Growing cannabis at home can include a bit of a learning curve; many say knowing when to harvest cannabis is a true art form. Those who choose to cultivate their own plants know that when they decide it’s time to harvest cannabis, they have to be precise in their planning and execution. Let’s take a look at some tips that will clue you into harvesting at just the right time.
Taking A Sensible Approach
While certain strains can vary and outliers are always present, it’s a good rule of thumb to pay attention to the flowering cycles recommended by the breeder. No matter where you buy your seeds or clones, the people you purchase from will be able to tell you timeframes pertaining to that particular strain and will recommend when to harvest cannabis.
Typically it takes anywhere from 7 to 11 weeks for plants to flower. Once that process occurs, be sensible and use your good judgment to determine if it’s time to harvest cannabis. Pay attention to your specific plant, as the guidelines given by the breeder may be flexible.
Examine Your Pistils
One of the telltale signs of knowing when to harvest cannabis comes from a visual inspection of the hairs present on each cola. These little wisps, called pistils, will gradually change in color as your plant matures and becomes rich with THC. Any sensible grower will know that trimming too early will result in a flower that won’t get you as high as if you would’ve waited a bit longer.
Once pistils are bright orange, it’s usually time to harvest cannabis. If they are left on the plant for any longer, the hairs begin to turn dark orange or red. This is often an indication that the plants are past maturity.
When To Harvest Cannabis – Based On Trichomes
Experienced smokers know that flowers rich with trichomes most often guarantee a good high is on the way, so use this information to harvest cannabis in a sensible time frame. As your plants develop, you’ll begin to notice a layer of clear crystals on each cola – these are your trichomes. When they transform to a frosty white color, you’re usually right around the appropriate maturity.
Like the pistils, if you wait too long your trichomes will start to discolor and turn to an amber shade. This is another indication that you’ve missed your window of opportunity for a harvest that’s THC heavy.
Additional Considerations To Make
Proper pistil and trichome coloration is only part of the task when it comes time to harvest cannabis. The way you feed your plants, the time you trim them, and how you dry your buds can all impact the burnability and THC levels of your final product. When in doubt, be sensible and experiment with your plants to see what yields you the best results. After all, knowing when to harvest cannabis can be as much science as it is art. Do what works best for you!