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David Rhodes

David has been working in the cannabis industry for the past 17 years with experience working overseas in Amsterdam as a budtender for 5 years! Learn More About David!

Trichomes transition through various growth stages before harvest, typically accompanied by changes in color. If they don’t turn amber, this may serve as a cautionary signal that something may not have been done correctly.

Although we don’t recommend that you base the decision of harvesting plants on the color phases of the trichomes, it seems that many people have adopted the method. 

But looking at the trichomes alone is not enough to get clear results, so it is necessary to observe the plant’s bud with a magnifying glass. Doing so will accurately detect if the buds are high on tetrahydrocannabinol. And where that’s the case, then there is a reasonable chance of harvesting early.

Trichomes not turning amber color

Why Are The Trichomes Refusing To Turn Amber?

What if the color doesn’t change? What does it mean?

Those are some of the most often-asked questions. Many people have watched their plants go past the estimated growing time without a sign of the trichomes turning amber, showing it is more prevalent than we may think.

Once the group of plant offspring known as strain (estimated to attain maturity at around 9 to 10 weeks) still shows no sign of its trichomes turning amber, we’d advise you to push through with harvesting. Doing so should help mitigate the risk of reduced tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. 

You mustn’t compulsorily leave the trichomes on your plants for so long just so they can turn amber. More than 20% signal of the trichomes turning amber or cloudy is enough to kick off the harvesting process as recommended by pros in the field.

4 Reasons Why Your trichomes Are Not Turning Amber Color:

Several reasons could hinder plants from turning amber. 

The usual trichome growth process occurs in different stages where the trichome is first in a clear state. After that, it then develops into a cloudy state before turning amber. Many who have followed through with this growth process more often are aware that it is safe to harvest plants even when they are just 10% amber, 10% clear, and about 70% cloudy. 

Keep in mind, however, that not all trichomes go through the regular process, so it’s normal to worry that something may be wrong somewhere. But help calm your anxiety about trichomes not turning amber, let’s briefly discuss some possible causes.

1. The Problem Could Stem From The Strain

Different strains or offspring possess different capabilities when it comes to producing trichomes. Indica strains tend to generate extra trichomes compared to the Sativa strain. Indica leaves are also bigger on the exterior, which is where trichomes are often obtained to make resin concentrate. Keeping an eye on the growth of your trichome doesn’t require that much exertion when it comes to indica strains. Once about 25% of trichomes turn amber, it is usually easier to detect as that percentage is actually a vast amount. 

Sativa strains on the other hand are known to generate less amounts of bulging trichomes, making the transitions in pigment hard to sight. Some types of plant trichomes do not transition to amber no matter how long you’re willing to wait it out.  Instead, they may begin to exhibit a yellow pigment as the rate of THC depletes. This is not a sign of the plant turning amber; hence spotting these changes can be tough.

2. Reduced Energy Absorption

The flowering stage when a plant begins to sprout flowers is very important for cannabis plants. During this period, plants are known to actively soak up all the nutrients and energy they can get, seemingly going into overdrive to absorb any nutrients they can. They then proceed to produce buds, cannabinoids, and then properly flower before the harvest date. 

Plants require constant feeding and energy throughout this period. A couple of times, flushing is done early, causing the plant’s limited nutrients to get flushed out. That leaves insufficient nutrients for the buds and trichomes to grow. Sativa strains take a long time to grow their flowers, unlike what is expected, leading to unintentional starvation of the plants. This can stunt your growth and lead to your plant’s trichomes not turning the usual amber color.

3. Low-Quality Cannabis Seeds

Plants germinated from seeds of low quality can encounter certain challenges in their growth stages, one of which includes the production of trichomes. Such plants may not produce the anticipated outcome in terms of growth. Read our guide on where to buy cannabis seeds.

4. Poor Growing Conditions

When growing a plant, some requirements must be met to ensure that the plant develops well and produces all the expected outcomes. They must be provided with nutrients at the right time and in the right proportion. The moisture and temperature condition must also be put into consideration as they affect the development of plants. Growing cannabis in different climates can be difficult, but as long as you’re prepared it’s possible.

Trichome transition may be delayed if the temperature and humidity are not ideal. Day temperature conditions ought to be higher than that of the night temperature because that can help boost the activity of the key players in the process of photosynthesis.

How Long Does It Take For a Trichome To Turn Amber?  

The type of strain involved determines the length of time a plant’s trichome might need to turn amber. Some strains can turn amber just two to three weeks after being in the cloudy stage, while a couple of other strains will take a longer time. Few trichomes do not at all turn amber.

Why Are My Trichomes Not Turning Cloudy?

If your trichomes aren’t turning cloudy or milky this generally means they aren’t receiving the nutrients they need or are generally unhealthy during the flowering stages. This often means the have a potassium deficiency.

Do Trichomes Change Color After Harvest?

Yes, they continue to transition the same way as the other bud parts. Although it doesn’t get riper, the trichomes will begin to experience a reduction in THC, and this process may prompt it to lose its natural pigment.

To wrap this up, it is necessary to note that different elements can cause your trichome not to turn amber ranging from the ones listed above to a couple of other not mentioned. Detecting the processes and the time to harvest from the pigment changes may not be a bad idea, but it isn’t the ideal way out. There are more efficient ways, but if you insist on this pattern which is usually easy, you may want to harvest during the cloudy stage as this is the stage in which THC is highest.



About David Rhodes

David has been working in the cannabis industry for the past 17 years with experience working overseas in Amsterdam as a budtender for 5 years! His goal is to help you with your cannabis grow! Learn More About David!

David Rhodes