After you’ve cared for your plants for many months, you’ll want to harvest the buds and enjoy that harvest. You may believe that this is going to be a straightforward process. However, it might not be. It may take a bit of practice to find out when it is best to harvest the buds. If you don’t get it right, your bud’s potency will be limited. And, you may not get the yield you were hoping for. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can look for that can tell when to harvest the buds. Within this guide, you’ll find out more about using pictures of trichomes to know when to harvest and other ways to know.
Why It Matters
Failing to harvest buds at the precise time will lead to several issues. For instance, there is a risk that you’re going to wait too long. If you do, this may result in the THC levels decreasing. If you wait too long, your buds may not be as potent as you may like. You don’t want that to happen. Knowing when to harvest the buds will prove to be very helpful. It’ll ensure that you’re able to get peak potency for your buds. Don’t wait too long or you’ll end up flushing your efforts down the drain.
Now, you need to find out how to know when you should harvest the buds. Paying attention to pictures of trichomes can help. You’ll learn about this and other ways to find out below.
What You Need
If you want to be positive that you’re harvesting at the right time, you’ll need one item. You’ll also need to know what to look for. You can use a jeweler’s loupe or a digital microscope. You need some that can help you magnify those trichomes so you can see them much better. Using one of these devices will help ensure that you’re able to see the trichomes up close so you can tell exactly when your plants should be harvested. Just remember that this isn’t the only way to do so.
Trichome – What Is It?
Trichome is a term utilized to describe the tiny crystals generated by cannabis plants. The trichomes do not begin to appear until the cannabis plant has entered the flowering stage. Trichomes are rich in THC. In fact, it is believed that they contain about 50% percent of the THC content in the entire plant. The other 50% is distributed throughout the plant.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines trichome as “a filamentous outgrowth” on a plant. Trichomes are found on different species of plants, including herbs like rosemary and mint. Cannabis trichomes work around the clock generating terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids, resulting in the plant’s unique characteristics.
Cannabis trichomes develop in three stages – clear, milky, and amber. The names of the development stages are utilized to describe the color of the trichomes. For example, during the clear development stage, the trichome is clear and often described as looking like icicles. It is not recommended to harvest cannabis plants when they are clear because the THC content is still very low. It will take several more weeks for the THC content to reach a desirable level.
Check The Trichomes
For the best results, you’ll want to look at the trichomes forming on your plants. Again, you’ll need to use a jeweler’s loupe or a digital microscope. This will give you a better look at the trichomes so you can see their color in more depth. With this method, you do not want to wait until the trichomes have turned brown. If you do this, you’ve waited too long. Instead, you should wait until they turn milky. This is the perfect time to harvest the buds.
If you’re having a tough time telling the difference, you’ll want to look at pictures online. You will be able to find many pictures of marijuana trichomes that are ready to harvest. This can help ensure that you harvest the plants at the perfect time so you get the most potent buds possible. It can be difficult to determine the difference so you may struggle.
If you’re in doubt, you should try to compare your trichomes to pictures you’ve found online. Remember that this will get easier as you gain more experience. Take your time and use this method alongside alternative methods to help ensure you are able to harvest before the THC begins degrading.
Check The Pistils
If you don’t have a microscope and don’t want to buy one, you’ll want to use an alternative method. Checking the pistils is one of the best ways to find out if the plants are ready. This isn’t a precise method but it can help. When your plants have entered the flowering stage, they’ll begin growing pistils. They’ll be white first. However, the pistils will change with time. You will notice that they begin turning reddish-brown. If the majority of the pistils are white, you shouldn’t do anything just yet. You need to let most of the pistils turn color before you harvest.
The perfect time to harvest depends on what you want. If you wait until 60 to 70% of the hairs have darkened, your buds will have the maximum level of THC. If you wait until 70 to 90% of the pistils have darkened, the buds will provide you with a better anti-anxiety effect. Again, this isn’t as effective as looking at the trichomes but it is a good option for people who don’t want to buy a microscope or loupe.
Tips For Knowing When The Trichomes Are Ready
There is no need to rush anything. Therefore, you should focus on the white hairs or pistils first. When you notice that they’ve darkened, you’ll want to look at the trichomes using a magnifying glass. The THC level will have peaked when the trichomes have a milky color. You don’t want to wait any longer since this will cause the THC levels to decrease. Some strains have trichomes that will never turn amber. If they stay white and don’t change, you can harvest them.