As weed’s popularity increases, so does the demand for high-quality marijuana. The taste and smell of the end product of marijuana cultivation, the cannabis buds, is just as important as the buds’ weight. And so, the dream of every marijuana grower is not only to maximize their yield, but also produce a high-quality yield with a rich terpene profile.
Some cannabis strains have naturally sweet, fruity, and minty flavors, while others have flavors of diesel or pine. However, you can take some additional steps as you’re growing your cannabis plants to improve their flavor profile. And this article will help you do just that – cultivate your marijuana plants so they taste like a million bucks.
Cannabis Strains With a Special Scent (Choose the Right Strain)
Strains like Sour Diesel, Purple Kush, Strawberry Cough, and Pineapple Express each have different terpene profiles. Some strains have a naturally richer terpene profile when compared to others, the primary flavor still being weed. So naturally, your first action should be choosing the proper marijuana strain.
This is where individual marijuana cultivation makes a difference in relation to the quality of the final product. As a marijuana grower, you can experiment with Sativas, Indicas, and hybrids to reach your goal of having a stronger smelling and tasting marijuana.
Where Does Cannabis Flavor Come From?
The psychoactive, anti-inflammatory, and sedative effects of weed are a result of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, while the specific flavoring comes from the terpenes.
Terpenes are aromatic substances that are produced by the trichomes of cannabis plants. They give each cannabis strain its distinct terpene profile which can be citrusy, spicy, piney, floral, etc.
Terpenoids, on the other hand, are a result of the oxidation process that happens while drying and curing the cannabis plant (and they give cannabis its final flavor profile).
For the sake of maximizing terpene production and improving the aroma of marijuana plants, cannabis growers have discovered that they need to apply a small amount of stress during the flowering stage of the plant’s growing cycle, like low-stress or high-stress techniques.
Improving Your Cannabis Flavor in the Growing Stages (Give Your Terpenes a Boost)
In order to give your terpenes a boost, you need to provide your marijuana plants with all the conditions they need in order to thrive, but also stress the plants the right way.
The Soil You Use
It’s important to choose the right growing medium to create a more complex terpene profile. So, if you’re thinking about whether to grow cannabis in soil or coco, know that each medium has its own benefits. Growing in hydroponic generally results in higher yields, while growing in soil can result in your marijuana plants growing slower.
However, growing in soil, and especially “Super Soil”, can help your cannabis buds reach a more complex terpene profile compared to hydro. “Super Soil,” or composted soil, has huge amounts of microorganisms that feed your plant’s roots with a lot of nutrients, so you wouldn’t need to add extra nutrients.
Stress Helps With the Flavor Profile of Cannabis Plants
Better tasting weed can even be a result of a particular growing technique marijuana growers use. Low stress training (LST) methods like Sea of Green (SOG), help to intensify the terpene profile of cannabis plants. That’s because terpenes happen as a natural defense mechanism of the plants, so naturally, stressing them will result in more terpenes.
Some growers even decide to use defoliation as a technique to increase both THC levels and terpene levels. Although, it’s important to provide your plants with gentle stress methods, so you don’t impede the natural growth of the cannabis plant. These techniques are generally done during the vegetative stage.
Lower the Temperatures in Your Grow Room
Reducing the temperatures in your grow room may also increase the terpene profile of your plants while they’re in the flowering stage. At this stage, high temperatures may cause thermal damage to the terpenes and a more bland taste of your buds, so keep the temperature below 80°F (26°C). The humidity should also be kept lower in order to prevent mold, and the difference between night and day temperatures shouldn’t vary more than 10 degrees.
Increase Terpene Flavour With Nutrients and Flush Your Plants Before Harvest Time
Nutrients can also help in the development of your weed’s flavor. Natural and organic nutrients contribute more compared to synthetic ones. If you’ve been adding nutrients throughout the growth stages, you’ll definitely benefit from reducing the amount of nutrients you’re giving to your cannabis plants in the last two weeks before harvesting.
That gives your plants enough time to use up the nutrients they have, without them coming through in the taste of your buds. Flushing should be done with plain water with neutral pH levels, and if you’ve been using super soil, flushing isn’t required because you’ve been giving your plants plain water since the beginning.
Adding Flavor to Your Cannabis Buds After Harvest Time (Drying and Curing Your Cannabis)
Once you have your grown marijuana plants, it’s time to dry and cure them to get the finished product.
The Drying Process
Marijuana needs to be dried slowly, over a period of 1-2 weeks (although some weed can take even longer to dry) so you can get high-quality cannabis buds. If you live in a dry climate, your plant is at risk of drying out too quickly. To avoid that, refrain from defoliating too much, and leave most of the leaves around the buds. In the end, you should get a product that has just a bit of moisture to cure properly and feels dry to the touch on the outside.
The Curing Process
Curing can significantly improve the taste and smell of your cannabis buds, as well as increase the potency of the cannabinoids. Curing buds for best taste and smell requires filling mason jars about 80%, closing the lid, and maintaining the humidity level at around 62%. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity in the jars and open the jars daily. The curing process will be done after 2-4 weeks and the quality and smell of the cannabis buds will have improved considerably, while some strains will benefit from a curing process of up to 6 months.
This method of increasing the smell and taste of your buds may be risky since it can increase the chances of mold formation in the jar. To prevent this, try the method on a few buds instead of your entire yield. You can add essential oils and fruit peels (orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.) to spice up the flavor.
Take a cotton ball, add some essential oils to it, and hang it from the lid of the curing jar, or add a grapefruit peel inside the jar (dehydrated peels decrease the possibility of mold formation), and leave it to infuse the buds. Make sure you air the jar often.
Final Thoughts on Making Your Weed Taste Better
If this is your first time growing cannabis plants, remember not to try anything that has sugar as an additive because it can give an unpleasant carbon taste to your weed. Avoid maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, honey, or anything containing sugar.
Different strains can absorb flavorings at a different rate, so don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with the terpene profile of your cannabis plants.