How to Boost Cannabis Terpene Levels with LED Grow Lights
Posted on August 06 2018
Although many cannabis growers are usually focused on maximizing their yields, some people prefer to keep an eye on the flavor and aroma of their buds. If you prefer stronger smelling and pungent marijuana, you have terpenoids and terpenes to thank.
Here are some extra tips you can use to boost the character of your buds even more.
Among about 400 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, terpenes play the key role in creating a specific smell and taste of a particular cannabis strain. In fact, terpenes and cannabinoids work together to contribute to the overall effects produced by the various strains of cannabis. Thus, before you get to know how to boost your cannabis terpene levels with LED grow lights, you should learn some facts about terpenes in the first place.
What are Terpenes?
When looking closely at your crops, you’ll notice the buds are covered with the layer of crystal resin, called trichomes. Generally speaking, trichomes is where terpenes are synthesized. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavor of the cannabis plant, which means they define the organoleptic profile of your cannabis strain. In fact, terpenes are found in all plants and many fruits and vegetables. If you are familiar with essential oils, then you are familar with terpenes.
These volatile molecules found in cannabis evaporate easily. Terpenes not only contribute to the taste and flavor of your buds, but also to the overall effects of a particular strain. They show an abundance of health-improving features, including anti-inflammatory, relaxing, anti-anxiety properties.
Effects of LED Grow Lights on Terpene Levels
Certain types of high-quality growing lights may be associated with higher levels of terpenes in cannabis. Many growers claim good LEDs may increase the fragrant molecule production. However, not many scientific studies have been conducted in this field.
One study focused on the effects of using LEDs combined with CO2 on the levels of terpenes in the roots. Researchers focused on two different light spectra: red-blue 6:4 and red-blue 8:2.
What was the conclusion?
As it turns out, the combination of 80% red and 20% blue was beneficial for the terpene production. Some high-quality LED lighting systems may be manipulated when it comes to the light spectrum.
If you play with a red-blue ratio in the right way, you may actually be able to maximize levels of terpenes. Some growers claim changing the ratio of red to blue light from 8:2 to 6:4 or at least 7:3 for the last 14 days of the flowering stage will cause the blue light to boost your terpenes.
When it comes to growing more potent cannabis, using LED lighting may actually be beneficial, as these systems lead to cooler temperatures in the grow room. This, in turn, contributes to boosting terpene levels in your crops. Keep in mind, higher temperatures can lead to the degradation of these sensitive molecules; therefore, LED lighting systems are best in preserving what’s important for the quality of your plants.
Another study found that a “no-red” light treatment during the last three days of the flowering stage can increase the level of terpenes in the plant.
Finally, consider using LED grow lights with UV-emitting diodes to achieve the highest terpene concentration. Studies have shown UV light boosts the production of essential oils in different plants.
How to Increase Terpene Levels with LEDs: Conclusion
As you can see, you can easily boost terpene levels in your crops with various red or blue LED arrangements in different growth stages. These lighting systems induce lower temperatures than other options and outperform others in terms of increasing terpene levels; moreover, deciding on the blue to the red ratio of 8:2 for the last two weeks, then switching to “no-red” light treatment for the last three days of the flowering stage, may provide you with more fragrant and potent buds.
Although there are more methods of boosting the potency of your crops, with this knowledge in hand, you should be on a good way to making sure your crops are not only powerful but also fragrant and tasty.