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Cannabis Terroir: What is it?

Cannabis Terroir

What is it?

Fancy Cannabis:

How Cannabis Terroir Impacts Today’s Products

  • What is cannabis terroir and what do we know about it?

From the French word terroir, we most often hear about those varieties which belong to a particular wine.

It’s often said that the character, flavor, and taste of each wine is determined by the environmental conditions under which it is grown—it’s particular terroir. 

Now, people are talking about cannabis terroir, and how their growing conditions impact the final product. While there is still much to be understood about the exact mechanisms involved, cannabis terroir entails:

  • Genetics

  • Soil composition

  • Nutrient schedule

  • Climate

  • Elevation

  • Slope

  • Solar orientation

  • Geological factors

  • And more

Grow Medical Marijuana in Missouri

The science of cannabis cultivation is under constant dissection and new research continues to be presented around the world.

So far, it’s clear that cannabis terroir is a deeply complex topic which represents a fascinating link between genetics, soil structure, and environmental conditions.

For example, a 2014 study, which was published in PLoS One found that the genetics of each cannabis plant plays a role in altering the soil microbes around it.

To begin with, the authors noted the sheer importance of this relationship.

“Understanding microbial partnerships with the medicinally and economically important crop Cannabis has the potential to affect agricultural practice by improving plant fitness and production yield,” they said.

In fact, their data showed that the composition of the microbial community within the plant-microbiome is largely determined by the soil itself while its structure is determined by the host plant.

The authors of the study noted that the strain “Maui Wowie” had a distinct presence of Sphingomonas wittichii “which in some contexts can metabolize phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and has been implicated in increased survival in soil environments.”

Unfortunately, despite some focused specifics such as this, the data provided was not wholly conclusive.

Winston et al. indicated that “any association between microbiota and THC is very hard to disassociate from soil physicochemical variables.”

The results of the study did produce several key findings, however. Those findings include:

  • Soil is the key determinant in the microbial community composition of cannabis.

  • With shifts in soil types, cannabis plants demonstrate equal adjustments in endorhiza and rhizosphere samples.

  • Microbial community structure is largely dependent upon the genotype of the plant.

Given the overall weight of the study, the authors seemed most fascinated “that cultivar-specificity could be identified in the microbiota within the endorhiza samples in the first experiment without any input of cultivar-specific metabolites from the living plant for weeks.”

In other words, cannabis terroir is an integral part of its cultivation.

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