June 20, 2019
Boost Cannabinoid Potency with These Tried-and-True Tips
Cannabinoids are complex chemical compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant. While their evolutionary role in plant physiology isn’t completely understood, they are increasingly sought by cannabis consumers for their wide-range of medicinal benefits.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most widely discussed and understood cannabinoids in today’s industry, but there are more than 400 cannabinoids produced naturally in the plant. They have been studied for their benefits; CBD is even the primary ingredient in the pharmaceutical Epidiolex, which is used to treat severe childhood epilepsy. In states where cannabis is legal, it might be recommended as a natural treatment for conditions from chronic pain to inflammatory bowel disease.
Growers have begun to focus on cannabinoids for their therapeutic effects on consumers; therefore, demand for harvests with higher overall cannabinoid test results has skyrocketed. THC and CBD are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cannabis’s potential.
Understandably, many growers might be wondering how they can encourage cannabinoid development in their crops, beyond starting with good genetics. And while there is no guarantee that your harvest will break any records, there are a few tried-and-true methods to encourage higher cannabinoid test results.
the ideal plant environment. The investment you put into your grow impacts
the final results of your harvest. Plants that are well taken care of, meaning
they have the right lights, the right nutrients and the right temperatures, are
more likely to thrive. Light spectrum, light intensity/uniformity and
photoperiod are among the biggest influencers of harvest quality.
Experienced growers know that plants respond best to full-spectrum and tunable light that mimics sunlight. A 2018 study found an optimized light spectrum could have a measurable impact on the individual cannabinoid ratio within the cannabis plant. For instance, growers could increase the expression of therapeutic cannabinoids, like THCV or CBG, within the final product through adjusting the spectrum.
- Avoid stressing out your plants too much. Some research has indicated that cannabinoids (specifically THC) act as a defense mechanism for plants. So, it’s understandable that incorporating a small amount of UV light (but not too much) has been shown to give plants a slight THC boost. It’s a fine line to walk, though, because too much intensity and heat can result in burning your plants – and you’ll see a severe drop in cannabinoid content.
Find a happy medium: growers utilizing LED lights with spectral tuning capabilities can create a spectral sunrise and sunset to avoid shocking plants with sudden, intense light, while still incorporating some of the more extreme ends of the light spectrum.
- Invest in
smart design. It might seem like common sense, but this is one aspect that
is often overlooked – grow layout. Growers need to ensure their plants have enough room to reach
full maturity, get enough nutrients and receive the right amount of light.
While an overcrowded grow space might initially result in bigger harvests, it inevitably leads to a decrease in plant quality. If you’re interested in increasing your harvest, but have limited square footage, consider vertical racking as a potential solution. Some LEDs are specifically designed for vertical racking, so you’ll get the double benefits of more cubic footage and quality lighting.
Additionally, placing fans strategically to maintain healthy airflow prevents the proliferation humid microclimates, which invite disease, mold and pests.
There’s no magical formula that will result in sky-rocketing cannabinoid levels, but there are tactics growers can use to encourage the development of these therapeutic compounds. Other than starting off with promising genetics (that’s kind of a given), growers who utilize high-quality, full-spectrum LED lights in a carefully controlled indoor grow space benefit the most.
Learn more about ProGrowTech’s LED lighting fixtures, built with an industrial-grade design, full-spectrum light and unmatched uniformity – ideal for any grower seeking healthy, potent harvests.