How To Boost THC Levels in Cannabis

How To Boost THC Levels in Cannabis

These days, everyone seems to be chasing the most potent weed. Growers are trying to cultivate the most powerful strains, recreational users are pursuing the most intense highs, and medical users are seeking the most effective remedies. With so much demand for potent marijuana, it is essential that growers learn how to maximize the level of cannabinoids in their plants. This article will provide some fundamental tips and tricks on how to boost THC levels in cannabis.

Cannabis Genetics

The most limiting factor when attaining high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels is the cannabis strain’s genetic potential. Some varieties of cannabis simply cannot produce the THC levels that many modern hybrids are capable of producing, no matter how perfectly they are grown. Some cultivars have even been bred specifically to produce as little THC as possible.

Selecting a high-THC cannabis strain is the first step in attaining high levels of this prized cannabinoid. Popular strains such as Animal Cookies, Purple Punch, and Wedding Cake are known to produce more than 20 percent THC—a remarkable amount when compared to older varieties of cannabis. By selecting one of these strains, you’ll be well on your way to growing high-THC buds.

Plant Health

The overall health of the plant is an important factor in how much THC it can produce. Cannabis plants exposed to significant environmental stressors may spend more time trying to recover than focusing on THC production. Pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, temperature and pH fluctuations, and other stressors can stunt the plants, decreasing their ability to produce high levels of THC.

To maximize cannabinoid production, growers should feed their plants with a nutrient-rich diet, provide a stable climate and pH, prune excess fan leaves, provide plenty of airflow, and have an integrated pest management (IPM) system in place to quickly respond to outbreaks of pests.

Protect Plants From the Elements

THC is stored within the delicate trichomes found on the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant. Adverse weather such as heat, wind, rain, hail, and frost may damage these trichomes, leading to a decrease in the potency of the flowers. By growing indoors or in greenhouses, growers can protect their plants from being stunted by inclement weather. Growing indoors also makes it easy to provide a stable climate, which will further help boost THC levels in cannabis. Finally, growing indoors makes it easier to protect the plants from pests, ensuring that they remain stress-free.

Lighting

Lighting is another major factor in determining the potency of cannabis. Using the correct intensity and spectrum of lighting can significantly boost THC levels in cannabis. Powerful grow lights such as high-pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), and light-emitting diode (LED) lights are popular and effective choices for cultivating potent marijuana.

These grow lights typically have light spectrums that are ideal for cannabis plant growth. A powerful light source will be able to penetrate deep into the canopy, allowing the buds on the lower parts of the plants to produce high levels of THC.

Avoid Pollination

Unseeded buds, also known as sinsemilla, are typically more valuable than seeded ones. This is because cannabis plants that have been pollinated often shift their focus to seed production rather than cannabinoid production. To maximize THC levels, most growers try to prevent their plants from becoming pollinated.

When growing regular seeds, growers must keep a close eye on the plants and separate the males from the females as soon as possible. Most strains start to develop preflowers within six weeks of germination. Growers can identify the gender of the plants by taking a close look at these preflowers.

Growers should regularly check their plants for pollen sacs, even when growing feminized seeds. Environmental stress and genetic tendencies can cause some female plants to develop pollen sacs.

Harvest Time

Harvesting the plants at the ideal time is instrumental in attaining high levels of THC. Fully ripened cannabis plants will contain significantly higher levels of THC than immature ones. If the plants are left to overripen, this THC will degrade into another, less potent phytocannabinoid known as cannabinol (CBN).

By harvesting the plants at peak ripeness, growers can maximize the THC levels of their crops. Furthermore, cannabis plants often have a growth spurt during the last week or two of flowering, so harvest at the right time will help to maximize yields. There is only a one-to-two-week window of peak ripeness, so it is essential that growers keep an eye on their plants and harvest them as soon as they are fully mature.

Trichomes are a great indicator of plant ripeness. The general rule of thumb is to harvest the plants when most of the trichomes have turned from transparent to milky white, with roughly 30% starting to turn amber. Growers can determine the color of the trichomes by using a magnifying glass or handheld microscope to observe the buds on the plants.

Curing

The curing process is one of the most crucial ways to boost THC levels in cannabis. A proper cure will help to protect and preserve the delicate trichomes that contain the cannabinoids in marijuana. Some growers believe that the curing process may even induce chemical reactions in the buds that further increase their potency.

Curing is accomplished by placing the buds in airtight containers after being left to dry for several days. This process usually takes four weeks or longer to cure the flowers fully. Because cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds can be damaged by heat and light, storing the jars in a cool, dark, and dry place is crucial. By opening up the jars briefly one or two times a day, growers can speed up the curing process and prevent mold and moisture from accumulating on the buds.

Final Thoughts on How To Boost THC Levels in Cannabis

Achieving high THC levels is a goal many growers strive for. By using the techniques described in this article, you’ll be able to cultivate incredibly potent marijuana. What’s more, many of these techniques will help to maximize the aroma, flavor, and yield of the plants.

Contact Greenpoint Seeds for more information about how to boost THC levels in cannabis.

What are your favorite methods for maximizing THC levels? Share your tips in the comment section below.

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