Trichomes and the harvest

Discussion in 'Colorado (CO)' started by Colodonmed, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Colodonmed

    Colodonmed Registered+

    Hi all, a general question with I am sure many complex answers. After trying to learn everything I can before attempting to grow my medicine, I have come to a crossroads and am sure the answer is here. OK, most sites giving advice say that the trichomes should be an amber color or at least say 50% of them should be amber to get the full effect, however I have started checking the medicine I get from a few dispensaries with a 50-100x pocket scope and I'll be dammned if I can find very many amber trichomes, most are clear to cloudy. I am not complaining about the quality as they all seem to be pretty effective, but am wondering why I cannot find that many amber trich's and would the medicine really be that more potent if harvested a little later. Hope this is not too confusing to read and really looking forward to your answer(s). Thanks all
  2. puntacometa

    puntacometa Registered+

    Because it takes a good eye and experience to know the opimal time to cut and the waiting can add an extra 10 days to the flowering cycle. you've got to watch them carefully. I prefer to cut when the trichomes are cloudy with just a beginning tinge of amber. It's tricky......amber means that the trichomes are a bit past full maturity and are starting to degrade. As far as potency is concerned, this is also dependent on a proper curing environment and taking the time to do it instead of rushing it out the door. A two month + curing process can make a huge (and positive) difference relative to potency.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
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  3. bigtopsfinn

    bigtopsfinn Registered+

    More amber means longer time until harvest, maybe 1 or 2+ weeks which adds up over a year for commercial/medical growers. Plus if they are more amber, it'll be more of a couch-lock high, which I imagine many people don't like if they need to be productive while medicating.

    I'd say pick when there's little to no clear trichs anymore. 50% amber would be the farthest I'd take em.
  4. TheReleafCenter

    TheReleafCenter Registered+

    Glad to read those first two responses. I've had numerous arguments with people who say "There isn't enough amber on this bud, it's no good." Very frustrating.
  5. lampost

    lampost Registered+

    Everyone likes their herb different....

    Some people may prefer more amber?

    I picked up some White Widow awhile back that was specifically allowed to amber up a bit... it was the stoniest White Widow I've come across yet...
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  6. Colodonmed

    Colodonmed Registered+

    Thanks for the input guys I really appreciate it, I prefer a more "up" high when smoking/vaping during the day and a good heavy body high for pain at night so I guess I will harvest some a little early and wait the extra time for the ambers for pain and sleep. Now I am ready to start my grow, thanks again and peace to all
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  7. puntacometa

    puntacometa Registered+

    Ambering can induce a bit of a narcotic effect to the experience. Early cut (clear trichomes) can enhance the properties in some strains that make them prone to induce anxiety/paranoia. Definitely not a good thing for patients who are dealing with PTSD related problems.
  8. Colodonmed

    Colodonmed Registered+

    I am glad Releaf chimed in as I was wondering if folks were giving the dispensaries any feedback/grief or whatever over the amber, do have to say I got 1/8 th of mean green about 8 days ago that was really moist and have had it in a mason jar for the entire time, burping it a few times a day and this morning I noticed the smell was different and now I believe it has some mold, at least white fuzzies in a few places, gonna return it and see what the dispensary will do about it. Damn, I hate hassles
  9. puntacometa

    puntacometa Registered+

    If you're seeing mold, don't use it.
  10. MMJinColorado

    MMJinColorado Registered+

    Also, if you get wet feeling buds, DO NOT put them in a jar, as they will mold even if there wasn't mold on them to begin with. If you end up with wet buds, take it back to the dispensary before smoking it and ask for a different strain. If you are past the point of no return or simply really want to keep that particular sample, allow it to dry out for 1-2 days until the stems snap and then put it in a Mason jar if you want to cure it a bit.

    And yeah, the clamor over ambers is a lot of nothing really. I tend to like my meds with 10-15% ambers because it seems to round out the high on most strains... nice mix of head and CBD-heavy body stones. However, some are better early, sometimes the ambers make it very tough to smoke because you'll fall asleep, etc. A knowledgeable grower should have his/her strains "dialed in" to the point where they know that an early/mid/late harvest will produce the best results.

    Seeing nothing but clear is the one time I really question the motives... in those cases, they were most likely just trying to get the product out the door rather than striving for quality... That, or there was some other issue like mold, pests, hermies, etc. that caused them to want to harvest earlier than normal.
  11. lampost

    lampost Registered+

    Also, let us know where you picked up that wet, soggy bud so we can avoid the place.

    That's become one of my biggest pet peeves lately: getting some nice-looking bud home and realizing it's too wet to smoke!! Shit, I've got my own stuff curing up in jars. I bought some herb at the dispensary to smoke TODAY while I wait for my own, NOT to have to continue their cure for them for another 2 weeks!!

    You can't tell moisture levels by looking either so its really frustrating.
  12. TurboALLWD

    TurboALLWD Registered+

    Yeah I'm done buying buds that aren't at there full potential :D :stoned:
  13. puntacometa

    puntacometa Registered+

  14. GratefulMeds

    GratefulMeds Registered+

    The earliest I take them is 1/4 Amber, but the strains I recommend for insomnia and severe pain like Herijuana we let go 3/4 or more. I personally have never liked to take them any earlier ( but I have been smoking for 37 years so I prefer a bit more of a punch).:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
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  15. TurboALLWD

    TurboALLWD Registered+

    +REP! :thumbsup:
    • Like Like x 1
  16. bigsby

    bigsby Banned

    PTSD needs lots of amber. I had it pretty mild (seemed like the sh!t at the time) and I needed the full body experience to cope.
  17. Colodonmed

    Colodonmed Registered+

    Thanks all for the help it is certainly appreciated. I got the bud from "Organic Solutions " in Pueblo West, and in all fairness to them, they replaced the product with no problems, issues, bitchin and moaning or anything else, just good folks there that had a supply problem that hopefully has been taken care of. Generally have had not had any complaints about them before and after the prompt exchange ( keep in mind that more than a week had passed ) I have only good things to report for them.Thanks again and peace to all.
  18. puntacometa

    puntacometa Registered+

    two things.....

    1. good on them for refunding your money

    2. they should have someone who knows what they are doing buying their meds and/or they should not be buying crappy bud at discount prices and then turning this around and offering it to their patients as medicine......and/or they should contact the grower who passed this off on the gullible meds buyer (the one that they just had to let go because he/she was not qualified to judge quality) and request their money back and the grower should refund their money.
  19. Klonzinc

    Klonzinc Registered+

    Got this a very long time ago......

    I got this info a very long time ago from an old pro and have been using this advice for the last 10 for me.

    Peak Harvest
    With all the so called experts and confusion created by these experts I have decided to post the true harvest indicators. What makes me an expert you ask? 45 years of cultivation experience along with 25 plus years of education in botany and horticulture. 7 yes I said 7 masters degrees and the owner of the world’s largest cannabis research farm. Enjoy this scientific proven advice and please pass it on to all of the so called excerpts you know so as they may learn the true tried and proven scientific harvest methods of the real excerpts. Remember you will run into those who will say I am wrong but keep in mind my credentials and ask yourself, “does the individual you are conversing with have the experience or education to dispute this article, and do you want true top shelf cannabis or what your friend THINKS is top shelf?”

    Trichome development and harvest time: how to get the best high In this article, we’re going to explore the final phase of your plants? Growth cycle: the flowering or budding phase. Specifically, we want to look at the last two weeks of the flowering phase in what is known as the? Window of peak maturity?. The window of peak maturity is when trichome development and the level of THC production in your plants have reached their maximum point, which is when you would harvest your plants. By being patient and paying close attention to certain indicators, you can reap fantastic buds that provide you with precisely the type of high that suits you best.
    Cannabis plants produce THC and CBN on their stems, leaves, and vegetation surrounding the buds and are developed in trichromes, which emerge on the surface of most of the plant’s parts. On the stems and the early fan leaves, the trichromes are small and hug the surface. As the flowering phase continues, the glands develop on the more mature parts of the plant, including the smaller leaves and the first calyxes (which exist to develop and nurture seeds if male pollen fertilizes the female plant). The trichromes that develop on calyxes no longer hug the plant’s surface, but are on stalks like mushrooms with bulbous caps. During this time, more and more trichome-covered calyxes develop and create densely packed clusters, called? Bud?. As your plants enter the final stages of their life cycle, the calyxes begin to swell and ripen, while more and more resin glands develop on the surface.
    Examining Trichromes
    As the amount of trichromes covering your plant increases, you should take a closer look at them, maintaining a light touch to avoid crushing the resin glands. Your best bet is to purchase an inexpensive 25x microscope (available at most electronics stores), and most pocket microscopes have a small light to help you get an illuminated peek at your trichome development.
    When you cut small buds from your plant to test them, you want to concentrate on the stalked glandular trichromes. The coloration of the gland heads can vary with different strains and maturity, but most start with clear or slightly amber heads that gradually become cloudy or opaque when THC levels have peaked and are beginning to degrade. Regardless of the initial color of the trichromes, with careful observation you should be able to see a change in coloration as maturity levels off. Some cultivators wait for about half of the trichromes to go opaque before harvesting to ensure maximum THC levels in the finished product. However, you will also want to try samples at various stages to see what is best for you. While you may be increasing the total THC level in the cannabis by allowing half of the glands to go opaque, there will also be a larger percentage of CBN, which is why some people choose to harvest earlier while most of the trichromes are still clear.
    Now you understand how trichromes develop on your plants and how to examine them as they turn from clear to opaque, indicating THC breakdown.
    If you choose to harvest later in the window, your buds produce more of a body high, which is conversely more pronounced in Indicas than in Sativa. A body high is similar to a narcotic down effect, usually associated with being stoned. A down type of high is often desired in the late evening to calm nerves and drift into sleep. A late-harvest yield is often sought by medicinal cannabis users to ease pain and increase appetite. If you choose to harvest somewhere in the middle of the peak window of maturity, you don’t necessarily get the best of both worlds, but more of a happy medium. If you aren’t sure what type of high you like or want, aim for the middle and you likely won’t be disappointed.
    As you continue to examine your plants, you will be tempted, even compelled, to start pulling buds off of your plants to test them out. There is a right way and a wrong way to try out your buds before they are ready, so let’s take a look at your options.
    There are lots of different ways to quick dry your bud, but one of the best ways is to use your lighting ballasts in the grow room. First, cut up your fresh bud and spread it out evenly in an envelope. Close the envelope and place it on top of your ballast, then leave it there for two to three hours while the light is on. After the buds are dried out, put them in an airtight container and allow the last of the moisture to move from the stem into the bud. Considering this is a quick dry method, the taste is usually good and the potency is acceptable. Also, the use of a vaporizer will allow you to concentrate on your high rather than being distracted by the odd taste of quick-dried weed smoke.
    By now you know what trichromes are and how the chemicals in them evolve from producing a head high to a body high over a couple of weeks. You also know that the pistils on your buds change color from white to reddish-brown as the window of harvest opens and closes, as well as what type of high to expect depending on the percentage of new and mature pistils. Throughout the window of harvest, you took small buds from the middle of the plant, quick dried them, then tested them out to determine the type of high you want your crop to give you. Now, you can harvest your plants with confidence in knowing that they will be loaded with resin that produces just the right kind of high you were looking for. Enjoy your harvest.

    With all of the peak harvest information I have read and seen posted the myth of the trichromes swelling to the point of eruption has got to be the most absurd. The fact is trichromes do not explode. The genetic structure of the plant prohibits this.
    The pistols should be all red and the leafs beginning to die off is also another absurd method, by this time the plant has finished its life cycle and the THC and/or CBN oils have already degraded and lost most of their high/stoned qualities.
    Always follow the breeders recommended flower times. This is okay if you are a rookie, but this would only apply if you had the exact same grow setup as the breeder, like any other plant, cannabis also has to acclimatize to its environment.
    There are many other myths out there, too many to list and I do not want to waste your time or mine posting them. These are the top 3 that I hear frequently. Following my harvest indicators and with time you will be able to produce the most diverse crops.

  20. Colodonmed

    Colodonmed Registered+

    Thanks for all the great info, really appreciated

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