New research gives insights into effect of light cycles on cannabis flowering

While many appreciate the therapeutic and recreational benefits of cannabis, few are familiar with the process that governs cannabis flowering, or the conditions that are required for optimal growth.

When cannabis reaches the flowering stage, vegetative growth slows and flower buds begin to appear. As the buds enlarge, the pungent, unmistakably aromatic cannabis scent also intensifies with the development of trichomes, the hairy, resinous glands on the cannabis inflorescence, which comprises the complete flower head of a plant. Cannabis flowers are considered mature and ready to harvest when the trichomes change color from clear to opaque.

In-depth scientific investigations into cannabis flowering have been limited up until now, due to legal barriers that stem from the plant's federal classification as a Schedule I drug. With the easing of legal restrictions occurring on both medical and recreational fronts throughout the United States and the rest of the world, however, there is a burgeoning interest in better comprehending the complexities of the cannabis flowering process and its physiological regulation.

There is both a practical and a scientific need to understand flowering development better in order to develop methods of flowering control to increase yield and quality of cannabis flowers.

A new study conducted by Dr. Ben Rimon at the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center of Israel, was published in Frontiers in Plant Science on April 2, 2019. The authors investigated the architecture of cannabis inflorescence, and produced compelling findings.

Three different medical strains of Cannabis sativa were propagated from cuttings of a female mother plant. The rooted cuttings were grown for one week under a long photoperiod to encourage vegetative growth. They were then transferred to a short photoperiod. Temperature, humidity, water, fertilizers, and micronutrients were provided under fully controlled conditions. Each strain was sampled for analysis every 5 to 7 days.

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