I'm a member at a couple other forums and ran into this thread. Wanted to get your take on both of these subjects made by the same poster. I personally think I've now seen and heard it all. I swear I think some of these peeps forget they're weed growers, not scientists. IMO its a lot more important to concentrate on good, sound growing practices that have been proven to work FOR YOU rather than trying to sound like a fuckin bio-molecular engineer of plant science and be some kind of weed prophet of the new age by attempting to reinvent the wheel with ridiculous bullshit.
Whats your take folks? MGG
"I would like to question the practicality of flushing for the last week. Actually, I am openly challenging the entire notion of it (hehe, just for a bit of fun) but seriously now... it’s in dire need of revisiting.
I will list some points that not only challenge the absurd impracticality and illogicality of this myth, but point out how the pseudoscience behind it is fundamentally flawed (as is all pseudoscience) and can be countered by what is known about basic plant biology.
1. Robbing plants of essential nutrients at any stage of their life cycle is NOT beneficial for growth. I challenge anyone to provide a single peer reviewed paper from a reputable journal that provides evidence suggesting otherwise.
2. If this was practical, wouldn’t you expect all big agricultural hydroponic growers adopt the same practice?
3. Plants take minerals into their tissues, from their roots via the treachery elements; i.e. xylem. Once these minerals are in the plant, they are there to stay, the plant does not expel them, unless it’s through senescence-driven abscission of leaf petioles. From the treachery elements nutrients are translocated into the phloem - the plant’s ‘blood supply’ - after being integrated into various biomolecules, or are used for various metabolic functions. Where is the logic in thinking the plant ‘uses’ these up in that last week of flushing, in order to avoid smoking them? All the N P K Fe Mg Ca etc. is still there.
4. For arguments sake say we counter the last point by suggesting these minerals in their ‘raw form’ will taste ‘hasher’ or ‘nastier’ in the form of pyrolytic breakdown products (formed when weed is burned) than artifacts of larger biomolecules of which these minerals/macro nutrients are now a part of, for example phosphorylated PO43-. Even if this was the case it still doesn’t correlate with the myth, as the transports steam in the treachery elements is measured in minutes not a week. i.e. a PO43- molecule does not wait around in these vessels for a week before subsequent translocation and modification.
5. If there was any truth to this myth, then plants grown in soil would always taste worse than plants grown in hydro. Why? Because obviously soil is not an inert medium you can flush for a week. And a plant CANNOT distinguish between a PO43- molecule that comes from soil from that of a PO43- molecule that comes from hydro solution (which also debunks another myth, but we’ll leave that one).
6. Are there studies that have conducted double blind trials to investigate if flushed weed tastes any ‘sweeter’ than unflushed weed. Again, need peer reviewed papers. And doesn’t have to be weed, can be strawberries or any other type of fruit.
7. What is the proposed mechanism to support this myth, and how is it consistent with fundamental plant biology.
8. How does starving the plant of food in the last week increase thc production in the trichome? Papers?
9. Given, under certain conditions stressed plants upregulate certain defence compounds, but they will almost certainly produce less inflorescence weight per watt of light. Growth is always retarded under stress - not promoted. Nutrient starvation is a form of stress. Looking for peer reviewed papers that suggest otherwise.
Those of you set in your ways, each to their own and best of luck to you. Those who are willing to change their views in light of new evidence, or lack thereof, be ready for increased yields by feeding those hungry ladies right up until the second you chop."
"If you are licenced and sell to dispensaries then you are in the business of manufacturing medicine and the grade of any pharmaceutical commodity should be of the utmost importance. If dispensaries become the source go to for the highest grade weed, they will inevitably become more popular. This means more sales, more tax to the government, thus politicians will be incentivised to push for national legalization. I believe a big part of producing med grade weed is in the curing process. However, there is serious conjecture between cultural curing practices and the science based methods used by large companies like GWPharma (no I don’t work for them and have no opinion about their products).
There are many pros & cons for fast curing weed with dehydrators as opposed to slow curing (in air). Slow curing in the presence of oxygen (and moisture) makes no logical sense - purely from a biochemical and pharmaceutical point of view - for one thing, slow curing causes the eventual yellow-browning of buds caused by polyphenol oxidases. This should be avoided to arrest the bio-chemical conversion of soluble nitrogen into ammonia since these soluble nitrogenous constituents can transform into aroma-bearing constituents at a later stage.
Consider the major components of a bud and the effects from scenesence and the environment. The obvious place to start is the trichomes. I will only briefly touch on cannabinoids and volatile terpenes, as there is already a ton of info out there. As most of you are already aware, CBN is an oxide of THC and CBD, but it is by no means the only break down product. As such, CBN content has been used by forensic specialists to quantify the original THC/CBD content. This is typically calculated at approximately a 1:6 ratio (this figure varies slightly depending on the study sited). That means if 2% of your weed is CBN, then 10% is other break down products of degraded THC/CBD. Oxidation, light, heat and moisture (which facilitates microbial and enzymatic activity) are all time dependent factors that contributing to the deterioration of trichomes.
Carbohydrates are important components too. Dried buds are composed mostly of lignocellulosic material. The beta bonds between residues of cellulose means this material is particularly resistant to hydrolysis with the exception of exogenous cellulases or acids secreted by pathogens such as molds, (plants do not make endogenous celluloytic enzymes as, to the detriment of plant growth, this would obviously be structurally counter productive). Moisture + time will facilitate this type of undesirable microbial activity. Furthermore, these pathogens will not liberate residues to enhance taste, but rather ferment them into alcohols and potentially generating ketones and aldehydes, and releasing CO2 in the process. (Remember CO2 has mass and I will talk about this next).
Pectins and starches, although present in much lower amounts than cellulosic material, account for the bulk of the remaining polysaccharide content. Residual starch related compounds, namely amylose and amylopectin affect the combustion rate of weed. Anecdotal reports suggests both impart a bitter irritating taste when smoking, although I haven’t managed to ascertain how or why this may be the case. Most of the glucose is liberated from starches by amylolytic activity within 2-3days post harvest. The initial high RH and elevated temps in a sealed chamber with dehydrators/dehumidifiers, promotes amylolytic activity. Extending the curing time past this point will liberate negligible amounts of soluble sugars at the cost of various degradative processes ultimately leading to deterioration of the buds.One of these processes is the oxidative respiration of starch-liberated glucose into CO2. This increases with time and leads to loss a significant loss of dry weight of the material. Most people are probably unaware of this.
Pigment degradation is said to enhance flavor. Both neophytadiene and phytol, from 2-ethyl-3-methymaleic acid, are generated by degradation of chlorophyll. I can’t find evidence that these compounds impart a more pleasant taste when combusted than chlorophyll, but there are tentative references in some literature that suggests this is the case. The issue is further complicated because chlorophyll is subject to a mutitude of other enzymatic processes and trying to deduce the aromatic qualities of all of these products under various combustion conditions would involve a fairly in-depth study. The same goes for carotenoids. At least 20 known smaller compounds arise from the oxidative cleavage of various bonds in carotenoids. Conserving the green/yellow color of weed indicates that the oxidation of polyphenols to dark colored pigments (oxidative enzymatic browning) has been successfully suppressed. Arresting pigment degradation may or may not be beneficial to taste - I’m sitting on the fence with this one. If someone in the field knows of some studies that provide an explanation of how any why this would be so, great, please join the discussion.
Other factors affecting taste may include hydrolysis of proteins into free amino acids and subsequent reaction of the free amino acids with free sugars to form amadori compounds, variable changes in polyphenols, degradation of terpenes and sugar esters into more volatile constituents, and the conversion of nitrate into nitrite.
That’s just a brief summary of some of the biochemical processes that take place in buds post harvest. Although plausible, there is a lack of explanations exactly how these break down products enhance taste upon combustion. I believe there may be a much simpler explanation which may be (at least part of) the reason, and probably over looked.
Fast cured weed, or properly freeze dried weed is highly desiccated when cured. Conversely, buds that have been air cured without dehydrators will typically retain a moisture content of 10-15%. A lower moisture content means the material will burn hotter, and compounds in the trichomes such as terpenes and other volatiles have a higher likely hood of undergoing pyrolysis (combusting into CO or CO2) instead of vaporizing. Unmodified volatiles will certainly impart a different (and possibly nicer) flavor to their pyrolytic breakdown products, and to me this seems like a much more plausible explanation for the “harsher taste” of fast cured weed - Occam’s razor.
So what does all this mean to the Layman? Slow curing weed and burping glass jars only exacerbates oxidative degradation (deterioration) of the bud. Although it’s “possible” some of these break down products impart a nicer flavor when smoked, it will come a the cost weight loss, overall quality and potency.
Now for the good news. Follow a simple methodology based on what I just discussed. Fast dry cure, then store in the dark, in the cold, with a sizeable quantity of desiccant, or in CO2 or nitrogen gas - you have many options. When it comes time to bag up, then and only then, is a single ‘burp’ (allowing rehydration of the buds to that 10-15% mark) required. You will know when the buds are ready when they are slightly sticky and pliable again. A little squeeze and sniff will be proof of all the goodness you have retained.
It’s of my humble opinion this is the most practical and logical way to retain weight, quality and potency, especially for the purposes of high grade med weed."
Edited by MGG, 14 August 2014 - 01:59 PM.