“Yield, Characterization, and Possible Exploitation of Cannabis Sativa L. Roots Grown under Aeroponics Cultivation”

Fabbio Ferrini, et al. 2021. Molecules 26(16): 4889.

ABSTRACT: “Cannabis sativa L. has been used for a long time to obtain food, fiber, and as a medicinal and psychoactive plant. Today, the nutraceutical potential of C. sativa is being increasingly reappraised; however, C. sativa roots remain poorly studied, despite citations in the scientific literature. In this direction, we identified and quantified the presence of valuable bioactives (namely, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, friedelin, and epi-friedelanol) in the root extracts of C. sativa, a finding which might pave the way to the exploitation of the therapeutic potential of all parts of the C. sativa plant. To facilitate root harvesting and processing, aeroponic (AP) and aeroponic-elicited cultures (AEP) were established and compared to soil-cultivated plants (SP). Interestingly, considerably increased plant growth—particularly of the roots—and a significant increase (up to 20-fold in the case of β-sitosterol) in the total content of the aforementioned roots’ bioactive molecules were observed in AP and AEP. In conclusion, aeroponics, an easy, standardized, contaminant-free cultivation technique, facilitates the harvesting/processing of roots along with a greater production of their secondary bioactive metabolites, which could be utilized in the formulation of health-promoting and health-care products.”

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