Many people are concerned about climate change, and if you’re growing cannabis outdoors, you may wonder how the climate affects your plants. Cannabis loves warmth, but global temperatures are shifting, affecting where cannabis can thrive. In this blog, we explore the changing climate and how you, as a grower, can adapt.
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Choosing the Right Strain for Your Climate
You’ve probably heard and noticed that the climate is changing. Some areas have become much hotter, while others have seen increased rainfall. If you grow cannabis outdoors, it’s crucial to adapt to these climate changes.
First, select strains that suit the climate of your region. Consider the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. You can do this by tracking it yourself or by doing some internet research. Once you understand how much sunlight your plants will get during the growing season, you can select the most suitable strains.
If you live in Northern Europe, look for strains that can endure cooler climates and harsher conditions. They should also have a shorter flowering time. Consider autoflowering strains or varieties specifically developed for colder climates (mainly Indica-dominant strains).
In Southern Europe, you have a lot of choices due to long sunny days. You can take advantage of a long growing season from March to November. Many strains are suitable, especially Sativa-dominant ones.
For those living along the Mediterranean coast, go for strains resistant to mold. High humidity can lead to mold growth here. Sativa strains, which form airy buds, are better at handling moisture.
Climate Change and Cannabis Production
When cultivating cannabis outdoors, you must adapt to a changing climate. The growing cycle could become shorter, necessitating timely harvests before unexpected frost or prolonged rain sets in. However, the shifting weather also means that some regions have become warmer than they were a few years ago, thus becoming suitable for cannabis cultivation.
In the Netherlands, autumn and winter have become warmer; snowfall is rare, and spring can bring a lot of rain. The weather has become increasingly unpredictable. We have no choice but to try to adapt, choosing strains that are suitable for current climatic conditions. Cannabis is a robust plant, but even it can be overwhelmed by heavy rain, wind, or scorching temperatures.
Adapting Your Growing Techniques to Changing Climates
Changing weather patterns compel us to modify our cultivation techniques. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your plants, ensuring good yields despite climatic changes. Unstable weather can shorten the growing and flowering seasons, making it vital to opt for autoflowers or strains with shorter flowering periods. This allows for earlier harvesting before you face rain or cold.
Due to climate change, pests and diseases are spreading. You can counter this by using companion planting, which attracts beneficial insects that can combat pests. You can also use eco-friendly pesticides.
What immediate actions can you take for extreme weather? Ensure you provide enough shade during hot summers. Keep your plants well-watered to prevent drying out.
If it rains extensively, you can shake the buds dry every day. Good ventilation is essential, as heavy rain can result in bud rot. Remove any affected buds as quickly as possible.
Wind can also damage your plants. Shield them by placing them between tall bushes or by installing a windscreen.
Unpredictable weather can be challenging, but climate change is still ongoing. It’s uncertain what weather conditions we’ll face in the future, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. We’ve dealt with changing weather before.
Cannabis development continues to evolve, geared toward adapting to the changing climate.
The Influence of Climate on THC and CBD Levels
The changing climate can also have benefits for outdoor cannabis cultivation. Higher temperatures and increased CO2 levels lead to more trichome production. These glands produce resin, which helps protect the plant against insects, fungi, and UV radiation.
When faced with environmental threats, the plant produces more trichomes, which leads to higher resin production, meaning higher cannabinoid concentrations, primarily THC.
Studies have also shown that exposure to more sunlight and some drought can lead to a 50% increase in THC and a 67% increase in CBD. Even the size of the buds increased. Therefore, climate change could have a positive impact on the medicinal properties of cannabis.
So, climate change will force plants, animals, and humans to adapt. You can surely do this too, especially with the tips provided in this blog.