Interested in getting the most out of a legal home grow? Looking for ways to determine quality in purchased cannabis? Flushing is a simple trick that ensures a comfortable, tasty smoking or vaping experience every time. Nutrient and other chemical treatments can build up in soil over the growth cycle. As a result, plants may appear unhealthy and be harsh for consumers. Here’s why you need to flush your weed and how to do it (pending that cannabis is legal in your region, of course).
What is flushing?
“Flushing” refers to a process of running water through soil or another cannabis growing medium to clean the plant of remaining nutrients and other chemical contaminants.
Most growers begin flushing between a few days to two weeks prior to harvest. During this time period, plants are given clean water only. Nutrients and other chemical products are not used on the plant or in the soil while flushing.
However, flushing plants too early can hurt the overall yield. Hydroponic growers can maintain the optimal balance of nutrients by changing their reservoir medium every 7 to 10 days, as well as top off with plenty of fresh filtered water.
When trichomes begin to transform from clear to milky white, it’s usually a good sign that the plants are ready to be flushed.
In the event of an over-feeding accident, growing mediums can also be flushed to prevent nutrient burn and reset the soil. Nutrient burn causes damage to a plant’s roots and causes the edges of fan leaves to turn brown, die, and curl. Though, flushing should be left as a final option after overfeeding.
Why you need to flush your weed
Flushing the soil and other growing mediums is perhaps the simplest hack for producing smooth, top-shelf buds. Remaining nutrients can alter the flavor of the herb and make it difficult and painful to smoke.
This is especially true when using inorganic chemical nutrients, which rely heavily on abrasive salts and compounds which can make an otherwise high-quality flower harsh, uncomfortable, and potentially hazardous to patients with compromised immune systems, who cannot effectively clear toxins or heavy metals from the bodies and are less able to tolerate a harsh cannabis experience.
The primary reason growers flush crops is to get rid of excess nutrients. Every time a plant is given fertilizer, it uses exactly what it needs to grow, but much of the residual nutrients are left over.
When the plant is fed again, it will take exactly what it needs and the rest remains trapped in the medium or soil. Eventually, this creates high concentrations of unnecessary nutrients over time.
An imbalance or excess of nutrients can harm the plant, causing nutrient burn, hindering growth, and affecting the flavor, aroma, and experience from the overall bud.
The flushing process also helps rinse out any pesticide, herbicide, or insecticide treatments that have been used in the soil. Not only does proper flushing create healthier soil, but the plants themselves will be healthier and happier.
Any opportunity to limit the plants and, in turn, a consumer’s exposure to inorganic chemical compounds can greatly improve the overall quality of the product. Not to mention, flushing makes cannabis safer to consume overall.
Tell-tale signs of poorly flushed bud
Whether puffing on some home-grown or picking up from a dispensary, there are a few tell-tale ways to test whether or not the bud has been properly flushed.
Cannabis may not be properly flushed if,
- The bud is difficult to light
- Ash fails to turn white
- Coughing, burning sensation in throat and lungs
- Lung pain
- Harsh, metallic taste and aroma