Amber Trichomes Or Milky Trichomes. Which Are The Best? Find Out Interesting Facts
Trichomes are small, mushroom-shaped, transparent processes that grow on cannabis buds. In fact, these are glands that secrete resin. They contain the highest amount of THC and other active elements in marijuana. Depending on the stage of maturation, trichomes also change their appearance, giving us information about the state of the plant at the moment.
As soon as they appear, the trichomes are absolutely transparent. Let’s consider the difference between cloudy vs clear trichomes. During the maturation process of cannabis, they become cloudy, first acquiring a milky hue, and then becoming amber trichomes. The color change of trichomes occurs in parallel with the color change of the pistils. Observing the change in their color, you can get the most complete picture of the maturity of marijuana inflorescences.
- Half of the trichomes have acquired a milky hue (around this time, 40-50% of the pistils should darken) – an energetic effect.
- The milky shade of most trichomes (50-70% dark pistils) is euphoria.
- Trichomes turning amber shade (70-90% of the antennae darkened) – relaxation, sleeping pills, stone effect.
It can be difficult to distinguish clear trichomes vs cloudy trichomes at first. This is a skill acquired with experience, but for now you can safely use the pictures provided by us for comparison. It is believed that transparent trichomes look like they are made of glass, while milky trichomes look more like plastic.
Why Does Cannabis Need Trichomes?
The most important function of trichomes is protection. With these miniature resin-secreting hairs, plants are protected from:
Insect pests and parasites. The sticky resin prevents small insects from penetrating and reproducing cannabis tissues.
Herbivores and birds. Some of the components in the resin make cannabis unattractive to animals and birds that feed on plants.
Various bacteria, fungus, mold. The resin contains components that increase the plant’s immunity.
Ultraviolet radiation. Trichomes, covering the buds and leaves of the plant with a thick carpet, prevent the negative effects of UV rays. Here, the ability of THC to absorb ultraviolet radiation comes to the fore.
Another important function of trichomes is related to the production of terpenes, aromatic substances that attract pollinating insects. This feature suggests that trichomes play an important role in the multiplication process of cannabis.
Trichomes on Inflorescences
This is the most accurate way to determine maturity and clear vs cloudy trichomes of cannabis. Everything is simple enough. You need to take a magnifying glass, or even better a jewelry microscope, and how to examine the trichomes. As the cones mature, they go through cannabis trichome stages, which can be identified by color:
- Transparent – the trichomes have just grown and are just beginning to synthesize the resin.
- Cloudy or milky – trichomes are filled with active substances and secrete resin.
- Amber – active substances in trichomes have reached their peak concentration and are beginning to break down into simpler compounds.
What do trichomes look like when ready to harvest? The best time to harvest cannabis is when the first trichomes amber appear. When their number reaches 10-20% of the total mass, you can safely harvest. The difference in the color of the buds arises from the varying degrees of maturity. Those who formed first are the first to mature.
Milky Trichomes vs Amber
The maturity of the trichomes is the most important metric that helps the grower determine when to harvest. The ripening of marijuana trichomes is indicated by a change in their color. Droplets on immature trichomes are transparent, like dew. How long do trichomes take to turn amber? As they mature, the color of the caps changes. At first, it turns cloudy and becomes milky white, and then acquires an amber-orange hue. To obtain marijuana with maximum high-impact, you need to start harvesting when about 80% of the trichomes have lost their clarity and become milky white. At this time, the level of THC is already quite high, but the content of other cannabinoids is still minimal.
Growers looking for a powerful relaxing stone effect from marijuana should harvest the buds at their peak when they are amber. It is these trichomes that secrete the greatest amount of THC, as well as other cannabinoids – CBD, CBN, which provide sedative and analgesic effects.
If the crops are not harvested on time, when the trichomes are amber, then the THC level in marijuana will gradually decrease. This is due to the oxidation of the psychoactive cannabinoid, which, after the ripe trichomes peak, is converted to CBN.
Can you harvest when some of the trichomes are white and the trichomes not turning amber? The answer to this question will largely depend on the grower’s preference and the objective growing conditions. If the grower prefers an energetic sativa effect, then you can start harvesting when at least half of the bush’s trichomes have become cloudy.
When most clear trichomes turn milky white, it means they have reached their peak THC levels. For the strongest psychoactive effects, harvest when nearly all of the trichomes turn white.
When Are Trichomes Ready?
4 cannabis trichomes stages:
- Not ready for collection – the trichomes are transparent and thin. At this point, when smoking clear trichomes, they will have little power.
- Beginning of the harvest period – the droplets become larger and the trichomes become milky white. The more white trichomes, the higher the THC level and the stronger the psychoactive effects.
- End of the harvest period – after most of the trichomes have turned white, amber droplets will begin to appear among them. This is a sign of THC converting to other cannabinoids. This will give the buds a more relaxing effect.
- Buds have reached peak maturity – After most of the trichomes are amber, they will become over ripe trichomes and begin to wilt. The buds harvested during this time have slightly less psychoactive effects and are usually sleepy.
How to See Trichomes?
There are several ways to see trichomes up close:
Jewelry or folding magnifier
It’s a good tool, but not everyone has enough magnification. At least I was not able to see the trichomes well enough through a magnifying glass to determine their color. However, many growers have no problem using them.
Take a photo and zoom in on it
If you take a clear photo of the bumps with your phone or camera, the trichomes are often quite visible on it. Try to photograph in natural light and from different angles.
A digital microscope is perhaps the easiest way to see trichomes.
Interesting to Know
In some Sativa and Haze varieties, the trichomes never turn amber. In this case, you can harvest when most of the trichomes are large and white.
As the white trichomes turn to amber, the amount of THC in them decreases and the buds will have a more relaxing effect.
The best balance of psychoactive and relaxing effects can be obtained when the trichomes are mostly white and only in places amber.
Harvesting buds after more than 20% of the trichomes are amber will make you feel sleepy after smoking.
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The content on this channel does not form a professional opinion, recommendation, substitute for consulting a specialist, or receiving medical advice. Cannabis is a dangerous drug, as defined in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, for all that assumes. Four Hundred and Twenty does not encourage or recommend consuming any substance and will not be responsible for any such use.
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