Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Cannabis Yield Increased Proportionally With Light Intensity, but Additional Ultraviolet Radiation Did Not Affect Yield or Cannabinoid Content

Version 1 : Received: 10 March 2021 / Approved: 11 March 2021 / Online: 11 March 2021 (16:18:09 CET)

How to cite: Llewellyn, D.; Golem, S.; Foley, E.; Dinka, S.; Jones, M.; Zheng, Y. Cannabis Yield Increased Proportionally With Light Intensity, but Additional Ultraviolet Radiation Did Not Affect Yield or Cannabinoid Content. Preprints 2021, 2021030327 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0327.v1). Llewellyn, D.; Golem, S.; Foley, E.; Dinka, S.; Jones, M.; Zheng, Y. Cannabis Yield Increased Proportionally With Light Intensity, but Additional Ultraviolet Radiation Did Not Affect Yield or Cannabinoid Content. Preprints 2021, 2021030327 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0327.v1).

Abstract

Cannabis (Cannabis Sativa L.) is now legally produced in many regions worldwide. Cannabis flourishes under high light intensities (LI); making it an expensive commodity to grow in controlled environments, despite its exceptionally high market value. It is commonly believed that cannabis secondary metabolite levels may be enhanced both by increasing LI and by exposing crops to ultraviolet radiation (UV). However, there is sparse scientific evidence to guide cultivators. Therefore, the impact of LI and UV on yield and quality must be elucidated to enable cultivators to optimize their lighting protocols. We explored the effects of LI, ranging from 350 to 1400 μmol m-2 s-1 and supplemental UV spectra on cannabis yield and potency. There were no spectrum effects on inflorescence yield, but harvest index under UVA+UVB was reduced slightly (1.6%) vs. the control. Inflorescence yield increased linearly from 19.4 to 57.4 g/plant and harvest index increased from 0.565 to 0.627, as LI increased from 350 to 1400 μmol m-2 s-1. Although there were no UV spectrum effects on total equivalent Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (T-THC) content in leaves, the neutral form, THC, was 30% higher in UVA+UVB vs. control. While there were no LI effects on inflorescence T-THC content, the content of the acid form (THCA) increased by 20% and total terpenes content decreased by 20% as LI increased from 350 to 1400 μmol m-2 s-1. High LI can substantially increase cannabis yield and quality, but we found no commercially-relevant benefits of adding supplemental UV radiation to indoor cannabis production.

Subject Areas

cannabis; UV; cannabinoid; yield

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