Cannabis Microbiome and the Role of Endophytes in Modulating the Production of Secondary Metabolites: An Overview

Microorganisms. 2020 Mar 2;8(3):355. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8030355.


Plants, including cannabis (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa), host distinct beneficial microbial communities on and inside their tissues and organs, including seeds. They contribute to plant growth, facilitating mineral nutrient uptake, inducing defence resistance against pathogens, and modulating the production of plant secondary metabolites. Understanding the microbial partnerships with cannabis has the potential to affect the agricultural practices by improving plant fitness and the yield of cannabinoids. Little is known about this beneficial cannabis-microbe partnership, and the complex relationship between the endogenous microbes associated with various tissues of the plant, and the role that cannabis may play in supporting or enhancing them. This review will consider cannabis microbiota studies and the effects of endophytes on the elicitation of secondary metabolite production in cannabis plants. The review aims to shed light on the importance of the cannabis microbiome and how cannabinoid compound concentrations can be stimulated through symbiotic and/or mutualistic relationships with endophytes.

Keywords: Cannabinoids; Cannabis sativa; endophytes; gut microbiota; hemp; marijuana; microbiome; root microbiota; secondary metabolites.

Publication types

  • Review