I'm a complete noob to the idea of making teas or fermented plant extracts. I also harbor some doubts- not about their efficacy, but rather about how well they'd work in an RDWC environment. Of course, for foliar applications that wouldn't matter, but what about adding it to my water? My fear is twofold; one, that it won't remain in solution and therefore the plants can't take it up, or two that it will provide food or other encouragement to pathogens.
Okay so I've purchased access to a journal for a few hours and done a bit of reading.
The name of the article I'm reading is Growth Enhancement of Plants by Femtomole Doses of Colloidally Dispersed Triacontanol,
and it was published in Science
A few of the main gems I found include:
Preparation of a colloidal dispersion
The dispersion was produced by sonication--a sonicator will send ultrasonic waves through a medium (usually water) and can be used for many purposes--for this purpose the most likely reasoning was to create well-defined and nearly homogenous micelles (same size).
(henceforth abbreviated as TRIA) is definitely
insoluble in water. To solubilize it, the researchers in the above article added surfactants (at 1% the molar equivalent of TRIA) which will form micelles around the TRIA and make it available to a cell. This action is very similar to the way humics and fulvics help bring nutrients in through a membrane. Essentially the TRIA will be encased in spheres of the surfactant wherein the nonpolar ends point inward towards the TRIA, and the polar ends point outwards to the solvent (water). Sonication will aid in this process.
Furthermore, dispersing the stuff into a colloid should help to reduce or eliminate any pathogens trying to get at it.
While the does will be different for cannabis we can get a little more useful info out of this article. It seems as though the maximum benefit was reached at around 100 nanograms (1x10^-7 grams) per cubic decimeter. There was a falloff of increased growth (dry weight/water uptake) after and before that value.
That should suggest to us that there is such a thing as too much of this stuff if we're looking to optimize the use of this chemical in our gardens.
In a second article entitled, Isolation and Characterization of Triacontanol-Regulated Genes in Rice (Oryza sativa L.): Possible Role of Triacontanol as a Plant Growth Stimulator,
and it comes to us from Plant & Cell Physiology--2002. There is evidence of what the mechanism of this stuff is--which can also lead us to some interesting possibilities, and cautions.
Regulated Gene Expression
So in the above article it was found that TRIA mostly up regulated photosynthetic and photorespiratory genes. Because I have a bit of knowledge on how gene expression moves forward in a biochemical way--I can tell you that there are likely many more, smaller, genes which are also being flipped on. However, the main purpose remains the same--this stuff kicks photosynthesis/respiration into overdrive.
It was also found that TRIA down regulated several stress and wounding response genes. Now I think it's important that we're careful here. It is commonly understood that terpenes
(and ultimately THC) are produced as part of the plants defense system. It has been demonstrated through various methods (although not conclusively) that stressing a cannabis plant can be very good for terpene production (so long as you to don't stress it into a hermaphrodite).
It may be that there is an optimal time to add TRIA given the above data. You perhaps wouldn't want it's effects to be lingering in late flowering--but it could be useful to have around in veg and during early flower. Length of effect would need to be determined to put a nail on a number--my guess is that it's somewhere in the 2-3 week range.
A dose in early veg followed by a dose just before the flip would be a good place to start in my opinion--but again it's important to decide carefully what the dose will be.
Alfalfa meal contains this stuff naturally--and in fact I believe it was first extracted from alfalfa meal. An Alfalfa tea is a great natural way to supplement this chemical--but I think the results would be better if it were in a colloid rather than free in solution (or out of it, as it were).
This also brings into question, perhaps, of supplementing with an alfalfa tea too late into flower--you could
(emphasis here) be depressing terpene production in late flower this way.
As for teas in RWDC--I really don't believe pathogens should give you too much trouble here--especially if you incorporate some anti-pathogenic tea components. Fighting pathogens is really
one of the main benefits of using teas in the first place. Many people use teas only when they are fighting off some type of pest/pathogen (and they work wonders).
If you do some reading up on that level, I think you might find something that could benefit you. I'd also recommend looking into the fermented plant extracts thread on this forum--it has a great many recipes and these can be similarly beneficial (in terms of fighting off infestations).