Most people prefer their weed in bud form, so until recently, most growers prioritized the highest yields to maximize profits. However, with a burgeoning market for concentrates promises lucrative returns, many are choosing to focus on this sector instead. Cultivating cannabis for concentrates is different from growing for bud. To have flower suitable for extraction, it must produce trichomes in abundance.
Trichomes are the new priority. Otherwise called resin or sugar, they are sticky, glandular crystals that develop on flowers, and this is where the plant’s valuable cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are most potent. For some, the cost of weed delivery is cheaper than making a concentrate, but with new rosin pressing technology, it is becoming more affordable as growers make quality oil at home.
Choosing the Right Plant
If your plan is to concentrate the potency, flavor, and effects of a particular strain, then it is wise to start with the one that you already enjoy. You need quality bud to make quality concentrate, and the crème de la crème of extracts derives from a quality flower that makes heads dripping with trichomes. The more resin a plant produces, the more oil it will contain, along with more cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Trichome-heavy buds are particularly crucial when making solventless hash. They separate from the plant easier during the process of hash making. You can get complex flavors from strains that have a large terpene profile. Sometimes trading bigger yields for personalization has its advantages. Rare and complex terpene profiles make for the very best in cannabis concentrates.
Improving Plant Quality
Because the flavor and terpene profile of a strain is so important when making concentrates, you do not want contaminants to destroy both its integrity and taste. Nutrients and pesticides, for example, can also end up in your extract. Preserving and protecting terpenes is vital, and keeping foul-tasting ingredients out of it essential, if you want a good concentrate. Here are some ways to do it:
Invest in Complete Soil
It is imperative that you use a complete soil, one already enriched with the majority of nutrients that cannabis plants require. You want to make it as easy as possible for the roots of your plants to uptake essential nutrients. Choose organic soil and scrutinize the label carefully for its contents.
Do Not Spray Foliage
Although foliar spraying forms part of treating pest issues and nutrient deficiencies, you do not want to do this when your plants are in their flowering phase. This is how residues get into concentrates, so if you must spray your plants, use organic sprays and only during the vegetative, or growth, phase.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides are dangerous to human health. Avoid chemicals that will not flush easily or they will make it into your extract. Instead, use predatory mites, pest management techniques, and organic foliar sprays to keep bud-destroying bugs away.
Flush the Roots
If growing in a hydro- or soil-based medium and using non-organic nutrients and fertilizers, then you should stop two weeks before harvest and give your plants only water. This will flush the roots and soil of impurities. You will have cleaner buds and ultimately cleaner extract.
Maximizing Production of Trichomes
The more trichomes your plants produce, the stronger your concentrate will be. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are ways to boost trichome production with simple methods that can make a huge difference in improving the taste, quality, and medical efficacy of your concentrates.
Certain terpenes begin to denature at room temperature already. For this reason, climate control is crucial for flavor. Infrared heat readers and other climate-control systems allow you to monitor cola temperature during flowering, and you always want to keep your canopy below 75 degrees Celsius.
Carbon Dioxide, or CO2
To use nutrients fully, plants must be able to photosynthesize without restriction. CO2 is imperative for this process. Invest in a CO2 burner to give your plants the boost they need to get much bigger during both the growing and flowering stages. Plants with a bigger surface area produce more trichomes.
The theory that lowering room temperature just before harvest will force plants to swell with trichomes has some merit to it. To protect themselves from cold and its stressors, plants will produce more resin. Before death, plants swell with trichomes to attract pollinating bugs.
At harvest time, you can do a few more things to enhance the terpene profile further. Before making concentrates, many cultivators choose to freeze their flower without curing it first. However, others prefer to cure it before extracting for concentrate. Here are a few ways to preserve the terpene profile of your plants even after you harvest them:
Freezing is a very good way to stop cannabinoids and terpenes from decomposing after the plant dies. It allows you to capture the plant’s full cannabinoid spectrum and terpene profile when it is at its freshest and most potent. If you plan to make concentrate in a week or two, then you can skip curing completely.
Drying and Curing
If you do not know exactly when you are going to make a concentrate, as in soon, then you have to dry and cure your buds properly in order to protect their trichomes. Hang them in an airy place with good ventilation. Then, cure them slowly in glass jars for up to six months, burping them gradually less.
Temperature and Humidity
To maintain the quality and integrity of buds and their contents, keep room temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit after harvest. Humidity is also important, with 55 percent humidity and less considered ideal during the curing and drying processes.
Until your buds are ready for making a concentrate, or if pests or worse destroy your crop, there is always weed delivery in Santa Barbara to rely on. You can find a huge selection of medical-grade cannabis concentrates online for every mood, ailment, and preference, as well as a horde of discounts and coupons, to ensure you pay a good price for the highest quality possible.