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Trichomes Harvest & What You Need To Know

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

By Therin Miller | The Chronic Magazine

capitate stalked trichomes
capitate stalked trichomes

What are Trichomes?


Cannabis plants have microscopic, mushroom-like white hairs covering the surface. These compounds play a direct part in the psychoactive or beneficial effects that consumers desire of cannabis. Trichomes contain a large percentage of cannabinoids and terpenoids that are chemical and aromatic constituents of cannabis. Combining cannabinoids and terpenes is important for determining cannabis taste, scent, and feelings among consumers. It is essential for cannabis to maintain its aroma and its potency. Trichomes are hard to see with the naked eye and oftentimes can be seen with a marijuana magnifying glass.



The Influence of Trichomes on Cannabinoids and Terpenes


Trichomes have a direct influence on the potency, flavor, and aromatic aspects of cannabis. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are produced in the trichome glands along with terpenes—aromatic molecules that give cannabis strains their distinct flavors and smells. Terpenes also play a role in influencing the effects of THC and other cannabinoids.

The Different Stages of Trichomes


Trichomes also aid in the cannabis plant survival and deliver cannabinoids and terpenes. As with any other part of cannabis cultivation time must be a priority and trichomes can be a reminder of your cannabis plant's readiness. Unlike the other species, trichomes appear in various colors throughout the plant's lifecycle, and understanding its variations is essential when harvesting marijuana to increase its strength and fragrance levels. The color spectrum of trichome ripeness can be from clear to cloudy until amber. Different Stages reflect an important place in the plant lifecycle and harvest window.


Harvest Time - Trichome color to look for on your cannabis buds


There are certain colors you want to look for on your trichomes harvest so you know when they are ready. There are several quick reference charts you can get to tell you the trichomes harvest color including a trichomes harvest chart which will look similar to the one below but with more shades of color. Let's not overcomplicate this, and keep it simple the colors below are all you need to have successful trichomes harvest.


Trichome head - amber colour
Trichome head - amber colour

Cloudy Trichomes:

Cloudy trichomes on the cannabis plant are a sign that your plant is nearly ready for harvest. Cloudy trichomes have a milky white or translucent coloring, and they usually indicate that the majority of the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds are present in the plant. When these trichomes become cloudy, it is time to harvest the plant.


Amber Trichomes:

Amber trichomes are a sign that your cannabis plant is in its final stages of maturity. As the name suggests, these trichomes have an amber-colored hue and indicate that the plant has reached peak ripeness. While some consumers prefer to wait for this stage to arrive before harvesting, the psychoactive effects of cannabis will be diminished when the trichomes have turned amber.


Milky Trichomes:

As previously mentioned, it is important to pay attention to the cannabis flowers and trichome ripeness in order to ensure maximum potency and flavor from your harvest. Generally speaking, cannabis buds should be harvested when the majority of trichomes have reached a milky white or clear trichomes color.

Harvesting your cannabis buds at this stage will ensure that you are able to maximize the potency and flavor of your harvest. Be sure to also use proper drying and curing techniques, as these can further enhance the scent, flavor, and potency of your harvest.


Trichome production and lifecycle in cannabis


Cannabis trichomes are primarily an enjoyable and relaxing product for humans. They provide valuable medicinal materials. But marijuana plants have valuable defense capabilities that can keep plants alive for a long time to grow seedling seeds. Trichome is essential for a cannabis life cycle. The sticky trichome coating acts as an invisible protection against pests. In addition, trichomes contain terpenoids that can aggravate and deter pests. The cannabis resin coating on the trichomes protects delicate plants against harmful UV radiation.


How to produce more trichomes on cannabis?


Cannabis growers are always looking at ways they can produce trichomes in abundance during the flowering stage. The trichome content of cannabis seeds depends on the environment. Unless you use high-quality cannabis seed you won't reach high levels of THC. Cannabis growers will typically be very selective about which seeds they select. You can choose either auto-flowering seeds or feminized cannabis seeds as the primary choice. Growers tend to experiment with natural light, and temperatures to stress the marijuana plant which is sometimes referred to as heat stress to produce thick bulbous trichomes.


How to Examine Trichomes?


As the cultivation of cannabis can be very tricky, it's important to closely monitor trichome development during flowering. By monitoring the color and opaqueness of trichomes, growers can usually decide the best times to harvest marijuana plants for specific consumer experiences. The trichome may also become cloudy or clear. Trichome stages can be accomplished by following an experienced grower's chart and harvests of the trichome. Most growers go by the color of the trichomes during the flowering process to gauge when their female cannabis plants are ready to be harvested.

How To Maintain Trichome Quality When Harvesting


Depending on the way you handle the trichomes during the cultivation process your trichomes can be incredibly valuable. The cannabis plants trichomes are sensitive, therefore the preservation of their contents should take priority. Following are some helpful tips to keep your tomatoes healthy when harvesting your plant.


Harvesting Trichomes


Trichome harvesting is done by carefully removing the resin glands from the plant material. This is best accomplished with a cannabis trimming machine that uses rotating blades to gently remove trichomes from the flowers and leaves. Alternatively, a bubble hash bag or freeze dryer can be used to collect trichomes that are present in the flowers and leaves. Trichome harvesting is an important step in ensuring a high-quality product, as it helps to preserve the potency, flavor, and aroma of cannabis.


Harvest Cannabis Trichomes
Harvest Cannabis Trichomes

Things To Consider When Harvesting Trichomes


When harvesting trichomes there are several key aspects cannabis cultivators need to consider:

Timing:

When harvesting trichomes, it is important to ensure that the process occurs at the right time. The ideal time for harvesting cannabis trichomes is when they have reached their peak of ripeness, which can vary depending on the strain and environmental conditions. Remember to look at the trichome color which will help you when determining the time to harvest.


Technique:

It is essential to use a gentle technique when harvesting trichomes, as overly aggressive trimming can damage the resin glands and bulbous heads and reduce the potency of the entire plant.


Processing:

Once the bulbous head of the trichomes has been harvested, it is important to process them correctly in order to ensure a high quality product with your desired thc levels. Properly dried and cured cannabis will retain its flavor and aroma better than improperly processed material.


Storage:

Proper storage of your trichome heads harvest is essential to maintain freshness and potency. Trichomes should be stored in airtight containers away from light and heat to prevent degradation.


Trichome harvesting is an important step in ensuring a high-quality cannabis product. By understanding the importance of timing, technique, processing, and storage, you can ensure a successful harvest of trichomes. With the right approach, you can create a high-quality product with maximum potency and flavor.


Harvesting trichomes is an essential part of cannabis cultivation in order to ensure maximum potency and flavor for many cannabis concentrates. By understanding the importance of timing, technique, processing, and storage, as well as the cannabis strains that produce high amounts of trichomes, you can ensure a successful harvest every time and that you will always grow high grade cannabis.


Cannabis Strains That Produce A High Amount Of Trichomes


Blue Dream:

A Sativa-dominant hybrid, Blue Dream is renowned for its powerful trichome production and intense euphoric high. Its dense buds are coated with a thick layer of resin that contains myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, limonene, and linalool – all of which contribute to its signature flavor.


White Widow:

An indica-dominant hybrid, White Widow is renowned for its high trichome production and intense psychoactive effects. Its buds are dense and covered with a thick layer of trichomes that contain myrcene, terpinolene, caryophyllene, and limonene – all of which contribute to its signature aroma and flavor.


Northern Lights:

An indica-dominant hybrid, Northern Lights is known for its high trichome production and sedative effects. Its dense buds are blanketed with a thick layer of resin that contains myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, and limonene – all of which contribute to its signature flavor.


Super Lemon Haze:

A Sativa-dominant hybrid, Super Lemon Haze is renowned for its high trichome production and energizing effects. Its buds are dense and blanketed with a thick layer of trichomes that contain myrcene, terpinolene, caryophyllene, and limonene – all of which contribute to its signature aroma and flavor.


Gorilla Glue:

A balanced hybrid strain, Gorilla Glue is known for its high trichome production and uplifting effects. Its dense buds are blanketed with a thick layer of trichomes that contain myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, and limonene – all of which contribute to its signature flavor.

Other Considerations for Producing a High Amount of Trichomes in Cannabis Plants


The type of light used for your plants can have an effect on the level of trichome creation; certain types of lights can promote higher amounts of trichome that are produced.

The temperature of your grow space is also an important factor to consider when trying to maximize your trichomes; lower temperatures are generally better for encouraging resin production.

Nutrient levels can also affect the amount of trichomes that are present on the cannabis plant; too much or too little of certain nutrients can hinder the amount of trichomes that your cannabis plant will produce.


The use of foliar sprays containing trichome stimulators can also help to increase the amount of resin produced by your plants.


By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can ensure that you get the highest yield and quality of trichomes possible from your harvest!

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