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What are Popcorn Buds and How to Avoid Them

Popcorn buds are the smaller flower formations that develop on the lower branches of the cannabis plant. They are not full-grown flowers and often have a hairy and fluffy appearance.

1. What are Popcorn Buds?

Popcorn buds are those tiny fluffy flowers that don’t quite develop like the denser main flowers. Usually, the popcorn buds are situated on the lower bud sites on a cannabis plant.

That is because when growing bushy or tall plants sometimes the excess growth or big fan leaves can shade and keep light from reaching them, this way the bud sites don’t get enough light and underdevelop.

Even though the quality of your flowers will be the same, they certainly won’t look the same. Popcorn buds are usually considered B-grade flowers because of their fluffy and airy consistency.

Either they are too small, too leafy or too hairy, growers tend to avoid these smaller flowers.

2. How to Avoid Them?

There are different ways to avoid the underdevelopment of lower buds. If your plants are too bushy, have too big fan leaves or are growing too tall, you can use the following techniques:

Low Stress Training

Low Stress training is a technique that involves tying down or using a net to even canopy level, doing this allows light to reach all bud sites equally so they develop even and avoid the underdevelopment of buds.

This method usually takes a lot of work because you have to train your plant little by little every couple of days to have good results.

High Stress Training

High Stress training is the most aggressive method, you damage your plant directly by removing or mutilating the stems to achieve a more even canopy. This way there are no lower branches and all buds receive the same amount and intensity of light. When done correctly, this method takes usually 3-4 times to achieve good results so it takes less work than LST but can seriously shock your plants if done aggressively.

Pruning and/or Trimming

Pruning or trimming consists of plucking off any number of fan leaves to remove the plant material that is shading the lower branches and lower bud sites, this is a slightly more aggressive method than the ones said above and can shock your plants if you don’t do it carefully.

To avoid shocking your plants you should remove a couple of leaves or branches every 3-4 days to let your plant recover if done correctly you can achieve good results by performing it less than 4 times during the whole vegetative stage.

If you’re new to growing and don’t want to do any of that yet you don’t have to worry, the popcorn buds will have the same potency, smell, flavor, and high just won’t be as dense as the other flowers.

3. What to Do With Popcorn Buds?

Popcorn buds may be small and airy but they’re still good. Being a flower from the same plant as the more dense buds, they have the same potency, smell, flavor, and high, just aren’t dense like the others.

This means you can still smoke or vaporize them normally like you would with denser buds.

More experienced growers usually perform training to avoid them but when buds underdevelop anyway we usually make concentrates with them, like hashish or rosin.

4. In Conclusion

Popcorn buds are nothing more than undeveloped buds but they keep all the qualities of the rest of the buds except for their density. These buds can still be smoked and shouldn’t be a problem if you just started growing.

As said above, they won’t go to waste as you can ultimately make hashish and edibles with them. If you’re a more experienced grower and want to achieve the biggest yield possible there are several ways to avoid popcorn buds. We recommend taking a look at our articles about pruning and low stress and high stress training.

Popcorn buds are the smaller flower formations that develop on the lower branches of the cannabis plant. They are not full-grown flowers and often have a hairy

Cannabis popcorn

If you’re ever bored, doing a deep dive into the etymology behind many of the words we regularly use today can lead to some truly fascinating discoveries — whether in the cannabis canon or otherwise.

For example: Did you know “berserk” combines the Old Norse words for “bjorn” (bear) and “sekr” (coat)? How about the fact that the word “clue” is indebted to Greek mythology? It’s actually a derivation of “clew,” which is a ball of yarn. According to myth, yarn is what Ariadne gave to Theseus to help him find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth, and thus, a new word was born.

Even in cannabis, we can see this in action. Today, we commonly refer to glass water pipes used for smoking weed as bongs. That’s thanks to Vietnam War veterans, who returned from service using the Thai term baung, which literally translates to “cylindrical wooden tube.” The anglicization to “bong” shortly followed suit.

In other cases, the names we ascribe to things are basically just derived from common sense. Such is the case for “popcorn nugs,” the term used to describe cannabis buds that are roughly the size of a popped kernel of corn. Sure, we could have gone with “grape nugs” or “macadamia nut nugs,” but popcorn is where the consensus has landed.

Given cannabis nugs come in many shapes and sizes, you may be wondering what distinguishes popcorn buds from their nugget siblings. Read on to find out — no butter or salt necessary.

Are Popcorn Nugs Considered “High-Quality” Weed?

From a commercial standpoint, popcorn nugs are considered “B-grade” buds in comparison to the larger, “A-grade” buds that serve as the centerpiece for many jars and packages of flower in dispensaries. If “A-grade” buds are the Brad Pitts and Meryl Streeps of the cannabis nugget world, then “B-grade” buds might be represented by character actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine O’Hara: The point is, either way, you’re probably in for a great movie. It’s really just a matter of whether or not you care how famous the cast is.

Though popcorn nugs may be slightly less potent due to their reduced mass, the difference is largely negligible. Thus, if you have a grower or farm you prefer, seeking out their “B-grade” buds is a way to save a few bucks while sacrificing virtually no quality. While other forms of cannabis — including shake and reggie — are definitely “rip-off” territory, a jar of popcorn nugs can really only be considered disappointing on an aesthetic level.

Basically, you may not want to post your latest stash on Instagram, but it’s not going to lead to an inferior high.

What Can I Use Popcorn Nugs For?

Given popcorn nugs are simply a phrasing to highlight a certain size of cannabis flower, you can do anything with them that you can do with cannabis!

That said, the size of popcorn nugs does make them ideally suited for a few specific canna-purposes, as well:

Press Rosin

If you want to save your prettiest nugs for joints or glassware, we understand. Instead, take your popcorn nugs and press them into rosin for use in a myriad of products

Make Edibles

Along the same lines, if popcorn nugs offend your eye, use them as the basis for an edibles recipe. Bon appetit!

Rolling Blunts

The tiniest popcorn nugs are perfect for rolling blunts, with little to no breaking up of the buds necessary. If you really want to impress your friends, twist them up with a Backwoods wrap.

You won’t need butter or salt to enjoy these popcorn-sized buds of cannabis. But what’s the best way to consume this type of weed?