Cannabis Cultivation Dynamics and Terpene Yield: Research Insights from Antonio Timoteo Jr., PhD

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At the Cannabis Science Conference, Antonio Timoteo Jr., PhD, presented research on cannabis cultivation practices and optimizing terpene content.

In the Cultivation Track at the Cannabis Science Conference, Antonio Timoteo Jr., research assistant at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, presented, “Maximizing Terpene Yields with Precise Harvest Timing in Cannabis sativa L.”

In his presentation, Timoteo Jr. discussed the effect of harvest times on terpene content, the testing of terpene content during different stages of flowering (mid-flowering, maturation, and post-maturation), the different terpenoid content in plant generations, and terpenoid content across cultivars. He also noted the effect of inbreeding on terpenoid content.

Timoteo Jr. concluded his presentation with advice for cultivators: “It depends on the genotype—each cultivar will behave different—but my recommendation is if you are working with cannabis and you want to increase the content of your terpene, you need to study the cultivars you're working with because you need to know when those compounds increases and when they decrease in order to optimize, be efficient, and meet the market demands.”

Watch our exclusive, onsite interview with Antonio Timoteo Jr. and read the transcript below for more insights into the effect of harvest time on terpene content.


How did you become involved in cannabis research?

Antonio Timoteo Jr.: First of all, my name is Antonio Jr. I'm a PhD researcher at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Basically, the story about me and cannabis research, I call it a love story, because that was about the time when I finished my master's, I was working in soil science, and then I couldn't get no job, no opportunity. I was stuck for a couple months and then all of a sudden I got this PhD in food and agriculture science, and then one of the conditions, they told me to work with industrial hemp. So, I was like okay, this is a new crop, I did know nothing about it. So, I said, let me just try, let me take a risk, right, and then when I start working with it, I start understanding the beneficial effects of cannabinoids and terpenoids and the plant as a whole, right, and it just brought in me that interests in the plant, so, I started researching and working and today we are here. So, I call it destiny. I think I was made for the plant and the plant for me.

What are takeaways from your presentation titled, “Maximizing Terpene Yields with Precise Harvest Timing in Cannabis sativa L.”?

Timoteo Jr.: The objective of this of this presentation, some takeaways, is what I call from the lab to the table. So, the lab being as the scientists and the table being like the consumer. So, in between we have the growers, which need our help in order to maximize the quantity and quality of these compounds. So, what I was presenting was basically to understand the dynamic of the terpenes, how do they work, when do they increase, when do they decrease, so we can know when to harvest to maximize its concentration so that we can meet commercial demands. Basically, the higher the concentration, the better. So, I established my research over the course of a year, I work with five different cultivars. So, what I have as a finding, a result, is to know that at certain flowering stage development, the concentration of terpenes are high and in others are low. So, I have successfully identified that and today I can provide the guidance to farmers; I believe I have laid the foundation and they can proceed from there.

What do you most look forward to at the Cannabis Science Conference?

Timoteo Jr.: Yes, that's a very good question. Connection, connection, and more connection. I think this is a thriving industry and the more we work together, the better. We have people like us who are pretty much doing the research in cultivation, doing what we need after, people who are working in analysis of the compounds, and people that are also that are growing, people that are in regulations and industry when it comes to dispensary and formulations. The goal here is to bridge the gap so everybody can work together so at the end of the day we can definitely improve even more this industry. So I do believe it's coming together and that's what this conference is all about. I mean for some reason you are the first and the pioneer and the biggest one in the country, so I've been in more than three events back-to-back, so I've seen I've seen it all. Almost all the good friends that I have I got them from here, so those events definitely have shaped the future for cannabis for all of us.