On its long journey from seed to your stash bag, cannabis experiences several processes and roadblocks that help shape what you smoke. How the grower, seller, and (you) the buyer maneuver these processes will ultimately affect the flavor profile and intensity of the cannabis. Basically, it all boils down to terpenes – the naturally occurring chemical compounds that give cannabis its classic array of flavors, from piney to citrusy, spicy to sweet.
The terpenes (primarily located on the “hairy” trichomes of the bud) need good genetics, nourishment, ample light and the proper humidity for weed to perform at their peak. In this article, let’s explore the five critical factors that make your bud taste fantastic.
What makes some cannabis taste full-flavored and delicious while other weed tastes muted? Much of it concerns breed and genetics: the particular strain of cannabis in question.
Some strains produce abundant trichomes rich with terpenes, while others make a relatively scant amount. If it’s a flavor you want from your cannabis, we recommend researching terpene-rich strains as a first step.
Soil And Boosters
If you’re a novice grower aiming to supercharge your terpenes, pay close attention to your soil and full-spectrum nutrition. Some farmers swear by dynamic “living” organic soils to promote terpene yields.
Others promote soil booster supplements (zinc, magnesium, iron, etc.) to engender terpene synthesis. And some experimental growers even inoculate their grows with fungi, citing this scientific study in the Annals of Botany.
According to Dutch Passion, one of the world’s largest cannabis seed banks located in Amsterdam, UVA/UVB light in the growing process may increase terpenes by 50%. That’s a sizeable uptick in flavor.
Other sources confirm the claim, but there’s little scientific evidence (large-scale, controlled studies) to prove it outright. So, the best we can say right now is that UVA/UVB is probably a considerable factor in cannabis flavor.
Harvesting And Curing
Trichome production peaks at a certain point in the growing process, quickly falling off afterward. A savvy grower will strike when the iron is hot, harvesting at the peak. A careless grower might just pluck those buds whenever they feel like a smoke!
Beyond harvesting at the right time, curing also plays a significant role in cannabis flavor. Curing is essential to removing unwanted sugars and chlorophyll flavor, but if a grower mismanages the humidity during curing, they risk losing terpenes. Growers should cure cannabis in specialized airtight containers with humidity-control packs.
Finally, the bud has made it to your hands. But that’s not the end of the story. You are the last critical factor affecting cannabis flavor – specifically, how you store your bud. If you want to preserve trichomes and terpenes, you must store your cannabis in a tightly sealed, moisture-controlled container (much like in the drying process).
The relative humidity (RH) should be between 58% and 62%, an exact moisture level you can achieve with a two-way humidity control pack (you can easily find Boveda packs online).
By dialing in the RH, you ensure that those terpenes the grower worked so hard to cultivate remain protected under your care. Now that you know what goes into flavorful buds, hopefully, you never have to smoke stale or muted weed again.
Disclaimer: The above references an opinion of the author and is for information purposes only. This article is not intended for people living in countries where the usage of the substance mentioned in this post is illegal. Respect the law in your country and/or state. Always seek advice from a qualified professional in the relevant field.
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