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If you’re growing cannabis, then your goal is likely to make it as potent and flavorful as possible. To accomplish this, you’ll need to maximize trichome production.

No worries if you don’t know what trichomes are because we’ll explain that below. How to increase trichome production on cannabis plants is exactly what you’ll learn today.

What Are Trichomes?

Trichomes on cannabis are also known as the resin glands. The reason why these are so important is because they are what contain phytochemicals such as flavonoids, terpenoids, cannabinoids, and more.

The Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. Some popular cannabinoids are: THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. There are 100+ cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The more trichomes your plant has, the more of these cannabinoids will be present. In other words, it’s all about maximizing potency.

The Terpenes

Another important component of trichomes are terpenes. You can think of these as the essential oils of cannabis plants. Terpenes are what gives cannabis its flavor and aroma. The more trichomes a plant has, the more terpenes it produces, and the more flavorful it ends up being.

Best Ways to Increase Trichome Production on Cannabis Plants

There are plenty of fast and easy ways to increase trichome production in cannabis plants, and if you combine multiple methods together, you should end up with some super potent buds.

Choosing the Right Strain Matters

It all starts with choosing the right strain of cannabis. Some cannabis plants are known for being more potent than others. If you choose the right strain to begin with, you’ll automatically end up with more trichomes regardless of anything else that you do. Some of the most resin-heavy strains out there include Girl Scout Cookies, Gorilla Glue #4, White Widow, and G13, among others. 

Maintain Proper Humidity Levels

Relative humidity plays a large role in how well a cannabis plant grows, matures, and just how potent it ends up being. While the cannabis plant is in the early flowering stage, the RH or relative humidity level should be kept between 40% and 60%. This is a general recommendation and more seasoned growers may aim for a different RH.

Then, during the late flowering stage, which most would define as the second half of flowering, many growers will lower the relative humidity level to between 40% and 50%. Some claim this will help encourage resin production. Again, some growers with more experience will aim for a different RH during this time period. To learn a more advanced method in order to help achieve the optimal relative humidity, check out this article on VPD.

Maintain the Right Temperature

Just as with humidity, keeping your cannabis plants in the right temperature range also helps to stimulate trichome or resin production. 

During the early flowering stage, the temperature should be anywhere between 70-82°F (21-27°C) during the day (or lights on if growing indoors) and just slightly lower during the night (or lights off if indoor growing). 

During the late flowering stage, many growers slightly reduce the temperature range to between 70-78°F or 21-25°C, and once again, slightly cooler during the nighttime. This is done in order to conserve terpenes. 

Give Cannabis Plants Enough Light

One of the best ways to increase trichome production in cannabis plants is to ensure that they get enough light

At the very least, you should be providing your cannabis plants with 30 watts of light power per square foot, with up-to 40 watts per square foot being generally recommended.

Remember, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, and this applies to light and cannabis. Too much light can result in light stress/burn.

Not only do cannabis plants in their flowering stage need enough light, but the right kind too. In this case, provide your plants with a full-spectrum of light, with more red light than blue.

Feed Your Plants Adequate Nutrients

Cannabis plants require a whole lot of nutrients, and it’s certain nutrients, mainly potassium and phosphorus, that allow for maximum bud and trichome production. 

The three main nutrients cannabis plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, with the latter two being the most important for trichome development in the flowering stage. 

During the early flowering stage, provide your plants with an NPK ratio of 1:3:2, and during the late flowering stage, many growers will change the ratio to 0:2:3.

Using Additives

There are certain nutrients and additional substances you can provide your plants with that may help to increase trichome production and overall potency. 

For instance, if you have an indoor grow room, supplementing CO2 or carbon dioxide can be very beneficial. 

Moreover, other nutrients, such as additional calcium and magnesium, can also help increase trichome production.

Flush Your Plants Before Harvest

Now let’s get into a few highly-debated methods. Many growers claim that a method to increase trichome production in cannabis is to flush your plants with clean water that is free of any nutrients about one to two weeks before harvest. It may seem counterintuitive, but the theory is when a cannabis plant gets less nutrients, it can increase resin production. 

The theory goes on to suggest that this is because the lack of nutrients signals that it’s the end of the growing season, which causes cannabis plants to engage in a last-ditch attempt at survival, which in this case is increasing resin production. Flushing cannabis plants before harvest has become less popular over recent years; There have been at least a few studies on flushing showing no benefit – like this study done by RX Green Technologies

Darkness Before Harvest

Just like flushing plants before harvest, giving your cannabis plants a period of darkness before harvest is also a highly-debated method. This theory suggests that giving cannabis plants a period of darkness before harvesting signals the plants that it’s the end of the growing season, and once again, this causes a cannabis plant to engage in one last attempt at survival, with increased trichome production being a part of this. 

Many growers are actually against this practice and claims it has no benefits. Other growers swear by it and execute darkness before harvest on every one of their grows. It certainly doesn’t do harm to the plant (as long as the medium is moist enough) so feel free to experiment as you wish.

Harvesting at the Right Time

Although this doesn’t actually increase trichome production per se, harvesting at the right time ensures that your cannabis has maximum potency. 

The trichomes should have turned from being clear to milky-white in color, while at least 60% of the stigmas / pistils (those little hairs) should have turned orange or amber. 

If you catch your cannabis plant right when these conditions are met, then trichomes will be present in abundance. However, if you wait too long to harvest, the trichomes will start to degrade. Check out this article for more information on when to harvest your cannabis plants.

Use a Proper Curing Technique

During the curing process, which helps enhance both flavor and potency, keep the buds in a dark and cool place. Many growers will keep their buds in a sealed glass jar with 58-62% RH locked inside. Also, storing that jar in a room that is ~60-65°F (15-18°C) can help preserve terpenes and cannabinoids. Exposure to high temperatures or too much light can cause trichomes to degrade.

Maximizing Trichome Production in Cannabis – Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, if you combine several or even all of these tips and techniques together, you should have no problems growing cannabis plants that are highly resinous, covered in trichomes, and full of precious phytochemicals! Happy growing!