Any grower looking to raise their marijuana plants to their highest potential should have a familiarity with brix. Yet many growers remain woefully ignorant of the brix levels in their cannabis crop, missing out on a valuable opportunity to make the most of their growing efforts. The level of brix in your marijuana plants is simply the amount of solid material present in the juices of your plants. Since these solids are largely comprised of minerals and sugars, the benefits of higher brix levels in your plants leads to a vast array of benefits.
How Marijuana Plants Benefit from High Brix Levels
You can get a visual sense of high brix levels in your crop if you notice that the leaves of your marijuana plants have adopted a healthy, almost waxy sheen. This is a result of higher sugar and mineral content within the juice of the cannabis. While that shiny veneer may make your cannabis look extra lush and delicious, it actually makes your plants less appetizing to pests. You can also look forward to bolstered immune systems and heightened stress resistance in marijuana plants benefitting from high brix levels. High brix levels are an immediate indicator that a plant has been grown from robust soil enriched with healthy water and nutrients. This means you can also look forward to enhanced flavor from your eventual yield.
The Tools Required for Measuring Brix Levels
It’s important to keep aware of your crops’ brix levels so that the optimum genetics of your marijuana plants are maintained. This requires you to get your hands on a few simple tools, some of which you may already have around the house. You probably already have access to a pair of scissors and a garlic press. However, you’ll also need to purchase a refractometer. Though you can easily find an affordable refractometer, you’ll want to ensure that the one you select is specifically designed for measuring brix or sugar levels. The refractometer should measure a range of 0% – 32% and automatically account for temperature. You will also need to have some distilled water at the ready.
The Process of Measuring Brix Levels
Apply a few drops of the distilled water to your refractometer and check that you’re getting a reading of approximately 0%. This process is meant to gauge that the refractometer is properly calibrated, similar to tuning an instrument. Next you need to use your scissors to procure a clipping of a leaf from one of the marijuana plants you wish to test. Pack the sample into your garlic press. Your aim is to use the garlic press to produce a few drops of juice onto the refractometer. When you compress the sample clipping, you’ll need to make sure that the juice excreted onto the refractometer is pure and not contaminated by any visible chunks of plant matter.
While the optimum brix levels of many fruits and vegetables can easily be found on brix charts online, marijuana plants are rarely included. The general consensus among growers finds that 22% is the optimum brix level for genetically choice marijuana plants. However, you can rest assured that if you’re scoring above 12% on the refractometer, you’re at least discouraging pests from chomping down on your crop.
If you’ve scored beneath a 22% brix level with your marijuana plants, you needn’t despair. There are plenty of ways to raise brix levels in your cannabis crop though differing opinions and tricks-of-the-trade have made this knowledge somewhat fuzzy. Generally, it’s all about finding the much-disputed balance between minerals and organic matter in the soil. Brix levels may be a nuance often overlooked by growers. Yet true mastery of brix can give you an edge that elevates your marijuana plants to their genetic zenith.