If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best microscope for viewing trichomes is, then we recommend the MicroMax LED Lighted Pocket Microscope as the best one.
When it comes to growing weed, the last few weeks can be some of the hardest. As you look at those big, juicy buds, they seem to scream “Smoke me!” However, it is crucial to harvest at the right time for maximum potency. The secret to this is in the trichomes, which can only be viewed through a microscope. As such, we will attempt to find you the best marijuana microscope for viewing trichomes.
Here are the trichome microscopes we’ll be reviewing:
- Carson MicroBrite Plus 60x-120x Power LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
- Happy Hydro LED Loupe 30x & 60x Magnifying Lens
- Formline LED Illuminated Jewelers Loupe/Trichome Scope
- Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand
- MicroMax LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
Right now, you might be scratching your head and wondering what a trichome is, and why you should even be concerned. As a hobby grower, you have probably heard the term, and you may even have a general idea as to what they are. However, we will attempt to increase your knowledge.
What Are Trichomes?
Trichomes are the little frosty hairs that cover the surface of Cannabis buds. Unless you’ve got some nasty, pressed, black-market stuff, you should be able to see marijuana trichomes on the surface of all weed if you look closely.
Some people refer to trichomes as “kief.” Kief is the powdery stuff that you find in the bottom of your bag or grinder. It is quite a bit more potent than the rest of the Marijuana plant because it contains most of the THC. There are many different types of trichomes, so make yourself familiar with this information.
Why Are Trichomes So Important?
Trichomes are an essential and multi-functional part of the Cannabis plant. We have already mentioned that trichomes contain most of the plant’s THC, and this is the most important quality as far as we are concerned. These trichomes are also the main source for CBD oil, which is growing in popularity as alternative medicine.
Trichomes also help the cannabis plant to repel insects, both by producing a strong smell and by making the plant harder to climb. Now you know why stinky weed is usually the best weed.
Cannabis trichomes also help to inhibit the growth of mold, which might otherwise be a problem for a plant that contains so much water. As if all this were not enough, you can also use trichomes to tell exactly when your plant is ready for harvest. All you need is a trichomes microscope or a similar magnifying device.
How Can I Use A Microscope To Tell When Harvest Time Has Arrived?
To begin with, you remove a small piece of the bud (as tiny a piece as possible). Put this little piece of bud under a microscope and take a look. Don’t try to make a slide out of this because you will crush the trichomes and ruin any reading that you might have gotten.
You can see the trichomes easily, and you will see that they usually have a mushroom-like shape. It is possible to see them with the naked eye, but you will need a weed magnifying glass of at least 40x to see the trichomes as closely as is needed.
You can tell how far along your plant is by looking at the color of the trichomes. When the buds first develop, the trichomes will be crystal clear. As the plant matures, these trichomes will turn milky and lose their transparency. When you see that all of the trichomes have turned milky, your weed is ready to harvest.
If you harvest early, your plant will have a very uplifting and Sativa-like high. If you let the buds continue to develop, the trichomes will slowly start to turn an amber color. You need to harvest before all of the trichomes turn amber. Weed that is harvested late will give a more relaxing and Indica-like high.
How Do I Choose The Best Microscope For Trichomes?
A traditional microscope is not the best way to go. You can use it, and it will do, but you will have to remove a piece of bud every time you want to make a check, thus reducing the size of your harvest. So, make sure you choose a handheld microscope rather than one that is resting on a base. This allows you to examine the trichomes without clipping bits or trying to haul a big laboratory microscope to your grow area. All of the products that we review below will be handheld models.
You don’t need insanely strong magnification here. 40x or better should be sufficient. We aren’t trying to see down to the molecular level so don’t waste your money on an excessively powerful model.
Before buying any of these handheld 420 scopes, you should take a look at the instructions and see how they are used. Convenience and ease of use are always prime factors for any purchase. In this case, you should also look for something with a decent zoom function. Some models will simply have two lenses with one being stronger than the other. This is fine, but a zoom function is a little more precise.
You should also make sure that your microscope has a light so that you can examine your plants in the dark with no issues. Otherwise, you will have to hold a flashlight in one hand if you want to check your plants after dark. While you’re at it, take a look at the battery requirements for your model and look for something efficient.
This is a small and easy-to-use pocket trichome microscope. Its’ small size is one of its main advantages since it is easy to take anywhere. The magnification ranges from 60x to 120x, so it’s certainly powerful enough to get a look at some trichomes.The power and zoom adjustment are centrally located and easy to adjust. In fact, it might be a little too easy. It is hard to avoid hitting the adjustment knobs when they’re right under your fingers.
The LED light allows you to view your plants after dark, and the LED runs on a single AA battery. If you use rechargeable batteries, this is a very economical device. This device also boasts an “aspherical lens,” which is supposed to do a better job of focusing the light into a single point. This supposedly makes for a sharper picture, and this thing is pretty clear for its size. However, this aspherical lens apparently doesn’t mix well with eyeglasses.
- Very small and portable
- Only uses one AA battery
- LED light
- Very powerful for its size
- Aspherical lens
- Not recommended for use with eyeglasses
- Clear plastic at the bottom is much too thin and flimsy
- Too easy to hit the focus knob on accident
The name of this product makes me think that it’s designed for use with weed. This would be easy to believe, since this product delivers exactly what you need to inspect your trichomes. It delivers no more and no less than what is necessary.Instead of having adjustable power, this one just has two lenses. One is 30x, and one is 60x. Of course, you will mostly be using the 60x lens. Although this is a low-powered and light-duty option, it might be just the thing for someone who needs a weed microscope for only this one purpose.
This microscope comes with a protective cover that slides on and off without disconnecting, which is pretty slick. It also has two relatively strong LED lights for better viewing in dim conditions.
- Very compact
- Delivers only what you need
- No need for adjustment of any kind
- LED light
- Thickly beveled edges to protect the lenses
- Attached sheathe can be awkward
- LED lights are not well-protected
This one was definitely made with the weed grower in mind. It works very much like our previous product. It’s a dual-lens design that requires no adjustment (30x and 60x), it has a sheathe that swings off without fully detaching, and two LEDs. However, this model gets a few extra points for the fact that the LED lights are sheathed much better. The fact that batteries are included doesn’t hurt either.Although this one gets points in the LED department, it loses a couple for lens protection. Although there are thick edges around the lenses, they are not quite as thick as the other dual-lens microscope we reviewed. The stainless steel sheath is really tough and makes me a lot more confident in the lifespan of this product.
- No adjustment needed
- Convenient protective sheath made of steel
- two LED lights
- Very minimalist-only what you need
- Low power level
- Requires you to tilt your head and squint
- Sheath sometimes gets in the way
This is the most high-tech option on our list, without any doubt. It does have a stand, but this stand is very light and isn’t a problem to lug around. That being said, this one has little to no portability factor. Its one saving grace in this area is the suction cup stand that can quickly be attached to any smooth surface.What it does have is the ability to combine a microscope with a webcam. You can record anything that you view and use those videos to compile exact records so that you can improve your skills as a ganja provider. This cannabis microscope can be used with Windows, Mac, and Linux. As for power, this one gets up to 250x magnification. That makes it the most powerful microscope on our list by a significant margin.
- Webcam capability
- Extremely powerful
- Works with any computer system
- Suction cup base
- Very little portability
- Requires a nearby computer
- Way more power than what is needed for trichome observation
This is another nice pocket microscope from Carson, but this one seems to improve on the design of our first option. For one thing, the adjustment knobs are no longer located in the front where they can easily be misadjusted. Also, the clear plastic on the bottom is a lot thicker, so that it almost looks like a solid piece.The eyepiece is well-protected with a thick ridged rim. In terms of portability, this one really gets an edge because it is the smallest 420 microscope on our list. In spite of this, it’s not the weakest. Its’ power level is 60x to 70x magnification, which is perfect for this particular task.
- Extremely light and small
- Perfect range of magnification for trichome observation
- Knobs are conveniently located
- Bottom plastic is nearly solid
- Small size makes it easier to lose
- Small field of view
This is a difficult choice, as all of these devices are sufficient for observing your weed plants. We can go ahead and rule out the plugable webcam microscope, because it is just way bigger and more powerful than what we require.
However, the two dual-lens viewers that we looked at were probably too weak. They were bigger than both of the Carson pocket microscopes that we reviewed, but with less power. Of the two pocket weed scopes, the Micromax is the best microscope for viewing trichomes. It delivers the perfect range of power for observing your trichomes in a neat, small, and ergonomic package.