Rx Green Technologies has completed a first-of-its-kind research trial and taste test with Cannabis. This research focused on the practice of "flushing." Flushing is the tactic of feeding Cannabis plants with only water for several days directly prior to harvest. Several reputable industry sources state that when Cannabis is flushed properly, plants rid themselves of "excess" minerals. Cannabis cultivators have traditionally argued that the practice of flushing Cannabis improves the quality and flavor of the inhalation experience.
"Our scientists looked at the scant research available about this subject and found themselves skeptical," Stephanie Wedryk, Director of Research and Development, states. "The thought process surrounding flushing doesn't fit within our understanding of soil science and nutrient dynamics. By applying plain water to a growth medium, the water will flush any stored nutrients from the medium in the soil solution. The plant will then end up taking in these nutrients or some will be lost to runoff. Once a nutrient gets into a plant, it stays there. It can't be removed by applying water."
Rx Green Technologies tasked a Colorado Cannabis cultivator to apply a water-only flush to one variety of Cannabis four different ways: 14 days, 10 days, 7 days, and not at all. The Cannabis was lab tested for terpenes, THC, and mineral content. At a private event, Cannabis industry professionals tried and rated each sample of Cannabis across a variety of markers.
"Visual differences in fan leaves between flushing times were apparent the day before harvest. Plants flushed for ten or 14 days had leaves that were more yellow, necrotic and dry than plants flushed for zero or seven days (Figure 1a-d). The color of the 14 and ten day flushed leaves indicates a greater breakdown of chlorophyll in the plant, leading to reduced greenness," the study reads.
Wedryk and her team discovered that there were no significant differences in terpenes, THC, and mineral content in the different Cannabis samples. Most surprisingly, the Cannabis taste testers statistically preferred the Cannabis that was not flushed. These novel results suggest that the practice of flushing Cannabis could negatively impact Cannabis harvests.
"Overall, the length of the flushing period did not impact yield, potency, terpenes, or taste characteristics of Cannabis flower. Taste test results indicated a trend toward improved flavor and smoke quality with the zero-day flush. While there were no significant differences in nutrient content, there was a trend toward increased iron and zinc in flower flushed for 14 days. The results of this trial indicate that there is no benefit to flushing Cannabis flower for improved taste or consumer experience," the study concludes.
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