Cultivators employ various techniques to enhance terpene production in cannabis plants. By implementing the following strategies, cultivators can optimize the synthesis of terpenes, resulting in aromatic and flavorful cannabis strains.
4.1 Stress Induction
Subjecting cannabis plants to mild stress can trigger an increase in terpene production as a defense mechanism. Controlled stressors, such as gentle physical manipulation, light stress, or mild nutrient deprivation, can stimulate terpene synthesis. However, it is crucial to carefully monitor and balance the stress levels to prevent detrimental effects on overall plant health.
4.2 Temperature and Humidity Control
Maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels throughout the cultivation environment is crucial for terpene production. Striving for a temperature range between 70°F and 85°F (21°C to 29°C) and a relative humidity of 40% to 60% can promote terpene synthesis. Deviations from these ranges can lead to reduced terpene production or volatile terpene profiles.
4.3 Pruning and Training Methods
Strategic pruning and training methods can increase terpene production by promoting airflow, light penetration, and overall plant health. Techniques such as topping, low-stress training (LST), and defoliation help optimize terpene expression by redistributing energy and enhancing resin gland development.
4.4 CO2 Enrichment
Supplementing the cultivation environment with carbon dioxide (CO2) can significantly enhance terpene production. Increasing CO2 levels to around 1200-1500 parts per million (ppm) during the flowering stage stimulates metabolic processes, including terpene synthesis. However, it is crucial to monitor and regulate CO2 levels to prevent negative impacts on plant health.
4.5 Organic Farming Practices
Choosing organic cultivation methods can positively influence terpene production. Avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers reduces the risk of chemical residues that can affect terpene profiles. Organic soil amendments and microbial inoculants can improve soil health and nutrient availability, resulting in enhanced terpene synthesis.