Organic Terpene Booster – Lactic Acid Bacteria
*how to boost terpene and cannabinoids production in your buds*
The organic cultivation of cannabis is becoming more and more popular around the world, which may be related to the fact that we are becoming more and more aware of how fragile our resources are at this point in history. Organic farming has a bright future ahead of it as a way to preserve the planet and protect the health of its inhabitants. The key to success in organic farming is soil quality; hence the importance of LABs, the action of which has a direct and positive impact on the balance of life in soil.
Soil microorganisms play a key role in transporting, converting and assimilating organic nutrients needed for the development and sustainability of their lives, and thus for optimal cannabis plant growth. These microorganisms include bacteria, beneficial microorganisms, fungi, symbiotic plants, and many other living organisms. It is a wisely organized food chain that establishes a hierarchy that works in perfect harmony. A completely autonomous community that nourishes and protects marijuana crops in a natural way as their presence in the soil provides everything you need. In this article, we want to highlight the importance of the presence of lactic acid bacteria in the soil, which are able to improve the quality of cannabis flowers by providing strength and improving the quality and intensity of terpenes and flavonoids.
What are Lactic Acid Bacteria?
Lactic acid bacteria contain microbes that are used in the production of fermented foods such as dairy products (yogurt, cheese); fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, olives, gherkins); cooked sausages (e.g., Iberian ham); fermented alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, cider); and even sourdough bread. LABs are also used as disinfectants in the lactic fermentation process. When added to a solid or sugar-containing liquid, the lactic acid bacteria consume and digest the sugar before releasing the lactic acid as a metabolite or by-product.
In addition to being completely harmless to all living things, lactic acid bacteria also benefit both humans and cannabis crops. In our body, especially in the digestive tract, there are many beneficial bacteria that are essential for maintaining its balance. It is no coincidence that many doctors in recent years have recommended the use of probiotic dietary supplements to improve stomach function. Lactic acid bacteria improve the process of food breakdown and facilitate and accelerate the mechanisms of metabolism, e.g. by helping to transport nutrients to the right place.
Benefits of Lactic Acid Bacteria for Cannabis Plants
When lactic acid bacteria metabolize sugars, they produce a substance called hexanoate, which is a short-chain fatty acid. The good news is, in our case, the cannabis plants produce cannabinoids and terpenes through hexanoate synthesis. Therefore, by adding hexanoate to their crops, growers are laying the foundations for more of the more intense terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. Another advantage of these bacteria is that they facilitate the absorption of soil organisms.
In addition, the natural symbiotic action of microorganisms provides effective protection against many diseases caused by various types of fungi and harmful bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria help cannabis plants become larger, more resilient and productive, and also help increase their concentration of active ingredients.
How To Provide Cannabis Plants With Lactic Acid Bacteria?
Lactic acid bacteria are facultative anaerobic soil microorganisms that can be found at a maximum depth of 15 cm and do not need much oxygen to survive. Therefore, you can enrich the soil by adding lactic acid bacteria directly to its surface, although in some circles this method seems to be quite… controversial.
They are very easy to apply: just add lactoserum (LAB) to the water and spray the soil or plants directly. The ideal application is the use of lactoserum at the initial stage of each stage of plant development, in order to homogeneously organize and balance soil life.
Precautions when using lactic acid bacteria
If you are adding lactic acid bacteria to your plants, it is crucial not to use salt/mineral nutrients (i.e. pesticides or chemicals, fertilizers) that could wipe out the population of beneficial biological agents in the soil, thus ruining all the work done so far, as well as compromising the balance in soil.
In addition, it is best not to mix the soil as bacteria in the upper layer of the substrate can disappear due to UV rays. This is the main reason why lactic acid bacteria should always be used at night, or when all of your lights are off. To use, dilute the serum by adding 30ml to 1 litre of dechlorinated water, and add to spray bottles. One batch of serum can make up to 500 litres of spray. The serum is living matter. It’ll continue bubbling and should have a sweet/sour aroma. When it starts to smell like it’s rotting, the serum should be discarded, due to contamination of other, unwanted bacteria.
If you can’t refrigerate your serum, you can stabilise it by adding an equal part of molasses or brown sugar to the mix. This gives your LAB culture something to feed on while waiting to be used on your cannabis plants.
Home made LABs – recipe :
You can culture your own lactic acid bacteria serum using mostly items you probably already have at home. Here’s how you do it:
- 340g rice
- 240ml water
- 1 litre organic milk (commercial milk may contain antibiotics)
- Wide-mouth glass jars
- Rubber band
- Paper bag
- Clear pitcher
Step by step:
1. If your water is chlorinated, let it sit out for 24 hours so the chlorine can dissipate.
2. Put equal amounts water and rice in a jar.
3. Shake well, then strain through cheesecloth into the second jar. The water should be milky-looking.
4. Cover the jar with a fresh piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
5. Place the jar in a paper bag or wrap it with a cloth to seal out the light.
6. Let the jar sit in a warm, dark place.
7. Check daily for residue to settle at the bottom, and for the mixture to have the sour smell that tells you fermentation has started. It will take 2–3 days if the temperature stays in the 25–30°C range. Otherwise, this step could take a week or longer.
8. Pour the milk into a clear pitcher.
9. Pour the fermenting rice water into the pitcher, straining through a clean piece of cheesecloth.
10. Cover the pitcher with more cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band or the pitcher top. Make sure it’s secure, but there’s still airflow.
11. Put the pitcher in a paper bag or wrap it with cloth to seal out the light.
12. Place it in a cool, dark place.
13. Check once a day until you see three distinct layers form. This can take up to a week.
14. Scoop out the top layer (the curd) and discard.
15. The serum (the whey) will be the middle layer that has a clear, yellow colour. Slowly pour off the serum into a clean jar, straining through cheesecloth again. Be careful not to mix in any of the bottom (sediment) layer.
16. Seal the jar loosely so gas produced by the ongoing fermentation can escape.