Discover The Significance Of The Orange Hairs Found On Weed
The cannabis plant is a marvellous thing to look at. Until you examine it closely, you will likely miss some intricate details, from the contrasting colors, milky-whitish crystals, to the orange hairs. Interestingly, it’s the reddish-orange hairs that seem to confuse many cannabis users, novice and experienced alike. So what are the orange hairs on weed?
Cannabis plants can be male, female, or hermaphrodite, but any product you buy at an online weed dispensary or a local store is always from a female bud. Males don’t produce the buds. They are usually discarded because you don’t want them to pollinate the females and produce seeds. No one wants to smoke buds with seeds in them.
What do the orange hairs have to do with all this? In this article, we explain what the orange hairs in weed are, what they tell you about the weed and whether they affect your experience.
Are the orange hairs on weed pistils? The correct answer to that question is “stigmas.” The pistil is the female reproductive part of a flower that consists of the ovary – the swollen base part that contains the ovules, the stalk or style and the stigma at the top.
The style is the long neck that connects the ovary and the stigma. Ovules – the would-be seeds are produced in the ovary.
Stigmas start out white, and when they collect pollen from the male plants, or when an unpollinated female plant matures, they start changing color to orange, brown or even red depending on the strain. But do the orange hairs on weed affect the potency or the flavour of the cannabis bud?
No, the stigmas are essential to the plant’s maturation and reproduction, but they do not play any significant role in determining the potency or taste of the cannabis flower. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a purpose.
Growers prefer having an all-female crop to produce potent buds. So how can the orange hairs help?
Cannabis pistils, as we have already mentioned, are the female plant’s main reproductive parts. Cannabis pistils contain the ovary that produces ovules that produce seeds if pollinated, the style and stigma that receives pollen from the male plants.
If those hairs on weed (stigmas) contact pollen from a male cannabis plant, they become pollinated. The pollen grain then moves to the ovary, where its nucleus fuses with the nucleus of an ovule to produce a zygote; this is called fertilization.
When pollination and fertilization occur, the flower develops seed, and the plant’s life cycle is completed. While this is an important part of reproduction, it’s a grower’s worst nightmare. Once your female plant is pollinated, it shifts focus from developing resinous buds to producing seeds, meaning your buds will be less potent.
The worst part is, a single male in your crop can pollinate multiple females. Therefore, you have to spot and pluck them out young before they mature and produce pollen. However, if you are not using feminized seeds, this may be a lot harder than it sounds.
This brings us to the second use of the orange hairs on cannabis buds – telling female and male plants apart.
Whether you are using feminized seeds or not, you have to confirm that your plants are female in the first 3-6 weeks after germination if you intend to use them for buds. Young male cannabis plants generally develop preflowers before females. If you see white hairs emerging from several nodes, you have a female plant.
However, this depends on the strain and the growing conditions, as some plants may take longer before you can definitively tell if they are females. So ensure you use feminized seeds from reputable sellers.
While the orange hairs on weed flower don’t affect the potency and taste of your weed, they can tell you when your crop is ready for harvest. You want to harvest your buds at peak potency, not too early that the flower hasn’t produced enough trichomes and not too late when THC has already started degrading.
When most pistils are white and straight, the flower is not developed enough to harvest. When the white pistils start changing colour to yellow, red or brown, you are very close to harvest time.
However, this depends on the strain. In some strains, the pistils may remain yellow until harvest time or turn red, brown, or amber.
Experienced growers recommend harvesting when 70% of all pistils are darkened, as this is when the buds have the highest amount of THC. When about 90% of pistils have darkened, the THC has probably started turning to CBN, affecting potency and taste. However, if you are looking for buds that offer a calmer effect, that is the best time to harvest.
However, some growers say this method is ineffective, and the best way to know when to harvest is to take a closer look at the trichomes. And for this, you will need a magnifying glass or a handheld microscope.
If most trichomes are milky white and have a bulbous mushroom head, they are at peak THC content and ready for harvest. If the trichomes are clear, they are not ready for harvest, and if they have turned to amber, you are too late.
So, what determines the potency of the cannabis flower?
Do the orange hairs on cannabis buds do anything? As previously mentioned, the orange hairs are the cannabis plant’s stigmas. They are responsible for collecting pollen from the male plants, fertilizing the ovules to create seeds.
They can also be useful to growers. Because they are only found in female cannabis plants, they can help you identify the male plants early enough before they produce pollen and ruin the rest of your crop. Depending on the colour change, the hair-like pistils can also help you know when to harvest.
But do the orange hairs on weed impact taste or potency?
No, orange hairs on your bud don’t mean it’s more or less potent. Potency and taste are determined by the THC concentration and the terpenes present in the buds. Trichomes are responsible for producing terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Trichomes are hard to miss despite their tiny size. These are the translucent, mushroom-shaped outgrowths that cover the leaves, stems, and buds. Trichomes are mostly found on the bract – the green tear-shaped leaves that encapsulate the female reproductive parts.
Trichomes are also found in sugar leaves which are saved as trim during harvest and can be used for pre-rolls and other cannabis products.
Orange Hairs On Weed – What They Are And Their Importance
The orange hairs you see on your cannabis buds are stigmas and are part of the pistils. The pistil is the female plant’s reproductive part that comprises the ovary, style and stigma. The stigmas don’t impact the potency or flavour of the weed, so don’t be afraid to order bud online because it has a lot of orange hairs.
However, these orange hairs can be important to you as a grower as they tell you when the buds are ready for harvest and help spot female plants in the crop and isolate males.
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