The researchers also conducted a gene expression analysis to investigate how instructions in trichome DNA are converted into the plant’s biochemical products. They found that the stalked trichomes in Finola were strongly geared towards making cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and terpenes. Anne Lacey Samuels, a botany professor at UBC, said: “We found a treasure trove of genes that support the production of cannabinoids and terpenes. “With further investigation, this could be used to produce desirable traits like more productive marijuana strains or strains with specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles using molecular genetics and conventional breeding techniques.” Next, the researchers will investigate how trichomes export and store the metabolites they produce. “Trichomes store the metabolites in their cell walls,” said Livingston.
“And what’s really astounding is that such high levels of product should be toxic to the cells, so we want to understand how they manage this.” The research was funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and a MITACS Elevate postdoctoral fellowship, in partnership with Anandia Laboratories. As you can see, we’ve purchased many magnifiers/microscopes over the years… It’s so rewarding to harvest your own weed. Not only does it mark the end of a grow and a lot of work, but it’s also a countdown timer to being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. That being said, any cannabis grower who has made it through the flowering stage knows that waiting for the right time to harvest can be a major test of a grower’s patience, and it can be hard to know when is the right time. This is where learning to use a microscope or magnifier to examine trichomes comes in. 3 Most Popular Ways to Determine When to Harvest Cannabis: Timing: This is done by just waiting and harvesting when the breeder-specified flowering time is up. Pistil Method: When at least 60% of the pistils have darkened and curled in, the harvest window is open.
The pistil method has a huge advantage in that it requires no tools! And it’s MUCH better than using the breeder specified timing. However, it can still be inaccurate, and inaccuracy in harvesting means lower yields/potency. Trichome method: Trichomes are the “glitter” on buds. When most of the trichomes appear cloudy-white under a microscope, the harvest window is open. While this method isn’t perfect, in my opinion, it’s the best thing we have right now by far. The downside to this increased accuracy(and yields/potency) is that you need more than just your eyeballs to observe trichomes because they’re so tiny! Today, we’re going to focus on the best tools to use for the trichome method. Not only will you learn what to expect from each type of tool (with pictures), but you’ll end up with the ability to judge the harvest window better and as a result, get better potency and yields in your next cannabis grow. Example pictures: Click images for larger versions. Notes: Handheld magnifiers are the easiest to use and have the widest viewing angle, but they don’t zoom in close. Some magnifiers will have a smaller lens built in with a much better zoom, but these small lenses tend to be as inconvenient as they are helpful. Best example: If you simply must have one, this magnifier has changeable heads so you can get more magnification without sacrificing much lens size. But honestly, any other tool on this list will probably be better for you when it comes to checking trichomes. Example pictures: Click images for larger versions. Notes: Jeweler’s loupes are cheap and deceptively effective. You can use them to get a pretty good look at the state of your trichomes, and you can also put them up to the camera lens of a smartphone and take pictures like the ones above. The zoom feature on cameras make trichomes easier to see clearly. Loupes are also very easy to use and made from tough materials, so if you buy one, you’ll probably have it for years and years. Best example: You can’t really go wrong with a loupe. Almost any loupe you get from a local hydro store or online will suffice. This is the one we used in the pictures above: Wesley’s Jeweler’s Loupe. Example pictures: Click images for larger versions. Notes: Smartphones are a great choice since many people already have one. Another cool thing about smartphones is that the picture quality tends to get better as newer phones are released, so some newer phones can produce high-quality pictures without needing anything extra!
Tips for clear pictures with a smartphone camera (or any camera): Use lots of bright natural light for the best trichome pictures.
Low light produces blurry pictures and makes it harder to see the true trichome color. Keep phone as still as humanly possible when taking shots. Leaning or bracing your phone against something can help keep it steady. Try taking pictures from different angles to see which works best. Try moving the phone both closer and further to take pictures.