If possible, always try to use all supplements and nutrients from the same nutrient company. This lessens the chance of unwanted interactions since the whole line is designed to work together. When in doubt, go for an established nutrient company that has been around for years over one that has just appeared recently!
2.) Light Quality (Use Strong Light with UV-B) It’s common knowledge that you need strong light to get cannabis buds to live up to their potential as far as density, potency and smell. The most common type of grow light for flowering cannabis plants is the HPS grow light, in part because it is one of the best-yielding types of grow lights for budding cannabis, and produces very potent buds. However, HPS might not be the best type of grow light to use when it comes to increasing the level of smell. There is some evidence that some types of light, specifically a type of light known as UV-B light, can possibly enhance trichome production and smell. On the spectrum of light, UV-B is below blue/violet (that’s why it’s called “ultra-violet”) and outside of our range of vision. However, even though we can’t see UV-B light, it still has a big effect on both humans and plants! But it’s not just any kind of light, UV-B light is bad for humans (we use sunscreen to protect ourselves from UV light from the sun) and can actually hurt plants, too. In fact, we believe trichomes may help protect the plant from UV-B rays, kind of like how humans get a tan.
This could be why increasing UV-B exposure seems to increase trichome production. However, because of the danger of UV-B light, always make sure to protect yourself and your skin from exposure and never look directly at the light! It’s a great idea to always wear protective glasses that block UV light so you don’t damage your eyes. Supplementing your flowering plant with UV-B light may increase the potency and smell production by triggering a natural stress response. It is “stronger” whether it comes to increasing cannabis trichomes or giving humans a tan. The main sources of light that provide UV light are…. The Sun – probably the best source of UV light CMH / LEC grow lights – These give you lower yields than HPS but produce higher levels of UV-B LED grow lights – Some specialized LED grow lights these days are coming with a few UV producing diodes, however it’s unclear whether these produce enough UV-B light to actually make a difference to the plant. Most panels have just a handful of small UV diodes at most. Black Lights – These do produce UV light, but usually the UV-A variety that is not as effective to your plants as UV-B. UV-B Reptile Lights – Certain lights made for reptiles (and aquariums) provide UV-B light, however they tend to be relatively low powered. More testing is needed to learn if these have the strength and range to make a noticeable difference to your buds! Note: Glass blocks most UV light, so if your light is separated from your plants by glass (for example by a greenhouse or hood) it will prevent a lot of the UV light from reaching your buds. When it comes to UV light, there should always be a clear and direct path from the light source to the plants. 3.) Grow in “Living” Soil (Super Soil) Even better than giving your plant organic nutrients is to grow with your roots in a living soil. In other words, this is a type of soil with an active colony of microorganisms. It is like the soil a plant would be using in nature, only it’s even better because it’s been amended with exactly the right kind of nutrients and supplements. There’s evidence buds grown in this medium tend to have a more varied and complex terpene profile, which may lead to buds that smell and taste better. Greenhouse Seeds has been leading the way in cannabis terpene and terpenoid research by growing cannabis in a variety of ways and then directly measuring the terpene content in the buds. They have found that while hydroponic grows tend to get much higher yields (with the exception of a few Indica strains), soil-grown buds tend to have a more complex terpene profile. You can see the results of the terpene analysis here. Living soil is often referred to as “Super Soil” in the cannabis world; this just means soil that has been amended and composted. This creates a “micro-herd” of microorganisms in the soil, which break down and feed nutrients directly to your plant roots. As a result, you don’t have to provide extra nutrients or worry about the pH of your soil, because your micro-herd is doing all the work for you. The one downside is plants tend to grow a little slower compared to using liquid nutrients, but as a reward for using super soil your buds will be much more fragrant, with a lovely bouquet of smells that’s difficult to produce any other way. If you’re serious about maximizing the taste and smell of your buds, growing in super soil is probably one of the best-known ways to achieve that goal! 4.) Temperature & Humidity After Week 6 of Flowering.
This may be difficult to control depending on your grow situation, but controlling the temperature and humidity for the last 6 weeks of flowering can make a significant difference in your bud quality. If you’re not sure when to start, I recommend starting this effort 6 weeks after the switch to 12/12, as that’s a common halfway point for many strains. Keep the temperature under 80°F in the second half of the flowering stage because high temperatures can “burn off” some of the smell contained in your buds! It can also make buds feel hard and crispy on top, and cause buds to grow airy and loose with foxtails. It is especially important to make sure buds are not exposed to too-high temps after week 6 or 7 of flowering, as this is when the terpene content in the buds is really starts to ramp up.
Having somewhat cooler nights can help cannabis produce more terpenes, and cooler night temperatures towards the end of the flowering stage also helps bring out colors like pink and purple if your plant has the genetics. Keep grow space around or under 50% relative humidity throughout the flowering stage for the best terpene production and overall plant growth. For the last few weeks before harvest it may increase trichome production even further to lower the humidity below 30% RH with a dehumidifier and/or AC. The lower levels of humidity not only prevent bud rot, very dry air can cause the plant to produce more trichomes as a stress response. Dehumidifier – Raises Temperature (somewhat), Lowers Humidity Space Heater – Raises Temperature, Lowers Humidity Air Conditioner – Lowers Temperature, Lowers Humidity Evaporative Cooler – Lowers Temperature, Raises Humidity Humidifier – Raises Temperature (somewhat), Raises Humidity.