Four P’s for Cannabis IPM It’s a challenging crop requiring considerable attention to Prevention, Pinching, Pruning…and of course Patience. BY DR. ABIDA NASREEN Cannabis sativa has been used medically, recreationally and spiritually throughout the world for about five millennia now. In recent times there has been an increasing trend of the public being more accepting towards the use of cannabis as a medical treatment option for various illnesses. Cannabis contains over 60 unique cannabinoids and 460 active chemicals. The main active ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its users to feel the therapeutic and psychoactive effects. A vast number of comprehensive studies are ongoing to learn about the effects of cannabis from a medicinal point of view and to figure out various cost-effective, as well as productive, ways to grow the crop. Medicinal cannabis can help with severe nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy or other causes, weight loss associated with debilitating illnesses including HIV and cancer, neurological diseases, pain syndromes and glaucoma. One of its most promising effects is that it is used to treat muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis and there are countless ABOVE Two spotted spider mite on cannabis plant. 22 GREENHOUSE CANADA -December 2017 more beneficial effects of the cannabis. Growing cannabis commercially is very tricky because it is quite vulnerable to various pests, diseases and growing conditions. Paying attention to details at each growth stage of the plant is very crucial when growing in a greenhouse or enclosed structure. The indoor cultivation enables growers to create a suitable environment for growing a healthy crop free of pests and diseases. High humidity can lead to an epidemic outbreak of bud rot. It is always advised to use preventive measures to avoid the problems of pests and diseases rather to take drastic curative measures later to save the crop when there is an epidemic outbreak. A well-crafted IPM strategy is very helpful for a cannabis grower to improve pod quality and minimize the losses. The benefits of using the right IPM program has been established by scientific research – it saves money, is easier on the environment, is an alternative to the use of toxic chemicals, and it balances the crop ecosystem. An effective integrated pest management plan consists of four P’s.