Despite its cultural and economic power, cannabis plants are at their simplest level agricultural products. This means that they are susceptible to the same variables that impact the quality, consistency, and yield of all other plants, like water, air, light, and nutrients.
Advanced cannabis growers have been ingeniously inventing techniques to make indoor cannabis growing more efficient. These tactics are used to encourage bigger yields, more efficient plants, and more consistent quality. Read on to learn about a few methods that are being used within the cannabis industry.
Advanced Water Conservation Methods
Between the trifecta of water, air, and light that go into keeping a plant alive, water can be the most expensive factor. Cannabis plants require the consumption of massive amounts of water every day, and this can add up to a hefty financial burden, not to speak of the environmental impact.
There are a few different advanced methods that skilled cannabis industry workers use to make water consumption more efficient, including:
- Hydroponic systems
- Aeroponic systems
- Zeolite-rich soil solutions
A hydroponic system cultivates plants without the use of soil. In these systems, cannabis plants are placed in a stable growing medium and fed nutrients and water. The excess water is collected in an overflow reservoir to be fed back to the plant later.
An aeroponic system is an even more advanced take on hydroponics. In these growing systems, cannabis plants are suspended by their roots and then misted with a nutrient-dense solution. The remaining mist is collected for further use.
Zeolite-rich soil solutions are soil beds that are enriched with tiny microporous zeolite minerals. The addition of these minerals has the potential to improve retention and make water consumption more efficient within the cannabis industry in Canada.
Pruning and Low-Stress Training for Greater Yield
Cannabis plants are constantly changing their shape in their search for a light source, their leaves using a function called phototropism to adapt to their environment. The plants redirect their leaves, twist their shoots, and lengthen their branches to move towards the light source.
This can be frustrating for those in cannabis industry careers, as the shape of a cannabis plant is not optimized for indoor growing. The bottom part won’t receive much light if left to its own devices, and the ways in which the plant changes its shape can be counter-intuitive.
When left untended to, plants may:
- Develop more branches than they can support, leading to unnecessary death
- Develop low branches that don’t receive light, leading to energy draining
Two ways that industry experts utilize to guard against these issues are pruning and low-stress training. Pruning involves selectively trimming plants to maximize results in a limited space. Weaker and less important branches are removed, as well as branches that don’t receive sufficient light.
Low-stress training is also called the tie-and-bend method and involves tying and bending branches to compel the plant to grow in a symmetrical, efficient way. Both these methods should balance growth optimization with avoiding stressing the plant as much as possible.
After Cannabis Industry Training, Try Plant Cloning
Typically, cannabis plants propagate through the production of seeds, made through reproduction between sexually active plants. One of the issues with this is that plants grown from seeds will all be unique, due to the vast amount of genetic possibilities inherent within each pairing. Advanced growers have side-stepped this barrier by investing in plant cloning methods.
Cloning is a reliable way to ascertain that plants will maintain a consistent high quality. Because all clones will share the same genetic code as their “mother” plant, plants will be identical through the aspects of:
- Growth habits
Plants are cloned by establishing a “mother” plant, one that produces consistently large yields, strong buds, and grows rapidly. Cuttings from the bottom branches are taken from the plant while it is in its vegetative stage. An effective mother plant can produce over 50 clones a week.
Do you want to begin working in the cannabis industry in Canada?
Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences for more information!