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Is bud washing a safe and recommended procedure after cannabis harvest?

The buds are the flower and consumable part of the cannabis plant. Bud washing (wetting and washing cannabis after harvest and before consumption) is a safe procedure that does not hinder the smell, potency, or taste of plants. The intention of washing the plants is so that pests, fungi, and bacteria that may have accumulated on your plants while growing will be eliminated.  

Not everyone will agree with bud washing.  Mainly, many fear that the plant will be damaged during this process. When the procedure is carried out correctly, the final product will only be enhanced. Bud washing can eliminate impurities in and on the plants, allowing optimal results at the time of consumption.

It is common for many people who grow cannabis plants to think that by providing a clean environment and having adequate filters they will be able to ward off these unpleasant and unhealthy plant issues, that could they will not have problems with bacteria or fungi that can still arise; but it turns out that this doesn't always work. 

Well, although the environment may appear sterile, it's not often enough to keep pests or fungus away. Even if the environment is clean, filters are not always enough so that the plants can be totally free of any pests or fungus.

Bud washing means washing the plant inside a bucket of water. This often makes growers think that cannabis might not have the same potency or the same flavor in its final result; but washing is a necessary procedure because it allows for a totally clean and healthy plant before consumption.


Still not convinced? Throughout this article, we’ll be exploring the procedure of bud washing explained step by step, providing you with information on how to do it correctly without damaging your plants.

Items Needed to Complete Bud Washing

  • 3 large buckets (large enough to fully submerge your buds)
  • baking soda (2 tsp for every liter of water)
  • lemon juice (2 tsp for every liter of water)
  • water

How do I  wash my buds correctly?

To achieve desired results, bud washing is to be performed directly after harvesting, and before the drying period of the plants. The main advantage of this procedure is to provide a much cleaner plant, free of any pest, bacteria or fungus that may have collected on and in it while growing. 

Before eating any fruit or vegetable, we wash them well, to eliminate any bacteria. This is the similar outcome we want for the plants.

The following steps will guide you through a correct bud washing procedure.

Bud Washing Process

  1. You will need three buckets. One with plain water, another with baking soda and water, and yet another with hydrogen peroxide and water.
  2. Proceed to trim the plants wet and leave the buds intact on its branches. This enables youto be able to clean several at the same time.
  3. First immerge the plants in the bucket of water containing baking soda, and let it stay there for about five minutes.
  4. They are then immersed in the bucket of water with  the lemon juice with the hydrogen peroxide; leaving it for a few minutes as well.
  5. Once the first steps are completed, immerse the buds in clean water, and then proceed to drying.

It is important to mention that to perform a correct bud washing you will need to use the exact amounts of the chemical components. That is, for each liter of water it is suggested to add between 1 and 2 grams of baking soda.

Also, in the case of lemon juice it is only recommended to squeeze half a lemon per 10 liters of water, and as for hydrogen peroxide, only 1 cup should be added, for every 5 gallons of water respectively.

If you follow the recommended steps, the process will be easy, with no damage to the cannabis’ desired outcome.


Bud Washing After Harvest

It is feared that while the buds are being washed, the trichomes (the resin glands on the plant - often appearing frosty, and sticky to touch) will be damaged. However, there is a minimum risk of this happening, because the trichomes are strong and washing requires only immersing the buds in water solutions without handling them. 

The risk for fungi, pests, and bacteria are less for plants grown indoors. Growing cannabis plants indoors allows them to have greater control over  the environment (light, temperature, humidity). Indoor growers have more options of preventative measures to eliminate harmful things that their plants might encounter.  However, if plants are grown outdoors, there will be a greater risk of them becoming infected, as the environment isn’t controlled, therefore it is even more recommended to carry out washing.

Bud Washing With Peroxide

On many occasions, to reinforce the process of bud washing, it is recommended to add a certain amount of peroxide.

The mixture of water with the peroxide will produce a foam that is located at the top of the bucket, so it is advisable to remove it with a sponge to prevent the plants from becoming contaminated again.

It is important to mention that to wash buds in peroxide, you need a ratio of 1 cup of peroxide for every 5 gallons of water. After this, the plants can be submerged for at least 5 minutes. Then, we recommend hanging the plants on a shelf where they have enough airflow, so that they can dry out as quickly as possible.

The best time to wash buds is right after harvesting, this happens because the trichomes are flexible and are not prone to receiving any damage.

Benefits of Bud Washing

There are many benefits associated with bud washing. Bud washing is quick and easy.  Once you have the necessary supplies ready, it only takes minutes for the whole process. The supplies you’ll use are readily available.  The final result will be a smoother inhale of the final product. 

On the other hand, the cons that exist regarding the bud washing (and more than a contra is a precaution to take) you have, that it is not advisable to perform this procedure very late at night; this is because in those hours the roots of the plants do not absorb the water they should, and that will cause as a result that they are left with excess water, producing decomposition in the root of the plant.


Bud washing does not remove THC or CBD from cannabis.

Both THC and CBD are chemical compounds that belong to the family called cannabinoids, which are produced inside the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive ingredient while CBD is credited with the benefits of consuming cannabis medicinally.

Both cannabinoids are responsible for  creating reactions in the human body; however, their effects are totally different. THC affects parts of the brain, having psychoactive effects and narcotic properties. Whereas, CBD does not alter mental abilities, but produces muscle relaxation, decreases possible seizures and, in addition, reduces anxiety; this is the reason it is the chemical compound to which medicinal cannabis is attributed.

Bud washing does not remove either of these two chemical compounds, as they are both hydrophobic (repel water), so trichomes in cannabis plants will not be lost when immersed in water.


To Bud Wash or Not to Bud Wash

A correct washing will result in maximum potential in your cannabis buds. The bud washing procedure will only take a few minutes of your day and the outcome will be worth it. You will discover a healthier, smoother smoking plant. 

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