Cannabis is a plant in the Moraceae family. It is originally distributed in India and Central Asia, and now it is grown wild or cultivated in countries all over the world. When talking about cannabis, many people will equate it with drugs. Cannabis isn’t just a drug. The main active chemical component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC has psychoactive and physiological effects when taken orally or inhaled. In medicine, cannabis is often used to aid in the treatment of terminal diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Cannabis can be used to increase appetite, relieve pain and seizures, migraines and other symptoms. It can also be used to stabilize patients’ mood and relieve nausea in patients in chemotherapy. In recent years, the role of cannabis in killing cancer cells and improving the effectiveness of radiation therapy has been confirmed. Ozone has been used more and more widely in medical domain in recent years. In this Blog, we will take a look at Ozone in Cannabis Planting and Processing.
1. Treatment of Water for Cannabis Irrigation
Cannabis can be grown both indoors or outdoors. It can even be grown by hydroponics. But no matter how it is grown, the water used to irrigate cannabis must be pure water free of pathogenic bacteria. Water treatment is one of the most common and oldest ozone applications. Treating irrigation water for cannabis with ozone can ensure that it is free of bacteria and minerals that can affect the growth. In addition, treating the water with ozone will increases the amount of oxygen in the water, which is good for the growth of cannabis. Even more conveniently, equipment used for other water treatment applications can be used directly in the cannabis industry without further improvement.
2. Sterilization of the Growing and Processing Environment
Ozone can either sterilize the surface of the environment directly as in gas form or the surface of objects in the form of ozone water after it is dissolved in water. Ozone is a common method of sterilization in food processing industry. Ozone equipment used in the food processing industry can also be used directly in the cannabis industry, since the industry has similar environmental health requirements as the food processing industry. If the cannabis is grown indoors, ozone can inactivate pathogens in the indoor environment. Ozone gas sterilization between different batches of cannabis plantation can kill pathogens in the air or on the surface of the equipment. Ozone is safe for surface sterilization of the environment and will not cause any side effects to people or plants later as long as a standard operating procedure is followed. Just remember keep people or plants out of the space when using ozone sterilization. An ORP meter can also be installed to monitor the ozone concentration level.
3. Control of Cannabis Odor
The strong oxidation property of ozone makes ozone molecules combine and oxidize quickly with the odor molecules in the air. Ozone is excellent at dealing with unpleasant odors and smells. We’ve posted blogs about the significant effect of ozone on kitchen odors, bathroom odors, furniture smell, clothing and fabric odors, car odors, smoke smell, pets’ odors, and chemical odors.
Ozone was firstly applied in the cannabis industry to control the odors produced during cannabis processing. So, ozone has a great effect in odor removal. Ozone is therefore a great choice in reducing the unpleasant odors that arise during the growth, cultivation and processing of cannabis.
4. Sterilization of Cannabis Products
Cannabis must be tested for microbial toxins, viruses, heavy metals or pesticides before it is finally sold. Of the microbial toxins, the most common is powdery mildew. In addition, cannabis may contain Aspergillus or Gram-type bacteria. Both can have a vital effect on human health. Ozone can effectively sterilize and disinfect the undesired components in cannabis and meet the state’s most stringent testing standards for final cannabis products.
5. Ozone Equipment for Cannabis Growing and Processing Industry
A commonly adopted ozone treatment system used in cannabis growing and processing industry usually includes a contact tank with a capacity over 30 gallons. The large capacity will provide enough time for full contact between water and ozone. An OPR meter is usually installed onto the device to measure the ozone levels in the water. The system is usually divided into two parts. Part of the equipment is used to generate ozone gas for gaseous sterilization of cannabis growing environment. Another part will dissolve ozone gas into water to produce ozone water for cannabis irrigation.
The following is the structure of a typical ozone treatment system for the cannabis growing and processing industry:
1. Generation of Ozone Gas
The air will first be passed through a filter and processed into compressed air at 50 PSI. The compressed air will then be piped into an oxygen concentrator. Then, an oxygen generator will convert the air into oxygen. The oxygen produced by the generator will then go to an ozone generator. The ozone generator will generate about 10% of the oxygen into ozone gas and maintains the concentration of ozone at about 0.05 PPM. For the generated ozone, there will be an ozone concentration detector in the equipment to ensure the ozone concentration level. Finally, ozone gas at a concentration of 0.05 ppm will be piped into several cannabis growing room.
2. Generation of Ozone Water
The ozone gas used to produce ozone water for cannabis irrigation will first injected through an injection pump and a Venturi ejector into an ozone mixing pipe filled with untreated raw water. Next, in the ozone mixing tank, the ozone gas and water will be mixed. There will be an ozone scrubber installed on the top of mixing tank for reducing the undissolved ozone into oxygen and discharging it. The ozone water at 2.0 ppm generated in the ozone mixing tank will be transported to the point of use by the injection pump through the pipeline. A portion of ozone water will later be processed by an UV ozone destruct unit into ozone-free sanitized water for cannabis irrigation.