November 21, 2019
The Indoor Cannabis Grower’s Dictionary
There’s always something new to learn in the cannabis world, including an ever-expanding glossary of industry-related terms. Familiarizing yourself with the words associated with indoor growing can empower cultivators – whether seasoned or new to the field – to make smart decisions in a competitive and fast-paced market. Plus, you can impress your friends with your specialized knowledge (and a vocabulary to match)!
We recommend bookmarking this page on your browser for future perusal. Enjoy!
The “bloom stage” during cannabis cultivation is the point in a cannabis plant’s life when they reveal if they are male or female and produce buds or seeds with hopes of reproducing. In the natural world, this occurs during late summer and autumn. At an indoor grow setting, eliciting flowering requires a shift in photoperiod and a little more intensity and shorter distance between the plant canopy and the lighting fixtures.
Growers will want to keep an eye out for any types of plant stress. More common with large, dense flowers (which tend to trap more moisture), bud rot occurs when mold spores proliferate within the flower. Flowers should be disposed of upon the first detection of mold. If you can see mold on a given flower, the entire plant is likely inhabited and should be removed/destroyed.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. When cannabis is ingested by humans, cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors that make up the body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex network of neurotransmitters. There are at least 113 known cannabinoids with varying effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) refers to a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive (in contrast to its well-known counterpart THC). Clinical research on CBD includes preliminary studies on anxiety, pain relief, as well as a wide range of health benefits.
As cannabis is increasingly legalized, states and individual growers are setting high standards for cannabis quality to improve business sustainability and protect consumers. Clean cannabis is defined as cannabis products devoid of contaminants (including pesticides) and that which was grown in sustainable, environmentally conscious facilities. The Cannabis Certification Council is among the nation’s largest nonprofits promoting clean cannabis and pushing for better regulation in the industry.
In the context of indoor growing, climate control refers the tools and techniques used by cultivators to maintain an ideal growing environment for their plants. It includes equipment such as lights, temperature, humidity and CO2.
This refers to the process by which cuttings from mature female cannabis plants are propagated, instead of growing a new plant from a seed. This approach can save indoor cultivators time and money – and ensure genetics are in keeping with the parent plant from which they were cut. This makes sense for growers who have a particularly popular strain.
Daily Light Integral
Daily light integral (DLI) refers to the amount of PAR delivered to a single square meter over the course of a day. It is measured in mol·m−2·d−1, or moles per square meter, per day. A mole is a large constant called Avogadro’s number (6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power particles). Different plant species have different DLI requirements – anywhere from 10 to 50 mol·m−2·d−1 to thrive.
Light efficacy is measured in micromoles per joule and illustrates how much usable light is reaching the plant for photosynthesis.
Light efficiency is measured by lumens per watt and illustrates how much light output you are receiving per watt (power consumption).
The EV Series is ProGrowTech’s industry-leading line of LEDs for advanced commercial horticulture operations where maximum control is required. The EV Series helps growers custom craft their crops with full spectral tuning and other industrial-grade features.
Only female cannabis plants produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers the cannabis plant is known and loved for. That’s why many cultivators seek out feminized seeds – those that only carry female genetics. Using feminized seeds helps growers cut down on time and labor, as they won’t have to weed out male plants.
Fluorescents are conventional lighting fixtures. Unlike cutting-edge LEDs, they do not provide directional light. They are also accompanied by a higher heat output and are made with toxic mercury vapor. We’ve covered why we prefer LEDs for indoor grow operations on our blog.
High Pressure Sodium
Conventional lighting fixtures that were long-favored by indoor growers. LED technology has surpassed HPS in efficiency, efficacy and improved control. We go into more detail why LEDs are simply better than HPS for modern indoor growers on our blog.
Whether due to stress or genetic factors, some cannabis plants may exhibit both male and female sex characteristics. It can result in flowers that are full of seeds, so growers will want to take proper precautions to prevent hermaphroditic plants from developing.
Cannabis plants are typically classified into three distinct groups to explain their effects on the body and mind. Hybrid refers to strains that are believed to fall somewhere in between an Indica and Sativa strain, and potentially deliver balanced benefits.
Cannabis plants are typically classified into three distinct groups to explain their effects on the body and mind. Indica refers to strains that are believed to have more sedating effects. Indica plants tend to have shorter statures, broad leaves and shorter flowering cycles.
In comparison to commercial grade, industrial-grade equipment is meant to last. Industrial-grade lighting, like ProGrowTech’s, is made with a rugged, all-aluminum construction with durable, solid-state light modules.
Wavelengths found on the far end of the spectrum (>700nm). Invisible to the human eye but is felt as heat. Infrared light has many benefits for cannabis plants, including strong stem growth and boosting flower yields.
LED light fixtures produce light using one or more light emitting diodes. Diodes are found on the LED chip. LEDs are known for their superior efficiency, uniform light distribution, low heat output and ability to provide a programmable, full spectrum of light, making them a preferred light fixture for indoor horticulturalists.
When indoor grow facilities do not have enough air circulation, microclimates around plants may develop. These are warm, humid pockets of air, increasing the risk for mold and other plant pathogens.
Monarch is the go-to LED lighting solution for the widest range of commercial horticulture operations. It outperforms the competition on every level: technology, quality, output, power and especially affordability.
PAR is an abbreviation for photosynthetically active radiation. This is the section of the light spectrum that is absorbed by plants and used during photosynthesis (typically between 400nm and 700nm). It is a critical aspect of plant survival.
Plants have evolved to physically respond to different types and spectrums of light. This is referred to as photomorphogenesis. Research indicates plants respond most to red and blue spectrums of light.
Photoperiodism refers to how plants respond to light and dark. There are two types of photoperiodistic plants: long-day plants (LDPs) and short-day plants (SDPs). LDPs are species that mature as daylight hours lengthen. Some examples include barley, spinach and lettuce. SDPs mature when there are increasing nighttime hours. These include tobacco, soybeans and cannabis.
One of the most common fungal diseases for cannabis plants, powdery mildew, looks like a light dusting of flour on leaves and flowers. It can spread quickly and be disastrous for a harvest, so growers need to keep and eye out, take proper precautions and respond immediately if powdery mildew is suspected. Any buds with powdery mildew should be discarded to prevent contamination. Again, if you see powdery mildew on a flower, particularly pre harvest, it is too late for the given plant. The visual signs (i.e. flour dust) indicates spores have already matured and dispersed.
Photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) describes the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) reaching any area during the duration of one second. It is measured in micromoles per square meter per second or µmol/m2/sec. Rather than focusing on how humans perceive light, this measurement illustrates how effective your lights are for your plants.
Cannabis plants are typically classified into three distinct groups to explain their effects on the body and mind. Sativa refers to strains that are believed to have energizing, more cerebral effects. Sativa plants tend to be taller with long, thinner leaves and longer flowering cycles.
Plants have evolved for millions of years under the full-spectrum light of the sun. With spectral tuning capabilities, provided by LEDs, growers can tailor the spectrum to elicit certain biological responses in the plant. Spectral tuning is a highly sought-after capability among growers who desire ultimate control in their grow space.
Just like us, plants can get stressed out! Stress can prevent cannabis plants from reaching full maturity, or it can even kill them. We’ve discussed how to identify and mitigate signs of stress in your cannabis crop on our blog.
Growing cannabis indoors can be highly energy intensive, and indoor growers are becoming increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment. This awareness has resulted in a huge push for sustainable equipment and practices for the indoor grow space, including energy efficient LED lighting, advancements in hydro or aquaponics and using organic pesticides.
Abundant in the natural world, terpenes are chemical compounds that give plants distinct aromas and flavors. Well-known terpenes include limonene (bright, bitter), linalool (spicy, floral) and myrcene (woody, sweet). Terpenes work synergistically alongside cannabinoids, delivering what is known as the Entourage Effect.
Among the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is certainly the most discussed and researched. THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effect when cannabis is ingested. A cannabis plant’s potency is often determined by its THC percentage.
Tissue Culture Cultivation
A more advanced method of propagation, tissue culture cultivation only requires a few cells from a living plant in order to produce (potentially countless) genetically identical clones. The plant tissue goes through a sterilization process and then placed in a nutrient and hormone culture. While cuttings may reach planting age more quickly, tissue culture allows for hundreds of exact replications, allowing for vastly expanded yields without the labor that typically comes with other propagation techniques.
Trichomes are the small crystals covering cannabis flowers and leaves, giving some strains an almost frosty appearance. They contain cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in the effects, taste and smell of the plant. In the natural world, trichomes are part of the plant’s defense mechanism – they act as a deterrent for hungry animals and protect the plants against some fungal growth. Trichomes are sensitive to several variables, including light, heat and time.
The vegetative phase of a cannabis plant’s lifecycle represents its adolescence. It’s when the plant begins to strengthen its root system and stalks, add leaves and gain height. The vegetative phase provides a strong foundation for when the plant reaches full maturity.
Revolutionizing the indoor growing space, vertical racking allows growers to stack tiers of plants vertically. LEDs allow for this format because of their lower heat output and ability to be hung much closer to the plant canopy. Vertical racking lets growers take advantage of the vertical space at their facility, not just horizontal, and can result in doubling or even tripling output.
There are a lot of mishaps that can happen in a grow facility – and businesses will want to ensure their lighting fixtures are protected. That’s why ProGrowTech waterproofs their lights with the IP66 or IP65 certification – meaning they’re going to survive being submerged in water (if it comes to that, which we certainly hope it doesn’t).