During the flowering stage, cannabis plants have their buds covered with what appears like glitter. Upon further inspection, you will notice what looks like scores of minute translucent hairs. These hair-like crystals that grow off cannabis buds are called trichomes. They form what is referred to as “resin.”
In nature, trichomes produce a pungent smell to ward off insects, fungi, and other predators from destroying the cannabis plant. They also produce thousands of cannabinoids, most notably tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The potency of a marijuana strain is determined by its THC and CBD content. Given that these cannabinoids are produced in the trichomes (resinous gland), boosting trichome production is of great importance for any weed grower.
Let’s go through several tips to help growers and extractors get more resins from their plants.
Shine More Good Light
Light is the source of energy for any given plant. It powers cellular functions such as photosynthesis and phototropism. When growing marijuana, it’s essential to get the right grow lights to increase the concentration of the trichomes in your flower.
When weed plants are exposed to ultraviolet light, they react by producing natural sunscreen compounds. This is similar to the way human beings produce melanin when exposed to sun rays. Its response to exposure to different light wavelengths is known as photomorphogenesis.
Weed plants respond to both UV and UVB light exposure by increasing the production of terpenes and cannabinoids like CBD and THC. UV stands for ultraviolet rays, while UV-B is the colour of light on the blue/violet spectrum that is invisible to the human eye. It can be produced naturally from the sun or through artificial sources.
The cannabis plant needs very bright light in the flowering stage. In this case, very bright grow lights such as HPS bulbs are suitable for enhancing the production of trichomes. For indoor grow rooms, look for artificial light sources that contain either UV or UV-B light. Metal halide grow lights give off UV-B light similar to the sun. Rig them up around your indoor grow room to expose your cannabis buds to this trichome-enhancing form of light at least two weeks before harvest.
Of course, natural lighting works magic during the flowering stage. However, giving your cannabis plants less light towards the end of the flowering period has a significant benefit. Light deprivation will see an upsurge in trichomes.
This technique is feasible for indoor grow rooms plus outdoor greenhouses that use scaffolding or tents that allow growers to generate dark conditions during the daytime. Many growers opt to derive their weed plants of light for one or two full days before harvest.
Stress Out Your Plants
When you subject your plants to the right stress level, they will turn to survival mode and generate more trichomes as a safeguard measure. Remember, a lot of stress is harmful and may lead to bud discoloration, hermies, or re-vegging. So the amount of stress ought to be controlled.
Below are some of the ways that you can stress your plant for more trichome production:
This is an advanced cannabis growing technique that delivers impressive yields. It involves bending the branches to redirect them to grow in a specific direction without breaking the outer lining. The stress you mete out to the plant’s tissue elicits the plant’s protective mechanisms, including increased trichome production.
Flush your flower buds with ice water. It should happen at the end of the flowering stage. This technique adds another angle of positive stress, stimulating increased trichome production.
No Contact With Cannabis Buds
Plant cropping is a source of positive stress. However, avoid touching the flowering buds while doing so. Trichomes are usually fragile. Any contact might dislodge them or make them burst. So any physical interaction with the buds during the flowering stage must be done carefully, or the integrity of the trichomes will be compromised. The same applies when harvesting. Any needless agitation will result in the degradation of trichomes.
You can alter the environment inside your grow room to boost the production of more trichomes. Ideally, you should adopt the following measures about 2-3 weeks before the harvesting period.
Reduce the level of humidity inside the grow tent by about 30 percent. This will increase trichome production. The technique also eliminates the threat of mould growth. It’s a win-win.
Heat is an enemy to trichome formation. During the growing stages, maintain temperatures as low as possible to spur production. In the late stages of the bloom cycle, keep the temperatures below 80°F (26°C). This ensures a high potency of your buds. There are a few ways to reduce the humidity while maintaining appropriate temperatures:
Use a Dehumidifier: The more powerful the equipment, the better the results. It lowers down the humidity while at the same time releasing heat and increasing temperatures in the grow room.
Use an air-conditioning unit: Removes moisture from the environment while cooling the air.
You can tell whether heat temperatures are affecting your plant by giving them a good sniff. If you notice a pungent aroma, then chances are your trichomes are exposed to heat or the trichomes’ heads have been agitated. Otherwise, a delicious smell is a good sign of a healthy crop.
The Type of Cannabis Strain
If your weed strain does not have the right genes to generate many trichomes, there’s little that you can do to make up for the poor genetics. Therefore, pick the right strains known for sheer trichome production. Notable examples include:
The Bottom Line
Genetics plays a significant role in getting more trichomes out of your weed plants. But, as stated above, you can use a couple of techniques to make the most out of the genes your crop already has. Begin with one or two methods. As you grow accustomed to them, you can apply more. Eventually, you’ll be harvesting stickier buds laden with cannabinoids and terpenes.
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