I have three Sweet Purple clones flowering in my little wardrobe under two, 42w and three 27w CFLs. I turn my binoculars backwards to look at trichomes. I’m shocked to see clear /milky/amber/ and raspberry colored trichomes. Is this normal? I hope so cause she’s in the room with a nice short stocky White Widow male. I’m gonna call it Sweet Holy Moly. Has anybody ever seen or have pictures of different colored trichomes besides the normal you look for to know when to harvest?
Your buds are normal, but there are exceptions such as the strain ‘Blueberry,’ which bears darker, even purplish resin glands. You are seeing three different levels of maturity in the trichomes. This is quite normal in all plants for some trichomes to become ripe before others. The clear ones are the most immature, the milky ones are mature and the amber (which you call raspberry) trichomes are starting to degrade. My guess is that your Sweet Purple clones have been flowering for 7-8 weeks. THC-rich trichomes found on drug cannabis are glandular. These stalked glandular trichomes are comprised of a stalk with a resin head. They look like a post with the knob at the top. They form on buds and small leaves. The highest concentration of THC is located at the base of the resin head. The best time to harvest is when these trichomes have developed a spherical head and are transparent to creamy white. Harvest when half (50 percent) of the trichomes have turned a creamy translucent color for absolute peak ripeness. At this point, the high will be both cerebral and physical with a good head and body stone. Harvest when the majority of trichomes have turned amber for a body stone. Pure indica, afghani, and indica-dominant strains harvested at this late point will possess a heavy body, or couch-lock, stone. Senescing glands start to turn amber and later brown and get smaller; they are decomposing, and THC content diminishes. Check buds every day starting the sixth week of flowering. Check several buds from different plants to ensure the maximum amount of trichomes are ripe for harvest. Resin glands that are bruised from being squeezed or jostled about deteriorate quickly.
Most established indoor strains are bred so the entire plant reaches peak potency at the same time. Lower flower tops that received less light are not as heavily frosted with resin as upper branches and could be slower to mature. Varieties that ripen all at once tend to go through four to five weeks of rapid bud formation before growth levels off. The harvest is taken one to three weeks after growth slows.
Do not confuse stalked glandular trichomes with “Cystolith” trichomes which have a pointed tip and are often long and hair-like. These protective trichomes are most common on leaf undersides. Cystolith glands exude insecticidal and miticidal substances to gum up pest mouthparts and repel them, but they have no THC.