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A Complete Guide to Cannabis Concentrates

People across the world have been using cannabis concentrates for centuries, but the hash of days gone by cannot hold a candle to what is available today. Marijuana breeders and experienced growers have developed techniques for producing bud perfectly suited to creating concentrates, and manufacturers have been revolutionizing this ancient practice. As a result, modern cannabis seed growers have a far wider variety of options than those available even one century ago, and many of them are significantly more potent.

The average consumer may not care much about how their concentrates are made. For those working in the cannabis industry, every step of the process, from seed selection to choosing the right extraction method, is essential. This article will offer a comprehensive guide to different cannabis concentrates and what it takes to make them, smoke them, and even grow the right plants to improve their potency.

Growers in Oklahoma, or the rest of the USA, who are already familiar with concentrate manufacturing can skip right to the chase and call Weed Seeds USA at 1-844-807-1234 to get the premium seeds they need. For everyone else, let us start from the beginning.

What Are Concentrates?

Concentrates are specialized products made from the plant compounds found in cannabis. They can be made from either marijuana or hemp, and every concentrate manufacturer has a slightly different technique for extracting desirable compounds. Similarly, every cannabis enthusiast has favorite concentrates and ways of consuming them.

Some concentrates are meant to be eaten, while others are perfect for topping off bowls, vaporizing, or dabbing. What all concentrates have in common is that they are, ounce for ounce, much more potent than natural buds.

Medical vs. Recreational Concentrates

Concentrate manufacturers are not always focused exclusively on THC levels. Those who cater to medical marijuana patients or recreational consumers in certain markets may aim for more balanced cannabinoid profiles that contain greater amounts of CBD, CBN, or other active compounds. High-CBD marijuana concentrates are still different from hemp oils and other consumer products. Since they are made from marijuana, not hemp, they still have a full range of cannabinoids and sometimes other active compounds, including THC.

There is no official distinction between medical and recreational concentrates. Some medical patients benefit more from high-THC concentrates, and some recreational consumers prefer more balanced blends of 1:1 CBD:THC. The only real difference is availability. In states that have yet to legalize recreational cannabis use, only medical patients can purchase marijuana-derived concentrates from local dispensaries.

Concentrates vs. Bud: Major Differences

While concentrates are made using buds, the two are not entirely the same. Concentrates are far more potent. Unlike unadulterated cannabis flowers, they contain no plant matter. Modern concentrate manufacturers remove everything but the plants’ cannabinoids and terpenes, the phytochemicals responsible for each strain’s unique effects, taste, and aroma.

Concentrates are also more varied in terms of the ingestion method than bud. Some are made for oral ingestion, while others can be smoked, vaped, or dabbed. Any serious cannabis connoisseur knows that eating bud will not produce any noticeable effects, and there is no way to dab it. Even vaping bud is more challenging than vaping concentrates since it requires more expensive, specialized equipment.

The one point of competition in which pure flower sometimes wins out over concentrates is flavor. Since the terpenes responsible for imparting each strain’s unique flavor and aroma are more heat-sensitive than cannabinoids, it is difficult to preserve them in the extraction process. Some manufacturers reintroduce terpenes after extracting the cannabinoids or use specialized methods like live resin extraction to retain them. These products taste just as good as regular bud, and sometimes even better!

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How Are Concentrates Made?

There are many methods for making concentrates, but all of them fall into one of two categories: solvent extractions or solventless processing. Technically, the products manufactured using solventless methods are not extracts. Both extracts and other concentrates can be categorized according to consistency.

Most manufacturers categorize extracts based on what solvent they used to make them. Each extraction or processing technique is slightly different, and there is no one best method for making concentrates.

Solventless

There are many ways to make solventless concentrates. The oldest known method for making solventless concentrates is dry sifting and pressing hash. Some hash-makers still use this traditional technique today, while others have moved on to more technologically advanced methods. Other methods for mechanically extracting THC, CBD, and other phytochemicals include:

  • Hand-rubbing fresh flowers to make charas.
  • Making bubble hash with ice water and hash bags.
  • Creating freeze-dried hash oil.
  • Pressing rosin.
  • Making solventless shatter.
  • Whipping rosin.
  • Re-pressing rosin to make solventless THC-A concentrates.

BHO

Butane hash oil (BHO) is one of today’s most popular solvent-based extraction methods. It is used to produce all kinds of concentrates with different textures and consistencies. Depending on the moisture level and amount of agitation applied during this process, it can produce everything from budder to sap and more.

BHO involves exposing fresh, frozen, or cured buds to butane. This solvent extracts the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the plant to create a high-THC wax or oil. BHO extractions require a good deal of specialized knowledge and skill, and if not performed properly, they can leave behind toxic solvent residue. When performed under the right conditions by a knowledgeable hash-maker, it will leave behind only pure cannabis oil.

PHO

PHO, short for propane hash oil, extraction is almost identical to BHO. The difference is that it uses propane as a solvent instead of butane.

Nug Runs vs. Trim Runs

Large-scale manufacturers often use both nugs and trim to produce concentrates. BHO and PHO extractions using trim produce less potent and less flavorful products that are perfect for newcomers to cannabis concentrates. Most of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active ingredients in marijuana are found in the buds, not the trim, so nug runs produce much more potent final products.

CO2

Instead of toxic butane, this extraction method uses non-toxic CO2 as a solvent. It requires exposing fresh or cured buds to CO2 in its liquid form under very high pressure. Unlike BHO, it preserves few of the plant’s terpenes, which can affect both taste and potency. Some manufacturers reintroduce terpenes after the extraction process has been completed to add extra flavor.

CO2 extractions are most popular for edible oils and vape oils. Performing CO2 extractions is a costly process that can only be carried out by professionals with industrial-grade equipment, but it produces some of the best concentrates.

Live Resin

The live resin extraction process is similar to that of BHO. The difference is that manufacturers use fresh-frozen buds instead of cured ones. The buds remain frozen throughout the process, making it easier to remove 100% of the butane solvent. Once all of the active compounds have been extracted, manufacturers also add an extra step by using water to heat the extraction and remove any residual butane. The final product is a potent wax that is perfect for dabbing. These cold temperatures maintained during processing also preserve all of the heat-sensitive terpenes contained within each strain. Live Resin dabs are among the tastiest cannabis excursions you will ever go on!

Ethanol

Ethanol extractions, sometimes referred to as ethanol hash oil (EHO) extractions are used primarily to make tinctures for edibles or sublingual consumption. Tincture makers start by decarboxylating ground bud before soaking it in ethanol to pull out the THC. They then remove the plant material by straining the mixture and apply heat to remove the residual alcohol. When performed in a lab, this extraction process involves careful monitoring of temperatures and pressure.

Some people tout ethanol extraction as a safe DIY method for making medicinal oils like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). While it is safe to perform this process at home as long as tincture makers ensure that they have removed all the alcohol before consuming the final product, it is more difficult than it sounds to make high-quality tinctures. Unless the temperature and pressure are just right, the ethanol will also absorb the bitter taste of chlorophyll, making the tinctures unpalatable.

How Are Concentrates Consumed?

Hand a cannabis enthusiast a high-quality nug, and there will only be so much he or she can do with it. Concentrates are different. There are many safe and effective ways to consume them depending on the consistency, texture, and extraction process that was used to create the wax, oil, or other product.

Topping Off

One of the most cost-effective ways to use smokable concentrates is referred to by serious smokers as “topping off.” It does not require expensive tools or equipment. Instead, smokers just add a small amount of concentrate to their bowls, joints, or blunts. This delivery method is great for all kinds of concentrates, from kief to wax and beyond. The only downside is that you are in essence wasting a portion of the products full potential. You will get a more hard-hitting effect from more direct, high-temperature options.

Dabbing

Dabbing is a relatively new method for consuming oil, but it has already taken the cannabis world by storm. It involves vaporizing oil using a specialized dab rig. Users heat a glass, ceramic, or titanium piece called a “nail,” then use it to vaporize oil. Newcomers to the wonderful world of dabbing beware: this method packs a serious punch. Enails can even be bought online that simply plug into the wall and maintain a perfectly steady dab temperature for as long as you want to session for!

Vaping

Not into dabbing? There are a few other ways to vape cannabis oil. All of them require specialized equipment, but it is not as expensive as the tabletop vaporizers used to consume unprocessed flowers. Specialized cannabis vape oils come in either pre-filled cartridges for vape pens or larger bottles that can be used to fill the chambers of handheld vaporizers manually. Vaping is one of the most discreet ways to consume cannabis concentrates.

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What Are the Major Kinds of Concentrates?

When cannabis concentrates were first discovered, they were very limited. Kief, hash, and charas all date back centuries. It is only within the last few decades that most of today’s most popular concentrates have been available. Modern cannabis users have access to dozens of specialized products, but most fall into one of the categories below.

What Is Kief?

Kief is one of the oldest forms of marijuana concentrate. It is a potent powder-like substance that consists of cannabis trichomes, the part of the bud where most of the cannabinoids and terpenes are found. Anyone who has ever used a weed grinder with a kief catcher has likely tried it at least a few times. Kief can be used to top off bowls, vaporized using a tabletop vaporizer for bud, or used to create other kinds of concentrates or edibles.

How Is Kief Made?

When it is manufactured on a larger scale, kief is made using a process known as dry sifting. Dry sifting kief involves using a screen to toss buds back and forth until their trichomes break off. These tiny THC-packed particles fall through the screen while the plant matter stays on top. Hash-makers then collect the kief from beneath the screen. It can be smoked in this powdered form or pressed into hash blocks.

What Is Hash?

Like kief, hash is one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrates. It comes in many forms, including:

  • Bubble hash
  • Lebanese hash
  • Afghani hash
  • Charas hash
  • Nepalese hash
  • Moroccan hash
  • And others.

In its simplest form, hash is just pressed kief. Some manufacturers also use advanced processing techniques like full melt to create even more potent products.

How Is Hash Made?

One of the earliest forms of hash was known as charas. Ancient hash-makers from the Indian subcontinent would grind up bud between their hands to create a sticky, resinous form of hash that was both pure and potent. Elsewhere in the world, hash makers used dry sifting to remove the kief from the bud, then pressed it under heat and pressure to create blocks of rigid hash.

Modern alternatives like full melt hash are created using a combination of dry sieving and water or ice-based processes. Although full melt hash is purer and a bit more potent than its traditional counterparts, it still is not as strong as more concentrated products like wax or oil.

What Is Cannabis Oil?

There is some confusion surrounding the term cannabis oil. Some medical patients and recreational consumers think of it as an edible product. Others associate it with dabbing. Yet more assume it refers to vape oils. All of these definitions could be considered accurate, but they all refer to slightly different products.

To complicate matters further, there are also multiple grades of cannabis oil. Green oil is an edible form of cannabis oil. Cherry oil and honey oil are both intended for smoking, vaping, or dabbing, not eating. The primary difference between the latter two oils is potency. Honey oil is extremely strong. Some time ago, the street name for oil was 710, as when you read this upside down it spells oil. For those interested in producing their own cannabis oil at home, we carry and entire selection of potent 710 seeds for sale online.

How Is Cannabis Oil Made?

Edible cannabis oil, or green oil, is made by decarboxylating ground bud and infusing it into a carrier oil. Hemp, MCT, olive oil, and butter are all good options. This process is relatively simple and can be performed at home.

Cherry and honey oil are smokable concentrates made using the BHO extraction method described above. This form of concentrate manufacturing creates oils far more potent than hash. Cherry oil usually has THC concentrations of 65 to 70 percent, while honey oil can contain as much as 90% THC.

What Is Distillate?

Distillates differ from most cannabis concentrates in that they are not full-spectrum extracts. They usually contain just one or several of the active components found in cannabis plants. Both THC and CBD distillates can play a valuable role in managing complex health conditions. It is rare for recreational consumers to use distillates, though, since they do not tend to pack the same potent psychoactive punch as other concentrates.

How Is Distillate Made?

Distillate manufacturers use a combination of freezing, decarboxylation, heat, and vacuums to separate various cannabinoids from the plant material. The process relies on the fact that every cannabinoid has a slightly different boiling point.

What Is Shatter?

Shatter is a concentrate that has the consistency of glass. It is known for its extreme purity and often boasts cannabinoid concentrations of 80% or more. Aside from its unique texture, what sets shatter apart is its high evaporation point. Shatter is difficult to smoke, but it is perfect for dabbing.

How Is Shatter Made?

There are many solvent-based extraction methods that can be used to produce shatter. The most popular methods are BHO and propane hash oil (PHO) extractions. CO2 extractions can also produce high-quality shatter.

What Is Wax?

Wax is one of the most popular concentrates used in dab rigs and handheld vaporizers. It has high cannabinoid concentrations, and it is relatively easy to come by. Wax is much runnier than most other concentrates, so handling it requires proper tools. It is also quite potent, so those who are new to concentrates should start off slow.

How Is Wax Made?

Wax starts out as shatter, so technically, it has also made using BHO or PHO extraction. The primary difference between wax, shatter, and oil is consistency. Wax gets its unique consistency through the introduction of extra agitation, or whipping, during the manufacturing process.

What Is Budder?

This concentrate gets its name from its consistency, which is very similar to that of real butter. It gets its reputation from its impressive purity and incredible potency. Budder often boasts THC concentrations of 90% or more. Depending on the manufacturer, budder may also be referred to as frosting, icing, or badder.

How Is Budder Made?

Budder starts out as wax. Manufacturers then take the refinement process one step further by aerating the wax even more, to produce a highly potent concentrate with a unique, creamy texture.

What Is Crumble?

Like budder, crumble is technically a form of wax. It has a very different texture and consistency, though. This dry concentrate has a consistency similar to that of sand.

How Is Crumble Made?

Crumble is made by whipping shatter, just like budder. Instead of a creamy texture, manufacturers are going for a dry but equally potent product. They get it by exposing the whipped shatter to low temperatures in a vacuum oven.

What Is Sap?

Sap is a sticky concentrate with a very low melting point. Even handling sap by hand can cause it to melt, so users need to invest in a dab rig or specialized tools if they want to try sap. Its potency is similar to that of wax, meaning it is very high.

How Is Sap Made?

Sap is made from rosin. Manufacturers simply create rosin, then decarboxylate it to convert the THCa to THC. This creates the sticky concentrate marijuana aficionados have come to know and love.

What Is Pull and Snap?

Pull and snap has a consistency similar to that of taffy. It is not quite as runny as sap, but it is still pliable enough to make handling it easy and mess-free. It gets its name from the technique used to prepare the concentrate for smoking, dabbing, or vaping. Users separate out what they want by pulling and twisting a piece until it breaks off.

How Is Pull and Snap Made?

Pull and snap is made from shatter, making it yet another type of BHO or PHO extract. It is similar in color to traditional shatter but without the inconvenient brittleness.

What Is Rosin?

Rosin is a potent solventless concentrate. It is popular among both medical patients and health-conscious recreational consumers since it never comes into contact with any kind of chemicals or toxins. Plus, it is stronger than hash and kief and can be used for dabbing.

How Is Rosin Made?

Unlike most modern extracts, rosin is made using a mechanical extraction process, not solvents. Manufacturers use a combination of pressure and heat to squeeze the cannabinoids and other active compounds out. It can be made from buds, but most rosin starts off as dry sift hash.

What Is Live Resin?

Live resin is a highly specialized product made exclusively in labs. The primary difference between live resin and other BHO-extracted concentrates is its flavor and aroma. The process of making live resin allows a much greater percentage of the plant’s terpenes to be retained.

How Is Live Resin Made?

Live resin is made by using BHO extraction techniques using fresh, flash-frozen buds. The buds must be kept below freezing throughout the extraction process, which requires specialized tools and equipment for chilling butane. This advanced technology allows the buds’ trichomes to retain their structure.

How to Maximize Cannabinoid Production in Your Plants

Planning on branching out into manufacturing concentrates at home or in a commercial lab? That is great news. Consumer interest in concentrates is on the rise, so growers should be changing their strategies to keep up with demand. That means learning how to maximize cannabinoid production.

Start with Premium Genetics

The old axiom, “you can’t get water from a stone,” can easily be applied to cannabis extracts. If the plant does not have high concentrations of THC, CBD, and other beneficial cannabinoids, there is no way to turn its nugs into delicious, potent concentrates.

While every aspect of the plant’s growing conditions and life cycle can impact cannabinoid concentrations, the most important factor in determining THC and CBD levels is always plant genetics. Choose strains that are known for producing large, resinous, highly potent buds, and be sure to buy seeds from a reputable seed bank like Weed Seeds USA.

Choosing the Right Seeds

Indoor growers will have a far wider range of options when it comes to buying seeds. Indica, sativa, and hybrid strains all grow well in the right indoor environment. Outdoor growers need to check the climate requirements of each strain before purchasing seeds. As a general rule, sativas tend to require warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons than indicas and most indica-dominant hybrids.

Growers with exceptionally short growing seasons may also want to look into strains bred with ruderalis plants. This subspecies of marijuana has very low THC levels, but breeders often cross it with indicas, sativas, and hybrids to produce autoflowering strains. Unlike its better-known and more potent cousins, ruderalis is not a photoperiod strain. It enters the flowering stage on its own regardless of the light levels and is ready for harvest in a matter of mere months. Both indoor growers and outdoor growers in inhospitable climates often prefer autoflower seeds.

There is at least one other seed-buying important consideration that novice growers and those without much space should take seriously. Both autoflower and normal photoperiod strains can be purchased as regular or feminized seeds. Feminized seeds can be more expensive, but they are produced using advanced breeding techniques to ensure that 100% of them produce marijuana plants instead of hemp. Buying feminized seeds can help to maximize yields and reduce material losses. It also prevents the plants from accidentally getting pollinated.

Good Quality Soil

Every grower has a different opinion when it comes to soil-based versus hydroponic growing, in general. However, there is an almost universal consensus in regard to the benefits of growing marijuana for concentrate production in live soil. Organic growing poses some difficulties whether growers have outdoor gardens or indoor grow rooms, but it comes with a huge payoff. The cannabinoid and terpene profiles of plants grown in live soils tend to be better, especially for concentrate production.

Live soil contains many beneficial microorganisms that are absent in both hydroponic setups and chemically amended soils. They create an entire self-sustaining ecosystem that acts in symbiosis with the plants themselves to encourage optimal cannabinoid and terpene production. Plants grown in live soil produce clean, fragrant buds that can be used to produce potent, high-quality extracts.

Low-Stress Training

When it comes to increasing yields, high-stress training (HST) tends to win out among experienced growers. For those more focused on cannabinoid concentrations, stick with low-stress training (LST) techniques. These techniques involve physically manipulating the plants without breaking any of the branches or stems. They still increase yields by exposing the plants’ leaves and buds to more light but do not place unnecessary stress on the plants that could negatively impact terpene and cannabinoid production.

The most popular LST techniques for indoor growing are Sea of Green (SOG) and Screen of Green (SCROG). While it is possible to apply these techniques to plants grown in outdoor gardens, they are not quite as effective.

Nutrients

Like all plants, cannabis plants require both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Every experienced grower knows that getting nutrient levels right is more a matter of quality than quantity. Giving the plants too many nutrients can burn them or make it difficult for them to absorb other vital organic compounds.

Live soil growers should only use organic nutrients. Man-made alternatives can disrupt the soil microbiome and undo all the hard work involved in creating healthy, living soil. Popular organic soil amendments and nutrients include:

  • Kelp
  • Bone meal
  • Worm castings
  • Bat guano
  • Compost
  • And others

Cannabis plants need different nutrient concentrations during the flowering stage than they do during veg. During the earlier stages of growth, growers feed their plants high-nitrogen composts and amendments. In the flowering stage, that changes. Marijuana plants need less nitrogen, which fuels vegetative growth, and more phosphorous to aid in bud production.

Some organic amendments are richer in phosphorous than others. Kelp, bone meal, and high-P fish concentrate are all good sources of phosphorous to use during the flowering stage. Growers can also purchase specialized organic fertilizers and soil amendments. Just make sure to buy products specifically designed for the flowering stage of marijuana cultivation and keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

It is also important to reduce the plants’ nutrients when they reach around the sixth week of flowering. This helps to prevent negative impacts on the plants’ terpene profiles. Feeding blackstrap molasses during the final weeks of flowering, on the other hand, can improve terpene production. This unusual but 100% organic amendment provides essential minerals, carbohydrates, and amino acids not found in most traditional organic plant foods.

Lighting

All indoor growers know that adequate lighting is the key to producing high-quality buds. When it comes to growing marijuana for concentrate production, it is even more important to get the lighting right. The best way to go is to purchase full-spectrum, high-output LEDs. Not every grower can afford these expensive and often technologically advanced fixtures.

For those who cannot afford LEDs, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the plants will need access to UV-B light during the flowering stage. While high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps are effective for promoting vegetative growth, they do not produce sufficient UV-B light for the flowering stage.

UV-B Light

Plenty of growers have produced decent bud using nothing but HPS fixtures, but that is not good enough for premium concentrate manufacturers. Including specialized UV-B lights alongside the HPS lamps increases trichome production since the plants produce extra trichomes as a defense mechanism when subjected to UV-B light. Increased trichome production means more resinous glands to secrete cannabinoids and terpenes, which further translates to better yields of kief, hash, or oil and seriously potent concentrates.

Grow Room Conditions

The benefit of growing marijuana for concentrate production indoors is that it allows growers to exert full control over the plants’ environment. The reason that is so important for plants destined to be turned into hash, oil, and other concentrates is that it allows growers to use environmental conditions to alter cannabinoid and terpene levels.

Let us assume that most growers attempting to produce highly potent, resinous buds for concentrate production already have some experience with indoor growing and dive right into the specifics. Just do not assume that means growers who are switching focus can afford to ignore the basics. Each high-potency strain still has its own unique set of growing requirements. If they are at odds with this advice, stick to what works for the strain.

Humidity

Maintaining an optimal humidity range throughout the vegetative and flowering stages is essential for producing highly potent, aromatic buds. Getting these factors right is especially important when it comes to concentrate production.

Since most concentrates are already less aromatic than cured bud, growers who want to create premium products need to make up for that by giving their plants everything they need to boost terpene production. When it comes to humidity, that means keeping moisture levels low during the latest stages of growth.

Try to keep the humidity level around 50% RH during the earlier weeks of bud. About two weeks before harvest, bring the moisture level down to around 30% RH. This can be accomplished using dehumidifiers. Lower humidity in the weeks immediately preceding harvest helps to boost both trichome and terpene production. As an added bonus, it also reduces the chances of losing the crop to bud rot.

Airflow

Providing good airflow in the grow tent or grow room is important no matter what strains growers are cultivating. When it comes to trichome production, it is essential. If the temperatures immediately surrounding the buds get too high, it can affect trichome production.

Most growers set the thermostats to below 80oF when the plants reach the sixth week of their flowering stage, but some forget that temperatures can vary throughout the room. Adequate airflow ensures consistent temperatures and helps to protect volatile terpenes and cannabinoids immediately preceding the harvest.

Temperature

It is fine to follow the generally accepted temperature guidelines for each strain throughout the vegetative stage and even well into the flowering stage. A few weeks before harvest, try dropping the temperatures 5 to 10 degrees during dark periods. The change in temperature mimics cannabis plants’ natural environments and helps to boost trichome production. It also triggers beautiful color changes in cold-hardy strains prone to developing blue and purple hues.

Properly Flush Your Plants

Despite the proliferation of evidence that flushing plants leads to cleaner, smoother-tasting buds, there is still plenty of debate in the cannabis community about whether it is worth the effort. For some growers, maybe it is not. For growers who plan to use their bud and trim to produce concentrates, flushing is a must. It gives the plants the chance to use up any remaining nutrients, which encourages bud production, and helps to alleviate that unpleasant taste associated with lingering chlorophyll.

Growers using regular soil mixes with chemical amendments should flush their soil two weeks before harvest. For hydroponic setups, wait until a few days before harvest. Flushing a hydroponic system is a simple matter of replacing the nutrient solution with clean, pH-balanced water. Flushing a soil-based system involves over-watering the plants until the water drains out the bottom.

Harvest at the Right Time

Timing is everything when it comes to harvesting high-quality buds. Pull the plants down too early, and they will not have time to develop fully formed terpene profiles or convert sufficient amounts of THC. Wait too long, and the plants’ active compounds will start to degrade.

To tell when the buds have reached maximum flavor and potency, just look at the trichomes. They start out white, then change color as the flowers near harvest. The buds will have the highest THC levels when 70-90% of them have darkened.

Growers who cater to medical marijuana patients sometimes prefer to wait until 100% of the trichomes have changed color. At this point, some of the THC will have been converted into CBN, a less psychoactive compound with more relaxing effects. Either way, waiting until the plants are completely ready for harvest also comes with the advantage of optimizing yields.

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Proper Drying and Curing

Unless growers plan to utilize advanced extraction methods that require fresh-freezing the bud, all those harvested flowers will have to dry before they can be turned into delicious concentrates. This process cannot be rushed. Drying the plants too fast will alter their terpene profiles and affect potency.

To maximize both strength and taste, keep the drying room at around 70oF. The acceptable range for optimizing terpene preservation is 60 to 75oF, but most growers find that 70o hits a sweet spot. It preserves the plants’ terpenes but does not create a welcoming environment for mold.

One good way to tell if the buds are drying too fast is to check the humidity levels in the drying room periodically. If it is below 40% RH, that is too low. The buds will lose some of their potency and flavor, which negates the benefits of faster curing time. If the moisture level climbs above 60% RH, that is also a problem. Mold is more likely to grow in wet environments, and there is nothing worse than losing an entire crop after devoting a full season of time, energy, and resources to it. Keep the relative humidity at 50%.

Leave the plants hanging upside down and fully intact until the buds can be snapped off at the stem. At this point, they are ready for curing and storage.

To properly cure cannabis, leave the buds in mason jars and keep them in a humidity-controlled environment. The RH should be between 60 and 65%, and the mason jars should only be around 80% full. Open them every day to let in new air and check the progress.

During the first week of curing, the buds will smell like any other kind of plant matter. Growers will not notice the pleasant aroma of marijuana for a few days to a week. At this point, they can start spacing out their check-ups. Open the jars every few days after a week or two, then progress to a once-a-week schedule.

When the buds are finished curing, move the jars to a dark, cool environment to preserve the cannabinoids and terpenes. If light can penetrate into the jars, the buds’ active compounds will start to degrade.

Weed Seeds USA Has What Growers Need

The very first step to producing high-quality concentrates is to source equally high-quality seeds. Growers can do just that by contacting Weed Seeds USA. Browse the website to view available options, then call 1-844-807-1234 or email ok@weed-seeds.com to place an order.

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