Trichomes... sometimes do they NOT go Amber?

Questions about going Amber with my Trich’s.
Plants are Fem Durban Poison.
I harvested 3/4 of two well-endowed plants, leaving 1/4 to go amber and get a little more body-sensed (according to what I’ve read here).
That was one week ago, after a week of heat wave.
Now: The trichomes do not look much more amber than a week ago. The So-Call weather is cooler.

  1. Do trich’s ever just not go amber?
  2. If they don’t shift amber and I wait, what am I risking?
  3. I think I notice less vigor in the trichomes, less plumpness. Does this happen? Could well be my slanted observation. It IS cooler weather, less sun, and their aroma and stickiness is down. It could all be a function of the weather and the plant is just marching along just fine.

Somebody… hand me some scissors??? … or a chair?



You know? This is a great question, that I don’t know the answer to. My best guess is that it might take a really long time to go more amber if there is such a thing. I’ll tag some more experiences growers as I’m finishing up my first grow.
@bob31 @Donaldj @garrigan62 @Countryboyjvd1971 @Screwauger


My post would have been identical to yours @Covertgrower

I think time is the only answer but someone will have a more experienced reply I am sure.


As far as the three states: clear; milky; amber →

I noticed the trich’s go from mostly clear to mostly milky over the course of about 10 days max. (I could be off on the days by 5±) At that point, there were also a “few” amber trich’s… a low percentage, 5-10%?.

Given that amber started showing up well before 75% of the trich’s were milky, I expected the amber to keep increasing and eventually “take over”. They are still easily below 50%, maybe less than 30%. Yet all the other trich’s are milky.

It could have been the abnormally hot weather followed by relatively cold weather. That, plus I stopped pee’ing on them. Hmmmmm. (not really)

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I just googled, “trichomes not turning amber” and came up with lots of links and experiences. All over the board but not turning amber is common.

Unless I get other input, I think I’ll go ahead finish the harvest. I’ll check my sense that the trich’s are not “exuding life” and plumpiness… if I think they are getting past their prime, I’ll -cut-.

Funny, no one on the forums mentioned urinating on the plants. Maybe I’ll urinate on them one last time… :carrot: :cowboy_hat_face:



The goal is really maximum Milky. Depending on the individual genetics that could mean no amber or it could be a lot of amber.

Good Luck on your decision.


Good question. I struggle with waiting for more amber but at my age and energy level I really don’t need any couch lock in my meds lo. I have noticed not waiting for the milky stage gives me a headache. Perfect for my preference is milky and 10 to 20% amber


@bob31 congrats on the new badge brother

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For what it’s worth, my last grow of Northern Lights never went amber…? Had some amber show up on sugar leaves but the buds never turned… I waited and waited… Then harvested but I think I may have let it go too long


@bob31 is right on the money :wink:

You decide the colour of trichs you want! Knowing that the highest amount of THC is when their are still transparent! So with all the other have told you here, the choise is yours!

From my experience, I don’t think a plant can “not show amber trichomes” because it’s in its senescense process to end by having this colour …

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Thank you Sir @Oldstoner

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Thank you one and all… ! Looks like I’ll cut all except 2-3 experimental branches. Take those, in stages, out a good while and see what happens. Wish I had a camera that could shoot the trichs.

**Eiffel → This is the first I’ve heard that peak-THC is in the clear stage. Can you point me/us to more info on this? Seems pretty important. Like, if you want a lighter, stronger effect from an Indica, cut when first cloud starts… Or - cut at that point for a stronger, yet more whacky sativa…?

So many variables: THC% / individual’s body-mind reaction / strain / % other ingredients / situation.

Life is so Unknown! … thank goodness.


@EiffelSmoker that really contradicts the common knowledge that we all share here. I’d like to know the basis of this statement, so I may research this further!


Hey @Hoyt, hey @bob31

If you read the book called “marijuana botany” from Clarke Robert Connell, the author says that the highest THC peak appears when the resin is still in formation (I’m french, so I only have the french version, and in Paper, not as an e-book :confused: )
Basically it is because the CBN (oxydation of THC) doesn’t have the time to manifest, so the THC concentration is at its highest point.

Be carefull with the Statement! I talked about THC peak concentration as the highest percentage the plant will ever show, if you want to compete with someone else for exemple, put on analysis a bud with still clear thrich :wink:
but the maturity of trichs is diferent because it accentuates the lightness or hardness of the herb you’ll smoke, and regarding each other’s preferences, it will always depend!


I sniffed around and found this reference too:

Here’s a segment from a high times article:
“Dr. Paul G. Mahlberg who found that THC in the resin head is at it’s peak when it’s still clear - not opaque and certainly not amber. Dr. Mahlberg stuck a tiny syringe into the bulbous head of the trichome and extracted it’s contents, then analyzed it for THC. The result: Without a doubt, THC is at it’s highest before the trichome turns opaque.”

I googled his name and found a number of links… an interview, articles, etc.
*His lab had one of the few DEA permits to work with Cannabis since 1970.


From Reddit:

“Dr. Mahlberg obtained one of only two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule 1 research licenses to pursue studies on Cannabis in the United States spanning a period of 33 years from 1970-2003. During that time he accumulated one of the most extensive seed banks in the world with over 200 strains (varieties) of Cannabis from worldwide sources including landrace varieties, which were cultivated in secure greenhouses. The studies are available in over 30 scientific publications on Cannabis.
Dr. Mahlberg is a Professor Emeritus of Indiana University and was an active professor in the Botany department of the University until 1994 after which he continued his research on Cannabis and maintained his laboratory until 2003. Dr. Mahlberg received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.S. and B.S. degrees in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.”
A lot of studies worth reading:

It looks like Mahlberg was VERY MUCH INTO TRICHOMES…
The first sentence in one of his abstracts: *It’s in English but it might as well be in French…

Formation of secretory vesicles in the noncellular secretory cavity of glandular trichomes of Cannabis sativa L. was examined by transmission electron microscopy.


I have been waiting on a gorilla glue to finish using trichomes. At the end of week 9 the went from milky to exploded heads and stickiness gone. Live and learn. Lucky I have 2 other strains ready to cut.


I know this is an old post but I wanted to let you know I just experienced the same thing with my Northern Lights. Actually I had 3 Amnesia Haze, 2 Northern Lights and a Blueberry. All autos. I was able to harvest 2 of the AMH’s with 10-30% amber but rest never really got much amber except for the sugar leaves on the rest. One was showing degradation of trichomes. I decided to harvest the last 4 today day 96, week 12.

A side note my first AMH was harvested at like week 8 and it still has a slight grassy smell into third week of cure. The second AMH I harvested just started cure and has a pungent citrus odor. I’m guessing I harvested the first too soon?

But the Northern Lights cola looked amazing to me. Caveat this is my first so anything would look good I’m sure.

Lot of good info in this post. Thanks!!


I agree that THC is at its highest in a clear trichome. This explains why clear trichomes get you so much more high and tweaky , almost trippy and anxiety ridden . As the trichome matures it produces more terpenes and cbn which causes the trichome to turn first milky, which when smoked will feel more of a stoned calm high due to the cbn and terpenes combined with the THC. Then when you get to Amber, you are on the complete other spectrum of clear, sleepy sleepy time, lots of cbn little THC.