Cannabis has been utilized for ritual, medication, satisfaction, and applications that are industrial paper, textiles, and ropes for literal millennia, and as more states allow for legal medicinal and adult-use markets, industry players have created ever more innovative technologies and products that propel a booming cannabis marketplace.
One company experimenting in cannabis growth technologies is Space that is kentucky-based Tango a “leader within the commercialization of room through R&D, bioengineering, and manufacturing in microgravity.” The business, together with Atalo Holdings and Anavil marketplace, is experiments that are conducting the International Space Station (ISS) to learn how cannabis grows in space.
So far, the company has conducted eight missions and 88 experiments on hemp – cannabis’ non-intoxicating and cousin that is legal aboard the ISS. The challenge that is primary of any plant is space is microgravity, which NASA describes as the “condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless.” Simple enough, but what exactly does that mean for growing cannabis in space, and how do those findings make their way back to Earth?
Is it Possible for Marijuana to Grow in Space and Microgravity?
Cannabis is a plant that requires certain stresses – both positive and that is negative develop into robust and efficacious flowers. Some stressors which are essential to growth that is healthy air circulation, plant training, and the appropriate humidity and temperature.
But negative stressors play a role, too; if there are interruptions in the cycle that is light or moisture and heat are way too high or low, cannabis plants could possibly be ruined. But choosing the balance that is necessary the positive and negative is a delicate process.
Current Research into Growing Weed in Space
Space Tango founder Kris Kimel is a NASA that is former engineer whoever concept starts utilizing the proven fact that growing hemp in microgravity could be less stressful for the plant. So far, the startup has arranged two laboratories that are micro microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments on the ISS, using microwave-sized clean labs to conduct experiments.
Kimel hopes that by eliminating stress from the hemp process that is growing a microgravity environment that they can discover ways to bring those classes quite literally back into world. This might possibly offer an improved, more predictable, and method that is efficient growing cannabis.
Dr. Joe Chappell, who serves on the Space Tango Science Advisory team speaks from experience, having actually conducted microgravity research on plants aboard the ISS. “When plants are stressed, they pull from a reservoir that is genetic create substances that enable them to adjust and survive,” he said in a press launch. “Understanding just how flowers respond in a host where in fact the stress that is traditional of is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications, and efficacy.”
Kimel said that the ongoing company is focused in particular on how microgravity may affect the growth of hemp-derived CBD, a market expected to be worth $1.8 billion by 2022. For the time being, the experiments are being conducted on hemp (made legal in the U.S. by the 2018 Farm Bill), but as more legal markets open up via legislation or voter initiatives, applying the lessons learned from growing in microgravity could be applied to expanding marijuana that is legal too.
What’s Upcoming for Space Hemp and Growing Weed in Low Gravity?
Though Space Tango could be the very first to cultivate hemp in space, they’re not the first ever to deliver cannabis beyond Earth’s environment. A 2017 promotion stunt from near room research business Sent towards area established the slim Mint GSC stress as much as 118,000 foot. The weed was sold to a dispensary in Arizona upon its fall back to Earth. Luckily, the lessons learned from the Space Tango experiments could benefit cannabis consumers eventually around the world as well as the planet, and not soleley one dispensary.
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Photo Credit: NASA (permit)(*)