Even if you grow a sativa, harvesting late will likely result in effects similar to indica-dominant strains. While this is not ideal for many, some medicinal users prefer the greater levels of CBN and more sleep-inducing effects of weed that is left to mature for longer. Finally, you should also be careful with late harvests as some strains will begin to self-pollinate and turn intersex as a result. Timing is an important factor to consider when you're growing cannabis.
The amount of time you allow it to mature has a huge effect on its cannabinoid content. It’s best to consider the above recognition methods to harvest your plant when it is neither too young nor old. This way, you will get the best of both worlds and the most genuine strain experience. This harvest tutorial is part of our “how to harvest cannabis” series: Intro: When to Harvest Cannabis (for highest potency) When should we harvest the buds from a cannabis plant? That is the eternal question… I’m sure the answer we’re all thinking is “Not soon enough!” (How far are your plants in the flowering stage? Check out the flowering stage timeline!) Unfortunately for us impatient growers, harvesting at the right time is just as important as how you grow the plant. Harvest too soon and you lose potency and cannabis yields; too late and you can end up making a batch of sleep medicine. Buds are ready to harvest when most of the “hairs” have darkened and curled in and you can see the solid bud underneath. Choose the most precise harvest time by looking at glittery trichomes under a magnifier.
These white trichome heads indicate the highest level of THC and CBD . If given more time, white trichome heads turn amber/golden (for most strains). Amber trichomes have less THC but produce more of a relaxing/body/anti-anxiety effect. Quick Summary: Buds are ready to harvest when hairs have darkened and curled in, revealing the solid bud underneath. Harvest buds on the early side for more of an “up” mental/psychoactive effect (trichome heads appear milky white under a magnifier). If buds are allowed to continue maturing, the white trichomes begin to turn amber/golden. The greater the number of amber trichomes, the more buds produce a “down” body/couchlock effect. This bud with all-white trichomes has reached the highest level of THC/CBD. Wait another week or two for trichome heads to turn amber/golden for more of a relaxing effect. You only need 3 things to determine the best marijuana harvest time: The knowledge of when to harvest – You get that today! Eyes for visual inspection – You’ve probably had these for a while! A magnifying tool (optional but recommended) – Makes the glittery, resin-filled trichomes on your buds easier to see; although not 100% necessary, this lets you time your harvest perfectly to get the exact effects you’re looking for. When it comes to magnifying tools for growing, the 3 most popular options are… Jeweler’s Loupe – This is the cheapest and most low tech way to get the job done. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to get the best insight into how your buds are doing unless you have really great eyes, though the one I linked to is the best that I’ve tried. Your Camera Phone – Many modern smartphones have excellent cameras that can take clear pictures of trichomes. Try to use lots of natural light, hold the phone very still, and zoom in for the best images. Digital Microscope – A digital microscope is one of the best tools to determine the right harvest time. A digital microscope costs a bit more than a loupe and many models need a connecting laptop, but they will get you face-to-face with your trichomes and allow you to take video to re-examine afterward or get a second opinion. You’ll be almost uncomfortably close to your trichomes! This harvest tutorial will fully cover the two main techniques growers use to identify the right time to harvest marijuana plants. Note: It’s recommended you flush your cannabis plants in the last week or two leading up to harvest time if growing in soil or coco, and for at least a few days in hydro. Click the following link to get more info on flushing before harvest: https://www.growweedeasy.com/flushing. First, we’ll show you how to identify harvest time by checking the pistils (the ‘hairs’ on your buds). The pistil method isn’t nearly as accurate as checking the trichomes (the ‘glitter’ on your buds), but it’s definitely a good place to start since you can just look at the buds and get a general idea. The following marijuana harvest pictures will guide you, so you know when to harvest your marijuana buds using ‘The Pistil Method’ .
1st Method to Identify Harvest Time: Pistil Method. When the vast majority of pistils (hairs) are still white and sticking out straight, this plant is not ready to harvest.
Both potency and yields are extremely low at this stage. We’re waiting for most of the white hairs to darken and curl in. S ome of the pistils are starting to turn color on the following buds, but there are still too many white pistils. These buds have at least a few weeks to go before they’ll reach their highest levels of THC.