Using trichomes as an indicator of when to harvest
Waiting for the right time to harvest your marijuana plants can make even the most patient person go mental; after all, it is one of the most exciting parts of growing! I know you’ve been waiting and grooming your ladies patiently to produce the dankest bud ever, and now it’s getting to the point that you’ve been salivating for... harvest time. Timing that perfect harvest moment is vital for potent cultivation. If, for instance, you harvest too soon then you risk losing potency and yields. (Argh!) If, on the other hand, you harvest too late then the THC production and resin glands will have begun to diminish.
If so much depends on when you choose to harvest, then you better make sure you get it right. And just because I love you people so much let me show you now a way to do just that.
One of the best methods is by letting the trichomes (bless you) tell you that it’s time to harvest. The trichomes are crystalline beauties on a flowering top that makes it feel kind of sticky. If you would look at them with a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loop, then you’ll see that they have a stalk with a pretty round head on top. You can thank these trichomes for getting you completely baked as they are the resin glands that consist of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids.
Cloudy or milky looking
Trichomes have 3 stages of development in which each stage has a different color. In the first phase, the trichomes are clear and they consist of a precursor of cannabinoids. At this point, the cannabinoids are not psychoactive and if you harvest during this time, you will not get your desired effect.
During the second phase, the trichomes should be cloudy or milky looking. This is when the trichomes are at their best, fully pumped with THC awesomeness. You should aim to harvest when the majority of the trichomes are at this phase. Take notice that it’s impossible that all your trichomes are milky at the same time because they are continuously being formed and maturing.
The final stage is when the trichomes become brownish or amber. This happens as the THC degrades. It’s ok to have some amber trichomes when you start to harvest but don’t wait too long or else your harvest will contain too much cannabinol and it will not give you a true high, but rather make you sleepy.
It is essential that you pay close attention to the trichomes to help you harvest at the right time. All of your hard work and waiting deserve a good payoff with optimal highs.
You will notice that some plants can reach full maturity all at once while others can ripen from the top colas down to the bottom. It’s great when you can harvest your whole plant at once, but often times the outer buds and top colas mature at a faster rate. You can go ahead and harvest them if they’re ready and wait a week or so to harvest the other ones.
Just make sure you don't smoke them while checking the rest -it might just seem that every trichome is as cloudy as your vision.