Why Is My Weed Weak? (And How to Fix It)
So you grew some cannabis, and unfortunately, it’s not as potent as you would have liked. Perhaps you aren’t getting much of an effect, or even worse you may be getting negative side effects like headaches or racing thoughts. There are a few reasons this happens and today I’m going to break it down so you grow marijuana with the potency and effects you’re looking for!
The biggest factors when it comes to cannabis potency are…
The number one contributor to potency is the strain you grow. Unfortunately, growing seeds from “strong” weed won’t always result in strong weed. In order to get consistent potency, it’s important to start with good genetics. Fortunately, there are many talented breeders who have stabilized specific strains so you can choose a strain that produces the effects and strength you’re looking for!
There are literally thousands of great strains, each with their own unique effects! However, I think my all-time favorite strain for pure potency is Sour Diesel by Reserva Privada (aka DNA Genetics).
It gives you a head rush; I almost had to put a warning on it!
2.) Harvested Too Early
Cannabis buds are not potent when they first grow in and need time to mature before they’re ready to harvest. Not only that, buds harvested too early are more likely to give you headaches or racing thoughts. It’s common for new growers to harvest their plants too early, and as a result, their buds will not be as strong as they could have been, or have unwanted side effects.
This bud was harvested too early, and as a result, the mental and physical effects were very weak!
3.) Didn’t Provide Enough Light
When a plant doesn’t get strong light levels during the flowering stage, it can result in small, airy buds that don’t have a strong effect.
Up to a point, more light is better! Some growers even combine more than one type of light, like this grower who combined both HPS and LED grow lights!
pic by NOCO GROWER
4.) Buds Dried Too Fast After Harvest
Buds need to be slow-dried for at least 2-3 days (and as much as 7-10 days) immediately after harvest for the best results in potency. This is step one of the post-harvest process. As a grower, if you pick a few buds early you’ll notice that the potency of a “live tested” bud is lower than buds that have been properly dried and cured.
5.) Buds Weren’t Cured for 2+ Weeks
After buds have been slow-dried, they should be put in airtight jars that are “burped” daily for at least 2 weeks. This process of storing newly dried bud in an airtight container while giving them periodic bursts of fresh air is called “curing”.
Curing reduces harshness and the “green” taste of newly dried buds, and curing also helps your bud regain its “cannabis smell” which tends to fade during the drying process. Make sure buds never feel moist, they should be dry!
Buds are not only smoother after curing, but they also feel more potent than before they were cured! Learn how to cure your cannabis like a professional.
Put freshly dried or “green” buds in glass mason jars to improve the quality
During the curing process you should open your jars daily, but otherwise, keep buds air-tight!
6.) Very Seedy Bud (Was Pollinated)
If your buds are exposed to pollen (either from a male plant or a hermie plant), then it can develop seeds in your buds. A few seeds aren’t going to have much effect on the overall potency of your buds, but very seedy bud that’s been heavily pollinated can sometimes be weak because the plant was putting more energy into making seeds than producing trichomes.
This is an example of a pollinated marijuana bud with a seed exposed
7.) Incorrect Ratio of THC to CBD
There are dozens if not hundreds of compounds in cannabis (some of the most common are cannabinoids and terpenes) that each change the overall effects of the bud. This means there’s more to potency than just strong vs weak. Different strains and buds have different effects.
For example, if you have a strain that is high in CBD, it will prevent the buds from having a psychedelic effect even if THC is there. Therefore, if you’re looking for a strong mental effect, it’s important to choose a strain that’s relatively low in CBD. On the flip side, high levels of CBD is very suitable for certain medical marijuana patients.
Learn about different cannabinoids as well as how to increase THC and increase CBD levels in your buds, so you get the effects you’re looking for.
Cannabis that feels “weak” usually either has low levels of THC and/or high levels of CBD
8.) Getting Used to Strain
If you’ve been enjoying the same strain for a while, especially if it’s also from the same harvest, the feeling of potency may start to lessen over time. If you don’t want to feel “messed up” that can be a good thing, but if you want to maximize the overall perceived potency and “strength” of your cannabis, you will get the best results by changing strains on a regular basis if possible.
If you’re consuming the same harvest for a while, it can start to feel less potent over time as your body gets used to the effects.
How to “Strengthen” Weed (Increase the Perceived Potency)
If you have weed that is “weak” there are a few things you can do. These aren’t miracle workers, but they can help make a difference in some cases, especially if your buds are fresh and/or you have a lot of it!
1.) If Buds Are Green or Wet…
If your bud is still bright green or wet, chances are it has been freshly harvested and is uncured. In this situation, drying and curing the bud properly can sometimes increase the perceived potency. As a bonus, the curing process can also increase the smoothness and smell of buds!
However, this is only effective if the problem is that your buds are fresh and weren’t dried and cured. It has a much smaller effect on buds that are already a few weeks old.
Example of fresh buds (they are very green, feel moist and look “plump”). These need to be dried and cured before they reach peak potency.
Here are those same buds after they’ve been dried and cured. They’ve sort of “tightened up” and appear less green. If buds already look like this, the curing process may have already happened. However, it can’t hurt to jar your buds anyway because poorly cured buds may still see improvement!
What to Do if Buds are Green or Wet
- Let buds dry slowly in the dark until they stop feeling wet
- Place buds in a glass mason jar and optionally add a Boveda 62 Humidipak (this will help automatically monitor the humidity for you)
- Open the jar daily for 2+ weeks.
Note: If the buds ever feel moist, leave the lids off for an hour until buds feel dry, then continue curing. This prevents mold or bacteria from growing.
Curing your buds in jars with Boveda 62 packs can help improve smoothness, taste, smell and potency if your buds are weak because they were freshly harvested
2.) Turn Some Bud Into Hash & Mix with Your Weed
Turning some of your buds into hash can be a really good solution if you had a really big harvest and the buds ended up being less potent than you hoped.
This technique is most effective if you have a lot of bud, because you want a good amount of bud to turn some of it into hash. One of my favorite ways to get hash is the dry ice method, because this wastes far less cannabis than most other methods, so you end up with the biggest yields in the end.
With dry ice hash, you put your buds in a specialized bag with dry ice. The dry ice freezes the trichomes off the buds, and if you shake the bag all the trichomes/hash spills out the bottom, leaving all the inert material behind. This is one of the highest-yielding methods for making hash!
Once you make hash from some of your buds, you can then mix it and/or sprinkle it over your remaining buds. This will dramatically increase the potency of the buds that get augmented this way. You’re basically extracting the “good stuff” from some of your weak buds, then using it to increase the potency of the rest.
Sprinkle hash on your remaining buds to dramatically increase their actual potency!
3.) Turn Into Edibles or Canna Caps
During the process of making magic butter or canna caps, you usually extract all the good stuff from cannabis, just like making hash. This allows you to make edibles that are a lot more concentrated. You can also increase the effects of edibles simply by eating more.
Making edibles is usually easier if you have a lot of bud to work with, but there are some methods like Firecrackers that allow you to get decent results with relatively small amounts of weed.
Turning buds into canna caps lets you take as many caps as you need to get the effect you want
4.) Use a More Efficient Delivery System
The least efficient ways of consuming cannabis are joints/blunts and pipes, which also happen to be the most popular. These methods use more cannabis to get the same effect compared to a more efficient delivery system.
Joint or Blunt
These can be great for many situations, but if you’re trying to get the most out of your cannabis, it may not be the best choice. Joints and blunts waste cannabis smoke whenever someone isn’t actively inhaling, so you end up getting less effects from your buds than you could have.
Joint or Blunt – Not very efficient consumption method
pic by Psychonaught
A regular pipe is more efficient than a joint or blunt when it comes to reducing smoke loss. However, I personally don’t care for most pipes because they can be harsh on your throat, and it’s easy to end up with ash in your mouth!
Pipe – a bit more efficient at cannabis consumption
Water Pipe, Bong or Gravity Bong
With a water pipe or bong you waste less smoke than with a pipe because they generally hold the smoke within the device itself until you breathe it out. With some practice that means you can use every last bit of smoke.
Additionally, when the smoke goes through the water, it cools the smoke and filters out tar without affecting the potency of the smoke (since THC doesn’t bind to water). As a result, buds smoked out of a water pipe taste better and are easier on your throat than a joint or pipe. The more water the smoke has to filter through, the greater the effect, which is why you sometimes see water pipes with many elaborate water chambers 🙂
Water Pipes, Bongs and Gravity Bongs – much more efficient that pipes, joints or blunts
Vaporizing your cannabis is probably the most effective way to get “every last bit” but is less hard-hitting and takes longer for effects to take hold than smoking. A bonus of vaping is you can take your already-vaped-buds and use them to make edibles, so you get a second use out of your buds.
Vaporizing – Most efficient consumption method, and you can use the buds a second time by taking the vaped buds and turning them into edibles
5.) Grind Buds That Are Whole
I know it doesn’t seem like it would make much difference to grind your buds vs breaking it up with your fingers, but it really does make a difference if you’re working with whole nugs. Weed at least feels more strong when it’s smoked or vaped with the consistency of ground bud (which looks like loose flecks or the “shake” that falls to the bottom of the bag). If I had to put it in numbers I’d say it adds 10% onto the perceived potency over breaking up whole bud with your fingers. It makes the most dramatic difference if you’re working with very dense cannabis that’s hard to break up.
I hope this article has given you some ideas for what to do if your marijuana is weaker than you’d like! And read our basics tutorial if you want to learn how to grow your own cannabis, so you get top-quality bud every time! If I missed anything, don’t hesitate to contact us!
How to Store Weed Properly (so it never loses smell or potency!)
Why Is My Weed Weak? (And How to Fix It) So you grew some cannabis, and unfortunately, it’s not as potent as you would have liked. Perhaps you aren’t getting much of an effect, or even worse you
How to Make Highly Potent Cannabis Butter
You only need a few basic ingredients like salted butter, tap water, and of course, a good amount of trimmings, buds, or a mix of both. Learn how to make your own cannabutter!
When harvest day is on the rise, a sense of excitement lies in the air. We invest a lot of time, money, and love, to guarantee ideal conditions for our precious plants. Let’s be honest, as soon as trichomes begin to change in colour, most of us get nervous and can’t wait to manicure, dry and cure.
First step after harvesting is trimming. This can be a delightful thing to do. After countless hours of being highly concentrated on trimming like an artist, following question might arises:
What to do with the large amounts of trim and lower grade buds?
It’s only logical for us to use all the THC and other cannabinoids, provided by our plants. One way of using our trim is producing delicious and potent cannabis butter. This blog will walk you through the step-by-step process of making butter, using the “long simmering method”. If you are really interested in producing a butter that is strong, delicious and perfectly natural, then look no further and try this recipe. Let’s cook!
INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT
- 28g of cured trimmings (preferably the small, sugary bud leaves)
- 14g of cannabis blossoms (choose the quality you like)
- 250g of salted butter (salted butter = higher melting point)
- 300ml of tap water (plus approximately 50ml for every hour of simmering)
- 1x cooking pot (pan works fine)
- 1x sharp knife (for fast results use kitchen blender)
- 1x stove (camping cooker can be a mobile option)
- 1x cheese cloth (a fine kitchen sieve , or any kind of finer mesh material does the job)
- Storage containers (glasses look very nice, plastic can also be used)
- Anything from 8-24 hours of your time (due to the long-simmering at low heat)
– Disclaimer: you experiment at your own risk –
This recipe is meant to produce very potent butter. It uses 28g grams of sugary bud leaves, together with 14 grams of buds. The trimmings and buds are a blend of two different strains, one being indica-dominant, with strong Afghani influences, and Cheese. The raw material has been cured in jars for 14 days.
If this is your first time making cannabis butter, you might want to use substantially less raw material and experiment with lower amounts of trim and bud.
Producing cannabis butter always involves the risk of doing an excellent job, and ending up with a product that is very potent. Be responsible and slowly work your way up until you reached the desired effect. Sometimes it takes up to 3 hours until you feel anything. Wait a long time-span before eating more. There is the potential risk of throwing up and having a bad trip full of self-doubt, anxiety and paranoia. Try to relax when you ate too much, you feel better the next morning.
Do not operate any heavy machinery, including cars when being under the influence of cannabis butter. The effect can last up to 8 hours and has a strong influence on your skills, necessary to operate any kind of machinery. You might end up having problems operating a microwave.
STAGE 1 – FIND A PLACE TO COOK, BUY INGREDIENTS, CHOP UP RAW MATERIAL
Think of the delicious but risky smell when choosing a location to produce your butter. Depending on the quantities you want to produce, smell can be a small issue. It’s always present when making cannabis butter but can be reduced by a good airflow in your kitchen. Another option is making a rather smelly type of food while making butter at the same time. This can help to camouflage up the smell.
Chop up your trimmings and lower grade buds.
You can use a kitchen blender if you’re not willing to use a sharp kitchen knife. What you aim for is a nice blend of trimmings, combined with buds of the quality you prefer. It makes sense to use the airy and fluffy ones from lower branches. If you aim for higher or lower potency, you can increase or decrease the amount of buds. You can get very good results by just using trimmings to be honest.
STAGE 2 – MELT YOUR BUTTER
Before we dive into baking, we’ll need to decarboxylate our cannabis. This converts non-bioavailable cannabinoids like THCa and CBDa into THC and CBD, which are then bioavailable. This means that when eaten, they readily work their wondrous effects.
Preheat an oven to somewhere between 104°C and 113°C. As the oven heats, grind your weed and place it in an oven safe container, made out of glass or ceramic. When the oven is ready, bake your weed for 30–40 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t forget about it!
Once it’s done, remove your weed from the oven and place it on the counter to cool off.
STAGE 3 – ADD YOUR RAW MATERIAL AND LET IT SIMMER
This recipe was tested by letting the mix simmer for 8 hours. If you are aiming for extreme potency, you can let your butter simmer for up to 24 hours. When you have enough time for that, do it!
After creating your blend of butter and water, you can go ahead and mix in your trim.
What follows is a simmering of your mixture at very low temperatures. By not putting a lid on the pot, we allow the water vapour to leave our mixture. Heat can escape our pot/pan, too. The 300ml of water, we added at the beginning, will turn into water vapour over time but the butter will stay in our mixture. This is very important because we still need the butter at the end. The butter is our carrier material for cannbinoids and THC, and therefore must be protected from too much heat and evaporation.
When checking for the right temperature. You need to closely monitor the surface of your mixture. Do you see tiny bubbles forming at the surface? They are an indicator for being within the right temperature range. These small bubbles are only a few millimeter in size and differ from the bubbles, caused from cooking at high temperatures.
Here is a picture of the small bubbles you are aiming for.
You also need to check if the amount of water is sufficient to submerge all the raw material. This is important to get the highest amount of THC and cannabinoids possible. It’s natural to add between 50-100ml of water every hour due to evaporation.
After 8 hours of low simmering most of your work is done. You still need to filter the mixture to separate any raw material from your butter. Your mixture should be dark in colour by now, similar to the one in this picture.
STAGE 4 – FILTER THE MIX, FILL IT INTO CONTAINERS, COOL DOWN
If you want to give your premium product a high-class packaging, you can use all kinds of different glasses. Big Swedish furniture stores often have a nice selection of curing jars and smaller glass containers that can be used.
Filter your mixture through a cheese cloth, or any other kind of material that separates the raw material from the butter. Fill the liquid into the desired container and place it into your fridge. After a few hours of cooling down, you can simply take the butter from the surface, leaving a brown liquid behind.
Your final product is most likely to look anything like this. You can see that the colour of the mixture is dark brownish while being in its liquid form. After separating the brown water from the butter, you will see what you skillfully created, a pile full of highly potent green deliciousness. Have fun experimenting with this recipe and remember to be careful. Don’t be the guy who ate too much!
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 STRAINS TO USE WHEN CRAFTING YOUR OWN BATCH OF CANNABUTTER.
White Widow is a celebrity of the cannabis world, and it has truly earned its distinction. This award-winning strain is thought to have originated as a sativa landrace from Brazil, which was then pollinated by an indica hybrid from South India. Regardless of its true origins, the first ever account of White Widow cultivated by man occurred in the Netherlands. White Widow is a superb strain to select when making cannabutter. A THC level of 19% and a fine balance between 50% indica genetics and 50% sativa mean that the high will be well-rounded, targeting the body and mind simultaneously. The head high is productive and motivating, whilst the body high is stoning and calming. White Widow is also renowned for her delicious notes of earth and pine, which will add serious flavour to your cannabutter.
White Widow provides good yields both indoors and outdoors, offering enough plant material for big batches of cannabutter. Indoor plants churn out 450–500g/m² and grow to heights of 100cm. Outdoor plants offer yields of 550–600g/plant and grow to heights of 190cm. White Widow has a flowering time of 8–9 weeks.
This recipe uses the “long simmering method” to produce highly potent cannabutter. It’s not the fastest way but leads to superior quality.