A review of the changing attitude and knowledge gap in cannabis cultivation and more.
This article reviews the changing attitude and knowledge gap in cannabis cultivation; strategies for cannabis cultivation management; determining the physiological maximum of the cannabis plant; how to achieve desired results; the effect of production conditions on yield and cannabinoid content; and more.
The recent legalization drive has resulted in a change in the cannabis cultivation landscape. With more and more countries decriminalizing cannabis, the demand for medical and recreational cannabis with higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels is growing.
This change in cannabis legal status is triggering a shift from the production of varities low in the cannabinoid THC to ones with higher levels of THC. Sensing an opportunity exists there, several new cultivators are also trying their hands to grow cannabis on a commercial scale.
Due to the controlled substance status of cannabis in the past, restrictions have halted scientific research on the plant. As a result, little knowledge about the impact of critical factors such as variety, plant density, light intensity, and so forth are available. Figuring out the real effects of these factors can help to optimize cannabis plant output as well as cannabinoid content.
Determining the Physiological Maximum of the Cannabis
The lack of scientific knowledge about the crucial cultivation factors results in lower plant output and cannabinoid profile. This created a yield gap where cultivators were unable to reach the maximum possible output level.
The corrective measures begin with determining the physiological maximum yielding capacity of the plant. At the same time, it is equally important to find out conditions and growing techniques that can assist in achieving high yield levels.
Unfortunately, scientific research that can explain factors contributing to the yield gap is limited. To date, only limited studies have examined the genetic structure and inheritance of chemotype to find their effects on the cannabis yield. It is only recently that research has started investigating the impact of production methods such as the use of microbial inoculants and the role of light intensity on yield and cannabinoids profiles.
The use of adequate production conditions can help cannabis cultivators to enhance their productivity. Are you aiming to achieve a high yield, but don’t know what factors play a role? Don’t worry, we have done some digging to figure out what factors can affect your yield and cannabinoid content.
To better explain the effects of production conditions on yield, scientific studies have examined the impact of these conditions on a single plant or plant within a square meter.
The cannabis plants demonstrate significant variation in their stalk height, seed size, fiber length, photochemical concentrations, and sensitivity to day length. Hemp breeders are using molecular markers to develop strains that offer greater yield and higher cannabinoid concentration.
Capitalizing on modern sequencing, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, and genome-wide association, researchers are discovering key markers for next-generation strains. Cannabis researchers are also looking at genome editing technologies to transform cannabis cultivation.
The modern biotechnologies, particularly CRISPR-Cas9, holds great promise to revolutionize cannabis cultivation through micropropagation, efficient transformation, and plant regeneration.
Despite the success in transforming callus, the ability to derive callus from a variety of tissue types and cultivars, and the transformation of cannabis roots, researchers are facing a persistent challenge to regenerate plants from the transformed callus and explant tissue.
Any future development in that direction has the potential to trigger a revolution in cannabis cultivation as well as the way we experience the products.
MIA VOLKOVA is a cannabis scientist and content director at Marijuana Facts Today, with extensive experience in managing and implementing quality assurance processes of manufactured cannabis products prior to distribution. Mia loves to share her deep knowledge in the cannabis industry to help people filter out the noise and to stay on top of crucial industry news. Direct correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Volkova, Cannabis Science and Technology 4(3), 44-45 (2021).