Medical cannabis - and the best tools for the ideal production
Medical cannabis production is becoming a bigger and bigger part of several growers' businesses in both the US and Europe. It is therefore imperative that the production runs as optimally as possible - in order to get the best harvest of the plant's green flowers.
The important parameters of growing medical cannabis - and how they are managed!
The cannabis plant is a short-day plant where it needs a long day during the growing season and in the flowering period needs a short day. Light control is therefore one of the important parameters in growing.
As mentioned, it is important to be able to control that the plant receives the right amount of light, adapted to the different growing stages. Many growers choose to use LED fixtures, and with our products you get the following benefits:
- The spectral composition - which is controllable in Senmatic's LED fixtures - is important. In addition to the red light stretching the plant and the blue making it more compact, the blue light also has the advantage that it affects the oil content of the plant. This means that by combining the spectral distribution with more blue than red light, one can increase the oil content of the cannabis plant and thereby achieve a better quality.
- The LED fixture emits less heat than HPS, and the cooling requirement is therefore less, which ultimately saves resources.
- The use of LED ensures a strong light with fewer fixtures than when using HPS.
- Our LED fixtures have controllable spectral distribution and light intensity, and the settings can be based on the needs of the individual sorts so that the right size plant is obtained for the best content of oil.
To control the natural light, blackout screens are used so that the day length can be adjusted to the plant's needs. To control both the light and the blackout screens, our climate control LCC4 is used.
LCC4 controls many of the important elements throughout growing medical cannabis
Control of temperature and ventilation
The temperature in a greenhouse can come from several different heat sources. This is controlled through LCC4, which can control the room temperature, whether it comes from a water-borne system (such as heat pipes) or other heat sources.
It is also possible to control the temperature in a climate chamber, where large parts of the heat comes from the lit growth light. During the dark periods, heat is added. The control of the climate with the large shifts regarding switched on and off light places great demands on the LCC4 climate control as it must switch on and regulate the refrigerating machine, dehumidifier, heat source, light and CO2.
The ventilation has an impact on the environment in the greenhouse, and it is controlled by LCC4 via an outdoor weather station. LCC4 ensures that windows are opened and closed as needed. The reading side is opened as much as needed and the wind side is opened. Cascade control of windows provides efficient venting in the greenhouse even at small opening percentages.
When growing in climate chambers, the climate control Super Step program is used to control the refrigerating machine. Thereby the refrigerating machine is used as a "window".
Humidity and Co2 control
Humidity control is another very important parameter in growing the cannabis plant. RTFC-7 is a sensor coupled with the LCC4 climate control, including manages the humidity of the greenhouse through ventilation.
In a climate chamber, humidity is controlled through LCC4's software, which controls the growing room's ventilation and dehumidifier.
To ensure optimal growth, the amount of Co2 must be correct. Via a CO2 sensor in RTFC-7, the CO2 content in the growth chamber is read. Co2 is dosed from the set point entered. LCC4 naturally knows the difference between day and night, so that only CO2 is used when the growth light is on or by solar radiation in the greenhouse.
Automate climate control to save resources and prevent waste
The more accurately you are able to control your greenhouse climate, the more beneficial it is for you and your crop. The accuracy comes with automation.
Automation is key to improving efficiency and saving resources, as several processes and adjustments are handled automatically by the climate computer – whenever they are most needed.
The automated climate control further eliminates several manual errors through continuous monitoring, accurate control and the ability to alarm you if errors occur. The accuracy, controllability and prevention of errors help you save energy, water and nutrients, because the system automatically adjusts to specific circumstances – or notifies you about inexpedient conditions.
General benefits of electronic climate control
As described, the climate control LCC4 is able to control many elements of the climate zones - and of course there are many more options than those mentioned. But overall, the primary benefits of electronic climate control are the following:
- Increase production yield
- Ensure higher plant quality
- Improve efficiency and save resources
- Controlling energy consumption
- Improve growth through precise control
- Guarantee a minimum of errors using user-friendly and data-driven climate controllers
Fertilizer and irrigation - get the best results by using the AMI Penta mixer
AMI Penta irrigation and fertilizer mixer
Fertilizer and irrigation are naturally also essential for the growing of medical cannabis, and it can be controlled through our AMI Penta irrigation and fertilizer mixer.
- AMI Penta controls the composition of fertilizers from stock solutions so that the fertilizer are optimized and result in ideal growth conditions.
- Irrigation time is controlled for the growing zones, so that the amount of water for each plant is correct.
- The water from the tables or cultivation gutters can be recycled, so that irrigation in production becomes a closed system. This saves water and fertilizer.
- Reusing the water requires water purification with UV light to prevent spread of infection. Calculation and sizing of the UV system is important in relation to the efficiency of the system so that the water is cleansed of disease. Of course, we can help with this calculation.
As a grower, you are obviously aware that growing medical cannabis - and other cultures - requires that you control the many elements of the greenhouse. For that and to achieve the optimal production, professional management tools such as our climate control, LED lamps and fertilizer mixer are required.
We have contributed to several different projects within cannabis production and therefore have a broad experience in the composition of products according to the needs of each production. We have participated in projects with both individual components and turnkey solutions where all equipment has been installed. We are also happy to help you finding the best tools for your production.
How to choose the right climate control
All commercial growers have extensive knowledge about their own crop, however manual climate control lacks data insights and a higher degree of controllability. Maybe you know the right temperature, the correct amount of light and the optimal irrigation processes. But do you know if they could be even better – and create even higher crop quality?