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What You Can Learn About Your Cannabis By Studying The Ash And Soot

Learning the many ways to identify better quality cannabis is a terrific way to start getting to know the plant better.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

Seasoned cannabis users can talk in great detail about the many ways you can determine the quality of your cannabis through a variety of factors.

The most common aspects of the herb that people look at are the buds and its smell, but a lesser known aspect of it is the ash it produces. It’s one thing that can tell you a lot about how clean the cannabis is.

marijuana joint
Photo by Mayara Klingner / EyeEm/Getty Images

In this article, we’re going to cover the various colors that marijuana ash produces when vaporized, and how certain stages of the growing process can affect it.

Flushing

Many cannabis connoisseurs argue that when marijuana produces white ash, it’s because the cannabis was flushed prior to harvesting.

Flushing is done by some growers when the plant is approaching the culmination of the growing process. During this practice, the plants are only given clean water during the last week or so. When growing using hydroponic systems, water is usually mixed with nutrient concentrations, or other things such as salt, which affect the PH of the soil. When there is an accumulation of minerals whether in hydroponic or soil cannabis growth systems, this can lead to nutrient burn. The symptoms of nutrient burn are yellowing or curled leaves, though the chemicals and nutrients can also be accumulated in smaller amounts that aren’t obvious until you take your first puff of the weed.

However, when the cannabis has a crackling sound, this can be a sign that excess nutrients accumulated within the plant. It could also be because the curing process wasn’t done properly.

Flushing is primarily done to enhance the flavor of the cannabis plant, yet it’s quite expensive to do so. If cannabis wasn’t flushed well, this can contribute to a dark or black ash.

Not all growers flush their cannabis, but professional cultivators know that it’s a key process for growing quality cannabis.

Curing

Other people believe that curing affects the ash. This process, which is done in food and not just cannabis, means that the plant matter is prepared to be stored for long periods of time. With cannabis, plants are cured by letting them dry or hang out for up to 2 weeks. Once growers notice that most of the moisture has disappeared, the cannabis buds are then kept in an air-tight container for around 6 weeks.

marijuana cannabis crops
Photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images

When cannabis is cured during this time, any excess moisture is kept in the container. Any gases can be released during intervals. It will allow bacteria to get rid of any residual compounds that could affect the end flavor.

RELATED: What Is Sinsemilla And What Does It Mean In The Cannabis Industry?

Many growers believe that curing plays an important role on the overall smoothness and flavor, and it also affects the quality of your smoke.

Other Best Practices In Growing For Better Ash

For cultivators to improve the smokability of cannabis, there are other things you can do while growing it.

  1. Turn off growing lights a few days prior to harvest: Decreasing chlorophyll content rapidly before harvest especially in the last 2 days before will decrease the starch and sugar content has been proven to improve smokability, resulting in a whiter ash.
  2. Reduce temperature in the last few weeks of its flowering cycle: Decreasing temperatures while enhance purple colors especially to strains that are genetically predisposed to it. Studies show that doing so will also degrade chlorophyll but also be sure to eliminate humidity, which can be difficult with lower temperatures.

Ash Color

If you truly want to see how clean your cannabis is, smoke it.

Then, observe the ash. If the ash color is that of a darker gray or black, that could mean that there were unwanted compounds or even minerals in the cannabis you consumed. But if the ash color is white or light gray, then the consensus is that cannabis is very clean.

RELATED: Is Marijuana Powder A Game Changer For Edibles?

If the ash turned black or dark grey, this could mean that that cannabis wasn’t cured or flushed properly. When the growing process leaves minerals and unwanted sugars because of improper curing, the smoker can observe a feeling of throat burning as well as dark ash.

marijuana laptop
Photo by Jose Luque / EyeEm/Getty Images

Other Aspects To Look Out For

Aside from the color of the ash, there are other things you can observe when smoking your cannabis.

One is the texture; good-quality and clean cannabis has a delicate and light texture. If it was harvested leaving leftover fertilizer, fungicides, or pesticides, then the ash will come out as hard and grainy. Generally speaking, you want the ash to be similar to a fine powder. You can test it by taking a few puffs to see if it will produce any ash that you can examine, then take note of the texture at different times of smoking the joint in order to get more accurate results.

RELATED: Is Growing Marijuana Really That Bad For The Environment?

You can use your senses to learn more about the quality of your weed, too. Visually, look out for mold at all times. If cannabis has any signs of mold, discard it immediately and don’t even consider cutting it out then smoking it. On top of that, avoid consuming cannabis that is brownish or yellowish in color.

Use your nose, too: cannabis always has a very specific scent which you’ll get to identify better the more you consume cannabis. Always avoid cannabis that smells grassy, or like hay.

Conclusion

Learning the many ways to identify better quality cannabis is a terrific way to start getting to know the plant better. This helps especially if you eventually want to learn how to grow your own cannabis.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

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