You’ve spent years smoking, vaping and admiring cannabis, and now you’re growing your own. While it isn’t easy to achieve nugs that sparkle like the dank little diamonds you find at fine dispensaries like Doobie Nights, there are some simple steps you can take to maximize the trichome and terpene production of your plants so you get buds that are frosty, pungent and tasty af.
To start, you’ll want to choose the right strain. Not all strains are created equal, and the ones with the most insane nose and intense flavors are naturally endowed with a genetic predisposition. So, start with a strain that’s known for the characteristics you’re going for and employ these tricks to enhance what Mother Nature gave them.
The primary factors in the way cannabis looks, tastes and smells come down to something as basic as the four elements: sun, earth, air and water.
Sun: Make sure your buds get as much light as possible. You may need to spread out the branches and/or fold down some of the bigger colas to expose the canopy below to more light. Growing indoors? Choose lights that provide a healthy spectrum. This will increase the trichome production so you’ll get that frosty wow factor.
Earth: A strain’s flavor is heavily influenced by the medium it’s grown in. Unlike hydroponic media, soil has complex nutrient profiles that translate to elevated flavor.
Water: Flushing your plants well will enhance the experience of partaking immensely. For the last two weeks before harvest, put your plants on a water fast. Pure water will flush out any residue from the nutrients so there’s nothing left standing in the way between these tasty buds and your taste buds.
Harvest: You’ll want to nail the timing of the harvest. Too early and the trichomes might not be fully formed, and you’ll end up with buds that don’t bling (or get you as high). Too late and the trichomes will have morphed from milky white to brown – again, you’ll sacrifice sparkle (and diminish the high). But time it just right – when the trichomes are almost all milky white and just a few are beginning to amber – and you’ll get nugs as frosty as their genetics allow.
Drying and curing: For all you do throughout the plant’s life, little of it matters if you drop the ball during curing. The curing process is truly make-or-break. It’s where your buds go to become either epic or meh. If you’ve ever smoked weed that tastes green and grassy, it’s because the chlorophyll didn’t dissipate adequately, and that’s because the grower didn’t cure it properly.
To cure your stash, first dry your freshly harvested buds in a dark room with temperatures in the low- to mid-60s and humidity between 45-55 percent. While each strain will require its own drying time, a good rule of thumb is that if you bend the stem and get a crisp break, it’s ready for curing.
The secret to curing is a much less gross version of what bros do while they drink beer and watch football: burping. That’s right. You’ll need to burp your buds like little babies. Not as weird as it sounds, really. When the buds are dry, simply store them in a jar. Then, twice a day (or more), open the jar so the moisture and carbon dioxide can escape. Leave the lid off for about 30 minutes. Do this every day for the first week. Then taper down to 10 minutes once every few days until curing is complete (about four weeks). Not only does this ensure flawless flavor, it also helps keep your nugs from molding.
Add these tips to your repertoire and you’ll be well on your way to a sweet, homegrown head stash that tastes and smells just as good as it looks.