Cannabis roots absolutely love oxygen.
The commercial market has brought with it a greater level of interest and investment into oxygen supplementation as a means to improve yields and crop quality. What’s also great about oxygen supplementation is that it dummy-proofs the irrigation process, which allows plants to handle continuous amounts of water. There’s really no such thing as overwatering when oxygen levels are plentiful but, without added oxygen, growers can easily damage crops by adding water to plants before they need it.
Historically speaking, the common way to aerate irrigation water has been to add air stones or air injectors, but these methods don’t add much in the way of lasting increased O2 levels in the water; they just keep it from going stagnant by maintaining tap level quantities. A handful of companies have emerged into the cannabis scene in the past few years that sell oxygen supplementation equipment that works a lot better than traditional bubblers.
O2Grow.com uses nano-bubble emitters that can work for small or medium-sized operations and increase oxygen by 50% beyond tap water O2 levels.
Biotherm Solutions sells The Toob, which uses a type of “fiber module cluster” that goes inline in the irrigation system to increase O2 levels up to 4 times what the tap provides. Their system requires regularly refilled oxygen tanks to be connected.
For larger facilities, Advanced Treatment Technologies sells a recirculating ozone injection system that simultaneously serves to deliver irrigation water, scrub the lines of biofilm, and deliver hyper-oxygenated water to the plants.
Other nano-bubble technologies are popping up all the time and the cannabis industry is on track to adopt oxygen supplementation as a basic component of operations, since both studies and user experiences show across-the-board improvements in yields and plant health when O2 supplementation is implemented.
You might be wondering if nutrients behave differently when oxygen levels are much higher than normal. The answer is yes! Added O2 increases nutrient uptake across the board, but also changes the uptake behaviors of nitrogen, sulfur, and iron, in particular. All growers should be sending leaf tissue samples into labs for mineral analysis to regulate nutrient formulas, but this becomes particularly critical with increased oxygen because, otherwise, plants will develop nutrient toxicities.