Like any other plant, hemp needs to be pollinated in order to produce its seeds. Hemp is most commonly pollinated by wind, up to 100 yards, but it can also be pollinated by honey bees, if their hive is within a few miles of the plants. However, hemp doesn’t normally attract honey bees. Hemp pollination can be fairly complex, and depending on how its done, can completely change the chemistry of the plants and how they’re used.
Usually, male plants pollinate the female plants, in order for the females to grow their seeds to make new plants. However, a lot of times all the male plants are removed before pollination, and the female plants can’t make seeds. As a result, the females only make resin, since they don’t have to work so hard making seeds. This allows the plant’s THC levels to be much higher than traditional pollinated Cannabis plants. Since the legalization of growing industrial hemp, many farmers have been concerned about hemp and marijuana cross-pollination.
Cross-pollinating industrial hemp with marijuana plants could affect the potency of the marijuana plants and the THC levels of the hemp plants, which wouldn’t be good for either industry. Both hemp and marijuana cultivation is only going to increase in the next few years, meaning the risk of cross-pollination is only going to increase. While the effects on the plants from cross-pollination are still being studied, it is definitely concerning for the growers. More and more growers are turning to indoor grows for this reason, in addition to having control of light and temperature.