24-48hrs of Dark Before Harvest?

Some Growers Say 24-48hrs of Darkness Before Harvest Has a Dramatic Impact on Quality

This is a common myth. You can find references to it all over the internet. The mythical benefits include additional trichome production and more potent cannabis. Though it is very common, the information is incorrect. Anyone happen to know where this was first spotted in the wild?

More Trichomes to Catch Pollen?

It’s often stated that during the dark period the cannabis plant grows additional trichomes. The theory is that the plant is responding to the dark by suddenly producing more trichomes to catch additional pollen. The ‘incoming death spurs the plant to make seeds” argument is really ridiculous.

Growing additional trichomes to catch pollen, to make more seeds, is a laughable idea. Any pollen that touches a trichome is NOT going to make a seed. As soon as pollen touches a trichome it’s stuck there, buddy, forever and always. You can rest assured that any pollen touching trichomes will be adding a harsh back end to the smoke of the bud, not creating seeds.

Cannabis grows very few ‘new’ trichomes after the first 40 or so days of budding (Average 60 day strain).. Those trichomes take quite a while to build up their payload of cannabinoids and terpenes. Even if the plant magically sprouted additional trichomes a day before harvest, they would have insignificant amounts of mature cannabinoids in them.

“But… I See A Significant Difference When I Add the Dark Period”

Plants looking better after 24-48hrs of dark is not a sign that the dark ‘worked’ it’s actually a sign that your plants have been stressed all day during lights on. Whether the temps are too hot, humidity too high or some issue with your airflow, your plants are stressed and need that fixed.

24-48hrs of darkness should not have much, if any, visible impact on the plants at all. (Though I’m sure they’ll be wondering where the light went.) It simply is not enough time for happy, non-stressed plants to change.

“What About A Week of Darkness?”

I’ve done that, just for S&G to see what would happen. The buds started to become looser and fluffier than they were before the dark period started. Other than the loosening of the buds, there were no detectable differences. A bit more CBN, but that’s to be expected with late harvest cannabis.

“So… What Do You Suggest?”

My suggestion would be to do research on what cannabis wants, so you can change your growing environment. The better the environment you provide, the less stress the cannabis will be under and the more cannabinoids terpenes and flavinoids it will produce.

Temperature is tied to humidity and CO2 content, Cannabis actually changes how it grows physically, depending on the environment it’s in. Amazing what non-stressed cannabis looks, smells and tastes like.

24-48 hours of darkness before harvest is a great way to check your environment. You should see no change at all in your plants when your environment is right and your plants are happy.

Question, Comments, Rebuttals?

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