How To Grow Big Buds
Have you ever smoked weed that knocks your socks off? The kind of buds that people brag/warn their friends about?
Yeah, the really really good stuff.
The truth is, you can successfully grow weed with very little effort, make a ton of mistakes, and still harvest weed that does the job.
But have you ever wondered how people grow truly top-shelf buds?
If so, you’re in luck, because today I’m going to teach you 7 secrets to consistently producing star quality buds that your friends will talk about for years to come.
1.) Master the basics of growing
You probably know that in order to get the best result, your plants need to make it through the majority of their lifecycle without major problems.
A lot of mistakes that won’t kill your plant (like nutrient burn, nutrient deficiencies, and heat stress) will often still damage the overall appearance of your buds, especially big problems that happen after the beginning of the flowering stage
So in order to get the best yields along with beautiful buds that sparkle in the light, you need to gain a complete understanding of the basics of growing.
It used to be that you needed to know an experienced grower to learn how to grow. These days, anyone with the will and an internet connection can find everything they need within minutes, so no excuses!
There’s lots of books and guides out there to help you out here, or check out the free basics guide on GrowWeedEasy.com. This should get you started…
2.) Start with top-shelf genetics:
You’ll never be able to get truly top-shelf buds if you start with mid-grade seeds or clones.
When I first started growing, I would grow any seeds I could find. These would usually grow all right but my crops would never end up being as good as the buds I found them in.
Plus some of these plants ended up having crazy, unexpected grow styles, like one plant that grew 4 feet tall in a month!
I then tried buying marijuana clones from the local dispensary with crazy strain names like “Super Grand Daddy Purple” and “Grapefruit Bubblegum Kush.”
Yet, my yields and results still left a lot to be desired. I don’t have anything against clones, but I have a feeling these plants weren’t really the strains they claimed to be.
I didn’t have any grower friends at the time, and honestly thought bag seed and local clones were my only two choices.
Until I discovered seed banks.
Ever since I started buying seeds from a reputable cannabis seed bank and getting my chosen seeds shipped to me, I have been able to consistently product star-quality buds.
Just switching to better seed stock caused a dramatic increase in my yields, but most importantly the quality of my harvests skyrocketed.
If you want to take your quality to the next level, don’t start with just any clones or seeds. Search for the right, true quality genetics and don’t be afraid to pay good money for those genetics! The money you pay for quality is worth it, especially if you truly want to grow Top Shelf buds.
3.) Get Your Humidity Right
Humidity stumps a lot of new growers and causes several unexpected problems.
Keeping a higher humidity during the vegetative stage will reduce salt levels within the plant while encouraging healthy and lush growth.
During the vegetative stage, if humidity drops below 40%, especially anywhere below 25%, it can cause serious problems that look like nutrient deficiencies light/heat stress!
But in these cases, just adding a little moisture to the air does wonders, even if you don’t change anything else.
During the flowering stage, your cannabis plant actually prefers less humidity!
Drier air during the flowering stage helps prevent mold and actually increase trichome production on your buds! For best results, keep humidity below 45% during the flowering stage.
But I’ve never worried about humidity and my plants are fine…
The truth is, you can successfully grow your marijuana plants in a variety of humidities, even if growth isn’t perfect, which is why many growers, especially new ones, forget about humidity altogether.
They may spend money on CO2 or bigger lights, when controlling the humidity would make a much bigger difference in their final product.
So, if you grow marijuana and would like to make a simple, relatively cheap change and dramatically improve the vibrancy of your plants, buy a humidifier/dehumidifier and make sure to always provide the optimum level.
And there’s one more insider trick you need to know about humidity: So you know you need to keep humidity in 50-60% range for the vegetative stage, and under 45% for the flowering stage, but there is one extra trick… Use a dehumidifier to drop the humidity down as low as you possibly can for the last 2-3 weeks of flowering (I’ve gotten the humidity as low as 34%).
This extreme dryness will encourage the buds to seal and protect themselves with additional resin (in other words, a sparkling outer layer of THC-heavy trichromes).
After I first tried this trick, I was pretty amazed at the frostiness of my buds.
Added bonus: This gets your buds prepped for a successful, mold-free drying process because your buds have already given up some of their moisture.
4.) Better Taste, Better Smell – Increase Terpene Content
The smell and scent of cannabis buds is produced by plant chemicals known as “terpenes” (also “terpenoids”, which are a class of terpenes).
Terpenes contributes to the flavors of many household spices like cinnamon, rosemary, cloves or ginger and help create the the scent of most flowers.
The unique combination of terpenes and terpenoids produced in cannabis flowers (buds) cause most of their taste and smell as well.
There are a variety of ways to increase the terpene content of your buds, so you produce cannabis that tastes and smells great, and there are also a couple common mistakes you should know about that can actually ruin the taste and smell of your buds.
5.) Maintain a Comfortable Room Temperature
Maintain daytime temperatures around 70-80 degrees F, (unless you’re using CO2 which does best at around 80-90 degrees F).
However, even if you’re using CO2, most growers recommend you back off and bring the temps down to 70-80 degrees F for the last two weeks before harvest.
Night temperatures should be kept around 60 degrees for most strains.
Towards the end of the flowering stage, some people recommend dropping the temperature at night to 50 degrees to further simulate the coming of “winter”.
Note: Some purple strains will only show their color when exposed to colder temps at nights during the flowering stage.
6.) Make Sure Grow Room has Strong Air Flow & Good Ventilation
This is yet another factor having to do with air quality (we already listed temperature and humidity).
You see, a smart grower realizes that great air quality is one of the biggest contributors to star quality buds.
Air flow and ventilation are essential if you want to create perfect air quality.
For 1-3 plants, you’ll probably be fine with an oscillating fan or two. With a big grow and hot lights, you’ll need a better exhaust system than that, but it can be easy to set up!
7) Keep Educating Yourself
Never accept that you already know it all.
To the grower, knowledge and information are priceless. Being open to learn will make you an expert grower much quicker than figuring everything out yourself by trial and error.
Luckily, these days, anyone can use the internet to learn everything they need to know to start growing top-quality buds.
Sites like GrowWeedEasy.com make it easy for anyone to learn how to grow.
But top shelf growers continue to educate themselves about horticulture, proper environment, and what makes marijuana plants happy.
You never know when you’ll hear a tip that completely makes your life a million times easier, or which helps you take your quality to the next level.
And don’t forget to sign up for our weekly growing email newsletter (on the right-hand side of the page) to get tips and growing information delivered to your email inbox every Sunday morning!
To Sum it Up:
Start with good genetics and create the perfect growing environment to produce the best buds!
Wait! What about Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Is It Worth It?
A lot of people write to me and ask if adding CO2 to their grow area will increase the quality of your buds.
And so today I want to clear things up. CO2 is something you can add to the air of your grow room to increase yields, not quality.
Adding CO2 is most effective when you are using bright, high-powered lights (such as an 1000W HPS) that give off more light than your plants can naturally use.
You see, adding more and more lights will increase your yields up to a certain point, but then your plant just stops responding to more light. At this point, no matter how much light you add, your yields stay the same or get worse.
Because of a unique plant process, adding CO2 to the air makes it so that your plants can use more of the light, which can increase your overall yields.
Another advantage is that marijuana plants will thrive at higher temps when there’s lots of CO2 in the air.
In my experience, buying CO2 is not the cheapest way to increase your yields, unless you have a blinding, monster light system. That’s why for many small-scale growers, adding CO2 is a waste of money that could be better used in other ways.
My advice: Upgrade your lights to at least a 1000W HPS and get a real exhaust system to pull away heat before you think about adding CO2.
About Nebula Haze
Nebula Haze founded GrowWeedEasy.com in 2010 after growing her own medical marijuana for several years in the California Bay Area. She has published dozens of growing articles in print and online and is dedicated to showing others how easy it is to grow cannabis indoors.
If you haven’t started growing cannabis yet, today is the day!
by Nebula Haze from GrowWeedEasy.com Have you ever smoked weed that knocks your socks off? The kind of buds that people brag/warn their friends about? Yeah, the really really good stuff. The truth is, you can successfully grow weed with very little effort, make a ton of mistakes, and still harvest weed that does the job. But have you ever…
5 Secrets to Growing Top-Shelf Bud
by Sirius Fourside
Have you ever had cannabis that was just…so so? Mediocre? Just okay? Cannabis that’s ‘just alright’?
Have you ever had cannabis that was so good, you want to save it so you can have it as long as possible? Cannabis so good that you inspect it closely as if you could somehow see why it’s so great?
What makes the difference between the two?
The look of the bud in addition to its potency, taste and smell is what makes cannabis seem top-shelf to the user.
But what happens when you’re growing cannabis that makes gives it these desirable qualities?
In this weeks issue of the GrowWeedEasy newsletter, you’re going to see what growing practices are responsible for making the difference between mid-to-low-grade cannabis flowers and top-shelf bud!
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but good cannabis starts with good genes. Having seeds with good attributes to work with gives you a plant that will flourish under the right conditions as opposed to just surviving.
All cannabis strains have their own attributes, so the best thing to do is to find one that fits what you’re looking for. Some strains are high in THC, some are known for tasting pleasant, some are high in CBD, etc.
In any case, growing cannabis from ‘bagseed’ is an easy way to lower your chances of growing great weed. In a best case scenario with bagseed, you’ll get a female seed as good as one from a seed bank. In a not-even-the-worst-case-scenario, you could get a male seed that grows a runt plant from a weak strain. Or even worse…it’s not even cannabis!
There are quite a few places you can go to get seeds with good genes, I’ve had the most luck and the least trouble with ordering from a trustworthy seed bank. Personally, I use Nirvana Seeds for their high-quality strains and I’ve got 100% of my shipments from them, but I’m also a big fan of seeds from Barneys Farm and DNA Genetics.
High Light Intensity
The amount of light your plant receives in it’s life can be used as a good indicator of how close it will get to its maximum potency when all other conditions are met. In fact, outside of genetics, light-intensity plays the biggest role in determining how big/hefty/potent your buds will be.
This means that even if you get seeds from a strain that is known to have 22% THC, the plant will need enough light to allow it to grow to this level of potency. This doesn’t mean that you need a 1000 watt HPS to grow great bud, but it does mean that you’re probably not going to grow top-shelf buds with a single 26 watt cfl bulb.
So much is enough?
Unfortunately, this is a question that is very difficult to answer as it depends on the specific strain you’re growing, the area you’re growing in, and the size of the plant being grown (smaller plants need less light). The general rule to go with is “more is better”, and watch your plants to see how they react. In most cases, it’s hard to give your plants too much light unless you have a high powered LED or a 1000 watt HPS.
Harvesting At The Right Time
For many growers, this is the toughest part to get right. Why?
Because you can buy seeds with awesome genes, and you can buy a MH/HPS combo that will flood your cannabis with light, but you can’t buy patience! And boy will a flowering cannabis plant try your patience!
Aside from becoming ever more picky about which nutrients they get, flowering plants will begin to smell ever-more enticing and look more and more ready to harvest. The problem is that there is a small 2-3 week window in which cannabis should be harvested, and most growers (myself included) get the urge to take them down prematurely.
Whenever your plants are flowering and you get the feeling you should harvest them because they look ready, reference this page and double check to make sure they are: https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-do-i-know-when-to-harvest-marijuana. Harvesting early is an easy way to ruin the buds you’ve taken so long to grow, so double, triple and quadruple check they’re they’re ready before you cut down a single bud!
Many growers consider drying and curing to be two parts of the same process, but I like to separate them to really underline the important steps involved.
It’s important to not only dry your newly harvested buds before they can be used, but you want to dry them as slowly as possible. Drying buds too quickly can make them crispy and harsh, and will make them smell – ironically – like cut grass.
A good way to keep moisture in the plant and keep it from drying too quickly is to trim the harvested branches after they’ve been dried. Having the extra leaves left on will cause the plant to dry slower since there is more actual plant to dry out.
Personally, I trim my buds before I dry them since it seems to be easier for me while trimming and when I’m cutting buds off of the stem. From there the buds can be hung up to dry, or placed on a drying rack.
In either case, I would recommend leaving on as much stem as you can as it slows the drying process, and is easy to remove later. I would also recommend hanging your buds upside down to dry before testing any other methods. Anecdotally, I’ve found that buds that retain their stems and are hung upside down to dry tend to dry much slower than on a rack…which is exactly what you want!
In short, dry your buds for as long as you can. Aim for more than 5 days, with a goal of 8-10!
Once your buds have been properly dried, the only thing left to do is cure your buds. This last step won’t add to their potency per se, but it’s largely responsible for the taste and smell we all love.
Essentially, curing your buds involves sealing them in an airtight container for at least 2-3 weeks. During this time, the jars are periodically jostled, opened, emptied and refilled with the same buds. This will give the buds to ‘get rid of’ certain not-so-tasty chemicals, and the jostling, emptying, etc. will help prevent mold from forming.
To get a step-by-step tutorial on the drying and curing processes, see our article on GrowWeedEasy.com: https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-to-cure-buds.
The Short Version
Here’s the meat & potatoes of this article in case you forgot any part of it(as some of us are prone to do):
Potent, top-shelf bud requires these 5 things:
- Good genes (Get good seeds)
- High Light Intensity (More light is better for your plants)
- Harvesting at the right time (You only get one chance; patience is key!)
- Slow Drying (The slower you dry your bud, the better)
- Proper Curing (Put them in a jar and let them out every so often until they’re done)
Great Bud Starts with Great Seeds!
What’s the first step in creating fat, potent, mind-blowing buds?
Make sure you start on the right path by beginning your next grow with a with a hearty, potent, higih yielding strain!
“Nirvana Aurora Indica is an F1 hybrid of Afghan and Northern Light. Its plants stay short, producing heavy colas and dense buds. This marijuana strain produces exceptional amounts of resin, resulting in a deep, near-black hash with a tasty aroma and a heavy buzz.”
“BlackJack produces hard buds with huge, grape-like calyxes that are completely encrusted with THC! The smoke is heavy and flavorsome, and produces an exceptionally long-lasting high.”
“Nirvana Wonder Woman is another one of those fabulous new high-volume marijuana plants. Wonder Woman bears rock hard buds which are easy to trim. The smoke of this cannabis variety has a classic, rich, skunky flavour accompanied by a long-lasting buzz.”
5 Secrets to Growing Top-Shelf Bud by Sirius Fourside Have you ever had cannabis that was just…so so? Mediocre? Just okay? Cannabis that’s ‘just alright’? Have you ever had cannabis that