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Guide to Marijuana Harvesting: Analyzing Pistils and Trichomes

 

 

weed trichomes close up
So, you’ve managed to grow your own weed, congratulations! You’ve been growing your plant for several weeks now, and you’re anxious to clip what look like decent buds, but how do you really know your plant is ready for harvest?  Well, no worries. All it requires is careful observation. Here are two basic ways of determining the optimum time to harvest marijuana.

1. The Easy Way

The easiest way to determine whether your plant is ready to harvest is to simply look at the plant. In particular, you want to look at the white hairs, or pistils, that cover the plants buds. As the plant matures and the flowering period comes to an end, the white hairs which initially stick out straight begin to darken and curl. You don’t want to start harvesting until more than half the hairs have darkened from white to amber in color. Buds will have their highest level of THC when between 50% -70% of the pistils have darkened. Harvest at this time for more of a psychedelic head high.

You can still harvest your plant when 70%-90% of the pistils have darkened. As your plant matures further, THC breaks down and oxidizes from exposure to air. As this happens the plants chemistry changes, making for a more calming, sleepy, body high.

2. The Precise Way

For a more accurate method of determining the ideal time to harvest, you will need to look at trichomes. In particular, you’ll be looking at the color and clarity of those trichomes. Trichomes are tiny, glandular, outgrowth on the leaves and buds of your plant. They often have stalks and a bulbous head, looking similar to a mushroom. The sticky resinous coating you’ll see on the trichomes is where the THC and other psychoactive components are stored. To get a good look at them you will need to invest in a Jeweler’s loupe/magnifying glass of 30x-60x.

Take a close look at the trichomes with your magnifying glass. Clear colorless trichomes are an indication that your bud is not quite ready yet. When your trichomes are more opaque or milky in appearance then you should start to get excited. But don’t harvest until most of the trichomes are milky. This is when THC is at its peak. For the most potent buds, with the most psychoactive effects, harvest when most of the trichomes are cloudy. Eventually the trichomes will turn amber or gold in color. Some strains will even turn purple or red. If you Harvest when most trichomes have changed from milky white, to one of the colors I have just mentioned, you will get more of narcotic, stoney, body high. However, your plant has past its ideal harvesting period when more than 75% of your trichomes have darkened.

 

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To Vape Or Not To Vape? Is Vaping Good Or Bad For Your Health?

weed-joints-versus-vaporizers-benefits

Joints vs. Vapes

 

Whether you have been prescribed medical marijuana, use it religiously, or blaze for recreational purposes, we have all been hit with the burning question (pun intended), is it better to smoke marijuana or vaporize it? Although there are many forms of ingesting the medicine such as eating medical marijuana “edibles”, for those who want to avoid eating extra food to get their marijuana fix, inhalation is the preferred method. Smoking marijuana has always been the norm by conventional standards both for recreational and medicinal purposes.

With the latest glance at the daily news, people see images of their favorite celebrity or in some cases politician, smoking a “blunt” on stage or have been caught blazing a “joint” in a picture from their college years. In the last decade however, vaporizing devices have inundated the market and have shifted the culture into being more conscientious about their cardio vascular health by providing safer alternatives to marijuana use.

Vaporizing

Vaporizers come in different shapes and sizes, some of which you can put on your coffee table and others you can carry in your pocket on your way to the movie theater. Numerous methods of vaporizing are available on the market today, ranging in price from $20-$300 depending on caliber of the device and the quality of vapor extracted from the herb.

Although price may be an issue to someone with a low budget, the vaporizing process cuts out up to 95% of smoke toxins from the mist that is inhaled, which can prevent lung harm and potential risk for disease in your later years.Not only are a majority of harmful toxins and chemicals excluded, but 95% of the THC is absorbed in the first few seconds compared to minutes needed to feel the effects of smoked marijuana.

The way vaporizers work is that they only get the cannabis hot enough to release the most important aspects of the plant as vapors. Marijuana begins to combust at about 392 degrees Fahrenheit, where as in most vaporizers, the ideal sweet spot for vaporization occurs at 338 degrees, right below smoke temperature. Users tend to “sip” the vapor through their particular device of choice,  rather than “smoke” the medicine.

Smoking

Smoking is the more prevalent way that marijuana is ingested. Marijuana that is smoked is usually done so by using rolling papers, blunt wraps, pipes, water pipes, or concentrate pipes. Price ranges for most smoking devices can range in a few cents for single joint paper  to a few  hundred dollars for high end pipes.

Most people have the false impression that holding in marijuana smoke will somehow make you feel “higher”. Research has shown that this is in fact not the case, and that users can get just as high by taking “shallow puffs” without jeopardizing the harsh feeling on their lungs.Smoking anything  will eventually if not immediately cause irritation of the lungs which according to most medical marijuana doctors, can be a cause of a more serious lung conditions later on in life.

The major difference between smoking marijuana and vaporizing, is that smoke contains substances other than beneficial ones found in the plant, where as vaporizing reduces these substances drastically. Studies have shown that there are no known risks in the marijuana plant that pose a risk to human health; however, smoking the herb can lead to possible respiratory conditions later in life from the continual irritation of the lung tissue.

 

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Simple Step-By-Step Guide For Making Premium Shatter BHO

shatter hash wax

  1. Take some good fresh uncut bud that has been dried. An ounce of high quality bud can yield you 3.6g of shatter provided you use about 12oz of butane and wash it twice.
  2. Place the bud in an extraction tube that is made of thick glass and is real clean. You don’t want excess contaminants in your batch that will degrade your dabs. You want to also make sure that there are no air pockets inside the tube, and you can eliminate those by using a rod to neatly but not overly pack your bud.
  3. On other end of the extraction tube you want to drip your butane through it in a slow yet evenly paced manner. On the opposite end use/attach coffee filters so that the liquid which runs down will have to go through it. The drippings should fall onto a collection dish. Note that you should do the extraction process outside as there is a chance of explosions or bursts of fire if the butane is dripped too fast.
  4. Once your butane can is spent remove it and let the excess butane still in the tube make its way down through the filter and into your pan.
  5. Next is the evaporation part of the process. Your pan should be filled with this golden brown liquid. Take your collection dish and place it in a larger frying pan filled with hot water and your mixture should begin to bubble. Change the water as needed if it cools and don’t expose it to the hot water for a long time as your product will become dark and degraded. Once the oil stops bubbling you are done and can scrape the product and either smoke it or place them in glass vials.

One of the few places I found with good prices on dabs, wax, and shatter making tools and accessories: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/smoke-shop-supply/concentrate-tools.html

DISCLAIMER: This is just a guide laying out the steps to how shatter is made using butane.  I am not recommending that any of you try this at home without proper equipment or experience because it could involve in injury as butane is highly flammable and can be explosive.  This is an article meant to inform, not meant to inspire recreational weed smokers to screw around with butane and their leftover stash.

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A No-Frills Guide To Buying Weed In Colorado

how to buy marijuana in colorado

The great state of Colorado opened it’s doors to Marijuana use on January 1st , 2014 (aka Green Wednesday).  The marijuana dispensary doors are now officially open for business and you want to get in on the action, here’s a few things you should know without having to read the Colorado marijuana use laws.

Who Can Buy Marijuana For Recreational Use?  Colorado’s age requirement to buy Marijuana is anyone that is 21 and older with a valid government issued ID.  As long as you are of age, you can legally purchase, possess, and smoke Marijuana in the state.  Colorado also has what I call a “sharing is caring” clause.  You can share your weed with anyone else who is 21 years or older as long there is no exchange of Marijuana for money.

I’m Not From Colorado, Can I Still Buy Marijuana?  The same laws apply to all United States citizens as stated above.  As long as your over 21 years of age with valid ID, you can cruise into a licensed retail shop and buy up to 1/4 ounce (out-of-state limitation)

What If I’m Not 21 Years Old But Over 18?  Great news for those over 18 years old but under 21, you can still buy Marijuana as long as you have a medical marijuana card.  Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000 but has now dropped the annual registration fee for the medical marijuana card to only $15 per year!

OK, I’m Finally In Colorado, Where Can I Buy Weed?  There have been 136 retail marijuana shop licenses issued throughout Colorado but MOST of these are in Denver.  But if you somehow find yourself in Summit County, there are four shops there as well.

How Much Marijuana Can I Buy?  If your a Colorado resident, you can buy up to 1 ounce of weed (equivalent to 60 normal sized joints) and out-of-state visitors can buy 1/4 ounce of weed at one time (equivalent to 15 normal sized joints).  That’s still alot of joints so there is nothing to worry about with this limitation.

Lastly, How Much Money Should I Prepare?  Your typical purchase of an eighth of an ounce will run anywhere between $25 to $45 with taxes on top.  The state tax is set at 25% and a very nice 5% city/county tax assessed in most places.

I Didn’t Smoke All My Weed, Can I Take It Back Home For My Family And Friends?  No.  Although you bought it legally, it is still illegal to take it with you across state lines.  It can even be tricky to transporting weed from city to city within Colorado because each city  and county have set their own individual marijuana laws.

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What’s the right bong for me? A brief beginners guide to glassware

bong lined up

Bongs have been around for decades, and have been constantly adapting to new products that enter the market. Many first time users don’t know quite how to smoke marijuana and will go to the local marijuana shop and purchase a “cool” looking bong rather than one that will provide them with the best high. Bongs can be made from a variety of material such as plastic, glass or ceramic. Some old school Asian bongs are even made of bamboo.

The classic bong that many stoners use is one that is made of glass and is clear so that they can see the water and smoke when using it. Usually these bongs have sweet ass attachments such as splash guards, diffusers or ash catchers.  These types of bongs also can be bent so that an individual may take a hit when reclined. Plastic bongs are usually cheap bongs that allow for low budget stoners to get high. Using these bongs may dilute the taste of good weed (you get that plastic taste mixed in there) and more often than not do not have any separate attachments like glass bongs do. Ceramic bongs usually are the ones with crazy colors, and I usually don’t recommend those as I like to see my water inside the bong to make sure it is clean.

The best advice I can give the amateur stoner would be to try a few different bongs owned by some of your friends to find out which bong best suits you rather than go into a store an aimlessly throw money away.

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