A study conducted by the Wageningen University & Research Centre on the growth of medicinal cannabis under light-emitting diode (LED) lighting shows that the plants may produce a greater number of medicinally active substances than those grown using SON-T lamps.
The Netherlands University conducted the study in order to determine if LED lighting could be used to not just grow medical cannabis under high-intensity light, but also provide increased greenhouse horticulture methods that would lead to better yields in crops. The study also measured the quantities of Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produced by the plants. The substance CBD is used in the Netherlands to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, while THC is used to combat medical conditions such as Tourette syndrome or therapy-resistant glaucoma.
Wageningen says the demand for medicinal cannabis is increasing throughout the world, and methods to grow it safely and reliably are growing concurrently. The use of LED lighting is seen as a way to grow the plants in the greenhouse horticultural industry that is efficient as well as safe.
How They Did It
Researchers used two light sources in the study—SON-T lamps and water-cooled LED units. The crops grown with LED lighting were exposed to two intensities of light: one equal to the SON-T lighting and one that was considerably higher. The plants were given a longer amount of day for a period of four weeks, and after that they were given shortened daylight hours until harvesting. The result was thick growth with dense foliage. Both plants were measured during the harvest when fresh and dried.
The results showed that medicinal cannabis can withstand high lighting levels well, and those under high light intensity produced a higher bud weight in comparison to those grown under a normal light intensity. Furthermore the study found that in all the varieties of light, the plants using LED lighting produced a higher content of active substances than those grown using SON-T lamps with the same light intensity.