How to increase terpene and terpenoid content in cannabis
Every once in a while a buddy walks in the door, and he’s got a bag of ganja that smells insanely strong! He’s got it double-bagged and in a glass jar, and the moment that glass jar opens the entire flat smells like there might be kilos of weed present – but its just a few grams of the sticky-ickiest cannabis around. Your first thought as a cultivator might be, “how do I get my buds to smell that strong?”
A lot of that has to do with the genetics and strains that you’ve chosen to work with, and just as much of it has to do with your cultivation techniques.
Lets take a look at the different ways you can boost the terpene and terpendoid content in the cannabis you’re cultivating.
Strains and Genetics
Cannabis plants, and subsequently the buds they produce, have a maximum potential determined by their genetics. In simple terms this means that if you want the best ganja, you’ve got to start with the best seed stock.
Cultivation considerations of boosting flavours and aromas
After picking the right genetics for what you want to produce, there are a few considerations we can take during cultivation and in cultivation room engineering to make sure we take advantage of the maximum potential of the genetics.
Soil quality is incredibly important. Having good drainage and proper nutrient availability is one of the foundations of growing weed with a mind blowing aroma. In a nutshell, weed that is in poor soil will result in poor flavours.
Plant Stress (temperatures humidity watering)
A lot of cannabis genetics will respond favourably when given just the right amount of stress – just a little bit.
There are a variety of ways in which this can be accomplished and many cultivators choose to mix all or some of them together. Caution should be taken when purposely stressing your plants. Too much stress can cause female plants to hermie and start producing male pollen sacks. This could be disastrous for your garden, seeding the entire crop. That’s why it’s important to identify the early signs of hermie plant.
Lower temperatures can result in higher production of terpene and terpenoid content as well as maximizing potency.
Lower humidity levels can also encourage a plant to produce more resinous content, and thus, terpene and terpenoid content, in an effort of the plants to protect itself from drying out.
Letting your cannabis plants go a little bit longer in between watering can also trick the plan into thinking it needs to protect itself from drying out.
The spectrum of light between HPS, MH, LED, CMH, and CFL bulbs are all different. Different spectrums of light will potentiate cannabinoid and terpene and terpenoid production.
Many cultivators who are growing with LED might use supplementary lighting like high UV output CFLs for side lighting. This can boost the production of all the things we’re after.
Some cultivators have found that CMH (also known as LEC) lighting has the potential to boost content of terpenes and terpenoids as much as 10%, in certain strains compared to HPS. Of course, different genetics respond to different lighting spectrums in different ways.
Many cultivators use combinations of HPS, and MH bulbs during flowering to get the spectrum that they are looking for in order to get the biggest production of the very best, most stinky buds.
Harvest at the right time
Something as simple asharvesting at the right time is as important as any other hack in order to get the best out of your buds. It’s incredibly important that cannabis plants are left to mature, allowing for all of the biochemical processes to finish before choosing to cut down and harvest. Often times its recommended to cultivators that when they think its ready – wait two more weeks.
Drying and Curing
The final stage of cultivation is drying and curing, and if you have read our article on proper drying and curing techniques, you’ll already know that the drying and curing stage is critical to preserving all of the dankness and potency.
There’s nothing worse than opening up your bag of ganja and observing that your incredible buds that smelled so strong while they were growing – now just smell like hay. Even worse, you might even find that you weren’t careful enough with your trichomes and that your THCa has degraded from THC to CBN.