Horticulture

Enhancing Cannabis Terpene Profiles Through Companion Planting

Derek Johnson
Written by Derek Johnson

It is well known that planting companion crops with cannabis provides lots of benefits, such as protection from bugs and the weather. But what is not well known is that companion plants may enhance the terpene profiles of cannabis through inter-plant communication.

The terpene profile of a cannabis plant is responsible for its smell and taste, whether a flower that smells like gasoline or one that tastes like tangerines. For growers, it behooves them to enhance the terpenes of their crops — doing so absolutely helps fetch a better price in the marketplace.

Although there are not in-depth scientific studies into the matter, lots of anecdotal evidence exists to show that certain companion plants will boost or at least alter the terps of cannabis. Basil has been reported to change the taste and smell of cannabis. Yarrow is another plant implicated as having the potential to boost cannabis flavor. Karla Avila, of Flowerdaze Farm, discussed with us the effectiveness of planting stinging nettle, lavender, lemon balm, and marigolds as companion plants, for potentially augmenting terpene profiles as well as for controlling pests while providing habitat for beneficial insects and providing good sources of nutrients. Whether terpene augmentation through companion plants is scientifically valid is unsure due to the fact that cannabis research has been stifled for decades. If someone out there is currently trying this, and has lab results, we’d love to know!

What has been proven scientifically, however, is that plants and insects use terpenes to communicate with one another and themselves, and micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, do so as well. The question is “can inter-plant communication using the language of terpenes help raise terpene profiles in cannabis?”

Until more research is performed, the answer is “maybe”. However, if you’re thinking of trying companion planting, you shouldn’t wait for science to prove it works in raising terpene profiles. There are plenty of other benefits and practically no downside to trying it out. Just remember to keep detailed notes or a grow journal for future reference. And should you find that a specific companion plant works well in your grow, we’d love to hear about it.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inside_a_cannabis_grow.jpg

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Derek Johnson

Derek Johnson

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