Could music be the key to thriving cannabis plants?

Published Feb 17, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Sergio Delle Vedove

Cultivators have tried nearly every trick in the book, including some that are so strange you won’t find any evidence of them anywhere, in hopes of perfecting the process of growing marijuana plants. There is no right or wrong way to do things, and every grower, both big and small, take a slightly different approach to the matter, but they all do share one thing in common, and that is a hope for the best possible outcome.

Most growers eventually settle on methods that they see as a benefit after sifting through and trialing hundreds or, in some cases even thousands of tips, tricks, and ideas, but as we put many of the oldest theories to the test, it’s quickly becoming clear that some are more beneficial than others. One of the longest told tricks of the trade is to play music, or speak kindly to budding cannabis plants, but is there any logic to this theory, and if there is, how much of a difference does it really make?

Music for plants is not a new idea

One of the most commonly used types of music believed to aid in the growth of cannabis plants is classical, but for many years now, cultivators have played tunes of all sorts for their crop. It makes sense in a way, especially when you look at everything good that music can do for human beings. It’s therapeutic, rejuvenating, motivating, or relaxing when you need it the most.

As early as 1962, scientists began looking into the benefits of melodies for our plants, with the very earliest research conducted by Dr. T.C. Singh. At that time, Singh was the Head of Botany at Annamalai University, where he exposed balsam plants to different classical music pieces, and the results were astounding. He measured an increased growth rate of 20% and an increase in biomass of 72%, confirming the incredible benefits of music for plants, with the violin producing the most impressive results.

Do plants like music?

Dr. T.C. Singh inspired what would eventually become a long line of research into the effects of music on plants. In 1973 the second most notable study on the subject came to be when Dorothy Retallack at Francis Brown University decided to test Singh’s theory. There, she separated all of the included plants into 3 control groups, with the first left exposed to a constant F note, the second a comparable note, and the third was left to grow in peace and quiet.

The comparable control group flourished while the original F-note group, which had to “listen” to the aggravating sound for 8 solid hours were dead by the end of the study. Dorothy then went on to test various types of music, including rock, and old-style more traditional melodies. What she found was that those which were exposed to the more relaxing sounds fared better than those that had hard rock music, as well as the group which was left in silence.

Important notes

Cannabis plants react according to their environment, with hot, humid weather bringing out some of the best qualities and cold or stressful situations resulting in a mediocre product, and the same can be said for exposure to too much vibration. Minor vibrations might be soothing for the plant, but larger shaking movements are more likely to trigger a natural instinct to protect against predators, taking away from the cannabis plant's overall production.

Should you use music to grow marijuana plants?

Yes, you should most definitely incorporate your favourite music into your grow room to benefit both you and your cannabis plants, but it is important to ensure that you’re choosing the right type for the job. Loud, screaming or yelling, hardcore rock or anything else that’s going to shake the walls could do more damage than help. Instead, it’s safe to play soft, lighter notes that offer a soothing sound that would adversely interrupt the growth of your marijuana plants.

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