When to harvest white widow marijuana

A question from a fellow grower:

i was wondering about white widow harvesting. should i wait for the nugs to turn red or are they white during harvest & change color after curing? i’ve been growing this batch since early/mid march, which seems like enough time

No matter what strain, it kinda depends on your personal preference, some people prefer all the resin glands, trichomes, milky white while others prefer the trichomes mostly amber. Most seem to settle on a 1/3rd to 1/2 of the trichomes to have turned amber. As a general rule, the more milky white — the more of a sativa (more cerebral) like high, and the more amber — more of an indica (more relaxing body and couch-lock) like high. Some people find without enough amber trichomes the high feels a little edgy and uncomfortable, mostly in sativa dominant plants. As to the hairs, they are only a rough guide, the trichome development will be at the above stated levels when the hairs are about 50% - 100% brown/reddish/orange, you should have a 40-60 times jeweler’s loupe or magnifyer so you can see your trichomes and have a more accurate way to tell. They will start out looking perfectly clear, like a little crystal mushroom forest, then they will gradually become more and more milky white with some starting to just barely turn amber, this is when most people would probably harvest, especially with indica dominant plants.


Always judge your harvest by the trichomes. At some point; You have to decide for yourself how “ripe” you want you MJ.

There are 3 stages of readiness.

  1. The vessel: Clear trichomes. This shows that there is potential for THC;

  2. Cloudy trichomes; show that THC is generating in the vessel.

  3. Amber trichomes; Plant is mature. THC is deteriorating. It is time to consider the effect you want.

Couchlcok. More amber.

Up high. Happy Less Amber


I’m trying to decide also when to start harvesting.I read from serveral sites that the trichrome body will have the shape of a nuculear reactor or smoke stack but with bulb on top.
Here’s a short video that shows those types.Maybe of the master growers can chime in and comment if the video is a good guide for trichromes.
Trichomes - YouTube

This video doesn’t say anything about when trichomes are ready. It showed some clear ones, some milky white ones and some that I’d say had too much amber/orange in the trichomes. Our advice above about the white milky cloudiness in the trichomes is still the best way to know, they will always start out looking like a little crystal mushrooms or smoke stack with bulb on top and very clear, wait until they fill with milkyness and then they are ready as stated above. The ones at 0:17 seconds are too amber, most of the rest in the video are too clear, and the ones at the end at 1:12 look perfect.


Thanks for chiming in.
I understand by pictures and now with 1:12 as a goal I know what to look for.Helps very much to know what to look for.

Some of mine have thin skinny stalks with bulb heads.Do they thicken at the bottom as they mature or before the change to cloudy?

Nope, they might swell a little, but as you see in the video, even the ones that have lots of orange or even red in the trichomes still have the same general shape.

Well this kinda explains why my 1st try was a failure. If you go to Indoor Guides/The Harvest/#3 here’s the last paragraph.
“When most of the resin is round, sticky, shiny, and transparent, the marijuana is ripe. If the resin turns amber and starts to deteriorate you should harvest quickly. The resin combines with oxygen and the quality will suffer.”

I harvested when the trichomes were transparent.

Transparent is a little early, but not a failure in itself. Early harvest gets you more of a cerebral high. Late harvest gets you more of a narcotic-like high. I harvested two girls that still had mostly clear trichomes and they gave me the best get up and go feeling. Two lasted until Amber. They were White Widows and put me into couchlock every time. The rest we harvested in the middle and ended up with really good bud that was just as described in the strain guides.

Thanks to all who contributed to this fine thread of information. :smiley:

1 Like

hi guys im trying to find a device in Australia that will be suitable to see the trichomes is a 100x jewellery pocket microscope loupe magnifier sufficient to see trichomes??

My old astigmatic eyes can see trichomes with 100x. My wife cannot. She needs my 200x scope. I have friends who can see well enough with a 50x loupe.

thanks old goat. nice picture by the way =) well my young astigmatic eyes will probably get my girlfriend to look for me then.

I use a 60-100x magnifier.

I can see ok with a 40x loupe but it is more difficult, and I prefer my 60x loupe.

Is it typical for white widow to provide 2-3 harvests from the same plants? It seems not all my ww’s grew at the same rates…so I am harvesting in increments. And the trichomes are lasting a long time at the milky stage; they are not turning amber.

Today is day 80 on my WWA and I’m going to harvest this afternoon . Trichomes are just turning amber. Dried out a branch with 3 nugs a week ago and loved it. I’m going for less than 10% amber to keep the final results close to the sample. Ilgm seeds rock. I’m growing Ak47 autos my next grow. I couldn’t be happier. I’m like a kid in a candy store!

1 Like

I took some off hand advice: when you think it’s ready to ‘pick’, wait another week! I do. I still can’t ‘make out’ the tri’s!

i’ll work here. It is a candy :candy: store for sure

Try the Carson zorb digital 65x USB magnifier