What is Gibberellic Acid?
Gibberellic acids, also referred to as gibberellins, are growth hormones derived naturally from fungi and plants. These growth hormones can be used as plant-growth regulators and may promote seed germination and trichome development in cannabis plants.
What Types of Gibberellins Are Used in Cannabis Cultivation?
There are at least 100 types of gibberellins found in plants. However, gibberellic acid, usually shortened to GA3, is considered the most widely effective and available gibberellin and is most widely used for agricultural purposes. The sources of GA3 can vary, but the growth hormone is most often extracted from a fungus (Gibberella fujikuroi) that develops on rice.
Commercially available GA3 is sold in the form of a white powder at farm and agricultural supply stores. However, before it is applied to the cannabis plant, it must be dissolved into a liquid. The 90% GA3 powder can be dissolved in 70% isopropyl alcohol. In most cases, the actual amount of power dissolved in a liquid is very small—a little goes a long way. Most growers use just a few drops of alcohol to dissolve the solid power and then dilute that solution with water before use.
How Gibberellic Acid Is Used in Cannabis Cultivation
Much like humans, all plants produce growth hormones, including cannabis. Growth hormones like gibberellins regulate or support important processes, such as stimulating germination, promoting flower development, and even sex expression. Gibberellic acid is used as a stimulant to encourage seeds to germinate and the cannabis plant to grow or mature.
Gibberellins actually break seed dormancy and promote germination, which is key to getting seeds started, especially when working with old seeds. Gibberellins may also be used for the promotion of bud development, trichome growth, stem growth, root development, and more. These benefits are not seen in only cannabis plants; gibberellic acid is known to help with everything from the rapid germination of seeds to resistance to disease in most flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
Even though the use of gibberellins is not necessarily common with cannabis, the hormone is used by some to hasten seed germination. The seeds are soaked in gibberellic acid (GA3) solution for a few days and then sown. GA3 may also be applied to young plants to stimulate growth and faster flowering, and may also be used to cause male plants to produce feminized flowers. And, some studies suggest the use of GA3 may increase the production of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Related Glossary Terms for Gibberellic Acid
Take a look at these related glossary terms:
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