Terroir-Inspired Cannabis: Cultivating in Native Soils and Natural Environments

Written by Petar Petrov

Some tend to call any sparkling wine champagne, but others know that the only sparkling wine that rightfully call itself champagne is the one that hails from the eponymous French province. While regular sorts of wine like Sauvignon and Syrah are a much more flexible concept in terms of origin, every sort carries the unique DNA of the environment that gave birth to it.

While wine has come to epitomize that idea of nature in a bottle, or terroir – “taste of the land” – as is the official term, we see it in other crops, like coffee, tobacco, olives, and cannabis.

It’s only natural that some of the principles of terroir that we see in wine apply to cannabis as well. After all, terpenes play a major role in both. It’s no wonder that some cannabidiol (CBD) produces pride themselves on working only with hemp from Oregon, for example, as the state provides the perfect conditions for the plant.

Speaking of conditions, which conditions encompass the idea of terroir? The key ones for cannabis are soil, humidity, and sunlight, in addition to climate, of course, elevation, and geomorphology.

Climate is the reason why we see landrace cannabis cultivars like Afghani and Thai Stick. If you wanted to go a little meta, climate, as it relates to cannabis cultivation, can be broken down into more niche categories – macroclimate, mesoclimate, and microclimate, which refer to the climate of the region, the smaller areas within that region, and the climate of the particular field.

Soil is another major factor, as it’s the immediate environment in which crops like cannabis grow. Different soils provide different payloads of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, which all surface in the end result.

Elevation and geomorphology, which refers to the physical features of the surface, determine the amount of sunlight that a crop is getting, how much water the soil retains, and more – all essential elements of cannabis cultivation.


So how does terroir help cannabis cultivation?

Cannabis growers often talk about their plants as if they were their children.

Exaggerated or not, the point is that growing good cannabis means understanding your plants, their idiosyncrasies, and unique needs; knowing their DNA, soul, and spirit. The principles of terroir teach cannabis cultivators how to be understanding “parents” who don’t expect a Thai Stick to just magically flourish in, say, Alaska, but rather make their “children” feel at home.

About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.

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