How To Increase Terpenes When Growing Marijuana – 13 Effective Tips

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How To Increase Terpenes When Growing Marijuana – 13 Effective Tips

How To Increase Terpenes When Growing Marijuana

How To Increase Terpenes When Growing Marijuana

The smell of a particular marijuana plant is due to its terpene content. These aromatic compounds are naturally occurring and are found in all marijuana strains. There are about 400 known terpenes found in different strains of cannabis.

If you’ve ever noticed those tiny little hairs that exist on marijuana plants, the hairs that give them a crystalline look, then you’ve seen trichomes. Trichomes are the entities responsible for terpene production in marijuana.

Why Increase Terpene Production in Marijuana Plants

Why Increase Terpene Production in Marijuana Plants

Why Increase Terpene Production in Marijuana Plants

Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds produced by cannabis and other plants to serve various purposes. A few reasons why growers look to increase terpene production in their cannabis plants include:

  • Attracting Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: One of their primary functions of terpenes is to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
  • Repelling Herbivores and Pests: Increased production of terpenes will better equip your weed plant to repel animals or pests. In the case of cannabis plants, which rely on wind pollination, increased terpene production can play a crucial role in protecting the plant from herbivorous animals and pests. These terpenes are primarily formed within the resin glands known as trichomes present on cannabis plants.
  • Improve the Overall Flavor of the Weed Plant: Terpenes contribute to the flavor profile of marijuana strains, giving them their unique tastes. By focusing on enhancing terpene production through cultivation techniques and genetic selection, you can develop strains with richer and more pronounced flavors.
  • Terpenes Increase CBD’s Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Research suggests that terpenes, in combination with cannabinoids like CBD, may enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.
  • Consumers Love a Cannabis Plant that Smells Good: Being an indoor or outdoor cannabis grower, your first priority would be to attract customers. Strains with pleasing scents, attributed to terpenes, tend to attract more attention from cannabis enthusiasts seeking a sensory experience that enhances their enjoyment.

Consumers Love a Cannabis Plant that Smells Good

Consumers Love a Cannabis Plant that Smells Good

How to Increase Terpene When Growing Marijuana – 13 Effective Tips

Cannabis plants produce terpenes in their resin-secreting glands called trichomes. To increase terpene production, you’ll need to promote the growth of more trichomes. Here are some effective methods to help your weed plants produce more terpenes:

1. Genetics

First off, it is very important to note that genetics play an important role in terpene production. You can’t craft a flavorful and highly aromatic plant from a low-quality plant with a low terpene profile. Start with high-quality strains. Breeders focused on increasing THC content in the past, but with the changing demands of the medical and recreational marijuana market, breeders are now developing strains with higher terpene levels. Always look for cannabis strains with dominant terpenes. Guava jelly, skunk #1, girl scout cookies, tangie, and silver haze are some of the strains rich in terpenes.

2. Soil

Soil

Soil

Next, the soil that you choose matters a lot. If you’re not using high-quality soil, you need to make some changes, as quality soil will give your plants what they need to thrive.

Growing marijuana in high-quality soil is ideal for terpene production. Good soil provides optimal pH and alkalinity levels, maximizes uptake of nutrients, and enhances photosynthetic activity. Native soil can bring out the unique flavors and aromas in your weed plants, similar to wines produced in specific regions.

3. Optimal Sunlight Exposure

Optimal Sunlight Exposure

Optimal Sunlight Exposure

When it comes to sunlight exposure, you need to be careful about monitoring your plants. When your plants are exposed to good light, they can increase the terpene profile. In other words, proper lighting is crucial for cannabis growth and can affect terpene production. Adjusting the light spectrum by eliminating red light components during the last 72 hours of growth can cause terpenes to accumulate in the maturing buds of the plants. Additionally, using UV-B light in the final weeks of flowering can boost trichome and terpene production. HPS bulbs emit infrared light, while additional UV-B light may be required for other lighting setups.

4. Nutrients, Additives, & Boosters

Nutrients

Nutrients

Carbohydrates are essential nutrients during the flowering phase for increased terpene content. Use carbohydrate-based nutrients and additives to provide the root zone with sugars, promoting microbial populations and ensuring healthy growth. You can look for nutrient supplements that improve terpene production in cannabis plants. You can use naturally occurring plant compounds such as bio-osmotic potentiators to stimulate the production of terpenes and essential oil in cannabis.

5. Inducing Mild Stress

Marijuana plants produce trichomes as their defense mechanism against various stresses. By inducing mild stress during the flowering stage, you can stimulate the production of more trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes. However, you should be cautious not to cause excessive stress, as it can harm the plants. Techniques like humidity adjustment, temperature manipulation, controlled watering, defoliation, and supercropping can be used to induce mild stress.

6. Defoliation

Defoliation

Defoliation

One thing we highly recommend performing is defoliation, which is the process of trimming the leaves on your cannabis plant. When the leaves are trimmed, the canopy will open up and allow light to reach your plants with ease. More light means better terpene profiles.

7. Companion Planting

Companion planting involves growing different plants alongside cannabis to enhance production and quality. Certain companion plants can attract pollinators, repel pests, add nutrients to the soil, or influence neighboring plants to produce higher levels of essential oils and sugars.

8. Regulating CO2 Levels

CO2

CO2

During photosynthetic activity, plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into oxygen and glucose. To expedite this process and increase yields, you can  introduce additional CO2 into your growing environment. However, reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere can trigger your cannabis plants to produce more ethylene, a hormone essential for ripening. Elevated ethylene synthesis will stimulate trichomes to increase resin secretion and enhance terpene levels.

9. Implement Flushing

When your marijuana plants reach their final growth stage, it’s essential to flush out excess nutrients to prevent an unpleasant aroma and taste in the buds. During the last two weeks, give your cannabis plants pure water instead of nutrient solutions. For optimal flushing, rinse the soil with 3 to 5 times the volume of pure water equivalent to the container’s dirt. This will ensure that any remaining nutrients are thoroughly flushed out. After flushing, allow the soil to dry before resuming watering with pure water.

10. Harvest Buds at the Right Time

Buds Trimming

Buds Trimming

Make sure that you harvest your buds only when they are ready. You want them to be at the optimal terpene-producing stage. Harvesting your plants far too early will result in fewer trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Of course, you can’t wait too long either, as harvesting your plants too late will cause trichomes to degrade, leading to the loss of valuable compounds. The best time for harvest is when trichomes start turning amber.

11. Choose the Right Time of Day

Right Time

Right Time

Terpene levels in cannabis plants vary throughout the day due to factors like temperature and light. Terpenes in the buds increase during darkness and peak just before sunrise. In contrast, terpenes evaporate during the day and release aromas to deter predators. To harvest when the terpene content of the plant is highest, aim for just before sunrise outdoors or before the light cycle begins indoors. Some growers even prefer leaving their plants in darkness for 24 to 48 hours before harvest to ensure maximum terpene concentration.

12. Careful Handling of Harvest

When it is finally time to harvest your plants, it is very important that you do so with care. Trichomes are incredibly fragile. If you don’t handle them correctly, then you can easily destroy them. Make sure that you are as thoughtful and gentle as you can possibly be when dealing with your plants.

13. Proper Drying and Curing

Proper Drying and Curing

Proper Drying and Curing

Proper drying and curing of cannabis plants are crucial for preserving terpenes and cannabinoids and getting high-quality buds. To dry your cannabis, create a dark environment with a temperature between 20-22 °C and a humidity level of 45-55%. Slow and steady drying is essential to preserve the aromatic compounds. The drying process usually takes around 2-3 weeks.

After drying, you need to cure the buds. Curing is a continuation of the drying process, which can last from 4 to 5 weeks up to a few months. During the initial weeks of curing, cannabinoid and terpene levels tend to decrease, but they gradually increase afterward. By the eighth week, terpene contents reach their lowest point before rising again. The longer the process of curing, the better the preservation of terpenes. Properly dried and cured cannabis buds will have a fresh, aromatic, and flavorful profile.

FAQs about Terpene Production in Cannabis Plants

How do you increase terpenes buds?

To increase terpenes in buds of cannabis plants, you can focus on cultivating strains with high terpene profiles, provide optimal growing conditions including proper temperature, lighting, humidity, and airflow, and employ techniques like low-stress training and defoliation. 

By incorporating UV-B light into your cannabis growing environment, you can stimulate increased production of trichome in your plants, resulting in higher terpene levels. A recommended approach is to provide 10-20W of UV-B light per square meter during the final 2-3 weeks of the flowering stage, effectively enhancing terpene content in your buds.

How do you increase terpenes after harvesting?

After harvesting, you cannot directly increase terpenes content in the marijuana plant. However, proper post-harvest handling of the plant and curing techniques, such as drying the buds slowly in a controlled environment (a temperature between 20-22 °C and a constant humidity of 45-55%) and preserving freshness can help retain and enhance the existing terpene profile. The slower the bud drying process, the better. A proper drying process may take about 2 to 3 weeks.

What nutrients boost terpene production?

Carbohydrates, short-chain fatty acids, amino acids, and seaweed extracts have proved to be effective nutrients in boosting terpene production (directly or indirectly) in cannabis.

Does flushing increase terpenes?

Yes, flushing can increase terpene content of your cannabis plants. Flushing is the practice of using plain water to flush out excess nutrients before harvest. During the last two weeks, give your cannabis plants pure water instead of nutrient solutions. For optimal flushing, rinse the soil with 3 to 5 times the volume of pure water that is equivalent to the volume of dirt in the container. For example, if your container holds 5 liters, you’ll need to use 15 to 25 liters of water to flush.

6. Need Further Assistance?

Need further assistance with practical tips to increase terpenes when growing marijuana? Let’s know. We’re here to extend all-out support to make sure that you can maximize terpene production with your weed clones.

Also, if you are interested in buying cannabis clone strains with better terpene production potential, give our professional staff a call at  877-262-6192 today. They’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from and working with you. 

You can also share your success story in increasing terpene levels in your plants.

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