The Effect of Elicitor Stimulation on Cannabinoid Production by Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Varieties in a Hydroponic System

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Bailey, Rachel
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) has caught the attention of both the agricultural and pharmaceutical realms around the world. The interest in the plant stems from the unique cannabinoid properties it possesses. This thesis was designed to test if different hemp varieties (Canda, Cherry, and Cherry Blossom), grown in hydroponic systems, would produce more or less levels of cannabinoids when treated with one of two elicitors (salicylic acid or methyl jasmonate). For each variety, the elicitor was either sprayed on the leaves or administered into the hydroponic system, allowing for root uptake. For each variety, the control group was also grown, elicitor-free. The results of this study showed that the methyl jasmonate elicitor, the leaf treatment, and the variety Cherry produced the greatest level of cannabinoid production. Methyl jasmonate was able to increase cannabinoid production of cannnabidioloic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromene (CBC) in all three varieties, while not increasing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The results of this study suggest that methyl jasmonate could be of use to hemp research centers, such as the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research, and other hemp agricultural departments.
Basic and Applied Science, Cannabinoids, Hydroponics, Germination