Harvesting And Curing
Everyone Should Know About Trichomes in the
The Grow Room forums; An interesting article I found that every grower should read...
Trichomes are small appendages that look ...
Everyone Should Know About Trichomes
An interesting article I found that every grower should read...
Trichomes are small appendages that look like hairs. They are produced by marijuana, and other plants. Female marijuana plants produce certain trichomes that are a rich source of THC. These trichomes can be found in their largest concentration on the buds. They start out clear, turn a milky color, then turn amber (light brown).
The trichomes in picture 1 are clear. After the plant has flowered for a few weeks, the trichomes start to turn a milky color (picture 2). After a few more weeks, they will be totally milky in color. In the later stages of flowering, trichomes will turn to a light brown color (picture 3). The amount of time required to get to this point depends on the marijuana strain and the growing conditions.
In picture 2 you can see the stems have started to turn from a clear color to a milky translucent color. For maximum THC content and a more cerebral and energetic high, harvest your plants when a majority of the trichomes on the plants in your garden are a fully milky translucent color.
You can wait until most of the trichomes have started to turn amber, but the resulting marijuana will produce more of a sleepy body stone than it would if plants were harvested earlier. The trichome in picture 3 is about 90% amber, with just a trace of the milky translucent color it previously possessed.
After the trichome is fully amber in color, the THC starts to degrade. This makes it very important to harvest marijuana at the time before a majority of the trichomes have attained a total amber color. If not, the marijuana will not be as potent as it could have been.
On your first harvest, if you are having a hard time judging when to cut the plants down, a good rough guide as to when to harvest a plant is to wait until 50%-80% of the white pistils (hairs) have turned dark (usually brown or red) and about 10% of the trichomes start to turn amber.
Do not be in too much of a rush and harvest when you see the first amber trichome. It is normal for a small number of trichomes to mature several weeks prior to optimal harvest time. But when 10% or more of the trichomes are turning amber and 50%-80% of the white pistils (hairs) have turned dark, you should consider harvesting your plants.
Note that trichomes are too small to be seen properly with the human eye. To see them properly, use a pocket microscope rated at somewhere between 20x to 70x. The greatest concentration of trichomes can be found on the growing buds.
Even though it's been posted a million times +rep for posting accurate information.
I'd just like to elaborate on bud "ripeness"a bit further.
I'm personally of the opinion that 90% of the growers on this site (And probably in general) harvest too early. By letting the plants go a little longer you're ensuring that the've plumped as much as they're going to.
Despite popular opinion to the contrary(and don't fool yourself, the jury is still out on this one) Recent studies have shown ;contrary to what was previously believed, that THC itself (And its predecessor THC-A) are quite guilty of causing the confusion and drowsyness associated with burnout and other cannabinoids (our friend CBN, and a handful of others) to be the catylist (along with THC) to being 'high' rather than 'baked'
Regardless, whether or not theres any substance to the aforementioned study, its easy to get the high you want.
If you want a soaring 'cerebral' high: Get yourself a tropical sativa that contains a high level of THC-V and grow it until it is ripe.
If you want the narcotic couchlock stone, grow a rugged indica until its ripe.
Notice a pattern of growing it until its ripe? Its a really good rule to live by.
OF course we have to remember that there is more to a good high than just THC. At last count there are at least 66 cannabinoids, and we don't know what most of them do.
Now alot of people will tell you that you should harvest based on the colour of your trichomes. But (again, in my opinion) that is far too simplistic and there are too many variables to make that an effective strategy. I've made that point a million times before and i'm not going to re-hash it here, but rest assured there is more to the picture than just trich colour.
A ripe marijuana plant will be filled in, will have an amber tinge to the buds. The pistils should have browned (or orange-d) off and receded into the buds. The seed bracts should be swollen and the trichomes should be sticking straight out with bulbous ends. Also, because you're coming close to the end of plant's life cycle, the leaves should have yellowed off and started to die.
one of my plants, 3 days before chop-chop.
Another very important (imho) reason to let your plants mature is Terpenoid production. Terpenes are responsible for alot of the complex (And enjoyable) flavours that cannabis produces. Some of the most intense flavours are produced on the "downslope" of cannabis's life cycle. My personal experience with this came when i was growing GH cheese. One of the plants i harvested at 8 weeks and it tasted pretty nice and had pretty dense buds. The other i grew until about 9 1/2 weeks and it had most amazing, sour, skunky, delicious taste with rock hard buds.
Here is my interpretation (and maybe exaggeration) of a scenario i see all too often...
That plant is 4 weeks into 12/12. Granted not all of the trichomes are that far along. And most people arent going to harvest weed that looks like this. But my point with this is that you have to look at the big picture. Stop being so scientific and start being practical.
I'm a new grower and i've been reading all this great information about when its time to harvest. Theres pictures and everything!!!
Look at my trichs, they look nice and milky with a touch of amber just like the ones in the picture that says its harvest time now!!!
So i just have one question....
Does this look ready to you?
I'm not anti knowledge, i just cant stand these "rules" that more often than not lead people down the wrong path.
Lets cut through the bullshit and spread good information in a way that is not so absoloute. Or at very least explain the growth stages of cannabis making sure to mention that the pistils should have receded back into the bud before you chop. Regardless of trichome colour.
Sorry for what could be interpreted as a thread jack.
can you elaborate more on the pistils? i take it they are different then the trichomes? you are saying that they should have receded back into the buds when it is time to harvest? what do you mean by that?
I will need to first distinguish what you mean these pistils are so if you could point that out that would be great.
AND I 100% agree with your explanation as to how we should have general botany knowledge...to people who are serious about wanting to grow quality cannabis this type of knowledge goes a lot further then a straight rule with no explanation.
Pistols are just part of the flower. Trichomes are resin (THC) glands (factories).
Originally Posted by ceilingbeds
Pistol production comes and goes, and comes again, throughout flowering, but trichome production reaches a peak, and then reaches a point of diminishing returns.
There's about a one week window in which to harvest at peak THC, and that is at the point when amber trichomes (degrading THC) start to out number clear trichomes. At this stage (harvest time) most trichomes will appear cloudy, or clear, and 10 - 50% will appear amber.
One the number of amber trichomes (degrading THC) starts to out number clear and cloudy trichomes (peak THC), you're harvesting late, but most folks harvest too soon.
I would wait until 10% amber on a sativa, if you're looking for a racy up sativa high, and up to 50% amber on an indica if you're looking for a narcotic body stone. anywhere in between these 2 points is just a matter of personal preference, but within the window of peak THC content.
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson my grow
can you lick off the trichomes? haha they look so tasty!
Good information. So, from the plants perspective, are the trichomes the resins that prevent it from drying out in hostile, late-summer conditions? If so, would cutting down on the watering (as well as flushing) facilitate trichome production?
Hmm..What about the theory that trichrome production comes in waves?..Some say that the last and final wave of trichrome production comes right before the plant dies.
God love the cannabis grower.
Pardon me while I rack my 12g. All living things should react to that sound. Lord knows, I do.
i have a 60x to 100x microscope is that too much? or will it work?
I have heard some here that adhere to that theory. My personal experience doesn't support it, but I have never attempted a comprehensive set of experiments to test the idea (but I'm betting someone here has!).
Originally Posted by SirTitanium
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" -- Dr. Seuss
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