Learn about irradiation in the cannabis industry, and the risks this method carries.
The cannabis industry is booming, and there are many ways to grow weed. One of the most popular methods is irradiation, which can kill pests or sterilize the soil. But what exactly does it mean? And how does it affect your weed?
Find out more about this process by reading our article on irradiation in cannabis growing! You'll learn everything you need to know about this method, including how it works and its benefits for growers. We hope you enjoy it!
What is Irradiation in Cannabis Growing?
Irradiation in cannabis growing refers to the process of using radiation as a form of pest control or sanitization. This process is most commonly used for soil, but it can also be applied to cannabis plants on a smaller level. Irradiation is not new – its history dates back to World War II, when it was used to prevent food spoiling and kill harmful organisms. Today, it is used in agriculture and medical treatments, and it is also a method of weed decontamination that growers can employ.
The process involves blasting the soil or cannabis plants with radiation from gamma rays, electron beams, or x-rays; these are primarily emitted from radioactive isotopes – the most common being cobalt-60.
This process is performed in a controlled environment, where conditions – for example, humidity and air pressure – are precisely measured to ensure the best results.
Why is it bad for your weed?
A small dosage of radiation won't affect cannabis plants or soil, but a prolonged period of time can cause severe damage. In some cases, this may even lead to death. The radiation damages the DNA in weed plants and causes a mutation which makes it difficult for them to grow normally – this is why some cannabis growers state that irradiation kills all microbes in the soil, making your crop healthier and stronger.
How much damage can irradiation do? Studies have shown that prolonged exposure of both humans and animals to a great amount of radiation causes many health issues. These include tumors, nausea, genetic disorders, and death. Plants are living things, just like we are. Bombarding them with X-rays is not the way to go.
For more experienced cannabis enthusiasts, terpenes are probably familiar. Terpenes are the aroma molecules responsible for fragrance in your cannabis, and they're also found in plants like lavender and citrus fruits. There are various types of terpenes – those that smell sweet (like candy or vanilla) are called monoterpene; pines have pinene, while most herbs contain limonene.
Irradiation has been proven to destroy between 10 and 20% of terpenes on the finished products, with some instances where a whopping 30% was recorded!
This can greatly diminish your overall toking experience, especially when vaping.
So why do some growers use it?
The benefits of irradiation are plenty, and for greedy capitalists, they seem to outweigh its negative effects. It's fast, easy, and cheap, which is why it has become so popular among cannabis growers. Irradiation eliminates pests by killing organisms that threaten your crop – this includes diseases such as mold or powdery mildew, which can spread quickly without proper sanitization in the soil.
This method is also good for sterilizing soil, which is especially useful if you are growing cannabis in an outdoor environment – the irradiation can kill the bacteria present on your land to eliminate the risk of contamination in your yield.
It is also a great way to ensure the safety of cannabis – no danger of food-borne illnesses or harmful microorganisms can affect your plants when you use this method.
We've talked about irradiation in cannabis growing. It's a method where you use x-rays to kill everything that could harm your plant and cause you to lose your crop. Though that part is positive, it comes with negatives, like the possibility of killing your plants and the destruction of up to 30% of terpenes.
Fast, easy, and cheap don't always mean better, and we can achieve the same results through other, safer methods. Here at CAMMP, we make sure all our growers use ethically sustainable growing methods, so they provide the purest product possible for our patients - find out more next week!