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As CBD slowly influences Indian hemp enthusiasts, what is in the store for the Hemp growers?

Search the word hemp and two things will come into view. First, it is a cash-rich crop. Second, by using the plant as a whole one can get over 25,000 products. In India, a land where hemp was an integral part of society and played a part in ceremonies in the past, hemp is now being rediscovered and being put to use to foster growth. Governments are reframing policies related to hemp under the state legislature and are taking positive steps to promote the cultivation of hemp.


The Hemp plant has vast potential to help in the growth of various markets. Leading nations and developed countries today are taking initiatives and implementing regulatory policies of hemp for the rapid development of the economy.

CBD (Cannabidiol), one of the many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in hemp and marijuana which is helpful for anxiety and pain management. You're probably already familiar with THC, which is another compound found in the cannabis plant. But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.


But how do you use it? CBD can be taken orally or applied topically, depending on the product. There are lots out there, from gummies and soft gels that supposedly ease anxiety to calming bath soaks, creams and oils, and even beer.


Advocates believe there are many potential health benefits. Clinicians say more research needs to be done.


How Farmers prosper by growing hemp?

Farmers can grow up to five crops in the year under the greenhouse. Under open conditions, we can get three crops in a year. The hemp grows actively than corn and requires less water, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer. Hence, it is often referred to as a sustainable crop.


Farmers will prosper by growing hemp because hemp can be used to manufacture goods such as canvas. In fact, hemp fiber is so synonymous with the canvas that the word canvas is derived from the word cannabis. Once manufactured, hemp canvas and fiber will have many uses, particularly with the armed forces. A reason for this is that canvas made from hemp is resistant to ultraviolet light, heat, mildew, and repels insects making it the perfect material for canvas used by the armed forces. In effect, the manufacture of canvas from hemp will help give an impulse to the domestic defence industry, something which is high on the government's list of priorities.

Hence research institutions and organisations across the world are investing huge capital in R&D programs to invent refining processes and technologies in order to create the finest hemp fabric for use in industries. Such processes, once they are successful, will benefit farmers who grow hemp.


Has the Potential to Change the village Economy


Farmers in India have a precious alliance with the soil that is almost not present among farmers from other countries. Most farmers in India are not wealthy which is why they will benefit extremely by cultivating hemp as hemp can grow on barren land and requires very little resources including water to flourish. So hemp can be grown cheaply which makes it ideal for cultivation by Indian farmers.


Noticeably, the defence sector is one of the largest in India and among the largest industries in the world. Farmers who cultivate hemp will play a small part in nurturing this industry. When farmers manufacture for this industry, they erect to be a small part of one of the largest industries in the world. Furthermore, by growing hemp, an economy grows also.


Land available in India for the cultivation of hemp


Hemp, a high-value crop, is ideal for a State like Uttarakhand where topology and acute water scarcity come in the way of growing conventional crops. This Indian state has made history by granting a cultivation permit for industrial hemp to the Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA). The permit allows a pilot program to take off in the Pauri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand. The project aims to promote hemp farming and the development of hemp industry value chains. Among farmers, hemp is being touted as a desperately needed cash crop.


IIHA has been given permission to cultivate hemp for a period of five years to cover an area of 10,000 hectares, even though the State government has a more ambitious target of growing it over 1,00,000 hectares. IIHA subsequently was able to convince the then Congress government in Uttarakhand to come out with a policy for hemp cultivation, which was adopted by the subsequent BJP government with some changes. While the total economic value of hemp cultivation (each crop) could be ₹3.75 lakh per hectare, farmers may not be able to realise the maximum value as the procurement of seeds and flowers is yet to be permitted.

Dr Chandar Prakash, Director Fibre with IIHA tells you that there were several challenges faced before they could actually start growing the plant in India. “Since the cultivation of the plant was banned in India, the first challenge was to convince the Government that this particular plant was not narcotics and that it had lot of benefits. From the Excise to the Narcotic Department, we held a lot of workshops and seminars before they even convinced. We had to give them lot of literature on the plant. We had to tell them that the seed that we wanted to grow had THC of less than 1.5%. The Narcotics Department have set rules which the Excise Department follows. Since they can’t different between the plant — which one is narcotic, which is not, they blanketed it under one category. Convincing them to do so otherwise was a challenge. The seed that we are using has less than 0.3% THC,” Prakash explains.


Currently, the authorities have given permission to cultivate hemp for fiber, which will find its use in the textile industry. While its seeds and flowers are of immense value in the medical and food-processing industry, the government is yet to legalize its use in the country.

The economic potential of cannabis is clearly vast and many countries including Canada and China have robust hemp cultivation industries. In Canada well over 100,000 acres of land are being used to grow hemp. In addition to providing a source of valuable material, hemp production creates thousands of jobs that sustain thousands of families. So the twin benefits of hemp fiber and other hemp extracts are supplemented by job creation and fuller utilization of natural resources and now it’s India’s turn to fully utilize the economic potential of hemp.


How the price of CBD oil affects farmers?


The average price of CBD oil is also affected by the cost of farming hemp. Farmers can only grow crops that they know will make them a profit. But there are still enormous hurdles for farmers to overcome. When it comes to actual harvesting and extraction, there are a vast number of things that raise the price and make it challenging to afford, making CBD oil available for lower prices.


The quality of CBD oil often impacts the overall cost. But what makes quality CBD oil? It comes down to four key things: the potency of the oil, the extraction method the brand uses, where they source their hemp, and whether they partner with third-party labs for testing and quality assurance.


CBD oil needs to have extensive, rigorous testing available. So customers can verify all the ingredients within the product. But, unfortunately, these tests are also costly, because you can’t just trust the manufacturer. You need to get a reliable, third-party lab to do them for you. So, the testing adds to the cost of CBD.

The best CBD oils come from hemp that is organic, pesticide-free, and non-GMO. Of course, it is more expensive to use organic hemp, so these products may be more expensive. So Hemp source impacts the cost.


While you have the inherent cost of providing accurate, reliable and up-to-date lab reports for all products, you also need to deal with the actual cost of agricultural growth of hemp, as well as the high price of CO2 extraction.


This doesn’t even take into account the fact that different countries levy different taxes on CBD oil and hemp products in general. Whereas it might be cheap in one locality to grow, harvest, and manufacture CBD oil, it could be prohibitively more expensive in another country. These kinds of problems are all tied to the expensive costs associated with taking CBD oil.

Where you buy the CBD oil can affect the cost. You’ll typically enjoy the cheapest price available for a CBD brand when you purchase it directly from the company’s website.


Good CBD oil tinctures cost $0.09 to $0.17 on average, with $0.05 to $0.08 on the low end, and premium oils costing upwards of $0.20 or even $0.30 per mg. Typically, a higher potency oil will cost less per mg than a lower potency (although the bottle itself will cost more in total). For example, a 300mg tincture may cost $30 to $120, while a 1500mg tincture may cost $100 to $250.


An average CBD oil price is a problematic one; the actual cost of CBD oil is going to shift, alter, and change based on all manner of different issues. So, it’s just a simple question with not so simple answer.


As Indian growers have an intimate knowledge of the earth, nature, soil, and crops, cultivating hemp is a natural outgrowth of such intimacy.


Our mission at Himalayan Hemp organisation is to establish Indigenous hemp as a viable and profitable crop. We aim to provide employment opportunities and financial independence to strong farmers who are the backbone of our economy. Join us, if you are looking for sustainability with farmer empowerment and learn more about our Co-operative model.


- www.himalayanhemp.in

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