If you are someone with experience in growing marijuana, then you are already familiar to the typical structures and appearances of most cannabis plants. Yes, no two plants will look the same but the general idea of what to expect stays the same almost every time. But in the case where you walk into your growing setup and notice that the uppermost portion of your colas have suddenly turned into white tips, it is understandable to feel confused and nervous! Why on earth are there white tips emerging from my colas? Well, the answer to that may surprise you.
White tips forming in your cannabis gardens may indicate something that brings either good or bad news. Depending on how you have treated your cannabis plants up to that point in time, these white tips may indicate a few different things!
When Were White Tips First Noticed?
White tips forming on top of cannabis colas fist came into view across the whole cannabis industry when Susan Gress, a world-renowned marijuana producer based in Washington State, was casually taking a stroll through her gardens when she began noticing white tips forming atop her LED-based cannabis crops. Confused and baffled by the sudden appearance of this phenomenon, Susan Gress sought the help of fellow scientists to help explain this occurrence.
After further studying the white tips, they came to a number of conclusions to explain it. One scientist believed that this indicated the piling up of excessive amounts of trichomes (as he put it, “the trichomes of trichomes”). Another explained that this was a sign of the plants having a good health condition. When they came to the point where they needed to take a closer look at the substance, they found out that the white tips contained the same cannabinoid composition (including THC and CBD) as trichomes. This meant that they were the direct result of high trichome production in the buds!
But was this a good thing? Or did these white tips signify something that could be detrimental to the cannabis plants’ health?
So What do White Tips Mean? Are they a good sign for your plants?
As we have said, the white tips that subsequently form white flowers as well is the result of having an increase in production rate of trichomes in your weed gardens. Because of this, the plants which do contain these white tips in their colas have higher levels of THC, CBD, and terpene compositions. It could come in handy for various purposes though. Strains will typically have higher THC contents which could lead to more potent buds and a stronger flavor and taste!
So, to answer the question: Yes, white tips are a good sign of extremely healthy plants! Instead of having to worry about their sudden manifestation, growers should actually be celebrating because of such a feat! But now that we know that they are a good thing to have, what exactly causes the cannabis plants to boost their trichome production in the first place?
What are Trichomes?
Before taking full swings into the whole “white tips” topic, we are first going to have to explain the relevance of trichomes to a cannabis plant. When the marijuana plants start entering their flowering stages, they will focus all their energy into the production of healthy weed buds. As they continue maturing, these buds also start producing tiny structures known as trichomes that cover both the buds and sugar leaves with a white coating. This gives marijuana buds the iconic, mouth watering appearance that makes them feel sticky and waxy to the touch.
But the purposes of trichomes extends well beyond just the appearance of your gardens. They are actually the carriers that house all the important compounds and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant! That’s right, all of the tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, terpenes, and all other cannabinoids and compounds are present inside these small structures that are scattering all around the whole plant. They are mainly responsible for causing the “high” feeling that people normally associate with cannabis consumption.
In their most natural habitats, these trichomes are actually use as more of a defensive mechanism that repels any rodents and animals from trying to eat these cannabis plants. Because of the psychotropic effects along with the pungent smell that these trichomes bring, herbivores would not be as inclined to eat the buds of natural marijuana plants.
Causes of the Development of White Tips
Susan Gress, who was credited for spearheading the study of these white tips, was known to use LED-based cannabis gardens for her marijuana production. Because of this, the white tips were highly recognized as being the direct result of the technological innovations that are available today.
So, it should not be anything surprising to know that these white tips are generally reported to start showing themselves under a cannabis garden that makes use of an LED lighting system. Of course, since this is still something that is undergoing tests, we may still have to wait for more information regarding other causes of the white tips and more enhance trichome production.
How does an LED lighting system affect the trichome production?
There are a lot of benefits that come with using an LED system and apparently, a boost in trichome production is one of them! The unique UV light rays that emit from these bulbs produce little to no heat at all when being turn on. This means that you lower the risk of burning your plants and causing heat stress. Because of this benefit, it practically rules out the possibility of these white tips forming as a sort of bleaching due to the LED’s lighting spectrums.
Furthermore, to add to the long list of benefits that come with LED lights, they are also much more efficient in providing a wider range of lights for a lesser per-watts cost in electricity. With the increase in amount of light allowable for buds to have, the plants will have more energy to put towards the production and building up of trichomes.
The Possibility of Heat Stress For White Tips
If you are not using an LED lighting system but still manage to see some white tips above the cannabis plants, then you might have to readjust your gardens a bit. The white tips that are not exposed to LED lighting systems may be the result of your plants experiencing what is known as heat stress.
When you leave your grow lights open for too long or if the plants are expose to too much sunlight, they tend to experience heat stress. This is very dangerous as it can drain the plants of their energy and nutrients, often leading to more severe damages like dying stems and branches. One symptom of heat stress is the bleaching and whitening of the tips of your cannabis colas, which signifies that they are starting to burn.
When this happens, immediately try flushing out the plants with water and place them under some shade or out of the lighting sources until they spring back to their normal selves.
Wrapping it up:
There is still a lot to learn about the white tips that many growers reportedly experience in their gardens. But with it mainly being credited to the use of LED light bulbs, it isn’t all that far-fetched to try and improve your cannabis gardens by using LED lights!
It may be worth a shot to try and come up with white tips in your cannabis crops. But as far as what we do know about this phenomenon, it really is something that you should get excited about!