It is useless to carry out an excellent crop with the best quality strain if in the end we lose that quality because we have harvest the plant out of time. That’s why we write these lines, to make you see how important is the thorough observation of your plant for everything, even to cut it at the right time. In this key aspect, trichomes come into play as a real marker for harvesting.
In fact, with a simple sighting, or if you prefer with a microscope magnifying glass, you can determine the degree of maturity of your plant to be able to cut it just at the point of maximum splendor in its production of cannabinoids and maximum terpenic quality. In addition, monitoring the trichomes helps you direct the last watering and fertilization to apply to your plant a few days before cutting it.
We will explain in detail how to use the trichomes to perform the harvest of your plant avoiding the degradation of cannabinoids to the maximum.
Let’s get started!?
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What are trichomes?
Marijuana trichomes are formations that resemble glandular hairs that protrude from the cerea surface of leaves and chalices.
There are two types of trichomes that develop during the vegetative stage of the plant, the first is a milky looking hair species (milky trichomes), long and pointed, unicellular, which proliferates throughout the plant along the herbaceous stem, whether the plant develops in temperate climates or in warm climates
The other type of trichoma is the Cystolytic one, and it also begins to develop in the early vegetative stages of the plant.
Cystolitic trichoma is shorter than the one described above, swollen at the base (in this case it is loaded with calcium oxalate crystals) and also ends pointed.
At the flowering stage, the trichomes that interest us the most begin to develop….The secretory trichomes!… and pay attention to these because they are the ones you are most interested in!
One very common type of secretory or glandular tricoma is the bulbous one, which lacks stem or peduncle. This type of trichomes unlike the previous ones are made up of more than one cell, in fact they have up to ten cells, forming an organelle with flattened head at its end. These are the trichomes that you find on the surface of the leaves attached to the buds (sesile trichoma)..
The other type of trichomes, which we all like the most, is the stalked type of trichoma, which owes its name to its mushroom-like shape, being elongated at its base with a globular head that can contain up to sixteen cells
This type of trichoma is responsible for the intensive secretion of resin loaded with cannabinoids. The cells of these trichomes lack chloroplasts, which are the organelles of the plant cells that harbor chlorophyll, therefore, are not green, are colorless and furthermore, they have evolved only and exclusively to generate cannabinoid and terpenes in their resin…
Why do the trichomes produce resin in cannabis?
The resin includes cannabinoids that the plant synthesizes to protect itself against high-energy ultraviolet radiation.
They are one of the protection mechanisms that the plant kingdom has acquired throughout evolution.
And what is even more incredible is what its clear resin tells us about the degree of oxidation, in fact, when they turn into an amber color (amber trichomes) it is associated with the time of cutting or harvesting
To see the state of the trichomes, it is best to use a microscope or magnifying glass. Both products can be found in our online shop. Don’t be afraid of the name microscope, because, of course, we’re not talking about very sophisticated devices, but much simpler, portable and affordable for all pocket sizes.
In the case of magnifying glasses, we are also in the same case: these are cheap products that will provide you with a great service and that, if you wish, you can use for other tasks that have nothing to do with growing the plant.
Lumagny microscope. Indispensable to control insects, when harvesting the crop or to enjoy the trichomes of marijuana….
Easy to use
Formats: 30X – 50X
Ideal for viewing trichomes
How to use trichomes as maturity indicators?
For the case of these wonderful glands, observation is the key in order to know if our plant is at the optimal time for harvest. However, this observation and its interpretation require a certain grade of expertise, something you will acquire almost immediately.
If you make a mistake with the harvest time, the two results whit which you may find are:
1- If you cut the plant too early: if you thought your plant was ready to be harvested, but you’re ahead of schedule, chances are your plant hasn’t reached all the power translated into the expected cannabinoid levels, as it’s likely that the trichomes have taken a few more days to fully charge up.
Sometimes the early cutting is an advantage, although it seems untrue, in Indica strains that sometimes produce more CBD, when cutting before, predominates much more THC, so we get that the resulting marijuana buds have a point more “trippy” than if we had done it in time.
2- If you have overpass the harves date: In this case, cannabinoids have started to degrade and oxidize in contact with atmospheric air and light, losing psychoactive power by degradation of THC above all. THC begins its transformation to CBN (cannabinol), giving rise to a more narcotic and relaxing weed, even though you have grown a high quality sativa.
The optimum cut-off point corresponds to 50% of amber colored thricomes amber and the other 50% white or milky trichomes. At this moment the color tells us that statistically the thricomes begin to oxidize, predominating resin degradation over its synthesis, so we cannot wait the plant produces more and we can cut it
To see this correctly, as we have already mentioned above, you will need a magnifying glass or microscope, because, although when they emerge are perfectly visible for the human eye at first sight, is much better to observe the maturity of the resin with an increasing device.
Trichomes, which begin as small white dots in the marijuana plant, end up becoming a kind of “mini chupa-chups” that stick out of it (if they are stalked of course). Inside these thricomes are biosynthesized CBN (when THC begins to degrade), CBD, THC and other resin components of the marijuana plant, which are also the ones that mark their quality, producing also aromas and flavors, represented by terpenes and flavonoids in the resin.
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We hope that with this article your crops will gain in taste and quality, looking for the optimal cut-off point to give your marijuana a flavor and an effect according to your tastes.
Do not hesitate to share your experience with us and if you have liked the post share to make it reach the whole PEV Grow community.
From PEV Grow we will continue to inform the entire cannabis community about the latest developments and news related to the world of marijuana.
Have a good harvest!?