People grow cannabis for different reasons. While many grow cannabis to have a steady supply of their own medicine, other growers do so for personal, recreational needs. However, a common goal among growers is to increase the amount of THC which makes it much more potent by the time it’s harvested.
The benefits of increasing THC in your cannabis yield include:
- Stronger psychoactive and mental effects from the same amount of flower (allowing you to stretch your stash for economical purposes)
- Increasing THC also offers many benefits for increasing overall cannabis yields
- High THC levels help with pain relief, nausea, spasticity, cancer, and other conditions
Role of weed strains and genetics
While it is possible to increase the THC for cannabis, the particular strain or plant genes that you’re working with is the most important aspect. A strain’s genetics can set the maximum limit of how much THC (as well as other cannabinodis) that your plant will ever be able to produce. If a strain has an upper limit of 18% THC, that means that if you don’t grow your plant well it’s likely that you’ll get anywhere less than 18% THC content. But with certain strategies, growing your plant right can result in a strain that’s 18% THC but nothing more than that.
If your concern is to grow plants that have extremely high amounts of THC, then it’s necessary for you to plant high THC strains. Make sure that you get them from a well-respected breeder and do your research about the strains that fit your needs.
What is the right harvest time
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in growing cannabis is harvesting your weed too early. Doing so significantly reduces the potency AND your yield. The 2-3 week window after the flowering stage marks the time when the plant is mature. This is also when your buds contain the maximum amount of THC, which you can observe through the presence of milky white trichomes and white hairs that have turned dark and curly.
If you allow your plant to continue maturing, its cannabinoid profile will also change. Cannabis plants that are harvested later on are more likely to deliver a relaxing body high, but with a reduced mental psychoactive buzz because the THC is no longer as potent. On the other hand, if you harvest earlier than this period, the cannabis plant won’t reach its potential. Buds that are harvested too early tend to produce a speedy high, and in some cases even result in headaches.
If you want your buds to be as potent as possible, they need to be robust with the buds exposed to getting lots of direct light in the flowering stage. Avoid making common mistakes such as underwatering, overwatering, root problems, heat stress, nutrient problems, and irregular light cycles. Investing time and energy in maintaining balance for your plant will prevent common growing problems.
Correct Light Levels
Your cannabis plant can produce large amounts of bud during the flowering stage only if it gets bright light. The plant uses the light as energy to fuel the growth of the buds as well as its cannabinoid profile – and this means increasing its THC levels. If you’re growing outdoors, the plants will need direct sunlight for at least 8 hours a day, while indoors you’ll need strong grow lights such as LED’s in order to produce the highest levels of THC.
Curing your Bud
While little is known on the effect of curing to the amount of THC levels, many growers believe that this process is critical to improving the perceived potency of the cannabis plants. This is probably because curing results in chemical changes that strengthen the effect of the overall cannabinoid profile, including THC.
Curing is also important for other reasons. For one, curing helps to get rid of the unpleasant smell resembling cut hay or grass that occurs after drying. Curing helps to restore the natural, delicious taste and small of your plant. Uncured buds also contribute to “speediness” and headaches in many people, which curing is effective in eliminating.