Common Questions About Hemp Genetics, Seeds, Clones, & Seedlings

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Can I buy a few hemp plants for Alterra Hemp?

For logistical reasons, we currently only work with farmers investing in several acres or more. For small orders, we suggest combining with other small farms, and receiving a single larger shipment.

What CBD percentage can I expect from my hemp plants?

Non-stressed plants make cannabinoid-rich hemp flower. With our varieties, you can expect anywhere from 10-20% (in top colas) depending on the genetics, how YOU grow the plant, and your state’s industrial hemp regulations. 

When do I plant my hemp plants?

For most states, we recommend an optimal hemp planting date between May and June. We have seen beautiful fields that were planted in July. We do not recommend planting in August unless you are growing autoflower. If you are ready to move forward with purchasing hemp plants, contact us to discuss your region and what we suggest for planting date. 

When do I harvest my hemp plants?

This depends all on genetics; some finish earlier than others. In most states, harvest occurs between September-October. We can suggest hemp varieties for your region to optimize harvest with weather patterns. 

How do I prevent my plants from going “hot?”

Cannabinoid content develops as the plants begin to flower, usually starting in August or September depending on the variety. It is important for you to work with a local lab (or a lab we suggest) to monitor your field. Stressed plants can have enhanced cannabinoid content (including THC), so it is important to work hard at growing happy, non-stressed hemp plants (harder said than done, sometimes!). 

Does Alterra Hemp have CBG genetics?

Yes! We are currently working on bringing CBG genetics to the market for 2020! 

What is a “COA?”

COA stands for “Certificate of Analysis.” These documents show the potential potency of cannabis plants and are generated through either gas or liquid chromatography by a third party laboratory that specializes in cannabis potency testing.  

I am looking for a 25% CBD plant with compliant THC limits, do you have that?

Nope! These “unicorn” plants do not exist yet; be wary of anyone showing you COA’s that show you outrageous CBD content and unbelievably low THC. We have come across our fair share of doctored COAs from breeders in growers across Colorado, Oregon, and California. We will provide you real COAs from plants we have grown, tested, and selected ourselves. With improved breeding and selection we will find those “unicorn” plants, but right now they do not exist on the market! 

Do hemp plants produce THC?

Yes! All hemp plants produce minuscule amounts of THC, which can be compliant with your state’s industrial hemp program depending when you harvest. CBD and THC develop in tandem as the plant’s flower matures. 

What is the difference between delta-9-THC and THCA?

There are many molecular forms of THC in any cannabis plant, including hemp. The most abundant form in hemp is THCA, which is non-psychoactive. When hemp is “decarboxylated” by heating it to a high temperature, the carboxylic acid group is eliminated from the THCA molecule, and it becomes THC (which is psychoactive). Delta-9-THC is already psychoactive, and is naturally present in much lower concentrations than THCA in a hemp plant. Some states only test for delta-9-THC to ensure compliance with the definition of industrial hemp, but most states test for total THC, which is the sum of delta-9-THC and THCA. When testing for total THC, the lab will multiply the THCA weight percentage by 0.877, which accounts for the carboxylic acid group that will be eliminated when THCA is converted to THC. Certain states only require that delta-9-THC remain under 0.3%, which allows for a higher CBD percentage because a hemp plant produces far less delta-9-THC than THCA; confirm with your state regulators how they test for compliance.

Are Alterra Hemp’s plants compliant with my state’s THC standards?

All cultivars that we sell to farmers will yield a desirable CBD percentage while remaining under 0.3% total THC. Note that because CBD and THC are produced over time within the hemp plant as its flowers mature, any hemp plant can exceed 0.3% total THC if it’s allowed to grow long enough. 

Can I grow hemp if I’ve never grown before?

Yes! Hemp is just another plant. Period. However, we advise that you have good experience growing/farming other crops before you jump into a multi-acre hemp farm so that you have a better understanding of farming on a large scale. 

When and how can I order plants for my spring planting?

You can order plants now. We have limited bench space across our propagation facilities and limited plants per variety. If you know when you are planting, how many acres, and which varieties you are hoping to grow, we suggest reaching out as soon as you can. Our space will fill and genetics will be spoken for long before spring of 2020. 


What is biomass versus boutique flower?

Biomass refers to a conglomerate of both the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. After harvest, the plant is fully dried and the leaves and flowers are removed from the stems, and then oil is extracted from the biomass. Boutique flower refers to only the top flowers, or colas, of the hemp plant. These dense colas are harvested, dried, cured, and trimmed to produce a flower with many uses beyond extraction. The lower leaves and flowers that remain can then be used for biomass.

How many pounds of biomass should I expect per plant?

This can vary widely based on planting date, soil conditions, watering, and more. The more optimal your growing conditions, the larger your plants and the higher your yields. As a very rough rule of thumb, we suggest estimating one pound of dried biomass per plant.

How many plants should I grow per acre?

You should determine your desired spacing between plants and rows, and then determine how many hemp plants can be planted on one acre. Your planting density will depend on the cultivars you choose to grow, because every variety has different growth habits. We can recommend cultivars that will grow best in your climate, and will be most resistant to factors such as strong winds. Depending on the cultivars you choose, we will suggest a specific spacing of four to five feet between plants in a row, and four to six feet depending on rows (the latter will depend on the row spacing that makes the most sense for your tractor and other equipment). 


How do I choose which genetics to grow?

Choosing which hemp genetics to invest in goes beyond cannabinoid content. As a grower, you should consider growth habit, desired end product, and flowering time. We can help you decide on all of these factors based on your farming/growing operation, desired end product, and region. 

What happens if my hemp plants get pollinated?

If pollinated, your plants will produce seeds. This means that your plant’s flowers will be less developed, and their overall cannabinoid content will be lower. Once pollinated, hemp plants begin to send all of their energy into generating seed, which lowers overall cannabinoid potency. See our blog post about pollination for more information. 

How do I find a processor/buyer for my end product?

Our farmers are welcome to work with whoever they wish to secure contracts/purchase agreements from. Al Terra Hemp is also vetting processors for 2020, and we will be connecting our farmers (you) to those parties. However, we do not broker biomass/flower sales. Colorado Hemp Connection is all about connections and helping farmers close the loop by securing profitable contracts with reputable buyers. 

How will I know if Alterra Hemp’s varieties will grow in my state?

We are working around the clock on research and field trials to determine the most optimal varieties for varying regions in the United States. We are discovering the answers to how hemp grows in high humidity, desserts, and frigid climates. In short, yes, certain genetics will grow beautifully in your climate!