You’ve spent months growing your weed crop.
It’s now midway through the flowering stage, though, and your buds aren’t what you expected them to be. They’re small. They’re airy. They’re light. And they aren’t covered with glistening, sticky trichomes, either.
That’s obviously not great. But is there anything you can do about it?
Not always. Some weed strains, particularly sativas, are simply genetically programmed to produce heavier and denser buds, while others are going to produce smaller, lighter ones.
However, there are several ways to encourage your plants to “live their best life” and provide you with the bountiful, trichome-rich, heavy harvest you’ve been expecting. You can also take a dry flower and make it heavier and more enjoyable to smoke, too.
Here’s what to do.
“Making Weed Heavier”
A quick note before we proceed.
The phrase “making weed heavier” might refer to practices used by unscrupulous dealers (like spraying flowers with hazardous silicone spray) to artificially boost the weight of their product in order to charge more for it.
But there’s a legitimate reason to make weed heavier: maximizing the growth of large, potent buds allows them to deliver the psychoactive experience and medical benefits you expect.
That’s the definition of “making weed heavier” that we’re using here.
What Causes the Growth of “Light” Weed Buds?
We’ve already mentioned that you may simply be growing weed that’s predisposed to produce an airy, light flower. But that’s far from the only possible explanation.
You probably guessed we’re referring to the other meaning of “light.”
Insufficient amounts of light during the flowering stage won’t kill cannabis plants, but it will almost always reduce their yield — and that means the buds won’t be large, dense, and fully developed.
Conversely, too much light can also cause the development of light, airy buds. That’s less common, but it can happen if plants are situated too close to grow lights.
Ensuring that plants get the optimal 12 hours per day of direct light (that isn’t too close to them) will minimize the possibility of growing light weed.
Weed plants like the ideal temperature conditions, so heat can be a big problem for them while they’re flowering.
Once temperatures get above 85°, bud growth is likely to be inhibited. Not only will there be fewer colas, but they’ll be underdeveloped and much less dense and potent than they should be. In extreme cases, they may even turn hermaphrodite and begin producing seeds. Extreme cold can cause growth problems as well.
It’s difficult for anything to grow to its full size when it’s too crowded, and cannabis is no exception. Each of a plant’s large colas needs a few inches of space around it to allow proper airflow and growth. That’s the only way the buds can grow fat, dense and healthy.
Proper trimming and judicious defoliation of weed plants are essential for the growth of a heavy, potent flower.
Some plants thrive on the same type of fertilizer throughout their growth cycle. Marijuana plants are different; they require different ratios of nutrients during each stage of growth.
During the flowering stage, plants need less nitrogen, and more phosphorus and potassium. If the ratios aren’t right (and particularly if there’s too much nitrogen in the mix), the buds are likely to grow smaller, lighter, and looser.
Can You Make Your Weed’s Buds Heavier?
Paying attention to your plants’ needs as they grow will encourage the best possible development of their flowers. But there are other proactive steps you can take.
Maintain Proper Humidity Levels
As cannabis plants progress through the flowering stage, the relative humidity in their environment should be regularly reduced. Levels below 50% in the final month of flowering are essential for optimal bud growth and resin production; 45% or even lower are ideal in the last couple of weeks.
Prune Plants Regularly
We’ve briefly mentioned the importance of giving colas space in which they can thrive and grow. Removing dead or yellow leaves, as well as underdeveloped colas, will encourage the healthy buds to grow fatter and heavier.
It’s also smart to remove small stems and branches before the flowering stage begins, so plant energy isn’t diverted to producing buds in areas where they won’t grow well.
Repot When Necessary
Marijuana plants growing in pots are likely to outgrow them several times during their growth cycle. If their roots don’t have enough room to spread, nutrient uptake will suffer as will bud production.
Pay Close Attention to Water and Nutrients
We’ve mentioned the importance of adjusting nutrients during the flowering stage. Overwatering can also cause stunted plant growth and light, airy, underdeveloped buds.
Try “Bloom Boosters”
These supplements can be used in addition to regular nutrient mixes, to bolster plants’ normal growth processes and to provide the additional phosphorus and potassium needed to create large, healthy buds during flowering.
How to Make Dry Buds Heavier
Weed tends to dry out when it’s stored unless you’ve taken precautions to maintain optimal humidity levels. When it does, of course, it loses moisture content — and moisture provides much of the flower’s weight, not to mention its taste. Dry weed will also be less potent.
There are several ways to restore the dry herb’s moisture, causing the buds to become fatter and heavier.
- Add something damp to your stash container: some people use a damp (not sopping wet!) paper towel, others prefer using a damp piece of bread, and still others use a couple of damp lettuce leaves.
Put the flower in between pieces of the “moistener” for a few hours (it may take longer if the weed is really dry), and it should rehydrate. Just don’t let your bud get too wet, or it might start growing mold.
- Add fruit or aromatics to your stash container: An orange or lemon peel, or some moist herbs, will also contribute moisture and revitalize your light, dry weed. Many prefer to avoid this approach because it will add a different flavor to the flower, but that’s not always a bad thing.
And to ensure that your bud stays heavy and healthy, use humidity packs (Boveda is most people’s favorite) to maintain constant humidity in your stash jar.
How to Make Weed Heavier: FAQ
Q: Are there some strains to focus on to grow the heaviest buds?
A: There are a number that have been bred to produce large, dense buds. Some well-known ones to try: Bruce Banner #3, Big Bud (as you could probably guess from its name), Grape Ape, Skunk #1, Northern Lights, Durban Poison and White Widow.
Q: Can you do anything to optimize bud size and weight after harvest?
A: Yes, proper drying and curing of your plants will let the flower retain the proper amount of moisture while causing it to “tighten up” and become dense, heavy, potent and flavorful.