what are popcorn buds
what are popcorn buds

What are Popcorn Buds and Why You Want to Avoid Them

Popcorn is great at the movies but you don't want them in your cannabis vocabulary

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Tuesday Apr 27, 2021

What are Popcorn Buds and How to Avoid Them

what are popcorn buds

Popcorn buds are one of the biggest nightmares of every cannabis grower, particularly large-scale cultivators. The problem of popcorn buds is a general problem for all cannabis cultivators, affecting both experienced and inexperienced growers. The good news is that there are some ways to prevent popcorn buds and have a big harvest. In this article, we will address everything that you need to know about popcorn buds, what causes them as well as how to avoid them.

What Are Popcorn Buds?

Popcorn buds refer to airy, fluffy, and undeveloped buds found in a harvest. As the name suggests, popcorn buds take the size of popped corns. Popcorn buds are usually found at the bottom of a cannabis plant. Their location plays a big role in determining their size, as the bigger plants prevent light and other nutrients from reaching them. Popcorn buds are caused by various factors, with the major one being stress. So what is stress in cannabis cultivation? We will discuss that shortly.

The Causes of Popcorn Buds

Stress in cannabis cultivation refers to factors that prevent cannabis plants from growing properly. These factors vary from improper care to poor watering and lack of nutrients. All of these factors affect the cannabis plant negatively, thereby stunting its growth.

Below are common stressors that could cause popcorn buds.

Poor Watering and Feeding: Like every other plant, your cannabis plant needs adequate feeding and watering to blossom properly. Forgetting to water your cannabis plants regularly will only leave you at the risk of dealing with popcorn buds at harvest. Interestingly, some people believe that underwatering is the only form of poor watering. This is wrong as overwatering can wash away nutrients from your cannabis plant, and stunt its growth.

Overcrowding: Overcrowding is one of the main causes of popcorn buds, as it blocks out light which is one of the most important nutrients for your plants. Overcrowding comes in different forms which include, bushy vegetative growth and poor spacing between plants. Overcrowding can also prevent water from getting to certain parts of the plants. This will result in small and airy buds. 

Humidity: Humidity and heat can harm your cannabis plants and cause popcorn buds. The buds react to heat by developing airy buds, to keep away mold. This action will leave the buds, airy and underdeveloped at harvest.

Plagues And Pests: Plagues and pests can stunt the growth of your cannabis plants, particularly when they attack in the late vegetative state. This will affect the plant's ability to grow and leave them underdeveloped.

How to Avoid Popcorn Buds

From the list of causes discussed above, it is clear to see that  harvest filled with popcorn buds is very avoidable. Below are some practices to avoid popcorn buds.

Lollipopping: A method of pruning, lollipopping is one of the best techniques to use in avoiding popcorn buds. When using this method, you prune the bottom area of your cannabis plants, taking out all the bud sites and foliage. This action is usually carried out during the late vegetative stage or early flowering stage of your plants' growth. Cutting the bud sites from the bottom will leave you with cannabis plants that are shaped like lollipops, having bushy colas on top and clean stems below. This formation will allow all the plants to grow evenly, also providing equal access to sunlight, water, and other nutrients.

Mainlining: Mainlining is another technique for preventing popcorn buds that works perfectly. It involves using a manifold method to split the main stems of the plants to form a Y-shape. This will leave the stems with two main colas allowing you to use low-stress training, to achieve an even canopy level for your plants. With mainlining, you get to train every stem to grow just his you want them to. What is more? Mainlining and lollipopping can be combined for the best results. Using both methods together, you can be sure to have big bushy colas on your cannabis plants, with trimmed bottoms having no popcorn buds.

Screen of Green: Popularly referred to as ScrOG, Screen of Green is an all-inclusive method used to prevent popcorn buds. Screen of Green involves using defoliation, pruning, low-stress training, and mainlining to grow cannabis plants through a screen. Using this technique, you teach the cannabis plants to create an even canopy, removing any bud sites at the bottom. ScrOG is effective in preventing overcrowding and maximizing access to sunlight for your cannabis plants.

The Best Ways to Use Your Popcorn Buds

If you have a harvest that contains popcorn buds, it should be noted that you can still put it to good use. Although they are underdeveloped and airy, popcorn buds have the same flavor, smell, and even potency as the rest of the harvest. The only area in which they lack is density. This means that with the right quantity, you can enjoy your popcorn buds just like regular buds. Below are the best ways to use your popcorn buds.

Roll a Joint: Yes, you can smoke your popcorn buds and it requires no special technique. Just ensure to dry and cure them properly, and you can be sure to get a good high.

Edibles: Due to their size and density, most people prefer using popcorn buds to make edibles instead of smoking them. Making edibles with your popcorn buds is a good choice.

You can also make concentrates using popcorn buds.

Bottom line

While popcorn buds have their uses, they are not the high-quality harvest that every cultivator desires. Using the techniques listed above, you can avoid dealing with popcorn buds. Take your time to check on your cannabis plants regularly. This will help you detect plants that are lacking nutrients early enough. Also, ensure to feed and water your plants consistently. However, if after all this, you still end up with popcorn buds, follow the processes listed above to put it to good use.





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