How Music Might Improve the Growth of Marijuana Plants

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Does marijuana like music? - COLEEN WHITFIELD / FLICKR
  • Coleen Whitfield / Flickr
  • Does marijuana like music?

By Gina Tron

Elias Tempton, a grower for the Sicky Buds dispensary in Denver, Colorado, also had a tiny grow operation for himself at home. He bought a radio and put it next to his plants, leaving it tuned to a classical-music station 24 hours a day. "I noticed that there was a really distinct difference in the plants," he says. "They were bigger, and all the plants had thicker skins and were more turgid in their leaf structure."

He started playing classical music at his grow house as well. Chopin is generally played eight to ten hours a day -- mostly when nobody is there but the plants. "You open up the bedroom first thing in the morning, and you're kind of tired, and the wave of warmth and light hits you from all the 1,000 watt bulbs. Then you get washed over by the classical music," he says.

Although he believes that the music has a positive impact, he does not think it is because the plants like the music. "I've read that classical music has been shown to inexplicably stimulate growth in plants. My own personal opinion, I think that it really comes down to: plants are more sensitive to your emotional state, your personal emotional state, and there's just something extremely special about classical music. It's very calming, stilling."

Matt Lopez, the master cultivator for Northern Lights, another Colorado-based dispensary, shares the same practice.

"I constantly play music for my plants, and even when I leave for the day I have music playing for them all night," he says. During the day, when Lopez is in the growhouse, he plays everything from Johnny Cash to opera. But when he take off he leaves the marijuana plants with classical music, like Beethoven or Mozart.

"I've read that pants respond to sound waves and vibrations, and that's what makes them grow. It helps the plants grow faster."

The idea that music can affect plants is not a new one. In 1973, Dorothy Retallack published a book called The Sound of Music and Plants. She exposed different kinds of plants to various genres of music. Soothing music resulted in healthier growth while percussive music turned the plants away from the speaker.

Also in 1973, a book called The Secret Life of Plants was published. In the book CIA polygraph expert Cleve Backgter said that plants may, as Tempton suggested, be able to pick up and react to the emotions of humans. Backster hooked up a galvanometer to a dracaena houseplant. When he imagined the plant on fire, the polygraph needle registered a surge of electrical activity. This, Backster suggested, means that plants can feel stress. He ran a series of tests on other plants that all led to the same conclusion.

After the publication of that book, however, many plant scientists took on similar experiments with no result, and Backster's work has been discredited. Some scientists believe that after the 1970s work was discredited, there has almost been a censorship into researching whether or not plants possess more cognitive features. The idea, though, remained. These books and studies have resulted in people continuing to play Mozart and Chopin for their plants.

So even as modern scientists deny that there is proof that plants can feel emotions and react to music, many plant lovers and marijuana growers beg to differ.

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