You can spend hours and hours analyzing your marijuana plants with a magnifying glass, but if you have not studied the theory well, the observation process will continue to be an enormously complicated task. All growers, novices and experts, aspire to start the harvest at the optimal time, the one in which the buds are very juicy and loaded with resin.
Trichomes are undoubtedly the best indicators of when to cut and if you know how to interpret its growth and its point of maturity with criteria, you will better understand the best time to harvest your marijuana. Pay attention to our advice and find the dot what were you looking for.
Why are trichomes so important?
You are wondering how grower rookie. And if not, it is a question that you should ask yourself since it is very important. So much so that these tiny glands are responsible for marijuana making you so happy.
Cannabis is not the only plant that has trichomes. Many other species present trichomes, but those of marijuana show the particularity of contain cannabinoid substances (THC, CBN, CBD …) whose consumption causes psychoactive effects. In a way, it could be said that they are a small store of surprises that develops during the maturation cycle of the plant and that can serve as an indication to know when you can start the harvest.
Apart from this, trichomes also perform other functions that come out of the marijuana seed:
Protective function of trichomes
they protect the plant from both small critters and large animals. For the latter, the bitter taste of cannabinoids is not very pleasant. For insects, stickiness one of those brownish hairs turns out to be a death trap when they try to advance towards the interior of the plant in one of their attacks.
They serve as isolation
In adverse conditions, such as humidity levels that are too low (especially during the summer), the flowers are protected by the hug of the trichomes.
Ultraviolet filter for THC segregation
The more solar radiation they receive (UV-B rays), the more THC the trichomes secrete. This substance in turn helps the absorption of this radiation that is harmful to the plant as a whole.
When to harvest with the maximum THC possible?
It is without a doubt the million dollar question. It does not mean that if you advance or delay your marijuana harvest you are going to completely ruin the work of the last weeks, but it is likely that you will miss some of the nuances that you would surely like to enjoy with your plants.
However, this issue of the harvest depending on the maturation of the trichomes also has an important point in relation to the tastes of each grower. And it is that as the plant evolves these glands undergo a transformation that, without directly influencing the quality of the harvest, does substantially modify the taste of it and the effects of smoking it. The evolution could be summarized in the following scheme:
In the initial phase of their development cycle, cannabis trichomes appear as small dots on the leaves and calyxes of the plant. Very slowly they will gain height to separate from the base and show the appearance of a kind of chupachup (If we look at it with a microscope, of course). At this moment, in which the head of the trunk It is when the trichome allows the psychoactive substances that make up the resin of cannabis to develop inside it. The problem is that at this point they are still in their acidic forms and are so basic that its effects are hardly noticeable, so it does not make sense to bring the harvest forward to this moment. It is easy to see that it is still too early: the trichomes have barely developed and are practically transparent.
It is the point of maximum THC production and therefore the right time to start the harvest if what you are interested in is having a marijuana with very powerful effects. The trichomes have evolved from their initial transparency to a whitish color and the upper capsule is perfectly formed. Once again, your observation skills are very important so that you notice these small details and nuances. The buds are ready to be manicured, overflowing with resin, covered with those milky white hairs that in some varieties turn slightly transparent amber and that, in any case, no longer present such a rectilinear appearance but begin to curve in a very subtle way.
Perhaps, for whatever reason, you have decided to extend the flowering period a bit longer and the trichomes have entered their overripe phase. This implies a new change in composition and where you previously had a higher concentration of THC, now there is going to be a degradation effect towards substances with a lower psychoactive content. That is, if you delay the harvest and the trichomes have become overripe, you will get a more relaxing and narcotic marijuana than if you had harvested it at its optimum ripeness point. When it comes to quality, it doesn’t have to be better or worse. It is just another type of herb.
Regarding the appearance of the trichomes, in this stage of overmaturity you will find little brown hairs that have completely lost their translucent properties. There is no longer a trace of those funny transparent glands, but rather opaque and perfectly formed hairs that do not leave much room for interpretation. It will be very easy for you to recognize this moment in the evolution of trichomes.