Grafting Cannabis onto Hops Plants

Grafting – What is it ? Grafting is a technique in horticulture which is used to join parts from multiple plants, to grow as one. It’s been around since ancient China and Mesopotamia (4,000 years ago). As a vegetative method of propagation, the new plant that grows from the but or scion will be exactly like the plant it came from (i.e. clone).

Hops: small genus of the family Cannabaceae. Species: Humulus lupulus. Typically cultivated by the beer industry and native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Cannabis: genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. Species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. All three can be treated as a subspecies of Cannabis sativa. Indienous to central Asia and the India subcontinent. Used for hemp fibers, hemp oil, medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug.

What do Hops and Cannabis Share ? The common components between the two are a few of the primary aroma terpenes (myrcene, beta-pinene, and alpha-humulene) and the bitter component in hops (alpha acids) such as humulone, is a terpenoid.

Grafting Cannabis and Hops: If you Google “Grafting cannabis and hops” you’ll find 55,700 results to the query, so there is some interest in this research. The goal is to graft Cannabis with fast growing hops vines, to accelerate growth. The benefit would be decreased growing time, increased trichome production, and an available product that can be extracted to make a Cannabis oil concentrate. Cannabis and hops are the only plants in Cannabaceae family, and can be cross grafted. There is no transfer of the cannabinoids to the hops vine when grafted (Voogelbreinder 2009, 192).

Lineage of Fog Ponics: First there was hydroponics. Next was aeroponics. Now there is Fog Ponics (fogponics). If you are schooled in hydroponics, you’re aware that water delivers the nutrients to plant roots. Roots also need oxygen, to help process the nutrients they need to grow. In aeroponics, the growing media is side-stepped, and air becomes the growing media, while metered drops of water becomes the carrier for nutrients. The additional access to oxygen boosts plant growth, when compared to hydroponics. Since there is no competition for the nutrients, it’s more beneficial to the plant. The next cultivation boom,  Fog Ponics takes growth to a new level. The biggest change from aeroponics is making the nutrients and water into a fog, which is readily acceptable to the roots. Essentially, you are reducing the water and nutrients so that they can be eaten by the plant root pores, which is less than 30 microns, and more typically less than 10 microns. This methodology increases fine root growth, which increases root surface area, which in turn also increases plant growth. The result is a more efficient delivery of water and nutrients.

Cannabis Alternative – Oregano and Flax Seed Oil Extract: This is one of the most
disruptive industry secrets, which will be out soon. Oregano oil extracts may have the same or better medical implications than CBD’s, and there’s already lots of research on it. Nobody is doing CO2 extractions, it’s all steam distilled, which damages the valuable terpenes and other valuable compounds. CO2 extractions preserve the valuable terpenes,
and other anti-oxidant components. There is also data that suggests that Flax extract has a component similar to CBD’s.

Fog Ponics – Cultivation and Vertical Grow Systems: I recommend you research
at a indoor vertical grow tower system, called Fogponics. The most successful
system out there is fogponics, by a gentleman named John Baker in Los
Angeles (he designed the system on the International Space Station).

Again, after six months of conversations with John Baker, and his
experience in the Cannabis industry, are what I consider gospel. From
my daily contact with customers, they want a high production system,
that has a high profit margin (i.e. efficient).

He spent a great deal of time developing and testing his systems. The
proof is in the pudding – I know from experience that you need trial
and error to develop a proven system.

John Baker already has proven systems out there, one which are very
profitable.

The tower system is built out of inexpensive PVC. For $2,000-$3,000 a customer can build one full vertical tower system (based on 1-2 HID’s), that has 10 times the production per square foot, compared to any other grow system.

I chatted with Mr. Baker for about 6 months learning everything I could about grow systems.

In a nutshell, here is what I learned in my research on Fog Ponics and lighting systems:

– Indoor Cannabis in the full growth stage, needs sunshine or HID lamps.

– LED’s are fine for seedlings and veg stage only. Of course they are great for vegetables. The low intensity does not penetrate the Cannabis leaf in full growth stage, so they don’t work well.

– There is research by Russians that indicate lasers will be the future light source for fast-paced growth. Studies suggest that seeds bathed in laser light, grow faster. Also, they have a proprietary system that enhances growth by 30 percent.

– There is other research that suggests plasma activated water (water that has been shot by a bolt of electricity and made around 3 PH with nitrates) also increases growth. This has to be researched further, along with backup science.

– Water (PH balanced) with nutrients, needs to be pulverized through a 1,000 psi pump, to get to the micron level that can be easily digested by plant roots. This is the heart of the Fog Ponics system. Alternatively, Infinity Supercritical has developed a Spinning Disc Reactor which can pulverize the nutrients using cavitation and a vortex spin, which negates the high pressure pump.

infinity-supercritical-sdr-extraction-hydro-mix-pump
The Infinity Supercritical Hydroponics SDR Pump

– Using fogponics can reduce water and nutrient costs (and quantity) by over 80 percent.

– Fogponics maintains a RH of around 95 percent, which has been determined to optimize plant growth needs. The goal is to have white healthy roots between 60-68 F.

– Some varieties of Cannabis produce the maximum amount of trichomes at 75 percent of their growth stage, which means that the specific variety can be harvested for oil extraction before the full growth, which results in little additional oil, but more biomass. In this case, focus on Indica (Cinderella).

REFERENCES

DeLyser, D.Y., and W.J. Kasper. “Hopped Beer: The Case for Cultivation.” Economic Botany 48, no. 2 (1994): 166–170.

Gross, E. Hops: In Their Botanical, Agricultural and Technical Aspect and as an Article of Commerce. London: Scott, Greenwood and Co., 1900.

Hofmann, A., Ratsch, C., Schultes, R., Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers.  Rochester: Healing Arts Press, 1992.

Kindscher, K. Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1992.

Ratsch, Christian., The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and its Applications. Rochester: Park Street Press, 1998.

Tomlinson, T. “India Pale Ale, Part I: IPA and Empire – Necessity and Enterprise Give Birth to a Style.” Brewing Techniques, n.d. http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/styles/2_2style.html.

Voogelbreinder, Snu, Garden of Eden: The Shamanic Use of Psychoactive Flora and Fauna, and the Study of Consciousness. Snu Voogelbreinder, 2009.

Williams, E.A., and R.C. Menary. “Polyphenolic Inhibitors of Alpha-acid Oxidase Activity.” Phytochemistry 27, no. 1 (n.d.): 35–39.

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