Almost anyone can grow average buds. But how are the really good buds produced? There are several fundamentals to produce higher weed quality. When kept in mind and practiced faithfully this list can help you produce better quality of buds.
1. There’s No Substitute For Superior Genetics
Growing from bag-seed isn’t unthinkable. I’ve grown a few plants from seeds found in bags to mixed results. Never anything notably spectacular.
It wasn’t until I started researching plant strains with genetics appropriate for my growing conditions that I discovered the wonders of online seed banks.
After some research I chose the Flying Dutchmen and placed an order. Within six weeks I knew my purchase had been wise. There’s no substitute for better genetics. My plants raised from stock ordered from the seed bank stock were stronger, larger and more potent than anything I’d worked with before. The yield itself was larger and the weed quality was obviously better than anything I’d grown previously, from seeds or clones of any ilk.
I became a convert. I never used bag-seed again after that. Genetics matter and the results can’t be denied.
2. The Quality And Type Of Lighting Matters
For my first grow cycle I depended heavily upon hand-me-down materials and equipment. I learned from grow forums that my High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights emit smaller and smaller output as time passes due to several factors. Care must be taken to keep bulbs clean and ballasts working properly.
It wasn’t until I had four or five yields under my belt that I was able to afford brand new lights with brand new ballasts. (Soon I could even afford a few brand new hoods for the lights with fans and ducts in between.) The difference in grow-time and bud-lushness was unmistakable.
Your plants are the culmination of every environmental factor that can be controlled by man, plus a little luck. The better control you have over your grow space and the equipment within the better off your yield totals and weed quality will be.
3. Nutrients and Supplements For Higher Weed Quality
Before you begin potting it’s a good idea to formulate a nutrient plan. Too few nutrients and your plants will fall short of their fullest grow potential. Too many nutrients added too quickly can “burn” your growing medium or damage the delicate root systems of your plants.
I worked with my local grow store guy to develop a simple additive routine to supplement my usual watering routine. In addition to balancing the water’s natural pH properly he gave me a few simple (but costly) base nutrient solutions. This included additives for Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Potassium during the grow stage. These nutrients come with instructions for use but we planned to use less than half the specified amounts so I would have room to add more if necessary. After several weeks I was able to measure these nutrients in my sleep from having repeated the feeding process every few days.
There are many supplements available for nearly every sort of chemical adjustment you might need to make. I became quickly overwhelmed early on regarding which supplements were necessary. Also I was concerned with which were merely “good to have” or wouldn’t necessarily impact my bud yield or weed quality.
Remembering that too much of a good thing can spoil the effort I kept my supplement use to a minimum. Also, supplements and nutrients can get pretty expensive even if you’re opting for the middle-range product. Buy only what you need for your grow scenario with what you can afford to spend.
I’m generally wary of “bloom enhancers” and taste-additives that are flavored and have outlandish names like Grape Explosion or Orange Madness. Some growers swear by these supplements. However, in my crops, I prefer a ‘natural’ or organic taste and smell over the chemical option.
Terpenes contribute to the flavors of many household spices like cinnamon, rosemary, cloves and ginger. They help create the scent of most flowers. The unique combination of terpenes and terpenoids produced in cannabis flowers (buds) cause most of their taste and smell.
There are a many varieties of natural and chemical additives to increase or strengthen terpene content. Many of the desirable tastes and smells from properly grown bud come naturally, and many folks don’t appreciate the taste of chemicals when smoking. This can happen after using many of the available products for sale today. Consult with your grow store guy for the desired effect.
Learn more about terpenes here.
5. Temperature and Humidity
Producing and maintaining the proper temperature in your grow space with the proper humidity is just as essential as proper water pH. Growing plants outside of proper temperature or humidity tolerances stresses the plants. This can cause them to grow improperly, develop problems in roots or stems and will negatively impact the overall yield as well as weed quality.
Maintain daytime temperatures around 65-80°F in the flowering stage unless you’re using CO2 which does best at around 80-90°F. However, even if you’re using CO2, most growers recommend you back off and bring the temps down to 65-80°F for the last two weeks before harvest.
Night temperatures should be kept around 68-75°F for most strains. Too-cool temps increase the chances of bud rot which thrives in the 60°F range, and freezing temperatures can actually damage or even kill your plants.
Humidity stumps a lot of new growers and causes several unexpected issues. Maintaining higher humidity during the vegetative stage will reduce salt levels within the plant. All the while, encouraging healthy and lush growth.
During the vegetative stage, if humidity drops below 40%, it can cause problems. Especially anywhere below 25%, it can cause lack of nutrients or light/heat stress. But in these cases, just adding a little moisture to the air does wonders, even if you don’t change anything else.
During the flowering stage your cannabis plants actually prefer less humidity! For best weed quality, keep humidity 40%-50% during the flowering stage.
Always talk with your grow-store guy or online community about what to do and what to expect during the final weeks of your grow. Actions taken during this time can greatly affect many aspects of your operation.
6. The Flow Of Air
Proper ventilation is absolutely necessary. I recommend using a small rotating fan or two until your finances can support a duct system to move air around. Your lights can heat the air more than you realize. Getting the hotter air out and bringing fresh air in can make a world of difference with the final product.
As my operation grew larger I ended up adding a charcoal filter in-line with my light-hoods. These tied into my home’s HVAC system and outputted through the home’s pre-existing chimney system to eliminate the smell of nearly finished plants. The smell can be a dead giveaway. Eliminating the smell and pushing the hotter exhaust air away became crucial and for me this was an expensive but necessary solution.
7. Don’t Rush Through Drying And Curing
If you have progressed far enough to have reached the cut-down phase that means you’ve dealt with problems successfully and you’re ready to harvest. But the best-practices required for great weed quality doesn’t end there! I’ve known lots of growers who feel their responsibility to their crop ends when they cut the stalks of their plants and hang them. Nothing could be further from the truth where bud quality is concerned.
Proper drying and curing is a huge portion of what determines overall end-quality. Don’t handicap your large yield by reducing weed quality due to impatience or ignorance. A little education goes a long way.
Drying buds slowly and then curing them in glass jars for 2-4+ weeks helps “tighten up” buds so they are more dense. Curing also intensifies smell and increases potency!
In conclusion, if you start with good genetics, educate yourself about the environmental and nutritional requirements this can make a difference. Also utilize best practices throughout and properly treat every issue that arises during the process, the rewards will be plentiful and worthy of your pride. And after all, isn’t your investment worth at least that?
Here at Blunt Style we work super hard to bring you awesome quality stuff. If you dig our content and value we provide you it would mean the world to us if you picked up some Blunt Style merch!