All about the cannabis plant
The mention of Cannabis or cannabis plant raises conflicting ideas in a normal human mind and the general view of this controversial plant is on the biased perception of the negative effects that come with its addiction.
Claims about this Cannabaceae family of plant with cannabis sativa as the main species among a disputed number with C. indica and C. ruderalis as the minor species, which can as well be included in the C. sativa, can only be settled if we take a keen analysis of the plant itself, by understanding it, right from its early stages of development, its growth and the effects of some environmental factors to the chemical composition of the plant.
We should also try to find out how the various strains of the cannabis family respond to similar stimuli, and lastly, the ultimate product obtained when all the requirements in the plant growth are followed to the latter.
With this in mind, arriving to the conclusion as to whether the plant has substantial benefits to our lives, and if yes, what is to be considered, the necessary requirements and the substantial evidence to address an already existing problem or situation, and lastly, an advice on how the misuse of cannabis products can be avoided.
Therefore, what makes cannabis plant an interesting plant in our ecosystem?
With reference to Routledge, 2002 in Cannabis and Cannabinoids, the cannabis plant exists as a male, female or even hermaphrodite. It can grow to a height of about 12-16 feet which is approximately 5 meters with its origin being Central Asia.
The growth has however been spread worldwide for different purposes which maybe legal or illegal.
Governments have constantly challenged the widespread growth of the plant in most countries, but for its industrial and medicinal applications.
Since man can actually domesticate a wild plant and genetically modify it to address a specific function, the same has been done on cannabis and hence the four principles of a plant can be justified in cannabis as:
- Wild – Occur naturally and grow independently
- Plant based on their stem fiber content –In textile, cordage
- Plant based on edible oil content –livestock feed, human food, nutritional supplements, biofuels
- Plant with intoxicating and medicinal values –Illicitly in recreation, legally as medicine
The cannabis plant exists as female, male or hermaphrodite in terms of its sexual orientation which can easily be determined after a period of 6 months.
The females are responsible for the production of flower secreting resins, the male have pollen sacs almost at the base of their leaves that pollinate the female initiating seed production.
This male species have a thicker stalk, grow taller and have relatively a smaller amount of leaves than the female plants.
Death to these male plants occurs after shedding pollen grains, but the female plants persist even after having their flowers pollinated, to maturity and shedding seeds and if the conditions are favorable, they can survive for many years, only that they steadily decline in vigor.
Most growers tend to go for the females than other genders of cannabis.
There are few chances if any that female cannabis plant may fail to get fertilized in the presence of the male plants, which leads to the development of sinsemilla, these are preferred to the hermaphrodite genes.
To get sinsemilla plants, you need to identify and remove all your male plants after six months and either destroy them alongside the hermaphrodite ones or put them in a separate room and ensure that you do not carry the pollen grains from the male room to the female room with your clothes or hands.
The hermaphrodites on the other hand consists of both the male and female reproductive organs and fertilize themselves and also passes the hermaphroditic properties to the sinsemilla plant which is not welcomed by most growers.
This is usually avoided by obtaining cloned seeds from some parent strains or feminized seeds form special breeding processes.
Every grower should be in a position to control the strain and its germination process to maturity or the end results would frustrate their expectations.
Germination starts after breaking seed dormancy, wild seeds will germinate after a period of storage in cold temperature while domesticated seeds will germinate faster when watered as stated by Small et al. 2003.
These shows that the wild seeds will remain dormant during winter season and that the germination inhibitors can be overcame by a period of cold stratification.
The most important decisions are made at this point; the strain to grow, whether the plant should be an indoor or an outdoor plant, the number to grow and the equipment to invest in.
Fabric pots make the best containers or any other with drainage holes and a saucer to hold runoff water to avoid stagnant water that alter soil PH and introduce strange chemical compositions in your plant, airy mediums like organic potting soil, coco-, and teat- or sphagnum-based allow for oxygen penetration to the roots.
It is actually possible to plant a single plant and get even more benefits when such a plant is well taken care of.
You also avoid colliding with the government if this is an illegal activity in your state, and all your concentration and resources are on one plant.
With this measures put into consideration, the following is the right way to handle all the milestones expected in your cannabis growth at home.
Mature healthy cannabis seeds have their growth hormones activated after about 30 days when exposed to the right amount of moisture, light and air, otherwise, the seed would remain dormant or even die due to old age.
The seed’s endosperm contains calories to facilitate germination. Moisture levels should be low to avoid molds and root rotting issues which is approximately 60%, while the temperature should be maintained at a range of (68-77) °C.
The micropyle allows water through the seed, but if clogged would require scarification which should be avoided as the seed would pass this rare trait to generations.
The seed cracks open as cell division occurs allowing for the stem and root meristem to grow with the former developing into the stem and foliage parts and the latter into the root system of our plant.
The meristems will appear almost similar to each other, but since they respond to different stimuli, they develop unique features and face different directions.
The first foliage leaves appear on the stem as they continue to grow bigger and even better and the root system base are established and the seedling resembles mature cannabis in characteristics.
It is necessary to minimize the amount of nutrients to your plant during its seedling stage to avoid burning the seedling.
This takes 3-7 for a healthy seed to turn into a seedling and transplanting if necessary should be done at this stage.
To keep your plant from flowering, you should give it a 12 hour minimum exposure to light.
This light should either be from the direct sunlight if the plant is an outdoor or from a fluorescence light bulb if the indoor lighting condition requires only a small amount of light and the recommended bulbs have a T5, T8 or a CFL rating recommended because the light cannot denature the plant tissue in a 2” distance.
Otherwise, if the room actually requires large amounts of lighting, then you would consider a High Intensity Discharge (HID) with a 250-watt option light bulb to enhance foliage and keep the flowering away until you are convinced that your plant is mature to flower.
The lighting control can be accurately attained when the plant is actually enclosed and a 12-hour cycle set standard timer is used.
This balances the dark and light hours that the cannabis plant is exposed to and so as to avoid chances of exposing our plant to stress or confusion that may make it hermaphrodite or lead to a lower quality or weak yield to the grower.
The seedling graduates into the vegetative stage and fully stable leaves with jagged structures are obtained in about 1-3 weeks.
It is during this stage that your plant tremendously grows at a rate of about 2’’ per day and the more light it is exposed to, the more foliage it develops and that means that the indoor plant can actually prolong this advantage.
The moisture level should be about (50-70) %, a temperature of about (68-70)°C and a minimum of around 18 hours of day light exposure.
It is during this age that you can actually tell the particular strain that you are growing and since there is growth of solid structures within the plant to handle the heavy racemes as there is massive leave development.
To facilitate even better development of your cannabis plant, it is advisable to supply it with some Nitrogen fertilizer as the plant is being prepared for flowering.
The flowering stage finally comes, the joy of the cannabis beneficiary that actually holds the reward to the best grower.
This stage usually lasts for about 6-10 weeks but can last longer given that the plant is exposed to the right conditions in terms of light and the strain requirement.
Internodes are shortened into constrictions.
These constrictions enhance flowering.
The buds, which have most THC concentration start developing, the plant eventually blooms and growth stops to concentrate on the buds’ development and thickening as the plant approaches maturity.
When heavy resin covered buds are attained and the characteristic cannabis smell, browning of the pistils and yellowing of leaves at the bottom is observed, then the plant is at maturity.
This stage occurs after a considerable reduction of the number of light exposure hours that the plant enjoyed in the previous stage. The male cannabis matures a couple weeks earlier than their counterparts.
The active ingredient in the mature cannabis would be determined by the duration which the plant lasts in the flowering stage and whether or not the plant is fertilized.
The conditions necessary for this stage are 12 hours of day light exposure per day, (68-770) °C temperature, 50%-70% humid condition and an addition of both Potassium and Phosphorus fertilizer in normal amounts, but excluding Nitrogen fertilizer which should be stopped 10 days before your plant matures.
Top Cbd Vape Oil › Cannabis Plant