Popcorn Buds And How To Prevent Them

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Categories : Cannabis cultivation

Popcorn Buds And How To Prevent Them

Popcorn buds are tiny buds about the size of popcorn that do not develop into full-sized nuggets. These small flowers can be a issue if you want to max out your yields. Learn about popcorn buds and how to prevent a lackluster harvest.

Popcorn buds are small, fluffy buds that are about the size of (or even smaller than) a piece of popcorn. These kinds of buds can develop in less-than-optimal growing conditions. Although the buds themselves will be no less potent than larger ones, popcorn buds represent a loss of potential yield and reduced visual appeal. Learn about the causes for popcorn buds, how you can prevent them, and even some benefits to these frowned-upon flowers.


Popcorn buds can happen even to the most seasoned growers. They usually result from stress on your plants, with excessive heat during growth being one of the most common reasons. Aside from heat stress, overcrowding of plants and over-shading can also cause them to occur. Under such stressful conditions, your plant may only develop a few full-sized buds, but many tiny popcorn buds on the lower branches in particular.


Obviously, if your cannabis plant only develops tiny buds that are fluffy and not very dense, this will negatively affect your yields. These are buds with very little bag appeal, which is also the reason that most commercial cultivators try to avoid them.

On the plus side, popcorn buds carry the same potency and effect as full-grown buds, if only slightly less due to density.

For cannabis enthusiasts or medicinal users who want to try new strains while on a budget, sampling popcorn buds can be an interesting option. On occasion, dispensaries will offer strains of popcorn buds at a discounted price since they are generally seen as less-desirable, “B grade” weed. Similarly, popcorn buds can be suitable for vaping or if you want to make edibles.


With popcorn buds normally resulting from environmental stress, controlling these variables is of the utmost importance. Although it will be easier to keep conditions like temperature in check when you grow indoors, there are also ways to minimise the risk of popcorn buds outdoors. Let’s look at some preventative measures for this issue that you can use indoors and out.


The first thing that you should do is check your indoor growing temperature regularly. In general, cannabis doesn’t like extreme temperatures, whether they’re too chilly or excessively hot. As a general rule, you should keep your indoor environment at moderate temperatures close to 25°C during lights-on and above 15°C during lights-off during the vegetative phase.

One common reason for excessive temperatures when you grow indoors, even in colder climates, is your grow lights. High-performance HID grow lamps and even some LED lights can dramatically increase the temperature in a tent or a small grow room to undesirable levels. Check the distance between your plants to your lights, and if needed, increase it to reduce heat stress on your plants. You should also make sure that you have adequate air circulation in place. A simple swivel fan blowing gently over your plants could be all that you need to prevent excessive temperatures and hot spots in a micro-grow. A thermo-hygrometer is a great tool to measure temperature and relative humidity so you can keep your grow-op running smoothly at all times.

An overcrowded grow room that is packed with plants can be another reason for popcorn buds. Space your plants out so that each one receives sufficient light. When your plants grow large fan leaves that shade the areas hidden below, some trimming/defoliation can be used to allow room for the lowermost buds to bulk up.

Popcorn Buds And How To Prevent Them


When you grow weed outdoors, you have less control over factors such as temperature and the intensity of the sun, but you can still do some things to reduce stress on your plants. If your plants are exposed to direct sunlight and excessive temperatures during the hottest summer months, you need to look into shading. A shading screen can provide your plants with cooler temperatures to reduce the chance of heat stress. Alternatively, if you know you’re growing in a region that experiences hot temperatures throughout several months of the year, consider timing your grow to miss the periods when excessive temperatures begin.



You can prune your plants by removing the lower, bushier growth in order to concentrate bud production on the uppermost parts of the plant. Lollipopping can be tricky as growers disagree on when is the best time to do it. Some believe that right before making the switch to 12-12 for flowering, one should remove the neglected bud sites at the bottom to redirect energy to the tops. At the same time, removing too many bud sites will definitely stress your plant, and even reduce your overall yield. As an advantage, lollipopping improves air circulation around the lower part of the plant.


The screen of green growing method, or ScrOG for short, is quite an easy technique that allows you to max out your yields when growing indoors. To grow your plants in a ScrOG and prevent undesired popcorn buds, you will need the following things:

• ScrOG net with a 5cm-wide mesh (you can get these in any good grow shop)
• 8 long pieces of wood for the frame of your ScrOG
• Some brackets, screws, and U-nails to fix the ScrOG net onto your frame.


1. Take 4 of the long wood pieces to make a simple four-sided top frame for your ScrOG.

2. Just as if you were to build a simple table, the other 4 wood pieces will serve as supporting stands for the frame.

3. Take a hammer and some U-nails and fix the ScrOG net onto the top frame.

When you grow your cannabis plants in a ScrOG setup, they are bent and weaved as they grow upwards through the gaps of the net. In time, the ScrOG will make your plants form a full and even canopy, so that they can receive maximum light from your grow lamps.

Cultivators combine growing in a ScrOG with lollipopping so that the plants can focus most of their energy on growing buds on the topmost parts above the ScrOG screen. This makes it a very effective way to grow top-notch cannabis where you will be rewarded with the biggest and juiciest buds, instead of simply popcorn.