are treated as small trees in an orchard (i.e., they are properly irrigated and fertilized), a plant density of 1 plant per m2 could be used as a reference (this density has been reported for well-cared Cannabis plants growing outdoors [4,5]. At this density well-cared plants can develop large, multi-branched canopies. Using this density, we should expect 4,046 plants per acre. Well-cared Cannabis plants grown outdoors at this density regularly yield 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 – 1kg) of fresh bud per plant [4, 5]. These numbers bring us to a total yield of 2,023 to 4,046 kg of bud per acre. For simplicity let’s settled for 3,000 kg per acre .
It is difficult to believe how much disinformation, malarkey and plain old Androgenic Bovine Manure (aka Bullshit) we still have around simple facts and figures when it comes to parametrize outdoor cultivation of hemp and potential production of CBD oils and isolates.
Now, before extraction and purification of this biomass could occur the biomass needs to be dried. The Bureau voor Medicinale Cannabis in the Netherlands suggest that saleable material represents about 30 per cent of dried plant weight and about 8 per cent-10 per cent of wet plant weight . As the biomass will not be stored we could assume 80% loss by drying instead of the after mentioned 90%. Hence, we are now down to 600 kg per acre of dry bud ready for extraction. Assuming a 10% CBD content (10% could be seen as an unrealistic high average for wet material but seems to be a good reference for dry material ) we now have 60 kg of CBD available per acre. With a wet dream efficiency of 90% for the extraction and purification process you end with 54 kg of pure CBD isolate per acre.
I was recently on the East Coast visiting a couple of potential sites for my new company. During my visit I had the opportunity to talk with several investors and entrepreneurs looking to move away from the cultivation space into offering post-harvest processes under the “As-A-Service” model.
Let’s start by trying to establish how many hemp plants (or how much biomass) can be cultivated per surface area. Canadian provinces like Alberta and Manitoba have very compressive programmes for cultivation of industrial hemp. The websites of both programmes offer very detailed numbers of expected yields depending of the crop modality (fiber, seed or mixed) [2, 3]). Unfortunately, none of these numbers really apply to current practices in outdoor hemp operations specifically seeded for production of CBD-rich cultivars.
Let’s go back to the 10,000 kg of CBD isolate per month PO. This equals 120,000 kg of isolate a year. Current estimates suggest there are around 26,000 acres dedicated to hemp production in the US . Therefore, the entire production of CBD isolate in the US, assuming every single acre is dedicated to CBD-rich cultivars, could yield around 1.4 million kg.
The question I would like to answer is: Could a “10,000 kg of CBD isolate per month purchase order” be fulfilled using only outdoor hemp grown in the USA?
If you’re looking to begin growing hemp for the purpose of extracting CBD oil, you likely are wondering what the ROI of a single hemp plant is. As you’re starting a business, you need to understand the financial side of your operation in addition to the technical side.
One of the main questions asked is how much CBD oil can be extracted from a single hemp plant, as well as how much CBD oil can be produced from one acre of hemp plants?
Amount Per Acre
If you’re harvesting hemp plants for the purposes of extracting CBD oil, you will need to grow only female plants, which are the ones that flower. The flower (or bud) of the hemp plant contains the trichomes with the highest amount of CBD, making it the best and easiest way to extract CBD oil from the plant. On average, you can grow about 1,500 hemp plants per acre if you’re growing for CBD oil.
How Much CBD Oil Can Be Extracted from a Hemp Plant?
With hemp grown for industrial purposes, you can grow many more plants per acre—around 400,000 plants. These plants can be male varieties since you don’t need the flower to harvest CBD, and the plants grow much taller, allowing for more volume per acre. Hemp plants grown for the purpose of extracting CBD oil require more space, so you can grow fewer plants per acre.
Amount of End Product
The amount of CBD oil you extract decreases if you’re looking to produce a more refined end product, like CBD isolate (approx. yield 140lbs per acre) or broad-spectrum CBD distillate (approx. yield 160lbs per acre). If you’re just looking to extract crude oil, you’ll extract a larger volume of oil than if you refine it down further.
Some of these factors include:
Isolate refers to hemp oil refined so that the CBD has been isolated from the rest of the compounds in the cannabis plant.
After the hemp oil concentrate is extracted and separated from the rest of the compounds in the plant, it then goes through a second solvent extraction or a chromatography process, which extracts any remaining waxes, terpenes, or cannabinoids creating a CBD product that tests as high as 99% pure CBD.
A big reason farmers have become interested in hemp farming is the rise in popularity of cannabinoids and specifically CBD. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and it has been making headlines since the early 2000’s. Today we have evolved, to a place where CBD is being put into practically every type of consumable on the shelf and being praised in the headlines for its role as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Since the discovery of CBDs anti-inflammatory and pain relieving attributes, it has become one of the fastest-growing product enhancements, and one of the most profitable new crops for United States farmers. Figuring out how profitable CBD hemp could be for your farm will take some research and assessment.
Terpene Rich Hemp Flower (Smokable market)
Growing hemp specifically for the smokable hemp market is the most complicated but also the most profitable. Male plants do not produce flowers rich in resins, and seeded plants are undesirable. Requiring that all plants in the field be female when growing for CBD and every cycle new seeds or clones be obtained for propagation. Sowing and sprouting all female plants is achieved through feminized seed. Securing the right genetics is one of the most important parts of growing hemp. Not only to assure you maintain compliance with the 0.3% THC regulations, but that the plants are sizable, cannabinoid rich, and able to fully mature in the field.
– How was it harvested?
Harvesting method is often an overlooked attribute that can influence the quality and price of your product. A study found that hand-harvested plants may retain as much as 20% more of their total CBD content than mechanically harvested plants, which destroy the fragile CBD rich trichomes. The trichomes encapsulate the cannabinoids and protect them from the elements in fats and waxes. These outer casings of the trichomes are easily broken when harvesting. The less disturbed the trichomes, the more intact and higher the CBD and terpene percentage retained in your biomass.
– Is it free of contaminants?
Biomass containing any mold, fungus, harmful toxins, or residual pesticides may decrease the value or possibly make the product unmarketable. Buyers may want proof that the biomass is 100% safe and clean. The more testing you do to qualify this, the more the biomass will be worth.