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Dave Hawley, Thomas Graham, Michael Stasiak, and Mike Dixon

The influence of light spectral quality on cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) development is not well defined. It stands to reason that tailoring light quality to the specific needs of cannabis may increase bud quality, consistency, and yield. In this study, C. sativa L. ‘WP:Med (Wappa)’ plants were grown with either no supplemental subcanopy lighting (SCL) (control), or with red/blue (“Red-Blue”) or red-green-blue (“RGB”) supplemental SCL. Both Red-Blue and RGB SCL significantly increased yield and concentration of total Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) in bud tissue from the lower plant canopy. In the lower canopy, RGB SCL significantly increased concentrations of α-pinine and borneol, whereas both Red-Blue and RGB SCL increased concentrations of cis-nerolidol compared with the control treatment. In the upper canopy, concentrations of α-pinine, limonene, myrcene, and linalool were significantly greater with RGB SCL than the control, and cis-nerolidol concentration was significantly greater in both Red-Blue and RGB SCL treated plants relative to the control. Red-Blue SCL yielded a consistently more stable metabolome profile between the upper and lower canopy than RGB or control treated plants, which had significant variation in cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) concentrations between the upper and lower canopies. Overall, both Red-Blue and RGB SCL treatments significantly increased yield more than the control treatment, RGB SCL had the greatest impact on modifying terpene content, and Red-Blue produced a more homogenous bud cannabinoid and terpene profile throughout the canopy. These findings will help to inform growers in selecting a production light quality to best help them meet their specific production goals.