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Using Trichomes to Determine Potency & Harvest Time

There’s no better feeling for a cultivator than when your cannabis plants are finally ready to harvest. All of the hard work over the previous few months has paid off, and you are just a few days away from sampling your grow.

However, it can be hard to decipher exactly when your plants are ready for harvest.

The most common way for most growers is to look at the pistils (or white hairs) that appear on your plants. If they appear to have stopped growing and the fragrance of your plants is more potent than ever, it is probably time to start the harvesting process.

However, this standard method is sometimes inaccurate if you look for particular harvesting times to exploit certain cannabinoid levels and potency.

Instead, observing the trichomes on your plants can be a far more accurate way of determining the perfect time for the harvest to ensure your preferred plant potency, and it is a straightforward process.

The only object you will need to conduct this method is a magnifier of some description. This will allow you to get a very close look at the trichomes, which can often be very difficult to observe with the naked eye.

You will need to observe trichomes that have a mushroom-like head on them. Any trichomes that do not have this mushroom-shaped head will not give clues as to the potency or harvest times.

Once you have found these fungal-shaped trichomes, the following general rules should help you decide what stage of the harvest window your cannabis plant is, as well as offer an indication as to its potency:

Trichomes are Completely Clear

Trichomes potency harvest

Transparent trichomes indicate that your plant is not ready for harvest, and its potency will be extremely low. In this situation, leave the plants and return to observe trichomes one or two days later.

Trichomes are Cloudy, With Some Clear Parts

Trichomes potency harvest

This indicates the very beginning of your harvesting window. While it is perfectly accpetable to harvest your plants at this stage, to do so would be like eating a banana before it ripens; it is still nice but doesn’t have the texture, flavour or aroma you want it to. Potency will be relatively low and will offer a more energetic high than plants harvested at a later date.

Trichomes are Very Cloudy

Trichomes potency harvest

This indicates the optimum harvesting time for most cannabis cultivators. Potency will be at its highest, especially THC count.

Trichomes have Turned an Amber Colour

Trichomes potency harvest

This indicates the very end of your harvest window. Early harvested trichomes have more THC precursors such as CBGa and THCa, whereas the more mature trichomes, although still high in THCa, will have more THC and CBN present too!

The most important thing to remember about the whole harvesting process is to remain patient. It can be hard when there are some beautiful-looking plants that you are eager to try right in front of you, but an early harvest could spell disaster. Check your trichomes to be absolutely sure; it is a cannabis plant’s greatest indicator of potency and readiness for harvest.

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

This post is also available in: French

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