Interview With A Hemp Seed Genius
Growing premium quality hemp starts out with top quality seeds and as the CBD market continues to thrive, so to do the genetics available within it. But where are the good seeds coming from?
We were keen to find out more about more, and are always curious about what’s around the corner for the CBD market, so we asked!
If you’d like to find out more about seed genetics, including what new strains will be available in the coming seasons, then you can read our interviews with our favorite genetics experts below.
Introducing… Liquid Mellow
Back in 2014, Liquid Mellow were the first company to open a certified hemp farm in the U.S. and by 2018, were working with farms in every single state across the country that had legal hemp programs are in place.
Liquid Mellow already have a solid reputation across the U.S. as premium quality seed breeders.
All of their highly sought-after strains have undergone nine generations of testing to ensure 99 to 100% feminized seeds with high germination rates. Seeds that produce heavy-yielding, mold resistant plants with a variety of attention-grabbing, aromatic terpene profiles.
Having several USDA compliant, high-CBD strains under their belt already (Eclipse, Jack Pak, Rocket Fuel), Liquid Mellow also recently announced the launch of their new “Baby Yoda” strain on Instagram.
We had the opportunity to chat to Bevan Verma to find out more about their strains, business practises, and picked up some great tips on how to produce premium and compliant hemp plants.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and how did you get into the CBD genetics market?
Bevan: We all have a cannabis growing background with over 30 years in the industry. We started transitioning from cannabis to hemp because of the huge potential we saw in the market. Then we realized we needed to focus more on hemp genetics because there just weren’t any good genetics available with super high CBD.
We started crossing cannabis genetics with high CBD and then crossed them again to bring down the THC levels to be compliant. Once we get the THC under 0.3%, we cross it again with some really amazing terpene profiles to make sure they’re as appealing as possible.
Why do you think that good seed genetics are particularly important when it comes to producing premium quality hemp flower?
Bevan: Right now it’s vital to be growing plants that are compliant with the law. Many companies are just starting out and they’re producing unstable seeds. Seeds that aren’t germinating when they’re supposed to, whole batches of ‘feminized’ seeds that turn out to be male.
It’s not fair on the farmers as firstly they lose a ton of money, but they could even go to jail if their plants aren’t compliant.
Our seeds are between 99-100% feminized, depending on the strain, and to help protect our farmers further, we’ve also started offering propagation services where we grow up the seeds for the farmers to ensure they have a 100% feminized crop.
We spray the plants with a harmless chemical, and under a black light, we can identify any plants that are exhibiting male hormones and get rid of them. We also have clone facilities in Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Washington, all over the country…
We’re already producing CBG clones, and are releasing a CBG strain in March called Nucleas that has 11.4% CBG and 0.2% THC.
Aside from the seeds, what do you consider to be the most important factor when it comes to growing premium hemp?
Bevan: Having the proper soil and monitoring the plants to make sure they’re vegging. Microbials in the soil help to make the THC spike a little later than usual too.
We’re releasing a week by week grow catalogue for our clients with tons of tips and advice to help our farmers cultivate the best plants.
How do you see the market changing in the near future?
Bevan: I definitely see a trend towards CBG. Especially with the new USDA regulations (measuring THCa as well as THC), all the seed companies are branching out into CBG.
Unfortunately, I think the smokable flower market will decline a bit because so many states are banning it.
I also think that some of the bigger seed companies will start to get involved in the hemp market. The billion dollar companies that are producing tomato seeds at the moment, they have tons of money they can put into R&D and I think we’ll have competition from them in a few years.
Can you tell us more about your soon-to-be-launched, Baby Yoda strain?
Bevan: Yeah so Baby Yoda is kind of carrying on our space themed names. We have Rocket Fuel, Nucleus, Eclipse… and now, Baby Yoda of The Mandelorian fame.
Our Baby Yoda strain is an autoflowering strain which is always pretty popular as you don’t have to worry so much about having the right amount of daylight for the plants to start flowering.
Autoflower strains are usually lower in CBD (10-12%) across the board but Baby Yoda has really prolific flowers and a fantastic terpene profile that makes the buds smell like diesel with cherry.
We’ve sent the seeds away for third-party tests to be carried out on the germination and feminization rates before we release further details.
Do you mind telling us, what’s your personal favorite strain to smoke? Do you have different favorites for different occasions?
Bevan: When I smoke CBD, I really like Eclipse. It’s super mellow and relaxed, but doesn’t make you feel sleepy or lazy. It’s definitely what I like to call ‘a productive strain’.
Some strains are more sleepy than others, and some are like uppers but eclipse is just the right amount of mellow and productive, making it really great for most occasions.
Any final words?
Bevan: Well, we have a lot of new stuff in the works like Rocket Fuel and Baby Yoda, and we’re excited to work with more farmers and get our new strains out there!
Next harvest will see a lot of Eclipse and Rocket Fuel hitting the market. We’re also working on a strain that has 6% CBG, 6% CBD, and 6% CBC and we’re crossing our CBG with autoflower too, to provide farmers with more options.
In fact we have 19 different strains under R&D at the moment. We only release a strain after triple checks and reports are carried out so we can be super confident that they’ll perform well.
We also test all of our strains in different regions to see how they perform and then we can recommend different strains for different farmers, depending on where they are in the country, or world.
We were growers first and it’s important to us that we look after our farmers. The big flowers you get on Eclipse aren’t going to work as well in humid regions due to the possibility of mold, whereas something like Rocket Fuel will work great.
At CBD Incubator we love hearing about all this innovation in the market! We can’t wait to see more people growing these fantastic strains and trying them all for ourselves…
Thanks Liquid Mellow! We agree with you, “This is the way!”.