Harvest With Clear Trichomes
It can be hard to determine when the best time is to harvest your high-value crops. After all, you’ve worked hard for weeks to get to this point. Harvest time, however, can be perplexing for many producers because the ideal time to harvest varies with each strain.
What happens if you harvest with clear trichomes? Harvesting marijuana too early is perhaps one of the most common blunders that many growers, especially novices, make. The presence of clear trichomes indicates that the plant is not ripe for harvesting. Harvesting so early will only provide a quick and light high.
Harvesting time can be difficult for beginning producers, which is why we’ve put up this guide. This post should help you figure out how to know when the best time to harvest your cannabis plants is.
What You Need To Know About Trichosome
There are several hidden fascinating characteristics within a cannabis plant’s intricate constitution. Some of them are so small that you’d need a microscope to examine them properly! Cannabis trichomes are an example of such a detail.
If you’ve ever looked closely at a marijuana plant, you’ve probably noticed them. A blanket of tiny, gleaming crystals that covers the buds and leaves like a blanket. Have you ever wondered what they are?
Trichomes cover the bulk of the outside of the plant, including the buds and leaves, where they are most concentrated. Trichomes appear as a shiny coating that becomes apparent in the areas around the flowers when viewed with the naked eye.
Farmers can use a macro-camera, microscope, or magnifying glass to examine weed trichomes more precisely. They make it easier to observe that trichomes are discrete opaque glands shaped like little mushrooms.
Trichomes do more than only give cannabis flowers a crystalline sheen that transforms them into wonderfully cold buds. In the case of cannabis chemicals, they play a crucial role.
Trichomes are solely responsible for your preferred strains’ effects and flavors. Each cannabis trichome is a minuscule factory.
They create valuable cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which contribute to the cannabis plant’s diverse chemical makeup. Of course, it’s the trichomes that contain the THC-rich resin required for extraction.
Trichomes are becoming more well-known as a crucial component of the female cannabis plant. However, some growers overlook them.
Trichomes defend the cannabis plant from predators and pests, in addition to their medicinal and therapeutic properties. Trichomes can even act as a natural sunscreen, reducing the heating effect of sunshine.
Trichomes have a sticky residue. It works as a natural defense mechanism against insects, fungi, and herbivore predators that can’t get beyond the sticky and gooey barrier.
These pests stray away from the plant because of the trichome’s disagreeable taste or texture. It’s safe to state that trichomes are advantageous in a variety of ways.
The Best Time To Harvest
In general, you only want to harvest your crops when they stop growing. Most will suggest that you do not harvest marijuana too soon. Before harvesting your marijuana plant, ask these three questions to yourself:
- Does it appear that they’ve stopped gaining weight?
- Have the buds shrunk in size?
- Have they ceased to grow new hairs?
All of these things indicate that it’s time to harvest. However, through time, growers have discovered three best methods for determining the ideal harvest time:
Knowing When It Bears Flowers
Knowing the predicted flowering time for your particular strain is one method to determine when it’s time to harvest. You may frequently find internet posts and information about other farmers who have grown the same variety.
There is, however, a general guideline. These are among the most popular strains and when they should be harvested based on their flowering cycle:
Autoflower: 10–12 weeks from seedling to bud
Indica: You may harvest them after eight weeks of flowering
Sativa: You may harvest them after ten weeks of flowering
Observing The Color Of Its Pistils
Your female plants’ reproductive organs are the pistils on their buds. They appear to be tiny hairs protruding from the skin.
The good news is that these pistils will change color as your buds expand and ripen. They start white, then darken to the point that they resemble brown.
Marijuana growers use the pistil method for many years to determine the ideal time to harvest. It entails examining the color of your plant’s pistils.
You’ll know when it’s time to gather your crops if you pay close attention to the colors as they change.
Mostly white: Way too young to harvest
50–70% Brown: A young, light plant. You have to wait.
70–90% brown: The plant is ripe and heavy. It is probably an ideal time to harvest.
90–100% brown: Sharp, heavy plant — harvest now.
There is another thing you should know about this method: pistils may change color prematurely due to environmental variables.
To begin with, how do you determine the color of trichomes? You may use a trichome microscope, a magnifying glass, or even zooming in on them with your phone.
Availability of one of these tools is a fantastic way to see if the trichomes are ready to harvest. Observe the trichomes as they grow and change color early in the flowering period.
Clear Vs. Cloudy Trichomes
You may interpret this as a clear no for harvesting if your trichomes are still clear of color. Because the THC content in clear trichomes is at its lowest, it’s far too early.
When most trichomes have turned milky, it means they’re on their way to achieving their final golden color.
The milky tint also indicates that cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances have partially converted inside the trichomes. Usually, it takes another two weeks for the trichomes to turn amber once they have all gone milky.
Milky Vs. Amber Trichomes
When the trichomes turn from hazy to amber, the THC becomes fully mature, and harvest time arrives. You should be aware that the trichome color has a significant impact on the effects of harvested buds.
Cannabis plants collected when most trichomes are still hazy in hue provide strong cerebral and psychoactive effects. THC levels, on the other hand, will not be at their highest.
When trichomes are a mix of hazy and amber, they produce a balanced head and body high. The strain and genetics of the plant, on the other hand, have the best impact on the result.
Having the same plant plucked at different stages of trichome ripeness is the best method to determine your favorite.
- Harvest a piece of the buds when a quarter of the trichomes have become amber, for example.
- Then, when the ratio is near 50/50, continue harvesting.
- Harvest the remaining buds when only a quarter of the trichomes on the buds are hazy.
- Dry and cure them separately, then compare the results to see which one you prefer.
Having the same plant plucked at different stages of trichome ripeness is the best method to determine your favorite. Harvest a piece of the buds when a quarter of the trichomes have become amber, for example. Then, when the ratio is near 50/50, continue harvesting.
Harvest the remaining buds when only a quarter of the trichomes on the buds are hazy. Dry and cure them separately, then compare the results to see which one you prefer.
Getting Ready For Harvest
Getting The Harvest Area Ready
Begin by arranging a location for harvesting and processing your plants. It should be a dedicated area to reduce odors. It should also allow the plants to cure as rapidly as possible.
If you want to put up the optimal curing environment, make sure it has temps around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It helps to dry the plants while also preventing the oils from becoming volatile. The temperature, as well as a charcoal filter, can help to keep odors at bay.
Getting Your Tools Ready
There are things you should do to prepare your plants as they approach closer to harvest. For a successful harvest, there are a few tools that growers must-have.
Using separate cooking trays or bowls is a usual approach to trim One for the branches you cut off, one for clipped buds, and one for all the plant materials you cut off the buds.
2. Sharp trimming scissors
For cutting buds and the smaller leaves around buds, always use small-sized and sharper snippers.
3. Large pruning shears
Large pruning shears are crucial for cutting through the plant’s tough stalks and branches.
While not strictly necessary, wearing gloves while handling your buds will keep things cleaner and more sanitary.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with resin on your hands. However, rubbing alcohol works better than soap and water for cleaning marijuana resin.
Get Your Plants Ready
Your plants, too, will require some preparation before they can be ready for harvest. Make sure the plants are free of any old or decaying leaves.
These are the ones that have begun to turn yellow. Only take off leaves that are growing on the bottom part of the marijuana plant.
Two weeks before harvest, make sure you cease spraying. It will avoid residue and lessen the risk of mold. Mold and residue make the curing and drying process harder than they should be.
Step By Step Marijuana Harvest
It’s now time to harvest your pot, as you’ve all been waiting for for a few months! Make sure you’re treating your buds with care at all times. It will protect the plant while also ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience.
Before you begin, make sure you have the right environment in place. You risk hurting or diminishing your harvest if you don’t create the correct atmosphere. Below is the meaning of appropriate environment when it comes to harvesting with clear trichomes:
It means avoiding extremes such as:
- Temperatures exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Damp or humid situations
- Excessive friction during handling, or even bright light.
All of these have the potential to decrease the quality of your THC. You have various options for harvesting your marijuana plants. You should either harvest the entire plant or just a few extraordinarily developed buds by cutting the main stem.
You will have less labor on your hands if you choose to harvest the entire plant. It’s usually faster and easier. In fact, you only have to cut the main stem and hang the plant or divide it further.
If you’re only going to harvest a few buds at a time, you’ll want to go after the ripest ones. It can increase quality because you’ll only get the ripe buds that need harvesting. It leaves the others to mature on their own.
If you only take the ripest buds, you’ll have to come back in five to ten days to get the remainder. Keep in mind that the outside buds, or those exposed to more direct light, are the first to mature.
To cut through the stalks, you’ll need a decent pair of pruning shears in either case. When you’re ready to cut, keep in mind that you can remove the fan leaves or not. These are the leaves that don’t have any trichomes on them and are huge.
If you opt to remove your fan leaves, it will accelerate the drying process. Leaving them on, on the other hand, will allow the buds to dry more slowly. Whether or not to remove them is a personal choice.
However, keep in mind that removing the buds in a humid climate can help avoid mold. On the other hand, keeping them on in a low-humidity environment is ideal.
Tips To Dry The Plant
- Hang the plant to dry it out. You can hang the entire plant, or individual branches can be clipped off and hung. After the marijuana branches have dried, extract and manicure the individual buds.
- Maintain a relative humidity of 30% to 60% and a temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18C & 26C). To protect the plant from drying out too quickly, limit the amount of airflow.
- If it takes less than three days to dry, you’re drying too quickly. You should increase humidity, reduce airflow, or lower the temperature the next time.
- If it requires more than seven days for your clothes to dry, you’re drying too slowly. You should lower humidity, boost airflow, and raise the temperature next time.
After you’ve cut your plants, put them on the wire. There should be an even space between your plants so that air may circulate between them and aid in the drying process.
To avoid rising humidity mold problems, dry your plants in a place with ample airflow. To get things going, you might need to put up a fan.
Make sure you’re wearing gloves while collecting your buds once more. This part is critical. You don’t want THC on your hands since it’s sticky.
Manicure Your Buds
You didn’t assume you were all done because your buds had fallen off the plant, right? After that, it’s time to start the manicuring procedure. You may do this in a few ways:
- You can immediately trim your buds down to nuggets
- You can dry them on the line.
You’ll have a faster drying time if you trim right away. It is because the leaves are still wet after harvesting. Because they are solid, they are easy to cut.
Furthermore, as you handle the plant, the trichomes are less likely to be knocked off. Your buds will dry faster if you have fewer outer leaves covering them.
If you clip the buds first, the next step is to hang them on a string. Allow them to dangle on the line until their stems bend and begin to break – but not completely. It indicates that your buds are completely dry.
This dryness will indicate when your buds are ready to be clipped if you trim them subsequently. It usually takes at least three days, but it can take up to ten days for this time to appear.
Because everything will snap off, the branches and plants are more ready for a trim. This part can be beneficial, but it also has harmful potentials because the trichomes are more likely to break off.
Trim The Plant
Trimming instructions are nearly identical regardless of whether you do it before or after. Remove any surplus material from the area around the buds.
Trimming your cannabis is a personal choice. However, if you plan to sell the harvest, do it nicely. Cannabis with soft and seamless trim is what most consumers want.
You’ll need to get rid of all the big leaves that protrude from the buds. Remove any leaves that are yellow or brown. These can affect the aesthetics and taste of your buds. Take care in getting rid of any leaves that don’t have any trichomes.
If trimming for hours doesn’t appeal to you, don’t fret. There are plenty of tools you can purchase to make the process go faster. Curved trimmers, bowl trimmers, and trim trays are all products that can help you pass the time.
Trim carefully – don’t chop away at the stem indiscriminately. Instead, aim to leave a few inches of the marijuana stem while you cut. While you’re trimming, clean your scissors as well, as the blades can become clogged and difficult to use.
In the end, the ideal harvesting period is a matter of personal preference. Having the same plant plucked at different stages of trichome ripeness is the best method to determine your favorite.