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Growing top-shelf marijuana is the holy grail of horticultural pleasures. To grow top shelf bud is a craft that can be attained by following certain growing techniques and guidelines.

To help you grow the best cannabis, we have compiled a list of eight highly successful growing tips. Follow these – and you’ll be harvesting top shelf bud with your next harvest!

1. Quality Genetics for Growing Top Shelf Buds

By growing only with feminized and quality genetics from the get-go, you’re sure to get the effects and appearance you want from your buds at the end of the growth cycle. Even though other factors such as your growing skills may make a huge difference, a cannabis plants' genes can’t be overcome.

If you want top shelf buds that are potent and dense, you need the right genetics in place. You can use quality clones or feminized seeds to eventually harvest the best.

2. Let there be Light and Top Shelf Indoor Cannabis

Your plant has the potential to produce top shelf flower, however, if your lights and light schedule is underpowered or unorganized, you won’t end up with the best weed. Use powerful and highly effective cannabis grow lights like HPS, LECs or LEDs to produce the best quality buds. Keep in mind the square footage ratio between your plant space and the light wattage.

For example, in an average medium sized growing tent, you will do well with a 1000 wattage LED light to cover the spectrum that your plants need. In vegetive stage, give your plants all the light you possibly can. When switching to flowering stage, you need to adjust the light schedule to twelve hours dark and light, respectively.

3. Proper Nutrient Use for Growing Top Shelf Marijuana

Up close of top shelf marijuana bud.

To increase bud quality and be the proud farmer of top-shelf cannabis buds, you need to make sure you’re giving your plant the correct nutrients in all stages of growth. Below is a list of the three most important nutrients to use:

• Nitrogen (N)

Your cannabis plants need a lot of Nitrogen for vegetative growth, but doesn’t need as much for quality bud production. Give it a lot during the first stage, then lower the dose during flowering.

• Plenty of Phosphorus (P)

Phosphorus is very important for the development of your top shelf flowers. Feeding your plants with phosphorous during the flowering stage will deliver more top shelf buds.

• Potassium (K)

The element of Potassium is often overlooked. Providing your cannabis plants with a good and steady source of Potassium will increase the size and density of each individual top shelf flower.

Keep in mind that in general, keeping nutrient levels low closer to harvesting is important for means of clearing the buds of any unwanted smokables, but if you want to grow top shelf bud, make sure that you properly feed your ladies during all stages of growth.

4. Temperature and Humidity Control for Top Shelf Bud Quality

If you want to grow top shelf strains, you need to maintain and manage your temperatures. Daytime temperatures around 65-80°F (18-26°C) are ideal. However, if you’re using CO2, most growers recommend you back off and bring the temps down to 65-80°F for the last two weeks before harvest.

Night temperatures should ideally be kept around 68-75°F (20°-24°C). You definitely want to steer clear of the possibility of bud rot, which thrives in the 60°F (15°C) range. And if you’re growing a strain that turns colour, keep in mind that some of these strains will only show their true colours when night temperatures are lessened by a few degrees.

5. Let the Air Flow Free When Growing Top Shelf Bud

Another important aspect to growing top shelf cannabis is air quality. This is additional to temperature and humidity control. Good air flow and ventilation are essential. With 3 to 4 plants, you’re fine with an oscillating fan or two.

When growing more than 4 plants, and have hot lights shining, you’ll need a more improved system to ensure proper airflow. You can easily build your own ventilation system with a few outgoing pipes and more fans. You can also add oxygen manually with an oxygen pump.

6. Harvesting your Top Shelf Buds

For a lot of cannabis cultivators, harvesting can be one of the trickiest things to do correctly. Flowering cannabis plants start to smell better and appear better prepared for harvesting when they aren’t quite there yet. It is easy to harvest marijuana plants before they are ready and there is a tiny two or three week time that is the right spot to harvest your weed during.

Remember, harvesting weed before it is ready can result in ruining your crop to be.  Harvest only when the bud hairs mostly gone brown and you can clearly see the ripened terpenes and trichomes.

7. Drying Top Shelf Bud like a Pro

Growing methods are important, but so is harvesting. In fact, what you do during and after harvest, including drying/curing, is pivotal to the production of high quality cannabis. Drying/curing the right way will produce denser and more potent bud altogether.

The trick is to dry your buds slowly and patiently and then curing them in glass mason jars for 2-4+ weeks. After harvesting, hang your trimmed cannabis plants upside down in a moderate temperature clean and well-ventilated are and allow them to dry for 5 – 10 days. Drying your weed too fast will result in them being harsh and smelling like sod that has just been mowed.

A good way to keep your cannabis plants from drying too quickly, is to trim the branches only after they’ve been dried. You can also decide to trim your buds before you dry them. The cannabis can then be hung or put on a rack to dry them.

We recommend leaving on as much stem as you can as it slows the drying process, and is easy to remove later. Try to dry your cannabis as long as possible, somewhere between five or ten days.

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8. Proper Curing for Top Shelf Buds

After the cannabis has been dried the last part left if to cure it. This part largely contributes to the delicious flavor and scent of top shelf bud. Curing of cannabis can be accomplished by storing them in an airtight container for a minimum of two to three weeks, ideally about a month.

While curing your weed the cannabis can be periodically opened and the weed inside can be shuffled around to help the cannabis to ‘rid themselves of any leftover chemicals, while also preventing mold from forming on your precious top shelf marijuana flowers!

Learn more about growing top shelf buds in our award-winning how to grow weed online cannabis certification courses.

Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

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