If you are a careful person, we can safely assume you wash raw veggies and fruits before consuming them. Whatever you buy from a vendor or grow in your backyard – the first step is to clean them.
And guess what? Your weed buds are no exception to this rule. Before you dry your weed buds, you need to clean them up nicely to avoid anything harmful lingering there.
To some people, this may sound like a bizarre idea. Is it necessary to wash your buds after spending so much time growing them? Many marijuana growers are very doubtful of the idea, and are confused about How To Clean Your Buds.
So let’s discuss cannabis bud washing techniques! We will explore its benefits and methods to do it.
About Bud Washing
Bud washing is not too complicated to understand – dip your freshly harvested marijuana buds in the water to clean them up. Although it might sound strange at first, bud washing is slowly becoming a phenomenon in the marijuana industry.
Your customers want their weed – but safely. They don’t want to consume the dirt, bacteria, dust particles, and other harmful substances sticking to these unwashed weed buds.
Many growers are concerned about one thing when considering bud washing – how will it affect the quality of the product? Won’t the water wash away the precious trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids? Will that not affect the resulting potency and flavor of the product?
The answer to these questions is a comforting ‘no.’ Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are hydrophobic and fat-soluble, so water is no danger to them. And those beautiful trichomes are locked in a sticky resin so water won’t be able to wash them away.
It can feel a little troublesome to include an extra step in the process after doing so much already, but this extra step only improves the quality of your weed. So let’s explore some best ways to do it!
Best Practices for Washing Marijuana Buds
Washing buds can be crucial to eliminate contaminants, enhance taste, and ensure the safety of the final product.
Here are some best practices for washing marijuana buds. Next, we’ll show you exactly how to wash your buds, step by step.
Why Wash Marijuana Buds?
Before diving into the practices, it’s important to understand why washing is essential:
- Contaminant Removal: Buds are exposed to dust, soil, bugs, and other environmental pollutants during their growth cycle.
- Mold Prevention: Buds, especially those grown in humid conditions, are susceptible to mold. Washing can help mitigate this.
- Improved Aesthetics and Taste: Clean buds often have a better appearance, aroma, and flavor.
The Best Practices for Washing Buds:
- Choose the Right Solution: The most commonly used solution is a mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Some growers also add baking soda to enhance the cleaning process, given its natural abrasive and alkaline properties.
- Prepare Your Wash Stations: Ideally, you should have three buckets – one for the peroxide wash, a second for the initial rinse, and a third for the final rinse.
- Washing Technique: Gently submerge the buds in the peroxide solution. Swirl them around gently, ensuring the solution reaches all parts. Avoid aggressive agitation as this can damage the trichomes.
- Rinsing is Crucial: After the peroxide wash, rinse the buds in two stages: first in the initial rinse bucket and then in the final rinse bucket. Use distilled or purified water to prevent further contamination.
- Dry Promptly and Thoroughly: After washing, hang the buds in a well-ventilated area. Ensure they are completely dry before storing or curing to prevent mold growth. Using fans can speed up the process, but make sure they don’t directly blow onto the buds, which can cause damage.
- Monitor Concentrations: If using hydrogen peroxide, stick to the 3% solution. A stronger concentration might harm the buds.
- Test a Small Batch: Especially if you’re new to bud washing, test the process on a small batch first to ensure you get the desired results.
Post-Washing Best Practices:
- Curing is Key: Proper curing after washing is crucial. Store the buds in a cool, dark place and use airtight jars for curing. Ensure the jars are opened regularly for the first few weeks to allow any moisture to escape and fresh air to enter.
- Stay Informed: As the cannabis industry evolves, new techniques and best practices emerge. Stay updated with the latest research and methodologies.
By adhering to the best practices outlined above, cultivators can ensure they produce clean, potent, and flavorful marijuana. It’s a simple yet effective step to elevate the cannabis experience for consumers.
Cleaning Cannabis Buds
To wash healthy cannabis buds correctly, we will follow the steps of the 3 bucket method. So let’s start by preparing a cleaning solution that won’t harm your weed buds.
Preparing the Solution
While you can use water for cleaning the buds, they don’t ensure that your goal (clean buds) is met. Using various solutions ensures that the weed buds get clean.
There are 3 solutions that you can use for the same:
Baking soda and lemon –
Acidic lemons and alkaline baking soda clean your buds in a balanced way without harsh chemicals.
Hydrogen Peroxide (diluted) –
Hydrogen peroxide has strong cleaning properties, and many people keep it in their homes for the same reasons. Use it in small concentrations to kill microbes and bacteria lingering on your weed buds.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) water –
Tap water can help remove the external dust and debris containing chemicals like fluoride and chlorine. RO (reverse osmosis) water can remove these unwanted, small molecules from the weed beds.
How to Wash Marijuana Buds
Before you can start bud washing, here are the things you will need:
- Three plastic buckets to submerge the buds
- Baking soda and lemon juice
- RO (reverse osmosis) water
Fill the first bucket with 15 liters of lukewarm RO (reverse osmosis) water. Now, mix 30 spoons of baking soda and 30 spoons of lemon juice into the water.
Fill the second bucket with cold tap water and pour RO (reverse osmosis) water into the third bucket for the final cleansing.
Now take a branch of the buds, gently dip it in the solution’s bucket, and swirl it around it for about 30 seconds.
Now take that bench and dip it in the second bucket containing the cold tap water for the second round of cleansing. This will help wash off the solution and the debris from the buds.
For the final step, take the branch and swirl it around in the RO (reverse osmosis) water for 30 seconds. This final round of rinsing will ensure all forms of contamination are washed away from cannabis buds.
Simple repeat steps 1 through 4 with all remaining branches to clean all your cannabis buds thoroughly.
Drying the Buds
Cannabis buds are highly vulnerable to molds. After washing, hang your buds to dry right away, without any delay.
The bud drying process is essential and not something you can be lenient with. Hang your buds to dry in a place where it is windy enough to help speed up the process.
Hanging them outdoors is a great idea – but if you want to dry them indoors, make sure your fan is on a high. Once all the water evaporates, you can turn the fan at average speed.
Ensure the place isn’t too humid and there is enough ventilation. Make sure the humidity stays between 45-55% for optimum results. The complete drying of cannabis buds takes about 2-3 weeks.
To make the complete process more efficient and successful, avoid hanging the branches too close or touching each other. If branches/buds come in close contact, it can increase the relative humidity among them and cause rotting.
Washing Buds in Peroxide: Why It’s One of the More Effective Methods to Bud Wash
Hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic, can help eliminate these potential contaminants, ensuring that the final product is as clean as possible. It’s a great way to bud wash.
- Mold and Mildew Removal: Mold and mildew can ruin an entire crop if not addressed. Peroxide can effectively neutralize these contaminants, preventing potential health hazards for consumers.
- Pest Elimination: While cultivation practices can reduce pests, some might still find their way to the buds. Washing with peroxide ensures any lingering pests are eradicated.
- Improved Taste and Smell: By removing contaminants, growers often find that the inherent taste and aroma of the cannabis are enhanced.
- Preparation: Begin with a mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and cold water. The recommended ratio is one cup of hydrogen peroxide to five gallons of water, but this can be adjusted based on the quantity of buds.
- Submerging the Buds: Gently submerge your harvested buds in the solution, ensuring they’re fully covered. Swirl the buds gently to help the solution access all areas.
- Rinsing: After soaking the buds for a few minutes, remove them from the peroxide solution and rinse thoroughly with cold, distilled water. This step is crucial to eliminate any residual peroxide.
- Drying: Post-rinse, hang the buds to dry in a well-ventilated area. Ensure they’re completely dry before moving on to the curing process.
- Concentration Matters: Ensure you’re using 3% hydrogen peroxide, as stronger solutions can harm the buds.
- Monitor the Time: Over-soaking can lead to degradation of the buds. It’s essential to immerse them only for a few minutes.
- Rinse Thoroughly: Any residual peroxide can affect the taste and safety of the buds. Ensure a thorough rinse after washing.
- Use Distilled Water: To prevent further contamination, always rinse with distilled or purified water.
Washing buds in peroxide is a method that can enhance the quality of the harvest by eliminating contaminants. However, like all processes, it demands precision and care.
By adhering to the recommended guidelines and safety measures, cultivators can ensure that they’re delivering a cleaner, purer product to the market.
What About Washing Buds in Peroxide and Baking Soda?
Want to up this methods cleaning factor? Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, when combined with hydrogen peroxide, can enhance the washing process due to its natural abrasive and alkaline properties.
The mild abrasiveness of baking soda can help dislodge particles and contaminants from the surface of the buds more effectively.
Furthermore, its alkaline nature can neutralize acidic residues, potentially preventing mold growth and enhancing the removal of certain organic compounds.
When used together, the combination of baking soda and peroxide can offer a more thorough and effective cleanse, ensuring the purity and safety of the final product.
To summarize – benefits of adding baking soda to your bud wash:
- Natural Abrasive Property: Baking soda’s mild abrasiveness helps dislodge particles and contaminants effectively from bud surfaces.
- Alkaline Nature: Baking soda’s alkalinity can neutralize acidic residues, potentially deterring mold growth.
- Enhanced Removal: Together, baking soda and peroxide can effectively remove certain organic compounds from the buds.
- Thorough Cleanse: The combination ensures a more comprehensive and efficient cleansing process, promoting purity and safety of the final product.
While many people might want to skip the cannabis washing part, this is essential in producing high-quality products. Instead of reducing the potency of the weed, washing can ensure high quality and safe consumption for customers.
Moreover, the trichomes, cannabinoids, oils, and other elements found in marijuana aren’t soluble in water. Hence, the fear that the quality of your product might decrease is not something to worry about.
Also, have you considered the possibilities in case you don’t wash your buds? What if some microbes had infested your plants? Have some insects been feeding on some parts of it?
If some insects or bugs have fed upon your plant, they can leave nasty residues. It could lead to some dangerous side effects for consumers.
Owing to the benefits and precautions, many weed growers take up bud washing as part of the process. Sure, it’s some extra time and patience, but the results are fantastic.