How to Bud Wash Cannabis?

Harvested cannabis buds contain certain impurities such as dirt, dust, minute bugs, animal excrement, etc. It would be unimaginable for you to have you or your clients inhale these contaminants. This scenario is the main reason why we strongly recommend bud washing following your marijuana harvest.

How to Bud Wash Cannabis?

What is bud washing?

Bud washing occurs when you douse your fresh harvest buds with water. To those who have never tried it, it may appear to be a strange practice, but the truth is that it can significantly increase the quality of your yield. Bud washing may be just what you need to get your crop back on track if you’ve had a significant pest problem or are dealing with dusty/ashy conditions.

A common concern with regards to bud washing is it diminishes marijuana‘s flavor and potency. This issue arises because some growers think that bud washing might remove the trichomes. On the contrary, this matter will not occur because trichomes are super-sticky; washing them with water will not result in their removal. Now, many unwanted elements have been part of your buds, e.g., bugs, insect poops, specks of dust. These are effectively dealt with once you have washed your buds ensuing your harvest.

Why should I wash my cannabis buds?

We wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, so washing marijuana before using it seems like a no-brainer. What you want to do, especially with top-shelf material, is to remove all contaminants that can detract from your entire experience and be dangerous to you if consumed. Can you fancy yourself smoking something as innocuous as dust (which is commonly dead skin cells)?

Bud washing also assists in removing any waste products that pests may have left in the tiny places of your buds. These are frequently undetectable to the human eye, but washing will nearly always remove them.

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What are the materials needed for washing cannabis buds?

Here are the recommended materials you have to prepare in your bud washing procedure:

  • Three large buckets, preferably able to hold 2 gallons (8 L) of water
  • Hydrogen peroxide (32 ounces 3% H2O2)
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Lemon juice
  • Lukewarm water
  • Spoon large enough for stirring

Preparation:

1st bucket

One of the three buckets should contain lukewarm water. Temperatures of around 68°F (20°C) would be ideal. In this bucket, mix hydrogen peroxide with 2 gallons of water.

2nd bucket

Fill this bucket halfway with warm water. Add two teaspoons baking soda and two teaspoons lemon juice to each liter of water. So, if you’re using a 10-liter bucket, put 20 teaspoons of baking soda and the equivalent amount of lemon juice in there. Stir for a few minutes with the spoon to let everything dissolve. Again, a temperature of around 68°F (20°C) will suffice.

3rd bucket

Fill the last bucket with pure cold water, not ice cold. Here, you will conduct your final bud rinsing.

How should I wash my cannabis buds?

You must have everything you need in place before proceeding with the bud washing. Given this, have your buckets queued already. If it helps, label each bucket to know which one is for the washing and rinsing.

Another helpful piece of advice is you have to prepare your drying area, as well. When everything is ready, start washing. You don’t want to find yourself with many damp buds and no idea how or where to dry them. To learn more about adequately drying your buds, read this blog.

  1. Bud harvesting – Cut the bud-carrying branches off your cannabis plant using pruning shears or a sharp knife. It will be more convenient for you to cut entire branches for washing and drying. Leave enough stem on the branches to allow you to handle them without touching the buds. Washing and drying will be quicker and easier with fewer but larger branches.
  2. Bud trimming – It’s a good idea to cut your buds before washing them. This practice shall remove the extra chlorophyll and the grassy flavor it produces, especially if buried. Similarly, washing bud that has already been cut would be more effective. You can, of course, dry trim after washing and drying if that’s your preference. It’s entirely up to you.
  3. Bud washing with bucket 1 -Select a bud and have it submerged into bucket 1. The hydrogen peroxide present acts as a disinfectant protecting your buds from infections.
  4. Bud washing with bucket 2 – With the same branch, wash it using the bucket with baking soda and lemon juice. The lemon juice and baking soda will get to work right away. You may notice detritus coming off your buds after a few seconds. Gently move the branch around in the water, holding it firmly by the stem; swipe left and right, and swirl it in a circle. Dirt and other impurities will be removed the more you move the buds around. Continue to wash for about 30 seconds.
  5. Bud rinsing with bucket 3 – Dip the branch into your third and final rinsing bucket, the one with cold water. Repeat the process of gently swirling the branch around to give it a final rinse.

Does bud washing affect potency?

Some growers may find bud washing detrimental to their harvested buds. The misinformation is based on the assumption that such a course of action would diminish the buds’ flavor and potency because the trichomes are doused using certain mixtures.

However, bud washing does not affect your buds’ quality in any way, shape, and form. There is no scientific study that would suggest that washing your marijuana buds right after the harvest could lessen the impact of your products. Marijuana cannabinoids are fat-soluble, which means no amount of water can dislodge them from the trichomes.

The world-renowned cannabis expert, Jorge Cervantes, has these words to describe bud washing and cannabis potency, "Washing the branches of harvested flower buds in a mild solution of H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) has become a popular technique. We wash vegetables before consuming them, and cannabis is no different. A gentle bath of H2O2 removes surface bacteria, mold, dirt, dead pests, and their feces, and other bad stuff. Such a bath also creates free radicals. An H2O2 free-radical drench changes anything composed of carbon, just like using ozone in a garden space or curing room. Washing treated buds with plenty of freshwater is essential. No studies have been done to determine the potential for damage to the carbon chains in cannabis after an H2O2 bath."

It is also probable that certain growers confuse bud washing with water curing. These two are different from each other. For one, water curing involves immersing your buds into a mason jar filled with water for days. As this article discusses, bud washing means you dunk your freshly trimmed buds for a matter of seconds or minutes.

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