The Osmosis Effect in Cannabis Plants

Learning the osmosis effect in cannabis is much more than just a science class about your cannabis garden. Understanding how your cannabis plant exhibits the osmosis effect helps you maintain better health for your plants and more balanced nutrients in your garden. Read this article to learn about the osmosis effect and its effect on your cannabis plants.

The process of osmosis is what effectively keeps the cannabis plant standing upright, and not wilting or lying down on the ground. Through the process of osmosis, the solutes presented in the cells are kept at the correct amount. What this process teaches us is that pure water will move toward a solution that contains more solutes. Water will always be moving in that direction. It is an important process for many plants, and especially so with cannabis. So why is the osmosis effect so important for weed?

To understand what the osmosis effect is exactly in the cannabis plant, it is more important to understand exactly what the scientific process of osmosis is. This will enable you to better understand growing your plant and how it is that we even come about with a full-grown cannabis plant.

What is osmosis?

The best example of the experiment that is often used by school students to identify osmosis is by separating water that has a solute from water that is pure by a semi-permeable membrane. What ends up happening is that the pure water is pulled in through the membrane, whereas the solutes stay on their side of the membrane. This causes dilution.

The entire process of osmosis continues until an equilibrium has been reached. The process of osmosis does not use any energy and so does not actually require anything from the plant. It is simply a process that happens within the plant that continues to maintain the balance of nutrients and other chemicals inside of it.

So, the cells in the cannabis plant work in exactly the same way. The semi-permeable membrane keeps things out while it is simultaneously pulling in water. The cell contains a high concentration of solutes and so the water continues to enter the cell until an equilibrium has been reached.

With all of this water moving into the cell, it swells as a result. This is how your cannabis plant stays upright and prevents itself from wilting. This process also causes a strong counterpressure from the cells of the plant to stop it from exploding or bursting. This effectively causes a stronger plant that grows taller and straighter, therefore receiving more light from the sun.

Osmotic pressure

Keeping the nutrient balance of your cannabis plant is essential to its health and to its yield. The main nutrients that you feed to your cannabis plant are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. What is important to understand is that these nutrients are already present within the cannabis plant, and you also bring them in from outside with your nutrient mix that you continue to feed the cannabis plant during its growth process. So, then, these chemicals are present both inside and outside the cells of the cannabis plant, and osmosis is the process of maintaining the equilibrium of water flow and the nutrients in the plant.

The Osmosis Effect in Marijuana Plants

Nutrient absorption typically occurs in the roots of the cannabis plant, and this is why we usually feed the soil of the cannabis plant with nutrients. Naturally, then, there are parts of the cannabis plant which contain a higher concentration of nutrients and other parts of it which don’t contain such a high concentration.

The process of osmosis helps to more evenly distribute the nutrients across the cannabis plant. This is what is caused by osmotic pressure. The pressure of the osmosis process literally pushes the nutrients all around the plant, so that the nutrients might be properly absorbed by all parts of the cannabis plant.

When the cannabis plant uses up enough of a single nutrient, for example, nitrogen, it begins to draw the nitrogen in from an outside source. This is the example of osmosis in reference to the nutrient absorption within the cannabis plant.

When the equilibrium is reached, the movement of water and nutrients stops. However, when an imbalance occurs again, the process occurs again. So osmosis will continue to take place until an equilibrium is reached, and once the equilibrium is disturbed the osmosis process will begin again.


Turgor is what maintains the sturdiness of your plant and keeps it upright. This is caused by the amount of pressure inside the cell that is pushing on the walls of the cell. This means that there is more pressure inside the cell than there is on the outside. The opposite of this is when the pressure is greater outside the cell than it is inside. This is actually called plasmolysis and is the process of death of a cell, so it is obviously not desired when growing weed. This occurs when there is not enough water inside the cell.

The Osmosis Effect in Marijuana Plants

Understanding the process by which your cannabis plant stays healthy is important if you want to grow a good plant. Understanding the process of osmosis assists you in adding nutrients to your plant and and understanding how it absorbs those nutrients. Osmosis is a naturally occurring process in most living organisms, and so it is not specific only to the cannabis plant. But now you understand how the osmosis process affects the nutrient absorption of cannabis, and you can be a better grower.


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Emma Ryte

    Emma Ryte

    Born in Germany, lived in England my childhood years and spent my high school era in the US. My parents are basically hippies and that is why I have had the possibility to speak freely and explore my passion for the cannabis plant. My love for writing followed soon after. Writing about this subject has taught me so many things about the use, cultivation, health benefits and industrial options, and I love that I can share this knowledge with you! I visit Amsterdam as often as I can and I love the vibe there when it comes to weed, it lets me try new things and learn about the newest developments in the industry. The one person I would love to smoke some with would have to be Stevie Wonder. I love relaxing to his music while high and I would love to meet him!
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