The research on how to improve cannabis bud quality is not reserved only for beginners. Even knowledgeable growers with a skillset to produce large amounts of cannabis can still struggle with quality. The truth is that you need very little effort to successfully grow cannabis – you’ll be able to harvest buds that will do the job even if you make a ton of mistakes. But not if you’re aiming at a kind of bud that beats the cannabis you get in a dispensary.
The Genetics Foundation
If you start with bag seed, clones, or mid-grade seeds, you can’t possibly reach the quality of top-shelf buds. There’s no growing method that can overcome genetics, so the only way to avoid disappointment is to buy your seeds from a reputable cannabis seed bank. Getting your seeds from a reputable breeder is a foundation for producing potent and gorgeous buds, and you’ll be able to produce the highest quality with consistency.
So before you decide to completely change your growing methods, switch to better seed stock first – it can instantly increase your yields dramatically and drastically improve your harvest. A great part of this foundation is research to find exactly the strain you want. With enough information about the strain and its specifics, you’ll be able to provide the most proper growing conditions.
Let There be Lots of Light
Growing cannabis plants, when in the wild, like direct and bright sunlight. This is precisely why indoor growers have invested years in attempts to make a system that will mimic the sun, or even improve the effect if possible. The thing is that the cannabis plant’s life cycle is determined by the hours of light per day. Although natural sunlight is the best for their growth, it’s much easier to control the life cycle with artificial indoor grow lighting. But the point remains the same – your plants need lots of light as an energy source to produce the food they need in order to grow and flourish.
This is why your buds will never reach their full potential if you’re using underpowered lights. Incandescent bulbs simply don’t have what it takes to do the job, and no amount of growing skill can make up for that. In order to produce the biggest and most dense buds, you need to go for powerful grow lights such as LEDs, LECs, or HPS. Since they use less energy and produce more light at a lower wattage, LEDs are a popular choice. They can also be mounted closer to plants because they also produce less heat. Just make sure they contain white and green light in their spectrum since the shortage of it can lead to inefficient nutrient uptake.
Base Nutrients, Then Supplements
Overfeeding and overwatering are the most common mistakes, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re giving the plants the correct base of nutrients in the flowering stage. While nitrogen is needed for growth in the vegetative stage, you need to reduce it to rather low levels in the second half of flowering stage when there’s not so much foliage and the buds are bulking up. Too much nitrogen at this stage of maturity will actually decrease bud production. To increase the number of flowers in the flowering stage you’ll also need a good deal of phosphorus, which is known as a bud enhancer. You also need a satisfying source of potassium to increase the size and density of each individual flower. The most important thing in the second half of the flowering stage is not to overfeed plants cause that will affect the taste of final buds.
As for the supplements, carbohydrates/sugar will increase bulk, improving the smell and taste at the same time. You can also include esters ad terpenes that will give your buds unique subtle flavors like grape or berry. Blackstrap molasses is actually not made for plants but giving it to them in the last few weeks can make them taste and smell better, even make them bigger. Bloom enhancers will provide plants with a variety of non-nutrient ingredients and aid in their growth – they give them humic or amino acids so the plants don’t need to make everything itself. If you’re gonna use PK boosters it’s important to use a brand that only adds a tiny amount of base nutrients since you can easily go overboard with potassium and phosphorus.
Maintaining Temperature And Humidity
When it comes to ambient temperature, the range of 68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit is what seedlings enjoy. When they come to the vegetative stage they prefer a warmer setting of 70 to 85 degrees. The ideal temperature range in the flowering stage is between 65 and 80 degrees. At night the temperature should be maintained between 68 and 75 degrees if you’re not after colors such as purple or pink which need nighttime temperatures at the low end of the scale to come out.
Balanced humidity is also crucial for maintaining optimal bud health, especially when you grow indoors. High humidity can trigger bud rot, while low humidity can cause your plants to wilt and creates a welcoming environment for spider mites. Relative humidity range of 65 to 70 percent allows better water absorption through leaves and it’s perfect for seedlings. Appropriate range for the vegetative stage is 40 to 70 percent. In order to avoid bud rot, mildew, and powdery mold, flowering plants require a range of 40 to 50 percent while the late flowering period should have the lowest humidity levels, between 30 and 40 percent. It’s also recommendable to use a dehumidifier to drop humidity levels as low as possible during the final two or three weeks before harvest since that could increase resin production.
The Importance of Drying And Curing
Everyone knows that even the best growing methods don’t mean anything if you don’t know when is the right time to harvest, but what many don’t know is that process of drying and curing is equally important. In fact, this process makes up almost 50 percent of your final bud appearance, increasing its potency and smell. You need to dry your buds slowly, and curing them in mason jars between 2 and 4 weeks will tighten them up and make them denser. Although this process sounds simple, there are many ways of drying and different techniques of curing and not performing them correctly could lead to mold development which damages the plant and lowered potency. So choose your method carefully and don’t forget to open the jars briefly on a daily basis to introduce fresh air and release gas buildup.
Nothing can beat genetics. Nothing can compensate for underpowered lights. No supplements can replace base nutrients. Wrong temperature and humidity ranges can ruin all of your efforts. The wrong approach to drying and curing is like leaving the job half done. As you can see, when it comes to improving cannabis bud quality, there are no shortcuts. It requires dedication and the right approach, but it’s definitely worth it.