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How To Increase Terpene Levels In Cannabis Plants
By cbr - January 18, 2022
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found naturally in a variety of plants, though they are most notably known for giving exquisite taste and/or aromas to cannabis plants and products derived from them, such as CBD-based topicals or Delta 8 THC products. While a significant part of growers focuses on achieving the right levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, terpenes might be worth some of your attention as well.
Experimenting with their contents can remarkably influence the flavor and scent of your plants, allowing you to reach true connoisseurs with your products – or simply enjoy the improved flowers yourself. But that’s not all – terpenes have been found to bring their own sets of benefits to cannabis users, from promoting better sleep and relaxation to boosting energy levels.
If you want to boost the terpene contents in your cannabis plants, you can start by selecting the right seeds and choosing the suitable soil to grow them in; don’t forget about the necessary nutrients. Then, learn how to trim and stress the plant just enough for it to adapt, optimize lighting and control the temperature. Last but not least, recognize the best moment to flush, and then harvest the plants carefully.
Below, we go through these tips in detail.
Find Quality, Terpene-Rich Seeds
If you want to grow terpene-rich cannabis plants, the first thing you need to do is look for seeds that have a good chance of developing these characteristics. The most common way to go about this is by looking up reviews from other growers and customers; if a particular variety has been praised for its aroma or taste, it’s worth giving it a try.
However, you should look at the negative reviews as well, and learn what’s wrong with the strain. For example, poor yields often indicate low levels of terpenes, while the mold is a sign of too much humidity. That way, you can avoid making the same mistakes and decide whether the strain is actually worth growing.
Another good way of choosing the right seeds is to check their genetics. If you know what your favorite strains are crossed with – or even better, if you have access to the original plant – you can choose the end product according to your preferences. For example, some Indica strains are known for their high levels of myrcene, which gives a more sedative effect than high-THC strains; others are more suited for socializing, thanks to the pinene they contain.
Choose the Right Soil with the Necessary Nutrients
One of the most important factors influencing the characteristics of your plants is the soil they’re grown in. If you want to boost terpene levels, you should make sure it’s rich with nutrients, but also porous enough for your plants to breathe. You can achieve this by using compost or other organic fertilizers, which are a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Other than that, make sure there is also plenty of calcium and magnesium – they are crucial for the development of roots and secondary buds.
Know All About Trimming and Stressing Your Plants
Another important factor for terpenes is the time of cultivation. When you’re growing cannabis, you have to trim your plants from time to time, especially when they’re growing too tall. It’s important not to overdo this, as cutting off too much can stress your plant even more and actually cause it to produce fewer terpenes. However, it’s also vital to keep some of the buds intact so that your plant has something to flower with.
On the other hand, stressing the plant is equally important when it comes to terpene production – it forces the plant to make extra terpenes in order to protect itself. The key is to find the perfect balance.
Optimize Lighting and Control Temperature
If you want to grow the most terpene-rich plants, you should control their lighting and temperature as much as possible. For the former, you should use the right light bulbs or LED panels, which replicate natural sunlight and ensure your plants receive just enough of it.
What’s more, you should place the lights high enough so that they don’t warm up too much; by keeping them on a lower level, they will provide additional heat in the form of infrared rays. If you want to increase the levels of terpenes, you need to focus on providing just the right amount of UV light. Plants produce these substances to protect themselves, though too much UV light can also kill them.
When it comes to temperature, you have to be careful not to let your plants get too hot – or too cold. The ideal temperature for cannabis ranges from 65°F to 80°F, with the daytime being warmer than the nighttime. You should also make sure that there is enough airflow in the grow room, or your plants will not only be deprived of oxygen but will also have a harder time fighting off diseases.
Flush and Harvest Carefully
Last but not least, around two weeks before harvesting, make sure to flush your plants, which is a process of watering them with plain water. This will help wash out the excess nutrients, including any unwanted substances like chemical fertilizers that could affect the final flavor or scent of your product. The plants will last longer if you’re careful about this, and the final products will also be healthier!
When it comes to harvesting, you should do it as carefully as possible – there are a few different ways to go about this, but none of them should lead to any damage. In other words, you want to take your time and cut off the buds at the right moment, without removing too many leaves or breaking the branches.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to boost the terpene levels in your cannabis plants – and the good news is that most of them don’t require much effort. If you want to add something special to your crop, learning about the ways to increase terpene levels should be one of the first things you do. Most of them are quite simple, but they really make a difference!
Terpenes are a fascinating area of cannabis breeding and growing, with many growers choosing to focus on them in order to develop the most exquisite plants. While THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids also play an important role, terpenes might be worth some of your attention as well. With the right strain, soil, and environment, you can grow the most aromatic cannabis you’ve ever seen!
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