Skip to content
Wish Lists Cart
0 items


Climate Change and Its Effects on Outdoor-Harvested Cannabis are Increasing

by Freddy Castillo 24 Jun 2024

Climate change is a reality that affects many aspects of our daily lives, from weather patterns to food production. One of the industries significantly impacted by these changes is the cultivation of outdoor cannabis. Cannabis, a plant with multiple medicinal, recreational, and economic uses, faces unique challenges due to changes in the global climate. This article explores how climate change affects outdoor cannabis cultivation and what steps growers can take to adapt to these changes.

Impacts of Climate Change on Cannabis Cultivation

Changes in temperatures 

The rise in global temperature is one of the most obvious effects of climate change. According to NASA, the average global temperature has risen by approximately 1.18 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, a change driven mainly by increased greenhouse gas emissions. This increase in temperature directly affects cannabis cultivation in several ways:

  • Accelerated Growth: Higher temperatures can accelerate the growth of cannabis, reducing the growing cycle. However, this accelerated growth can result in less sturdy plants with lower production of cannabinoids, the active compounds of cannabis.

  • Heat Stress: Thermal stress can negatively affect photosynthesis and transpiration, vital processes for plant health. Excessively high temperatures can cause wilting, leaf burns, and reduced quality of the final product.

  • Water Management: With higher temperatures, the evaporation of water from soil and plants increases, which can lead to increased water consumption to keep plants hydrated. This is problematic in regions where water is already a scarce resource.

Changes in precipitation patterns

Climate change is also altering precipitation patterns worldwide. Some areas are experiencing more intense and frequent rainfall, while others face prolonged droughts. These extreme fluctuations in water availability pose significant challenges for outdoor cannabis cultivation:

  • Floods: Heavy rains can cause floods that damage the roots of cannabis plants and increase the risk of fungal diseases such as mold and mildew. Waterlogged roots lose the ability to absorb nutrients, which can lead to decreased plant growth and overall health.

  • Droughts: Prolonged droughts can be devastating for cannabis crops, as the plant requires a constant amount of water to thrive. Lack of water can slow growth, reduce flower production, and affect the quality of cannabinoids.

Pests and diseases

Climate change is also affecting the distribution and prevalence of pests and diseases that attack cannabis. Warmer temperatures and changes in humidity create favorable conditions for the proliferation of insects and pathogens:

  • Pests: Pests such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies can thrive in warmer climates. These pests not only damage plants by feeding on them but can also transmit viral diseases.

  • Fungal Diseases: Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) are more prevalent in conditions of high humidity and moderate temperatures. These diseases can devastate cannabis crops, significantly reducing yields and quality.

Changes in the photoperiod

The photoperiod or the amount of daylight a plant receives, is crucial to the life cycle of cannabis, especially for photoperiod-dependent varieties that rely on changes in the length of the day to begin flowering. Climate change can alter cloud patterns and the duration of daylight, affecting the photoperiod of plants:

  • Growth Cycle Disruption: Changes in the photoperiod can disrupt the growth cycle of cannabis, affecting the transition from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase. This can result in lower flower production and decreased quality of the final product.


Adaptation strategies for cannabis growers

Given the significant impact of climate change on outdoor cannabis cultivation, it is crucial that growers apply adaptation strategies to mitigate these effects. Here are some measures that can help farmers meet the challenges:

  • Selection of Resilient Varieties: Choosing the right cannabis varieties is crucial to addressing the challenges of climate change. Cultivators can select varieties that are more resistant to heat, drought, and disease. Some strains have greater tolerance to extreme environmental conditions, which can help ensure a successful harvest even in adverse climates.

  • Efficient Irrigation Systems: With rising temperatures and variability in precipitation, water management is more critical than ever. Efficient irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation, can help optimize water use, ensuring that plants receive the right amount without waste. Additionally, collecting rainwater and storing it for use during droughts can be an effective strategy for keeping crops hydrated.

  • Use of Shade Cloths and Canopies: To protect plants from thermal stress and excessive sunlight, growers can use shade cloths and canopies. These structures can provide partial shade, reducing the temperature around plants and protecting them from sunburn. Additionally, coverings can help regulate soil moisture, decreasing water evaporation.

  • Regenerative Soil Practices: The use of regenerative agricultural practices can improve soil health, increase its water retention capacity, and reduce erosion. Crop rotation, the use of organic fertilizers, and the planting of cover crops are some practices that can help maintain soil fertility and improve the resilience of cannabis crops to extreme weather conditions.

  • Integrated Pest Management: Regular monitoring of plants and the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) can help growers detect and control pests and diseases before they become serious problems. IPM combines biological, cultural, and chemical methods to manage pests sustainably and effectively, minimizing the use of chemical pesticides and reducing the risk of developing resistance.

  • Technological Innovations: The advancement of agricultural technology offers new tools to help cannabis growers face the challenges of climate change. From soil and climate sensors that provide real-time data to drones that monitor plant health, these innovations can improve efficiency and accuracy in crop management.

The future of outdoor cannabis cultivation

Climate change poses significant challenges for outdoor cannabis cultivation, but it also offers opportunities for innovation and adaptation. As growers adopt new strategies and technologies, the cannabis industry can continue to thrive even in a changing climate. Additionally, research and development in cannabis genetics can lead to the creation of even more resilient varieties adapted to extreme environmental conditions.

It is essential that governments and agricultural organizations support cannabis growers in their efforts to adapt to climate change. This could include funding research on sustainable farming practices, providing educational resources, and developing policies that promote climate resilience in agriculture.

The importance of education and awareness

Education and awareness about climate change and its effects are key to the success of any adaptation strategy. Cannabis growers should be well informed about the challenges they face and the possible solutions available. Agricultural communities, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions can play a crucial role in disseminating information and training farmers to meet these challenges effectively.

The cannabis economy and climate change

Climate change not only affects cannabis production but also the economy surrounding this industry. Crop losses due to adverse weather conditions can have a significant economic impact on producers, especially those who rely on cannabis as their main source of income. Furthermore, increased costs associated with the implementation of adaptation measures can pose a financial challenge for many growers.

However, there are also economic opportunities in climate change adaptation. Demand for resilient cannabis varieties and sustainable agricultural practices is increasing, which can open up new markets and opportunities for innovators in the cannabis industry. Moreover, investment in sustainable agricultural technology and practices can lead to greater efficiency and long-term profitability.

The role of the international community

Climate change is a global problem that requires a coordinated response at the international level. Collaboration between countries and organizations is essential to addressing the challenges facing outdoor cannabis cultivation. This includes sharing knowledge and resources, cooperation in scientific research, and developing global policies that support climate resilience in agriculture. The cannabis industry can also benefit from participation in international sustainability initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming and promote sustainable practices in all sectors. By joining these global efforts, cannabis growers can contribute to the fight against climate change while protecting their own interests and livelihoods.


Climate change is a significant challenge for outdoor cannabis cultivation, but it also offers an opportunity for innovation and adaptation. As growers adopt new strategies and technologies, the cannabis industry can continue to thrive even in a changing climate. It is essential that farmers, governments, and agricultural organizations work together to develop sustainable and resilient solutions that ensure the long-term viability of outdoor cannabis cultivation.

Education, awareness, and international collaboration are key to addressing the challenges of climate change and protecting the cannabis industry. By taking proactive action and adopting sustainable agricultural practices, cannabis growers can mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure a prosperous future for this versatile and valuable plant.

Prev Post
Next Post

The Latest Blogs and Articles at Cannabiz Supply

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Cannabiz Supply
Subscribe to our Newsletter below!

If you have any question please call 702-489-6200

Recently Viewed


Edit Option
Have Questions?
Back In Stock Notification
Product SKURatingDescription Collection Availability Product Type Other Details
Terms & Conditions
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items