Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world and is unmatched in versatility. Historically, many products have been derived from the seeds, fibre and other components of the hemp plant, including paper, textiles, rope, clothing, food and more.
In modern times, the hemp plant is perhaps most notable for its nutritional and medicinal properties. Hemp belongs to the Cannabis sativa species, contains tiny traces of THC (less than 0.3%), and is rich in cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is non-psychoactive and possesses an array of potential health benefits.
Manufacturers craft hemp products to fill a gap in the market for those looking to reap the benefits of the hemp plant easily and conveniently. For instance, Premium Jane hemp foods, consisting of protein powder and protein bars, are a great way to incorporate hemp into your wellness routine.
What is the meaning of Farm to Table?
The concept of “farm to table” is commonly used in the food industry and broadly refers to food made from locally sourced ingredients, often natural or organic.
Dating back to the ’60s and ’70s, huge growth in large-scale farming and increased importation of foods and other goods from abroad caused dissatisfaction with the quality, nutritional value, and safety of many of the products available to customers.
The farm-to-table movement emerged to support local farmers who cultivated their crops using more natural methods. Food and ingredients were picked at the peak of their freshness, and since they didn’t have to be transported over long distances, high-quality products were guaranteed.
Today, the meaning is much the same. In the case of hemp products, the entire process, from the planting of the crop to the farming, processing, and extraction, is strictly controlled to ensure a premium-quality end product. Ideally, local farms are used, which allows the manufacturing company to oversee the entire process.
From Farm to Table: The Manufacturing of Hemp Products
Much like in the food industry, the quality and safety of hemp products can vary drastically. Not all manufacturers are as committed to quality and purity and knowing about the origin and expertise helps ensure you’re buying top-grade products.
Here is the journey of hemp products from farm to table and what to look for.
Quality hemp starts with the soil. As a bioaccumulator, hemp absorbs everything in the soil: the good and the bad. Good farmers know to use only natural and organic substances, avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilisers which could contaminate the crop. Moreover, tests should be done to ensure the soil isn’t polluted with heavy metals and toxins.
Farmers must set aside time to test, prepare, and manage soil throughout the growing season. Hemp grows well in loose, well-drained, and loamy soil with high fertility and abundant organic matter. The pH levels should be between 6.0 and 7.5. Well-drained clay soil can also work well if the area lacks well-aerated, loamy soil.
The average harvest time for hemp crops is 90 to 120 days, but things like climate, the specific strain, and cultivation practices can play a part. Crops should be given plenty of moisture during the growing season to optimise growth.
Hemp can also be grown indoors, which gives farmers more control over lighting, temperature, cannabinoid content, and water usage.
Now, it’s time to harvest the crops. This can be done by hand or using machinery, depending on the farm’s manpower and budget. After harvest, the crops are transported to a production facility where they’re cleaned and stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment until dried and ready for extraction.
Producers extract the contents of the crop – oil, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, etc. – to make the end products. There are a few different ways to do this, solvent, distillation, alcohol, olive oil, but CO2 extraction is the stand out method.
CO2 extraction involves using carbon dioxide to create pressure that helps remove the phytocannabinoids from the plant. This method leaves the end product free of residual solvents, producing cleaner and purer hemp products.
Independent Lab Testing
Testing by an independent laboratory is crucial to verify the safety, purity, and potency of the hemp extract. Before the extract is used to create the end products, a third-party lab should check that it meets quality standards and that the THC level doesn’t exceed 0.3%.
Creating the Final Hemp Products
Finally, it’s time to craft the hemp products that will be put on the shelves for customers to buy. Today, there is an abundance of hemp products available in the natural wellness space, ranging from oil and capsules to gummies, topicals, and more. There are also hemp food products, like powders and protein bars.
Depending on the manufacturer and what market they’re serving, different hemp products will be made to suit different needs.
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Premium Jane.