Cannabis Production Expert Speaks With Nature

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Prof. Youbin Zheng

Prof. Youbin Zheng, with U of G’s School of Environmental Sciences, spoke with Nature Outlook about how the cannabis production industry is adopting modern horticultural science into their work.

Zheng commented that commercial and medical cannabis producers have to produce a reliable product and meet certain standards, as other growers do.

“Cannabis is just another crop,” he said, noting that the technology solutions that commercial flower and vegetable industries use can also be applied to cannabis.

U of G is already developing an extensive cannabis research program designed to attract a new generation of horticultural students. One aspect Zheng and his team are studying is how different wavelengths of light can affect the plant’s cannabinoid and THC composition. The aim, he said, is to help producers get a consistent product.

Zheng studies greenhouse production, hydroponics, and controlled environment plant production. He has co-authored several ground-breaking papers examining optimal indoor horticultural practices to produce high-yielding, high-quality cannabis.