About growing hemp in Estonia

You can’t imagine that every 10 kilometers when you drive around, you see some hemp fields like we see rapeseed or wheat fields, but there are actually quite a few hemp growers in Estonia.
Fiber hemp and seed hemp are mostly grown in Estonia. However, the 2 are very different from cannabis, which is grown for flowers and leaves. The male plants are grown for fiber and seeds (with low CBD content), but we need the flowers and leaves of the female plants to produce our hemp tea. Growing hemp in Estonia for the purpose of leaves and flowers is difficult, because our climate changes very quickly.

Why is it so difficult to grow hemp in the Estonian climate?

The hemp plant has an interesting property of becoming male as a result of stress and starting to pollinate the female plants around it, which results in the production of low-CBD seeds in the hemp flowers, from which the oil is pressed.

In Estonia, any climate fluctuation causes stress to the hemp plant:

  • Temperature
  • The wind
  • Precipitation

So the only option is to pick the male plants out of the field at the right time, which is again a lot of work and time consuming, and even then we can’t be completely sure that the male pollinators haven’t managed to pollinate half of the field, because hemp pollen is extremely volatile.

In addition, Estonian summer nights are long and white. Estonian hemp needs a certain time of sleep and wakefulness, which can only be regulated by darkness and light. So, in general, the flowering time of hemp grown in Estonia is too short, and when the days get shorter in autumn, the air temperatures also become too low.
In order to grow good flowering hemp outdoors in Estonia, you have to be very lucky so that the summer starts early and ends late.