Terpenes are an essential part of the cannabis plant. These aromatic molecules are responsible for the unique aromas and flavors found in each cultivar.
Understanding the role of terpenes in cannabis cultivation helps growers produce high-quality buds and flower. These terpenes also work in tandem with cannabinoids to create the effects consumers associate with different strains.
Stress plays a crucial role in cannabis growth and development, and avoiding the wrong kind of stress can help your plants grow bigger, healthier, and more resinous. In addition, it’s important to understand the role of terpenes in cannabis cultivation, as they play a significant part in creating and preserving the unique flavours, aromas, and effects of cannabis strains.
A cannabis plant’s trichomes are the glandular secretory structures that produce terpenes. These trichomes are found on the plant’s epidermal surface, and they come in three different types: bulbous, sessile, and stalked (Figure 4). Trichomes have distinct fluorescent properties and a number of cells within their secretory disc.
As well as their primary function of producing terpenes, trichomes can also serve to protect the plant from pests and pathogens. Specifically, they can increase a plant’s defences against fungal and bacterial infections that could otherwise weaken its immune system.
In cannabis, trichomes also release secondary metabolites that serve as powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. These terpenes have been shown to inhibit the enzyme cytochrome oxidase and reduce inflammation caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections.
Many terpenes are essential to the ripening and maturation of flowers, so increasing their production is an effective way to boost resin production and enhance flower quality. For this reason, many growers choose to lower CO2 levels in their growing environment, a technique that’s said to trigger a plant’s natural ethylene response and increase the amount of terpenes released during ripening.
Despite the potential benefits of terpenes, it’s important to note that they can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. They’re also known to interact with other chemicals in the body, which can have negative health impacts.
For this reason, it’s important to use a trusted pH meter when measuring water and nutrients. The perfect pH range for cannabis is between 5.5 and 6.5, and keeping the nutrient solution and substrate in this range will allow your plants to uptake essential nutrients easily.
The key to preventing a plant from becoming stressed during growth is to avoid all kinds of nutrient burn, which happens when a plant absorbs too much or too little of a nutrient. This can happen when a grower isn’t following a strict feeding schedule, or if they’re using synthetic fertilisers that are too high in chemicals.
Terpenes are a key component in the aroma and flavor of cannabis, as they produce the unique odors that fill the air when a bud is pinched or a jar of freshly cured flowers is opened. They also contribute to a plant’s therapeutic and mood-altering properties.
Terpene production is important to indoor growers because a high level of terpene expression increases a cannabis plant’s aroma and flavor profile. It also enhances a plant’s ability to attract pollinators and beneficial pest predators. In addition, terpenes are known to have medicinal benefits that range from pain relief and antibiotic properties to anti-inflammatory effects.
There are many different terpenes that are produced by cannabis plants. Some of the most commonly-used terpenes include myrcene, limonene, and linalool. Myrcene is the most prominent of these terpenes and contributes to the signature scent of marijuana, as well as its medicinal benefits. It also acts as an appetite stimulant, an anti-inflammatory agent, and a potent antioxidant.
Myrcene is also the primary terpene responsible for the distinctive floral, citrus, and pine aromas that make up a cannabis flower’s terpene profile. This is one reason why terpenes are often the first odors that come to mind when thinking about cannabis.
The terpenes found in cannabis are very complex and work together to influence a plant’s overall chemistry. This special whole-plant synergy is referred to as the entourage effect and it’s believed that all of the compounds in cannabis work together to form a more powerful effect than any of them can individually.
As such, understanding the role of terpenes in cannabis cultivation can help you make more informed decisions about your cultivation practices. This will ultimately lead to more flavorful, better-smelling buds that can boost sales and profitability in your dispensary.
Light is a crucial factor in the growth of cannabis plants. As mentioned above, it affects the vegetative and flowering phases of a plant’s life cycle, as well as its yield and bud maturity.
When used properly, grow lights can significantly improve your cannabis cultivation experience by maximizing harvest output, reducing energy costs, and increasing the quality of the final product. The ability to accurately measure the intensity and duration of your lights enables you to achieve optimal results in each stage of plant development.
Temperature is a crucial factor in cannabis cultivation and can make or break your harvest. It affects the rate of photosynthesis, the uptake of nutrients and the growth patterns of the plant. It can also lead to issues such as nutrient burn, root damage, and pests and diseases.
The ideal temperature for your grow room depends on the strains you plan to grow, as well as your local climate. Generally, cannabis plants prefer to grow in temperatures between 20 and 28degC (68-82degF) during the day and slightly lower at night.
While the temperature may seem a bit arbitrary, it has a significant effect on your crop. In particular, it has a big impact on the potency and taste of your buds.
During the flowering phase, it is essential to keep temperatures low to ensure that your plants produce the most potent and dense buds possible. A higher temperature can cause your buds to dry out too quickly and evaporate the terpenes and cannabinoids contained within them.
High temperatures can also affect the color of your buds. Blues, purples, and pinks are often more pronounced when the plants are grown at a cool temperature.
A good way to reduce your grow room’s temperature is to use a fan. You can run a blower to pull heated air from your room, or you can place a grow tent with an extractor fan underneath it.
In addition, some strains are adapted to grow best in cold weather. This is especially true for those genetics that are native to mountainous regions.
Another great advantage of chilly temperatures is that they can bring out the beautiful autumnal colors in many plants. This can add an extra dimension to your grow and help you create a visually stunning display that will be the perfect ending to a successful harvest.
As a rule of thumb, your root zone temperatures should be maintained between 70 and 78degF (18-25degC). This range is important to ensure that your plants’ roots have the opportunity to uptake water and nutrients correctly. The best thing to do is monitor and maintain your root zone temperature closely, and never let it stray below this range for any length of time.
The water in the cannabis plant plays a crucial role in its terpene production. It also enables the growth of roots, which help the plant absorb nutrients. However, a growing crop needs water with a low mineral content (osmosis-treated water is best), because too much mineral salt can inhibit the plants’ ability to absorb minerals.
As a result, cultivators should be able to show they are water-efficient in their indoor cannabis cultivation operations. This is the first step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of cannabis products.
One way to reduce water usage is to grow plants in high-quality soil that will provide the right pH and alkalinity levels for optimal terpene and cannabinoid production. This method also ensures that the plant can take in a wide range of nutrients, which is important for its overall health and strength.
Another good practice is to use RO-treated water instead of tap water, which can contain harmful cations and anions that can hinder plant growth. Reverse osmosis treatment is the most economical and sustainable method for treating water and is highly recommended for outdoor crops.
In addition to ensuring a nutrient-rich and healthy crop, using RO-treated water will help your cannabis grow to be more energy efficient. When used in conjunction with a drip irrigation system, RO-treated water can help your grow save 30% to 70% on water consumption and improve your grow’s water productivity by 20% to 90%.
Water is a critical factor in the health of any plant, but it’s especially crucial for cannabis. The amount of water a plant requires depends on several factors, including the location and intensity of light it receives and its general health and vitality.
Similarly, how quickly a plant grows will influence its water and nutrient needs. A plant that is growing slowly and is surrounded by colder temperatures, for example, will need more water than a plant that is thriving in a warm environment.
The number of plants in a given space, their growth rate and how well they are thriving will determine their water and nutrient requirements. A grower should consider all of these factors before deciding on a water and nutrient strategy for their cannabis operation.