This will be the most important environmental factor to consider regarding trichome development. Light exposure has a heavy influence on a plant’s trichome yield. Cannabis tends to develop more resin when grown in equatorial regions. These are areas with high exposure to UV rays. As mentioned above, cannabis uses trichomes to protect the buds from too much light. By exposing the plant to UV-B light for 2-3 weeks, you’ll be able to observe a difference in trichome yield.
Since trichomes cannot be seen by the naked eye, they must be looked at with a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe. If the trichomes are still translucent, they are not ready. At this point, they’re still producing cannabinoids, something you don’t want to interrupt. Buds will grow exponentially in the last 2 weeks, so be patient. When trichomes start turning milky white, it’s an indication they’re close. The buds still won’t be ready, but this is the time to be most attentive. Around half of the pistils should’ve darkened to an amber-brown colour by now.
There is a short, yet manageable window to achieve a good mental and physical high combination. When the trichomes still display a cloudy white colour, but are already turning slightly amber, harvesting will result in a nice mix of effects. A good time to chop is when ¼ of the trichomes have turned amber, while the others remain cloudy.
Today, we offer you a guide on how to get the most out of your cannabis trichomes.
Humidity and temperature can also alter the trichome yield of a cannabis plant. With the right combination of these, you can simulate a more stressful environment where the plant believes it should increase trichome production. In the last 2-3 weeks of flowering (around the same time you should increase UV-B exposure), toggling humidity and temperature will be key. Try decreasing the relative humidity (RH) levels to around 30%. Some very resinous plants grow in the Middle East where the weather is quite dry and arid.
Routine checks are necessary for growers of all experience levels. Always monitor your plants for any nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient uptake will seriously contribute to your frosty buds and the overall health of the plant. Even factors like airflow and proper watering practices are essential concerns for proper trichome development.
When it comes to finding reliable genetics with great trichome production, you can always try Lemon Shining Silver Haze or White Widow. Both strains get their names from the white coating of trichomes that appears during flowering. These are also great options when seeking a killer high. Try them out and assess for yourself. Just remember that, although hugely important, genetics are only part of the equation; they’re the first step. With that said, once you’ve chosen the proper strain, you can focus all your attention on following the best growing practices.
The trichomes will transition from a milky white to a cloudy white tonality. Harvesting during this stage will give the most psychedelic/mental effects, but it will yield less hash than if you wait. It all depends on the grower’s preference. When trichomes finally start to turn amber, there’s no more time to waste. Harvesting during this stage will create more of a body high associated with indica strains.
For the best yields, it’s crucial that you know how to identify when it’s time to harvest by the colour of the trichomes. This is something you should start doing in the last couple weeks of the flowering stage.
Getting your buds to produce loads of trichomes on your next harvest might not be as hard as you think! With a few techniques, you’ll be on the right track.
UV-B/Sun/Metal Halide exposure
This trichome-encrusted bud was grown under LED grow lights (click for a close-up)
Kief or hash (basically words for pure trichomes) can be smoked right away because trichomes don’t contain green matter. This kief was collected from extra cannabis leaves after harvest using the dry ice hash method (click for a close-up!)
Here’s a quick primer on how to get a good look at the trichomes on your buds.
Very strong grow lights like HPS bulbs make cannabis produce more trichomes than if the buds were under weaker lights in the flowering stage
As the trichome heads fill with “good stuff” they will start looking more fat and heavy and will eventually fall over.
UV-B is the name for a “color” of light in the lower blue/violet spectrum that humans can’t see. It is produced by the sun and causes damage to plants and humans.
The color and shape of trichomes on cannabis buds give you information about when to harvest, because harvesting at different times actually changes the effects and potency of buds.
Many other types of plants besides cannabis produce trichomes, including many aromatic herbs like mint and rosemary. These plants produce essential oils in their trichomes which are used to deter insects and protect the plants from other stressors, just like cannabis plants!
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