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Does Hemp Grow Buds?



Does hemp grow buds? Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant that must legally contain less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid known for producing intoxicating effects. Female hemp plants can produce hemp flower buds that can be consumed in a variety of methods.

Hemp 101: Anatomy of the Plant

Hemp is considered one of the earliest domesticated crops in the world. Ancient civilizations were the first to uncover its many industrial uses that included making rope, textiles, food, medicine, and other materials. Today, hemp continues to provide us with a wide range of uses.

Let’s take a quick look at the hemp plant’s anatomy:

  • Flowers: Female plants have seed-producing flowers while male plants have pollen-producing plants. Female hemp flowers contain active cannabinoids and terpenes used for therapeutic purposes.
  • Seeds: Seeds contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They can be used to make food and oils.
  • Leaves: Leaves contain trace amounts of cannabinoids and are useful in producing photosynthetic energy during the plant’s growth. They can be used to make tea.
  • Stalk: Hemp stalks contain the inner, fibrous hurd layer and the outer bast fibers. Both offer distinct industrial uses.
  • Roots: Hemp roots promotes healthy soil and nutrient uptake

Cannabinoids can be extracted from hemp plant flowers and leaves to produce a variety of products including CBD.oil.

Hemp fibers, found in stalks, are mainly used for creating textiles, building supplies, paper, and other industrial products.

What Are Hemp Flower Buds?

Hemp buds, also known as hemp/CBD flower, are nearly indistinguishable from traditional cannabis buds that contain a high concentration of THC. For this reason, it has been difficult for law enforcement to tell the difference between the two when one is federally legal (hemp) and the other is not (cannabis).

So to answer the question does hemp grow buds, the answer is yes.

Legally, hemp buds must contain under 0.3% THC. If they contain over this concentration, the plants are considered cannabis buds, a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use.”

Hemp flower buds, however, contain a higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD), the second-most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. If you’re looking for a non-intoxicating way to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the high, then CBD-rich hemp flowers may be right for you.

The benefits of consuming CBD-rich hemp flower buds include:

  • Anti-inflammation
  • Pain relief
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce stress
  • Sleep aid
  • Improved mood

What Can You Do With Hemp Flower Buds?

Hemp flower buds have a wide range of medicinal purposes if they contain a high concentration of CBD. Similar to cannabis bud consumption methods, hemp dried herb can be smoked through a pipe, bong, or hemp joint or vaped in a vaporizer for an immediate onset of effects.

In addition, hemp buds can undergo an extraction process using solvent-based or solventless techniques that separate the plant’s active cannabinoids and terpenes from its undesirable plant matter to produce a concentrated form for consumption.

From the concentrated resin, processors or home growers can produce a variety of infused CBD products including concentrates and extracts, tinctures, topicals, edibles, and so much more. Some of these products offer an alternative to smoking or vaping dry herb and extracts.


Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

How to Buy Hemp Flower Buds

Interested in buying hemp flowers?

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to purchase CBD-rich hemp buds from your local licensed dispensary or a reliable online supplier. But, before you place your order, make sure your state allows the sale of hemp flowers. Some states prohibit smokable hemp flowers.

Here are a few tips to follow if you plan on buying hemp flower:

  • Certificate of analysis (COA): A COA shows you the chemical composition of your product including its cannabinoid levels. In addition, third-party independent lab analysis ensures your flower is free of contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
  • Strain: Consider the type of hemp strain you plan to buy. Each strain has a different chemical composition which elicit different CBD effects ranging from stimulating to relaxing.
  • Reputation: Do your research on the hemp company by reading customer reviews and checking the company’s website for transparency on its cultivation and testing methods. The best hemp flower brands include:
    • Cheef Botanicals
    • Cannaflower
    • Absolute Nature CBD
    • Green Flower Botanicals
    • ATLRx
    • Hemp Hash UK

How to Grow Hemp Flower Buds

In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp farming in the United States. Growers interested in farming hemp for commercial or research purposes must obtain a license from their state’s department of agriculture. The bill does not address growing hemp at home.

If you’re interested in growing hemp plants at home, you must research your state and local home cultivation laws. Find out whether medical and recreational cultivation is legal in your state and if you qualify for the medical condition or minimum age requirement, respectively.

If you are eligible to grow cannabis at home, you must ensure you only grow up to the legal cannabis cultivation limit in your state. In addition, you must grow your hemp in a private and enclosed space away from public view.

Look for hemp strains that can produce high-CBD flower buds. You can buy hemp seeds at some dispensaries or online seed banks.

Feminized hemp seeds are the easiest to grow because they have been genetically altered to produce only female plants that grow flower buds, not male plants that grow pollen sacs.

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Learn to Use and Grow Cannabis at Cannabis Training University

Do you want to learn more about the cannabis plant and its many medicinal uses? Are you interested in reaping the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes? If so, Cannabis Training University can help.

Enroll in the world’s most renowned online cannabis college to gain a complete understanding of the plant and the industry. Learn from the industry’s top growers, extractors, budtenders, doctors, and lawyers on how to use cannabis safely and legally.

Our curriculum also covers how to land a job in this fast-growing industry!

Get started on completing your cannabis education. Enroll in CTU today!

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Topping Cannabis to Increase Yields




There are many cannabis plant training techniques, but only a handful have been used for decades and proven effective. Increasing yields, managing the canopy, and light efficiency are all reasons to practice techniques such as topping. Today we aim to demystify the most common plant training practice; how to top a cannabis plant.

Topping, low stress training, supercropping, sea of green, and scrogging are a handful of training techniques used by cannabis growers to control the overall form of the plant. Tall strains can be trained to grow out instead of up. Some growers will cut the top portion of the plant off to create a shorter and bushier plant. When growing a variety of cannabis strains in an indoor area, many times, cannabis training is required to keep the canopy as close to level as possible.

A popular technique often used in the garden is topping. Topping is the act of removing the upper portion of the plant. We realise it may be a little counterintuitive to remove the upper part of the plant; after all, that is where the big colas come from. Although it sounds crazy, your yield potential increases when you remove the top.

Plant topping is meant to maximise the quality of buds by creating multiple colas instead of one giant cola on the main meristem and increase yield. Again, it is the increased number of top bud sites that increases the yields when using cannabis training methods like topping.

Why removing the top of a plant can be beneficial

Three main reasons cannabis growers use topping as a training technique include space management, hormone distribution, and light efficiency. We will explain the “why” behind each of those statements, and how topping can lead to greater success in the garden.

When grown naturally, cannabis plants want to grow in a Christmas tree shape, with the lower branches reaching out the widest to receive unobstructed light. Removing the top portion means the lower branches are no longer shielded by the large fan leaves above. More light to more leaves equals more photosynthesis, and that means more power for the plant to grow and develop buds.

The technique of topping cannabis can also be used as a height management tool in small grow areas with low ceilings. Topping is also an effective training technique to create an even canopy. If gardeners grow a variety of cannabis strains and one of them grows much taller than the rest, topping that plant will bring it back to a level closer to the others.

Topping cannabis is an effective plant management tool if a gardener lets their plant get too tall in the vegetative stage. Most strains will nearly double in size during the transitional “stretch” phase as you begin the flowering cycle. If a plant is already close to the light source and you fear that it will grow above the light after the stretch, topping can tame that beast back into control.

There are a few physiological benefits to topping the plant. When a cannabis plant is topped, it is the lower branches that rise to create the canopy. These branches grow thicker and more robust, often requiring less support later. The primary physiological reason for topping any plant would be the redistribution of auxins and hormones when we break the apical dominance.

Instead of the auxins and growth hormones going to the tallest point, it is evenly distributed amongst the evenly level canopy. This promotes even growth across many bud sites instead of the single tallest point. By having more “top” buds instead of one large cola, yields can increase dramatically, particularly when combined with other plant training techniques.

Another reason growers want an even canopy is to maximise the amount of usable light (PPFD) delivered to the cannabis plant. A level canopy will distribute the same amount of light to as many bud sites as possible. When plants grow untrained, they can have a main stem far above the bulk of lower branches and bud sites.

To accommodate that taller top area, the grow light must be kept further from the majority of bud sites, which results in lower PAR to the bulk of the bud sites. With an even canopy, you can place the light closer to the majority of the upper bud sites.

Overall, when you top a plant (or even the many side branches), you will get two new branches in the place of the old one. Growers then have two bud sites, which is one way that topping can help increase yields. The change in distribution of growth hormones also encourages lateral branching in the plant. Combined, these two benefits result in a larger, bushier plant than one grown without topping.

When to top a cannabis plant

Topping a cannabis plant is almost always done in the vegetative stage. In instances of an extremely stretchy plant during flowering, topping might be the only option, but for the most part, topping cannabis is done in vegetation. Most gardeners will top a cannabis plant once or twice. This training technique can be performed several times, as long as the grower gives the plant a chance to recover in between.

Often growers will reference a node number as to when and where they top the plant. It is best practice to use your discretion. Commonly growers recommend topping between the 5th and 7th nodes. However, there can often be a difference in how tall a plant is by the 5th – 7th node, depending on an indica or sativa morphology. Know the height of the garden space, and the typical stretch of the strain, and top the plant accordingly.

Other growers will let the plant get further into the vegetative stage before topping a cannabis plant. The established root system helps the plant recover quicker compared to a seedling with a less developed root system. Growers may trim a few of the lower branches before deciding where to top. Removing some of the lowers will influence how many branches (nodal spaces) to leave before topping the plant.

In both cases, you want to only top a healthy plant, as this technique does induce some stress. Although the plant undergoes mild shock, with solid genetics, topping a plant should not trigger hermaphroditic expressions. Topping cannabis plants is the most prevalent of all plant training techniques.

How to top a cannabis plant

Growers will only need one tool to top the plant, a sharp, sterile blade. Many cannabis gardeners will use trimming scissors, and others will use a fresh razor blade. Similar to taking a clone, gardeners will want to make their cut at a 45 degree angle instead of straight across.

When topping a mature plant, make the cut 2-3 cm above the last node you want to branch out. The cut portion of the stem will dry and shrivel back slightly. Leaving this extra space will allow for that without compromising the strength of the branches on the uppermost node.

To count nodes, start at the first set of lower branches and go upwards. Each pair of branches above is a new node. Nodes are simply the location where a branch is attached, usually one branch on either side of it. When using this plant training technique, growers count the nodes on the main stem to make their decision of where to top.

Now that you’re ready

After topping the cannabis plant, give the freshly topped plant a few days to a week to recover from the shock. Don’t top a cannabis plant and then immediately put it into flowering. Keep the plant watered and fed; it is incredible what a healthy cannabis plant can handle regarding training techniques and stress.

By utilising this one easy plant training technique, you can have larger yields, grow different strains side-by-side, and maximise the efficiency of your wattage per euro.

Topping as a plant training technique is often used in combination with other techniques. LST (low-stress training) techniques, like bending branches or tying them down, is another way to deal with canopy management and breaking the apical dominance of a plant. The cannabis training technique referred to as “mainlining” is a combination of topping and LST.

Our goal is to lift the mystery behind these growing techniques and make them easily relatable to any gardener enjoying the hobby. We’ll be covering LST, supercropping, scrogging, and more in the upcoming plant training articles. What techniques would you like to know more about? Which plant training techniques are your favourite? Let us know down in the comments. Happy gardening!

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.

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autoflowering seeds

Top autoflower seeds to grow for winter ’22




Harvest season just wrapped but breeders keep selecting and testing new varieties for big releases into the winter. Autoflower seeds continue to add fans thanks to bag appeal and straight-up dankness that rivals photoperiod seeds.

“Now that we’ve got autos testing higher than photoperiods, we feel that’s a good representation of autoflowers,” said Nat Pennington, Breeder & CEO of Humboldt Seed Company. Nat’s recent Mint Jelly Auto is still such a barometer at 30%+ THC.

In this ever-expanding market, many breeders take their shot, but only a rare few really slam dunk it. Here’s a bunch of top-notch autoflower seeds to run over the winter.

Fresh from Mephisto Genetics

Mephisto Wedding Cake auto. (Courtesy Mephisto)
Mephisto Wedding Cake auto. (Courtesy Mephisto)

Auto leader Mephisto Genetics celebrates 10 years of automatic greatness with special releases and drops that have included classic faves like Forgotten Cookies and newer powerhouses like Mephisto’s Wedding. This frosty vanilla gas strain is a top-tier result of the legendary Seed Junky Wedding Cake cut crossed with Meph’s Double Grape x Creme de la Chem.

Daz of Night Owl Seeds recent re-release of funky Mango Isle crosses and auto regular seed F3 phenos of Chem 91 continues his trend of delighting growers. 

“I’m a people pleaser – I try to give my customers what they want,” said Daz during a chat last month with Leafly. “I like when people tell me it’s like Christmas morning when they open their stuff from me.”

Night Owl slays it via generous freebies, fun merch, and amazing genetics that easily convert any automatic skeptics. Just take a look at Jeremy Silva’s BuildASoil’s video series featuring the dazzling Strawberry Milk & Qookies grown beautifully within earth boxes.


How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

Tip: Save money with seedbank packs

Too poor for a big, expensive new seed release? The seedbanks got ya covered with special packages. 

“Three and five-packs are pretty much the money spot right now,” said Paul Lawl of Multiverse Beans, a top online bean bank. “With so much autoflower variety, why stay with just one strain?”

Purveyors like Gaslamp Genetics (Hembra Genetics), Multiverse Beans, DC Seed Exchange, and North Atlantic Seed Company feature packs of all varieties and sizes to satiate customer demand.

Great autos for hash

Atlas Seeds Tri-Cross. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)
Atlas Seeds Tri-Cross auto. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)

Almost any auto-seed cultivars that have solid genetics can make great hash. Many hashmakers grow autos year-round for quicker yields that can be squished or washed more frequently.

One such example is Coal Miner’s Daughter from Gnome Automatics. A result of @fullduplex_afn’s phenomenal selective breeding process, its fruity, spice and hashy undertones won 1st Place in the 2021 Autoflower Cup Extract category as an F5. Ronin Garden’s Rolling Thunder, Smoke, and The Ripple all glisten with insane resin coverage, making any solventless extractor smile regardless of skill level. 

See also: Pluto’s Bride & Black Strap by Gnome/Brother Mendel, Mephisto’s 4-Assed Monkey, & Pink Panama; or Tri-Cross & GMO Auto by Atlas Seeds. 

Gassy auto strains to grow

Night Owl Seeds Outlier auto. (Courtesy Night Owl Seeds)
Night Owl Seeds Outlier auto. (Courtesy Night Owl Seeds)

You’ve heard it all year—the game runs on gas. That’s no different in the autoflower world where gassy, fuel and pungent diesel dominate so many strains. Humboldt Seed Company will make you wonder who ran over a skunk with All Gas OG Auto—a cross of Humboldt Venom OG x Humboldt OG. This one produces big and may actually be louder than your next-door-neighbor’s Weimaraner. Wicked Witch by Magic Strains is a densely flowering, skunky fuel worthy of space in your tent, while Grease Gun is another Atlas gem with that gassy nose people want.

See also: indoor queen Methane by Gnome Automatics (Gaslamp exclusive); Mephisto’s 3 Bears OG, and Samsquanch OG; and Night Owl’s vigorous OG gas of Outlier C.

Candy and sweet auto strains

Mosca Seeds Gummy Mintz auto. (Courtesy Mosca Seeds)
Mosca Seeds Gummy Mintz auto. (Courtesy Mosca Seeds)

Consumers keep demanding candy and sweet terps, and Magic Strains funky grape candy Troubled Grape yields easy for any skill level. Mosca Seeds continues to serve candy-lovers with Gummy Bearz and Gummy Mintz – both colorful and tasty Gelato crosses that test high. Roc Bud Inc and their in-demand genetics are unstoppable these days with more autoflower varieties constantly around the corner. Grape Slurri, Raspberry Punch, Razz-Berry Runtz, and the fruit loops and gas of Blueberry Slushy are among those heralded. 

See also: meticulously pheno-hunted Frosted Cherry O’s by Mutant Genetics; bubblegum & cotton candy terps of Gnome’s Ace of Spades; and CBD-dominant Orange Candy & Rainbow Candy courtesy of High Alpine Genetics.

Fruity-smelling auto seeds

Atlas Seeds Froot by the Foot auto. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)
Atlas Seeds Froot by the Foot auto. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)

Twisted Tree brings home sweet berry flavor within Alien Moonrocks & Jimmyjacks – connoisseur automatics that could put certain blueberry farmers to shame.

Night Owl and those tasty Mango Isle F2 crosses loom big at the fruit stand like some kind of heady Vito Corleone. Mngo Mrrr—another bad creation from Ronin and Daz—is an easy grower with sweet flavors and bag appeal for days. 

See also: Phantomberry by Roc Bud; the aptly-named Lemongrass by HSC; Atlas’s Froot by the Foot; Ethos’s low-maintenance Planet of the Grapes; and the Bubba-esque fruit basket bouquet of Night Owl’s Pre-98 Episode 1 F4.

Viva sativa autos

Time is money, and autoflowers save growers mad money on sativa strains. Pina Colada by Mosca Seeds is that tropical sativa you’ve been looking for with citrus and pineapple flavors that complement its gnarly yields.

“It’s our most sativa-dominant auto strain,” said Mosca Rick of Mosca Seeds. “It grows airier like a true sativa too.”

ZaMango from Night Owl stimulates the endocannabinoid system with its psychedelic fruit medley that includes the true landrace sativa Zamaldelica Express in its lineage. Weed tweekers rejoice—these are seeds any dedicated sativa fanatic will love.

Derived from Archive Seed’s Amnesia Haze BX1 crossed with their own Walter White, Fugue State by Mephisto lends itself to some inspired sativa-derived chicanery as well. 

See also: Lost Elephant by Twisted Tree; terp & resin-rich Sour Orange Haze by Mephisto; Ethos’s sour Inzane & Citradelic Sunset; and the heavy colas of Mandela Effect by Night Owl.

Stay in the loop

OK, you’re ready to buy and pop some winter seeds. Ensure your tent or garden will be bearing buds that have a legit lineage, suit the traits you want, and will grow with vigor. Reading online autoflower reviews and grow journals is extremely helpful. Asking any questions within grow chat forums is also smart so you stay up-to-date.

Subscribe to Leafly Newsletters for news on big releases for the rest of ‘22 and into ‘23!

Breeders and seedbanks—elevate your seed brand with Leafly Advertising. 20% off with the code “Cali 2023”.

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Anthony DiMeo

Anthony DiMeo is a cannabis advocate and journalist who still believes countercultural evolution is possible. His work and advocacy has been featured in DOPE, Extraction Magazine, Terpenes & Testing Magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Understanding Water PPM for Cannabis




If you plan to grow cannabis, or even if you already have a few successful grows under your belt, sooner or later you’ll encounter the acronym “ppm”.

While it’s not usually necessary to obsess about ppm and you can grow outstanding cannabis without even knowing what ppm is, it pays to educate yourself about it because it can impact your grow—especially as you advance with your cultivation methods and technique.

Learning more about ppm will put you at an advantage.

What is PPM in Water

So, let’s lift the veil of mystery over what ppm is and how it can relate to growing cannabis. An acronym for “parts per million,” ppm relates to water solubles, including mineral and other substances, in the cannabis space. One part per million equals 1 mg of solubles for every liter of water.

This is a very small measurement increment. Parts per million are found in most types of water, from tap water to mountain spring water. Distilled or reverse-osmosis water are two of the only types of water that eliminated ppm. If you have your tap water tested for purity, the results will be measured in parts per million.

Analyzing your tap water will indicate if you would benefit from a water purification system for drinking water. Testing well water is especially useful because it’s devoid of fluoride and other additives found in most city water to minimize contaminants.

Most tap water that’s safe for drinking or cannabis use will have ppm in the 200-300 range, which is relatively normal. When water gets to several hundred parts per million, it indicates the pipes in your home may be somewhat old and an alternative water source may be beneficial for your cannabis.

How Do You Measure PPM?

To determine the level of ppm in your water, you will need a TDS meter (TDS is an acronym for “total dissolved solids”). So, if you use a TDS meter to measure your home’s tap water and your results come back as 200-300 parts per million, it means you have 200-300 parts per million of dissolved minerals in your water, which is in the normal range.

PPM and EC

Any serious conversation about ppm will also touch on ec; it almost seems inevitable since the two are closely related. EC stands for “electrical conductivity.” Using an EC meter measures the electrical conductivity in the water you’re using, and this reading is useful for measuring the amount of dissolved solubles in your water. A PPM meter and a EC meter essentially do the same things.

As a matter of fact, some TDS meters actually determine the level of electrical conductivity of a water sample and convert the results to parts per million. Simply stated, some TDS meter are really EC meters. Since the two are so closely related, brief mention must be made about EC.

PPM Relevance to Cannabis Cultivation

By this time, you may be wondering why knowing about ppm is important when growing cannabis. The main reason is to provide optimum nutrient amounts to your plants, while simultaneously avoiding burning them by overdosing them on nutrients.

If you’ve grown cannabis long enough and use a variety of fertilizers and soil additives, you realize that all fertilizers are not created the same and nearly every cannabis grower has a favorite. No one likes to see the telltale curled leaf tips and yellowing commonly associated with nitrogen burn in cannabis.

Although plants will eventually recover and be none the worse for wear over the long haul, burning does shock the plants and temporarily hamper them.

Eliminating nutrients altogether for a while will solve the problem, but as the old saying goes, “prevention is the best medicine.” Try to avoid burning altogether by being somewhat conservative with nutrients and additives (use one half to three quarters the suggested amount), and as a second step you can monitor the parts per million to dial in on precise nutrient dosing.

Water PPM and Nutrients for Cannabis

Since water ppm varies depending on the source, knowing the water’s soluble ppm right out of the tap will aid a grower when deciding how much nutrients to add to the water. Along with proper water pH, optimum ppm levels after adding nutrients can sometimes make the difference between adding too little fertilizer or too much. A person with a high tap water ppm can sometimes unintentionally burn a plant when following correct nutrient dosage and schedule protocol.

Plants can only absorb a certain amount of solubles and minerals, and you want your plants to receive the optimum amount.

A young seedling or a cutting (clone) will enjoy a ppm of approximately 500-600 and will respond positively to an increase of about 850 ppm during the medium and late stages of vegetative growth.

During the flower stage, optimum parts per million rises to 1000-1100. Clearly, cannabis plants enjoy increased parts per million as they grow.

Water ppm readings have applications for both hydroponic and conventional soil cultivation methods. With soil cultivation, the water ppm should be checked after adding additives to the watering vessel. For hydroponic use, check the reservoir. With too low ppm, add more nutrients, and with too high, dilute with water until you reach an optimum level.

TDS Meters

Like humidity meters, temperature gauges, and pH meters used for cannabis cultivation, there is a wide range of TDS meters on the market at affordable prices. TDS meters that measure parts per million differ somewhat. Some can read a higher level of ppm and can monitor other things like temperature. The range of measurable ppm on some of the fancier meters can go as high as 9999 ppm, but this is not necessary for cannabis cultivation. Using a TDS meter that goes to 3500 parts per million will serve your needs just fine. Anything over 5000 is unnecessary.

Before using your TDS meter to measure ppm in water, nutrients, and runoff, you’ll need to calibrate your device using a solution containing a certain level of ppm. Calibrating solutions can be bought online or at a grow supply store. Make sure your calibration fluid is at room temperature to avoid discrepancies. Follow the package instructions to test your fluid with your meter. If the ppm reading is correct, your device is calibrated. If not, follow your device’s instructions to calibrate it.


Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

Now that you know your TDS meter is up-and-running and precise, you can start using it to measure your ppm. Turn on your TDS meter, remove the cover from the bottom, and ensure it has a reading of zero before inserting the tip (about half an inch) of the meter into the water you’re testing. Below, you’ll find a list of the best TDS meters for your cannabis grow:

  • HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester
  • HoneForest Water Quality Tester
  • Generic Digital LCD TDS Meter Waterfilter Tester
  • Lxuemlu TDS Meter Digital Water Tester
  • Health Metric Professional TDS PPM Conductivity Meter

Understanding PPM Results

water PPM cannabis 1536x1152 1

To determine the exact nutrient intake of your cannabis plants, you’re going to have to measure the ppm of your nutrient reservoir and your runoff. Generally, the ppm reading of your runoff will be lower than the ppm from your reservoir. This shows that your plants are taking in nutrients when you’re feeding them.

As you can see understanding water ppm for cannabis is a key to getting cannabis grows right! PPM in water is a science in itself.

PPM Lower in Runoff

A low ppm runoff reading compared to the nutrient’s ppm reading is ideal. Keep measuring your ppm regularly to catch any significant drops. If your ppm drops from 1500 to 800 every day for a week, it means your plants are consistently drawing in the same level of nutrients.

For extremely low runoff levels, however, consider increasing your nutrient treat rates gradually.

No PPM Change

If there is no difference in ppm results between your nutrients and your runoff, we have a problem. That means your plants aren’t taking in the right level of nutrients. If this is occurring in your garden, consider checking your pH levels. Inconsistent pH levels can hinder nutrient intake. Nitrate and phosphate, for example, are best absorbed in certain pH ranges.

Lower-Than-Usual PPM in Runoff

If you notice lower-than-usual ppm readings in your reservoir, you may be losing out on nutrients due to nutrient lockout. Check for a white precipitate build-up in your nutrient reservoir. This can occur when some ions don’t mix well together and form a solid. Calcium phosphate is notorious for this.

To overcome this issue, make sure you’re properly mixing your nutrients as you add them and wash your mixing cup between nutrients.

Water PPM Higher in Runoff

A higher-than-normal ppm result from your runoff is rare, but this indicates that there’s a salt buildup at the root zone. The buildup gets stuck and gradually dissolves into the runoff leading to high ppm levels. Ensure you’re properly stirring calcium salts such as calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and calcium hydroxide. A line cleaner or flushing with water can help remove the calcium salt buildup.

Yellow Leaves

If your cannabis leaves are turning yellow, you’ll need to check your ppm results for your nutrient reservoir and your runoff. Ensure your nutrient levels (phosphates, nitrates, and potassium ions) are decreasing between your reservoir and runoff, showing that the yellowing isn’t due to any nutrient deficiency. Check for other element deficiencies. If nutrients aren’t the problem, your pH may be the source of the issue.

pH Changes

Is there a considerable pH increase or decrease between your nutrient reservoir and your runoff? A little discrepancy between pH levels is normal. Significant pH changes, however, are known as pH drift. Check for nutrient lockout, one of the main culprits for pH drift. Changes in pH can prevent the roots from absorbing certain nutrients, which is why it’s so important to regularly monitor for this.

Using Organic Soil

Testing your ppm can get tricky if you’re growing organically. Unlike using synthetic fertilizers, organically-assembled soil contains complex molecules that are gradually released over time. Because the organic soil has yet to break down the complex molecules into simple salts, your ppm readings may be hard to decipher.

Ppm readings from your organic soil won’t take into account the total nutrients in your soil that have yet to break down. When growing organically, pay more attention to your pH levels and signs of nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.

Is Measuring Water PPM Necessary?

Whether or not a TDS meter is necessary when growing cannabis depends on your water source and your cultivation goals. Certainty commercial operations should monitor it closely to maximize yield. For the private home grower, the decision depends on how much the grower wants to dial in on perfect cultivation methods and perfect his or her craft.

Measuring the salt and nutrient levels in the water is crucial to ensure the right amount of nutrients are fed. For instance, if you measure your ppm one day and get a result of 1,600 ppm and then measure your ppm the next day and get a 2,100 ppm reading, you know you added too many nutrients the day before.

There is no doubt that many cannabis growers have cultivated and harvested a large number of dank and sticky grows without giving parts per million a second thought. These same growers can grow outstanding bud without worrying excessively about grow room CO2 levels.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

When it comes to cultivation factors like ppm and CO2 levels, we’re looking at somewhat advanced procedures. These are choices that separate the novice cannabis grower from the advanced cannabis grower.

If you merely want to grow some good flower for personal use, you may want to skip it. On the other hand, if you want your grow to be as perfect and productive as possible, it would be wise to implement these advanced techniques.

If you ever want to advance to commercial cultivation with a cannabis company, do yourself a favor and learn about it—and put it to use now. You’ll be a more knowledgeable and successful grower as a result! Now that you are understanding water ppm for cannabis it’s time to get growing!

Marijuana Grow School Online

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