How The Environment Affects Bud Production

How the growing conditions can affect your buds.
08 April 2021
9 min read
 How The Environment Affects Bud Production

  • 1. Ideal conditions for cannabis
  • 2. How extreme temperatures affects buds
  • 2. a. How excessive heat affects buds
  • 2. b. How excessive cold temperatures affects buds
  • 3. How a high/low humidity affects buds
  • 3. a. How high humidity affects buds
  • 3. b. How low humidity affects buds
  • 4. How light distance affects buds
  • 4. a. How having your lights too close can affect buds
  • 4. b. How having your lights too far can affect buds
  • 5. Tips for outdoor growers
  • 6. In conclusion

The substrate, nutrients, and genetics are very important but the conditions affect how your plant performs its basic processes and will end up affecting bud quality.

This is why it can be hard to get dense resinous buds if the growing conditions are less-than-ideal; The substrate, nutrients, and genetics are very important but the temperature, light fixture, and humidity will affect how a cannabis plant performs its basic processes, this is why the growing environment overall is more important than the other factors and should be adjusted for each stage of a cannabis plant’s growth and maintained to allow your plant to develop to its maximum.

1. Ideal Conditions For Cannabis

It doesn’t matter if you’re growing photoperiod or autoflowering strains, all of them will go through a germination stage (obviously), a seedling stage, a vegetative stage, and finally a flowering stage.


How the environment affects buds: ideal conditions growth

Environmental problems in the vegetative stage won't affect bud production but can affect plant growth so it can result in lower yields.

Now, the conditions in all of the stages mentioned will affect plant growth but won’t affect bud production but it’s highly recommended you maintain ideal conditions so your plants grow as they should, developing a strong stem and branches to be able to withstand the big dense buds that will develop in the flowering stage.


Ideal Conditions For The Vegetative Stage

 Relative humidityTemperature (day/night)
Seedling Stage65-70%20-25°C / 15-20°C
Vegetative Stage40-70%22-28°C / 17-23°C


Now, during the flowering stage, things change; The flowering stage (including the pre-flowering stage) is when the plants start producing the flowers so bad growing conditions or any kind of stress can end up affecting the final quality and quantity of your harvest.

This happens because the environment, either indoors or outdoors, can affect trichome production as well as bud size and density so here are a couple of things you should have in mind:

  • Growing conditions affect trichome production which ends up affecting cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids production (responsible for potency, smell, and flavor).
  • The environment has a higher impact on bud production than fertilizers.
  • A good environment is the best way to allow your plant to show its maximum potential.


So if you want to make the most and get the best possible quality out of each seed, you should adjust the conditions to be as close as possible to the following conditions:


Ideal Conditions For The Flowering Stage

 Relative humidityTemperature (day/night)
Flowering Stage45-55%20-26°C / 15-21°C
1-2 Weeks before harvest40-45%18-24°C / 13-18°C


Don’t forget that there should be enough airflow so you should also have a fan and if possible, an exhaust fan to help exchange air and keep the air inside your grow tent fresh, obviously, this won’t be needed when growing outdoors.


How the environment affects buds: ideal conditions flowering

Cannabis plant in the flowering stage.

So now that you know what the ideal conditions are, here’s what can go wrong if the conditions are too extreme outdoors or if you fail to maintain good conditions indoors, either because of an equipment failure or something else.

2. How Extreme temperatures Affects Buds

Some strains are quite resistant to harsher climates but, in general, cannabis plants prefer the conditions mentioned above. If you live in a hotter or colder place, you may still get a really good harvest but if the conditions are too extreme, your plant may struggle to grow or may even end up affecting the buds directly, so here’s how extreme temperatures can affect your precious buds.

How Excessive Heat Affects Buds

Excessive heat can lower the quality of the buds during the flowering stage because your plants will struggle to perform their basic processes if the other elements are not on point. 


How the environment affects buds: excessive heat

Excessive heat will dry out the leaves, becoming yellow and then brown and brittle.

There are some strains that can withstand hotter climates but the majority can start to show symptoms if the temperature is 27-30°C or above.

So when exposed to excessive heat for days, the buds may end up airy, discolored, harsh to the throat, with a poor taste and smell, and a low potency but if the excessive heat continues for weeks, the following problems can occur:

How Excessive Cold Temperatures Affects Buds

In the flowering stage, it may be a good idea to lower the temperatures a little bit, this can enhance potency, smell, and bud size, helping bring out unique colors but if the environment is below 15-16°C it may end up affecting the buds in a bad way.


How the environment affects buds: excessive cold

Temperatures before 15°C may be okay for some strains but other ones can be too cold.

So make sure that if you’re lowering the temperatures for the flowering stage, do it gradually and always pay attention so the temperature doesn’t get too low, to avoid the following:

  • Stunted growth;
  • Easier to get pests and bugs;
  • Plants more susceptible to overwatering and nutrient deficiencies;
  • Leaf curling and yellowing.

Now, cold won’t affect the buds directly but will affect plant growth which will end up affecting bud production, resulting in airy buds and smaller buds.


3. How A High/Low Humidity Affects Buds

A less-than-ideal humidity level isn’t too serious because it won’t affect buds directly, so you shouldn’t have to worry that much but if this condition is kept for too long, it may make your plant more susceptible to other problems such as bugs and pests.

This will also depend on the ventilation, temperature, and how often you water so it can be fairly simple to deal with, just remember that mold can end up killing your plants, so despite not being too serious, you should definitely keep an eye for pests.

How High Humidity Affects Buds

As mentioned before, during the flowering stage the relative humidity should be around 40-55%, this will allow the buds to grow properly and not lose much mass when drying which is a must if you don't want to end up with airy buds after drying your buds.


How the environment affects buds: high humidity

A high humidity can attract bugs and mold so make sure you keep the relative humidity on point.

Obviously, you can get away with a higher humidity as most growers without the proper equipment do, but if the humidity is above 60%, there are a couple of things you should be aware of:

  • Increased chance of getting bud rot, mold, and powdery mildew;
  • Slower plant growth and reduced yields;
  • Nutrient deficiencies due to poor water absorption;
  • Popcorn buds.

Just like when dealing with too much cold, a high humidity won’t affect the buds directly but can affect photosynthesis and transpiration, which can cause the problems mentioned and end up affecting the buds.

How Low Humidity Affects Buds

When dealing with low humidity, the effects may not be as bad, especially if your plants have been growing under low humidity (under 35%) since the beginning. So when growing under low humidity, it’s possible that trichome production is slower and you may experience unhealthy plant growth or stress but the symptoms won’t be as grave as when dealing with excessive heat for example.


4. How Light Distance Affects Buds

As you may know, plants need light to perform photosynthesis and grow, so the light you provide is essential for your plants to thrive. In most cases, lack of light is the main problem but when growing with more modern LEDs, the light intensity could be too much and end up affecting bud quality, this is why it’s very important to adjust your light fixture’s height according to the growth stage your plant is in.

How Having Your Lights Too Close Can Affect Buds

Keeping the lights at the right distance is vital to obtain the best bud quality and yields, very light fixture has its optimal distance, for example, most light bulbs are best kept at around 45-60cm while the ideal distance for LEDs will differ according to the quality and intensity but, in general, are recommended to be kept at around 30-50cm so make sure that you always check the recommendations to avoid this kind of problems.


How the environment affects buds: light distance

Approximate light fixture distances for ideal growth.

Even if everything is on point, having the light fixture too close to your plants can harm them, this won’t happen when growing outdoors but indoors it’s possible to have the light hanging too low, and end up causing the following problems:

  • Evaporate terpenes and cannabinoids;
  • Foxtails (related to heat stress);
  • Hermaphrodites or the appearance of seeds in the buds;
  • Bud bleaching.

How Having Your Lights Too Far Can Affect Buds

Now, when the lights are too far there shouldn’t be major problems, this can cause the plants to stretch or grow less as long as they’re not too far away. This won't happen when growing outdoors unless your plants are not getting direct sunlight, as long as they're getting direct sunlight you shouldn't have a problem at all.


How the environment affects buds: light too far

The lights being too far can end up in airy buds.

If the light fixture is way too far, your plants may not be able to perform photosynthesis and plant growth may stop altogether.

Other than that, there aren’t serious problems other than buds not getting as big and dense as they could, but won’t cause any major problems.


5. Tips For Outdoor Growers

When growing outdoors there’s not much you can do to provide better conditions for your plants, if you’re suffering from high (or low) temperatures or humidity levels, it may be hard to fix.

For example, if it’s too hot you may want to cover your plants with a shade net to allow them to cool off a bit, or if you’re dealing with lower temperatures, you want to cover your plants with a plastic sheet to protect them from strong wind and cold, but sometimes this isn’t enough.

If the conditions are too harsh, the best thing to do is to plan your grow cycle ahead so your plant grows during the outdoor season, this way you prevent all (or at least some) of the problems mentioned.


How the environment affects buds: outdoor growers

The light deprivation technique can help you maintain the right light cycle when growing outdoors.

Also, depending on where you live, there could be cats, rabbits, gophers, or dogs that may find your plants interesting and may want to eat a couple of leaves (or branches); 

Obviously, they don’t know how important your cannabis plants are so you shouldn’t harm them, but what you can do is place chicken wire under your pots this way gophers and rabbits won’t be able to eat the roots and, if needed, surround your plant with chicken wire, this way other animals that don’t live underground won’t munch on your precious cannabis plants.

6. In Conclusion

Don’t think that you cannot grow your own cannabis if your growing conditions aren’t ideal, this article serves not only as a guideline but also to help you understand what you need to keep an eye on when dealing with any of the situations mentioned above.

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Gorilla Cookies Auto
Sativa 45%/Indica 55%
Gorilla Cookies Auto
10 weeks
500 – 600 gr/m2
90 – 100 cm
Up to 27%
< 1%
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Also, have in mind that you can reduce the problems by choosing the right strains, for example, if you’re growing in hotter conditions you may want to grow a Sativa-dominant strain such as our Bruce Banner Auto or if you’re growing in colder conditions, it may be a good idea to grow an Indica-dominant strains such as our Gorilla Cookies Auto.

Either way, make sure you keep a close eye on your crop to prevent either of the problems mentioned, and if you’re an experienced grower feel free to leave your tips and tricks on how to deal with challenging environments in the comment section below!

08 April 2021