Bountiful Harvest: A Hydroponics Primer for Cannabis Consumers
In Maine, autumn is harvest time, the season of abundance. But in the world of cannabis growers—and consumers—bountiful harvests can be reaped 365 days a year, thanks to the science of hydroponics. Hydroponics is a horticultural method in which roots are cultivated without soil. Growing mediums include coir (coconut fiber), clay aggregate, vermiculite, perlite, lava rock, rock wool, and water-based nutrient solutions.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
As one of civilization’s oldest cultivated crops, cannabis has been grown the old-fashioned way—in farmers’ fields—for millennia. However, in the age of cannabis prohibition, cultivators were forced inside to avoid detection. They discovered that cannabis is very versatile and thrives in an indoor atmosphere. For decades now, they’ve been fine-tuning nutrient blends, substrates, and moisture levels to arrive at optimum hydroponic recipes, tailored to each, individual strain.
Hydroponics offer cannabis growers far greater control of their product than soil cultivation, especially when plants are grown indoors, utilizing the principles of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). In CEA, temperature, humidity, growing media pH, lighting, and more are carefully monitored and constantly tweaked to provide the ideal environment for growth.
Indoor, hydroponically grown plants are unaffected by weather conditions—drenching rain, harsh wind, excessive heat. What’s more, an indoor grow space can be designed as a closed loop system, in which all rooms are separate from one another, so pests and pathogens can be easily contained. That’s an advantage over outdoor growers, who can’t control their environment or segregate their plants once an issue has been discovered.
And of course, year-round harvests produce more plants and ensure a steady supply with which to produce the tinctures, oils, salves, and edibles on which medical cannabis consumers depend.
The Bottom Line: Purity and Consistency
Do you know how your cannabis is grown? Those who rely on medical cannabis, require predictable dosing. An optimized hydroponic grow house can set standards and achieve purity and consistency—winter, spring, summer, and fall.