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Terpenes: Getting the Most Out of Your Plants

Cannabis bud macro

A recent trend has had marijuana retailers and manufacturers infusing terpenes into their products to add medicinal effects like stress reduction, anti-inflammatory, and pain relief, or to use them to create a consistent product profile, so customers always know what to expect from their products. This has become especially popular In the vaping market, but plenty of other markets have also begun infusing terpenes in their products.

Create a Stress-Free Environment

It’s never been more profitable to jump on the terpene train than today. But if you’re looking to cultivate your own, there are a few things you ought to know. First, you need to be very, very mindful of the environment in which you place your plants. You need to keep them healthy since their wellbeing ultimately determines the quality of terpenes you can extract from them. Make sure you know the ideal humidity and temperature for your plant—one that will encourage strong, healthy growth and bar mildew or pests from festering, ruining your product. Do all the research you can on the specific strain you’re growing before you begin setting up your growing environment.

Save Energy; Don’t Use Pesticides

Next, keep in mind that every second your plant spends fighting off insects or distressing conditions is a second less it can spend on growing terpenes. Make sure you’re doing the hard work for it by giving it nothing to worry about. That way as much of its energy as possible can be spent on the cultivation of high-quality terpenes. That partially comes from setting up a safe environment, but it also comes from keeping pests away. Now, this may sound counter-intuitive, but you actually want to avoid using pesticides of any kind. Though they will help you kill off harmful pests, the chemicals will also impair the growth of your plants’ terpenes.

Mind Your Trichomes

It does this by destroying trichomes, little terpene-making crystals on the cannabis flower. That’s no good! You want to preserve as many of these as possible and make sure that they’re maturing without problems. When you see that about half of those crystals become amber colored, then you know that you’re right where you want to be. At that stage, the trichomes will be at their best, consistently producing high-quality terpenes. Don’t expect them all to go amber at the same time. Some will be faster than others. And it isn’t really about waiting for them all. It’s more of a numbers game. You just want about half of them to mature for optimal terpene production.

No Salty Soil

You also want to make sure that your soil is filled with carbon-based nutrients—in other words, you’re more likely to get a better terpene yield if you buy organic soil. It’s going to work out much better than if you used salt-based soils. Those tend to hamper the growth of trichomes, thus terpenes, even if they might make your plant seem to grow faster or stronger. You can also use seaweed or kelp in place of liquid salt.

Get the Right Lights

As for lighting, you want to avoid double-ended lamps. Though they will often increase your plant’s yield, they seem to interrupt the production of your plants’ trichomes. Fewer trichomes mean fewer terpenes. So, a higher yield plant doesn’t mean much if it’s devoid of what you really want: loads of terpenes. Instead, you ought to go for single-ended lights, preferably high-pressure sodium lamps. You’ll want to keep the light a little under two feet above your plant, about 20 inches should be good. Since your plants’ height will change over time, it might help to rig a pulley system or buy a stand that’s adjustable, that way you can always keep your light at the right height. That should keep your plants in optimal shape to produce all the terpenes you want.

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