How to Grow Terpene Rich Plants

Tara | April 12, 2023

Terpenes, the organic compounds responsible for the distinct aroma and flavor profiles of different strains, are gaining increased attention. Besides enhancing the sensory experience, terpenes are thought to have pharmacological properties as well as playing a crucial role in the ‘entourage effect’. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to grow terpene-rich plants.

Select the right strains

The first step in growing terpene-rich plants is to choosing the right strains. Some strains are known for their high terpene content, such as Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, and OG Kush. Research different strains to find one that matches your desired terpene profile.

Optimize growing conditions

Growing terpene-rich plants requires optimal growing conditions, including the right temperature, humidity, and lighting. Temperature and humidity play a significant role in the development and preservation of terpenes. Excessive heat can degrade terpenes, while inadequate humidity can lead to lower production. Keep the temperature between 20-28°C and maintain humidity at the correct level for the stage of growth.

Use high quality lighting

Use high-quality grow lights that provide the appropriate spectrum of light to maximize terpene production. Light spectrums that encourage terpene production are those that fall within the blue and red ranges of the visible spectrum. Blue light with a wavelength of around 400-500 nm and red light with a wavelength of around 600-700 nm are known to promote terpene production. In addition to the visible spectrum, ultraviolet (UV) light has also been shown to promote terpene production. Different strains may respond differently to light spectrums, so it’s important to experiment with different spectrums to find the one that works best for your specific strain.

Use organic growing methods

Terpenes are produced in the trichomes (resin glands) of the plant. Providing your plants with high quality organic essential will lead to healthier and more plentiful trichomes and higher terpene production. Organic growing methods are known to produce terpene-rich plants. Use organic soil/media or a hydroponic system that uses organic nutrients. Organic growing methods promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, which can enhance terpene production. When plants are grown using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides, they may be exposed to harmful chemicals that can stress the plant and inhibit terpene production.

Provide proper nutrition

Terpene production requires specific and balanced macro and micro nutrients. Make sure your plants are receiving the right nutrients during different stages of growth. Use compost, worm castings, or other organic amendments that promote nutrient uptake.

Stress Training Techniques

Applying moderate stress to your cannabis plants can encourage terpene production. Techniques such as low-stress training (LST), super-cropping, and topping can help increase terpene content by promoting the development of secondary branches and strengthening trichome production. However, it’s essential to be cautious when applying these techniques to prevent excessive stress and damage to the plant.

Harvest at the right time

Harvesting at the right time is critical to terpene production. Use a magnifying glass or microscope to monitor trichome color, and harvest when most trichomes have turned milky white and only a few amber ones remain. Additionally, be gentle when handling and trimming your buds to prevent terpene loss from damaged trichomes. If you wait too long to harvest, the terpenes will begin to degrade, reducing their potency.

Cure and store your buds properly

Once the buds feel dry to the touch and the stems snap when bent, they’re ready for curing. Proper curing is essential to preserving the terpene content of your buds. Allow your buds to dry slowly in a cool, dark place with good airflow. Then store them in airtight containers, such as glass jars, to preserve their freshness.

Growing terpene-rich plants involves selecting strains with high terpene content, maintaining an optimal growing environment with proper temperature and humidity, and using prudent lighting strategies to prevent terpene degradation. Additionally, incorporating organic soil and nutrients, applying stress training techniques, and harvesting and curing your plants correctly will enhance terpene production and preservation. By following these guidelines, you can cultivate plants with a more potent aroma, flavor, and potentially enhanced therapeutic effects.

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