If you haven’t been thinking about how to increase terpenes as you grow cannabis, now is the right time to take some serious steps. Not only do terpenes affect the aroma and smell of the plant, and, consequently, a user’s enjoyment, but they also are said to increase numerous health benefits and potency of the plant. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at how to maximize their production.
Just like any other plant, cannabis needs proper soil to thrive, and create strong buds rich in terpenes. It goes without saying that the soil should have proper nutrients, but opinions differ on this one; some are pro natural nutrients, while others claim artificial supplements are just as good. Whichever you go for, make sure they don’t add too much smell to your buds. If this is not what you are after, you can flush the plants some two or three weeks prior to harvest. Flushing will remove excess nutrients interfering with the smell of flowers.
By the way, the best recommendation for the soil is to make it “super”, i.e. the so-called “living” soil, which means it is rich in microorganisms. This way, you would be imitating the natural surroundings. Combined with the right supplements, this is sure to give you more diverse and complex terpenes.
To stress or not to stress
To get that terpenes production going, you will have to apply some LST, i.e. low stress training to your plants. The reason for bending the plant and spreading the little branches into the right direction lies in the fact that in this way your precious greenery is getting more light and developing at a more even rate.
Let it shine
Speaking of which, UV light is most highly recommended for a bigger harvest, and especially the UV-B light. UV light is said to entice trichrome production, and since terpenes come from those small glands, this encourages their production, too. In a nutshell, the plant produces them while trying to protect itself from the UV rays. Don’t get too carried away, though, and remember to use protective glasses. The light exposure should take some two to three weeks during the blooming period.
Hot or cold
Temperature is vital for the development of the buds and terpenes concentration and quality in the last 6 weeks of flowering.
In the second half of the blooming stage, the temperature should be below 80°F, as anything above this will cause the buds to stiffen, thus losing the lovely smells. At night, feel free to lower the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees, as this small change has proven beneficial.
As for humidity, it should be around 50% during the flowering stage for maximum terpenes production. However, prior to the harvest, you may want to lower the humidity to 30% since this represents a stress in itself, and will encourage the plant to produce more trichomes. Of course, it is also a protection when it comes to buds rotting.
As lovely as terpenes are, they are also extremely sensitive. It is only too easy for them to degrade as they are very volatile compounds. That would be a real shame, considering the fact that there is such a myriad of different types, helping you create the most beautiful aromas. For this reason, it is essential you do the harvest on time. Each terpene has individual characteristics and these can differ between the harvests, even for the same strain so you need to pay close attention on plants during this period or you risk losing the precious terpenes. Use a magnifying glass for the purpose and check the trichomes on the buds regularly.
Even if you have followed everything so nicely until now, you will need a bit more patience in order for the buds to really give their best. They should be dried slowly, while the humidity is also to be kept low so as not to trigger any mould.
Finally, store the dried buds into jars or some other container (but not white paper or plastic bags), and open them once or twice on a daily basis to let some fresh air inside. Make sure to check for any mildew or bad buds. After a few weeks, you can do it less regularly. This usually takes a month, but the longer you cure it, the smoother the smoke. Provided that you continue to check for mould, of course.
As you can see, it’s all in the buds and proper maintenance. Follow the instructions closely, and you’ll be able to enjoy all those wonderful terpenes effects to the fullest.
Author Bio: Bill Gordon is a freelance writer and cannabis enthusiast. He likes writing articles that cover green, eco-friendly and marijuana related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his family.