Growing Marijuana for Peak Potency
Increasing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids while growing, drying, and curing marijuana to enhance its potency can be achieved through various cultivation practices and environmental factors.
Beginning with high-quality cannabis strains that naturally contain higher levels of these phytochemicals is a great start. Following these proven techniques to increase cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid production is your next step. So, let’s get started, shall we?
Introduction: Growing Potent Marijuana
Unlocking the full potential of cannabis goes beyond simply growing the plant. It delves into the intricate art of optimizing the levels of cannabinoids, terpenes, and, flavonoids—the very essence that sets one strain apart from another.
From the moment the seeds are sown to the final stages of harvest, every aspect of cultivation plays a vital role in shaping the chemical composition of this remarkable plant.
In this article, we delve deep into the world of cannabis cultivation and explore the various techniques and practices that can elevate the production of these coveted secondary metabolites.
We uncover the secrets to enhancing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids unraveling the science behind their formation and providing practical insights for growers seeking to unlock their true potential.
Prepare to embark on a journey where light becomes a catalyst for chemical synthesis. Discover the magic of manipulating the light spectrum and intensity throughout different growth stages, harnessing the power of UVB and far-red light to stimulate the production of these valuable compounds.
From choosing the right lighting system to mastering the precise timing and duration of exposure, we leave no stone unturned in our quest for optimal chemical expression.
But it doesn’t stop there. Nutrient management emerges as a critical factor in the pursuit of cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid-rich cannabis. We delve into the world of macronutrients and micronutrients, uncovering the delicate balance required to avoid deficiencies or excesses that could sabotage chemical production.
Explore a world of fertilizers, compounds, and dosages as we guide you toward a nutrient regimen that unlocks the full potential of your plants.
Temperature and humidity, seemingly mundane factors, take center stage in our journey toward chemical excellence. We unveil the hidden power of cool temperatures and lower humidity towards the end of flowering, unearthing the secret to enhancing terpene synthesis.
Discover how slight environmental adjustments can lead to a symphony of aromatic compounds, delighting the senses and elevating your cannabis to a realm of exquisite quality.
But it doesn’t end with environmental factors alone. We uncover the power of stress—a controlled catalyst that can awaken the plant’s innate capacity to produce secondary metabolites.
From low-stress training techniques to carefully orchestrated high-stress moments, we explore the fine art of nudging cannabis to reach its full potential, coaxing out rich, complex profiles that captivate and enchant.
As we approach the pinnacle of cultivation—harvest—the stakes grow even higher. We decode the language of trichomes, those tiny, glistening crystals that hold the key to optimal phytochemical levels.
Learn to read the signs, to decipher the trichome’s coloration, and to discern the precise moment when to harvest becomes an art form. We guide you through the intricacies of timing, ensuring that every strain reaches its ultimate expression of flavor, aroma, and potency.
But our journey doesn’t end there. We shed light on the often-overlooked stage of post-harvest handling, where the true alchemy takes place. Discover the transformative power of proper drying, curing, and storing techniques—secrets that can preserve and enhance the chemical composition of your cannabis.
From meticulous temperature and humidity control to the art of patience and precision, we arm you with the knowledge to elevate your harvest to unparalleled heights.
Join us as we unlock the mysteries of cultivating cannabis with an unwavering commitment to chemical excellence.
From the science to the art, we guide you through every step, equipping you with the tools and insights to cultivate cannabis that transcends the ordinary—a masterpiece of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that will captivate and enthrall all who encounter it.
Get ready to embark on a journey that will forever transform your relationship with cannabis cultivation. Let’s begin our journey with lighting.
Provide the Appropriate Light Spectrum and Intensity
During the vegetative stage, cannabis plants benefit from a light spectrum that emphasizes blue and white light.
Metal halide (MH) or fluorescent lights with a color temperature of around 6500K are commonly used during this stage. These lights provide a balanced spectrum that promotes leafy growth and prepares the plants for the flowering stage.
Once the plants transition to the flowering stage, the light spectrum needs to be adjusted to encourage the production of secondary metabolites such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. At this stage, it is recommended to include UVB and far-red light in the lighting system.
UVB light, which falls within the range of 280-315 nm, can stimulate the production of flavonoids.
This type of light mimics the sun’s natural UVB radiation and can be provided by specialized UVB fluorescent bulbs or LED fixtures that emit UVB. However, it is important to note that UVB light can be harmful in high doses, so it should be used in moderation and within safe limits.
Far-red light, which falls within the range of 700-800 nm, has been found to enhance the synthesis of terpenes and cannabinoids.
This type of light can be added during the last few hours of the light cycle to extend the photoperiod without interrupting the dark period. Far-red light can be supplied using supplemental LED lights or specific LED bulbs designed for this purpose.
When it comes to light timing and duration, cannabis plants typically require a vegetative stage with 18-24 hours of light per day.
During the flowering stage, it is common to provide 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light. However, some growers opt for a slightly longer dark period of 11-13 hours to encourage higher levels of terpenes and cannabinoids.
It is important to monitor and adjust the light intensity throughout the growth stages. Generally, cannabis plants thrive with light intensities ranging from 600 to 1000 µmol/m²/s during the vegetative stage.
During the flowering stage, it is recommended to provide slightly higher light intensities ranging from 800 to 1200 µmol/m²/s to maximize resin production. To put that into perspective, full sunlight produces 2000 µmol/m2/s
By carefully managing the light spectrum, incorporating UVB and far-red light, and adjusting light timing and intensity, you can create an optimized environment that promotes the synthesis of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis plants.
It is essential to select appropriate lighting fixtures, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and regularly monitor the plants’ response to ensure optimal results.
Optimize the Nutrient Regimen for a Balanced Solution
Macronutrients are essential elements required by plants in relatively large quantities. The three primary macronutrients for cannabis are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
- Nitrogen: Nitrogen is crucial for vegetative growth, leaf development, and chlorophyll production.
- Nitrogen sources: Examples include ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, and urea. Some natural sources of nitrogen include manure, compost, fish emulsion, blood meal, feather meal, and seaweed.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus plays a key role in root development, flowering, and overall energy transfer within the plant.
- Phosphorus sources: Common phosphorus fertilizers include superphosphate, monopotassium phosphate (MKP), and bone meal. Some natural sources of phosphorus include rock phosphate, bone meal, guano, compost, fish meal, and wood ash.
- Potassium: Potassium aids in water uptake, nutrient transportation, and overall plant health.
- Potassium sources: Potassium can be provided through fertilizers such as potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, and potassium chloride. Some natural sources of potassium include wood ash, banana peels, compost, greensand, potash, manure, kelp, and seaweed.
Balanced ratios of these macronutrients are important, and the appropriate levels may vary depending on the growth stage.
In addition to macronutrients, cannabis plants require a range of micronutrients, which are essential elements needed in smaller quantities. Micronutrients include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), and others.
These micronutrients are involved in enzyme activities, photosynthesis, and overall plant metabolism. Micronutrient deficiencies can have detrimental effects on plant health and chemical production.
To ensure an adequate supply of micronutrients, cannabis growers often use nutrient solutions containing chelated micronutrients, which are easily absorbed by the plants. Examples of chelated micronutrients include:
- Iron chelates: Iron-EDTA, iron-DTPA, and iron-EDDHA are commonly used to address iron deficiencies in cannabis plants. Some natural sources of iron include seaweed extracts, humic acid, siderophore-producing microorganisms, and iron-rich organic materials such as clays, and iron ore dust.
- Chelated trace element mixes: These blends typically contain a combination of various micronutrients to ensure a balanced supply. Examples include commercial products like “micronutrient blends” or “trace element mixes.” Some natural sources of trace elements include seaweed extracts, compost, and rock minerals.
It is crucial to maintain proper nutrient balance and avoid deficiencies or excesses that can negatively impact chemical production. Monitoring the pH of the nutrient solution is also important, as it affects nutrient availability to the plants.
Cannabis plants generally thrive in a slightly acidic pH range of 5.8 to 6.5 for soil cultivation and 5.5 to 6.0 for hydroponic systems.
Regularly testing the nutrient solution and observing the plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses will help growers make necessary adjustments. Adjustments can be made by modifying the nutrient solution concentration or by adding specific fertilizers to address deficiencies.
By optimizing the nutrient regimen, providing a balanced supply of macronutrients and micronutrients, and carefully monitoring the plants’ nutrient status, cannabis growers can support the production of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids while promoting overall plant health and vigor.
It is important to consult with reputable fertilizer manufacturers, follow their recommended dosage guidelines, and make adjustments based on the specific needs of the cannabis strain being cultivated.
Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies and Excesses
Different nutrient deficiencies and excesses can manifest in various ways on cannabis plants. Here are some common signs to look out for:
- Nitrogen (N) deficiency: Leaves turn pale or yellowish, starting from the bottom of the plant and moving upwards. The lower leaves may drop prematurely, and overall growth may be stunted. The plant appears weak and lacks vigor.
- Nitrogen (N) excess: Dark green leaves that may become brittle and exhibit claw-like curling. The plant may also have excessive vegetative growth with elongated internodes.
- Phosphorus (P) deficiency: Dark green leaves with a bluish tint. Leaves may appear dark, dull, or show purplish discoloration. Growth is stunted, and the plant may have difficulty flowering.
- Phosphorus (P) excess: Rare in cannabis cultivation but can cause nutrient imbalances. It may lead to reduced uptake of other nutrients, resulting in deficiencies of other elements.
- Potassium (K) deficiency: Yellowing or chlorosis of leaf edges and tips, starting from the older leaves. The leaves may curl or become crinkled, and overall growth may be stunted. Plants may be more susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Potassium (K) excess: Rare in cannabis cultivation but can lead to nutrient imbalances. It may cause a nutrient lockout, affecting the uptake of other essential elements.
- Iron (Fe) deficiency: Interveinal chlorosis, where the leaves show yellowing between the veins while the veins remain green. Leaves may develop necrotic spots, and growth may be stunted.
- Iron (Fe) excess: Rare in cannabis cultivation but can cause leaf burn and interfere with the uptake of other nutrients.
- Micronutrient deficiencies (e.g., zinc, manganese, copper, boron): Symptoms vary depending on the specific deficiency. They can include leaf discoloration, distorted growth, necrosis, and reduced overall vigor.
- Micronutrient excesses: Excessive levels of micronutrients can lead to toxicity symptoms, which can vary depending on the specific nutrient. Symptoms may include leaf burn, darkening or yellowing of leaves, and stunted growth.
These are general signs, and it’s important to note that other factors, such as pH imbalance, pests, diseases, and environmental stressors, can also cause similar symptoms.
When identifying nutrient issues, it’s best to consider a combination of visual symptoms, nutrient history, and soil or water testing to accurately diagnose and address the problem.
Maintain the Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels
Temperature plays a vital role in the metabolic processes of cannabis plants. The ideal temperature range for cannabis cultivation typically falls between 20°C and 28°C (68°F and 82°F) during the vegetative stage.
Cooler temperatures at the lower end of this range promote healthy vegetative growth, efficient photosynthesis, and the development of lush foliage.
During the flowering stage, temperature management becomes even more critical.
Cooler temperatures towards the end of flowering, specifically during the final few weeks before harvest, can stimulate terpene synthesis.
Lower temperatures, within the range of 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F), can help preserve and enhance the aroma and flavor profiles of cannabis.
High temperatures above the optimal range can lead to various issues. Excessive heat can cause stress, reduce metabolic efficiency, and potentially hinder the production of secondary metabolites.
It can also increase water evaporation, leading to a higher risk of dehydration and nutrient imbalances. Additionally, elevated temperatures can contribute to the growth of pathogens and pests, negatively impacting plant health.
Humidity levels also play a critical role in cannabis cultivation. During the vegetative stage, maintaining a humidity range of 50% to 70% is generally recommended.
Higher humidity levels during this stage can help prevent excessive transpiration, ensuring efficient water uptake and nutrient absorption.
However, it’s important to maintain good airflow and avoid excessive humidity, as it can create a favorable environment for mold and fungal growth.
As cannabis plants enter the flowering stage, it’s beneficial to gradually lower humidity levels.
Lowering the humidity to a range of 40% to 50% during this stage helps reduce the risk of bud rot and mold formation. Adequate airflow and ventilation are essential to prevent stagnant air pockets and maintain proper humidity control.
It’s worth noting that specific strains may have slight variations in temperature and humidity preferences. It’s essential to consider strain-specific recommendations and observe how plants respond to environmental conditions in order to fine-tune the growing environment accordingly.
Monitoring temperature and humidity levels using thermometers and hygrometers, and employing environmental control systems such as heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers, can help maintain the desired conditions.
Additionally, proper airflow and ventilation, along with the use of fans and exhaust systems, contribute to a healthy growing environment by preventing the buildup of heat, humidity, and stagnant air.
By carefully managing temperature and humidity levels throughout the different growth stages, cannabis growers can create an optimal environment that promotes the synthesis of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, resulting in high-quality, aromatic, and potent cannabis.
Controlled Stress to Trigger the Production of Secondary Metabolites
Low-stress training (LST): LST involves gently bending and securing the branches of the plants to encourage horizontal growth and create an even canopy. By manipulating the plant’s structure, LST allows for better light penetration and airflow, leading to increased bud development and resin production.
The stress created by bending and tying down the branches prompts the plant to redirect energy toward secondary metabolite production. LST can be performed using soft plant ties, garden wire, or plant training clips.
High-stress training (HST): HST involves more aggressive techniques that create significant stress on the plants, promoting increased chemical production. These techniques include topping, fimming, and super cropping.
- Topping: Topping involves removing the top of the main stem, typically when the plant has developed a few sets of leaves. This results in the development of two or more main colas instead of one, stimulating lateral branching and potentially increasing bud sites and resin production.
- Fimming: Fimming is a less precise technique compared to topping. It involves pinching or cutting the top growth, leaving behind a portion of the stem. This technique encourages multiple new shoots to emerge, creating a bushier plant and potentially increasing chemical synthesis.
- Super cropping: Super cropping involves bending or pinching the stems without breaking them. By applying controlled pressure, the stem’s internal structure is stressed, leading to increased production of secondary metabolites. This technique also helps manage the plant’s height and promotes more even light distribution.
In addition to LST and HST, other stressors can be utilized to induce chemical production in cannabis plants. These stressors include:
- Temperature variations: Controlled fluctuations in temperature, particularly towards the end of flowering, can mimic natural environmental stress and stimulate the production of secondary metabolites. Mild temperature drops during the dark period or exposing the plants to cooler nighttime temperatures can trigger enhanced terpene and cannabinoid synthesis.
- Water stress: Carefully managing watering practices to create mild water stress can stimulate the plant’s defense mechanisms, leading to increased secondary metabolite production. This can be achieved by adjusting the watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings, or using techniques like “dry farming.”
- Light stress: Exposing the plants to brief periods of intense light or adjusting the light/dark cycle can create stress and stimulate the production of secondary metabolites. For example, providing a brief period of supplemental UVB light during the flowering stage can increase flavonoid and terpene synthesis.
It’s important to note that while controlled stress can be beneficial, excessive or prolonged stress can have negative effects on plant health and overall yield. Careful observation, monitoring, and adjusting the stress levels based on the specific strain and plant response are crucial to ensure optimal results.
By employing stress-induced responses such as LST, HST, and other controlled stressors, cannabis growers can elicit a heightened production of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, resulting in plants with enhanced chemical profiles and potentially more desirable effects and flavors.
Harvesting Cannabis at The Proper Stage of Maturity
Trichomes are tiny resin glands that develop on the surface of cannabis flowers, leaves and stems.
These trichomes contain the majority of the plant’s phytochemicals, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Observing the trichomes under magnification can provide valuable insights into the plant’s maturity and chemical composition.
To determine the optimal harvest time, growers typically examine the color of the trichomes. The ideal conditions for phytochemical levels in trichomes can be described as follows:
• Milky trichomes: At the early to mid-harvest stage, trichomes appear milky or cloudy. This stage is characterized by high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. Harvesting at this point can result in a more cerebral, energetic, and euphoric effect. This stage is preferred for those seeking a less sedating and more uplifting experience.
• Amber trichomes: As the harvest window progresses, trichomes transition from milky to amber or golden in color. This indicates a further degradation of THC into other cannabinoids, such as CBN (cannabinol).
Harvesting during the amber stage tends to yield a more relaxed, sedating, and potentially couch-lock effect. It is often preferred by individuals seeking a more calming and sleep-inducing experience.
Finding the ideal balance between milky and amber trichomes is crucial, as harvesting too early may result in lower cannabinoid levels and reduced potency while harvesting too late can lead to a more sedative and less energetic experience.
In addition to trichome coloration, other factors can also guide the decision to harvest, including:
• Pistil coloration: Observing the color of the pistils (hairs) on the flowers can provide additional clues about the plant’s maturity. As the plant approaches its optimal harvest time, the pistils may change from white to reddish-brown or orange.
• Strain-specific guidelines: Each cannabis strain has unique characteristics and growth patterns.
It is advisable to consult strain-specific information, including average flowering times, recommended harvest windows, and the desired effects of the strain. This information can serve as a helpful reference point when determining the ideal time to harvest.
Harvesting cannabis at the right time is a critical step in the cultivation process. It ensures that the plant’s phytochemical levels are optimized, leading to a more potent, flavorful, and enjoyable end product.
By closely monitoring trichome coloration, considering pistil development, and following strain-specific guidelines, growers can confidently determine the optimal harvest window for each cannabis strain they cultivate.
Proper Drying and Curing Techniques
• Drying: After harvesting, cannabis plants need to be dried properly to remove excess moisture. This process helps prevent mold and bacterial growth while preserving the desirable compounds. Hang the trimmed branches upside down in a well-ventilated and dark environment with temperatures around 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F) and relative humidity (RH) between 45% and 55%.
Avoid drying in high humidity or under direct light, as it can lead to mold formation or degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Proper drying usually takes around 7 to 10 days, but it can vary depending on environmental conditions and plant density.
• Curing: Curing is an essential step that allows the flavors, aromas, and potency of cannabis to develop further. After drying, the buds are placed in airtight containers such as glass jars. Curing involves periodically opening the containers to release excess moisture and replenish fresh air.
This process helps break down chlorophyll and further enhances the conversion of cannabinoids. Maintain an optimal environment for curing with temperatures around 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F) and RH between 55% and 65%. Curing typically lasts for a few weeks to several months, depending on personal preference and strain characteristics.
• Storing: Once the cannabis is properly dried and cured, it should be stored in airtight containers away from light, heat, and excessive humidity. Use glass jars or containers made specifically for storing cannabis to maintain freshness and potency.
Store the containers in a cool, dark place with temperatures around 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F) and RH between 55% and 65%. This helps prevent the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes over time, preserving the overall quality and effects of the cannabis.
Pro tips for optimal techniques to enhance cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid levels during post-harvest handling:
- Slow drying and gradual curing: Patience is key when drying and curing cannabis. Slow drying at the appropriate temperature and humidity allows the cannabinoids and terpenes to mature and develop their full potential. Similarly, a gradual curing process helps further enhance the aroma, flavor, and potency of the buds.
- Burping the jars: During the curing process, regularly “burping” or opening the jars for a short period (15-30 minutes) allows excess moisture to escape and fresh air to circulate. Burping helps prevent the growth of mold while facilitating the optimal development of flavors and aromas.
- Avoid excessive handling: Minimize excessive handling of the buds during drying, curing, and storage. Touching the trichomes excessively can lead to loss of terpenes and cannabinoids, negatively impacting the overall quality of the product.
- Temperature and humidity control: Maintaining stable temperature and humidity levels during drying, curing, and storage is crucial. Fluctuations in these conditions can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes. Using hygrometers and thermometers can help monitor and maintain the ideal environment.
- Dark storage: Protecting cannabis from light exposure is essential to preserve the delicate compounds. Light can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes over time. Choose opaque containers and store them in a dark place to minimize light exposure.
By following these optimal techniques for drying, curing, and storing cannabis, growers can preserve and enhance the levels of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, resulting in a more flavorful, aromatic, and potent end product.
Proper post-harvest handling is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the chemical composition of cannabis. Here are a few additional pro tips to further enhance cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid levels during post-harvest handling:
- Maintain cleanliness: Ensure that all drying, curing, and storage equipment, including jars, trimming tools, and drying racks, are clean and free from contaminants. Proper sanitation helps prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, or other pathogens that can degrade the quality of the cannabis.
- Monitor moisture content: While drying, periodically check the moisture content of the buds. They should feel dry on the outside but still have a slight amount of moisture inside. Use a hygrometer or feel the branches and buds to assess their dryness. Overdrying can lead to the loss of terpenes and cannabinoids while under-drying can promote mold growth.
- Avoid excessive oxygen exposure: While curing, it’s essential to minimize excessive exposure to oxygen. Although fresh air is necessary during the burping process, prolonged exposure to oxygen can degrade the quality of the cannabis. If storing in larger containers, consider using humidity packs designed for cannabis, which help regulate moisture levels and minimize oxygen exposure.
- Trim leaves carefully: Properly trim the buds before drying to remove excess foliage and fan leaves. This helps improve airflow during drying and prevents the growth of mold in hard-to-reach areas. However, it’s important not to overtrim, as the sugar leaves surrounding the buds also contain valuable cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Store in a controlled environment: If possible, create a dedicated space or room for drying, curing, and storing cannabis. This allows for better control over temperature, humidity, and light exposure. Consider using a dedicated drying tent or a separate area with appropriate ventilation and environmental control systems to maintain optimal conditions.
- Experiment with extended curing: While curing for a few weeks is sufficient for most cannabis, some strains benefit from extended curing periods. By allowing the buds to cure for several months under controlled conditions, the flavors, aromas, and overall complexity of the cannabis can further develop, resulting in a more refined and enjoyable product.
Remember that the optimal post-harvest techniques may vary depending on the specific strain, environmental conditions, and personal preferences. It’s essential to experiment, take notes, and refine your processes over time to achieve the desired results.
By implementing these pro tips and paying attention to every detail during drying, curing, and storage, you can enhance the cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid levels of your cannabis, resulting in a premium-quality product that offers an exceptional sensory experience and potent effects.
Conclusion: Taking Pride in a Job Well Done
Cultivating cannabis with high levels of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids requires careful attention to various factors throughout the cultivation process.
From optimizing lighting and nutrient management to maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, every stage of growth plays a crucial role in maximizing the production of these secondary metabolites.
Controlling the light spectrum and intensity during different growth stages, including the incorporation of UVB and far-red light, can stimulate the production of flavonoids and terpenes in cannabis. Adjusting the lighting system and timing can have a significant impact on the plant’s chemical composition.
Proper nutrient management is essential for providing a balanced nutrient solution that includes essential macronutrients and micronutrients. Avoiding nutrient deficiencies or excesses is crucial, as they can negatively impact the production of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids.
Utilizing fertilizers specifically formulated for cannabis and ensuring adequate levels of macronutrients and micronutrients can help optimize the plant’s chemical profile.
Maintaining the ideal temperature and humidity levels throughout the growth cycle is important for promoting terpene synthesis in cannabis. Cooler temperatures and lower humidity towards the end of flowering stages can enhance the production of these compounds, resulting in a more aromatic and flavorful final product.
Controlled stress-induced responses, such as low-stress training (LST) or high-stress training (HST), can also trigger the production of secondary metabolites in cannabis.
By subjecting the plants to mild stress, such as bending or pruning, growers can prompt the plants to increase the production of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids.
Harvesting cannabis at the right time is critical to optimizing the levels of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Monitoring trichome coloration, particularly the transition from milky to amber, provides valuable insights into the plant’s maturity and chemical composition.
Following strain-specific guidelines and paying attention to pistil coloration further helps determine the optimal time to harvest.
Lastly, proper post-harvest handling techniques, including drying, curing, and storage, are essential for preserving and enhancing the chemical composition of cannabis.
Slow drying and gradual curing processes allow the compounds to mature and develop their full potential. Maintaining proper temperature, humidity, and darkness during storage helps prevent degradation and maintain the potency and flavor of the final product.
So, optimizing flavonoid, terpene, and cannabinoid levels in cannabis requires careful attention to lighting, nutrient management, temperature, humidity, stress-induced responses, harvest timing, and post-harvest handling techniques.
By implementing these strategies, growers can enhance the chemical composition of their cannabis, resulting in a more potent, aromatic, and flavorful end product.
L&C Writing Staff
Desaulniers Brousseau V, Wu BS, MacPherson S, Morello V, Lefsrud M. Cannabinoids and Terpenes: How Production of Photo-Protectants Can Be Manipulated to Enhance Cannabis sativa L. Phytochemistry. Front Plant Sci. 2021 May 31;12:620021. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.620021