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What Are Stomata On Marijuana Plants

What Do The Stomata Do On Cannabis Plants

Written by Neal Brown . Updated: July 18, 2022

Stomata: What Are They

What Are Stomata On Cannabis Plants

Have you ever heard someone say that some amphibians breathe through their skin? It’s true! Frogs have a weird membranous skin that exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide with their surroundings when wet. That’s part of why it’s so important not to handle frogs, because their skin is sensitive not only to the chemicals humans use on their hands and clothing, but to our own oils and the environment around us. This is relevant when thinking about cannabis cultivation because most plants, cannabis included, have a similar mechanism for exchanging gasses with the atmosphere. They do this with things that look more like the pores we have on our skin, those little dots that pair with our hair follicles and produce oils. On plants, these openings are called stomata, or stoma when there’s just one of them. Stomata are found all over the underside of cannabis leaves. They’re much smaller than our skin pores, and can be heavily influenced by the presence of things like moisture, light, heat, and chemicals in the surrounding environment. Under a microscope they look a little bit like little eyes or mouths. Unlike our pores, which contrary to popular belief don’t actually open or close more in the presence of heat, stomata have the ability to open and close to different apertures, like the irises of our eyes. The opening itself is the stoma part, and each stoma’s opening and closing is regulated by two guard cells, which collect and sense concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

What Do The Stomata Do On Weed Plants

Imagine if, instead of holding hair follicles and releasing oils, the pores on our skin were how we took in oxygen. Imagine inhaling not through your mouth and nose, but through a million tiny holes all over your skin. While the stomata on weed plants don’t exactly breathe in the same rhythm we do, with a definite in and out phase, they do exchange gasses with the atmosphere all the same. And their primary function, to put it really simply, is to exchange gasses and water vapor with the surrounding environment. When plants are very young and haven’t developed their root systems yet, cannabis seedlings will intake both water vapor and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their stomata. That’s why tiny cannabis sprouts need a relative humidity of sixty-five percent until they get their first few true leaves and a couple of strong roots. As they get older and their vascular tissues and root systems become more established, stomata are used less for water intake and more for carbon dioxide intake, oxygen output, and the retention of moisture within the plant. Why is this important? Carbon dioxide intake is vital to the process of photosynthesis, which takes CO2 and water and, using energy absorbed from sunlight, rearranges their atoms to make sugars and starches that go to making more plant tissues. The stomata also release oxygen, which is the byproduct of the photosynthesis of carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate sugars. Stomata’s favorite thing to do is intake carbon dioxide.

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