How to Boost Plant Oil Production with LED Grow Lights
With such an increase in the demand, the cannabis oil industry is tirelessly looking for ways to increase supply and improve production efficiency. This puts the manufacturers of LED grow lights in the spotlight, due to the vital role lighting plays in the extraction of oil.
Despite controversy, cannabis oil holds an undisputed medicinal and therapeutic value. It can be a great aid in the treatment of serious diseases and conditions and therefore its production is of worldwide importance.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is the main cannabis component used for medicinal purposes. It is estimated that the CBD market will reach a size of $2.1 billion by 2020. This is a 700% increase compared to the current market worth.
With such an increase in the demand, the cannabis oil industry is tirelessly looking for ways to increase supply and improve production efficiency. This puts the manufacturers of LED grow lights in the spotlight, due to the vital role lighting plays in the extraction of oil. There are massive efforts and investments being poured into research and development in order to satisfy the rising global demand.
Producing Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil can be extracted in a few different methods. Some of the more popular ones are:
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Alcohol extraction
- Olive oil extraction
Following is a description of the most equipment intensive, but also best yielding CO2 extraction method, which is performed in a highly controlled environment and under extreme precaution.
Step 1. Naturally, the oil extraction process starts with the growing of the cannabis plant. While it is normally grown straight from seeds, production companies propagate it from tissue culture because it yields better, healthier, and genetically identical plants.
Step 2. The cannabis continues its growth in a greenhouse, where it can get the sunlight it needs. Industrial production companies specialize in the production of CBD-rich cannabis because it has little THC, the ingredient that creates the “high,” but its medicinal value is very high.
Step 3. The plant is harvested, dried and then ground up in special machines to be prepared for oil extraction.
Step 4. The ground up cannabis is put into a special container which is then attached onto a special CO2 extraction machine. The machine uses CO2 under very high pressure and low temperatures in order to separate and keep the substance clean. This extraction method minimizes the risk of any unwanted residue.
Step 5. After a few hours the extracted oil is taken out of the container. At this stage of the process the substance looks like this:
Step 6. Ethanol is used for further refining of the oil, with the help of special machinery.
Step 7. The substance is analyzed in order to determine potency and the amount of cannabinoid and is then stored.
This method for extraction might be costly, but it is the preferred one by industry professionals, because it delivers a safe, clean and high-end product.
Making Cannabis Oil at Home
Sadly, due to legalization and supply hindrances many are struggling to get their hands on this precious substance. Especially in the USA and UK, oil makers are under constant supervision from the government and there are frequent cases of lab raids and new tighter regulations. Therefore, people are left with no choice but to produce the oil by themselves at home or look for substances of questionable source. There are many guides for how to prepare cannabis oil at home.
For the most part, you can do it with items that can be found at home, such as pans, spatulas and containers, but the results are not optimal as there is loss of terpenes and THC-A properties.
It`s quite inexpensive as compared to batch production, but it poses definite health hazards and limitations. One must use protection and operate with utmost caution and proper ventilation is also essential.
How Do LED Grow Lights Help Oil Production?
As we mentioned earlier, the whole oil production process starts with the plant. In order to produce quality oil you need to grow strong and healthy plants.
Therefore it is important to use high-quality full spectrum LED grow lights. This enables for the creation of a LED light recipe, which provides the proper stimulus for the plant to thrive during the various stages of growth.
The light you see and the light your plant needs are different. Some parts of the light, such as UV and infrared wavelengths, cannot be seen by the human eye. Luckily, industry leaders have been perfecting LED lighting for a long time and their products can now provide the precise color recipe to fully serve the needs of the cannabis.
It is estimated that getting the light recipe right can lead to a 30% increase in production, faster growth and increased biomass.
Guideline for creating your own LED lighting recipe and selecting the best lighting set-up
Violet and Blue Light/Wavelength 400 to 520 nm
- most absorbed wavelengths by the chlorophyll
- strong impact on growth and photosynthesis
Red Light/Wavelength 630 to 660 nm
- increased plant light absorption
- increased growth, flowering and budding
Far-Red Light/Wavelength 720 to 740 nm
- stimulates flowering and germination
- stimulates plant biomass
Better Lights for Increased Oil Production
Proper LED lights help the growth of the cannabis, but don’t ensure the most in terms of oil production. Fortunately, the industry is always pushing forward and there are now specifically designed LED grow lights for oil production on the market, like the all-new EX-OIL Grow Light from Advanced LED:
It's a partner light, which can be coupled with any LED, HID or greenhouse in order to increase oil production by 20%. The EX-OIL gives full control over the light spectrum and intensity while also being extremely easy to use. Aside from the oil production increase, the EX-OIL also has the following benefits:
- improves plant resistance
- easy to set-up
- low heat output
- optimized air flow
- compact size
- low power consumption
Cannabis oil production is gaining increasing importance due to its medicinal properties. Sadly, despite global legalization efforts, production and distribution are very likely to remain a challenge in the near future.
Still, the industry is set to keep growing in terms of worth and more companies are starting to enter the field. Production technology such as LED grow lights and extraction machines are constantly being improved in order to increase efficiency and boost oil yields. Hopefully, in the future cannabis oil will be easily available to all in need.
Written by Kyle Hackworth
Kyle has a professional background in engineering, sales, management, and growing. He is passionate about writing, technology, spectral science, and indoor farming. Since 2010 he has been the Manager of Operations at Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas.