Cannabis is a perennial plant genus belonging to the Cannabaceae family. Cannabis, which is used in the production of fibers, yarns, weaving, and fabrics is known as one of the oldest sources of plant raw materials in human history. Cannabis whose main homeland is Central Asia has a hard structure, hollow body, and palm leaves, and it is bushy, dioic, and one-year. Besides, the fibers are durable and quite long. Because of this feature, it is often preferred in areas such as the production of sacks, rope bags, and nets. Cannabis is a very strong plant and there is almost no need for pesticides in its production.
The most important deficiencies encountered in cannabis cultivation are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus deficiencies, which are the three most needed substances of the plant. In this article, I will give you information about the 3 most important deficiencies, as well as providing you detailed information about cannabis cultivation.
Cannabis Cultivation: How to Grow Cannabis
There are a number of industrial cannabis varieties from which manufacturers can choose. Some of the characteristics that distinguish the varieties are height, ripening time, seed size, oil content, oil composition, and fiber content. The goal is to determine which features are more appropriate and which variety has the best potential for the end-use. The varieties for the fiber market may contain 15 to 25% residual fibers, while the varieties for the grain food market will have the desired fat profiles and content. As markets continue to evolve and variable definitions increase, a particular end-use contract can determine which varieties to grow to meet market needs.
Cannabis is an annual plant grown from seed. Grows in a number of soils, but tends to grow optimally on soils that produce high corn yields. The soil should be well-drained, not rich in nitrogen and not acidic. It is intolerant to poor soil drainage, salinity, and extreme wet growth conditions. Saturated soils cause dwarfing, yellowing and death, especially in the early season. Hemp prefers a mild climate, humid atmosphere and at least 64-76 cm rainfall per year. Soil temperatures should be at least 5.5-7.7 ° C before sowing.
In mid-August, when plants begin to shed pollen, the crop is ready to collect high-quality fiber. The harvest for the seed occurs after four to six weeks. The change in the ripening time of the male and female plants of cannabis causes difficulties in harvesting. Male cannabis reaches harvest maturity within about 100-110 days after flowering. Scapes have the highest fiber quality in this circuit. Seed ripening of feminized cannabis is 4-5 weeks later than the maturation of male plants.
While early harvesting leads to low fiber yields that contain unstable fibers, harvested scapes become difficult to collect in late harvests, and it may even be encountered that they do not obtain any fibers as a result of maturation due to the accumulation of lignin instead of cellulose in the stems. It is suitable to harvest male and female cannabis separately according to their ripening periods. In hemp, a special machine with independent threading and chopper is used. Special cutting equipment is required to collect hemp for textiles. Combine harvesters, modified parts are used to prevent machine parts from being entangled with bast fibers.
After the crop has been cut, the stems are held in the field for four to six weeks (to remove the pectin) to loosen the fibers, depending on the weather. The stems are rotated using a special machine and then baled with existing straw harvesting equipment. Bales are stored in dry places, including huts, stables or other closed warehouses. The moisture content of the hemp stems should not exceed 15%. When seeded for fiber, the yield ranges from 1.8-5.4 tonnes of dry stalk per acre, or 2.7-4.5 tonnes of cannabis stalk per acre in Canada.
Although industrial cannabis can be profitable on its own, farmers need to consider alternatives that may be more profitable, especially in light of favorable prices for the next crop. The risk of industrial cannabis can be multifaceted. The production risk due to fluctuating yield is not known. Price volatility can be significant for fiber and seed. In this case, the policy risk is uncertain, especially due to the possibility of changing legal conditions. The effect of cannabis on the yield of other crops in rotation as well as on the competition for resources is important. For example, how can the field flow spent, capital use and cash flow associated with cannabis production compete with other possible crops in the rotation?
Hemp is harvested only when the fiber is collected, usually when male plants begin to pollinate. As a result, they collect both male and female plants. When harvested for both seed and fiber, the male plant largely disappears. Therefore, the yield for the fiber alone will be close to twice the volume and will be of much higher quality.
Net production is much better than fiber production for oilseed production. Fiber production alone is expected to show negative returns in almost all scenarios assessed. Only the seed system had better returns than the double fiber seed system in all scenarios evaluated. The single seed advantage is mainly 1) very high cleaning rates for fibrous P and K (fertilizer application rates) compared to oilseeds, and 2) higher machine costs for fiber production compared to seed production.
Some Conclusions and Considerations to Be Addressed on Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis seed production is competitive with the profitability of main cereal crops. Hemp fiber production does not seem profitable compared to other crops considering our assumed fiber prices and yield values. Efficient and effective fiber processing techniques have not yet been developed. Below is a summary of the 2015 production cost study for industrial cannabis seeds grown in Alberta, Canada. In total, 10 producers were researched to collect production costs. The raw data obtained were analyzed and preliminary results were sent to the survey participants for review and interpretation and the breeders were asked to re-verify.
When the biggest obstacles are asked to US manufacturers, the three most important commercial problems stand out as 58% falling prices, 42% compliance with the regulations and 3% the financial management. In terms of aquaculture, the three biggest problems were 40% protection from harvest and pest control, 28% increase in yield and 20% to ensure sustainable production (Cannabis Business Times, June 2018). And when they are asked if they will plant cannabis (Industrial Hemp <0.3 THC) for the next 18 months, the answer is 9% Yes, 64% No and 27% not sure (Cannabis Business Times, June 2018).
Cold pressing is a good technique for obtaining cannabis seed oil, but not for CBD oil. Because CBD is obtained from the leaves and stems of the plant, this method is not useful for CBD oil production. The first thing that is done before the seed arrives at the oil plant is that the seed is cleaned by 99.99%. This is done to remove dirt and contamination from all possible leaf materials as well as other products. Make sure that the seed itself does not contain THC.
The seed is then loaded into hoppers emptied into a series of cold expeller printheads. These heads compress the seed into long pieces and remove the oil by separating the oil with a corkscrew-type process called hemp cake. This produces a certain amount of friction and heat is generated. We know how important it is to minimize the head during a cold press, and the process used does just that. The highest temperature that occurs during the pressing of the oilseed is 40 ° C in the printhead, and the oil is subjected to these pressures for a few seconds before being cooled rapidly as the oil is discharged through the oil drain holes in the pressing cylinder. From this point onwards, the oil cools down to 32 ° C or even lower. When the oil enters the holding chamber, it is cooled down below 20 ° C. Fresh cannabis seed oil is then sent to a stainless steel cold filter process. This filter removes suspended solids from the oil and produces a clean, food-grade cannabis seed oil of the highest quality. The oil is then discharged into the stainless steel storage reservoir.
During the entire pressing process, the oil is flushed with nitrogen gas to remove and dislodge the oxygen that can be recycled. Nitrogen gas is also used in the stainless steel storage reservoir to further remove suspended oxygen molecules from the oil. The oil is then stored in a stainless steel container until it is required for packaging, in which it is added to bottles, jugs, buckets, and drums using nitrogen gas to maintain an oxygen-free environment. Since cold pressing is defined by the American Oil Chemists Association as a process of removing oil from vegetable seeds at temperatures below 50 ° C, the process used to produce cannabis oil can be considered cold-pressed as long as it does not exceed these standards.
Cannabis seeds typically contain 30 to 35% oil by weight, but some varieties contain up to 50%. Cannabis seed oil has an extremely high level of essential fatty acids (EFA). The oil content in the cannabis seed may register a slight reduction in production losses due to drought and low rainfall levels in the production time. The greatest losses were found in Diana monoecious cultivar (26.5420.82%), followed by Zenit (27.37-22.97%), Armanca (29.27-25.32%), Silvana (28.8925.04%) and Denise (26.96-25.30%) varieties.
Nitrogen Deficiency in Cannabis Cultivation
Nitrogen is one of the basic nutrients of the soil. It provides the development of green parts of the plant. It is a moving element in soil. It moves downwards with irrigation water. Ammonium, Urea, and Nitrate (nitrite) forms are available. In cold winter regions, it is possible to release ammonia fertilizers in the fall without nitrogen loss. In nitrogenous fertilizers, not all of the plant needs are provided at one time. It must be given by dividing it into pieces. Otherwise, the plant develops unhealthy and perishable. Nitrogen, which the plant cannot use, moves with irrigation water and mixes with the groundwater.
The color of the leaves that have developed is light green; As the nitrogen deficiency progresses, it turns yellow and then red. In addition, shrinkage of leaves and fruits, decrease in yield, decrease in plant root density and fading of green leaves are observed. In the absence of nitrogen, plants generally have a pale light green appearance in contrast to their dark green appearance. The leaf and stem system becomes weak. Plants ripen early, bloom early and age prematurely. The entire plant is light green-yellow. Leaf vein and stems take pinkish color. Plant growth is weak, the leaves are close to each other, takes a bushy appearance. Signs of deficiency are immediately noticeable and all leaves are immediately affected.
Nitrogen deficiency becomes apparent in the case of weak rooting and poor growth. Nitrogen deficiency occurs first in old leaves, and in case of deficiency, this problem is also seen in young leaves. The first reason for the old leaves to be damaged by nitrogen deficiency is that this nutrient can move within the body and thus can be transported from the old parts to the developing parts.
These color changes in the leaves due to nitrogen deficiency is a sign that there is not enough chlorophyll in the plant. Chlorophyll deficiency prevents the photosynthesis in the plant to continue normally. In such cases, the plant blooms prematurely and thus the growth time of the plant is shortened relative to normal. Nitrogen deficiency leads to a decrease in seed, flower and fruit formation and weakening of the root system of the plant. It is very common in fruit trees. This is due to the fruit trees needing this nutrient. As the peaches are very sensitive to nitrogen deficiency in fruit trees, the damage caused by it in this fruit species is more severe than many other fruit species.
Since the nitrogen requirements of the plants are different from each other, the amount of nitrogen taken from the soil varies depending on the type of the plant. In this respect, for example, the difference between legumes and cereal crops is even more important. Despite the rapid depletion of soil nitrogen in cereal crops; legumes give nitrogen to the soil. Therefore, nitrogen deficiency is very common in cereal crops.
The problem with nitrogen deficiency, which is seen only in the plants in question, might be caused by the effects of unfavorable climate factors such as drought, low temperatures and the like, rather than the lack of sufficient nitrogen in the soil in some cases. Because these factors decrease the rate of nitrification (conversion of ammonium nitrogen to Nitrite nitrogen) in the soil and thus the plant does not take advantage of the nitrogen present in the soil properly. Under these conditions, the development of plant roots into soil decreases. In cases where drought is severe and continuous, nitrogen intake of the plant almost stops and the plant dies despite there is sufficient nitrogen in the soil.
- Nitrogen Excess
Excess nitrogen in plants prolongs the development period of the plant, delays flowering, and increase the amount and size of the branches and leaves. For nitrogen demand, the most important factor in determining the fertilizer to be applied is the soil factor. It is not recommended to give urea to acidic soils and ammonium fertilizers to calcareous soils. Slowly released nitrogen fertilizers (CAN 26% fertilizer) can be used instead of conventional nitrogen fertilizers in rainy areas where washing is high. Excess nitrogen causes plants to reduce their resistance to disease agents and also to damage them at low temperatures. In practice, it is often observed that fruit trees, which are given a large amount of nitrogen fertilizer in the autumn, suffer much damage from frost.
- Nitrogen Fertilization
There is no significant difference between nitrogen fertilizers. The most important factor in determining the fertilizer to be applied is the soil factor. It is not recommended to give fertilizers containing urea on acidic soils since there will be more gaseous losses. Instead of conventional nitrogenous fertilizers, slow-release (CAN 26%) nitrogenous fertilizers can be used in rainy areas where washing is high.
- Nitrogen Fixation
Approximately 78% of the atmosphere consists of NITROGEN. According to the calculations, there are 9000 tons of nitrogen in the atmosphere above each decare of soil. However, this nitrogen is an inert gas. Plants must combine with Hydrogen and Oxygen to make use of this nitrogen, which is called Nitrogen Fixation or Fixation. Fixation occurs in different ways;
Biological fixation: Nitrogen can be stabilized by various soil organisms. Some of these organisms live in nodules on the roots of legumes. Some are free-living organisms. However, compared to the first group of organisms, nitrogen is much less stable than free-living organisms.
Atmospheric fixation: Lightning causes nitrogen to stabilize at low amounts from the atmosphere and is carried to the soil by rain; this is the natural oxidation process. The heat generated by lightning causes oxygen in the air to react with NITROGEN to form Nitrate NITROGEN. However, as a result of atmospheric fixation, the nitrogen which passes into the soil by rain does not exceed 1.0 kg per decare per year.
Potassium Deficiency in Cannabis Cultivation
Potassium deficiency in plants is seen on plants grown on sandy, light-textured soils. Potassium deficiency does not produce immediately visible symptoms in plants. First, there is a decline in the growth rate, but then chlorosis and necrosis occur. Symptoms of potassium deficiency are usually seen on old leaves first. Because, in case of deficiency, newly formed young leaves are supplemented with potassium from old leaves. Deficiency symptoms first appear on the edges and ends of many plants. Leaf edges first turn yellow, then the color turns dark brown in these parts.
If the potassium deficiency in plants is very severe, these parts turn black and dry. In particular, the deficiency symptoms typically seen in fruit trees, although the edges of the leaves change color and die as described, the remainder of the leaf can maintain its normal green color and appearance for a long time. The turgor pressure decreases in plants suffering from potassium deficiency, and when water stress occurs, the plants become loose-textured. Drought and frost resistance weakens. Similarly, plants are much more sensitive to disease agents and salty soil conditions. Abnormal developments are seen in plant tissues and cell organelles.
Potassium deficiency is generally seen in acid soils with low Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). In soils containing three-layered clay minerals, potassium is lost due to excessive exploitation by plants. Potassium deficiency is also common in organic soils. K uptake of plants depends on the diffusion and mass movement of potassium in the soil, and its availability decreases during dry periods. Depending on the K-state of the soil, calcification may increase or decrease the potassium uptake of the plants.
In potassium-poor soils, the antagonism between Ca and K, NH4, and K should be considered. K: Mg ratio is also important in soil. Because the excess of one of these elements affects the growth of plants. This ratio should be between 2: 1 and 5: 1. The emergence of K deficiency in potassium-poor soils varies depending on the type of plant grown. In potassium deficiency, bio colloids are affected and enzyme reactions are disrupted.
Although there are no visible signs of deficiency, fading is observed due to the deterioration of the turgor of plants and the stomatal metabolism in hot conditions. Growth in potassium deficiency is initially affected little and then stops completely. Although potassium is an element in the mobile state, mobilization from the old leaves to the young leaves or the growing meristematic tissues of the trunk is not always sufficient. Therefore, in K deficiency, knuckle intervals are shortened and stunted occurs. Dicotyledonous plants, such as celery and sugar beet, show rosette deficiencies, whereas potatoes and beans appear to be bushy.
Due to the slowdown in growth, older leaves are smaller than the plants fed with sufficient K. In general, the leaves retain their color while sometimes darkening, bluish-green color. Since the amount of chlorophyll per unit area increases, the color of the leaves darkens. Since the decline in growth starts from the leaf edges, the leaf edges are curled upward and fluctuations occur in the leaves.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency first appear on old leaves. In plasma, dehydration and accumulation of toxic substances such as putrescine or peroxidase suddenly break down cells and tissues. These damages continue from the tip of the leaf to the edges. Typical necrotic symptoms in potassium deficiency appear after the appearance of white, yellow or brown colored spots in the size of the head of the pin. As the severity of deficiency increases, necrotic spots spread towards the middle of the leaf. Black spot disease in the cannabis plant occurs due to the physiological mechanism disorder caused by K deficiency.
Phosphorus Deficiency in Cannabis Cultivation
The major source of phosphorus in the soil is rock and minerals. Phosphorus, released by the disintegration of rocks and minerals, can be used by plants. In addition, since there is phosphorus in the structure of organic matter, organic phosphorus compounds are present in the soil. A large part of the phosphorus in the soil is in the form that plants can not benefit.
In order for the plants to benefit from phosphorus found in both inorganic and organic phosphorus compounds, they need to be broken down and transformed into phosphorus anions. Phosphate anions in the free form are easily utilized, but phosphate anions are difficult to remain free in most soils. Even the majority of the phosphorus given by fertilizers can rapidly turn into forms that plants cannot benefit from. It is difficult for plants to benefit from phosphorus especially in calcareous and high pH soils.
Phosphorus is found in the structure of a number of important organic compounds in the plant. ATP, which transfers energy to the plant, is one of the most important of these compounds. Phosphorus is also required for the formation of DNA which determines the genetic characteristics of the plant. For these brief reasons, phosphorus has an important place among plant nutrients. Phosphorus is found in the generative organs of the plant more than other organs. Phosphorus is also known as an element which is effective on the generative development of the plant. Generative organs such as flowers, fruits, and seeds are most damaged by phosphorus deficiency. That is why the lack of phosphorus negatively affects the vegetative development of the plant. Growth regresses in plants with phosphorus deficiency.
Spike in cereals is adversely affected. Fruit trees shoot and bud formation is reduced. Seed and fruit quality deteriorates, ripening is delayed. Citrus fruits and other fruit trees are seen as fruit ripening. Flowering in the vegetable species decreases. Fruits remain small, poor quality. In phosphorus deficiency, leaves are usually darker than usual. In many annual plants, red and reddish-purple color occurs in the leaves and stems after phosphorus deficiency. The red color is due to increased anthocyanin formation in phosphorus deficiency.
The red and reddish-purple color seen in leaves and stems of some plants, eg corn plant, are typical symptoms of phosphorus deficiency and are easy to recognize. Lack of phosphorus in fruit trees causes the old leaves to turn reddish-brown and early shedding. Phosphorus deficiency symptoms are first seen on old leaves. Young leaves appear to be healthy, but they are smaller than normal. If the deficiency lasts long, brown-colored necrosis occurs on the old leaves. In some plants, such as beans, potatoes, and beets, necrotic spots are close to black in color. Necrotic formations develop mostly towards the edges of the leaves. If the deficiency is continuous, leaves will eventually fall.
Products That Are Used in Cannabis Cultivation
Here are some products that you can use to increase the efficiency of cannabis cultivation:
- Big Blooms & Buds 8oz. x 3 Grow Starter Suite
2. EXHALE 365 – SELF ACTIVATED CO2 BAG HOMEGROWN for GROW ROOMS & TENTS + THCiTY LIGHTNING GLOVES
3. Dr. Earth Flower Girl Bud & Bloom Booster 32 oz RTS