Pioneering Cannabis Research and Education in Thailand
About Taratera and Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University
Taratera is a Thai consulting organization that focuses on medical cannabis and CBD hemp production and provides turnkey solutions from genetics to cultivation support. Recently, Taratera has launched the first cannabis seed project in Thailand in collaboration with Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. As a pioneer in cannabis research and education, this university established the country’s first and only bachelor’s degree in cannabis health science. The program offers both undergraduate and post-graduate courses to a diverse group of students ranging from recent high school graduates, doctors, and entrepreneurs who share the same passion for cannabis and all the benefits it offers.
The Research Program
The program’s main goal is to educate and empower the Thai community to learn more about cannabis science and growing in controlled environments. Taratera and Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University share the same vision: their collaborative seed bank will establish a genetics library to serve as a foundation for future medical cultivation as well as breeding CBD-rich cultivars to supply the emerging hemp industry in Thailand. Flower harvested at the facility is also shared with the Ministry of Public Health.
Thailand is located in the tropical climate zone. Temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) are common throughout the year. Because of this, heat emitted from horticultural lighting is a major concern for growers and the HVAC system load which works twice as hard than those in cooler weather. To combat these environmental constraints, the research team partnered with Fluence experts to redesign their facility to maximize operational efficiencies. The new facility deployed Fluence’s energy efficient SPYDR 2x LED lighting solutions in the veg and mother rooms and SPYDR 2i in flowering rooms. Paired with vertical farming racks, researchers are able to conduct a series of experiments. Since transitioning to LEDs from legacy technology, Kajkanit Sakdisubha, director of Taratera, reports significant improvements in quality and yield.
All plants are grown under PhysioSpec broad spectrum white light to mimic the natural environmental conditions of the plant in broad daylight. The white spectrum also enables researchers to inspect and maintain plant quality with ease and without visual strain that can occur when working under harsh pink/red light.
What’s next for cannabis research in Thailand?
The research team has many projects in the pipeline, including experiments analyzing the effects of light quality on cannabis growth and development. Specifically, these trials will test multiple cultivars to see how varying levels of PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) and spectrum induce different morphological and chemical responses.
Grower Impact: Why it Matters
“Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet, but we still know very little about this crop, especially in Thailand, as the plants were considered taboo and illegal for generations until recently,” said Kajkanit Sakdisubha.
Through science and research, the team not only hopes to advance the industry knowledge available, but also to create more awareness. Ultimately, educating the Thai community and the surrounding regions on the benefits and potential of cannabis will allow for the greatest change. Research into cannabis plant growth and genetics will further help researchers publish data that growers can leverage to grow smarter, more efficiently, and up to global standards.
To see how others across the world are using Fluence technology to conduct cannabis research, check out our innovator spotlight featuring the California-based Outco.