GreenSeal’s Master Grower Chad Morphy has a saying:
“High THC is largely a measure of good genetics.
But high terpenes are the measure of how well we did our job end-to-end as producers.”
As we mentioned in our previous post entitled “All About Cannabis Terpenes”, molecules known as ‘terps’ are the aromatic components responsible for the unique smell and flavour of each cultivar.
At GreenSeal we analyze data to evaluate all of our growing practices, from the first steps of genetic selection to the post-production finishing process.
One of the most valuable data points we collect and track is the total terpene percentage for each batch of cannabis we package.
When each final terpene count of 1.5-4% or higher comes through from the lab, it confirms the indoor environment of our tiered grow rooms are completely dialed-in.
These kinds of terpene results also offer empirical proof our harvest, drying, and finishing processes are preserving terpenes rather than allowing them to evaporate.
Here are a few of the techniques Chad and our production team have applied and honed to maximize and preserve terpenes.
It all starts with genetics
GreenSeal runs an extensive genetic selection program where we propagate hundreds of seeds of a given cultivar in order to identify the very best versions.
One of the most important indicators we consider when choosing our champion phenotypes is terpene levels.
With a potent mix of terpenes evoking the aroma of blueberry pie, GreenSeal’s Gorilla Berry demonstrates how a genetic selection program can help to maximize terps.
Clocking in between 2-4% terpenes, the lab tests for our Gorilla Berry phenotype confirm it’s a perfect pick for the terp hunters out there.
Like the perfect summer day, everyday
The biggest advantage of indoor cannabis cultivation is the ability to completely control the environment.
Throughout GreenSeal’s grow spaces, it’s like the perfect summer day (or early fall night) at any given time or date.
Since high temperature is the enemy of terpenes (especially the super volatile class of terpenes known as monoterpenes) setting the correct HVAC levels for cooling and heating is imperative.
In addition to determining the exact ideal temperatures for maximum terpene production, we’ve also conducted extensive testing on our soil substrates and our lighting systems to determine the best growing materials and technology to produce terp-heavy cannabis.
GreenSeal’s Chemdawg Ultra illustrates how an exacting indoor growing environment can enrich and preserve cannabis terpenes.
Ranging from 1.5 to 3.5% total terpenes, the earthy dankness of this cultivar is unmistakable once the container is opened.
At 6% of its total terpenes, Beta Ocimene’s woody, vegetative aroma is a big part of Chemdawg Ultra’s nose and flavour.
As a monoterpene, Beta Ocimene would be among the first terps to evaporate if the temperature became too elevated.
When Beta Ocimene comes through as the fourth-highest terp on a lab report measuring over 150 terpenes, it’s a very good sign!
Post-production is absolutely key for preserving terpenes
As we mentioned in our how-to post about harvesting outdoor cannabis, when you’re harvesting, drying and finishing cannabis “Control is the key.”
The timing of the harvest plays a factor in preserving the terpenes the plants have produced.
A thorough flushing period (where the plants are fed only water to wash out all of the fertilizer mineral salts) means consumers will taste the terps, not harsh nitrogen.
Night harvests are another technique we use to make sure terps and THC levels are at their highest possible level when we chop (since it’s coolest when the lights are off).
We slow the drying process right down and prevent terpene evaporation by setting the conditions in our drying rooms well below room temperature, along with a tightly controlled humidity level to prevent quick drying.
We slow things down even further for the final finishing stage, when our flowers are stored in airtight containers and opened daily over a lengthy period of time.
Our Mango Kush cultivar is everything its name suggests when it comes to its flavour and aroma.
The terpene Myrcene gives the flowers the smell and taste of ripe mango.
Alpha Pinene – a delicate monoterpene our finishing process carefully preserves – rounds off the rich tropical fruit flavour and aroma with some sharp kushy sourness.
Maximizing and preserving terpenes is an obsession among the GreenSeal team.
Every step in our production process has been tested to maximize the production of terpenes and minimize any evaporation.
The reason we do this is for our customers – we want you to experience the full potential of the cannabis you enjoy, and the terpene content has a huge impact on expressing the best qualities of any cultivar.
If you’ve had a chance to try any of GreenSeal’s cultivars, please share your feedback on the flavour and aromas in the comments!