Burning a weed seed smells bad

Cannabis Contaminants & How to Tell If Cannabis Is Laced

Prohibitive drug policy has a lot of negative consequences, including contamination. Luckily, as cannabis legalization continues, it’s becoming less likely to encounter contaminated cannabis. Occasionally contaminated cannabis or ‘grit weed’ does still crop up, and it’s best to know what’s in your buds and how to be sure.

The most common cannabis contaminants are industrial ones, which are virtually impossible to detect without a third-party laboratory analysis. However, these contaminants are a side-effect of the legalization of cannabis (growing in large scale operations). The illegal drug market on the other hand occasionally produces ‘laced’ cannabis, which is contaminated with substances used to make the bud look or feel stronger but may have negative impacts on health.

The only real way to avoid contaminated cannabis is knowing what kinds of contaminants are used and how to identify them visually and with tactile inspection.

Different kinds of cannabis contaminants

There are different ways to detect a contaminant depending on which one is used. The most common contaminants are Brix, sand, sugar and hairspray. They are all used to make a lower-quality batch of cannabis look better than it really is by making it heavier or “stickier” to the touch.

Aside from this, there are also industrial contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. It is very difficult for the regular consumer to identify these contaminants, which is why many companies provide third-party analyses on their products. Most contaminants, whether industrial or otherwise, generally decrease the quality of the overall cannabis experience and might even pose health risks to those who consume them.

1. Sand as a cannabis contaminant

When growing outdoors, attachments of sand and soil cannot always be avoided, especially not as the plant gets stickier while flowering. Sometimes, small materials such as sand can remain in the transportation medium such as a plastic bag. Nevertheless, cannabis is often intentionally contaminated with sand or quartz sand. This may make the bud appear more trichome-rich and may also make the bud heavier.

Inhalation of quartz (cristaline silica dust) or sand poses a threat of silicosis, a form of pneumoconiosis, which is a serious lung disease causing inflammation in the upper lobes of the lungs. However, onset of silicosis is usually only caused after large amounts are inhaled and over an extended period of time.

2. Sugar as a cannabis contaminant

Cannabis that tastes sweeter than usual could be infused with sugar. Standard glucose tests available in pharmacies using small paper strips can detect this instantly. Sugar is a commonly used as an “extender”, giving the plant more dry weight so that dealers can profit.

The sugar is dissolved in boiling water which, when it has cooled, is sprayed on the plants. The water evaporates leaving a sticky layer. If white sugar has been used, the buds may have a very pale appearance; brown sugar is also used as it appears closer in colour to mature trichomes.

Sugar is sometimes used to enhance tobacco smoking and is frequently added to tobacco during the manufacturing process. Thus, the effect of sugar inhalation has been examined in the context of tobacco smoking. Smoking sugars increases the levels if formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, acrolein and 2-furfural in tobacco smoke and significantly contribute to the adverse effects of smoking tobacco.

Although this has not been confirmed in the context of cannabis, it can be hypothesized that inhalation of sugar contaminants may cause many unwanted health effects for consumers.

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3. Brix fertilizers used to “extend” cannabis

The true meaning of “Brix” is a unit of measurement to measure the weight of certain sugars and carbohydrates in plants. All plants require a certain degree of sugar and carbohydrates in order to grow and survive, and this includes cannabis. Certain chemical fertilizers are manufactured for the purpose of increasing Brix and therefore encouraging a growth spurt.

Brix fertilizers are sometimes used as a means of increasing the weight of cannabis. The buds are supposedly dipped in this fertilizer after harvest and then hung up to dry. Doing so makes the buds heavier and therefore the dealer has a greater profit margin.

It is very difficult to identify Brix as a contaminant as it is virtually invisible. However, buds may burn harshly and users may notice a chemical-like taste from buds that are laced with Brix fertilizers.

4. Hairspray as a cannabis contaminant

Hairspray is often used as a means of preserving old, dried out cannabis. This was perfectly exemplified prior to the renovation of the Sensi Seed Bank, where customers could see long colas that were perfectly preserved with hairspray.

Hairspray is also sometimes used to increase the aesthetic value of cannabis. Buds appear shinier, stickier and overall, stronger.

Naturally, hairspray is not recommended for inhalation. It is flammable for starters, and secondly, contains harsh chemicals that should not be consumed orally let alone inhaled. It is often easier to detect hairspray compared to other contaminants as it has a strong, chemically perfumed fragrance. Hair-sprayed buds also are prone to becoming hard and compact.

5. Industrial contaminants: fertilizers and pesticide

Fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides are often used in the growing process to protect against certain pests and stem rot. Although they are used for better growth, they often negatively affect the user of the final product and the natural environment. It is virtually impossible without third-party laboratory testing to identify the presence of fertilizers and pesticides. They are invisible to the naked eye and sometimes don’t even affect the taste of cannabis.

Pyrethrins (insecticides for plant protection and crop spraying) potentially lead to neurotoxicity (damage of the nervous system). They may also provoke serious asthma-related symptoms, although the connection between pyrethrins and asthma is yet to be confirmed.

Industrial contaminants are somewhat of a by-product of the legal cannabis industry. In order to maximize plant yield, deter pests and increase profitability, chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used. These contaminants are not characteristic of the black market for cannabis, although some clandestine growers will use such contaminants.

Industrial contaminants can be removed to a certain degree using a technique called flushing. This means that for the last stage of plant life, plants are not given fertilizers or nutrients but simply water, allowing the plant to flush itself from any nutrients or chemicals remaining in the flowers. However, this does not eliminate all contaminants and isn’t the most efficient method.

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6. Lead splinters and lead dust

Lead, as a heavy metal, is intensely hazardous to health and therefore perhaps the most dangerous substance added to cannabis. Extremely difficult to spot with the naked eye because of their dark colour, lead splinters can only be identified under a microscope (a small pocket microscope for example).

Lead poisoning can lead to damage of the central and peripheral nervous system. It may affect the brain, liver, kidneys and bones and is particularly dangerous to an unborn foetus. Apart from a few exceptions, lead compounds are rated as hazardous to reproduction.

In 2007, the German city Leipzig reported 597 cases of users that smoked lead contaminated cannabis. Around 163 consumers had lead intoxication that necessitated treatment and 73 users had lead concentrations that required monitoring. Out of 160, 113 consumers were in need of medical treatment, and 35 were hospitalized. Lead is stored in the teeth and bones and can therefore take a long time to successfully flush it out of the body (sometimes up to 37 years). This video shows George Wurth from DHV (Deutscher Hanf Verband = German Hemp Alliance) giving a statement about cannabis lead contamination (available in German only).

7. Fungus as a cannabis contaminant

Mouldy and musty smelling, fungus infested cannabis is relatively easy to identify. Based on the degree of moulding, the cannabis can show white, furry dots. Mouldy cannabis usually occurs during the grow cycle or as a result of poorly stored and cured cannabis buds.

Mould spores can be threatening, especially for users that already suffer from allergies or asthma, or have a weak immune system. Also people with no previous health issues can experience symptoms like breathing problems, mucous membrane irritation and headaches.

8. Glass and glass splinters in cannabis

Pieces of glass in cannabis, mostly of industrial origin, can generally not be found with the naked eye, but they can be seen with a (pocket) microscope.

High temperatures (through burning) cause the glass particles to burst, whereby sharp-edged fragments can develop. Once in the respiratory system, they can cause damage from minute cuts. Scarring on the wounded tissue can lead to the lung disease silicosis, but only when cannabis contaminated with glass is being consumed continuously.

9. Talcum powder to change the appearance of cannabis

Talc is a matt white mineral that feels greasy, and is therefore often called soapstone. Cannabis coated with talcum powder is supposed to look more resinous and heavy, but it turns much lighter in colour also. Furthermore, it loses the typical cannabis smell.

Talc dust affects the respiratory system and bronchial tubes in a negative way. Excessive inhalation of talcum powder may cause respiratory illnesses such as pulmonary talcosis.

How do I know if my cannabis is contaminated?

Now that you know some of the common contaminants that can be found in cannabis, you are better equipped to pinpoint cannabis that has been laced. You have five senses, and if you can use all of them to inspect a piece of cannabis, you should.

1. Visual inspection

Before consuming a new batch of cannabis, be sure to closely inspect the bud, using a magnifying glass if necessary. Look out for whitish crystalline substances (that are NOT trichomes—the difference can be negligible with some higher-quality contaminants, so be careful!), as well as stems that appear to be caked in a foreign substance. Stems can often be a clearer indication of contaminants, as the fine particles can often be hidden among the irregular surface of the buds themselves.

Visual inspection should help you identify sugar or glass granules on the bud, as well as any mould or fungus that might be hiding in the bud or on the stems.

2. Tactile inspection

Rub a piece of bud or stalk between your fingers to test for the presence of spray. You may feel a chalky, dry texture, as well as individual grains of grit, glass or sugar. As well as using your fingers, you can also touch the tip of your tongue to the bud and then rub your tongue along your lips or the roof of your mouth to test for grainy substances. Be careful not to swallow any contaminants, as they could be harmful.

3. Taste and smell

The taste and smell of cannabis can tell a lot about which contaminants, if any, are present in the bud. However, you don’t always want to wait until smoking it to detect contaminants. You can smell the bud for anything that smells perfume-like in the way hairspray would smell perfume-like. You can also put your tongue on the bud. If it tastes sweeter than usual, it may be sugar coated.

4. Other methods of detection

  • If you have already begun smoking a joint, you may assess the quality of the smoke itself. If the smoke is particularly harsh and chemical, it may indicate the presence of contaminants. As well as sprayed contaminants, it may also indicate mould or excessive, unflushed nutrients.
  • Either way, if your bud tastes particularly bad or harsh, it may very well contain chemicals harmful to your health. Well-flushed, professionally grown cannabis should have a clean, juicy taste, so always pay attention to the flavour.
  • Another very important means of detection is checking your ash. Some common contaminants, particularly building grit, cause the ash of cannabis joints to become hard and compacted, so that when the joint is tapped the ash remains in place. Such ash may also be very dark in colour, although this is not always the case.

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General tips for detecting laced cannabis

Enlightenment and education – both Sensi Seeds goals – are crucial for protecting the consumer in all matters of cannabis. Listed below are a few general tips that can help recognize contaminated or laced cannabis and, hopefully, prevent the consumption of contaminated marijuana. Exercise caution when:

  • the buds are suspiciously heavy
  • the cannabis burns through like a sparkler or Shisha coal after lighting it up
  • the burning tip of the joint gives off sparks
  • a chemical, plastic-like smell develops while burning
  • ash residues are hard and black and turn oily and greasy after light pressure
  • the buds are particularly white and look coated in a crystalline or shiny substance
  • buds are particularly crumbly and fluffy, and fall apart easily
  • the buds do not dry out when kept exposed to air
  • residue can be found in the packaging: granulate material, crystals, and sandy, powdery substances

Anytime cannabis is purchased, it should be examined for contaminants. Knowing that contaminated cannabis still circulates the market and that there are ways to identify it helps consumers to err on the side of caution when purchasing cannabis.

Help and information

Because of the illegal drugs trade, people injured by contaminated cannabis cannot just return or complain about their cannabis, or hold the seller accountable. That’s why it is crucial for users to be informed.

For this reason the DHV maintains an extender detector – a database of known contaminants – and an online platform on which victims can report their experiences.

The Cannabis College Amsterdam, a non-profit information centre based in the heart of Amsterdam, gives advice about everything related to the subject of cannabis. They also educate visitors about cannabis extenders and their dangers to health.

Several drug checking initiatives in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands offer the option of having drugs checked for certain substances such as cocaine, MDMA and ketamine. However, other substances such as magic mushrooms, cannabis and smart-products are not tested.

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Approach to solving the problem of contamination

The legalization of cannabis is one approach to solving the problem of contamination. Theoretically, in a properly regulated system, plants could be cultivated under supervision and regulation. Consumers could obtain information and receive training. Production, distribution and consumption would be aligned with legislation.

The lawgiver would have more control over the quality of cannabis through decriminalisation and regulation of the industry as a whole.

Ultimately, the general legal cultivation of the plant for personal use, whether for medicinal or recreational reasons, would be a meaningful action in order to prevent the dangers of extenders in cannabis. All in all, these are qualities of a properly designed legal cannabis system.

Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.


43 thoughts on “Cannabis Contaminants & How to Tell If Cannabis Is Laced”

Hello…my daughter usually smokes canabis resin ..but due to the lockdown it is not getting into the UK so for the last year she has had what she calls ‘Green’..but in the last few months she has become paranoid it seems but only with me like keep saying to me “stop telling me what to do” she is 54!…and Not sure if this is the right word but I think its Psychotic! she is panicing and telling my other daughter that I have a brain tumour and Dimentia ..she’s talking about me to everyone and is crying a lot..sometimes it seems like she is on speed..but we know she isn’t…could this be because of the Green she is smoking or could it be laced with something if so what?

Good afternoon Polly,

Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your daughters situation. As Sensi Seeds is not a medical agency or practitioner, we cannot give any kind of medical advice other than to consult your registered healthcare professional.

We cannot forget that the experience with cannabis is very subjective on both a physical and mental level; the reaction that we each have to the same variety or dose is very different. Our endocannabinoid system and our own genetics determine each individual’s specific response to cannabis.

I would recommend to stop consuming any green products, if you are unsure of their content.

With best wishes,

It may be synthetic cannabis or just poor quality weed contaminated with synthetic cannabinoids. Research the topic. It can have extreme effects on people. There are always new formulas developed, by just switching some of the elements bound to the THC-molecule. Nobody can predict the effects. It’s crazy. UK had like a whole synthetic weed epidemic a couple of years ago, with people hawing heroin-like withdrawal

I bought some “fruit pastille “ hash and its oddly extreme and psychedelic so much so i wonder if pure hash?

When I smoke certain weed from a certain place it leaves a disgusting film in my mouth. Not normal cotton mouth. Almost chemical. Could it be that they used hair spray or other chemicals?

Damn and I just bought $300 worth of product from one of my local dispensaries! I knew there was something up though when the bud was hard as a rock, very crumbly, didnt smell like marijuana either when I burned it, which now my lungs are hurting. So, I basically got ripped off, and am out all that money now, that sucks! Thanks!

What about the ones spraying reggie to trick their customers to think they’re buying loud!

Please could you tell us what reggie is? It sounds bad! I’ve never hear the word used in this context, but I haven’t lived in the UK for over 20 years so I’m out of the loop with quite a lot of things!

With best wishes,

Reggie means regular. Saying your getting just some regular buds not gassy or more medical. Kinda slang term for normal regular weed.
That reggie term been used on the streets for as long as I can remember.
Just like some normal good ol’ crunch.
If you smoke weed everyday then reggie normally won’t get you that high.

Thanks for your comment and your feedback. We are continuously checking and updating the articles on our blog, and I have passed your comment to the team.

Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

With best wishes,

I hate when they do that. I got some bud that’s really hard and the guy told me it’s grinder weed. No such thing as grinder weed. I looked it up. But really it’s heavy cause some one sprayed it heavily.
The zip looks like a quarter.
Bad for buisness.

I was getting weed that smelled and tasted awful. We call it smash, guy said it’s from the bottom of a bag but is selling kilos of it. Smells like really strong coffee and tastes utterly revolting. My cousin got stuff with barely a scent

I had the same thought. Vice Germany published an interview a couple of months ago. There was a guy wearing a mask dealing with (quite big amounts of) weed in a german city and he told them, since a couple of years all the high rank dealer are buying cheap, low-quality weed and spraying it with synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic terpens, so it smells, tastes and hits strong but it’s extremely dangerous. In my hometown a guy used it without knowing, cause some teens passed him the joint, he collapsed after a few hits, the teens started panicking and left him alone, he died that night. Another person from my high school, smoked a whole joint of synthetic cannabis aka bath salt (one hit can have the effect of a whole joint of normal weed). He collapsed as well started to have seizure and nearly swallowd his tounge. Luckily another student -educated in first aid- went by called an ambulance, grabbed his tounge and hold it till the ambulance arrived. The collapsed guy was cramping so hard he bit the fingers of the other students to the bones.

Does anyone have any info on Thai cannabis/ weed?

You might find this post interesting: Cannabis in Thailand.

With best wishes,

BRIX is a term used to describe the sugar content of a plant – high brix content means high grade plant material, low brix content means poor quality plant material.

But there is also a product called Brix+ which is a sugar/plastic based substance used as a foliar spray to increase weight of buds and decreases the shrinkage of buds when they dry out, so they look like big fat buds but dont chop out to many bowls.
Is snake oil, you spray sugar on your plants and it drys out adding weight to the buds and makes them look as if they are covered in amber trycs

I am very thankful to you.This information very helps full.

I am having a bad problem with some bud. It has a heavy smell of what i think is a chemical smell. Has anyone else ever had this problem? When harvested, the plants smell amazing, and like they are supposed to. But once they are dried, its horrible. They are flushed prior to harvest, and washed once cut. Someone please help.

Unfortunately, legal restrictions mean we can’t answer grow related questions or give grow advice on this blog. However, we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask questions and share your experiences with a thriving community of cannabis and gardening enthusiasts, so please don’t hesitate to join the community!

With best wishes,

I get some that smells very chemical like a huge over use of hydroponics chemical. It burns like incense and it’s gassy as hell and gets you high but if you smoke alot you will get these headaches that are very painful and come in hard and strong.
seems like your feeling like a brain aneurysm will happen.
Pretty fucked up but true. I ❤️reading all these comments it educates me.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

We are so pleased your enjoying the blog. We also enjoy reading the comments too!

With best wishes,

I am a conscious gardener.. what I have learned from being a Landscape and vegetable gardener is to know your farmer, landscaper, marijuana grower well.
A good tip is to get your weed from a small grower who you know doesn’t not spray their plants. Smaller more monitored rooms are less likely to need sprays. A am one of those growers. Happy to grow chemical free weed. I guess my answer may be obvious, and it’s probably not easy to find someone who doesn’t need to spread their plants. But those of you who are consumers should voice your concerns to grower that you don’t want weed that has been sprayed.
be aware there are Organic growers that use sprays that are concidered organic, in my opinion I wouldn’t want to smoke weed even if the spray is organic.

The goverments are evil.. They know damn well how harmless natural organic cannabis is and never ever legalized it. Now with this monsanto dupont strains beeing pushed, it became legal.. Uruguya is the first country that fully legalized cannabis, no wonder since they are the first labrats testing this MONSANTO crap!! Agaian, the goverments has sinister plans for cannabis users… TIME TO PROTEST WORLDWIDE! Also against all these illegal wars, just like out parents did during the 60’s / 70’s

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Grow your own.. Enough is enough..

Hi, Brix is a sugar index rating of juices, pulled from a refractometer,you are referring to the Brix+ sugar-water product. Brix itself is good, as long as it is natural to the plant and not just sugar from a bottle. Brix is why people grow in soil va hydroponic.

I dont think I’ll be using Sensi seeds ever, they seem ill informed on the subject of growing, if they don’t know what Brix is. Let me assist with a copy/paste:

Brix+, AN Budcandy, Botanicare Sweet Raw/Citrus/Grape, GH Floranectar FruitnFusion/BlueberryDream/BananaBliss/PineappleRush/Coconut

CuttingEdge SourDee/Sugaree, Grotek PinaColada/Grapefruit/Blueberry/Strawberry/GreenApple Final Flush.

This is just a small taste of the fake-scent sugar-water products used on LEGAL, STATE APPROVED MEDICAL CANNABIS.

These products are mostly plant esters from industry scraps (peels, rinds) and simple sugars (table sugar) that soak right into the roots and into the plant fiber. These products contain other ingredients that may or may not assist your crop, mainly included to sell the idea that this is a fertilizer/nutrient supplement. It is not. It is a direct contaminant/adulterant.

The bottled product gives the plant the same exact smell of the product. A direct transfer, no chemical reactions or anything. The sugar adds useless sandbag weight, it does not increase yield. It inflames premature buds and gives them a whitish, frostier appearance. It hides minor cases of mold.

The growers who use this stuff are convinced by the fact that they waste so much money trusting opportunist salesmen.. Its a horrible case of debt induced delusion. It is absolutely no different than spraying your buds with honey water, or Coca-Cola. Youre just buying it premixed and sending it up the root for complete absorption.

When I lived in Northern California and Oregon, fruity strains tasted absolutely amazing. When I moved to Colorado/Az, I discovered the fake weed. Spending meticulous hours cleaning my vaporizers,and tossing more “Cannabis” in the trash than I was consuming. The state health departments do not care one bit.

Not only is the marijuana contaminated with fruit scented sugar water, it is contaminated with nut products and lactose products,in the form of mold hiding sprays and feeds. I have seen ONE peanut allergy warning. I have no idea why peanuts are being used, but Neem nut oil is on a large percentage of legal market Cannabis, as a mold deterrent. Many dispensaries pass the smell of processed Neem oil and rotted milk spray off as terpenes.

Those are not the only unnatural smells found in legal medical Cannabis. A lot of the product can be seperated into groups by the line of nutrient it was grown with. I call smell Botanicare PBR on a large portion of the flowers. Several others I can group but have yet to identify. The smell and color can be consistently seperated in some dispensaries, the buds are so heavily contaminated.

Not much else to say. Its illegal to grow your own MMJ in Arizona, where this problem is worst. Arizona dispensaries have the worst Cannabis I’ve ever experienced. That is including tons of bricked up seeded import. Hardly any of it taste like Cannabis varietals. It all taste like lawn clippings and grow products. I suggest people grow their own despite the illegality of home production.

This is what legalization gets us. Smart people were asking for decriminalization. The corporations sponsored legalization. The retailers grow the product themselves, they have exclusive production rights and zero regulations. It is absolutely disgusting on all accounts!

Thanks for your comment. This sentence: “Brix is a sugar index rating of juices, pulled from a refractometer,you are referring to the Brix+ sugar-water product. Brix itself is good, as long as it is natural to the plant and not just sugar from a bottle. Brix is why people grow in soil va hydroponic.” does not entirely make sense; in Europe, where Sensi Seeds is based, the product is referred to as Brix and I am unfamiliar with the “sugar rating” you refer to by that name.

Interesting to hear about the contaminants in legal medicinal weed in the US though, thanks for sharing.

With best wishes,

Hey, i know brix as a naturel sugar rating of the inside of plantcells with a brix reader. (The higher the naturel sugar rating is getting the better u will flower. But also as a sugar/plastic substance. Found multiple collors en sizes. Rock solid /dont disolve, burns black. Easy to spot with a proper digital usb camera. Almost everything i buy is contaiminated here in holland. Rarely i see proper organic grow, if poeple knew they don’t have to do so much for the plant, but let nature do it. It will be a easy grow and the best u ever had.

Eggzectly why I voted no for rec weed in Cali! A dez-gusting power grab by Monsanto and the tobacco corporations is about to ruin the party big time….but I had no idea that sheet was already in effect in AZ. Billionaires ruin everything.

My husband is legal for medical weed in Arkansas.
He is 64 and a weed smoker for 40+ yrs.
I don’t smoke now but used to indulge daily many years ago.

The weed he has been getting from the dispensaries often burns quick ,leaves no resin and cheisil and glueball strains have a strong chemical taste and smell.
My husband swears it’s isomiled.
I’ve read this thread on the BRIX spray .
We wish to have the weed third party tested to see what’s in or on it.
Who does 3rd party testing?
It is illegal to grow our own.
Still strongly considering it.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

I live i Az and all the MMJ is contaminated. Its illegal to grow my own. The corporate takeover of Cannabis has sponsored this experiment. Testing the waters to see what sells. ALL KINDS OF BULL SHIT SELLS. Wax pens made from scrap reclaim and fake terps. Moldy buds soaked in h202,neem oil, rotten milk, etc. Buds with zero smell and taste other than plant matter. Buds you can line up by color and smell according to nutrients used (Budcandy, Sweet, Sour Dee, Floranectar, Carboload, all these “sweeteners” are a curse, used as flush-ins for giving lawn clippings a smell)

Legal weed is a JOKE! I haven’t smelled actual weed in any dispensary. Its all Cutting Edge, Botanicare, AN, GH product lines I smell instead! Monsanto fake weed BULLSHIT.

Why is the seedstock so poor that dispensaries cant grow mold free buds, or buds without artificial smells? Do I need to mention Monsantos connections again? We all know who works with the DEA in collecting Cannabis genetics. And we all know who pushed “sensi” as a standard of quality, rather than quality as a standard of quality..

I am sick of this American capitalist fake jew weed! Bring me some hash that actual tastes like hash! Forget this M39 bullshit sprayed with “Uncle Johns Blend” and labeled “super skunk chem dog diesel” !

Finally! Someone knows there is sprayed shit everywhere. All Madrid clubs sell crap, all UK full of crap (except homegrown by friends) all Europe hash has black smoke if set on fire. Poisoning all weed smokers who dont supply themselves. CHECK YOUR BUDS PEOPLE.

How to prevent the death of cannabis seeds and seedlings

Every grower, almost without exception, will have occasionally suffered the death of a plant during cultivation, just when it seemed that everything was going along nicely. In this article, we’ll focus on the main reasons why seeds may not germinate properly, or why seedlings may end up dead in the first weeks of life.

Seeds dying before germination

Cannabis seeds can die even before we start to grow them, in which case, when the grower comes to germinate them, they won’t open up and sprout at all.

The seeds of the cannabis plant, like many other types of seeds, must always be kept in the correct conditions, especially if you want to save the leftover seeds for later use and ensure that they germinate well in the future.

The same goes for unopened whole packs of seeds that have been purchased to store for later use. Sometimes, certain varieties are in high demand and there is limited stock, so the more astute growers will make sure they grab a few packs to keep in the vault until they find the time to germinate the cannabis seeds.

Cannabis seeds must be stored in the correct conditions

What to do with leftover seeds or unopened seed packs

Cannabis seeds need very low relative humidity and relatively low temperature for their proper storage, so the best plan is to keep them in a “no frost” refrigerator, in which both the humidity and temperature are maintained at very low levels for better conservation of food.

If we want to keep a seed package that’s still sealed, simply put the whole unopened pack into the fridge. The best place for its conservation is usually the small shelf where the eggs or butter are kept, although really any part of the fridge is ideal for storage.

If we want to save the leftover seeds from a pack for later use, we recommend storing them in the original Eppendorf tube or container used by the bank. In the original packaging, these Eppendorf tubes hold the seeds and usually also contain a few small silica gel balls, included to maintain very low humidity (10 to 20%) and help to ensure that the seed does not lose any germination viability.

If, however, we leave the seeds for a long period of time in any corner of the house it is possible that over time their viability to germinate will decrease, and when we plant them they may take a long time to germinate or indeed not germinate at all. it is also important to protect them from sunlight.

So if you wish to save the seeds in the best conditions, always keep them in the refrigerator, well protected from air, light and moisture.

How do we store leftover seeds to grow at a later date?

Death during the germination of cannabis seeds

Death during the germination of cannabis seeds is one of the most frequent failures suffered by every grower over the course of his or her cultivation career. There are several possible reasons that can lead to the seeds dying before they even open and begin to grow, which we’ll examine here.

Not all seeds have the same resistance to the errors that may occur during the germination process. Just as not all siblings are not all equal, neither are all seeds. By this, we mean that in the case of one seed germinating and the rest of them not doing so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those that didn’t germinate were not strong or resistant, but simply that they were less so than the one that did germinate. If this occurs, we must ask ourselves why they did not germinate and look for any possible failings in the process.

Death by drowning the seed during germination

We start from the basic premise that the seeds require moisture, oxygen and a suitable temperature for germination; If one of the three aspects is not taken into account, it is quite likely that the seeds won’t end up germinating.

Putting the cannabis seeds in a glass of water and waiting 24 to 48 hours for their germination can be a fatal error for them. Re-hydrating the seeds in water is a good idea as long as they are not out of contact with the air for long, as they will be deprived of oxygen and most of the time they will end up dying; so if we use this method, we only leave them to re-to hydrate in water for a few minutes, although, preferably we will avoid any previous soaking or re-hydration (which in any case is not necessary).

We must maintain suitable levels of humidity for germination

The reason for this is that tap water contains chlorine, which sterilises the water to make it suitable for domestic use. However, this chlorine disappears by evaporation after a few hours, so if the water then gets contaminated, the seed can be attacked by any number of pathogens and eventually die. This example also illustrates why we must always touch the seeds with clean hands; If the seeds are handled with dirty fingers, it can lead a fungal or bacterial infection to contaminate them and severely compromise their development.

The same can happen in other germination media such as jiffy plugs, where the most common mistake is usually not draining away the excess water after re-hydrating the compressed peat. To this error, we can add that of burying the seed at more than twice its own depth, in which case it may not emerge despite having germinated perfectly well, but instead, simply end up rotting due to excess water and lack of oxygen. This error is also frequent in growers who germinate directly in the soil because when they first irrigate, the seed can be washed down into the soil resulting in them being buried too deeply, which makes it difficult for the seedling to reach the surface. It is always better to wet the substrate first, before sowing any seeds.

If you want to sow the seed directly into the soil and do it properly, when growing outdoors you must also act to prevent seed predators. Ants, birds, and many other animals or insects are another common cause of seed failure during germination. In the case of ants, they eat the small, delicate root, leaving the plant unable to develop and condemning it to imminent death.

Placing the seeds between moist serviettes/paper towels is one of the best germination methods for beginner growers. Since you can easily see if the seed has taken root or not. But we must also bear in mind that the germination medium, the kitchen paper, is made of cellulose, meaning it is an organic material that will decompose and rot, just like any product of this type.

Planting the germinated seed is also a crucial moment

It is, therefore, obligatory to change the napkins every day and a half, more or less, to avoid the seeds being contaminated by the pathogens that can appear as the napkins begin to rot. For this reason, we recommend placing the napkins in a deep plate and covering it with another one, leaving a small gap between the two so that air can enter, oxygenate the microclimate that is created during the germination of the seeds and avoiding them rotting.

Seeds dying due to lack of moisture

Just as excess water is one of the most common causes of germination problems, the lack of moisture is equally detrimental to the process.

If outdoor temperatures are around 20 to 24ºC, then we shouldn’t need do much more than start the seeds to germinate and wait for them to open, following the precautions already discussed. But in case of having warmer or cooler temperatures, we must act to raise or lower the environmental temperature for optimal germination, and find the best location for germination to be successful.

If it is winter, the plates holding the seeds are often placed on top of a low heat source to raise the temperature. We must, however, be careful: if this heat source emits hot air, the paper towels will dry out and the seeds will run out of moisture, affecting germination. If you realise this in time, you can re-hydrate the seeds and they will usually recover from and continue to germinate, although it is also possible that there will be consequences that may affect the subsequent development of the plant during its cultivation.

Not long after sowing the seed, we will see our little plant emerge from the soil

If we haven’t noticed soon enough that the seeds have been left without moisture, we can assume that they will have dried up completely, with their consequent death, and this is even more likely if the seeds had already opened up to show the root. This can also happen very easily if we germinate during summer when temperatures are high and humidity is usually very low compared to other times of the year.

Death of the plants during the growth period

The start of the growth period is a very important stage in a plant’s life, so several aspects must be taken into account so that it does not die of any of a number of causes.

One of the most frequent problems is root rot due to excess irrigation and lack of oxygen in the substrate. Up till now, this has been one of the most common causes of plant death during the growth period, especially with beginner gardeners who lack previous cultivation experience. In addition, the likelihood of this happening increases considerably in crops with auto-flowering varieties; we’ll explain what to do here.

When the plant emerges from the substrate, leaving behind its germination stage, it is crucial to take care with any excess water and the lack of humidity in its aerial parts such as leaves, stems and branches.

The proper conditions guarantee good germinación

When the plant is young and only has a very small root, its needs are few, it feeds and drinks very little. If we saturate the substrate with too much water, apart from halting the growth of the root (leading to little or no growth in the aerial parts), it creates the ideal conditions for the small roots to slowly rot. If the plant loses a part or all of its tiny root system in its first stage of life, it is almost guaranteed that it will die within a few days.

If we use a small 0.5L to 1L plant pot for the first part of vegetative growth, before transplanting them to a bigger pot, we will be covering our backs in case of any excess of irrigation, since the substrate will dry out again much faster than in larger pots. For this reason, this issue is very common for novice growers who are cultivating auto-flowering cannabis plants, where the use of 20L pots is recommended from the start.

It is often said that you must irrigate with an appropriate amount of water and nutrients for the size of the plant. As this is often complicated to carry out, as a rough guide we can irrigate the plants with an amount not more than 10 or 20% of the plant pot’s capacity. So, if they are 1L pots we will water from 100 to 200ml as long as it is not an auto-flowering plant.

If the plan is to grow automatic varieties, then during the first two weeks we water with 100 to 350ml per irrigation, every 1 or 2 days. Remember that the substrate must maintain a minimum of humidity to allow the plant to feed and continue to develop normally. If it is raining and the plants are outdoors, it’s a good idea to move or cover them, to prevent the substrate from getting soaked, which could easily lead to root zone problems.

The first stages of growth survived with success!

We hope that this information will be useful and help to stop your seeds and seedlings dying. Don’t hesitate to leave any comments or questions, we’ll be pleased to help.

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.

How to Make Weed Smell Better (and Stop Hay Smell!)

Introduction: How to Grow Cannabis That Smells Great

Do you want to improve the smell of your cannabis? Ready to defeat “hay smell” for good? When it comes to homegrown cannabis, the smell of your buds contributes greatly to the overall perceived quality. Just like how food tastes better when it smells great, producing buds with a great smell can greatly improve the overall experience. In addition to strains with “common” weed smells like diesel and skunk, there are also strains that produce exotic fruity and sweet smells like pineapple, blueberry, or chocolate. We’re even learning that certain combinations of terpenes (which cause the smell of cannabis) can change or increase the perceived potency.

This tutorial will teach you how to grow buds that smell incredible

Unfortunately, many marijuana growers, new and experienced, are unintentionally making mistakes that prevent buds from smelling their best. The most common reason is growers accidentally giving their buds a bad smell through some kind of mistake. The next most common reason is poor growing practices that prevent buds from living up to their potential. Lastly, some strains just produce low smells or bad smells due to their genetics.

3 Main Reasons for Low or Bad Cannabis Smell

  • Grower mistakes that directly cause a bad smell
  • Poor growing practices that prevent buds from reaching their full potential
  • Genetics that produce either a low or unpleasant smell (many strains smell like a skunk and some even have tinges of cat pee)

This tutorial will teach you how to stop bad smells and increase the natural smell of your buds. We’ll also show you how to achieve a more complex and appealing smell overall. You’ll learn not only what to do, but just as importantly you’ll learn what not to do!

Each cannabis strain has its own unique smell. Learn how to stop bad smells and increase their natural scent using the tips below

How to Fix 5 Common Problems that Ruin Buds

Proper Drying Technique: How to Prevent “Hay Smell” or “Chlorophyll Smell”

What causes the dreaded cannabis “hay smell”? This is one of the biggest complaints new growers have when they start growing their own weed. Typically their plants smell like normal weed during the flowering stage, but buds lose their “weed smell” during or after the drying process. The resulting buds often smell like hay, fresh-cut grass, or may simply be described as “Chlorophyll Smell”.

“Why does my cannabis smell like hay?” is one of the most common beginner growing questions. The problem typically appears during the bud drying process.

What Causes Hay Smell

  • Mold or Mildew – visible or invisible mold is a common cause of hay smell (mold and decomposition is why hay smells the way it does). In fact, mold and mildew can cause hay smell even while buds are still on the plant.
  • Buds Drying Unevenly – Buds smells like hay, chlorophyll, or fresh cut grass when dried unevenly (typically when drying too fast in a warm space without adequate ventilation or air movement). Buds smell much better when dried evenly. You don’t want the outsides of buds to be completely dry while insides are still wet. Another cause is when a fan or air current dries parts of buds while unexposed parts are still moist. When entire plants are hung upside down, the insides rarely dry at the same rate as the outsides of the plant and can occasionally cause hay smell (though if you’re drying in low-humidity conditions, sometimes you need that extra moisture to prevent buds from drying too fast). Commercial growers get the best of both worlds – they typically cut branches and hang them individually, then use a mixture of AC, air circulation, and dehumidifiers/humidifiers to maintain the perfect conditions on every single bud during drying.
  • Heat + Unmoving Air During Drying – Buds tend to smell like hay or be harsh to smoke or vape when they are exposed to warm temperatures along with stagnant, unmoving air during the drying process. This causes uneven drying conditions and invites invisible or visible mold to grow. In more extreme cases, growers might try drying buds over heat, in the sun, or in the oven. All of these drying techniques can cause buds to smell bad and be harsh to smoke/vape.
  • Buds Drying Too Close Together – This is kind of the result of the above factors, but you can get hay smell from drying too many buds in a small space, drying buds on their sides so they create wet spots against a surface, and/or stacking buds on top of each other. The issue has to do with putting your buds in an environment that can cause the above factors.
  • Trimming Buds Before Drying – There’s controversy about whether to trim your buds (remove the leaves and make them pretty) before or after they dry. For growers trying to air-dry in a humid climate, buds that are enveloped by leaves may stay too wet during the dry process. Some strains produce extremely leafy buds and buds will physically feel soaked during drying if at least some of the leaves aren’t trimmed off. However, in a hot or low-humidity climate, trimming off the leaves before drying can cause the outsides of the buds to dry too quickly. Some plants don’t produce a lot of leaves near the buds so there’s no benefit to trimming them. In that kind of environment, a little bit of protection from the air can help even out moisture as buds dry. Conclusion: If it’s dry and hot, trim after drying. If it’s humid, consider trimming before drying (especially if you’re having a hard time getting buds to dry).
See also  Argyle seeds

How to Prevent Hay Smell

Traditional Air-Drying – There are many ways to dry cannabis buds but this is the most common and time-tested way to ensure perfect drying conditions every time. If you follow the directions below, you will not get hay smell from drying.

Air-drying branches upside down is the most common cannabis drying method.

  1. Cut Branches Off the Plant
    • If there are lots of leaves, remove the biggest ones before drying (unless it’s extremely dry and you’re trying to help buds dry more slowly).
    • If it’s very humid or you’re having trouble getting buds to dry, you might consider trimming the buds before drying.
  2. Hang branches upside down to dry
    • Hang branches upside down and try to space them evenly
    • Don’t let buds touch but hang them within a few inches of each other to maintain a stable microclimate around each bud.
    • If humidity is less than 40%, hang branches from inside a cardboard box or in paper bags. Being surrounded by a paper product helps buds dry evenly and more slowly.
    • If humidity is over 60%, consider increasing air circulation and keep buds a bit further apart from each other. In extreme cases over 70 or 80% RH, you may need to remove the buds off the branches and dry them in a mesh drying rack or even use a food dehydrator (always at the lowest temperature, and it’s even better if you can open it and disconnect the heating element so buds are dried without any heat at all). This Presto dehydrator is one of the cheapest dehydrators on Amazon, but it doesn’t let you set the heat (always operates at way-too-high 165°F). However, I’ve got one and it’s easy to open the unit and disconnect the heating element by snipping the wire (there’s really nothing else inside so it’s hard to miss), which gives you a no-heat dehydrator for under $50.
  3. Perfect Drying Environment for 4-10 Days (big buds take longer, small buds dry quickly)
    • Cool temperature: 60-65°F is ideal. Warmer temperatures invite mold and can burn off terpenes/potency if it gets too hot
    • 50-60% RH – 50% RH if it’s hot (this helps prevent mold growth) and 60% if it’s cool (this helps prevent smell/potency loss, and won’t grow mold as long as it’s cool)
    • Slight air movement – There should be air circulation to prevent moist pockets but no air blowing directly on buds. It’s common to hang branches in a tent with the exhaust fan on low, or in a room with a fan pointed at a wall.
  4. Jar Buds
    • Bud are done once small stems snap, and buds pop off the branches without strings
    • At this point remove the buds from branches and put in jars
  5. Cure Buds
    • Open jars at least daily for 2-4 weeks
    • Use a hygrometer to try to maintain humidity between 55-62% RH in the jars (lower humidity for bigger buds to help them dry thoroughly, higher humidity for smaller buds to prevent them from getting too dry)
    • Consider using Boveda or Integra Boost humidity packs to automatically maintain the desired humidity in jars (58% and 62% are most common for curing weed)
    • The curing process magnifies the “weed smell” and slowly reduces the smell of hay, grass, or chlorophyll
    • Wet buds can cause bacteria and mold growth, so ensure buds always feel dry on the outside before closing the jar

The most important factors for air-drying buds are: temperature (cool), humidity (middling), and air circulation (gentle but even air movement)

Cannabis buds curing in jars. The little black devices are hygrometers to measure the humidity in the jars.

Humidity packs like these Boveda 58% humidipaks automatically maintain the humidity around 58% (as long as buds aren’t too dry or wet)

Conclusion: The most important factors for air-drying buds are: temperature (cool), humidity (middling), and air circulation (gentle but even air movement). After that, curing buds properly in jars will make an enormous difference by increasing smell, removing harshness, removing hay smell, and increasing perceived bud potency.

Mold: Avoid Harsh Buds that Taste Bad

We kind of touched on mold when it comes to drying/curing, but let’s explore how mold can hurt your bud quality in the flowering stage. The fact is, a lot of people aren’t thinking about mold around harvest time, but it can be a huge harvest killer if you accidentally set up conditions that favor mold. If your buds get moldy, they become incredibly harsh and are not safe to smoke, meaning moldy buds should always be tossed It’s very common to get mold right around harvest time.

Bud rot can destroy fat buds in the flowering stage if the humidity is too high

As sort of a cruel joke, the more successful your grow is (the bigger and denser the buds), the more likely it is you’ll be hit by mold. There are different types of mold and too many growers have lost buds to this nasty killer.

While buds are forming in the flowering stage, your environment has a huge effect on their smell, taste, and harshness.

  • In flowering stage, keep humidity around 45-50% once buds start fattening. Lower humidity not only causes buds to produce more trichomes, it is the number one thing you can do to prevent bud rot. If your humidity gets too high, make sure there is plenty of airflow and a strong exhaust fan to remove humid air from the grow space. Every leaf is constantly adding moisture to the air so removing some of the leaves can help bring down the humidity in desperate cases.
  • Bigger buds or colas should always have airflow around them, especially as harvest approaches. If the buds are surrounded by too many leaves, or if there’s no air circulation from fans in the grow space, it creates a breeding ground for many different types of mold. As an added bonus of strategic defoliation, buds that are exposed to plenty of light and air tend to fatten up. I highly recommend defoliating any leafy plants near harvest, to make sure there’s airflow actually going through the plant. It’s especially helpful to remove leaves that are in the bottom or middle of the plant which don’t get any light, or fan leaves that are covering the buds from getting light and air. Note: It’s helpful to read a defoliation tutorial before removing leaves so you know what to do.
  • Keep flowering stage temperatures in the 70-80°F range as best you can. Below 70°F while buds are flowering can trigger bud rot and loose buds, especially if it’s humid. Temperatures above 80°F increase the chance of white powdery mold, fuzzy mold, and mildew. Heat also lowers smell and potency, can make buds less dense, or cause them to become discolored/crunchy. Avoid heat when buds are forming for the best bud quality.

If you see any visible mold whatsoever, the buds are not safe to smoke or vape

Bacteria: Ammonia, Sweet, and Rotting Smells

Bacteria growth is most common during the curing process if buds are too wet after being jarred. It’s the result of wet, low-oxygen conditions.

Why do my buds feel wet after sitting in jars? It’s common for buds that felt dry on the outside to slowly start feeling moist as the moisture from inside the buds works its way to the outside. That’s why it’s important to check buds and make sure they’re dry during your daily “burping” of jars. If buds ever feel moist on the outside, or smell musty / ammonia / sickly sweet / rotting, you need to remove buds from the jars and dry them a bit more before putting back in. If they’re only a little moist, or feel dry but the humidity seems high, just keep the lids off jars for a few hours and close them back up. However, the humidity of your air has a big effect. Humid air isn’t good at drying, while dry air may dry buds quickly. Using a hygrometer plus a Boveda humidity pack makes it a lot easier to maintain the perfect moisture in the jars during curing.

If you smell ammonia or other bacterial stank when opening jars, it means there is too much moisture and buds need to be dried more before getting sealed back in

Heat: Invisible Killer of Smell, Taste, & Potency

Heat may be the most common culprit for poor-smelling buds. That’s because heat can kill bud smell and make them harsh from when they first start forming all the way until they’ve been fully cured in jars. When it comes to great bud quality, it’s important to keep buds from ever getting hot (over 85°F quickly reduces bud quality) at any point once they start forming.

Heat does terrible things to buds when they’re forming

It dramatically improves bud taste, smell, and potency if you prevent any exposure to high temperatures while buds are forming, drying, and/or curing

Stuff On (or In) Your Buds: Pesticides, Chemicals, Foliar Sprays, PGRs, Too Many Nutrients, and Artificial Fragrances

This may not need to be said, but generally when you put stuff “on” or “in” your buds, it has the possibility of affecting the taste, smell, or harshness.

  • Don’t spray anything on buds (foliar sprays, chemicals, pesticides, etc.). If you must kill bugs while buds are forming, use the safest options available.
  • Don’t use synthetic PGRs– Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are dangerous substances that can be deposited inside buds and harm both their taste/smell and make then unsafe for human consumption
  • Don’t overload with nutrients & supplements – Overloading plants with nutrients and supplements while buds are forming can discolor them with nutrient burn and may cause bud harshness or poor taste after harvest. Give cannabis plants just the right amount of nutrients for the best bud quality (not too much, not too little).
  • Use “bloom” nutrients in the flowering stage – Make sure you’re giving “bloom” nutrients after buds start forming. These are lower in Nitrogen and higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. All-purpose or “vegetative” nutrients contain a lot of Nitrogen that can make plants extra leafy and impart a “green” or chlorophyll taste to buds (especially if used in the second half of the flowering stage).
  • Avoid pests – Bugs can leave poop, webbing, and dead bodies on your buds, which can all contribute to poor taste and/or harshness even if you never use any chemicals
  • Avoid using artificial fragrances around buds – Never try to cover up the smell of weed using strong perfumes or fragrances around buds. When strong fragrances are used throughout the flowering stage, the smells can get deposited on buds and they may still have an artificial or perfume-like scent after harvest since the smells were essentially baked in as buds formed.

Protect your buds from outside influences while they’re forming

How to Improve & Strengthen the Smell of Buds

Now that you know how to prevent the most common problems, let’s get to the fun stuff. As a grower, you have the power to dramatically improve the taste and smell of your buds by increasing the levels of terpenes and terpenoids they contain.

Your plant produces essential oils with terpenes that change not just the scent but the perceived potency and effects of cannabis. By promoting terpene production in your buds during the growing process, you are encouraging your plants to produce the strongest scent possible so you can enjoy the complete effects of the strain.

Before You Get Started: Before you read this tutorial and start going crazy with new supplements or techniques, you should already be able to produce healthy plants without any bugs, mold, or other major problems in the flowering stage, as well as controlling temperature during the crucial second half of the flowering stage. Extreme plant stress can make buds harsher, and pesticides have the potential to get on buds and alter their taste/smell. Plus no one wants to smoke pesticides.

So as annoying as it probably is to hear, “Step 0” is to master the basics of growing!

1.) Use the Right Nutrients & Supplements

When it comes to nutrients and supplements, you have several choices that can help improve the overall scent of your buds. In fact, many products have been formulated specifically to increase and enhance the smell of cannabis buds.

A local hydroponics store contains shelves and shelves of nutrients and supplements designed for plants like cannabis. Which do you choose?

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when it comes to enhancing smells with cannabis nutrients and supplements…

Use “Bloom” (Low Nitrogen) Nutrients in the Flowering Stage

When using regular potting soil without adding any nutrients, growers often notice nutrient deficiencies during the budding stage because the plant has used up all the nutrients in the soil. Nutrient deficiencies will hurt bud quality if ignored and even if the plant seems healthy, adding extra Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) can help enhance bud development.

If you do decide to give plants nutrients in the flowering stage, only use specially formulated “flowering” cannabis nutrients. These nutrients are designed for the budding stage and will have lower levels of Nitrogen and higher levels of Potassium and Phosphorous – exactly what your plant wants for optimal bud production. On the other hand, vegetative nutrients are high in Nitrogen and can give cannabis more of a “green” taste.

Buds develop best when given the right ratios of nutrients while forming

Organic Nutrients

In our side-by-side tests, we’ve noticed that growing cannabis plants in composted organic “super soil” can increase the number of terpenes in buds that are lab-tested (which we’ll discuss later in this article). However, we haven’t yet noticed a similar increase in terpenes from using purely organic nutrients. It seems (at least in our tests so far) that the biggest smell benefits of “organic” growing comes from the plants getting nutrients from the soil as opposed to just organic sources of nutrients in the water with regular soil. The overall health of the plant also seems more important than the exact source of nutrients. In general, it seems like a happy plant with perfect green leaves on chemical nutrients produces significantly more terpenes and better than an unhealthy plant even if it’s being given organic nutrients. However, we have only done a few tests so that’s anecdotal evidence at best and many growers have found that using organic nutrients can enhance flavor and smell so it’s worth including in this list.

So far, we haven’t found a fully organic nutrient system in bottles that seems to consistently produce impressive smell results in regular soil. Not to say there aren’t any, but most of the fully organic bottled nutrients work best when some of the nutrients are still being obtained naturally from the soil from organic sources. Good soil with a healthy colony of microorganisms seems to be what’s most important to increasing smell.

But if you want the fast healthy growth of mineral nutrients made mostly of organic sources, the Fox Farm nutrient trio is a great option. We have gotten excellent results with this nutrient system when it comes to producing amazing bud smells and taste even when used in regular potting soil from the store. This is a complete cannabis nutrient system that can support your plants from seed to harvest. Although “Tiger Bloom” and “Grow Big” are not 100% organic, they use high-quality ingredients and consistently produce great results in soil as far as smell and appearance when you water plants properly and manage the root pH. Be careful with “Tiger Bloom” as it’s extremely strong. Going overboard with nutrients is counterproductive. The “Big Bloom” part of the trio is completely organic and although it’s not a complete food source on its own, it can be used by itself as a Bloom Booster for plants in soil. It’s difficult to give too much “Big Bloom” to your plants since it’s basically a soup of gentle natural sources of nutrients. (Still, don’t go crazy!)

Don’t Overload with Nutrients Towards End of Flowering

Cannabis plants do a lot of vegetative growth during the first several weeks of flowering and need a lot of nutrients to power that growth. However, around 6 weeks after the switch to flowering, they mostly stop growing new stems and leaves. At this point, their nutrient needs go down quite a bit. If you look at a nutrient schedule for plants like cannabis, you’ll notice they start tapering down overall nutrient (NPK) levels as harvest approaches and switch to more gentle NPK doses. Even though you may be tempted to give plants tons of “food” during the crucial flowering stage, it’s important to keep plants healthy and avoid going overboard. If your plants are green and healthy at this point, continue what you’re doing. Go light on anything new and watch plants closely for negative reactions.

By week 6 of the flowering stage, you’ve already done a lot of what you can do for the plant. The absolute best thing you can do after week 6 is to ensure buds get a great environment (bright but not too bright light, warm but not hot, gentle constant air circulation, and humidity around 50%) and keeping them from getting sick or unhealthy in any way. Maintaining the right environment will give you much greater improvement to bud smell than any supplement if it causes nutrient burn or makes your plants unhealthy.

Around week 6 of the flowering stage, your plants will mostly stop growing new stems and leaves, and needs lower levels of nutrients (especially Nitrogen) until harvest. After week 6 of the flowering stage, focus on plant health, giving a good environment, and preventing nutrient problems. Aim to keep plants looking happy for as long as possible in the flowering stage to maximize smell.

Too much Nitrogen during bud development can deposit a “green” or “chemical” taste/smell to buds. This is true whether you’re using chemical or organic nutrients, though it’s difficult to over-fertilize with organic nutrients that were composted into the soil because any nutrient “burn” would have already happened in the vegetative stage. Plants in a super soil environment are great at giving themselves the exact right amount of nutrients at the right time.

High levels of nutrients, especially the kind found in liquid plant food, can deposit extra nutrients into the buds themselves, possibly altering the taste and smell. After buds are fully formed you don’t want to overdo it with Nitrogen or other nutrients. In addition to hurting the smell, too much Nitrogen can also prevent buds from fattening properly.

Now, you don’t want to starve your plant of nutrients in the flowering stage because that will cause early leaf yellowing and ultimately hurt yields, smell intensity, and bud appearance. If your plant already looks pale green all over, you don’t want to reduce nutrient levels further. That’s just harming the plant in a way that won’t increase smell.

Don’t go overboard with nutrients, but don’t starve plants of nutrients either. Healthy plants produce better than unhealthy ones. Keep the leaves green as long as possible in the flowering stage to ensure the plant is able to put its full “strength” into every aspect of bud development including terpene production.

Smell-Boosting Supplements

Supplements can be a controversial topic when it comes to growing cannabis, and there are hundreds of options with new products frequently appearing on the market. It can be tough to cut through all the marketing speak and figure out what actually is going to make a difference in your grow. This is the last time I’ll say this, but it’s worth repeating. Keeping plants healthy and providing a good environment during the flowering stage will increase bud quality/smell/potency far more than any supplement, especially if the supplement makes your plant unhealthy in any way. That being said, there are some supplements that are effective when used properly in the right situations. Okay, now on to what you were looking for

Here’s a list of the most common (and least controversial) supplements that improve smell:

Sugar-Based Supplements

Many sugar or carbohydrate-based supplements claim to improve the smell/taste/sweetness of buds. A cheap alternative to expensive sugar-based bloom boosting supplements is blackstrap molasses. Giving this to your plants for the last few weeks before harvest can help them get bigger and smell/taste better.

See also  Automatic flowering weed seeds

It’s not specially made for plants; it’s the regular stuff you’ll find in your kitchen or at the grocery store). Blackstrap molasses adds sugars, amino acids and trace minerals. Unfortunately for hydro growers, anything organic like molasses is not suitable for a hydroponic reservoir. But molasses works great for soil and

For the last 2-3 weeks before harvest in soil, give 1/2 tsp of Blackstrap Molasses per gallon when watering (avoid this if you get ants)

Improve or Enhance Natural Bloom Processes

This group contains ingredients that are meant to “enhance” or help the plant do its job better. In addition to carbohydrates or sugar, these types of supplements also contain extracts from plant, marine, and mineral sources, as well as things like vitamins, amino acids, polyflavonoids, etc.

The jury is still out and which is the most effective supplement, but some popular cannabis supplements based on this type of formula include…

    & KoolBloom (by General Hydroponics) & Cha Ching (by Fox Farm) (go light or this will severely burn your plants)

Note: When possible, get supplements from the same company as your regular nutrients. This greatly reduces the chance of negative interactions that could distress the plant.

Supplements that “add” a smell to buds

I’m really intrigued by Botanicare’s Sweet Carbo line. According to Botanicare:

The natural esters in Sweet are easily absorbed by the plant, but are not broken down further once deposited within the plant tissue. This means that as new flowers develop they will contain small amounts of these natural esters which contribute to the overall flavor and aroma of the finished product.

They offer flavors such as citrus, berry, and “raw” (which is just a generally sweet smell). These should be used throughout the flowering stage to help build smell/flavor in the buds as they mature. However, since these contain a small but significant amount of magnesium, they should not be used while flushing during last 2-3 weeks before harvest. At this point, the smells have already been deposited into the buds. Another cool thing about these supplements is they contain amino acids and some other enhancers, so it’s kind of like getting a lot of different products at once.

Other growers who’ve tried the “raw” version have said they can definitely notice an increase in the amount of “sweet” smell in their buds.

Clearing or Leeching Supplements

These claim to help remove buildup of nutrients or other unwanted compounds. They don’t seem to hurt anything though I have yet to see significant evidence of measurable improvement to buds. Contact us and let us know what you think!

Clearex is a popular “leeching” supplement

With all supplements, be careful not to give too much

The more types of supplements you use, the bigger the chance you might end up burning or causing a nutrient lockout problem with your plants. If possible, always try to use all supplements and nutrients from the same nutrient company. This lessens the chance of unwanted interactions since the whole line is designed to work together. When in doubt, go for an established nutrient company that has been around for years over one that has just appeared recently.

2.) Light Quality (Use Strong Light with UV-B)

It’s common knowledge that you need strong light to get cannabis buds to live up to their potential as far as density, potency and smell. The most common types of grow light for flowering cannabis plants are LEDs, CMH/LECs, and HPS, in part because these produce great yields and potent buds.

However, they’re not equal when it comes to increasing the level of smell. There is some evidence that some types of light, specifically a type of light known as UV-B light, can possibly enhance trichome production and smell. This is backed up by the fact that grow lights with high UV productions often produce some of the highest levels of terpenes in lab tests.

On the spectrum of light, UV-B is below blue/violet (that’s why it’s called “ultra-violet”) and outside of our range of vision. However, even though we can’t see UV-B light, it still has a big effect on both humans and plants. It tans humans and may increase terpene/trichome productions in cannabis plants.

But it’s not completely safe. too much UV-B light is bad for humans (we use sunscreen to protect ourselves from UV light from the sun) and can actually hurt plants, too. In fact, we believe trichomes may help protect the plant from UV-B rays, kind of like how humans get a tan.

This could be why increasing UV-B exposure seems to increase trichome production. However, because of the danger of UV-B light, always make sure to protect your eyes and skin from exposure and never look directly at the light. It’s also a great idea to wear protective glasses that block UV light whenever you’re around a grow light that is producing UV.

Supplementing your flowering plant with UV-B light may increase the potency and smell production by triggering a natural stress response

These sources of light provide UV rays and are shown to produce extra cananbis terpenes….

  • The Sun – ones of the best sources of UV light.
  • CMH / LEC grow lights – I’ve found CMH/LECs with the 4200k Philips CMH bulb in the flowering stage consistently produce significantly more terpenes (and trichomes) than any other grow light or bulb (including 3k CMH bulb, all LEDs tested so far, or HPS). However, the 4200k bulb does get lower yields than HPS, LEDs, or the CMH bulbs designed for the flowering stage. So there’s a tradeoff where the 4200k CMH bulb gives more trichomes and terpenes, but lower yields.

Note about LED grow lights: Some specialized LED grow lights these days are coming with a few UV-producing diodes. At this time, t’s unclear whether these produce enough UV rays light to actually make a difference to the plant. Most panels have just a handful of small UV diodes at most, and in side-by-side grows with lab testing, a CMH grow light with a 4200k Philips bulb produces higher terpene levels than any LEDs it’s gone up against.

Note: Glass blocks most UV light, so if your light is separated from your plants by glass (for example by a greenhouse or hood) it will prevent a lot of the UV light from reaching your buds. When it comes to UV light, there should always be a clear and direct path from the light source to the plants.

3.) Grow in “Living” Soil (Super Soil)

Even better than giving your plant organic nutrients is to grow with your roots in a living soil. In other words, this is a type of soil with an active colony of microorganisms. It is like the soil a plant would be using in nature, only it’s even better because it’s been amended with exactly the right kind of nutrients and supplements. We did a side-by-side with clones grown in Nature’s Living Super Soil vs coco, and found in lab tests that the super soil buds had higher THC and terpene levels. Although the differences weren’t huge and there could be other factors at play, it’s possible that super soil growing may lead to cannabis buds that smell better.

Green House Company was leading the way in cannabis terpene and terpenoid research by growing cannabis in a variety of ways and then directly measuring the terpene content in the buds. They have found that while hydroponic grows tend to get much higher yields (with the exception of a few Indica strains), soil-grown buds tend to have a more complex terpene profile. You can see the results of the terpene analysis here . The results have since been removed from the site for unknown reasons but here’s a link to see the old version of the page on the WayBack Machine (I encourage everyone who values knowledge to please support the WayBack Machine for preserving important information like this for future generations).

Living soil is often referred to as “Super Soil” in the cannabis world; this just means soil that has been amended and composted. This creates a “micro-herd” of microorganisms in the soil, which break down and feed nutrients directly to your plant roots. As a result, you don’t have to provide extra nutrients or worry about the pH of your soil, because your micro-herd is doing all the work for you. You just water your plants and that’s it. Learn how to grow cannabis in “Just Add Water” Super Soil.

The main downsides are plants tend to grow a little slower compared to using liquid nutrients and are more likely to get bugs than coco or hydro, but as a reward for using super soil your buds will be fragrant with a lovely bouquet of smells.

If you’re serious about maximizing the taste and smell of your buds, growing in super soil is a great choice

4.) Temperature & Humidity After Buds Start Forming

This may be difficult to control depending on your grow situation, but controlling the temperature and humidity for the last several weeks of flowering can make a significant difference in your bud quality.

If you’re not sure when to start, I recommend starting this effort 6 weeks after the switch to 12/12, as that’s a common halfway point for many strains. However, if you’re seeing buds fattening, it’s time to zero in on the environment.

Keep Day Temperature Under 80°F

Keep the temperature between 70-80°F in the second half of the flowering stage because high temperatures can “burn off” some of the smell contained in your buds! It can also make buds feel hard and crispy on top, and cause buds to grow airy and loose with foxtails. Don’t let your buds cook under hot grow lights.

It is especially important to make sure buds are not exposed to too-high temps after they start fattening, as this is when the terpene content in the buds is really starts to ramp up.

Night Temperature Should Be a Few Degrees Cooler

Having somewhat cooler nights can help cannabis produce more terpenes, and cooler night temperatures towards the end of the flowering stage also helps bring out colors like pink and purple if your plant has the genetics.

Flowering buds like slightly cooler temperatures during their dark period. Bonus: Slightly cool nights can enhance your strain’s natural colors if the genetics allow

Keep Humidity 45-50% RH

Keep grow space around or a bit under 50% relative humidity throughout the flowering stage for the best terpene production and overall plant growth. The lower levels of humidity not only prevent bud rot, but dry air can also cause the plant to produce more trichomes as a stress response.

Temperature & Humidity Adjustment Cheat Sheet

  • Dehumidifier – Raises Temperature (somewhat), Lowers Humidity
  • Space Heater – Raises Temperature, Lowers Humidity
  • Air Conditioner – Lowers Temperature, Lowers Humidity
  • Evaporative Cooler – Lowers Temperature, Raises Humidity
  • Humidifier – Raises Temperature (somewhat), Raises Humidity

5.) “Flush” Plants Before Harvest

If you’ve been giving your plants extra nutrients in their water, then it’s recommended to stop using them for some amount of time before harvest. This gives the plant time to use up any extra nutrients contained in the plant so they are less likely to come through in the taste of your buds.

Give just plain water to plants before harvest

If you’re not giving your plants extra nutrients in their water (for example if you’re growing in super soil) than there’s no need to flush before harvest because you’ve already been giving your plants plain water from the beginning. Your micro-herd is taking care of getting the nutrients to your plants without going overboard, and by this point in the grow you will have used up a lot of the extra nutrients.

In regular soil it’s common to flush for 1-2 weeks before harvest because there’s still some amount of nutrients contained in the soil.

In coco or hydro there are no extra nutrients as a buffer, so it’s recommended you flush for only a few days to a week. Giving a really long flush in a soilless medium can cause leaves to turn yellow and die too early. This hurts yields and can make buds look less attractive if the sugar leaves turn yellow too.

“Clearing” or “Salt Leaching” Solutions

We mentioned these briefly in the supplements section, but they are even more relevant here. These products are formulated to help remove extra minerals or salts when watering the plant, which may reduce the chance that these minerals end up altering the smell or flavor of your buds.

They’re meant to be used if you’ve been giving your plants extra nutrients in their water; they aren’t necessary when the plant has been getting all its nutrients from the soil. If you’ve got an active microbial colony in your soil, these might do more harm than good, but they’re a great choice for growers in soilless mediums like coco or hydro where the plant is getting all its nutrition from liquid nutrients.

    (by General Hydroponics) (by Botanicare)

6.) Harvest at the Right Time

More than any technique or tactic for harvesting cannabis (and there are lots of them) there’s one that really makes a difference when it comes to increasing terpenes…

Harvest at the right time. Smells (terpenes) build up throughout the flowering stage. If you harvest too early you will have far lower levels of terpenes, and your buds won’t be nearly as fragrant as they would be if they had been allowed to develop to maturity.

Buds are ready to harvest once they appear solid and all the white “hairs” have darkened and curled in

7.) Dry & Cure – (CRUCIAL – don’t skip this!)

Drying Your Buds

Follow the drying and curing tutorial given at the beginning of this article to give plants optimal drying and curing. Other tips include…

  • Dry buds slowly. Fast-drying can give them a “green” or minty sort of taste and smell that doesn’t go away even after curing.
  • Buds are dry when they snap off instead of bend. When buds feel completely dry and pop off their stems without leaving strings behind, they are done drying and ready to put in jars. At this point the small stems on the branches will snap, but the bigger ones may still bend without snapping (bending means there is still water contained inside).

Curing Your Buds in Jars – Read the Full Curing Tutorial

The curing process may seem unnecessary if you’ve never done it before, but it is going to significantly improve the taste, smell and overall smoothness of your buds. You simply cannot skip the curing process and get cannabis that lives up to its potential.

Chemical processes in the buds during the curing process can drastically changes their scent. These processes also increase the perceived potency of buds and many find the mental/body effects of buds to be much stronger and/or more pleasant after buds have been cured.

Put buds in jars. Place your newly dried and separated buds in quart-sized mason jars as this is the beginning of the “curing” process. Fill jars 80% full of buds and close them up.

Watch out for rising humidity levels. If you’ve dried your buds slowly and put them in the jars at the right time, the overall humidity in the jar is going to rise over time as the moisture from inside the buds works its way to the outside. If buds ever feel moist or are sticking together in the jar, it means there’s too much water contained inside and the jar should be left open for a few minutes to an hour to help dry things out. If this happens to you, check on buds frequently until the humidity has stabilized. Buds should always feel completely dry.

  • Open jars at least daily for 2-4 weeks
  • Use a hygrometer to try to maintain humidity between 55-62% RH in the jars (lower humidity for bigger buds to help them dry thoroughly, higher humidity for smaller buds to prevent them from getting too dry)
  • Consider using Boveda or Integra Boost humidity packs to automatically maintain the desired humidity in jars (58% and 62% are most common for curing weed)

The curing process magnifies the “weed smell” and slowly reduces the smell of hay, grass, or chlorophyll

Boveda humidipacks automatically maintain the humidity in jars (at 58% or 62%) for you during the curing process

Watch out for the smell of ammonia or an unpleasant “funk.” Whenever you open your jars and take a little whiff, watch out for the smell of ammonia or a bad “funky” kind of scent. That could mean that extra moisture in the jar is causing anaerobic bacteria to grow when it’s sealed up. If you smell something that doesn’t seem right, keep the lids off your jars for an hour to help buds dry out a bit, and check again tomorrow to make sure the smell has cleared up.

8.) NO Scent Neutralizers

Some products are great at neutralizing the smell of cannabis… Almost too good.

ONA products are strong enough to neutralize a whole room of almost any smell (it was designed for sewers), leaving a strong chemical-y clean scent. The problem with scent neutralizers is they can actually alter the smell of the buds themselves. If you use a lot of products that leave a strong artificial “clean” smell (perfume, cologne, Febreeze, ONA products, etc) in the air near your developing buds, it can affect your buds even if they never get touched.

If a product leaves a strong smell of chemicals or perfume in the air, don’t use it near your plants

The Glade plug-in in your bathroom isn’t going to affect the smell of your buds, but if you spray a lot of Febreeze in the grow space whenever guests come over, or put something like ONA gel in your tent with your plants, your buds may come out smelling just like Febreeze or ONA even if they never come in direct contact. If you don’t know what’s causing the odd taste/smell to your buds, this can be really frustrating.

Learn how to completely scrub all smells using a carbon filter – they work better than any spray product and won’t affect the scent of your buds.

9.) Start with the Right Genetics

No matter what you do as a grower, you can’t get a plant to overcome its own genetics. If a plant doesn’t have the genes to make fragrant buds, than there’s not a whole lot you can do. There’s no way to make ditch weed smell great. Today’s tutorial has covered all the things you can do to maximize an individual plant’s potential, but if you want something really special you have to grow a plant with the good genes.

Most strains of cannabis will smell to some extent when grown properly. However, there are also some strains (like Northern Lights) which have a particularly light smell, so working on increasing the terpenoid content of this strain won’t do much to make a difference.

If you want to grow something really special like this Purple Kush Auto, you have to have the right genetics

Every breeder has something different they’re breeding for and there are many strains with unique smells including pineapple, chocolate, blueberry and more!

If there’s something particular you have in mind, you will be much happier if you start with a strain that matches your preference!

List of Suggested Strains

These strains are either particularly pleasant smelling or have a downright pungent odor. There are growers who want both kinds. The strains below have been hand-picked by us because they’re exceptionally strong and aromatic, as well as being stable strains from known and trusted breeders.

Peyote Critical produces great yields, sparkle, potency, and a sweet smell. Easy to grow and fast-to-finish flowering. A perfect beginner strain.

Critical Hog by TH Seeds. Not only does this strain make beautiful, sparkly, STINKY buds, it also gets exceptional yields. Check out a grow journal from one of our readers featuring Critical Hog.

Aurora Indica (by Nirvana) – Diesel smell, almost like gasoline or fuel. This plant was a breeze to grow, and had seemingly had no problem even after several mistakes were made. Quick to harvest.

Here are the freshly trimmed buds at harvest. The smell was intense, almost like fuel

Pineapple Chunk (by Barneys Farm)

A lot of the time when someone says a strain smells like a fruit, they mean that you’ll get small hints of that smell in the undertones. With Pineapple Chunk the buds actually smell sweet, and some really do smell quite a bit like pineapple. Although not the highest yielding, this strain produces buds that always get a surprising number of positive comments about the taste and smell, and the bud effects are very smooth.

You will be able to start smelling the pineapple when the plant is still in the flowering stage, but the smell is most pronounced after the buds have been dried and cured.

Blue Cheese – Smells fruity, sweet and spicy, with hints of the powerful “cheese” smell. Incredibly strong smell in flowering may be overwhelming. Powerful and stoney effect has been described as euphoric.

Note by Nebula: This strain is forgiving (easy) to grow indoors and produces incredible yields. Naturally mold-resistant (which is partly why this strain is popular in humid climates like the UK). It is not as good outdoors because the powerful smell gives it away. Most plants grow short and stocky with lots of side branching, though certain plants tend to grow a bit taller. Responds well to plant training.

Here’s another example of a different Blue Cheese plant. It doesn’t smell exactly like blueberry or cheese, but the smell definitely has strong undertones of both!

Smells lemony, and certain plants will end up smelling just like a Lemonhead with a mix of citrus, sour and sweet. The potency is surprisingly strong, energetic and creative, perfect for daytime use. Doesn’t usually cause ‘couchlock’ so many people like this strain for daytime use.

…and a Super Lemon Haze cola

Liberty Haze (by Barneys Farm) – Liberty Haze is a potency juggernaut, and the only thing as strong as its potency is the diesel smell it produces.

Note from Sirius – This strain is seriously a powerhouse in terms of both potency and smell. The smell is so strong that you probably shouldn’t open a jar of it with other people in your house. They are definitely going to notice when it smells like an 18 wheeler is filling up on gas in your home!

Autoflowering Strains (learn more about autoflowering strains)

Amnesia Auto (autoflowering) by MSNL produced excellent yields, smelled like a dream, and had trichomes everywhere. When we grew it we got hints of kush and citrus scents.

Blue AutoMazar (by Dutch Passion) – A cross between two autoflowering strains from breeder Dutch Passion, this strain is as much about taste and smell as it is about potency.