​Changes in Latitude, Changes in ALTITUDE…Why We Grow at 7600 Feet

Posted by Tom Bauer on Feb 9th 2017

​Changes in Latitude, Changes in ALTITUDE…Why We Grow at 7600 Feet

The other day a customer asked me why we grow our hemp in Colorado rather than, say Kentucky or the agricultural areas of California. It’s simple really. It has to do with ALTITUDE and LATITUDE.

As many of you know, at im.bue, our hemp is grown in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, an area with a rich agricultural history. And being a Rocky Mountain “valley”, the elevation there is naturally high….7600 feet above sea level to be precise.

A rise in elevation results in a thinner atmosphere meaning less obstruction to the sun’s rays. If you’ve ever gone skiing in places like Colorado or Utah, you know how fast you can suffer a sun burn! So as elevation increases, living things are exposed to more sunlight and in particular ultraviolet light, both UVA and UVB. In humans, our bodies’ response to these ultraviolet waves is to produce melanin which of course produces a tan to further protect against the sun’s harmful rays. In plants, the reaction is generally to produce more flavonoids to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.

The increase in altitude produces a rather “geometric” increase in ultraviolet light. For every 1000 meters in elevation, UV light increases some 10-12% according the World Health Organization. This means that our hemp plants are exposed to nearly 28% more UV light where we grow our hemp! Studies have shown that UVA light significantly increases the production of cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa (UVB only increases THC production).

But as I mentioned, it’s also about LATITUDE. Scientists have known for some time now that cannabis plants grown north (or south in the Southern Hemisphere) of 30 degrees latitude are higher in CBD than plants grown in the tropical or subtropical regions of the Earth, likely due to the increased exposure to UVB in these areas.

So simply put, growing our plants in higher elevation, north of 30 degrees latitude produces a plant richer in CBD and other cannabinoids. And that, we believe, translates into a better quality product for you, our customers!

with all our best,