PLoS One. 2021 Jul 29;16(7):e0252985. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252985. eCollection 2021.
Five essential oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivars (Cherry Blossom, Cherry Blossom (Tuan), Berry Blossom, Cherry Wine, and Cherry Blossom × Trump) were treated with six fertigation treatments to quantify the effects of synthetic fertilizer rates and irrigation electrical conductivity on plant growth, biomass accumulation, and cannabinoid profiles. Irrigation water was injected with a commercial 20-20-20 fertilizer at rates of 0, 50, 150, 300, 450, and 600 ppm nitrogen equating to 0.33 (control), 0.54, 0.96, 1.59, 2.22, and 2.85 dS m-1, respectively. Plants were grown under artificial lighting (18 hr) to maintain vegetative growth for eight weeks, followed by an eight-week flowering period. High linear relationship between chlorophyll concentrations and SPAD-502 measurements validated the utilization of SPAD meters to rapidly identify nutrient deficiency in essential oil hemp. Cultivars expressed significant variation in plant height and cannabinoid profiles (% dry mass), in concurrence with limited biomass and cannabinoid (g per plant) yield variation. Cherry Blossom was the best performing cultivar and Cherry Wine was the least productive. Variation in plant growth, biomass, and cannabinoid concentrations were affected to a greater extent by fertilizer rates. Optimal fertilizer rates were observed at 50 ppm N, while increased fertilizer rates significantly reduced plant growth, biomass accumulation, and cannabinoid concentrations. Increased fertilizer rates (> 300 ppm N) resulted in compliant THC levels (< 0.3%), although when coupled with biomass reductions resulted in minimal cannabinoid yields. Additionally, CBD concentration demonstrated higher sensitivity to increased fertilizer rates (> 300 ppm N) compared to THC and CBG (> 450 ppm N). The results of this study can serve as a guide when using fertigation methods on essential oil hemp cultivars; although results may differ with cultivar selection, environmental conditions, and management practices.
Source: ncbi 2