If you can increase trichomes you’ll get the most potent buds. Have you ever been curious how some growers are able to produce buds that look as if they were sprinkled with crystals? Those crystals are actually tiny hairs called trichomes that are a response to environmental conditions.

The trichomes on cannabis increase in number to insulate the plant and help reduce evaporation by protecting the cannabis from wind and heat. Increased trichome production can also be a sign of physical stress as it’s a line of defense that’s supposed to deter predators with a pungent aroma and powerful taste from the terpenes. This fact is why many growing techniques involve cutting or pruning to simulate an attack from pests.

Before cultivating cannabis at home, select a strain with high concentrations of trichomes, such as White Widow, G13, or OG Kush. Then, select the best plants. Every cannabis plant is unique, and you’re sure to find that some strains more preferable than others.

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Increase Trichomes With Proper Lighting

If you have an indoor setup, the easiest way to obtain concentrations of trichomes is by setting up LED grow lights. Although they’re quite expensive, more so than HIDs, they at least provide a fuller spectrum of light.

LEDs provide your plants with UVB rays which increase trichome production in your plants in response to what your plant considers an attack. You can easily increase trichome levels by 32%. LEDs are your best source of indoor UVB light.

However, HIDs aren’t a bad alternative if you find LEDs a little too pricey. With the ballasts and reflectors, you can use HIDs for larger cannabis gardens, and surprisingly they don’t consume as much power as you’d think.

Balancing Nutrients For Trichome Production

Naturally, the nutrients you give to your cannabis play an essential role in trichome production. Whether you’re growing in pots, the earth, or hydroponically, it’s a good idea to check the nutrients in your growing medium regularly. That way, you know if you’re giving your plants the nutrition they need to grow properly.

Generally speaking, low trichome concentrations indicate a nutrient deficiency. To avoid that, pay attention to what you give your plants. This usually means following a nutrient schedule. As a rule of thumb, your cannabis plants need phosphorus and potassium during their flowering stage, as it helps with the development of flowers and their oils.


Ideal Conditions With Temperature & Humidity

When the temperature and humidity levels are not ideal in the final two weeks of flowering, your cannabis will suffer, and this could lead to a low quality harvest.

However, under the right conditions, your cannabis will not only continue to grow but also have a high chance of increased trichome production. To increase the likelihood of extra trichome production, gradually reduce the temperature at night to as low as 15°-16°C while keeping the daytime temperature under 25°C. As for humidity, it should stay at a relative 35%-40%.


Harvesting At The Perfect Time

In practice, harvesting cannabis requires a good eye and a lot of patience. Even if you set up the perfect conditions for your plants, your efforts are wasted if you harvest way too early. Once your cannabis garden is ready to harvest, wait for it to ‘ripen’ so to the ideal maturity.

What’s going on while you wait? Here are the four stages of trichome development in marijuana.

Stage 1: The trichomes are clear and thin, which means they aren’t as potent as you would like – leading to ‘speedy’ effects, or worse, headaches. Do not harvest at this stage.

Stage 2:  If you’re growing marijuana for the mental effects, harvest in the 2nd stage. During this time, the trichomes begin to turn white and milky, increasing the levels of THC and psychoactive effects.

Stage 3: For full-body relaxation, harvest during the 3rd stage. You’ll see most of the white trichomes turn amber/yellow. The color change indicates that the THC is starting to convert to a different cannabinoid.

Stage 4: If you want your smokable harvest to help with sleep, harvest in the 4th stage, just before the buds start to wither and die. Most people prefer to harvest at stage 3, but waiting can produce interesting effects for those seeking a truly psychedelic effect.

The most important thing to keep in mind is trichomes are sites for cannabinoids and terpenes. They are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana as well as its taste and fragrance. Plenty of trichomes indicate a healthy cannabis garden, which is yet another reason why you’d like to have more of them.

This article originally appeared here.


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