Impact of Harvest Time and Pruning Technique on Total CBD Concentration and Yield of Medicinal Cannabis

Plants (Basel). 2022 Jan 5;11(1):140. doi: 10.3390/plants11010140.


The definition of optimum harvest and pruning interventions are important factors varying inflorescence yield and cannabinoid composition. This study investigated the impact of (i) harvest time (HT) and (ii) pruning techniques (PT) on plant biomass accumulation, CBD and CBDA-concentrations and total CBD yield of a chemotype III medical cannabis genotype under indoor cultivation. The experiment consisted of four HTs between 5 and 11 weeks of flowering and three PTs-apical cut (T); removal of side shoots (L) and control (C), not pruned plants. Results showed that inflorescence dry weight increased continuously, while the total CBD concentration did not differ significantly over time. For the studied genotype, optimum harvest time defined by highest total CBD yield was found at 9 weeks of flowering. Total CBD-concentration of inflorescences in different fractions of the plant's height was significantly higher in the top (9.9%) in comparison with mid (8.2%) and low (7.7%) fractions. The T plants produced significantly higher dry weight of inflorescences and leaves than L and C. Total CBD yield of inflorescences for PTs were significantly different among pruned groups, but do not differ from the control group. However, a trend for higher yields was observed (T > C > L).

Keywords: CBD yield; Cannabis sativa; cannabidiol; harvest time; pruning; topping.