Front Plant Sci. 2022 Mar 31;13:868350. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.868350. eCollection 2022.
There is growing evidence to support the involvement of nutrients and biostimulants in plant secondary metabolism. Therefore, this study evaluated the potential of amino acid-based supplements that can influence different hydroponic nutrient cycles (systems) to enhance the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of medical cannabis plants. The results demonstrate that amino acid biostimulation significantly affected ion levels in different plant tissues (the « ionome »), increasing nitrogen and sulfur content but reducing calcium and iron content in both nutrient cycles. A significantly higher accumulation of nitrogen and sulfur was observed during the recirculation cycle, but the calcium level was lower in the whole plant. Medical cannabis plants in the drain-to-waste cycle matured 4 weeks earlier, but at the expense of a 196% lower maximum tetrahydrocannabinolic acid yield from flowers and a significantly lower concentration of monoterpene compounds than in the recirculation cycle. The amino acid treatments reduced the cannabinolic acid content in flowers by 44% compared to control in both nutritional cycles and increased the monoterpene content (limonene) up to 81% in the recirculation cycle and up to 123% in the drain-to-waste cycle; β-myrcene content was increased up to 139% in the recirculation cycle and up to 167% in the drain-to-waste cycle. Our results suggest that amino acid biostimulant supplements may help standardize the content of secondary metabolites in medical cannabis. Further experiments are needed to identify the optimal nutrient dosage and method of administration for various cannabis chemotypes grown in different media.
Source: ncbi 2