by Nebula Haze
When it comes to growing cannabis, there are lots of things that affect the total experience. Although the "potency" is definitely important, the smell and taste of buds also change how buds make you feel. Sometimes you smell a strain of cannabis and your brain yells,"Yes!"
There's something about sweet-tasting cannabis that is just special and unique, and often these buds come with unique effects that you may not get from other buds!
So how do you grow a sweet-tasting strain? It's actually pretty simple, but simple doesn't always mean easy!
1.) Get a Sweet Smelling Strain
Strain is the #1 thing you must pay attention to if you want to grow cannabis that actually smells sugary! See examples of some popular sweet-smelling strains!
There are many strains that smell fruity or sweet, but if you are growing a strain that naturally smells skunky, like diesel, etc, there's not necessarily a whole lot you can do during the growing process (besides using specialized supplements) to make the buds smell differently than their genes intend.
The smell of your buds is heavily dependent on strain!
2.) Sweetness-Boosting Supplements
There are many supplements that may be able to help make buds smell and taste more sweet. Some of them are specialty items that need to be found in a hydro store or bought online, but there are also ingredients you may have around the home that can also increase sweetness.
When it comes to nutrients and supplements, you have several choices that can help improve the overall scent of your buds. In fact, many products have been formulated specifically to increase and enhance the smell of cannabis buds.
Here's what you need to keep in mind when it comes to nutrients and supplements…
Sugar Based Supplements
Many sugar or carbohydrate-based supplements claim to improve the smell/taste/sweetness of buds. A cheap alternative to expensive sugar-based bloom boosting supplements is blackstrap molasses. Giving this to your plants for the last few weeks before harvest can help them get bigger and smell/taste better.
It's not specially made for plants; it's the regular stuff you'll find in your kitchen or at the grocery store). Blackstrap molasses adds sugars, amino acids and trace minerals. Unfortunately for hydro growers, anything organic like molasses is not suitable for a hydroponic reservoir! But molasses works great for soil and coco growers 🙂
For the last 2-3 weeks before harvest, give 1/2 tsp of Blackstrap Molasses per gallon when watering (for soil or coco coir)
Improve or Enhance Natural Bloom Processes
This group of supplements contains ingredients that are meant to help the plant do its job better. In addition to carbohydrates or sugar, these types of supplements also contain extracts from plant, marine, and mineral sources, as well as things like vitamins, amino acids, polyflavonoids, etc.
The jury is still out and which is the most effective supplement, but some of the most popular cannabis supplements based on this type of formula include…
Floralicious Plus (by General Hydroponics)
Liquid Karma (by Botanicare)
Diamond Black (by General Organics)
Note: These are only for soil or coco coir! (Since these supplements contain a lot of organic materials like guano and fishmeal, they are not suitable to hydroponic reservoirs)
Supplements that "add" a smell to buds
I'm really intrigued by Botanicare's Sweet Carbo line. According to Botanicare:
The natural esters in Sweet are easily absorbed by the plant, but are not broken down further once deposited within the plant tissue. This means that as new flowers develop they will contain small amounts of these natural esters which contribute to the overall flavor and aroma of the finished product.
They offer flavors such as grape, citrus, berry, and "raw" (which is just a generally sweet smell). These should be used throughout the flowering stage to help build smell/flavor in the buds as they mature. However, since these contain a small but significant amount of magnesium, they should not be used while flushing during last 2-3 weeks before harvest. At this point, the smells have already been deposited into the buds. Another cool thing about these supplements is they contain amino acids and some other enhancers, so it's kind of like getting a lot of different products at once.
Other growers who've tried the "raw" version have said they can definitely notice an increase in the amount of "sweet" smell in their buds, and it's made me jealous. For my next grow I plan to use one of these Sweet products as my primary supplement for the flowering stage. I'll report back whether they make as big a difference as they say 🙂
All these supplements have been developed specifically for enhancing plants like cannabis! Just be careful not to go overboard!
The more types of supplements you use, the bigger the chance you might end up burning or causing a nutrient lockout problem with your plants. If possible, always try to use all supplements and nutrients from the same nutrient company. This lessens the chance of unwanted interactions since the whole line is designed to work together. When in doubt, go for an established nutrient company that has been around for years over one that has just appeared recently!
4.) Always Flush Before Harvest
Always "flush" your buds before harvest if you've been using liquid or powder nutrients during the flowering stage.
The idea behind flushing before harvest is to give the plants some amount of time without any added nutrients in the days or weeks leading up to harvest. This allows the plant to "use up" all the extra nutrients in both the soil and within the plant itself. This can help prevent a "chemical" or "minty" taste to buds!
5.) Don't Let Grow Space Get Hot After Buds Have Formed!
Don't let the temperature get over 75-80°F in the flowering stage and keep the temperature under 75°F during the drying process to prevent your plants from losing smell due to heat!
6.) Proper Dry & Cure After Harvest
After waiting months to harvest your cannabis, it can be easy to skip the last step of preparing your buds after harvest, known as the "dry" and "cure" processes.
Don't skip this step! The drying/curing process has a huge effect on the final taste, smell and overall smoothness of your cannabis buds!
The main idea is to dry buds slowly after harvest, and then keep them stored in jars for 2-4 weeks. This triggers natural processes that dramatically increase the overall smell and taste of your buds, and also makes buds actually feel more potent!
7.) Keep Plants Healthy Throughout the Flowering Stage!
I know it can be lame to hear that something as simple as keeping your plant healthy will make a positive difference in your results. I'm sure you probably have already knew that!
But it's important to understand what is happening week by week during the flowering stage so you can spot problems and fix them before they affect your harvest!
The main goal is to keep your plant green and healthy throughout most of the flowering stage. When leaves and buds get burned or otherwise damaged from nutrient deficiencies, heat stress and other problems, the overall smell and sweetness of your buds may suffer!
Some popular sweet-smelling strains include…
Pineapple Chunk (by Barneys Farm)
A lot of the time when someone says a strain smells like a fruit, they mean that you'll get small hints of that smell in the undertones. With Pineapple Chunk the buds actually smell sweet, and some really do smell quite a bit like pineapple!
Although not the highest yielding, this strain produces buds that always get a surprising number of positive comments about the taste and smell, and the bud effects are very smooth.
You will be able to start smelling the pineapple when the plant is still in the flowering stage, but the smell is most pronounced after the buds have been dried and cured.
Super Lemon Haze (by Greenhouse Seeds)
Smells lemony, and certain plants will end up smelling just like a Lemonhead with a mix of citrus, sour and sweet. The potency is surprisingly strong, energetic and creative, perfect for daytime use. Doesn't usually cause 'couchlock' so many people like this strain for daytime use.
Here is an example of a room full of Super Lemon Haze plants
…and a Super Lemon Haze cola
Auto-flowering strains can be easier to grow in some ways, and both of these auto-flowering strains take less than 3 months from seed to you actually smoking bud!
Auto Critical Jack (by Dinafem) – This autoflowering strain smells sweet and fruity, perhaps almost tropical. Sometimes buds will smell more like lemon or citrus. It is also very potent for an auto-flowering strain.
Blue AutoMazar (by Dutch Passion) – A cross between two autoflowering strains from breeder Dutch Passion, this strain is as much about taste and smell as it is about potency.