11 Secrets Professional Cannabis Growers Don’t Want You to Know If you and I know the secrets to producing top-quality marijuana, why would be bother to purchase it? This is exactly why professional growers don’t want you to know the little tricks that make their product so exceptional. If you want to grow the best crystally, sticky, smelly and smooth cannabis buds use these simple but profoundly effective guidelines. 1. Start with the Highest Quality Cannabis Seeds You Can Find Cheap seeds cost you money. Period. Don’t scrounge seeds from a bag of weed, don’t use the seeds your friend got because his plant hermied or he forgot to cull the males. Don’t use any old clones you can get your hands on. Find a seedbank with a great reputation and pay good money for your seeds. Bag seeds and local clones rarely produce top notch marijuana. If you want to consistently produce killer buds, you need to start with the very best genetics. These come from reliable seedbanks that work hard to maintain the purity and quality of their genetic lines. Where can I buy top-notch genetics? 2. Choose the Right Strain for Your Situation As you peruse seedbank offerings you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number and variety of seeds available. Choosing the right strain is essential for producing top-notch buds. Things to consider when choosing a seed strain: Are you growing indoors or out? If you are growing outdoors choose the right strain for your climate. How much space do you have? Indica dominant varieties tend to be squat, bushy and spread horizontally. Sativa types are very tall but you can place them closer together. What type of hit are you looking for? Mellow body buzz? Functional cerebral high? A particular medicinal effect? If you try to grow a strain that doesn’t fit well in your grow room or is unsuited to your climate you will be struggling to keep your plants healthy right from the start. If you grow a strain that you don’t enjoy smoking, you will lose motivation and not spend as much time caring for your plants as you should. 3. Grow from High Quality Mother Plants You started with the best genetics you could find, in the form of seeds from a reputable seedbank. Now you need to find your mother plant. Growing from seeds is never as reliable as taking clones from an amazing plant. Half of your seeds will produce males, which must be culled to avoid seeds in your bud and to maximize trichome production. Also, seeds are individuals. The quality of the plant will vary from seed to seed, even if you purchase from the greatest of seedbanks. Your first task once you’ve started growing is to identify the best plant you have. This will be the most vigorous female with the highest yields and nicest buds. Clones are taken from plants in their vegetative stage, so you will need to take cuttings from several females early on (4-6 weeks after germination). Keep your new clones in veg as you wait to see which plant produces the best harvest. Learn all about mother plants and cloning. 4. Maintain the Right Humidity in your Grow Room Many growers seeking to improve their cannabis crop will buy CO2 monitors, bigger lights or more expensive nutrients. Yet the single biggest factor that can boost both the quality of your buds is humidity. While marijuana grows well under many conditions (it is a weed, after all) it will thrive if you follow these guidelines: Higher Humidity During Vegging During the vegetative stage your plants want higher humidity. This reduces salt levels and creates vibrant, bushy growth. If your humidity falls below 45% your plants may show signs of light or nutrient deficiency. These problems become severe at 25% humidity or less. Lower Humidity During Flowering During flowering your plants want lower humidity levels. Keep it to 45-55% to maximize trichrome production and reduce the risk of mold. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity to 20% during the last two or three weeks of flowering to get ridiculous crystals on your buds. 5. Maintain the Optimal Temperature for Growing Marijuana Just like with humidity, deviations in temperature will affect the quality of your buds. Here are some guidelines to managing the temperature of your grow room: Vegetative temperature should be between 70-85°F Flowering temperatures should always stay under 80°F Decrease the temperature by 10°F at night during flowering to mimic nature and increase resin and terpene production If you live in a hot climate consider turning your lights on at nighttime to avoid overheating your plants Grow with to avoid burning your plants 6. Decrease the Amount of Water Before Harvesting your Cannabis During the last two to three weeks of flowering marijuana plants will begin to ramp up resin production. You want to encourage this process! Gradually decrease the amount of water you use during this period. You may even let the roots dry nearly all the way out (do this carefully! If you damage the roots at this stage you could lose your whole harvest). Reducing the volume of water you use during the end of flowering will stimulate your plants to produce extra sticky resin to protect the buds. This means more THC and a harder hitting final product. Drying the roots out will also make your buds smell stronger and have a more potent flavor. Don’t forget to flush your plants during this period by only giving pure water, no nutrients. Residual nutrients in the flowers will create a harsh, chemical flavor that can ruin your smoke. 7. Gently Stress your Plants to Boost Terpene Production Terpenes are molecules that impart the flavor and smells to your cannabis buds. Often novice growers will produce a bud that gives a decent high, but has all the sensory pleasure of a bale of old hay. For buds that smell and taste as good as the hit they impart, you need to up the terpene content of your marijuana. Gentle stressing will stimulate terpene production. Try a mild technique like LST throughout the entire flowering stage. More experienced growers can try the more aggressive technique of Super Cropping, or defoliating (also called lollipopping). Keep in mind that not all strains respond well to more aggressive techniques, so start out slow until you get to know your plants well. Learn how to use training techniques like LST and Super Cropping. 8. Filter your Water to Remove Metals and Contaminants Whether you are growing in soil or a hydroponic medium, marijuana takes a lot of water. Use a high quality water filter to remove heavy metals and chemicals from your tap water. Our tap water is full of everything from fluoride to calcium to salts and even lead. If you wouldn’t drink your water unfiltered, don’t give it to your plants that way. The best professional growers use reverse osmosis filters to create an inert medium in which to deliver exactly the nutrients they choose for the grow. 9. Keep it Clean! You probably wash your hands and change your clothes when you leave your grow room- do you do the same before going in? In professional grow rooms the gardeners wear special clothing and undergo a thorough disinfecting process upon entering. The goal is to kill any pests, diseases, fungal spores and foreign seeds from your clothing and body. Quality bud comes from healthy plants. The simplest way to avoid bud rot, pest damage and other diseases is to prevent the contaminating agent from entering your grow room. 10. Learn the Right Time to Harvest… Then Wait an Extra Week Early harvesting is one of the most common mistakes amateur growers make. If you cut your buds too soon you miss out on all the THC and terpenes cannabis plants produce at the end of flowering. Start with the recommended flowering time for the particular strain you are growing. Towards the end of that period, use your eyes and an artist’s loop to monitor the readiness of the trichomes. When you think it is the right time, wait one more week. This last part will be difficult, but make yourself wait and you will see a huge difference in the potency, flavor and smell of your buds. Learn how to time your harvest perfectly! 11. Dry Slowly and Cure at the Proper Temperature and Humidity Your job isn’t over after the harvest. Proper drying and curing is essential to producing high quality marijuana. With both steps it is important to GO SLOW. Quick drying, insufficient curing and high temperatures during either stage will destroy the flavor and smell of your buds. Keep these things in mind during drying and curing: Dry buds for 7-10 days if possible before placing in jars to cure Never jar buds that feel wet on the outside If your buds dry too quickly try leaving the sugar leaves in place until it is time to jar Handle the buds as little as possible. Rough or over-handling will damage terpenes Buds are ready to cure when the smallest stems snap instead of bend (large stems still bend) Learn all about harvesting, drying and curing marijuana.