How Trichomes Create White Tips on Cannabis Buds
There is a peculiar phenomenon that some growers experience – the forming of white tips in the buds of their plants.
At first such a thing might be perceived as something wrong happening to the cannabis but in reality it’s the opposite.
The white tips are said to have a higher concentration of THC than any other part of the plant.
One reported cases of white tips happened at Vashon Velvet, a family operated cannabis farm in Washington.
The change in the tips started happening just when they switched to LED grow lights in order to achieve better yields.
As soon as they noticed that some of the plants were looking unusual they called in a few experts to examine.
Luckily, their initial fear that the white tips were actually a sign of burnt plants was proven wrong.
First they called in a specialized professional in macrophotography who made detailed shots of the unusual tips. As one of the owners of the farm.
Susan Gress, says: “I asked him, do they look damaged? ‘Oh my god,’ he replied, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it, this is trichomes on top of trichomes!’”
Let`s clarify, trichomes are very small crystal-like shapes that can be found on the surface of cannabis leaves or buds.
Their appearance can even be compared to that of shattered glass pieces, but when you examine the frost-covered buds more closely this is exactly what you`ll see, a cluster of trichomes covering the whole upper surface.
Knowing this, we can understand why discovering trichomes on top of trichomes is a peculiar event.
One of the main functions of trichomes is to protect the plant when it begins flowering and becomes exposed to harmful factors such as strong wind, UV rays or animals.
Their strong smell keeps any insects away, making sure the plant will continue to grow.
The density and amount of trichomes is affected by the genes of the plant but also by the environment.
It is said that UV light is one of the main variables that determine cannabinoid and terpene synthesis in the trichrome head.
This means that the plants receive light in a wider spectrum and have bigger concentration of cannabinoid.
As we said in the beginning, the change in Vashon Velvet`s produce started occurring when they switched to LED grow lights.
This leads us to our next main question…
Are White Buds a Good Thing?
Let`s jump back to the Vashon Velvet case.
The second person that came to inspect the white buds was a neurologist and psychopharmacology expert with extensive experience in the cannabis research field.
His examination concluded that the plants are very healthy and in perfect condition so after a detailed examination in a specialized lab the results turned out quite intriguing.
They tested the white and green parts of the plant separately and concluded that the white ones are much richer on both THC and terpenes.
This means that the white buds are much more potent than the regular ones, which has resulted in an increased demand for that specific product.
Why are the Buds White?
It is important to note that this is not a result of burned plants and as they say from Vashon Velvet about their initial scare:
“We Googled and read that this was damaged, bleached, or burned bud. But they looked so healthy that we didn’t believe it.”
Farming the extra trichomes can indeed be linked to the LED grow lights switch, which has also resulted in other benefits like tighter canopies, but the exact mechanism behind the phenomenon is not fully clear.
According to Gress however this is just another factor that proves the benefits of using full spectrum LED grow lights.
Her opinion is that white tips are a unique occurrence linked directly to this type of lighting.
White Bud Strains
White bud cannabis strains have become quite popular and sought after in recent years so consumers are willing to go to great lengths and pay extra to obtain even a small amount. Let`s take a look at some of the more popular white bud strains.
At first it was named “The Triangle” but there was a more compatible and obvious name for it, but this strain is completely covered by white trichomes and can even be compared to cotton candy.
One of the things associated with it is its lack of smell and flavor so the high is said to be with an equal effect to the body and head.
White Fire OG
This strain is also known as “WiFi OG” and it`s a hybrid between “Fire OG” and the abovementioned “The White”. Combining the properties of the two (2) strains results in a perfect match with a both energizing and calming high.
One of the most popular strains in the world and has been around for the past 25 years. The buds are covered with a thick white blanket that signals for the high THC content and this strain is said to be very energizing and stimulating in terms of creativity.
This strain is one of the numerous hybrids that include “The White Widow” so in this case the other strain is “AK-47” named so because of its very high THC percentage (%).
“White Russian” has a strong fruity smell and a nice smooth taste, but the high however is very head intensive and can lead to prolonged drowsiness.
In general, cannabis strains with rich trichome coverage are more potent and higher concentration of THC.
Nowadays there are many different hybrids that utilize the properties of trichome-rich strains in order to produce a certain desired effect. One thing we can conclude for sure is – white tips on cannabis buds are definitely a good thing.
Let us know what you think.Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas. When not at work, Luis enjoys swimming, yoga, as well as growing grapes and flowers in Sonoma, California.]