How Do Deficiencies In Cannabis Plants Affect Its Products?

How Do Deficiencies In Cannabis Plants Affect Its Products?

By cbr - April 28, 2022

 The world has been facing an increasing need for medicinal cannabis use in recent years, and it’s no wonder with the many benefits that cannabis has shown to offer, such as reducing pain, managing seizures, and more. It has become the most popular drug, used for various purposes.

The plant grows and produces two major parts – the leaves and the flowers. When these two parts are combined to make the final product, they are smoked or ingested to achieve their effects. But when it comes to cannabis and its flower, some deficiencies might lead to issues with how the product’s quality manifests itself in its effects.

There are many ways in which cannabis plants can be damaged or destroyed. From the way it grows to its genetic makeup, every part of a cannabis plant is susceptible to environmental and natural drawbacks. As you’ll see, these deficiencies affect the quality of the product and the marijuana grower’s overall ability to produce high-quality marijuana.

This blog will explore the different types of cannabis plant deficiencies, emphasizing the potential impact on the quality of the final item/product.

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What Are Deficiencies In Cannabis Plants?

Cannabis gets consumed in different products such as oils/salves, edibles (candy/sugar), tinctures, sprays, capsules, and even topical treatment. However, the most common way of consuming it will be to smoke it!

Deficiencies can occur in any part of the cannabis plant but are most common in the leaves, flowers, and seeds. They can cause reduced yields, delayed flowering, poor germination, and decreased cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles. If you’re growing your cannabis, it is essential to keep an eye out for signs of deficiencies and address them as soon as possible. They can start with several factors, including growing conditions, genetics, pesticides, or other herbicides.

Following are some types of deficiencies that you might see in your cannabis plant:

1. Phosphorus Deficiency

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for cannabis plants (it gets needed so the plant can grow), and deficiency of this nutrient will result in slow or no growth. The lack is caused by the plant’s stunted growth, which results from either low phosphorus or calcium uptake or may be due to over-saturation of the soil with these nutrients, meaning that the plant can pull up all it needs from the ground.


  1. Areas of bare root or yellowing of leaves at the base of the plant
  2. Older leaves turn dark as they age and are likely to take on a blue-green tone
  3. Early mid-flowering can lead to a lack of bud growth and yield.

2. Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is required for cannabis plants to store energy from the sun in their leaves. This deficiency occurs when there is less magnesium present in the plant than what is needed to get it to perform at its optimal level. When magnesium levels are low, the chlorophyll becomes less efficient and leaves the green leaf stems with a yellow tinge.


  1. Pale green leaves with yellow edges
  2. Curling of the leaves
  3. Premature flowering
  4. Shortened internodes
  5. Uneven branching of the small branches

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3. Potassium Deficiency

Cannabis plants need potassium to synthesize glucose for energy production. This essential nutrient can only be present in precise amounts in the soil, so the plant will suffer from potassium deficiency if the nutrients are not present. The most common cause of potassium deficiency in the cannabis plant is over-fertilizing your marijuana plants.


  1. Yellow leaves with splotchy chlorotic areas
  2. Taller parts of the plants become stunted, or if they don’t die, they become fragile
  3. Leaf burn, dehydration, and curling of younger growth happen when there is a lack of nutrients in the soil.

4. Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen Deficiency in the cannabis plant is the condition of the plant whereby the roots cannot take up sufficient nitrogen from the soil. It is a vital nutrient that plays a crucial role in many essential functions of a plant, including vegetative growth and flowering.


  1. Growth of older buds, younger foliage, or new bud development stop
  2. Buds become smaller, fewer, and poorly developed
  3. Browning of leaves and shriveled appearance with yellowing tips

How Do Deficiencies In Cannabis Plants Affect Its Products?

Cannabis is a plant consumed as a medicine, recreational drug, and agricultural crop. Despite its widespread use, scientists are still unsure of the full extent of its effects on human health. However, there is evidence that cannabis can positively impact various medical conditions.

When it comes to cannabis products, one major factor that can affect the quality and potency of the final product is the presence of certain compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are responsible for the various therapeutic effects of cannabis, including reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and managing anxiety and depression.

If a cannabis plant is deficient in specific nutrients, this can lead to various changes in the final product. These deficiencies can include decreased yields, impaired color, and flavor, and even reduced THC and CBD concentrations. As we have seen above how different defects affect the plants. While it is impossible to avoid these problems altogether if you are growing cannabis organically, following a proper nutrient schedule can help minimize their impact. However, there is also evidence that cannabinoids can be adversely affected by deficiencies in certain plant nutrients. So, in the final products that you are consuming, there won’t be appropriate cannabinoids, so you won’t be able to enjoy its good benefits.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that cannabis has a wide range of medicinal benefits, but it is also indisputable that the plant can be deficient in certain essential nutrients. These deficiencies can be caused by problems with the plant’s cultivation, harvesting, or curing processes. In some cases, deficits in other cannabinoids (such as CBD) may also result in reduced product quality.

The effect of these deficiencies on the end products is varied. For example, an imperfection in CBD will result in lower levels of CBD oil and tinctures. At the same time, low levels of THC may result from using too little marijuana plant material, using a poor quality cannabis genetics line, or not smoking enough of the dried plant to achieve an effective dose.

When deficiencies are present, the plant may not produce cannabinoids or other beneficial compounds. It can affect the products of the cannabis plant, including its flowers, leaves, and resins. In some cases, these deficiencies can lead to serious health problems. It is crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms of weakness to take appropriate action.


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