Do You Wash Your Home Grown Buds After Harvest?
It was only about ten months ago that I was on a Facebook group having a pretty strong debate with somebody about washing pot plants. I thought this was the most ridiculous thing in the world. I grew up smoking weed that came from fields in Mexico, Panama, Thailand, etc. I never even thought of weed being dirty. I never thought of all the field hands out in the fields all sweaty and filthy from working all day with no way to wash up, yet their hands must’ve been all over my weed.
I never thought about the air pollution, everything from the plane and car exhaust to ashes from forest fires. I never thought about the whiteflies, thrips, gnats, spider mites that might have infested the weed that I had smoked so many times. I never thought about the birds that shit on some of the weed I probably smoked. Not to mention the paraquat poison that was sprayed on some of the weed that came in when I was younger.
It really only took a moment for me to sit and SERIOUSLY think about it. Wash my pot? Are the trichomes going to wash off? Will I lose smell? Will I cause bud rot? So I rolled a big joint of Lamb’s bread and sat to smoke and ponder this idea.
Finally, I realized what a smart idea this was.
In the worst rainstorm, the trichomes do not come off the plant. I had friends who I trusted that had washed their weed, they told me that I would not lose any smell or taste. I knew that no matter how wet the weed was; that by drying in my drying room, which is always 62 to 63°, and by using a couple of indirect fans, I was sure that I could keep the buds from rotting or molding.
I had in my mind finally that I was going to try to wash my weed at some point. But I didn’t know that that point was right in front of me. About a week after having this stoner thought session, I came to my flower room ready to cut and trim at least the first couple of my five plants in flower.
I had been fighting white flies throughout this 60-day flowering cycle. About three weeks before harvest I had stopped using the natural organic bug repellents that I was using. I was sure the whiteflies were gone and that I was safe for a harvest coming up within the month. On this trim day, I saw a few whiteflies flying around the room so I reached out grabbed a hold of one of the giant kolas with one hand, and with the other hand, I snapped the kola with my finger. Out flew about 20 or so whiteflies. I knew exactly what I had to do. It was time to set up the wash buckets.
I was worried that if I didn’t wash my plants at this point, the whiteflies would continue to desecrate my harvest as it dried and possibly survive into my curing buckets. I grabbed three 5-gallon buckets. I filled the first two with lukewarm water and the third with very cold water. Each bucket held about 4 gallons of water with a few inches left at the top for me to splash my buds in. In the first bucket, I added 4 cups of 3% hydrogen Peroxide.
I Cut down my first plant and cut it into 14-to-18-inch pieces. I sat down in front of my buckets, smoked a bowl to get in the right mindset, took a deep breath, and dumped the first big cola on the branch into the first bucket swishing it around for 10 seconds. This felt so wrong in so many ways, but yet I knew it was right.
I held it above the first bucket and watched the water pour out of my medicine, shaking my head in disbelief of what I was seeing, I went ahead and dipped her into the second bucket of clean warm water for my first rinse. Again, I pulled it out of that second bucket held it above watching it drip out in disbelief of what I was doing. I was definitely having second thoughts. I was in this far so I went ahead and dunked it into the third cold water bucket swooshing it around for another 10 seconds, I pulled it out and hung it on the rope right above that bucket and sat back smoking a bowl and watching a drip for the next 10 minutes. It seemed like an eternity waiting for this once gorgeous flower to finish dripping.
Taking a good look at this bud it was 10 shades of green darker dripping like a wet towel that had just fallen in the pool. Was I making a mistake? Am ruining my medicine? I looked back at the rest of the plants and saw a few more whiteflies flying around and thought to myself fuck no I’m not smoking any damn white flies!! Lol! I spent the rest of the afternoon throwing away fan leaves and dunking every single one of those gorgeous beautiful buds swishing around in the water. When I got to the last of my five plants it felt just as wrong as the first bud that I dunked. I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time, I felt a bit queasy.
I finally had them all hanging, dripping into trays underneath this clothesline that I had set up in my drying room. I searched around in my drying room and throughout my flowering room and fortunately, I did not see any more flying whiteflies. Just to make myself feel better and to be sure whether or not I lost any trichomes, I took the first wash bucket and poured it glass after glass into a clear glass searching it with a microscope thankfully not finding anything but dead whiteflies.
Normally my plants take about 6 to 10 days to hang dry until I can do a final trim and put everything into my curing buckets. Due to adding so much moisture to my flowers while I was washing them, my dry time hanging was increased to 21 days. The long slow dry has given me the tastiest medicine I have grown or tasted in 22 years, also definitely the smoothest medicine that I have grown or smoked in 40 years of consuming. I finally had a part that I could smoke all day long and not choke or cough once.
A big part of my high terpene – high THC, killer tasting and smelling weed, is the nutrient line that I use – “Lotus”, The beneficial bacteria that I add to my soil – “Fishsh!t” and “Recharge” and the enzymes that I use to keep my root system clean- SLF100, but washing my medicine took the smoothness, the taste, and the smell to a whole new level.
Lesson learned “you don’t have to cough to get off!”
Happy growing, happy washing, happy consuming,