GE Current has penned a partnership with the North Carolina State University to shed more insight on the use of tunable LED lighting and its effects on the growth of cannabis plants indoors. The research is led by Dr. Ricardo Hernandez, PhD, an assistant professor from the NC State University located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Apart from being the head researcher, Dr. Hernandez is also the founder of the cannabis company Grafter Growers and SIGS, reports GE Current in its blog post. Hernandez holds degrees in agronomy and plant physiology and is also regarded as a horticulture expert in the field.
Dr. Hernandez reportedly teamed up with Current’s Senior Plant Scientist, Hans Spalholz, Ph.D., to study the effects of LED lighting on indoor cannabis plants and in a controlled environment. The goal of the research is to gauge what lighting intensity is best for producing the largest vegetative biomass in the hopes of giving way to larger cannabis flower yields.
The research is set to take over two stages, namely the vegetative state of the plan and its flowering stage. The two cannabinoids that will be observed under the said lighting conditions are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
In addition to these factors, the Current blog post also details that the experiment will occur across two different conditions, including indoor and greenhouse production to “evaluate differences in the flower cannabinoid and terpene profiles between supplemental light treatments and two model streams.”
The indoor trial reportedly started earlier in October this year and is expected to continue this December 2020, reports LEDs Magazine. In a statement, the GE Current blog said that “We hope this is just the beginning of our research and partnership with Dr. Hernandez and NCSU’s department of horticultural science.”
In light of this partnership, GE Current has given 26 of its Arize Element L1000 lighting fixtures. Apart from this, Spalholz also told LEDs that the company also donated a wired control system from its own LightSweep brand.
With these, the research hopes to bring more knowledge towards the development of horticultural indoor production, its effects on cannabis, all the while leveraging existing systems and taking more sustainable steps towards growing these plants.
The team intends to approach the research from an eco-physiological point of view in order to understand the plant better. It also seeks to find out the responses which will be given by the plant under various environmental circumstances, especially in light of controlled environment horticulture. They are looking to apply various environmental factors such as light quality, light intensity, temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration.
The findings will be used to maximize cultivation techniques in order to achieve optimal development, improved growth rate, and increased yields.
Besides its research partnership with the North Carolina State University, GE Current has also inked distribution deals for greenhouse growers across Eurasia, including the medicinal cannabis market. Based on its press release, this would allow cannabis growers in the region to get the best low-energy lighting technology and condition to help bring forth abundant yields.