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Bud Washing: Cleaning Cannabis Buds

By Dagga Seeds Feb6,2024
wash-your-buds-cannabis

Introduction

Cannabis enthusiasts take pride in consuming high-quality, clean buds. However, even the most meticulously grown cannabis plants can accumulate dirt, dust, and other contaminants during the flowering phase. This is where bud washing comes in. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of bud washing, including what it is, the pros and cons, the washing process, and the best solutions to use. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to decide if bud washing is right for you.

what is bud-washing

What is Bud Washing?

Bud washing is a process that involves immersing your cannabis flowers in water following harvest to cleanse them of dirt, dust, and other contaminants. While this practice may seem unconventional, it has gained popularity among both home growers and commercial operations. The idea behind bud washing is to ensure that you’re using clean weed, free from any unwanted particles that may affect its taste and overall quality.

Both indoor and outdoor-grown buds are susceptible to contamination. Indoor cultivation often leads to dust accumulation on colas, while outdoor growing exposes buds to the risk of mites and insect eggs. To address this, soaking buds in water before drying can effectively eliminate these unwanted elements, resulting in a cleaner final product.

The Pros and Cons of Bud Washing

Before diving into bud washing, it’s essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of this practice. Let’s explore the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Removes mites and eggs: Bud washing helps eliminate living organisms, including mites and insect eggs, that may be present on the surface of cannabis flowers.
  2. Purges dust and soil: Washing your buds removes small particles of dust and soil that may not be visible to the naked eye but can affect the smoking or consumption experience.
  3. Improves taste: By removing invisible contaminants, bud washing allows the true terpene profile of the strain to shine through, enhancing the flavor of your weed.
  4. Removes pesticides and chemical residues: Bud washing can help eliminate any chemical residues that may be present on store-bought buds, ensuring a cleaner and safer product.

Cons

  1. Prolongs the drying period: Submerging buds in water means they will take longer to dry. Patience is required to allow all the moisture to evaporate.
  2. Cannot remove fungal infections: While bud washing is effective at removing debris, it cannot eliminate fungal pathogens that have physically entered the plant cells.
  3. Promotes excess moisture: If not dried correctly, bud washing can coat cannabis plants with excess moisture, increasing the risk of mold development.
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Bud Washing: What Solutions to Use?

When it comes to bud cleaning solutions, there are a few popular options to consider. While some growers prefer using only water, others incorporate specific formulas to ensure a thorough cleaning. Let’s explore some of the most commonly used solutions:

Lemon and Baking Soda

The combination of lemon and baking soda may seem unusual, but it is a versatile natural cleaning product. Lemon’s acidity and baking soda’s alkalinity create a powerful duo for scrubbing surfaces and deodorizing spills. Adding this blend to your cleaning process can further cleanse your flowers without the need for synthetic chemicals.

Diluted Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide, commonly found in household cleaning products, is also used by many growers to clean their buds post-harvest. It possesses antimicrobial properties and, in small concentrations, can help eliminate lingering microbes such as bacteria.

Reverse Osmosis Water

Using clean water is crucial when washing your buds. While tap water can dislodge debris, it may also contain chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. Reverse osmosis water, obtained through filtration, removes unwanted molecules and provides a cleaner washing solution. Using reverse osmosis water is highly recommended for bud washing, especially when available.

How to Wash Your Buds

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of bud washing and the solutions to use, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of washing your buds:

Equipment

To wash your buds effectively, you’ll need the following equipment and ingredients:

  • 3 clean 20 Liter buckets (5 gallon)
  • 15 L (4 gallons) of room temperature water (preferably reverse osmosis) for each bucket.
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
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Wash | Rinse 1 | Rinse 2

Step 1: Set Up Your Production Line

Arrange your buckets in a production line style. Bucket 1 will contain the cleaning solution, bucket 2 will serve as the first rinsing station, and bucket 3 will be the second rinsing station.

Step 2: Fill Your Buckets

Fill each 20 Liter bucket with (15 liters) of water. This quantity is sufficient to dip and wash whole branches without splashing water everywhere. In bucket 1, add the 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of baking soda, then stir thoroughly.

Step 3: Bud Washing Initial Dip

Take a branch with buds and gently dip it into the solution in bucket 1. Stir and swirl the branch around the bucket for approximately 30 seconds.

Step 4: Bud Washing First Rinse

Move the branch to bucket 2, which serves as the first rinsing station. Submerge the branch in the water and repeat the stirring and swirling motion for another 30 seconds. This rinse helps remove any remaining debris and the initial cleaning solution.

Step 5: Bud Washing Second Rinse

Transfer the branch to bucket 3, the final rinsing station. Stir gently for another 30 seconds. Bucket 3 ensures any residue and contaminants from the previous steps are thoroughly removed. Afterward, remove each bud from the branch and place them in a herb dryer or hang entire branches from a drying line.

Step 6: Start Drying

Dry your washed cannabis as you would with regular drying. Place the material in a dark room with good air circulation and a relative humidity of 45-55%. After around 12 days, begin the curing process to further enhance the flavors of your buds.

drying-cannabis-how-to-instructions

Bud Washing vs Water Curing

While bud washing and water curing share similarities, they serve different purposes. Bud washing focuses on cleaning cannabis flowers, while water curing aims to improve their flavor. Water curing involves submerging buds in water for a specific period to remove water-soluble irritants that can affect taste. While these methods can be used together, bud washing prior to water curing ensures that your flowers are not bathing in their own grime during the process.

Bud Washing: An Unusual Process That’s Growing in Popularity

At first glance, bud washing may seem unusual and counterintuitive. However, the more you understand the concept, the more it makes sense. Just like we wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them, it only makes sense to rinse off cannabis buds that we smoke or ingest. While dipping your cannabis in water slightly extends the drying period, it pays off in terms of cleaner flowers and improved flavor profiles. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the bottom of the washing buckets after completing the process.

Conclusion

Bud washing is a unique and growing practice among cannabis enthusiasts. By immersing cannabis flowers in water after harvest, you can remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants, ensuring a cleaner and safer end product. While washing your plants may prolong the drying process and requires careful handling, the benefits of cleaner buds with enhanced flavor make it an attractive option for many growers. Consider incorporating washing your buds into your cultivation routine to experience the true potential of your cannabis harvest.

Remember, always prioritize cleanliness and quality when it comes to consuming cannabis.

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