As the potency of strains begins to gain more prioritization, growing of Cannabis to achieve the highest levels of (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC is becoming a general preference amongst cannabis farmers and consumers. While there are many reasons behind growing cannabis, some of which are intended to birth non-intoxicating effects to serve as a superfood or to harness its medical benefits, growing strains for the purpose of achieving the maximum psychoactive effects remains one of the major reason behind the craze for growing cannabis.
Whether you choose to grow regular, auto-flowering or feminized cannabis seeds, increasing the level of THC in these strains will be determined by the same factors, all of which will take place during the entire growth process and even stretch to events that occur after harvesting. Although there are many other methods that can increase THC levels in homegrown cannabis, these are some proven ways to achieve the desired result.
Select Strains With Higher THC Levels
More than anything else, the genetic structure of your strain will determine how high or low the THC levels in your Cannabis will become. This is due to the fact that some strains are naturally higher in CBD (cannabidiol) than others, this means that no matter how effective other factors are in the growth process if the selected strain genetically contains a lower level of THC (generally between 17% to 20%), while you may be able to reduce the THC levels of your strains it will remain impossible to increase the level of THC production any further than its original state.
In order to increase the THC level in your strains or seeds, it is most beneficial to select strains that already contain high THC levels. The likes of Pink Stardust and Strawberry Banana are some cannabis strains with high THC levels. To give you a little more insight, here are the average levels of THC contained the aforementioned examples:
Pink stardust which was birthed from the crossing of two dark strains by Californian weed grower Manali West is made up of an average THC level of 25%. Other compositions of this strain have been tested with a 33% level in THC.
This Cannabis indica strain is a cross of Strawberry Bubblegum and Crocket’s Banana Kush which is famous for its high production of resin and high THC content, which is estimated at 33%. Other strains with high levels of THC include White Widow, Chemdawg, Chiquita Banana amongst others.
Boost The Energy Of Your Plant Through Light Intensification
Although the absence of light will not stop your Cannabis plant from growing when plants move from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, the light intensity has been proven as one of the best ways to increase the strain’s production of buds.
Note that equatorial and mountainous regions with great exposure to sunlight have constantly been home to the most potent strains with high THC levels. According to Amsterdamcannabisonline.com, the Hindu Kush, a pure Indica strain from the Hindu Kush mountain contains a THC level that falls between 22% to 32%. To increase THC using light, ultra-violent lights can be used naturally and artificially to achieve this result.
It should be important to note that ultra-violet lights are very powerful and should be used in moderation to avoid risks such as reduced vascular development, slow response to photosynthesis, and damages in trichomes and terpenes.
Induce Stress In Plants Through Under Watering
Dehydration is also known to cause an increase in THC levels, by inducing stress during the time of flowering, the growth process can largely speed up as strains will come up with a coping mechanism in a bid to fight against drought. When strains switch from the vegetative process to the flowering process, the technique of reduced watering can be an effective boost for resin production.
When watering is reduced, the reduction in precipitation will affect the seeds over a certain period of time and result in a protection mechanism where the seeds begin to birth resin in order to shield the seeds and flower, thereby triggering an increase in the level of THC content.
Harvest At The Right Time
Harvesting strains is one of the most delicate processes of growing cannabis, the growth cycle may be fruitful and the potency of the strain may have largely been realized, but if the harvest time is not properly gauged, it can lead to a reduction in the bud’s THC levels.
The flowering stage is usually the best time to harvest, during this period, the trichomes, at least 50% of it have become milky white and are usually in their highest production state THC. Some growers may want to harvest before or after this time period, depending on the desired results. While these desired effects will still be present, the level of THC in the plant would have largely reduced.
Put Your Buds Through The Process Of Curing
The effects of curing in freshly harvested buds have largely been proven to increase the potency of buds amongst other benefits. Note that freshly harvested buds are only highly rich in tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THCA has medical benefits, THC being the predecessor of the THCA compound in freshly harvested buds is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of your buds.
After harvesting your buds, the conversion process is still ongoing and potency can still be increased through curing, as such, drying your buds immediately after harvesting, especially in warm environments can alter the conversion process from TCHA to THC thereby leaving it with no presence of THC.
However, curing your buds by gauging its temperature and humidity levels, generally between 60 to 700F and 45 to 55% respectively, will chemically convert already present THCA levels to THC, thus giving a boost to the potency of your buds. Curing can also be beneficial for the preservation of potency. If you have no use for your cannabis after harvesting, curing your buds and storing them in a tight container can preserve the already present cannabinoid content for up to two years.
While all the methods mentioned above have been proved to be effective in increasing THC levels in cannabis, all of it must be carried out in moderation as an excessive application can lead to damage in plants. Note that with temperature and light, environmental differences can produce different results due to intensity.
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