The cannabis industry is so new that researchers don’t even know how much is grown indoors. Additionally, every indoor operation is unique. Some are old warehouses using outdated equipment, while others are much more energy-efficient.
Indoor cannabis production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the environmental effects vary significantly depending on where it is being grown, according to our new study.
We aim to show greenhouse gas emissions per serving of tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the “high.” Our preliminary results show that one serving of THC – roughly 10 mg of dried flower – is likely to have higher greenhouse gas emissions than a serving of beer, wine, spirits, coffee or cigarettes, regardless of the location the weed was grown.
Why it matters
Currently, there is little to no regulation on emissions for growing cannabis indoors. Consumers aren’t thinking about the environmental effect either. As a whole, this industry is developing and expanding very quickly without consideration for the environment.
The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Colorado State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Policymakers and consumers aren’t paying much attention to environmental impacts of the cannabis industry. In Colorado, the weed industry accounts for 1.3% of the state’s total annual emissions. This is similar to emissions from coal mining and trash collection for the entire state.
Our team’s goal is to better quantify and communicate the environmental impact of cannabis production so that those who want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be better informed.
Hermaphroditism also occurs in cannabis when light penetrates at the wrong time. This can throw off the growing cycle, which ultimately leads to lower quality cannabis. Darkness is equally as important as light, a dichotomy that many new growers are unaware of when they first start out. Remember, it’s darkness that nurtures budding. Even the smallest sliver of light can wake the cannabis from its sleep cycle and plunge the plant back into the vegetative stage.
Another common cannabis greenhouse mistake is over fertilizing, synonymous with over feeding. Compost and other organic matter is the ideal solution for fertilization, because the nutrients are released over time rather than as a single “meal” for the cannabis. Liquid non-organics are also an option. Regardless of which type of food you choose, be sure to follow the directions and scale up slowly, starting with a little less than the recommended amount. It’s easy to correct the mistake of not feeding your plants enough; the same can’t be said for over feeding.
One of the easiest marijuana grow room mistakes to avoid is using shoddy materials for your greenhouse. At Americover, we produce high-quality agriculture and horticulture covers that help you yield brilliant results when paired with light deprivation. Click here to get pro light dep tips for cannabis cultivation, and then browse our greenhouse covers online. You can also email us at [email protected] or call 760-388-6294 to speak with one of our greenhouse material experts.
6. Poorly-Timed Light
It is absolutely imperative to closely monitor humidity and temperature when growing cannabis. Particularly if you are growing in a greenhouse, you need to ensure proper ventilation so that the air does not become too moist or warm. On the flip side, air that is too cold can be just as dangerous. Failing to maintain your growing environment can lead to hermaphroditism. While it’s possible for this undesirable development to occur genetically, hermaphroditism more often results from environmental stresses like heat and/or humidity.
A greenhouse can be a perfect place to start seedlings or raise your budding cannabis plants to maturity. Greenhouses offer a combination of protection and controlled sunlight, doing much of the hard work for you. However, there are several cannabis-growing mistakes that beginners and small-scale growers often make. Here are eight you’ll want to avoid.
Like with most other plants, there is a fine line between watering and overwatering cannabis. The latter can cause root rot, which is usually a death sentence for the plant, as drowned roots are nearly impossible to revive. You can tell whether your cannabis is adequately watered by feeling the topsoil with your finger. If it is moist to the touch, it’s not time to water yet. Wait until that top layer is bone dry. If you are unsure, it is better to wait until you see the early signs of under-watering – such as slight discoloration or wilting – than to continually waterlog the cannabis. As you start to get your growing down to a science, you can use measurements and a set schedule based on your observations.
2. Over Fertilizing
It may be tempting to harvest as soon as you see the first opportunity. After all, you’re probably anxious for the cannabis to bear the fruit of your labor. Yet doing so is counterproductive and will lower your yield and the crop’s potency. There is no definitive or universal answer to the question, “When should I harvest?” It all depends on how potent you want your cannabis to be and the conditions in which it was grown. Generally, you want to see at least 50 percent curled or darkened pistils before harvesting – but again, this is far from a surefire guideline.
Knowing when to start the vegetative stage and the subsequent flowering stage requires researching your strain of cannabis. The plants need to complete their growing cycle without interruption, during which darkness is extremely important. If you are a true beginner, be sure to start with a small crop of just a few plants. By doing so, you lower the stakes and give yourself the time and opportunity to learn the process of cannabis cultivation.