As its name suggests, bud washing is the process of rinsing your freshly harvested buds until they’re clean.
Washing your marijuana buds
You don’t need to do it, but washing buds helps remove any dust, spores, or pesticides that bring down the quality of marijuana.
Should you wash your buds after harvest?
It depends. If you’re growing cannabis in a sterile environment of an indoor grow room, there’s a low chance that your plants will get dirt, pests, or mold on their buds which means bud washing wouldn’t be as important for you to do since there would be nothing to rinse out.
However, despite the low odds of your indoor garden getting contaminated, it’s never a guarantee that it won’t happen.
When contamination does occur, bud washing does become necessary to ensure the quality of the finished product.
For outdoor growing, where the wind can kick up dust and dirt onto your plants’ flowers, bud washing should be an important part of your post-harvest process if you want to improve the taste and smoothness of your cannabis buds.
Outside of cleaning your buds of dirt and dust, bud washing can also be used as an alternative to pesticides if you find insects on the flowers of your plant as you’re about to harvest them.
The most common insect that you can miss is spider mites, which are small, undetectable insects known to develop large colonies quickly.
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The act of bud washing spider mites has the benefit of removing the insects without the use of pesticides, ensuring that your buds are clean and all-natural.
However, washing your cannabis buds does prolong the curing process and, in most cases, greatly affects their appearance, which makes them less appealing to consumers.
The pros and cons of bud washing
|Improved flavor and smell||Longer drying period|
|Smoother smoker||Reduced bag appeal|
|Cleaner finished product||Increased risk of damage|
Why is bud washing important?
The reason why bud washing is important is that it’s one of the only methods you can use to remove powdery mildew and mold spores from your buds without using pesticides.
It’s vital to ensure that the buds are clean before curing them. Having traces of dirt, chemicals, or fungi can make smoking your cannabis buds unpleasant and harsh since their presence affects the flavor and fragrance.
In particular, the residual chemicals leftover from using pesticides can greatly ruin the taste of your buds.
Any time you apply any chemical agent to your plants, it’s essential to follow up by adding bud washing to your post-harvest process.
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Before harvest, though, you can flush your cannabis plants to improve the buds’ flavor by removing the bad chemical aftertaste that you can sometimes get from the buds.
You can combine flushing with bud washing since it’s ideally done two weeks before harvesting.
By applying both practices to your cannabis garden, you can end up with high-quality buds with no bad chemical aftertaste.
However, if you know how to grow cannabis correctly, you wouldn’t need to wash your buds.
If you want to grow like a pro and avoid dirt and other contaminants finding their way into your cannabis plants, download my free Grow Bible. This handy guide helps new growers cultivate weed the right way.
What you’ll need to wash your buds
You’ll need three large buckets for submerging your buds in water. The recommended size for the buckets is 10 liters (10L).
Once you have your buckets, you need to fill the first one with lukewarm water and mix in a cup of lemon juice and baking soda while leaving the other two buckets with just plain water.
Do note that the amount of baking soda and lemon juice is proportional to the size of the buckets you’ll be using.
Instead, you can try to wash your buds with hydrogen peroxide if you don’t have baking soda and lemon juice on hand. It’s safe, and it won’t affect the flavor of your buds.
Five simple steps for washing buds
Step 1: Harvest and trim your buds
With pruning shears in hand, remove the buds from your plants. Cut far enough away from the buds to have something to hold onto once you decide to trim.
I suggest trimming them now rather than later since it would make washing your buds much easier.
Step 2: Dip into bucket 1
Submerge your buds into the first bucket with the lemon juice and baking soda mix or the diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.
With your buds submerged, stir them to get more of the dirt and grime off. Afterward, remove the buds from the solution and shake off the excess before moving to the next bucket.
Step 3: Rinse in bucket 2
Now that you’ve removed most of the grime from your buds, use the second bucket to rinse off any remaining contaminants.
Doing this also dilutes the first solution that you used to wash your buds.
Step 4: Final rinse in bucket 3
The final wash in the third bucket thoroughly cleans your buds after running them through the first and second buckets.
After submerging your buds on the third bucket, stir it around for 30 seconds before removing it and gently shaking the water off.
Step 5: Hang your duds to dry
With your buds washed and cleaned, all that’s left is the post-harvest process, which means hanging your buds to dry.
Note that it will take more time for them to completely dry because you washed your buds.
Bud washing helps thoroughly sanitize cannabis buds. Although it does impact its appearance, making it less visibly appealing, it enhances the flavor and smoothness of the smoke you get from the buds, making it worth it.
I personally never need to wash my buds, but it’s a good technique to have in your pocket, especially if you can’t be certain your buds are clean.
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Washing your buds does not increase the chances of mold. It is true it increases moisture and thus takes more time to completely dry, but it doesn’t make your buds more susceptible to mold. To avoid mold on your buds, prevent stale air and high humidity.
No. THC and Terpenes are not water-soluble, so washing your buds won’t reduce their potency. It does remove any contaminants in your buds for a smoother smoke.