As you become a more serious grower, you’ll likely wonder how to increase terpenes and terpenoids in your plants.
Growing high-quality plants is an art, and there are things you can do to increase the quality of your flower, just like there are things you can do to increase yield.
Increasing the flavor and aroma of your flower is a common goal, which is where terpenes come in.
Each specific strain has its own unique terpene profile, but there are certain things you can do to increase the concentration of terpenes.
Before we give you some tips and tricks, let's teach you a bit about terpenes and terpenoids.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic oils found across the entire plant kingdom.
They are categorized has having distinctive flavors and aromas, such as pine, mint, citrus, berry, and more. Terpenes are extracted from plants for use in all kinds of industries, such as cosmetics, food, and especially the medical industry.
What is the function of terpenes?
From the plant’s perspective, terpenes play a vital role in pest protection. These organic compounds give off a strong odor that deters herbivores and insects.
From the perspective of consumers, terpenes are even more important. They contribute their own unique benefits and effects to each strain, while also enhancing flavor and aroma.
Because of this, lots of growers want to know how to increase terpenes and terpenoids.
What is the difference between terpenes and terpenoids?
The terms “terpene” and “terpenoid” sound very similar, but there is a distinct difference between them.
Terpenes are hydrocarbons, and terpenoids, on the other hand, are denatured by oxidation, which occurs drying and curing your flower. For the most part, you only need to be concerned with terpenes.
Now, without further ado, here are some of our favorite methods to increase terpenes and terpenoids:
7 tips to increase terpenes and terpenoids
What's really cool about some of these tactics we are about to share is not only will they increase terpene production, they'll result in better plants all around!
If you follow some of these strategies, you'll enjoy better aroma and flavor, along with heavier yields and healthier plants!
Carefully select genetics
As already mentioned, some strains have more prominent terpene profiles than others. Some strains will naturally have an earthy, musky smell, while others have a citrusy, fruity aroma.
One way to ensure your flowers are rich in terpenes is selecting high-quality genetics. The quality of your seeds plays a huge factor in the terpene profile of your plants. Instead of trying to grow top shelf with some bag seed, source high quality, reputable genetics.
Low-stress training (LST)
While it sounds counterintuitive, a little bit of stress can force your plants to increase trichome and terpene production. There are two types of plant training: low-stress and high-stress. We are going to focus on low-stress training for now.
One method of LST is known as branch pinching, and is exactly what it sounds like. You can lightly pinch your stems to bend them, and manipulate their direction of growth.
This strategy is two-fold, because it not only increases terpene production through stress, but gets more light into areas that normally don’t, filling out your plant evenly.
You can also trim away leaves on the lower half of your plant, in areas that aren’t getting a ton of light.
This will allow more energy to be spent producing flowers on the top half of the plant. Like branch pinching, this also causes a low level of stress in the plant, increasing terpene and trichome development.
Use organic nutrients/amendments
Organic nutrients allow your plant to grow to its full potential, without altering flavor or smell with synthetics and chemicals. When you grow organically, you get to experience the plant in the way nature intended - with a rich terpene profile.
There are also terpene specific enhancers, and if you want to increase terpenes in your concentrates, try True Terpenes.
A good flush
Flushing your plants is an essential pre-harvest step, in which you cut out all nutrients for a week or two and only feed pure water.
This allows your plants to use up what is left in the cell walls, which prevents you from consuming those when you consume your plants, leaving you with more natural, distinct flavor and aroma.
High temperatures can damage terpenes, so keeping your grow room in the ideal range is important. You may even want to lower your temps further the last bit of flowering and through harvesting.
Humidity also needs to be between 50-60% throughout the grow cycle, but some growers have seen a drastic increase in terpene development by lowering humidity even further (around 30%), but this will require a dehumidifier.
This should only be done during the last few weeks of flowering. It can stress the plants out a bit which will increase terpene production.
Harvest at the right time
This tip might be the most important of the 7.
Harvesting at the right time will directly affect your terpene profile. Harvest too early, and your plants will not have had time to develop fully.
On the other hand, waiting too long to harvest will degrade your terpenes. Use a microscope to closely examine your trichomes and determine the precise time to harvest.
You can learn more about the right time to harvest in this beginner's guide.
Drying and curing perfectly
If there were a more important step than proper harvest timing, it would be drying and curing.
If you dry too quickly, you’ll damage your terpenes. Many growers are antsy to start consuming their flowers after a few long months of work. But, this can lead to disappointment and a harsher smoke.
This is why you need to dry low and slow. We highly recommend you take the time to read our guide on drying and curing.
Final Thoughts On How To Increase Terpenes and Terpenoids
If you follow the steps we outlined above, you are sure to see an increase in terpenes in your flowers, leading to better flavor, smell, and effects.
If you want some advice specific to your grow, reach out to our experts today at 888-815-9763!