Many novice growers do not know much about these glands that are produced in the epidermis of plants. We are going to explain what are they as well as their functionalities.
The trichomes in cannabis plants
They are glands that are formed in the plants epidermis and have multiple functions. They protect the plants from the presence of predators and also from the sun's rays. They also absorb water and regulate the temperature.
These trichomes secrete a sticky substance called cannabis resin. This substance repels many insects and can also inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. They prevent drying by protecting the flower in low humidity environments and also act as a protector against ultraviolet rays.
We can classify them structurally as bulbous, sessile and connected trichomes.
They generate cannabinoids and terpenes that will give each plant a unique profile and effect.
The trichomes indicate the point of maturation of the flower so we know when we should harvest. These appendices go through different degrees of maturation that we must take into account so as not to cut our flowers prematurely.
In my years of experience I learned that mature flowers have a better effect and aroma, and that it is really a waste to see how some growers, due to their anxiety and, sometimes also, to bad information, cut the plants all hairy and green thinking that, with an early cut, a more psychoactive effect will be achieved ... ERROR, they do not allow the flower to mature, they cut very early and this can later cause an unpleasant effect. Some sativas cut at bad times can cause tachycardia and a head buzz that you do not want to experience, I assure you!
I always recommend people with anxiety or hyperactivity problems to grow genetics with high Indica percentages and wait until the trichomes are mostly amber in their harvest.
Trichomes coloring at the different ripening points
The trichomes will acquire different shades throughout their maturation. At the beginning, you can see a translucent color. It is at this moment when the cannabinoids begin to take place. Then they begin to turn white; this is when the flower reaches the highest cerebral effect due to the high content of THC.
When the flower reaches its point of maturity, these trichomes begin to show an amber caramel coloration. Personally, I harvest them when I can see this color appears in the deep chalices of the flower in a high percentage. This will make the flowers produce a narcotic and sedative effect, perfect for joint bone diseases.
On the other hand, if we allow our flowers to mature excessively, the cannabinoids will begin to degrade, losing their effects. Thus beginning a transformation of CBN and increasing the narcotic effect.
To observe the maturity of the trichomes, you can use a 30 or 40 micron microscope. If you are still a novice, this will easily help you determine the right cut-off time. After so many years of cultivation, I no longer use anything, since I am also guided by the structural appearance of the flower and the plant itself to determine the cut point.
When a flower reaches its maturity you can see how the calyces close compressing the pistils and the terpenes are appreciated in their maximum expression of aromas that abound and flood your garden. The end of the creation of white pistils in the flowers, it is also an indicator of maturity, these should already be all oxidized in our plants (be careful because they DO NOT ONLY LOOK AT PISTILS TO DETERMINE THE CUTTING POINT .They can rust for different reasons before that the flower reaches its optimum point of maturation.
In outdoor crops, I always recommend, when the flower begins to show the first trichomes, to place a roof so that environmental factors such as high temperatures, humidity, dew and rain, do not harm the trichomes so directly and therefore, avoid unwanted fungi.
I would like to emphasise that the plants grown outdoors, when exposed to solar radiation, they generate high levels of psych activity. The sun's rays intervene directly in the creation of cannabonides and terpenes.
In short, I think the cut point is very personal, we can experiment and cut some flowers at different times of maturity to, in this way, know which the point that benefits us most is or that we like the most. But what we should never do is cut the plants when they are still green since we could throw all the work of months in the trash.
Patience is also cultivated.
I hope this post has been helpful so you can learn to take care of the trichomes of your plants and thus harvest at an optimum point of maturation!