I read your grow articles religiously, but there’s one topic I have yet to see and that’s anything regarding potency and the tricks used to get that last bit of THC from plants before harvest. I’ve heard of using UV-B lights to stress plants into producing more tri­chomes. I’ve also heard of jabbing your plants with needles to stress them out (supposedly the plants react by going into defensive mode and produce more trichomes or THC in an attempt to catch pollen before it’s too late). I’ve heard of leaving your plants in total darkness for 24 to 48-plus hours before har­vest. I’ve read about scraping the skin off several main branches to lock in nutrients, thereby increas­ing yield and potency. I’ve heard of light stress and a ton of other ways to stress out your plants in the last few weeks before harvest to get those THC levels up and the trichome production on a much higher level.

So are these all myths, or does stress actually increase potency some? The stress factor makes sense to me, but I have yet to build up the courage to actually try it. I’m on my last two weeks of flowering right now on a batch of Skunk #1. For the last two weeks, I’ve dropped the light cycle to eight hours on and 16 hours off. I’ve heard and read that this will trick the plants into thinking that winter is right around the corner and that they need to hurry up and finish before its too late—meaning the plants kick into overdrive and start pumping out everything they can before winter sets in and kills them.

What are your thoughts on stress in the last few weeks of flowering and modifying the light cycle to­wards the end? Does it increase potency? And if so, do you sacrifice any on yield?

Tim P