Terpene Boost: How To Grow Real Skunky Weed
2 min

Terpene Boost: How To Grow Real Skunky Weed

2 min

The smell and taste of weed is unmistakable. Here are some steps you can take to boost this unique flavour, and really take your stash to the next level.

Do you like pungent, skunky weed? If so, you have terpenes and terpenoids to thank. These are the compounds within cannabis that are largely responsible for its taste and aroma. With some crafty growing skills, it is possible to boost the production of both of these compounds during growth, resulting in a much stronger, tongue tantalising, nostril widening result.

So let’s get into it! Of course, each strain has its own unique flavour, but these methods can be applied to all in order to boost the final terpene and terpenoid content.

Note: a lot of the following should only be attempted by growers confident in their skills. This process involves some advanced techniques that could end up hurting you cannabis if done incorrectly.


The great majority of terpene and terpenoid are held within cannabis bud. Too much nitrogen is known to slow down bud formation, so it makes sense that restricted bud formation results in restricted terpene and terpenoid formation. By making sure that specially balanced nutrients with low nitrogen are used during flowering, and that the last 2 weeks of flowering are spent flushing the cannabis.


Cannabis is known to produce greater terpene and terpenoid content when exposed to low levels of stress. There are a number of ways you can go about this, but bear in mind that stressing your plants out too much can kill them. As such, stress should be phased in, and always kept light. Stress is particularly effective when applied during the last few weeks of flowering.

LST – Low Stress Training is used to manipulate the physical shape cannabis grows in throughout its life. Stems and branches are carefully bent during growth, and then tied in place. This changes the direction of growth, causing stress and also exposing more of the plant to light. It can result in a smaller plant that produces more bud with a stronger flavour.

Defoliation – By cutting away a small amount of the leaves around buds sights, you expose them to greater light and higher stress – boosting terpene and terpenoid content. However, some strains, especially those more indica dominant, don’t react well to defoliation, so start slowly and monitor the reaction.

Leaf Damage – Damaging the lower leaves (which aren’t getting much light) can be a great way to induce a little bit of stress. This can be done by creating small tears in the leaves, or crushing a few between your fingers.


Keeping the grow environment temperature low during flowering will help preserve any terpene or terpenoids created. Higher temperatures can cause some of the content to evaporate out of the plant, diminishing taste and aroma.


There is also evidence to suggest that a lower night time temperature boosts terpene and terpenoid production. Generally speaking, you want this temperature to be 5 degrees Celsius below the day time temperature.


Pretty obvious really! You don’t want to be too rough with your bud. Being overly hands on with the actual flowers can damage them, and cause the terpene and terpenoid content to also be damaged.


Although hydroponic grows have many advantages, growing in soil is considered to produce a better final taste – probably due to the more natural blend of macro and micro nutrients. So sorry hydro growers, you miss out on this one!


This is probably one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your final product is as pungent and tasty as possible. There are many guides out there that suggest drying your marijuana with all possible haste, but the real correct way to do it, like anything in life, is take your time and make sure it is done properly.

Drying should be done over 2-3 weeks, in a relatively cool temperature. Hot temperatures will cause much of the terpene and terpenoid to evaporate. Drying in a cool condition over a longer period of time will ensure that a lot of what would be lost is maintained, improving the final product. Humidity is also a factor during drying. It is a good idea to keep it in the 70% region.

With this knowledge in hand you should be well on your way to ensuring your cannabis is the best it can be. It’s not all about potency! Real top-shelf cannabis has the taste and aroma to go with it!

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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