When to Harvest Cannabis: How to Choose the Right Time to Harvest Cannabis

when to harvest cannabis

Harvest of marijuana is the pinnacle of the agronomic activity of any cannabis grower. Harvest time is the most rewarding and exciting aspect of cannabis cultivation for many growers. After months of watching the plants slowly grow from seedlings to full-flowering bushes, it’s almost time to reach for the trimmers and start curing the long-awaited buds. While harvesting may seem like the end of a long journey, it’s important to be patient and not rush. There are plenty of signs to look out for, both macro and micro, to make sure the buds are done.

In this article, we will try to figure out how to tell when to harvest cannabis. Read on to find out the best time to harvest marijuana and how to harvest marijuana. Knowledge about when to harvest weed and how to harvest weed is very significant for gardeners. Therefore, if you did not know about these points, then it’s time to get acquainted with when to harvest cannabis.

When to Harvest Marijuana?

Harvesting cannabis flowers at the right time ensures optimal quality. But when is the right moment? Doing this too early can reduce both yield and potency, and late harvesting will result in THC degradation.

Each variety has its own estimated flowering time. This statistic can be useful in preparing for a harvest, but it is not always accurate. Environmental factors can lengthen or shorten the flowering phase. However, there are general guidelines for each subtype of cannabis regarding the optimal time. Indica seeds mature faster and flower within 6-8 weeks, while Sativa-dominant varieties usually reach maturity after 8-12 weeks. Autoflowers are often ready to harvest about 10 weeks after the seedling stage. While guidelines can help estimate harvest times, more attention to detail is needed to ensure that the timing is correct.

When to Harvest Cannabis, and How Do You Know When a Plant Is Ready to Harvest?

when to harvest marijuana

Since the decision to harvest depends on many factors, it is important to understand what happens on a chemical level with cannabis plants. What should be considered to achieve greater potential from each bush? Some parts of the cannabis plant begin to change as it matures. Instead of relying only on guesswork, it is better to use the following botanical landmarks as indicators:

  • marijuana flowering time recommended by the breeder;
  • the color of the stigma (hair strands covering cannabis buds);
  • color of trichomes;
  • yellowing of leaves.

Breeders’ Recommendations

The manufacturer’s recommended time when and how to harvest cannabis seeds is the least accurate measurement of when to harvest. Information from breeders should be used to determine plant care schedules, but it has less to do with when they are at their peak.

Usually, the characteristics of a particular variety are indicated on the packaging of hemp seeds or the manufacturer’s website. The instructions have information on the approximate number of days/weeks during which the planted seed will reach maturity. This schedule fluctuates depending on growing conditions such as environment, water, and heat.

Color Change of Trichomes

Trichome monitoring is one of the most accurate ways to determine when to harvest pot. Trichomes are visible even to the naked eye. But to conduct a preliminary analysis before collecting hemp seeds, you can use a magnifying glass, a jewelry loupe, and even a small microscope. With a good camera, growers can take a picture of the flowers with a macro lens. This will allow you to track the change in color over time.

Trichomes appear translucent early in flowering. This indicates that they are still young and will produce fairly low levels of cannabinoids. The flowers will be physically smaller – a clear sign that it’s not yet time for marijuana harvest.

Later, the glands begin to become more cloudy, and then acquire a milky white color. A change in color means an increase in cannabinoid levels. When the milky color begins to dominate, the trichomes will reach their maximum THC production.

But if the grower’s goal is to get a milder and more soothing effect, it’s best to wait until the trichomes turn amber. This indicates a decrease in THC levels and an increase in CBN, a cannabinoid produced when THC degrades.

The Color of the Stigma

how to harvest marijuana

Another sign that it’s time to harvest cannabis is the change in color of the stigma. Pistils or stigmas are hair-like structures on cannabis flowers that emerge from the calyx and can be easily identified with the naked eye.

The purpose of the hairs is to capture the pollen that the male cannabis plant releases. When pollinated, the female marijuana will produce seeds. Pollination decides how to harvest cannabis seeds, but for most growers, a big harvest is more important than new seeds.

Stigmas turn white in the early stages of flowering and fade to darker colors of reds, browns, and oranges as the flowers approach harvest.

If most of the pistils are still noticeably white, then it is too early to harvest and the plants need to mature. Growers typically wait until at least 50% of the pestles are darker to ensure maximum THC levels. And start trimming the flowers when 60-70% of the pistils have darkened to the highest levels of THC. Cannabis growers who want higher levels of stone should wait until 70-90% of the pistils have changed color, as more THC is converted to CBN at this point.

Yellow and Twisted Leaves

Another way to deal with the question: when to harvest cannabis is to pay attention to the leaves of the plant.

Cannabis Fan Leaves – The large and wide leaves are the plant’s solar panels. They are needed to convert light into sugar needed for energy and growth. During the vegetative phase, yellow leaves are not very helpful and often indicate a nutrient deficiency or the presence of pests and diseases. However, if the plant is loaded with buds and the fan leaves have begun to die off, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. At the time of marijuana ripening, most of the plant’s resources are directed to the growth of inflorescence.

Drying and curling cannabis leaves is another sign that the plant is probably ready to be harvested. This is because cannabis consumes less water as it approaches its last phase of life. But do not forget about the existence of pests and diseases that can cause dryness and leaf curl.

Cannabis Harvesting: The Benefits of Early and Late Harvesting

Everything from taste to the psychoactive effect of plants can be modulated depending on when to harvest your cannabis:

  • Early harvest. This option is not for those who strive to collect the maximum number of cones from each bush. However, there are many reasons why growers harvest high-yielding cannabis strains earlier than usual. One of the most common reasons is to prevent mold and insects. Shoots from nearby plants can also knock over cannabis, so early harvesting is sometimes a good idea. If the cannabis harvest is started only a few days ahead of schedule, there is nothing wrong with that;
  • Late harvest. This type of harvest allows the cannabis plant to reach the point of maximum activity. Many consider this to be a poor method due to the degradation of THC. At the same time, late harvest time is ideal for those growers who produce potent medical marijuana strains. Because long flowering helps the plant to produce more cannabinol (CBN), which is necessary for medical cannabis users.

It is important to note that every gardener has a different opinion on when to harvest cannabis plants. Some gardeners like to harvest earlier and others prefer later, which is why understanding the science of botany is so helpful.

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The content on this channel does not form a professional opinion, recommendation, substitute for consulting a specialist, or receiving medical advice. Cannabis is a dangerous drug, as defined in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, for all that assumes. Four Hundred and Twenty does not encourage or recommend consuming any substance and will not be responsible for any such use.


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