When Does THC Form in a Cannabis Plant?

Learn about when THC forms in a cannabis plant and how to optimize your harvest window for maximum potency. Find out about trichome development stages and how to use nutrient application programs for your plants.

When Does THC Form in a Cannabis Plant?

Growing a cannabis plant can take anywhere from four to eight months, depending on the environment in which it is grown. Generally, growers harvest their plants after a two-month flowering phase, although the optimal harvest window for different strains can range from a few days to several weeks. This is when the plant is at its peak THC production, as well as its peak terpene production. Cannabis is like any other plant; it starts from a seed, grows and matures over time, and then blooms and repeats the cycle until it dies.

The flowers of the cannabis plant are the most desirable part of the growth process, as they produce resin glands that contain cannabinoids and terpenes. These flowers are harvested and processed into various medicines and consumable items. When grown from seed, cannabis plants start with both male and female parts. During the growth process, the characteristics of one or the other begin to form; male plants form pollen sacs and female plants form stigmas that trap pollen.

After four to six weeks of blooming, male pollen sacs open and spread pollen through the air. When trichomes first form on cannabis buds and leaves, they are transparent and almost look like glass. This is the least powerful stage of their development. As time passes, these trichomes will begin to turn amber, which indicates that THC is breaking down into THC-A.

In order to analyze both groups of compounds in cannabis samples with high THC content, some research groups have developed techniques that allow for this analysis. However, nothing practical has emerged for a cannabis testing laboratory that performs routine analysis. Hemp belongs to the same species as highly intoxicating, high-THC cannabis strains, but it is naturally low in THC. With more than half a million acres of hemp and more than 20,000 producers in the United States, THC remediation will continue to be an important step in the production of hemp-based products.

This means that all products with detectable levels of THC, including federally legal hemp-based products that contain less than 0.3% THC, will require a Prop 65 warning label. THC remediation can refer to methods as simple as dilution or more advanced chromatography techniques. In general, this method provides relatively fast and sensitive analytical performance with good separation of the two main groups of analytes in both hemp and cannabis samples with high THC content. When it comes to feeding plans or nutrient application programs for cannabis plants, it depends on each grower's individual needs. However, keep in mind that you'll need to add these nutrients through foliar, liquid or solid fertilizers. Additionally, if you extend the flowering phase too long before harvest, the THC will start to degrade. The information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice.