Questioning Our Beliefs

Departments - From the Editor

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May 31, 2019

In this issue, you’ll find Cannabis Business Times’ fourth annual “State of the Industry Report: Examining the Cannabis Cultivation Market.” (Thanks to Nexus Greenhouse Systems for supporting this third-party research for four years running, so that we can share it with you.) We are thrilled to now have years of data to analyze and compare to reveal trends and other important insights into this ever-growing industry.

As we reviewed the data and prepped the rest of this issue for press, It struck me that another less-quantifiable trend is happening in the industry. Commonly held practices and perceptions in cannabis cultivation are being questioned—and either are being proven or disproven.

Until recently, cannabis’s illegality prevented experienced researchers and horticulture experts, with vast scientific knowledge of all plant varieties, from researching cannabis. With legalization comes the benefit of contributions from these experts to add to the centuries of insights that have emerged from cannabis cultivation experts, who were forced to share their expertise largely by word of mouth and, more recently, in online forums.

With legalization, more information is being revealed, causing debates over previously held beliefs and practices surrounding cannabis cultivation.

Let’s start with “flushing,” a common cultivation process. More than three years ago, in CBT’s April 2016 issue, then-columnists Kurt and Kerry Badertscher wrote: “To us, the concept that flushing somehow changes the chemistry in plant tissue that has been laid down for weeks requires a scientific explanation because that concept seems akin to claiming that the car engine is cleaner after washing the car’s hood. Nutrients are locked in the plant, and an external flush cannot undo the complex biology that locked them in.”

In this issue, not only is flushing explored—and whether it is achieving what you think it is—but so is another commonly held belief about white ash being a sign of superior quality or “clean” cannabis. Dr. Markus Roggen and Dr. Allison Justice (who both have extensive experience in cannabis cultivation, curing, processing and more), deconstruct both concepts. The results will likely surprise you.

We are dedicated to continuing to question these commonly held, but scientifically unproven practices and beliefs in our coverage to help you navigate a once hidden industry’s emergence and progression.

It is a formidable as well as extremely exciting time as we begin to bridge the gap between cannabis cultivation practices and horticulture science. And it will be even more exciting to see how this bridge might impact your crop quality, characteristics, yield, and your bottom lines.