Bridging the plant-human communication gap
Ping! Hang on! I’m getting a text message from my pot plants.
Am I dreaming or is it the weed talking? Scientists are “teaching”—in fact, engineering—spinach plants to send emails to alert researchers to the presence of specific compounds in groundwater. If plant correspondence is already a reality, it only stands to reason that in the not-too-distant future, my flowering cannabis plants could text me to tweak their living conditions: turn down the heat, dim the lights, more nutrients, please!
The field of plant communication is growing, specifically as a tool to solve the climate crisis and address how we will feed an exploding global population. Whether chatting among themselves or sending distress signals to the outside world, plants are certainly capable of communicating their needs and fears. So what if my cannabis plants could tell me exactly what they need when they need it? Imagine the higher level of cultivation we could achieve if only we listened more closely: greater yields with less additives, stronger pest-resistance with fewer interventions, superior water management.
Engineers at MIT are using plant nanobionics to engineer electronic components and systems into plants. This has allowed specially modified plants to send notifications via email. “This is a novel demonstration of how we have overcome the plant-human communication barrier,” states Professor Michael Strano who led the research.
Today, it may sound like science fiction, but with demand for cannabis—like so many plant-based commodities—surging, the need to optimize and standardize how we grow is becoming urgent. With a solid nudge from science, it’s but a small leap ‘til my plants are texting me with their most pressing demands: Enough Beethoven already, play me some jazz!
Not sure what kind of music your cannabis plants like best? The classic electronic album Mother Earth’s Plantasia is a great place to start. Composed expressly for plants, it includes masterpieces like Rhapsody in Green, A Mellow Mood for Maidenhair, and Baby's Tears Blues. A perfect soundtrack to thrive to, for you and your cannabis. Now spark one, then hit play.