High Science: Will Climate Change Affect Cannabis?


Climate change is a “hot topic”, with some denying it even exists. However, the planet is heating up, so what effect will this have on cannabis?

Christopher Teague
Aug 12, 2016
climate change

The debate about climate change is a “hot topic”. Some deny it happening at all, but coastline changes and scientific data show it occurring. The planet is getting warmer overall, and this means big changes in the near future? What does this ecological evolution mean for cannabis, and for us?

How will climate change affect the growth of cannabis?

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The changes to the climate are making it warmer, and the atmosphere is increasing in CO2. For cannabis, this is all good news. Plants need CO2 to breathe. In fact, it is because of the reduction in forests and plant life across the globe that this is occurring, at least in part.

The increase in UV light permeating the ozone layer will increase the efficiency of cannabis photosynthesis up to a point. This means stronger outdoor strains could be coming to the market.

THC is produced by cannabis as a pest repellent. These environment changes will cause increases in insect activity, environmental stresses, and soil issues. That means plants will compensate by producing even more THC.

Industrial hemp might have some issues, however. If THC goes up across the board, the industry might face legal issues if and when their plants break the max threshold set by the law of .3%.

The good and bad for growers

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Growers further away from the equator might get longer growing seasons for cannabis. But this climate change won’t slide in smoothly. Already, the turbulent seasons have shown storms on the rise, pests increasing, and unpredictable weather. Outdoor plants should be monitored for disease and damage.

Cannabis isn’t the only thing affected, of course. Bacterias, molds, & fungi will all see changes in their prevalence. So watch out growers, crops will need better care. Overall, the climate for cannabis is getting more ideal, but the change comes with bumps along the road.

How can cannabis help the crisis?

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Many factors blend together to cause this global change. Some of them we have the power to control. Human consumption of petroleum products is a major one. As industrial hemp production increases, biofuels could replace more fossil fuels, and reduce emissions.

Those emissions cause the thinning of our atmosphere. Going green will help slow the damage to the environment.

Another major factor is deforestation. Every year, millions of trees get cut down for paper, lumber, and other uses. They take decades to grow and seconds to kill. Hemp creates more fiber per acre and can be reseeded and harvested annually. We can replace the need for trees with hemp and let these giant air-filtering friends live in peace. In addition, houses built from hemp instead of lumber save trees and have lower cooling costs, further decreasing pollution.

In addition, houses built from hemp instead of lumber save trees and have lower cooling costs, further decreasing pollution.

Pollution also makes matters worse. But in Italy, Chernobyl, and other areas, cannabis and hemp are helping pull heavy metals from the soil and clean up the mess. The more we plant, the better the ecosystem gets.

On a more practical note, we could also stop paving the surface of the planet, and let plant life grow naturally. That might help, don’t you think?

The factors we can’t control

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Despite the alarmists saying we caused the whole thing, and deniers claiming it isn’t even happening, climate change is a regular, natural phenomenon. Scientific studies of the earth shows that it has experienced it many, many times before.

Earth has gone from glacial cold to “climate optima”, back and forth, for hundreds of millions of years. The only difference today is that we have to suffer through it.

Remember in school how we learned of the gigantic forests of the Cretaceous period, and the Wooly Mammoths of the Ice Age? That’s right, we aren’t so powerful we did this all by ourselves. Just like the cycle of winter and summer, there are larger cycles that take thousands of years, as the Sun, planets, and solar system all rotate through space.

Like gears in a clock, they regularly line up in formations that produce warmer or colder conditions.

Mind you, we aren’t helping ourselves by chopping down the trees that should be thriving in this era to balance the ecosystem. The planet will be just fine. People, on the other hand, need to get their heads out of their butts and either adapt themselves or the environment to make the transition a smooth one or face the consequences.

Which side of the climate debate are you on? How green is your household? Share your steps to eco-consciousness on social media or in the comments below.

Christopher Teague
Aug 12, 2016