Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Last updated: May 13, 2021

What Does Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Mean?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural gas exhaled by animals and plants, and absorbed by plants during the process of photosynthesis. Vital to life, carbon dioxide also occurs naturally in seawater, glaciers, ice caps, rivers, groundwater, and lakes.

Carbon dioxide is formed when oxygen and carbon atoms bond together, often via a combustion process inside animals and plants (cellular respiration), and machines that burn fossil fuels.

Carbon dioxide is crucial to plant growth. In algae and plants, this gas is converted into different types of organic molecules that are rich in energy, such as the sugar (glucose). All plants require CO2 combined with water in order to turn light energy from the sun or grow lights into food for itself. Plants as simple as bacteria to those as complex as cannabis require it to survive and thrive.

Additionally, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen via photosynthesis, consequently providing oxygen for animals.


Maximum Yield Explains Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is absorbed through a plant's leaves and diffused through a plant’s stomata, which are essentially holes located on the underside of a leaf. Thanks to the stomata, carbon dioxide is also transferred to the various cells located in the leaves.

While CO2 is a requirement for growing plants like cannabis, too much can be detrimental as well. Carbon dioxide in the air is measured in parts per million (PPM). Plants can survive within a wide range of CO2 levels, but will fail if they have less than 250 PPM. Conversely, once the levels of CO2 start to climb up over 1,500 PPM, problems will ensue there as well.

Normal air is about 300 PPM of CO2, but in a closed room or tent, the area will need to have a constant supply coming in because the plants will use it up quickly. Levels of CO2 in grow rooms of 600 PPM to 1,200 PM are not uncommon for healthy growth.

To achieve these higher than ambient air levels, many growers choose to supplemental their grow room's CO2 levels. They do this through the use of tanks or burners, or more passive approaches like using bagged, bottled, or padded devices that churn out CO2 naturally.

Note that in cannabis cultivation and processing, the carbon dioxide may also refer to the CO2 extraction method. This is a method of cannabis extraction where CO2 is used as a natural solvent to extract valuable cannabinoids from the plant material.


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