Unless you have vast experience in the marijuana field, it is likely that you’ll find it difficult to visually tell the difference between good and bad weed. With a little practice, you can certainly ascertain whether cannabis is of extremely low quality. For example, schwag normally consists of compressed buds, stems, and shake. It has brown coloring which makes the plant look unhealthy, and it has a dry and earthy aroma.
Once you go up to medium-range weed, it gets a bit harder to tell the difference between mids and top-shelf cannabis. The best marijuana will possess a thick coat of sugary resin that contains the cannabinoids and terpenes that help get you high, and potentially provide a medical benefit. High-quality weed also has dense, thick buds and is often aesthetically pleasing.
However, trying to determine the quality of weed via the naked eye is not a sensible plan. Even experienced growers are sometimes tricked by their eyes, so we recommend investing in a marijuana microscope.
Why You NEED a Marijuana Microscope
If you are a grower, a microscope is a great way of checking your weed, and not just at harvest. Even if you are only a consumer, a magnifying device will help you find the best bud at the dispensary. For growers, harvest time is an exciting period because you finally benefit from the fruits of your labor.
While a lot of cultivators attempt to determine if the crop is ripe via the pistil method, the trichome method is more accurate but requires a magnifying glass. It is only with a marijuana microscope that you can clearly see the cannabinoid-rich trichomes. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine when it is the right time to harvest:
- Clear Trichomes: Not ready for harvest.
- Cloudy Trichomes: This means it is the ideal time to harvest because your weed provides a cerebral high.
- Amber Trichomes: You are taking a risk at this stage. Harvesting now will likely result in weed that offers a body high.
- Half Cloudy and Half Amber: This means it is the right time to harvest if you want a mixture of body and head high.
You also need a marijuana microscope to protect your crop against pests and mold. Insects such as spider mites can damage your plants beyond repair, and they are tough to spot with the naked eye. Likewise, mold and powdery mildew could escape your notice without the help of a magnifying glass.
There are a ton of lenses on the market, many of which are available for under $50. A normal pocket microscope is fine as long as it has a minimum magnification of 40X. However, a magnification of up to 120X will give you an ‘up close and personal’ look at trichomes.
The Jeweler’s Eye Loupe is a popular option because it is relatively inexpensive, compact and has a 60X magnification in many cases. However, some brand names have developed premium-quality magnifying glasses designed specifically for weed.
The T-H-SEE magnifier is a cleverly-named magnifying glass designed in Denver, Colorado. It was made available for sale in April 2015, and the company’s mission is to help weed connoisseurs, growers, and customers, make informed weed purchasing decisions. The T-H-SEE is reasonably priced at $30 and has a 40X magnification.
Unlike other magnifying glasses, the T-H-SEE is designed solely to determine the quality of weed. You can use it to check out trichome heads to see if your crop is ready for harvest. In addition, the white and UV LEDs are perfect for spotting pests and diseases such as bugs, mold, and mildew. You can even see if human hair has got into your precious crop!
Although we always recommend purchasing clones or feminized seeds, if you have purchased regular seeds, you need to carefully watch your crop to see if any male plants grow. There is a 50/50 chance that a seed will produce a male plant. If it is allowed to pollinate your female plants, your crop will be ruined. As a result, it is essential to find evidence of male plants early, and the T-H-See magnifier can help you in that task.
Once your plants are around six weeks old, they begin to show signs of pre-flowering. It is at this stage that you will be alerted to a plant’s gender. Use the T-H-SEE to make sure your plants display pistils, as this is a sign of a female plant. If the plants show pollen sacs (these look like balls), then they are males and must be removed from the garden as soon as possible.
The list of features includes three LED lights, replaceable batteries, and all-metal construction. You can also flip the device open and shut to reveal or hide the glass. As a result, you have a marijuana microscope that fits easily into your pocket. Alternatively, you can store it in the accompanying carrying case.
Added extras include a polishing cloth, a mini tool for battery replacement, a split keyring designed to attach to the lanyard, and a stylish outer velour bag. For an extra $10, you can customize your T-H-SEE device. The company also sells a special neck lanyard for $3, and a 10-pack of replacement batteries for $4.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana Microscope
Whether you are a grower who needs to check weed for pests, mold, and gender, and also wants to know when it is the right time to harvest, or a marijuana aficionado eager to determine the quality of bud at a dispensary, a marijuana microscope is an essential purchase. It enables you to spot bugs, a plant’s gender, or its ripeness, long before you can do so with the naked eye.
The T-H-SEE’s magnification of 40X could be higher, but otherwise, it is a fantastic piece of kit. It is designed with weed in mind, and its solid steel construction means it should provide you with years of use.