What is High-Stress Training ?
High-Stress Training (Super Cropping) is a technique when you stress the plant by slightly hurting it in a planned way.
As a result, the plant will grow bushier, with more buds, and possible even higher THC levels! This is the plant’s natural response to protect herself in the wild, in case things go wrong. As the grower, you can take advantage of this technique to get bigger yields and more potent buds!
Why Does Super Cropping Work So Well?
Marijuana plants is the only known plant that naturally creates THC. THC is the principal ‘thing’ in the cannabis plant that causes the plant’s well-loved psychoactive effects. THC is produced mostly in the flowers of the female cannabis plants. But cannabinoid-like substances are abundant in almost all plants and animals, including humans. In fact, humans and mammals naturally have a ton of receptors for cannabinoids throughout our brain and bodies.
Did you know that THC is produced by the marijuana plant for protection? Obviously it’s not doing a great job protecting the plants from humans! …Or maybe it is good for them since we keep cultivating these plants… In the wild, deer and many other creatures might eat marijuana flowers which would prevent the plants from making seeds and reproducing. When marijuana plants are stressed, they’ll put their bud and cannabinoid production into overdrive as a last ditch effort to protect themselves.
As a cannabis grower, it’s your job to understand what causes cannabis plants to produce the biggest, most potent buds possible.
While marijuana growers want to make sure that these plants survive until harvest, keeping them as absolutely healthy as possible in a 100% perfect environment without any special techniques won’t get you the best results. Instead, the best buds are produced when you learn how to stress the plants in just the right way to increase yields and cannabinoid production. Supercropping cannabis creates a “knuckle” where the bending happened
Which brings me to super cropping, one of the easiest, most effective ways to stress your marijuana plant for better harvests. This remarkably simple technique will dramatically increase your yields, and all it takes is your fingers, duct tape, a bit of growing experience and the knowledge of what to do. It’s based on the idea we just discussed of stressing the plant so it goes crazy with bud production.
What You Need to Super Crop Marijuana:
- Your fingers
- Duct tape
- The knowledge of what to do
How to Super Crop Marijuana
Choose the branches you would like to super-crop
Super-cropping is best done during the vegetative stage, once the plant has grown many healthy branches and is growing vigorously, but before it is full into the flowering stage. For super-cropping, you want to choose parts of the plant that are old, but still pliable. The parts you use this technique on should still be green, and not wood-like the bottom of the main stalk. If your plant has multiple colas, you should super-crop the same location on multiple colas. When there’s only one main cola, you supercrop the pliable greener growth towards the top. Basically you’re trying to create a flat canopy at the top, without any stems sticking up taller than the rest.
Squeeze and bend branches
The idea is to damage the inner tissue of the plant without causing damage to the outside ‘skin.’ This makes the stem super pliable so it can easily be bent in the direction that you would like for it to grow. Grab the branch and squeeze with firm pressure between your thumb and forefinger, as if you’re trying to crush the stem where you want it to bend. This helps “loosen” the joint you are about to make. Wiggle the stem between your fingers slowly back and forth for 10+ seconds while maintaining pressure, to loosen it up where you want it to bend. Continue wiggling until it feels like the inside of the stem has softened. The stem should feel pliable and loose at the joint you just made. Slowly and gently bend over stem towards the direction you want, and secure in place. Cannabis plants are surprisingly resilient. If you don’t bend the super-crop site hard enough, it will just bounce back to where it was in a few hours. You still may need to secure the stem down to prevent it from growing back up! You know you’ve succeeded when the plant now appears somewhat ‘broken’ and now rests at a 90 degree angle where you bent it, and the branch stays down. In the best case scenario, the stem remains at a permanent 90° angle, while the outside tissue stays intact. But no matter how you super crop, this process can cause your plant to grow a whole bunch of new colas and leaves. A plant doesn’t want to put all its effort into a branch that (as far as your plant is concerned) has probably just been attacked by animals!
Fixing any tears in the outside stem
In the best case scenario, you don’t even need tape, because the outside of the plant is still whole. If you’ve gone a bit overboard, you may need to use duct tape (or another strong tape) to reinforce the plant so it can heal properly, especially if you can see a open slit or crack on the outside of the stem. Regardless, the place that you originally bent will grow a big ‘knot’ almost like a permanent band-aid, which can transport more water, nutrients, and other good stuff compared to before.
Removing ‘bandage’ tape
Wait about one week before removing any tape. It’s normal for the tissues to have discoloration at the healing sites. If the site is still grey and appears totally wounded, just put the tape back on until it has grown her protective ‘knuckle’. Until then, the plant will be able to transport nutrients and maintain all normal processes as long as it has the tape as reinforcement. If plant tries to straighten any branches, just tie them down (using Low Stress Training techniques). Stems will easily give in to your will after being super cropped.
- More buds, more branches, and a shorter, more controlled and bushy plant. Perfect for closet, stealth grows.
- Unlike topping or extensively plucking leaves, super cropping does not dramatically slow down the growth of the plant, though you should expect to give her a little time to recover.
[Updated, originally published 4.4. 2017]