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Marijuana Plant Hormones

Marijuana Plant Hormones: Understanding How They Work and Using Them to Your Advantage

Hormones are well-known factors in humans and other animals. They influence virtually all aspects of growth and development and help create certain levels of mental stability among countless other functions. Without hormones, we just wouldn’t be who we are, and we’d be unable to develop properly.

Many people don’t realize this, but plants rely on hormones as well. These chemical substances are crucial to the health and development of your cannabis plants throughout their lifespans. Various hormones affect different processes in plant growth and maturation. They all work in tandem to propel your marijuana plants from germination to harvest.

Plants naturally produce hormones on their own, from the very moment the marijuana seed (sometimes misspelled as marjuana seeds) comes to life when germinated. Sometimes, though, a little outside help in the form of extra hormone supplements can boost growth and aid in other areas of the developmental process. Knowing the primary plant hormones and how they work can go a long way toward understanding how to use them to your advantage.

Hormone’s Roles in Cannabis Growth

Hormones, or phytohormones as they’re called in plants, play numerous roles in plant growth and health. Several of these substances come into play, and each one has its own distinct roles in the development of your marijuana plants. They impact how tall, short, bushy, or skinny the plants will be as well as the potency of their buds among other aspects.

Hormones even determine how well your cannabis plants take in and process nutrients, water, and sunlight. They regulate the way the plants use the resources available to them and tell them when to switch from the vegetative phase to the flowering stage to name a few key functions. These vital chemicals also influence cellular development within the plant and help decide which new cells the plant needs to create. For example, should the plant continue to grow large buds or divert it’s energy to cell-division to create new weed seeds.

Humans produce at least 200 different hormones, but studies indicate plants’ hormonal ranges aren’t quite so extensive. Though cannabis plants like purple tropicana cookies

and auto gorilla glue generate several hormones, a select few stand out from the rest because of their importance and diversity. We’ll discuss those key players and some of their functions to help you understand why they’re so crucial to your cannabis crop.

Basic Marijuana Hormones

Plant hormones branch out quite a bit when it comes to groups and classifications. Still, scientists have isolated certain basic hormone categories that are vital to plant health from several angles. Those chemicals have significant effects on various parts of a plant and the plant as a whole.


Brassinosteroids factor into almost every aspect of plants’ lifecycles from germination to reproduction. Though they can be found in all areas of a plant, they’re usually more concentrated in the roots, flowers, developing seeds, and pollen.

Hormones in this category are partially responsible for cell division, differentiation, elongation, and growth. Without it, your plants wouldn’t grow at all. In fact, your cannabis seeds wouldn’t even sprout.

These hormones also encourage plants’ roots to draw in water and nutrients and distribute them as needed. From there, brassinosteroids help plants process vitamins, minerals, and other hormones for further development. They help ensure cells don’t age too quickly and make plants better able to cope with environmental stressors, diseases, and pests as well. These hormones also foster pollination and seed development.

Brassinosteroids are particularly important to marijuana plants grown from regular marijuana seeds because of their photoperiodic nature. Cannabis looks to the light to know when to transition from the vegetative state to the flowering phase. That means if it weren’t for brassinosteroids, your bruce banner plants wouldn’t produce buds or seeds.


Auxin plays a major part in plant growth. It’s found in larger volumes near the tops of plants and in portions that grow the most, like stems, roots, and buds. This particular hormone aids in cellular growth and expansion, so it’s one of the chemicals responsible for controlling the height and bulk of your marijuana plants.

In digging deeper, we find that auxin is likewise vital to the roots of your plants. It helps the roots grow and branch out. This makes the entire plant stronger and ensures it’ll be better equipped to find water and nutrients hidden deeper in the soil or growth medium you’re using.

Auxin tends to shy away from light, which is one of the reasons it works the way it does. Plants crave light, but auxin runs away from it. This hormone floods to the side of a plant’s stem with less light. In turn, the cells on that side of the stem grow longer while those on the side receiving more light remain the same length. As a result, your plants will bend toward the light, which actually helps them in carrying out photosynthesis and other necessary processes.

It’s also interesting to point out auxin generally runs from the upper portions of the plant to the lower ones. Other hormones flow on a bit of a two-way street. Auxin affects the growth of the portions of the plants exposed to light on a crucial level, but it’s ideal resting place is in the roots of the plants. When it reaches the roots, it fosters plant growth in an entirely different way by boosting water and nutrient uptake.


All plant hormones have their interesting notes and idiosyncrasies, but ethylene is one of the more unusual members of the pack. It’s the only one that exists in gaseous form, and it can actually transfer from one plant to another and communicate with other plants. It even crosses between different types of plants.

As one source points out, placing a ripe banana in a paper bag with green avocadoes will actually cause the avocadoes to ripen more quickly. This happens because of ethylene. Since the ripe banana produces ample amounts of ethylene, this hormone builds up in the bag and transfers to the avocadoes to encourage them to age rapidly.

Though ethylene helps promote the aging process in some instances, it can also slow it down to an extent. If too much of the hormone is present, it can hamper growth or bring it to a complete standstill. In moderation, though, ethylene is essential to the health of your marijuana plants. It regulates the growth and maturation process while encouraging plants to shed old growth and make way for new. It also promotes bud formation and development.


Gibberellin has a substantial effect on plant growth. It was first discovered and isolated due to a fungal infection in rice plants in Japan. The hormone caused the rice plants to quickly grow much too tall and detracted from their overall health. Afterward, scientists discovered all plants produce small amounts of the substance on their own.

In moderate amounts, gibberellin can have a positive impact on plant growth. It causes stem elongation and can allow extra nodes to grow. Nodes are important for cannabis growers because this is where the all-important buds ultimately form and mature.

Gibberellin also comes into play in varying amounts during different stages of cannabis growth. It lies dormant in seeds until you begin the germination process. Once you expose medical weed seeds to moisture, though, this hormone springs into action to help the plant begin to grow. While it helps promote or regulate height and node development during the early weeks of a marijuana plant’s lifespan, its role changes a bit during the latter stages of growth.

If you’re breeding marijuana plants on your own, gibberellin will play an important role in pollination and the development of new pot seeds. For those who prefer feminized plants, this hormone has a hand in kick-starting the flowering phase. Like certain other hormones, you wouldn’t have as many buds, and they wouldn’t be as large or potent as you’d like them to be without gibberellin.


Cytokinin is a factor in many plant processes, much like most of its hormonal counterparts. This specific substance is primarily responsible for cell division, though. It causes certain plant cells to replicate and prompts others to develop into different types of cells based on the needs of the individual plant at any given time.

Whereas auxin travels from the tips of the plants to the roots, cytokinin takes the opposite route. It starts off in the roots and works its way throughout the rest of the plant. While ethylene promotes plant and fruit aging in many cases, cytokinin has quite the opposite effect. It helps plant cells remain plump, youthful and healthy. It also helps plants repair themselves if they become damaged – handy for when a deer on yoru property mindlessly tramples your train wreck weed plant in the corner of your yard.

Cytokinin works in conjunction with auxin to promote certain transformations in plants, and its concentration levels have an impact on just how the hormone will affect the plant. If cytokinin and auxin are present in equal amounts, plant cells simply divide as needed. If more auxin is present than cytokinin, root tissue grows. In the event the opposite ratio occurs, new plant growth appears.

Abscisic Acid

Abscisic acid is a fairly diverse hormone, and many studies on this chemical leave more questions than they answer. That said, certain roles of the substance are more understood than others. Some reports show this hormone can slow the growth of new shoots while promoting root formation.

This hormone also seems to have the opposite effect of gibberellin in some regards. Abscisic acid can counteract the impact of gibberellin when it comes to speeding up stem growth. It can help plants create and store proteins for later use, too. It’s also one of the hormones that’s responsible for greater plant immunity and helping with repairs once a plant is damaged.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is abscisic acid’s role in keeping plants healthy during times of stress. It essentially tells plants how to react when they’re lacking water and other necessities. In times of drought or other stressful situations, abscisic acid prompts plants to use less water and other resources than they normally would. By encouraging conservation, the hormone helps plants survive conditions that might otherwise take a detrimental toll on them.

Using Plant Hormones to the Fullest Benefit

Now that we’ve covered how those most abundant hormones affect plant growth and development, it’s time to explore the matter a little further. Plants produce all those chemicals on their own, but as so many experienced gardeners can tell you, Mother Nature sometimes needs a helping hand.

You can purchase hormone supplements for your i 49 strain cannabis plants from many other gardening websites. Using them appropriately and in moderation is the key to making them work for you, though. Applying them to your plants at the wrong times or in overly abundant amounts can actually work against your ultimate goals. So do your research and be sure to follow the manufacturers guidelines for each product.

Brassinolide supplements should only be used in small amounts. Popular products on the market come in powdered form and should be mixed with water. From there, you can apply the solution to seeds to promote germination or to other parts of the plant for improved health and growth.

Auxin supplements, like indole acetic acid, can help you grow bigger cannabis plants or expand their root systems. Growers often combine these substances with brassinolide supplements for optimum results.

Ethylene supplements are often applied to plants early on in the flowering phase because of their ability to promote bud growth and development. These supplements are available in synthetic versions and should be diluted with water before being spritzed on the plants.

Experts recommend using gibberellin supplements sparingly because too much of this hormone can do far more harm than good. Still, a solution consisting of about two parts per million of gibberellic acid can certainly be helpful. Apply it to seeds that seem to be struggling to germinate, or use it to help ramp up the flowering phase.

Kinetin, a popular cytokinin supplement, may be helpful in many situations as well. Add it to your marijuana plants during the vegetative phase to encourage new growth. It might also promote bud development and help lead to a bigger harvest later on.

Bottom Line

Plants have certain vital hormones just like people and animals do. Those substances are crucial to the growth and ongoing health of your cannabis plants and play several major roles throughout the lifecycle of your crop. Supplements are available to help boost the effects of plants’ natural hormones. If you decide to intervene using synthetic hormonal supplements, though, it’s best to exercise caution. Otherwise, you might inhibit your harvest more so than improving it.