Terpinator vs. Terp Enhancinator (DIY version)


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After growing out a clone in 3 separate runs: No terp additive, Terpinator, and Terp Enhancinator, I have smelled and tasted the resulting buds for comparison.

The Terpinator sample had a more intense overall smell. It is as if the smell profile I’m familiar with was turned up a couple notches. There was no noticeably featured notes to the smell, nothing was either augmented or diminished in the smell palette to detract from the usual bouquet. There was a bit of sweetness to the smell that is not usually found in this bud.

The Terp Enhancinator (TE) did not have similar results. The TE sample was only marginally more intense of an overall smell when compared to the sample without any terp additive. The noteworthy effect was that the TE seems to accentuate a pinesol-esque segment of the bouquet. There was a detectable increase in a nostril-stinging astringent note. The sample usually has a solvent-like aspect to her smell, but the TE seems to have highlighted a piney/lemony tone that is usually very subtle if present at all. Also, the TE sample was less sweet than the Terpinator sample. The subtle sweetness of the Terpinator sample was not present with the TE sample, but instead a sharper finish that could be attributed to the accentuated lemon pinesol note. Unfortunately, the TE did not seem to increase the intensity of the smell, only rearrange the priorities of featured aspects to the smell profile.

The Terpinator sample had mixed reviews during taste testing that I could attribute to the testers’ taste preferences. One person found the taste to be a slightly muted version of the non-additive sample and preferred the unadulterated control bud. Another person found an increased sweetness to the taste and preferred the Terpinator sample to the control.

The Terp Enhancinator fared better in the taste testing. One tester stated that the taste was a more evenly increased flavor to either the control or Terpinator buds. Another tester found the TE sample to be more flavorful than the control, but only slightly lagging the Terpinator sample.

I used the Terp Enhancinator on a round of H.A.OG to see how the additive interacts with a different plant. The lemon pinesol was dramatically increased in the resulting bud. Being that this is an OG and these terp notes are synonymous, this was a fitting addition to the final samples. The H.A.OG tends to the earthy fuel expression without terp additive, but the fuel aspect has been refined to include the hints of lemon and pine to the usual sting. These added notes are by no means drowning out the usual flavor, but have accented the underlying bouquet in a very pleasing way. I would say that I enjoy the Terp Enhancinator buds more than those without.

While the Terpinator did what it claims, namely, intensify the terpene content; the increase was not wildly dramatic. If I could put a value to the increase, I would say the smell was increased about 20-30%. While this is a noticeable increase in the terps, the price tag of the Terpinator still seems to make the decision to incorporate this additive into my nutrient regimen a toss-up. If I were doing a small single-tent grow, I would probably include Terpinator with each grow, but if you are doing multi-room commercial runs, this is going to be a hefty increase in production cost that may not see enough return depending on your market’s ability to absorb price increase. If I were to grow for a competition entry, I would consider including Terpinator for that cycle.

The Terp Enhancinator did not perform as well overall as the Terpinator, but the very low cost of incorporating the additive may allow some budget growers access to a terp enhancer. Terp Enhancinator had a more pronounced influence in the taste than the smell. It seems clear that the TE is missing something in the recipe that the Terpinator includes.

Ultimately, it seems the two terpene additives worked to bring out different sections of the smell profile. Terpinator had a nice across the board increase in intensity with some accentuated sweetness and Terp Enhancinator had lackluster intensity increase, but pronounced increase in lemon/pine notes seen in two different plants. These additives seem situational to me: if you have a plant with lemon/pine and want them exaggerated in smell/taste, use the Terp Enhancinator. If you have a plant that is a bit muted in smell and has sweet notes you’d like to highlight, reach for the Terpinator. While this test could have been better including many types of plants, I was not blown away by either additive to the point of feeling cheated by any grow that did not include them.
Wow man what a great experiment! I couldn't stop reading it!


In Bloom
I used to use TPS Signal terp enhancer, which is very affordable compared to Terpinator. 0-0-3.1 with 1.0 sulfur and .5 mag. Easy to dose, and it definitely helped increase the terps and promote flush/color toward finish at the higher feed levels.
I switced last year to using a 0-0-4 soluable kelp, 0-0.5 humic, a 1/2 tsp of mag and mollases as a terp enhancer now though, since I went away from anything bottled. I increase the amount of mollasses until week 7 then dial it back before finish.
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