8 Tips For Growing The Best Cannabis
8 Tips For Growing The Best Cannabis
Growing the best smelling, and tasting, cannabis involves maximizing the cannabinoids & terpenes found in the strain. As explained in a previous blog post, The Smell Of Cannabis, terpenes are what set one strain apart from another when it comes to cannabis. Therefore, if you want to grow the best smelling weed, you need to maximize the terpene profile of the strain. Don’t mix up terpenes with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids include THC, CBD which lie in the resin, but terpenes are in tri-chrome resin too and they are what give each strain its unique smell and taste.
For example, Limonene is the terpene responsible for a citrus smell. Linalool is responsible for any kind of floral or spicy scent. So if you want your Lemon Haze to smell like lemon, you need to promote the production of terpenes in your cannabis plant. Like wines, scent is an important element when it comes to judging the quality of cannabis.
Cannabinoids, like THC & CBD, are also found in tri-chrome resin, so any tips on how to maximize terpenes will also help maximize cannabinoid production and levels. But at the end of the day, no one wants cannabis that smells or tastes terrible regardless of how much THC it has. The finest cannabis will always have a powerful scent and a taste that reflects that scent. If your cannabis plant smells powerful, then your are maximizing the terpenes and maximizing whatever amount of THC that strain can produce.
How To Maximize THC & Terpenes In Cannabis
1. Strain – The strain you grow is going to a have a predisposed terpene profile. Unless you cross it with a different strain, you are not going to be able to fundamentally change that terpene profile, only enhance it. So if you don’t like earthly smelling cannabis, don’t buy a strain that has a high Myrcene profile. Myrcene is the terpene that gives off that musky, earthy smell.
There is a caveat to this in that terpenes seem to have some relation to the effects of the cannabis. Caryophyllene is a terpene that tends to be found in happy, social strains of cannabis, while Linalool is normally associated with relaxed, chill types of strains. So you may have to live with a certain smelling cannabis strain if you want certain types of high or effects from smoking or ingesting it.
Maybe the best way to sum this up: THC effects the power of the high, terpenes effect the type of high.
2. Soil – This seems pretty obvious, but the better the soil, the better the cannabis. Spend the extra few bucks for what you need to make an ideal ROLS, Recycled Organic Living Soil. This sounds really fancy and scientific, but its not. Its mixing dirt, rock, compost and organic matter together to create a perfect feeding ground for your cannabis plants. We teach you how in this blog post: Recycled Organic Living Soil
Yes, it is more expensive then buying soil at a home store. Yes, it is more work than dumping soil from a bag. Yes, it take some pre-planning. You’ll want to mix your ROLS a month before using it. In the end, you will be much happier with your plants and they will be happier with your ROLS.
3. Low Stress Training – A little adversity makes cannabis plants stronger. There are two types of low stress training that can help maximize terpenes, and in turn, grow nicer buds. The first is bending, tying off, or manipulating the growth of a cannabis branch. Anyone using a screen is doing this when feeding branching over/under frames of the screen. Using soft-ties to bend a branch out and away from the main stem is also a form of low stress training. The goal of this training is to allow more light into the interior of the plant causing it to be bushier and dense as opposed to tall and stringy. By allowing more light into the center of the plant, you grow more flowers, and flowers that get good light produce nice resin.
The second form of low stress training to help maximize terpenes is defoliation, or the removal of leaves. The removal of leaves both stresses the plant and allows more light into the cannabis plant’s interior.
4. Temperature Control – You want the night time temperature of a cannabis plant to be about 5C or 10F cooler than its day time temperature. Why? Tri-chromes are produced at night. Besides light, a plant senses day from night by a change in temperature. The lack of light and drop in temperature tell the cannabis plant to change over from photosynthesis to production.
5. UV-B light – One of the reasons cannabis plants produce resin is to protect the plant from too much light. You can take advantage of that by using UV-B light during the 2-3 weeks during mid to late flowering stages. By exposing the plant to additional, non harmful, light(you don’t want to singe the plant) the cannabis plant is tricked into producing more resin to protect itself.
6. Flush your cannabis plants – This tip doesn’t really increase terpenes as much as it decreases the stuff that would prevent you from enjoying the purity of the terpenes in the plant. Flushing the plants with pure water for at least a week before harvesting removes all the extra nutrients and chemicals from the plant that effect the taste and smell. So while flushing them won’t produce more terpenes, it will help you appreciate the ones the plant has.
7. Harvest on time – Terpenes, like cannabinoids(ie. THC), have a fragile life cycle. They build up in a cannabis plant to a peak and then they start to go over the peak and downhill quite rapidly. Harvesting too early or too late will have a serious effect of the terpenes and therefore the smell and taste of the cannabis. Know your strain. Look for the key signs: mostly browned pistils, a small percentage of milky tri-chromes. Harvest on time to get the most out of your terpenes.
8. Drying/Curing – You can do all 7 steps above perfectly and screw it all up here. Drying and curing cannabis is one of the dark arts of growing your own weed. Everyone has a system they trust, and 40 systems someone else recommended that they tried and hated.
Hanging or placing on a drying rack for 48-72 hours, and then placing in huge paper leaf bags (you can buy at a home store for raking/bagging leaves) for 5-7 days is a proven method. The huge paper bags allow you to dry a lot of cannabis at once and leave plenty of room for the cannabis to breathe while drying. Just cover the bottom, roll the bag down leaving space for the weed to breathe and stash the rolled up bag somewhere dark, with a small fan. Temperature about 15C or 60F is fine. Humidity in the 50’s if you have the ability to check and monitor it.