All plants, including cannabis, require certain essential nutrients to grow healthy, strong, and productive. From essential macronutrients to Weed Seeds Nutrients Posted By: Dr. C. October 1, 2019 When early Americans started cultivating the fertile landscape of the eastern United States, laws were implemented requiring many farmers Top 5 Nutrients for Growing a More Sustainable Cannabis Crop When it comes to growing cannabis, the type of nutrients we use play a major factor in determining the level of sustainability that is
Essential Nutrients for Growing Cannabis
All plants, including cannabis, require certain essential nutrients to grow healthy, strong, and productive. From essential macronutrients to secondary nutrients and micronutrients, find out how much you need of each.
Source: Maximum Yield, September 23, 2019
Cannabis has thousands of unique properties, but like any other plant, it requires the same essential nutrients to properly grow and produce the desired yield of buds. Plants need relatively large amounts of macronutrients, lesser amounts of secondary nutrients, and small to trace amounts of micronutrients to germinate, grow, flower, and produce seed. All told, there are about 20 essential nutrients needed for optimal cannabis growth and development.
A nutrient is considered essential when it meets certain criteria. It must be directly involved in plant nutrition, be a vital component to the plant’s life cycle such that without it the plant would die or not be able to perform one or more of its necessary functions, and it must be unique enough that no other nutrient can replace it or perform the same function. Let’s examine which nutrients found in nature are essential for the cultivation of top-shelf cannabis. These vital nutrients can also be found in organic fertilizers.
The group of nutrients needed in large quantities by plants is collectively known as macronutrients. Some of these are provided by the environment, while others are provided by or need to be added to the soil.
Provided by air and rain, Oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), and carbon (C) are sometimes excluded in discussions of essential nutrients. This is because they are not elements that are often lacking, despite being needed in large amounts. They are also not ones that are components of any fertilizer or commercially-available nutrient package.
The other macronutrients that are needed and can be added to soils or other media are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Most commercial formulations of dry or liquid fertilizers will have three numbers on their packaging. These three numbers refer to the percentage by volume of N, P and K. Each of these individual essential nutrients performs a different –but vital– function to cannabis plants.
What follows is an oversimplification of the exact roles of each nutrient (in some cases, we still don’t know what all essential nutrients do and how exactly they interact with one another). Nitrogen is needed for the development of foliage and the production of proteins. Phosphorus is critical for root, flower, and seed development. Potassium is a requirement of overall plant health and aids in water absorption.
Cannabis needs different amounts of essential macros depending on the stage of development. Nitrogen is needed in higher quantities during the vegetative and bud-forming stages than during the flowering stage.
For its part, phosphorous is needed more during the flowering stage and is only required at about half the ratio of N levels during the vegetative phase of development. During this phase, K is needed at between half and two- thirds the level of N.
Essential Secondary Nutrients
Some sources do not separate the secondary nutrients and instead lump them in with the macronutrients since they aren’t needed in the same high quantities as the macronutrients.
They do, however, need to be in a significantly higher quantity than the micronutrients, so they are separated here. The essential secondary nutrients are magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and sulfur (S). These nutrients are often unavailable to cannabis if proper pH levels are not maintained (more on that later).
These secondary essential nutrients perform a wide range of critical functions to proper cannabis development. They are often necessary components or complementary parts to other nutrients and functions. They are all needed for plant and root growth, but they do have specific roles. Calcium assists in transporting other nutrients and aids in their absorption. Magnesium is a critical component of chlorophyll. Sulfur aids in the transport of chlorophyll, but also assists with plant metabolism and transpiration.
The lesser amount required to aid in the proper growth and development of healthy cannabis should not be mistaken as being less important than the micronutrients. The same can be said for the diminutive amounts of micronutrients needed.
The number of micronutrients listed as essential can vary based on the source. Like secondary nutrients, it is somewhat a matter of classification as some list the secondary nutrients as micronutrients. Either way, they represent minerals and elements that are not as abundantly available on Earth and as such are not needed in very high amounts by cannabis plants, but are still necessary.
No matter what source, boron (B), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and molybdenum (Mo) are always listed as essential micronutrients. Like the other essential nutrients, all micronutrients either have a unique function or serve to assist in the functions and processes of the other nutrients.
What follows is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of some of the roles of micronutrients and how they aid in the development of cannabis plants:
- Boron — helps with the development and growth of root tips. It also helps plants to absorb Ca and transports sugars within the plant.
- Manganese — is a vital component of chlorophyll production and the photosynthesis process. It also aids with enzyme interactions.
- Zinc — aids in the development of stems, leaves, and branches. The more mature a plant is, typically the more Zn is present and required.
- Copper — aids in the development of plant proteins and helps with the strengthening of stems and branches.
- Iron — is important for chlorophyll production. Iron deficiencies often present themselves as a yellowing of the leaves between the leaf’s veins (nueinal chlorosis).
- Molybdenum — helps to process nitrogen.
Other trace minerals thought to be essential include cobalt (Co), silicon (Si), chlorine (Cl), and selenium (Se). Not all sources agree on their inclusion in the essential group, though they are important to support all plant life.
pH and Nutrient Availability
As important as nutrients –if not more so– is the pH of the soil or media the cannabis is growing in. The pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of soil or growing medium.
Soils or other media with a pH of less than 7.0 are acidic; soils or other media with a pH greater than 7.0 are alkaline. The pH scale is exponential, with each number representing a factor of 10 times greater or less than the number next to it. For example, a pH of 6.0 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 7.0, and 100 times more acidic than a pH of 8.0.
What does this have to do with the essential nutrients needed for growing cannabis? Nutrients may well be present in sufficient amounts to support robust growth and plant function, but they can be locked out or otherwise made unavailable to the plant. The ideal pH range to try to maintain for cannabis is generally accepted to be in the 6.0 to 6.5 range, with some variation depending on media selected. To determine pH, make sure to perform a soil analysis.
Soil testing can be a simple do-it-yourself procedure or can be done by a reputable lab. It’s a routine procedure and is relatively inexpensive either way. A soil testing DIY kit costs only a few dollars and involves sending a smart amount of soil or growing media to a private or university-owned lab. Within a few days to a week, you will receive a detailed report with your soil’s current nutrient levels, along with the percentage of organic matter, and other relevant information. Doing this test can help you make the necessary adjustments to ensure your cannabis as what it needs to thrive.
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Weed Seeds Nutrients
Posted By: Dr. C. October 1, 2019
When early Americans started cultivating the fertile landscape of the eastern United States, laws were implemented requiring many farmers to grow and harvest hemp, a strain of the cannabis plant. One reason for this was to obtain the plant fibers commonly used to make paper, clothing, rope and other textiles at the time.
Perhaps a more noteworthy reason for the cultivation of hemp was for the tremendous nutritional contents of the seed. Hemp was considered “a necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.” Of course, today, the growth and cultivation of anything related to marijuana is now all but illegal, both in the States and here in the UK.
But possession isn’t – and a growing number of Brits are choosing to incorporate cannabis seeds into their diet to enjoy its astounding health benefits. Many even consider it a superfood. Let’s take a look at what exactly a cannabis seed contains and how its nutritional contents can contribute to your wellbeing.
Understanding Cannabis Seeds
To clarify, there is no real nutritional difference between hemp seeds and cannabis seeds, even if the latter ends up growing into a plant that contains high amounts of THC.
This is because cannabinoids such as THC, the compound known for its psychoactive properties, do not exist in the seed. These compounds are only present in the stem, stalk, leaves and flower of the plant itself.
The same applies to other cannabinoids such as the popular CBD, as well as flavonoids, terpenes, etc. This is why cannabis seeds on their own aren’t used for therapeutic purposes. But what they lack in that department, they make up for in nutritional contents and general health benefits.
All of this is explained in great detail on Discount Cannabis Seeds’ post, The Ultimate Guide to Medical Cannabis Seeds. You can buy cannabis seeds from their website and choose from a wide range of high-quality weed seeds. Their range exceeds 3,000 different types of seeds, with discounts and deals available daily.
Cannabis Seed Nutritional Analysis
The nutrition contained in a cannabis seed is quite frankly incredible. Starting with protein, cannabis seeds provide a complete source of the nutrient as they contain all nine essential amino acids. Since your body cannot produce these nine acids, it needs to obtain them from external sources. Very few plants are complete sources like cannabis seeds.
On the outer shell of a cannabis seed, you’ll find most of its fiber contents. This is why you should opt for seeds that still have their hull intact. But even without the shell, there’s still a considerable amount of fiber available. Around 35% of a cannabis seed is composed of essential fatty acids, including omega 3,6,9 and GLA.
As if that wasn’t enough, cannabis seeds also contain iron, copper, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folic acid, manganese, vitamin E and a number of B vitamins, including riboflavin, folate, thiamine and vitamin B6. Furthermore, cannabis seeds are highly digestible. You can eat them cooked, raw, shelled, unshelled… the sky’s the limit.
Consuming Cannabis Seeds
That said, you don’t need to eat them on their own. For instance, you can roast them and combine them with another healthy snack, such as kale chips, to make your own “superfood.” You can also put them in boiling water after roasting them. Then, add in some spices and you have your own non-psychoactive cannabis tea.
A simpler approach would be to simply sprinkle them over other meals, such as yogurt, salads, smoothies, quinoa, etc. You can even grind them up into a fine powder to use as a protein supplement, flour or milk. But how does all of this contribute to your wellbeing? Read on to learn about some noteworthy health benefits of cannabis seeds.
Cannabis seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to improve heart health and lower your risk of developing issues such as heart disease and arrhythmias. Additionally, cannabis seeds contain arginine. This is an amino acid that turns into nitric oxide, which helps keep your blood vessels and arteries in good condition.
Cannabis seeds also have anti-inflammatory compounds. Given that skin conditions such as acne and atopic dermatitis can result from chronic inflammation, it’s possible that cannabis seeds may help alleviate common symptoms.
Acne is linked to omega-3 deficiency, and we know that cannabis seeds are rich in omega-3. The rich plant fiber contents of cannabis seeds may also help with atopic dermatitis.
Healthful omega-3 and omega-6 ratios, such as those found in cannabis seeds, can help reduce inflammation.
This is also true for gamma-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. So, we know that this can benefit your skin, but the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis seeds are far-reaching.
For instance, reducing inflammation can help with a number of chronic diseases. This includes metabolic syndrome, arthritis, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Cannabis seed-based diets have reportedly helped people regulate their weight. Being loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, cannabis seeds can help people with a high BMI stay full and healthy throughout the day, allowing them to lower their weight. The same applies to those with a low BMI who want to gain weight.
It’s clear that cannabis seeds provide an astounding amount of nutrition. This is even more significant when you consider that all of it is natural, unlike commercial multivitamins and dietary supplements that are usually made of chemicals. For most people, maintaining a completely balanced diet among their busy lives isn’t easy.
Cannabis seeds can help by tending to your nutritional needs and eliminating any deficiencies, ensuring that your overall physical and mental health is at its best. Since there are so many ways to consume them, incorporating cannabis seeds into your diet isn’t difficult, making them an easy way to stay healthy.
If you’re looking for a natural and reliable way to ensure that you’re getting everything your body needs from what you eat, cannabis seeds are a considerable option. Now that they’re legal to buy and own in the UK, there’s no better time than now to give them a shot.
Top 5 Nutrients for Growing a More Sustainable Cannabis Crop
When it comes to growing cannabis, the type of nutrients we use play a major factor in determining the level of sustainability that is reached. There are so many elements on earth, from land or sea, that can be used to grow a cannabis plant from seed to harvest. This can be obtained in many ways but the moist sustainable way, is using amendments that are made up of earthly compounds and introduced through the soil. There are many elements and nutrients that are vital to the growth of a cannabis plant but below you will find the 5 nutrients that are an absolute necessity for growing a sustainable crop and the organic elements that are used to introduce this to the plant.
Nitrogen is by far one of the most essential nutrients of the cannabis plant. It is so crucial because it is an integral part of chlorophyl and is key in the process of photosynthesis. Plant tissue is also made up of mostly nitrogen, which is why you will quickly see signs of deficiency when there is an absence of it. For a plant to feed itself and grow, there must be a readily available source of nitrogen within the soil or grow medium. Some of the most popular organic elements that are used for nitrogen supplementation include alfalfa meal, blood and bone meal, cottonseed meal, chicken manure, feather meal, fish meal, bat guano, worm castings, and many other natural resources.
Phosphorus is vital to the growth of a plant and is found in every living plant cell. It acts as a stimulant to support important biological response required for new cannabis growth, such as photosynthesis, metabolism, and nutrient uptake. The cannabis plant depends on the availability of phosphorus during all phases of development. Phosphorus is also one of the most limiting nutrients available globally. Large deposits of rock phosphate that are mined for commercial agriculture are limited to just a few countries making the demand high and the supply slowly decreasing. The most widely used organic amendments are bone meal, soft rock phosphate, high phos bat guano, fish bone meal, seabird guano, and shrimp and crab meal.
Potassium, the 3rd macronutrient, next to Nitrogen and Phosphorus, is another important catalyst in the cannabis plant. Although the presence of potassium is very limited in the plant tissue, it interacts with nitrogen and participates in the compound of proteins and amino acids. During periods of drought, it improves the resistance of plants and is the main component to the strength of plant tissues. Potassium also works in conjunction with phosphorus to improve the strength and resistance of the root structure. It also plays a major role in the increase of mass, density, and volume of the buds. The most used potassium organic material include compost, kelp meal, greensand, sulfate of potash, and wood ashes.
Calcium is one of the vital properties to the healthy growth of a cannabis plant and is one of the essential secondary macronutrients of plants. Calcium is needed in all phases of growth and is served in multiple functions. It improves the shifting of nutrients and is crucial in allowing the plant to absorb other nutrients. This is the main reason a calcium deficiency leads to other nutrient deficiencies. Calcium strengthens the cell walls in all areas of the plant and benefits the overall health of the plant. With improving the strength of the plant tissue, this allows for better resistance against diseases, pests, and protects your plant from heat stress. Natural sources of calcium include eggshells, lime, and gypsum.
Magnesium is one of the most important secondary macronutrients because it is an element that your plant needs in all stages of life in fairly large quantities. This element is most presently in the leaves and has an immediate impact on the plants ability of light absorption and creating sugars and carbohydrates. Magnesium also plays a crucial part in transforming light into energy. Some important organic resources of magnesium include dolomite lime and Epsom salts.
In conclusion, the top 5 nutrients for growing a more sustainable crop are the macro nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) and the “secondary” macro nutrients (calcium, magnesium). And the sustainability of the crop is strictly determined by the sustainable materials that are used to deliver these nutrients.