Popcorn Cannabis Buds: What They Are And How To Avoid Them
2 min

Popcorn Cannabis Buds: What They Are And How To Avoid Them

2 min
Growing Seedshop

The trouble with popcorn cannabis buds is it's really easy to wind up with too much B-Grade weed of small buds in the stash. Even when the grower didn't really do anything wrong. We've got the pro tips to steer you toward a big fat harvest of dense cannabis colas.


Popcorn buds are those tiny fluffy flowers that don’t quite develop into plump prime nuggets. Usually, the popcorn buds are confined to the lower bud sites on a flowering cannabis plant.

Although the quality of your marijuana will be pretty consistent between fat trophy colas and popcorn bud from a lower branch, they certainly don’t look like it.

Generally, popcorn buds are B-grade stash. Either they are a little too small, too leafy, too loose or in the worst cases fluffy schwag. Outdoor ganja farmers and indoor cannabis growers alike are advised to take measures to avoid popcorn buds.

Popcorn buds are ideally suited to a small scale BHO run or easy pressing a few grams into rosin, but that’s really only making the best of subpar Sinsemilla.

For larger batches of hash oil or any other gooey concentrates like wax or shatter, it best to chop up those juicy nuggets and colas if you want to extract the maximum quantity of resin.

The diligent cannabis cultivator can incorporate a variety of simple techniques to prune or train plants for a higher yield of exclusively Grade A buds.

First, let’s take a look at how best to feed cannabis buds the light they need before running through a couple of the handiest methods to ensure it’s all fat colas come harvest.

Popcorn buds


The number one stress factor that causes popcorn buds is excessive heat which causes the flowers to form loosely and wispy rather than densely. Temperatures in excess of 28°C can turn your stash into trash from top to bottom.

Don’t allow this to happen! Indoors, get environmental controls dialled in and keep an eye on the distance between your grow lights and the canopy.

Outdoors you do what you can when it gets too warm; erecting a screen or some kind of shading can make all the difference to protect plants from heat stress.

Another common cause of popcorn buds is overcrowding and shading of bud sites. This can happen when the SOG is too crowded with plants and even with well-spaced plants genetically predisposed to producing oversized fan leaves, both need remedial pruning to achieve maximum yield of top-shelf.

Sometimes the removal of monster light blocking fan leaves is absolutely necessary to avoid popcorn buds.


The best way to eliminate popcorn buds is to “lollipop” your cannabis plants. This technique simply requires the removal of all the lower infant bud sites from all the branches usually during early flowering in week 2 or 3 leaving only the top buds to form into one lush nugg.

Perhaps the ultimate plant training technique, which not only eliminates popcorn cannabis buds from the harvest but actually dramatically enhances it, is the ScrOG method.

The ScrOG or screen of green, method is easy to apply these days with tailor made for grow tent ScrOG nets widely available.

For a lush crop of colas, a ScrOG net is stretched horizontally across the grow area and plants are essentially bent and weaved, during vegetative growth, through the gaps in the netting until it's filled.

When bloom is induced by the switch to 12-12, some further bending and weaving will be required for the first couple of weeks.This is usually combined with the lollipop technique so all plant energy becomes dedicated to bud production above the screen.

The ScrOG and “lollipop” go hand in hand and make for one hell of a connoisseur grade heavy harvest.

Popcorn cannabis buds are great for making hash, concentrates or rolling a quick joint but it’s always better to have options. Crop colas and you can always cut them down to size for extracts later or just enjoy those big buds, you decide.

Popcorn bud vs normal cola bud


  Top-Shelf Grower  

Written by: Top-Shelf Grower
Veteran cannabis cultivator originally from Dublin, Ireland and currently on the loose in southern Spain. 100% committed to Top-Shelf reporting until captured or killed.

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