Trichomes are the telos of cannabis cultivation. Whether you’re growing cannabis strains in a grow tent, greenhouse, or indoor facility, the goal is the same: huge & sticky nugs.
How to increase trichome production seems to be a difficult task. Honestly, “too many” trichomes aren’t a thing. Since these protrusions have all your pot’s terpenes and cannabinoids, why not try to grow as many as possible? Plus, more trichomes will always make strains look more appealing. If you’re trying to sell your cannabis to legal customers, you’re going to want this sugary eye candy!
Five Simple Strategies For Extra “Sugary” Cannabis
Thankfully, now that cannabis cultivation is more out in the open, we can talk about scientific strategies for maximizing trichome production. Below are a few of the best science-backed methods for creating trichome-rich cannabis.
- Stimulate Trichomes With The Right Light Penetration
- Extra Stress For Extra Sweet Nugs — Training For Trichomes
- Adjust Your Environment Close To Harvest
- Check Your Nutrient Ratios During Flowering
- Start With A Reliably Shiny Strain
Stimulate Trichomes With The Right Light Penetration
Improving your indoor lighting is arguably the simplest way to maximize the quality of your cannabis. Although many people still cling to HID lights, high-quality LED grow lights will provide superior light penetration and a fuller spectrum of rays. The more lightwaves are available to developing cannabis plants, the better chance they will grow juicy buds.
In particular, cannabis plants need UV and IR exposure to stimulate trichome growth. There are plenty of reports that suggest a dose of UVA rays will cause the cannabis plant to make more trichomes in an attempt to defend itself. Also, unlike many rumors to the contrary, small doses of IR seem to be beneficial for cannabis growth. For these reasons, Mars Hydro includes UV and IR rays as a part of our full-spectrum LED grow lights, and also developed a UV and IR grow light bar for growers in need of an invisible light supplement.
Please remember that what you do when the lights are off could also influence trichome production. Many pro growers experiment with beneficial probiotics to help break down nutrients during the night. The purpose of using probiotics is to make these nutrients more bioavailable to the cannabis plant’s roots.
If you need more information on the benefits of UV and IR for cannabis growth, please check out Mars Hydro’s recent guide to the topic.
Extra Stress For Extra Sweet Nugs — Training For Trichomes
Everything that’s truly great in life requires a bit of struggle. The same could be said for cannabis nugs. Sure, cannabis will grow fine if you just “let it be,” but you could encourage marijuana to make more terpenes with extra stress.
If you’re new to training techniques, stick with tried-and-true low-stress training (LST) like bending your plants during vegetation. This “bud bonsai” technique helps evenly distribute light to more potential cola sites, which increases total terpene production. A better light distribution also helps your plant’s hormones circulate more freely for a more substantial impact.
After mastering LST techniques, you may want to consider a few high-stress options like cutting (aka “topping”) your main colas during vegetation. When performed correctly, topping creates two central colas and helps your plant grow more horizontally.
There are also a few advanced training techniques that could increase terpene production before harvest. For instance, many cultivators report great success in giving plants one or two full days of complete darkness before harvesting. You could also pour icy cold water into your plants’ soil before harvest.
Adjust Your Environment Close To Harvest
Generally, cannabis strains perform best in subtropical or Mediterranean climates. In the beginning, you should use relatively high humidity and continue tapering down till final flowering. Ideally, temperatures should remain between 70 – 80° F throughout the growing process, with lower temps during flowering and harvest.
While this standard guideline should produce good pot, you may want to experiment with “shocking” your flowering plants with a few cold nights. To better mimic the winter season, you could reduce nighttime temperatures to as low as 60° F and humidity to around 30 percent.
This advanced technique may not suit everyone’s growing style, but it’s a trick worth remembering as you gain cultivation skills.
By the way: Cold temperatures help stimulate anthocyanin production, which helps produce gorgeous purple flowers on specific strains. So, if you’re growing a purple cultivar, you should give them a few cooler nights to bring out their namesake color.
Check Your Nutrient Ratios During Flowering
When growing cannabis strains, you should always go heavy on the nitrogen during vegetation and ramp up phosphorus and potassium during flowering. However, there’s always a fine line between feeding and overfeeding your weed.
Yes, flowering cannabis plants need phosphorus and potassium to create oily nugs, but too much of either nutrient could create a deficiency. New cultivators usually have a problem overfeeding rather than underfeeding. Please review the NPK ratios in your nutrients and keep a close eye on your plants throughout flowering.
If you feel your plants could handle a little extra phosphorus and potassium, experiment with a touch more during late flowering. Just be extra careful to monitor your pH level and ensure it’s well within the safe zone of 5.8 – 6.2.
Start With A Reliably Shiny Strain
If you’ve tried all the above tips and your cannabis doesn’t have a thick white sheen, perhaps you’re not using the right strain. Some weed cultivars can only go so far in the trichome department. On the other hand, plenty of pot strains naturally produce loads of trichomes. You just have to know which strains to look out for.
Spends some time researching trichome-rich strains on reliable weed forums. Also, always double-check your feminized cannabis seeds look healthy and have superior genetics.
To help get you started on your trichome quest, we’ll close with a few of the most reliable trichome-rich strains:
- Night Terror
- White Dawg
- Peyote Critical
- White Widow
- Gorilla Glue #4
Get More Trichomes With A Mars Hydro LED Grow Light
Mars Hydro makes quality LED grow lights to boost trichome harvest. From our UV and IR frequencies to our built-in dimming feature, every aspect of our LEDs helps increase the chances of max success from seedling to final flowering.
For more info on how Mars Hydro could ramp up your trichome production, be sure to give Mars Hydro‘s team a call.