When are trichomes ready to be harvested, how do they look?
When are trichomes ready to be harvested, how do they look?
The topic of today’s tutorial is fascinating: gorgeous, shimmering trichomes and the colour of trichomes during harvest. Did you know that you can tell when to harvest your buds based on the colour of the trichomes? Although we’ll just touch on the surface of these subjects here, you may want to start with a magnification if you don’t already have one.
The trichomes that give buds their glitter are what give them their sparkle.
Trichomes under magnification indicate the precise time when your plant is ready for harvesting. The tutorial for today will explain how!
Here’s a SUPER closeup of a trichome.
Why should growers use a microscope to examine trichomes?
- Maximize T H C: The colour of trichomes can indicate when a plant has produced its highest concentration of T H C and other cannabinoids, such as C B D.
- Maximise Yields: By examining the trichomes, producers may avoid harvesting too soon, which is the main way in which they unnecessarily reduce their yields and bud potency.
- Select the Outcomes You Desire – For more psychedelic and “in your head” effects, harvest plants early; for more “in your body” or “physical” effects, harvest later. You can pinpoint the ideal harvest period to achieve the desired benefits by looking at the trichomes.
You can determine when buds have the highest T H C content and will give you the desired effects by looking at the colour of the trichomes. Additionally, harvesting at the proper time usually results in higher yields.
How should I examine trichomes using a magnifyier?
The most popular methods for examining trichomes under magnification to help you decide when to harvest your plants are listed here.
How to enlarge trichomes for better visibility
- Jeweler’s loupe: an inexpensive but useful tool. A tiny magnification used to examine jewellery up close is called a jeweler’s loupe. These are really affordable, user-friendly, and efficient. The only drawback is that they can be a little difficult to see through, particularly if your eyes have trouble focusing.
- USB microscope (clearly see trichomes): Most smartphones can be connected to USB microscopes so you may use your phone to take images or videos. This eliminates the need to squint through a jeweler’s loupe in order to see the trichomes up close.
- Smartphone (depending on model): A lot of cellphones these days have high-quality cameras. The standard camera on more recent phones, like as iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, can occasionally be used to zoom in and take images of trichomes. It may be best to remove a bud and place it on a table in direct sunlight. After that, you can dry the bud and “test” its potency.
The best ways to take images of trichomes are to:
- Increase the amount of natural light in the room;
- Hold the buds steady, as movement blurs photos of small subjects;
- Zoom in as far as possible; and
- Maintain enough camera motion to capture the trichomes. Having the ability to mount the camera on something so you don’t have to hold it up sometimes helps.
The simplest and least expensive technique to observe trichomes is with a jeweler’s loupe.
The “best” method for trichome inspection is most likely to employ a USB microscope. With these, you can use your phone or laptop to capture images and movies of the bud so you can see the trichomes clearly on the screen. It also allows you to record the video, which is very useful if you were having trouble figuring out the colour of the trichomes and want to examine them more closely later.
Photo Gallery of Trichomes: Are these trichomes suitable for harvesting?
If you’re wondering if your plants are ready to be harvested, check out this enormous collection of images showing off trichomes. Either a USB microscope or a jeweler’s loupe was used to enlarge these trichomes. But keep in mind that different strains develop in different ways, so occasionally you’ll find trichomes that change somewhat from these pictures.
A Brief Overview of Trichomes
- Clear trichomes (Early): These trichomes are not yet reaching their maximum T H C potential because they begin transparent, almost like glass. The effects of clear trichomes are typically more “fast” or “psychedelic.”
- White/milky trichomes (peak potency): greatest T H C and C B D content, maximum effects. It is generally advised for producers to try to harvest when the majority of the trichomes are white.
- Amber/yellow/golden trichomes (Late): Because T H C is beginning to break down into the less effective cannabinoid known as CBN, amber trichomes tend to have stronger physical effects but a less mental impact.
What about other colors on trichomes? Certain strains yield trichomes that are coloured differently, such as pink or purple. That may never turn white on these trichomes. In the case of these “exotic” trichomes, the norm isn’t always followed. It is essential to inquire with the breeder in these situations as to when the trichomes signal readiness. If that isn’t feasible, make sure to visually inspect the buds to make sure they are ready, and utilise the trichomes as a supplementary indicator only.
Look at the trichomes on the buds, not the leaves! They often develop at different rates.
Too Early and Not Ready to Harvest
Less than half of the trichomes are white at this time, and the majority are clear.
It’s too early to harvest the “clear” trichomes, which have a glass-like appearance.
Not extremely fat yet are the “heads.”
Unfit for harvesting.
If you see mostly clear trichomes, it’s still too early to harvest. Wait a few more weeks.
All set to harvest
These are images of fully developed trichomes.
Half Clear, Half White on the Early Side
When trichomes are half white and half clear, the harvest window is open. The total potency is less than if you waited for more trichomes to become white, but the effects are still generally more psychedelic and “in your head” at this time.
Half-White, Half-Clear Trichomes Faster acting effects, reduced yields, and fewer sedative effects. Probably best to hold off a little while longer.
It can be challenging to determine the colour of the trichomes at times. For instance, the trichomes in the following image are clear, white, and yellow/amber in colour. Stress or merely heredity may be the cause of that range of trichome colours (some strains just do that). Given that the trichomes are unclear, what steps do growers take? Examine the hairs on the buds if you’re unsure. The bud isn’t ready if it’s still primarily white like the hairs in this image. White hairs usually curl in and darken before the buds are ready to be harvested. Examine images of buds that are ready to be harvested in order to determine when harvest time is when the trichomes become confused.
The white hairs indicate that the bud is not ready for harvesting, even though it is difficult to see the trichomes in this image. It will take a few more weeks for this bud to fully mature.
Peak Potency – Mostly White
These are mostly white, so you could harvest this if you wanted, though I still see a few clears here and there. That means you could probably wait another week or so.
Mostly White Trichomes with a few amber ones here and there – peak T H C, peak
C B D, typically the recommended time to harvest for most growers.
Consider the “milky” or “white plastic-like appearance of the white trichomes. Here, one or two yellow trichomes are visible, indicating that your potency is at its highest. Harvest as soon as possible if you want a high T H C strain—before too many more turn amber.
Here’s an example of many different plants that are ready to harvest.
Certain strains, particularly haze or sativa strains (tall, long-flowering strains that grow close to the equator), seldom develop many yellow trichomes. Almost all of the trichomes on this plant were still white during the more than three months that it was in flower. But the buds were beginning to appear sickly. Examining the enlarged images, you can see that the hairs are within and dark brown. You can also harvest your buds at that point. Regardless of what the trichomes suggest, harvest time is when all the hairs appear to be withering!
Late Stage: A lot of Trichomes are becoming yellow or amber
Amber trichomes indicate that T H C is beginning to change into C B N, a more subdued, softer, and “body high” cannabinoid. Strong body effects are desirable for growers, although it may seem “potent” or hallucinogenic. You also usually receive the highest yields because it’s the most recent harvest (buds continue to fatten until they are harvested).
Although the grower is observing more amber trichomes every day, these trichomes are primarily white. In order to maintain maximum potency while achieving a body high, now is an excellent time to harvest.
The majority of the trichomes are still clear, but these are partly amber. To determine when to harvest, look at the buds themselves if you can’t make sense of what the trichomes are trying to tell you. When buds appear firm and the majority of white hairs have become curly and darker, they are ready to be harvested. The trichomes aren’t always extremely helpful.
You can see several amber trichomes on this bud, and also the hairs are dark brown and curled in. Harvest time!
Well, what about other colours?
Certain strains yield trichomes that are coloured differently, such as pink or purple. That may never turn white on these trichomes. In the case of these “exotic” trichomes, the norm isn’t always followed. It is essential to inquire with the breeder in these situations as to when the trichomes signal readiness. If that isn’t feasible, make sure to visually inspect the buds to make sure they are ready, and utilise the trichomes as a supplementary indicator only.
These trichomes started white as normal and then just turned purple instead of amber.
However, in many strains, the trichomes become purple right away, thus the colour isn’t indicative of potency. For this reason, when dealing with trichomes that are brightly coloured, it may be best to either consult the breeder or observe the buds to decide when to harvest.
Growers should examine buds, but the best method to identify the perfect harvest window is to examine the colour of the glittering trichomes under a magnifying glass. The colour of the trichomes provides additional information on potency and effects, while the appearance of the buds serves as a decent general indicator of maturity. To optimise T H C and C B D levels and prevent harvesting too soon, I strongly advise paying at least a little attention to trichome development. You can purchase a jeweler’s loupe or microscope for 10 – 15 euros, or you can even just take enlarged images of trichomes on your smartphone.
For the majority of strains, amber trichomes indicate lowering T H C levels and may have a more sedative/body affect, while clear trichomes indicate the bud needs more time to mature, white trichomes indicate peak potency and maximum T H C. But certain strains create unusual colours for the trichomes or mature in a different way, in which case it’s usually advisable to go back to seeing how the buds look. Certain strains only produce one of the three trichome colours—for instance, they can alternate between clear and amber or never produce any ambers at all. In these situations, speak with the breeder or place greater emphasis on the appearance of the buds.
Only examine the trichomes on the buds—not the leaves—when examining the trichomes. A jeweler’s loupe is a straightforward solution, but a USB microscope allows you to take pictures and facilitates viewing. Having gained insight into the meaning of those glistening trichomes, make sure to read the articles below to enhance quality even more and optimise your harvest.