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Maximizing Cannabis Seed Terpenes

Boosting Terpene Production in Cannabis Plants

Cannabis growers, as they expand their knowledge base, discover the importance of increasing terpenes in their crops. Produced in the same glands responsible for cannabinoids like CBD and THC, these aromatic oils provide the plants with distinct flavors. They impact the aroma of the plant and therefore the enjoyment factor for the user. However, they do much more than this. They boost the potency and health benefits of the crops.

How can a grower maximize the production of terpenes in their marijuana seed crops?


Never discount the importance of genetics when it comes to cannabis crops. Low-quality seeds cannot produce world-class marijuana regardless of what the grower does to make this happen. Choose high-quality, fragrant strains for the best cannabis crop possible.


Cannabis requires the correct soil to thrive and produce buds abundant in terpenes. Experts frequently debate which soil is best, as some believe nutrients provided to the plant need to be all natural. Others feel artificial supplements serve the same purpose. One thing they do agree on is that any supplements shouldn’t add a strong aroma to the buds.

Super soil remains the best choice for cannabis plants, as it is abundant in microorganisms. This mimics the natural surroundings of cannabis plants. When paired with the right supplements, super soil produces plants with diverse and complex terpenes.

Super soils provide plants with a steady supply of nutrients and minerals. They help maintain the appropriate alkaline and pH levels needed for maximum absorption of the nutrients, and terpenes increase thanks to this boost.

Never discount the importance of the soil. Cannabis plants follow along the same lines as wine and take on unique flavors based on the soil used. Changes to the soil lead to changes in the flavor of the crops.

If the plants do develop a smell after the use of supplements, flush them a few weeks prior to harvesting the crops. Doing so removes excess nutrients that might interfere with the smell of the flowers. Use pure water when carrying out this task for optimal results.


All plants need sugars or carbohydrates during the flowering stage to keep up with basic energy requirements. For plants from autoflower seeds or just regular easy to grow marijuana seeds,  this promotes the production of large, dense buds packed with terpenes and resin. Carbohydrate levels vary through the life cycle of the plant, and carbohydrates have the most influence midway through the bloom cycle when the buds are fattening. Plants aren’t able to absorb added sugars, so the nutrient schedule created by the grower should encourage the creation of sugars by the plants themselves. However, nitrogen slows growth of the plant and decreases terpenes. For this reason, eliminate nitrogen supplementation during the last fourteen days of the plant’s flowering phase.

Take care when choosing nutritional supplements. Growers often choose to increase the production of terpenes by providing marijuana plants with blackstrap molasses as the flower cycles nears its end. While molasses does benefit the plants, it may contain sulfur or other low-quality ingredients. When a grower administers the wrong dose, the amnesia haze or auto sour diesel plant suffers. For this reason, consider spending the money to purchase a premade nutritional supplement designed specifically for cannabis plants. This ensures the plant isn’t unintentionally harmed.


Low-stress training encourages terpene production in cannabis plants. Growers select from several methods when working toward this goal. Some train the plants by tying the branches down during the flowering state or pruning the lower branches. Doing so directs energy to other flowers so trichome production increases. This, in turn, leads to increased production of terpenes.

Other growers expose their plants to colder temperatures at night or remove the fan leaves around the buds. These methods all produce buds that are more aromatic and sometimes even promotes the development of a purple color to the buds and leaves. However, pay close attention to the plants. If the training overstresses the plants, quality and yields diminish.

Additional low-stress training methods include branch pinching and branch repositioning. Growers should experiment with the different methods to find the one that best helps their crops. For the best results, incorporate steady and minor stress into the overall care plan for the cannabis plants. You may find that the Scrogging method works best for your banana kush strain plants while your granddaddy purple respond much better to topping and fimming. These are great points to keep track of in your personal grow journal so you don’t forget next season.

Let There Be Light

Cannabis plants including indoor autoflower seeds need UV light to produce bigger harvests, as the light encourages trichome production. Trichomes produce the terpenes marijuana growers desire, and a boost in trichome production increases terpene production. The plant produces trichomes to protect itself from UV light, and growers should ensure their plants receive this light exposure over a two- to three-week period as the plants bloom.

Think of the trichomes as a sunscreen for plants and add one to two watts of UV light to each square foot of the canopy. This isn’t necessary though when using certain grow lights like metal haloid, as they already incorporate UV light.

Growers find UV-B light offers the best results. Wear protective glasses when supplying this light so your eyes aren’t damaged by the UV rays as they work to boost trichrome and terpene production in the plants.


Temperature plays a vital role in bud development as well as terpene quality and concentration during the last six weeks of the flowering stage. The temperature must remain below 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the second half of the blooming phase. Higher temperatures lead to stiff buds and the loss of the aroma. Growers may lower the temperature by five to ten degrees as night, if they wish, as doing so proves beneficial to the plants.

On the other hand, very low temperatures harm the plants. Never allow the temperature to drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below this mark damage the terpenes and the plants in general. Maintain cool temperatures but not too cool for the best results.


Humidity levels in the grow room need to hover around 50 percent when plants enter the flowering stage to encourage maximum terpene production. Prior to harvesting the crops, lower the humidity to 30 percent. Doing so stresses the plants and stimulates trichome production. Furthermore, this protects the plants from bud rot and other diseases seen at high humidity levels.

However, this information does not apply during the curing stage. When curing or drying cannabis plants, humidity levels must be between 45 and 55 percent. This increases terpenes while making the buds tastier.

Companion Plants

Terpenes communicate between plants, and this may help increase terpenes in a cannabis crop. The Netherlands Institute of Ecology published a study in which scientists looked at the relationship and communication between terpenes and other life forms. Companion plants, such as garlic and marigold, help cannabis plants ward off disease and pests. However, this is only one way in which companion plants may help cannabis crops.

Anecdotal evidence suggests certain companion plants influence the smell of cannabis. For instance, lavender plants infuse a slight fragrance on marijuana plants, and the same holds true for citrus fruit trees. Although scientists cannot definitively say this occurs as a result of terpene communication, they believe it is possible that this communication is the underlying cause.

Harvesting Cannabis

Growers must remember terpenes are volatile compounds and thus are subject to degradation. Harvesting the plants at the right time remains crucial to protecting the aroma. Early harvesting of a crop reduces the trichomes. However, a delay in harvesting leads to the breakdown of trichomes and an accompanying decline in terpenes.

Every terpene comes with its own unique characteristics, which may differ between harvests. Carefully monitor the plants as harvest time nears because the same strain varies by harvest. Examine the trichomes on buds regularly with a magnifying glass and ensure the precious terpenes remain. Look for amber trichomes as opposed to those that are clear or opaque. Amber trichomes signal the crops are ready for harvest.

Bud Handling

Take care when handling cannabis buds, as trichomes are very sensitive. Every time a grower handles a bud, precious trichomes may be lost. Limit the number of times you touch and move the buds, and always hold on to the stem when possible, as opposed to the buds and other parts of the plant.

Curing Marijuana

Dry the buds slowly and monitor humidity levels throughout the process. No grower wants to learn the crop has been decimated after harvesting due to mold or another disease. Maintain low temperatures throughout the process, turn the lights off, and monitor humidity levels so problems don’t arise.

Store dried buds in jars or other storage containers. Never use white paper or plastic bags for this purpose, as they can harm the buds. Open the jars or containers twice daily and allow fresh air to reach the buds.  Examine the buds for mildew or other issues every time the container is opened.

Allow the buds to cure in this manner for approximately a month. Long curing times lead to smoother smoke, so keep this in mind when determining when to make use of your high-THC or high-CBD cannabis purchased from

The Bottom Line

An abundance of terpenes ensures an enjoyable user experience. Terpenes smell and taste wonderful and they also impact the high experienced by the user. Maintain the integrity of these compounds and produce a superior crop every time. Using these methods takes little time and effort on the part of the grower, yet the results are amazing.