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10 Important Master Grower Practices to Produce Quality Cannabis Products as per Health Canada’s Standards

Choosing the right genetics

The beginning of the growing process starts with a seed and choosing the right genetics that is suitable for your goals and growing environment is the first step for successful growth. Plant genetics play a massive role in the flavor, yield, and characteristics of the plant, and seed selection is, therefore, a crucial part of the growing process as it is the biggest influence on the final product.

Using the optimal growing medium

There are many substrates to use for growing cannabis and choosing the right one depends on what type of growing method is being used as well as the preferences of the grower. Some methods, such as hydroponics, do not require any growing media at all. When choosing soil, is it important to look for ones with a light texture, good water drainage and retention, optimal pH, and appropriate nutrient content.

Using proper nutrients

Lighting is one of the most important parts of any growing operation and the more light, the better. Determining the best light is about finding a balance between yield and cost/energy usage. Popular lights used today are CFL lights, HID lights, and LED lights.

Achieving the perfect grow climate

Temperature and humidity are the two most important variables for achieving the perfect growth climate. Both must be optimised for healthy growth, however, the optimal values for each depend on the growing stage of the plants.

Frequency of watering

Incorrect watering is one of the most common mistakes when growing cannabis. Watering too frequently leads to all sorts of problems, from mould and fungus to root rot and nutrient lockout. Underwatering dehydrates your plant and stunts healthy growth. Water less frequently so the soil can dry out between sessions. Underwatering cannabis is less of a problem. Should a plant temporarily droop from being thirsty, it will usually recover within hours once watered.

Frequency of Watering

Drying and Curing

Training plants

Plant training techniques such as pruning, topping, and low stress training can be very beneficial. If you are growing indoors, these techniques can optimise available space for increased yields. Plant training also means more light can reach more budding areas and therefore should give you bigger buds.

Harvesting at the best times

You want to harvest at the right time. Not too early because you want your buds to mature to their full size, potency, and flavour, but also not too late, since the potency will at some point start to degrade. You know harvest time is near when some of the leaves on your plant have turned yellow and the pistils have turned from white to a red/orange or brown. The trichomes also change color to indicate when the buds are ready. Clear trichomes mean the plant is not ready. Milky trichomes mean cannabinoid production is reaching its maximum and when some of the trichomes turn amber or brown it means this is a good time to harvest.

Drying and curing

Drying and curing are important aspects in producing cannabis products. Properly drying and curing allows the buds to fully develop their potency, aroma, and flavor. After harvesting and trimming, hang your buds in a dark room with the appropriate temperature, humidity, and air circulation. You want to dry your buds slowly for best results, which will take anywhere from 5–15 days. When your buds have dried, place them in mason jars with lids. Fill the jars about ¾ of the way so there is room left for some air. Place the jars in a dark environment at the proper temperature and humidity levels. As your buds cure, make sure to check on them daily. Open the lid every day and let your buds breathe. The curing process can take anywhere from 4–8 weeks and beyond. The process and exact specifications of drying and curing will differ for different growers and different plant types. Master growers perform and modify these processes based on their own experiences in attempting to achieve the best possible results.

At NACPT Pharma College, we have worked hard with both the Canadian government and cannabis industry experts to fill the need of educating those who wish to have a successful career as cannabis Quality Assurance Person (QAP).

For those interested in learning more about Cannabis Master Grower Practices we invite you to attend the webinars

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