One Canadian team of analysts want to uncover the science of cannabis horticulture.
A research team at the University of Guelph believe they are the first to publish a scientific paper in North America regarding cannabis horticulture. The paper is focused on improving medicinal cannabis plant production. Youbin Zheng, Mike Dixon, and Deron Caplan investigated optimal fertilizer rates and soilless growing substrates commonly used for high yielding cannabis flowers.
The cannabis horticulture study was funded in part by National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It was also recently published in HortScience, a horticulture focused scientific journal. The University has been conducting medical cannabis research for years and the new legislation coming into effect have led to more grower interest in scientific research of this kind.
“The University of Guelph is one of the top universities in the world for horticulture research, particularly for controlled environment plant production,” said Zheng, who holds the environmental horticulture chair in the School of Environmental Sciences. “We have the cutting-edge technology and the expertise to lead this area of research, and are well-positioned to train horticulturalists for the rapidly growing cannabis industry.”
Their most recently published study has a fine focus on plants in their vegetative stage. They analyzed the CBD and THC content production as related to the growing mediums of the plants. Their next paper, also to be published in HortScience will examine the same data but with cannabis plants in the flowering stage. Currently, this team of cannabis researchers is studying the roles of lighting and irrigation in the yield and quality of the flowers.
“Controlling the light spectrum, for example, provides the opportunity to standardize the concentration of cannabidiol, a chemical component in medical marijuana that appears to cause no intoxicating effects,” said Dixon, director of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility. “We have this unique expertise and now we can apply it to an area that has yet to be scientifically explored.”