From the Archives: Light Through the Eyes of Cannabis (2011)

in Culture

We all know how important light is to the production of cannabis. In order to optimize the photosynthetic activity of cannabis plants, one must uderstand how the plant captures and uses light energy to create plant tissues and compounds, such as glucose (for food) and cannabinoids like THC (for us). Light intensity and light quality—i.e. wavelength—both play an extremely significant role in photosynthesis and cannabis growth. In this article, we will examine how this occurs and which components of light play the biggest parts.

What is Light?

Light has the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. Figure 1 shows the wavelengths of red and blue light. The distance between the peaks of the wave is measured in nanometers (nm). As that distance or frequency changes, so does the color of the light. The color red, for example, resides at one end of the visible spectrum and is the result of light with a wavelength of 620 to 750 nm. Blue light resides at the opposite end and has a shorter wavelength of 650 to 675 nm. Light is also produced in wavelengths that are out of the visible range of our eyes, such as ultraviolet (UV) light, and this light also factors into plant processes, especially at the end of the flowering period.

Anything that has color or pigments, such as plant leaves, reflects or absorbs light. The light that is reflected off an object hits our eyes, causing us to see that color. The primary wavelength of light reflected by cannabis is green, due in large part to pigments such as chlorophyll a and b in the leaves; what we don’t see as reflected light is mostly absorbed by the leaves. Cannabis leaves absorb most forms of visible light except green and yellow. The majority of the reflected …

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Author: High Times / High Times

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