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The Trichomes are Whispering, But What Are They Saying?

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    The Trichomes are Whispering, But What Are They Saying?

    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    Till the last recorded syllable of time...


    -Macbeth, in frustration over the delays in his own "Harvest!"

    JohnEmad recently posted a link to an article in Weed World magazine that makes me wonder if we are all harvesting too early based on a misreading of trichome colors. Here's a link to that posting: https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...ty-and-potency

    In the article, Frenchy Cannoli presents some evidence suggesting that full THC production doesn't occur until more than half the Trichomes begin to turn amber. By that time there shouldn't be any translucent mushrooms and a minority of cloudy white ones.

    I have no idea if that is right, but I'm joining @bboyfromwayback and perhaps some others in delaying my current harvest to see how this plays out.

    My small but luscious White Widow is beginning week 11 of flowering today. I would normally be harvesting already. I'd say 80% of the trics are cloudy, perhaps 5% beginning to show some brown and a few stragglers still look glassy. The attached pics are a few days old.

    Here are some guidelines I intend to follow:
    • I'm only looking at trics on the actual buds, not the leaves.
    • I'm going to try to take micro-pictures so I can actually make percentage estimates.
    • I'm going to count "Amber" from the time the trics begin to show any amber color beyond snowy white. (per the Frenchy article)
    • I'm going to TRY and wait till I see at least 50% amber
    • However, as self-discipline isn't my strong suit, I intend to harvest, dry and cure some test buds along the way for a comparison at the end.

    The pics below show: a ripening WW Bud, mostly opaque Trics and an early appearance of Amber.

    I'd invite anyone else interested to add their stories and pictures. Does ANYONE actually have a pic of 50% Amber Trichomes?

    Regards,

    -Grouchy







    Second try on the Pics...

    Attached Files
    Last edited by grouchyoldman; 12-16-2020, 02:31 PM. Reason: Picture upload problems!

    #2
    Somehow Grouchy I can't see your pics.
    Viparspectra P2000, Viparspectra P1500, KingLed 2000,KingLed 1500
    Pro-Mix organic, perlite
    4 Kali China, 6 Mazar Kush, 11 Kali 47

    And trying to grow Mexican landraces in the Yucatan. Well why not eh !!

    Comment


    • grouchyoldman
      grouchyoldman commented
      Editing a comment
      Dammit! I have been fussing with trying to load pics for days now! I used the "Attachment" button when I created the posting, this time I'll try the little Camera button.

      I really want to create one of those GWE "Picture albums" so you can flip from one to the other and enlarge them for a really good look; Anyone with help is welcome to PM me. *sighs*

    • Poppa
      Poppa commented
      Editing a comment
      I always just click the camera at the top to load pictures it drops down a second way to load them and the click the upload. This gives the type of pictures you can flip through.

    • grouchyoldman
      grouchyoldman commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Poppa, I posted them again using the "Attachments" button in the light blue area at the top. Go figger!

    #3
    Second try on the pictures.... Looks like that worked!

    Comment


    • SoOrbudgal
      SoOrbudgal commented
      Editing a comment
      Great shots grouchyoldman this is ONE of the hardest parts for a home grower. The more i look the more i can tell the changes. I only wish the eye pieces were larger, my eyes are getting to the point i think i may need a assit. to judge LOL.

    #4
    I do. One plant from a couple of years ago only produced yellow/ámbar trichomes. Every single one. Give me a moment to find the pic.

    Comment


      #5
      here are the pics from the mexican brickweed that had yellow trichomes
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      Comment


        #6
        for comparison i grew green crack right beside for 3 weeks longer
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        Comment


          #7
          i love that you guys are into trichomes but i have to say something, everybody focuses on the trichomes and never actually learn about the whole ripening process, how calyxes swell, the angle of the leaves, how hard the buds feel, how developed are the lower buds, lots of signs of maturity are overlooked. trichomes can oxidize for a number of reasons and its not the main maturity indicator until every other aspect of maturity checks out, there are plants that have amber trichomes before they actually finish swelling and producing cannabinoids and terpenes. its just my opinion, but i harvest at least 100 plants a year for the past couple of years so believe me when i say there are more important things to focus on

          Comment


          • grouchyoldman
            grouchyoldman commented
            Editing a comment
            9fingerleafs, that is a *very* interesting perspective and you surely have a point as well as a lot of experience. Nice pics by the way!

            The prevailing dogma is all about Trichomes, How do you prioritize those other factors? How do you weigh them in making the call?

            The decision just seems too important for guesswork!

          • 9fingerleafs
            9fingerleafs commented
            Editing a comment
            I just rarely check trichomes anymore. I harvest by flower development. You can see with your bare eyes when you get a special plant that has darker trichomes and needs a closer look, I’ve never had a plant over ripe that doesn’t “feel” ready for days before trichomes start degrading. Even abused plants under heavy rain and wind tend to go amber on tops but the rest on the trichomes(and new flower) keeps growing with new clear trichomes.

          #8
          I think I've got the picture attachment process dialed now, here are a couple more from today. Making progress.

          Comment


            #9
            I understand that flower and trichome ripeness is both subjective and objective, based on personal experience, likes/ dislikes, strain type etc.

            For instance Frenchy Cannoli is interested in mainly Indica strains for making hash only and has found that very ripe trichs are best for his uses.
            Most people probably do not make hash so their desired maturity is not going to be the same as Frenchy's.
            I have a few plants almost ready to go into flower and will do the same comparison. Letting one go as far as it will to get those 50% plus amber and opaque trichs while harvesting one at 10 to 15% amber as I have learned meets my needs/wants.
            Glad this has sparked some interest.

            Currently growing: Photoperiods:SeedStockers
            Golden Lemon Haze, Gelato 41 Fast and Blackberry Gum
            .

            Comment


              #10
              This is my plan also for my indoor. I allow this to happen for the outdoor why not for indoor? But what about possible hermi or seed production?
              Smoke Ganja create Peace Respect Nature don't trash the Planet

              Soil grower with coco/perlite mixed in
              indoor/outdoor grower
              1 4x4x8 tent -veg.& flower - 2 viparspectraR450 =400watts from the wall it's what matters to me not the best old tech but it works for our needs.
              1 3x3x6 tent- used in late spring for seedlings both veggies & weed. I have 1 viparspectar 450r for that tent.
              I use a t-5 & 54watt CFL for seedlings
              Sometimes i use plastic sometimes i use fabric grow containers
              Currently using fish/guano during veg growth (outdoor only)
              FF Grow Big 6-4-4
              Age Old Organics Bloom 5-10-5

              Comment


              • JohnEmad
                JohnEmad commented
                Editing a comment
                agreed there is more to this then just letting them ripen. I have found the odd pollen sack or two when letting the flowers continue to ripen longer and longer.

              • grouchyoldman
                grouchyoldman commented
                Editing a comment
                SoOrbudgal, That is a *really* good question: Does delaying harvest actually cause Hermi growth, or seeds, or foxtailing for that matter?

                In my limited experience, and what I've read, all of those are mostly related to stressing a plant in one way or another, Light, Heat, drought, nute lock(?)

                I wonder if a perfectly pampered healthy flowering fem would develop any of those absent some antagonistic external stress?

                One thing for certain is that my "Senior Citizen" White Widow is getting a whole lot of yellow leaves! It's like the whole plant is givin it up for the buds. I took a pic that seems like a perfect example of the "Final Push" that my personal guru, BU2B described in his tutorial.

              #11
              For those who have watched French Cannoli’s in-depth video series on hash making, there is a moment when he talks about compact buds vs airy loose buds. His theory on tight, compact buds is that they produce lower quantity of THC since there is not enough surface area to express the glands. This totally makes sense to me, but I’m still a junior gardener.

              I’m wondering if those with a great deal of experience, and experimentation, agree with Cannoli that loose buds provide more gland expression?
              Over 30 yrs of back pain management without ever having a pharmacist give me a bottle of pills. Thank you Mother Nature and all the hippies from the ‘60s that became weed-masters.

              Comment


              • grouchyoldman
                grouchyoldman commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi @YYC, In my personal experience, loose bud means more terpenes but less potency. Tasty but not as strong?

                Mayhaps loose bud is better for Cannoli-hash production? More surface area to shake potential hashish from?

              • YYCannabis
                YYCannabis commented
                Editing a comment
                You could be correct on why Cannoli want surface area over density.

                Regarding potency, i believe there is higher potency in looser buds. My reasoning is more based from conversations I’ve had with my prescription licensed producers. Their products always have two numbers, “Actual” and “Potential”, on the labels so i called them to ask for clarification. The “Actual” is the measurable amount of THC we see *ON* the material. The “Potential” is the measurable THCa *IN* the material. More THCa the better 😁
                So to me that implies that increased volume size of the individual calyx forming the bud is where all the true goodness of the THCa is stored. Let’s say a kola is made of 100 loose calyxi plump with THCa and create a volume of 2 cubic inches. It will contain more THCa than the same kola made with 100 small densely packed calyxi at a volume of 1 cubic inch. And since the loosely built buds have more surface area, it allows more real estate for trich expression on the surface.

                I may be waaay off base on it, but it all makes sense to me.

                Since i can’t put a pic in the comment, I’ll add a pic of a label showing the 2 numbers below.

              #12
              I’m following! What’s everyone using to get those closeup trichome pics? I have a iPhone 8 Plus and if I zoom in that far it’s just blurry. I guess I could try the scope for the high grade app. Funny how you can answer your own damn question while typing it 😂 I’ll try this evening when the lights come on and see what I get
              In veg under SP150
              Glueberry OG
              Pineapple Chunk
              Bubba Kush x 2
              Hindu Kush x 2

              In flower under ES180 x 2
              Pineapple Chunk
              Purple Haze x 2

              Comment


              • JohnEmad
                JohnEmad commented
                Editing a comment
                One easy method I have found is holding or placing a loupe in front of the phones camera lens to get decent close up picture.

              • 9fingerleafs
                9fingerleafs commented
                Editing a comment
                I used a cheap usb microscope from China. Also took the male and female pictures of the preflowers in the main site. Was 20 bucks I think

              • grouchyoldman
                grouchyoldman commented
                Editing a comment
                JohnEmad, LOL, really! I just "Invented" that trick myself: I found a little clip that could position a cheap 10x loupe in front of my old, lame iPhone. I found I could take acceptably sharp hi-res micro-photos!

                I wanted to deliver pics for this posting that a viewer could zoom into and ssurf the Trichome mushroom field, but I think the Forum software has a picture size limit, or something. Still tryin...

                Anyways, anyone with a loupe and an iPhone should try this!

              #13
              Yeah a lot of Hash passionate here including myself.

              Some good reading here about it:

              https://gizmodo.com/hashing-it-out-t...o-i-1563047955
              Viparspectra P2000, Viparspectra P1500, KingLed 2000,KingLed 1500
              Pro-Mix organic, perlite
              4 Kali China, 6 Mazar Kush, 11 Kali 47

              And trying to grow Mexican landraces in the Yucatan. Well why not eh !!

              Comment


              • bboyfromwayback
                bboyfromwayback commented
                Editing a comment
                Nice one

              • grouchyoldman
                grouchyoldman commented
                Editing a comment
                So, Farmbuck, what does a "Hashinado" look for at harvest time?

                What characteristics of a harvest-time bud do you look at and how do you prioritize them?

                How do YOU know when it's time?

                -Grouchy

              • Farmbuck
                Farmbuck commented
                Editing a comment
                Do you mean hacinado grouchyoldman ? Just kidding !! Well I ask myself at every grow when it's the PERFECT time to harvest. When it's the PERFECT ripening of the flower. When it's the PERFECT combination of trichomes. Tools help to determine when, a few grows under your belt determine when, some knowledges determine when. Exchanging ideas, info's determine when. Learning determine when. Talking between growers determine when. Learning strains's properties determine when. Breeders's specifications determine when. But most of all knowing your strain determine when. Your environment determine when. Bud visualisation determine when.

                You know. it's just an ongoing process. Some with success and some with failures.

                Yeah also be with your plant everyday help.

                So to answer your question " How do YOU know when it's time?", All of the above and my gut feeling..!

                Everyone is different so the above may apply to some but not to all.

                And remember each time you grow you learn something new.

                Cheers,

                FarmBuck
                Last edited by Farmbuck; 12-16-2020, 11:54 PM.

              #14
              Change comes at you fast!

              This dialog is getting very interesting. I have posted some updated pics below and you can see the overnight advance of the ripening process. It's hard to see in the pics, but a subtle color change is emerging, not so much snowy-white to dark amber, but a more general smoky tint over an entire calyx near the emergence of the rusty pistil. I think you can see much the same thing in the pics posted by 9fingerleafs above, more a "yellow-ing" than amber. That's kind of what Cannoli seems to be hinting at in his article.

              The comments above reminding us that there is much more to this than Trichome gazing are spot on. Trichomes are only one metric in a holistic perspective to harvest time. As a grower, I want to understand and utilize as many "Levers" as possible to obtain the desired result. My background includes a great fondness for good wine and I've spent a lot of time prowling the vineyards of Napa, Australia, South Africa, etc. I spent a few Autumn months in the Loire valley, harvesting Muscadet grapes with a gang of pot smoking Frenchies. (Oh, to be young again!)

              What impressed me most (besides the pleasures of great wine) was the control that the great winemakers had over their final product. That's what I'd like to have over my cannabis harvest.

              So, it's definitely not about the percentage of Amber Trichomes as much as what those trichomes really mean in relation to the overall health of the plant, the size & constitution of the buds, etc. Everything FarmBuck & 9fingerleafs mention and probably some we haven't even noticed yet! The most interesting thing to me about Frenchy Cannoli's article was that even our reading of the Trichomes is still somewhat mysterious! Understanding that one aspect is my quest and the purpose of this post.

              Despite all that pompous posturing, I'm still floundering in the dark here. I made some trichome color estimate notes on the pics, but it's total guess work.

              Paz y Amor compadres,

              -Grouchy
              Last edited by grouchyoldman; 12-22-2020, 09:20 PM.

              Comment


              • grouchyoldman
                grouchyoldman commented
                Editing a comment
                @Farmbuck: Ah yes, Wine & Weed, the basis for a great friendship!

                The Saintly Spouse & I have our Christmas Bottle ready: Clos Saint Michel, 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Yummy!

                "Wine is proof that Gawd loves us and wants us to be happy!"
                -Benjamin Franklin

              • bboyfromwayback
                bboyfromwayback commented
                Editing a comment
                Excellent pics Grouchy! That’s about where the plant I put in the dark was the other day looking through a scope. Like your plant my other one is progressing quickly. There was a big change in color between Tuesday night and Wednesday night. I’m hoping there is enough change tonight to get her into the dark so I can harvest over the weekend but I’m holding out for the 50% range regardless of how timing may effect next week for me. We have family coming to stay on Christmas Eve and I’d prefer to get her harvested snd have no lingering smells throughout the house when they arrive😂 I can control the smell during the grow but I don’t trim in my tent so the house always smells dank during a harvest.

                Ps I tried the scope trick you and John mentioned and it worked so hopefully I’ll post better closeup pics prior to harvesting the next one

              • Farmbuck
                Farmbuck commented
                Editing a comment
                A very good choice my dear grouchyoldman, a nice blend of Grenache & Mouvèdre. Wife and I are thinking of a Barolo for Xmas.

                We were lucky to spent a few days in Avignon with some of my Frenchy friends.

                Some of my best time spent in that area by going around and have free wine tasting, Lucky at the end of the day I wasn't driving lolll

              #15
              Going into the closet once the lights go off. In about a month I’ll see what high grade has to say between 20% amber and 50%. She may be even more than 50 by the time I harvest. Drastic change overnight.

              Added the pic from the first plant for comparison. I hadn’t learned the scope up to the phone trick yet when I took it but the tris were roughly 20%. This is when I’ve always harvested
              Attached Files
              Last edited by bboyfromwayback; 12-20-2020, 09:15 PM.
              In veg under SP150
              Glueberry OG
              Pineapple Chunk
              Bubba Kush x 2
              Hindu Kush x 2

              In flower under ES180 x 2
              Pineapple Chunk
              Purple Haze x 2

              Comment


              • SoOrbudgal
                SoOrbudgal commented
                Editing a comment
                So are you placing the whole plant and pot into a dark area for 30days is this what you mean? Sorry i'm a tad slow on the uptake.

              • YYCannabis
                YYCannabis commented
                Editing a comment
                @soorbudgal...sounds like you’re in nute lock 😂 Do you need a pH water flush?

              • bboyfromwayback
                bboyfromwayback commented
                Editing a comment
                Lol SoOrbudgal I can’t keep baby in the closet that long!!! I only meant I’ll test her once she’s dried and cured a few weeks

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