Different types of substrates can be used to grow medical cannabis. In general, we can define three types of substrates for the production of medicinal cannabis.
The first type is Rockwool. This synthetic growing medium offers high water retention but has a low buffering capacity for water. However, that means the substrate retails water, and the plants can not get it easily. As a result, the plants need to use energy to get the water they need. The plant is consequently unable to use this energy for its development.
Rockwool is an even material, meaning the pore size is the same throughout the medium. Growers also need to keep in mind that it offers a low buffering capacity for nutrients and pH as well and create their irrigation and fertilization methods accordingly.
The main challenge with using Rockwool as a growing medium on a larger scale, however, comes from the difficulties surrounding its disposal. Finally, it’s also important to realize that the production of this material is very energy intensive.
Secondly, we’ll have a look at coir-based media. This type is widely used because it’s easy to re-wet. They also offer limited shrinkage and have a relatively high air content.
What can be challenging, though, is the fact that coir-based mixtures need to be flushed and buffered thoroughly before use in cultivation. If that doesn’t happen correctly, it will release salts during cultivation. This influences the EC level. Water usage for these processes is typically high unless producers have taken extensive measures to reduce it. This is complicated because it influences the entire production chain.
Peat-based, active substrate
BVB Substrates offers a portfolio of cannabis substrates within this range. We do so because we strongly believe that this type of substrate will get you the absolute best results if you adjust your growing methods to it.
This type of substrate offers high water retention with a fitting amount of easily available water. In addition, buffering capacities for water, pH, and nutrients allow you to save on water and fertilizer and enable you to have more control over the crop. The beneficial microbes in peat protect the health of your crop, while the structure is ideal for root development thanks to a good pore size distribution.