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Brix Levels: a key element for an optimal growing of the plants

Sugar is found everywhere and in all products, from soft drinks or cakes to fruits. The same is true for cannabis plants. When you start growing, it’s important to control many factors, such as sugar distribution. In fact, Brix degrees represent the amount of glucose of an aqueous solution. If a plant produces sufficient Brix levels and distributes it correctly, it will produce higher and larger yields.

What does sugar mean for cannabis crops?

Beyond all the necessary aspects of growing cannabis known as temperature, water or substrate, it is necessary to boost the production. This factor affects plants’ overall development, its health and yields. When plants photosynthesize, they convert the sun’s energy into oxygen and glucose.

The need for sugar depends on different factors, such as:

  • The stage of the plant. Young ones need more glucose because they are developing structurally.
  • Cannabis genetics and its structure.
  • The flowers are those that need more sugar, also due to a higher capacity of concentration of this resource.
brix degree in flowering

However, plants have a self-regulation process; resposible of the excess to other organs with deficiencies. This is channeled according to natural needs, thanks to photobiological agents that are distributed in different zones.

Rememeber that the different parts of the plant compete with each other for as much glucose as possible. Thus, the strongest organs get more.

Brix levels: What are they?

Brix level is a measure of sucrose, a simple sugar which indicates the amount contained in a substance. In fact, different industries use it, such as food and agriculture ; moreover, it’s expressed as a percentage represeneting the sucrose per 100 grams.

To quantify it, they use the deviation of a quantity of light passing through the liquid or solid, or, in other words, the refraction of light. The sap contains many other molecules, but the glucose ones are larger. The refractometer makes it easy to identify and quantify.

What are the ideal Brix levels for cannabis?

If you wish to harvest the marijuana, you should wait until the plants reach between 12 and 15%. Keep in mind that each genetic is different, in some cases reaching 20% or more. Vegetables with a percentage lower than 12% can suffer pests and diseases; it means that the plant is not yet mature or that they have stunted growth.

brix refractometer

Refractometer: the best tool for Brix measurement

Brix is measured with an optical or digital refractometer. These use the way light passes through a substance and bends, to find out the amount of sugar dissolved in a liquid. Once the measurement is done, it can be correlated to characterize many different substances. This apparatus is small and easy to transport, allowing to carry out measurements anywhere. There are two types of refractometers:

  • On the one hand, optical refractometers rely on the eyes themselves to determine the shadow line in the viewfinder. In consequence, the sample is applied and held against the light after applying the sample and seeing where the dark line falls.
  • Digital refractors, on the other hand, can contain built-in measurement curves for different types of samples, providing greater accuracy, the person will do the reading and directly provide the result. Therefore, some, such as the Milwaukee Digital Brix refractometer, are ideal for this type of measurement.

How to increase Brix values in cannabis

Many times, low Brix levels point to a lack of some of the key growth factors: air, light, temperature and nutrients.

  • The amount of light must adapt to each stage, as it allows photosynthesis to take place and therefore helps the plants to renew sugars. Because of this, it’s important to choose the right light for the growing room.
  • Maintain appropriate climatic conditions for each stage of the crop, controlling temperature and humidity levels, as well as adapting the watering schedules of the plant.
  • Different trace elements can make a difference between the amount of sugar, that’s why nowadays there are various supplements in order to help crop’s nutrition. Among them are humic acids, fulvic acids and amino acids, which influence the way nutrients such as iron or calcium are absorbed.
  • Keep the growing space clean.
  • Prune cannabis plants, with techniques such as SCROG or Supercropping to concentrate glucose production at the top during flowering.

Brix levels indicate the sugar contained in a solution. It is possible to measure in a simple way using a refractometer; the aim is to know the crop’s state and if any factor should be improved.

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Erik Collado

Con más de 10 años de experiencia en la industria del cannabis, sus experiencias y aprendizaje son la base del éxito de GB The Green Brand.

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