When to harvest CBD rich strains
- Jan 5, 2015
- Jan 7, 2015
Ok I’m a high thc grower but have friends that specialize in cbd Strains ie: valentine,remedy,harlequin and ac/dc
The going consensus is harvest at a 50/50 ratio. Then test. One guy with his setup pulls heavier amber than the other. The best test is roughly 17% cbd on the remedy
When to harvest marijuana plants according to trichome ripeness
You have worked hard over the past weeks! Maybe you have spend some money in a growing tent or in cannabis seeds ; after a long time and hard dedication, you have finally arrived at this crucial moment.
How to know when to harvest your marijuana plants?
We will see here which is the best moment to harvest your marijuana plants at their psychoactivity peak, and try to understand what happens in our plants during the last weeks of flowering. In this way, you will be able to harvest your plants depending on the desired effect.
The marijuana harvest window is an aspect that, unfortunately, is rarely taken seriously; other times, what happens is that the grower just don’t have enough patience to wait for a few days to ensure highest levels of THC.
Some cannabis strains are better when harvested at their THC production peak, while others will be better if harvested a few days later.
Regarding trichomes and what they tell us, Robert C. Clarke – in his book “Marijuana Botany” – states:
When resin trichomes are near their THC concentration peak, they have a translucent colour since the plant is still producing resin in the trichome glands.
At this moment, THC production is at its peak, while CBD levels are still low and stable, since molecules quickly become THC.
Terpene – aromatic molecules – production is also at its peak, developing gorgeously aromatic floral clusters.
Many growers harvest their cannabis plants at this moment because they prefer a more clear and cerebral psychoactive effect.
At this moment, THC has few sedative effects due to low CBD and CBN levels.
What does it all mean?
If you are growing mostly Indica hybrids, it is better to harvest your plants when the resin glands are completely developed but not fully ripen – before they turn amber – unless you want to be glued to your sofa.
The harvest time depends mostly on marijuana strains and phenotypes, and can vary from several days to a few weeks between different cannabis varieties.
If you extend too much the flowering period of an Indica strain, it will dramatically affect its taste and effect. Fortunately, extending only a few days the flowering stage don’t usually cause major issues for most people.
It is recommended to observe close-up shots taken with a HD digital camera; however, a small hand-held microscope is cheap and works greatly. It is almost like being in a worls of aliens when we observe our cannabis buds with a fifty magnification lens!
Space Bomb Marijuana
If growing mostly Sativa hybrids , make sure that all resin glands are fully developed and 30% of them are amber before harvesting your plants.
If you extend the flowering period, you take the risk of decreasing both the taste and the typicall sativa “high” – stimulant – effect. However, there are always exceptions: the Haze strain has 3 different harvesting times, all of them after a long flowering period. Each grower must learn what he and his patients understand as “high effect”.
We haven’t discussed the yields, since we understand that if your plants are at the third stage of flowering and have completely developed resin glands, then they will yield at their full potential.
While there will always be few variations, you can use the following rules to better identify the harvest window of your plants according to the ripening stage of their trichomes:
1) When the bulbous heads of the trichomes are fully developed but still translucent, plants will produce a “high” and stimulanting effect, less sedative. It is the perfect moment to harvest strong Indica strains.
2) When these bulbous heads turn milky is probably the best moment to harvest most available hybrids.
3) When 70% of these trichome heads are milky and 30% amber, it is the perfect time to harvest mostly Sativa hybrids and long flowering strains (like Haze). It is also the best moment to harvest plants for making hashish.
As an example, let’s see what happens with Jack’s Cleaner marijuana : if harvested after 56 days of flowering, all trichomes are translucent (only a few of them are turning milky). At this moment, the effect is very stimulating, “up and high”, clear. It produces visual effects and its acid citrus taste is very intense.
The same plant, harvested only a week later – 63 days of flowering – shows milky trichomes, and 30%-50% of them have already turned amber.
Picture 4 – Marijuana finishing its flowering
If harvested at this moment,the effect will be heavy and intense, and the acid citrus taste becomes sweeter, reminiscent of the sweet smell of fermented lemons, similar to Lemon Heads sweets. The effect is now body relaxing and sedative, being a perfect smoke for relaxing before going to spleep.
It is alsmost an example of plant harvested too late. However, in this way we take profit from all the medicinal properties that the plant has during this late stage.
Another example is Killer Queen. After 49 days of flowering, it has chocolate taste and smell and that mentioned high and stimulant effect . If harvested after 60 days of flowering, it becomes “Super” Killer Queen, with both a skunky smell and a more strong effect, almost hypnotic.
The main mistake here is harvesting your plants when thricomes are not fully developed; most growers who follow the aforementioned rules will probably harvest their plants with milky, completely developed trichome heads.
Harvesting too early means less potent buds, with less essential oils and terpenes, so your buds will taste like grass or hey, even when correctly dried and cured.
Vortex marijuana from TGA SubCool
A good option is harvesting the more ripe buds – which are usually those from the upper parts of the plant -. This allows the lower parts of the plant to have more light, thus increasing both the final weight and density.
If you have a digital camera with Macro function, you can take close-up shots and use a photo-editing software to zoom the pictures and observe the trichomes.
These tips will help you to improve the results of your favourite marijuana varieties, as well as to set the appropiate harvest window of those strains that you are growing for the first time.
When to harvest marijuana plants?
Caterpillars on Marijuana Plants
Drying and curing marijuana buds
When and how to move marijuana plants outdoors
Comments in “When to harvest marijuana plants according to trichome ripeness” (59)
billos buds 2020-10-02
what is the average time/days it takes from the forming of clear trichomes to change to amber?
Tim Alchimia 2020-10-05
Hi, thanks for the question. These things are different for each variety of cannabis and there can be a lot of variation even between plants of the same variety! Growing conditions like humidity and temperature will also affect the conversion from clear to cloudy to amber, so there isn’t really an average timescale as such. OIt’s not unusual to also find some clear, cloudy and amber trichomes on the same plant! Sorry that I can’t be more specific, but that’s just nature! All the best and happy growing!
billos buds 2020-09-29
what is best time of day to check trichomes. I find bright sunlight is best.
Tim Alchimia 2020-10-02
Hi and thanks for your comment. Yes, bright sunlight will definitely give the best visibility for checking the condition of the trichomes. That said, some magnifying lenses are fitted with LED lights to illuminate the subject in all weathers! I hope that helps, all the best and happy growing!
billos buds 2020-09-29
what is best time of day to check trichomes. I find bright sunlight is best.
Why do I see purple stalks under some of my Mushroom tricromes head. I see some. Purple some clear. My Trichromes r. Milky to starting to Amber. Thanks outdoors,Rc
Tim Alchimia 2020-09-25
Hi Rc, thanks for your comment and question. Purple colours in the leaves and also in the trichome stalks are relatively common, especially in outdoor plants towards the end of the season. The colouring is caused by Anthocyanins, which increase in production during cold temperatures. As far as I know, the stalks of the trichomes aren’t much of an indicator of maturity, so if your trichome heads are turning from milky to amber then I’d say that it’s time to harvest! All the best and happy harvesting!
Hello, and thank you for all the great info, it’s of much use. I grew a GSC auto 2 years ago, I think she got heat stress indoors (sun), and produced a few auto feminized seeds. I germinated a seed this year, she has grown beautifully, I think she is leaning more to the sativa side (leaves are all thin and long) I checked the trichomes with my loupe, and they are all milky, with a few amber here and there, but the stigmas are still mostly white, pink with some brown tops? Should I wait to harvest? I love euphoric clear high. Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing from you.
Tim Alchimia 2020-06-22
Hi and thank you for your kind words and question. I think that, if you prefer a clear, euphoric high, then you’d be best harvesting now because the longer you leave it, the more “stoney” the effect will be. The state of the pistils can often be misleading, so if it’s the effect that you’re concerned about then you should pay attention to the trichomes, and it looks like they’re telling you it’s the right time! Best wishes and happy harvesting!
Great article thanks allot! I have a question though, after I flush and trim just the top buds , do I go back to fertilizing the plant until all buds are mature and ready to harvest. Keep up the good work .
Tim Alchimia 2020-04-01
Hi Dafnik, thanks for your kind words, we’re very glad you enjoyed the article! As for your question, no, there’s no point in feeding the plant once you’re in the harvest stage, there’ll be enough nutrition in the plant’s cells and the soil to allow the lower buds to finish just fine. We’re usually talking about a matter of days, or a week at most until the rest of the buds are mature. Either way, reintroducing fertiliser at this stage is not necessary and will effectively undo all the flushing you already did! I hope that clears things up, best wishes and happy growing!
Is it normal to have no yellow after a 2 week flush, before harvest. I started 6 plants 2 cheese,2 tangieland and 1 sour and 1 hell’s fire og under 600 watt hps, 4 matured sooner with yellow leaves and amber trichomes,harvested on week 9. The tangieland and blueberry sour still have no yellow fade. But mostly cloudy and starting to get some amber. Should I harvest with no yellow fade,with the leaves turning purple the buds and the 2 plants came out smaller than the other 4. Iam at week 10 and a 2 week flush in rockwool surrounded by clay pebbles in a 3 gallon pot.
Tim Alchimia 2020-02-27
Hi Jeff, thanks for your question. It’s really quite normal for different genetics to behave in different ways at the end of flowering. Some varieties simply won’t fade and go yellow the same way that others will, some plants will turn a lovely purple colour, while others will just stay green. There’s a lot of contradictory information around regarding flushing and fading, and plenty of growers with actual botanical qualifications will tell you that no amount of flushing will remove nutrients from your buds. So, with that in mind, I’d harvest at the point when you’re happy with the maturity of the trichomes. I hope that helps, all the best and happy harvests!
Hello!, do i need to flush if my soil, it has all the nutrients needed to flower? I have a white widow x big bud hybrid. Not sure when to cut it off. I like euphoric and energetic high?
Tim Alchimia 2019-09-30
Hi Danny, thanks for your question. We’ve got some information on flushing in our post about Cannabis Roots. The idea is to rinse away any excess nutrients left in the soil at the end of flowering, so your plants finish with yellow leaves, which will lead to a smoother flavour when you smoke the buds. Some people like to flush, others wait for the plant to fade naturally and claim that excess water in the root zone isn’t a great idea when the flowers are nearly ready, it can cause them to “sweat” or transpire excessively, which can lead to bud rot if the conditions are right for it. As for when to cut, if you like a euphoric, energetic high, then I’d cut when around 50% of the trichomes are clear, and 50% milky white. If you cut too early, the terpene and cannabinoid profiles won’t be fully formed and you won’t get the best organoleptic experience, if you leave it too late and start to see amber trichomes, then the effect will generally be heavier and more physical. I hope that’s helped, all the best and happy harvests!
mark genanatti 2019-09-13
dani i have a jacky white strain day 62 of flower i see very few amber trichs should i chop
Tim Alchimia 2019-09-17
Hi Mark, it really depends on the effect you want, if you want a more heavy, stoned effect then leave it till you can see more amber trichs, cutting it with only a few ambers will generally give a more up, cerebral effect, depending on the variety. Remember though, that cutting too early can leave you short-changed in terms of both the effect and the terpene content, with some plants only developing their full potential in the last day or two before cutting. Also remember that the flowering time provided by the seed bank is a rough guide, and with a hybrid like this we will always find plants that take a little longer to flower, or a little less time. All the best, happy harvesting!
Robert Carroll 2019-08-30
Bob; Hi ,great info on growing,was wondering if rainfall washes some of the trichomes off the plants that are growing outdoors?
Tim Alchimia 2019-09-02
Hi Robert, thanks for the question, I think it would have to be incredibly hard rain to wash away any trichomes, so I really doubt it’s an issue. In the case of making bubble hash, the trichomes only fall off the leaves due to there being made brittle by the extreme cold, so unless you get seriously heavy rain while it’s under 4ºC outside I doubt very much whether it could happen at all. What you may end up losing is a certain amount of terpenes, as some terpenes are more water-soluble than others and could theoretically wash away although I doubt that the loss would be noticeable. All that being said, if there’s any way to keep the rain off of your plants, then go for it! Rain is no friend to cannabis flowers and too much can easily lead to mould setting in, ruining the harvest completely! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, all the best and happy growing!
I am completely new to this. I have both Indica and Sativa flowers that I got from a dispensary and I find that both are overwhelming for me and knocks me out. I have also tried the edibles and found them too are knocking me out. I am looking for something that allows me to focus and complete my daily tasks. I am needing something for pain/anxiety. Would it be better for me to harvest when the trichomes are clear? What book may you recommend that can help me throughout the growing and cultivating process? Thanks in advance.
Tim Alchimia 2019-06-25
Hello Christine, thanks for your questions. It sounds to me like you need to add some CBD to your consumption, which balances the knockout effect you’ve experienced with THC-rich cannabis. We have a wide range of varieties containing CBD in varying amounts, some with almost pure CBD and very low THC levels, others with a balanced 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC and others with just small amounts of CBD. For a good daytime smoke, allowing you to focus and get things done while still dealing with anxiety and pain I’d recommend trying a 1:1 variety, like many of those produced by CBD Crew, for example, although there are many others. If you find a 1:1 ratio is still too strong, the next move would be to look at high CBD varieties with barely any THC, such as Dinamed CBD Plus from Dinafem or Solodiol Clasica from Elite Seeds. As for harvesting (normal non-CBD) plants earlier for a less potent high, I wouldn’t recommend doing this too early as while it may lessen the heavy physical effects of the buds, it also means that often the effect will be much nervier, edgier and can provoke anxiety. For the best medicinal effect, the ideal thing to find a variety that suits you when it’s grown to maturity with a fully developed terpene and cannabinoid profile. A great cannabis cultivation book that covers everything from beginners mistakes to expert techniques is “Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible” by Jorge Cervantes. Here at the shop we only have copies in Spanish, but it’s widely available worldwide in the original English language version. I hope that’s helped you out, feel free to ask any further questions. All the best and happy growing!
First grow, my plants are at day 53 my tricomes are mostly milky some plants have the first signs of Amber trichomes, however my plants are still mostly green, it’s an organic grow and I am feeding only water now. At what point do my plants leaves start to die off is this normal for organic grows and about how much longer do I have to harvest. Girl scout n chemdawg
Tim Alchimia 2019-05-27
Hi and thanks for your question. The colour and condition of your plants at the end of the flowering period are determined by the nutrition they’ve received up to this point, by the sounds of it you should have withdrawn Nitrogen feeding somewhat earlier in the flowering cycle to avoid the plants being so green now. This time, however, you’ll just have to wait a little longer to harvest if you don’t want a harsh tasting smoke. Just keep flushing the roots with water (without drowning the roots), and you could also try a product designed to help plants use up excess nutrients, like Canna Flush or Final Flush which may speed up the process. Most of all, don’t be disheartened, this is your first grow and these things are bound to happen as you gain experience. Following the nutrient schedules laid out by the manufacturers is a good start, but with time you’ll learn that not all plants behave equally and depending on the genetics, some plants will need vastly different doses of fertiliser throughout theirs lives compared to others. All the best and happy growing!
Typo fall off the buds my bad,.
Putting weed in the freezer I’ve read about this if your going to make hash because the tricombs will fall off your plant.I don’t think that’s a great idea. But you hear so much counterdicting online makes you wonder who to believe! Just my opinion doesn’t mean much!
Tim Alchimia 2019-01-30
Hi Ozz, thanks for your comment. I understand your confusion You’re right, we recommend freezing the material for making hash to keep it in optimum condition before being processed and to keep it cold to help the trichomes snap off (it doesn’t need to be frozen for this, temperatures can be up to 4ºC). The material can be dry of fresh-frozen and can go into a ziplock bag for storage, it doesn’t matter if it gets based around a bit in the freezer and if a few trichomes fall to the bottom of the bag, we can empty them out when we process the material. On the other hand if you’re freezing buds to store them for future smoking, they need to be treated with a little more respect! Firstly they should be properly dried and cured. Secondly I’d recommend using vacuum pots rather than just bags, which will offer better protection to the buds and stop them getting damaged in the freezer. I’d also advise careful defrosting of any buds before opening the vacuum pack or handling them. Allow the flowers to return to room temperature before opening them to avoid any excess humidity. I hope that’s some help. All the best and happy growing!
Robert H 2018-12-26
I’m not on this site very often but I do come here to read comments. Dani thank you for all your accurate and quick answers. I speak for myself and all other visitors to alchimiaweb.com Thanks again You have covered all my answers in this single post. And im able to continue with my harvest after confirming few things here today! Sincere
Tim Alchimia 2019-01-07
Hi Robert, thanks for your praise!
Gary Orton 2018-07-15
When is it best time to harvest morning or night time
Tim Alchimia 2018-07-16
Hi Gary, thanks for your question. The best time to harvest is in the morning, as early as possible to get the maximum terpene content and resulting flavour. Hope that helps, happy growing!
Donovan Cherry 2018-05-25
Hi my name is Lil Hoova I am growing some hybrids Alien Tahoe OG Death Star Lemon Sour Diesel Channel+ My ¿ i guess would be how many weeks in flower for these 4 strains am i looking at for all 4 to have the couch lock effect¿ and when to flush¿ and when should i use Bud Candy or molasses¿ should Bud Candy be used all through flowering or during the flush period. Thank You 4 your time.
Tim Alchimia 2018-05-28
Hi Lil Those are varieties that’ll be ready to harvest after 8 or 9 weeks of flowering, although if you really want a couch-lock effect then you can let them go a week longer, so that the trichomes are nice and amber for the strongest, most narcotic effect. Most flower boosters are used in the last 4-6 weeks of flowering, but I wouldn’t apply anything apart from water and maybe an enzyme product, or a specific flush product like Final Flush during the flush period, which should be at least a week before harvest, preferably two weeks (or more) for a really clean, pure flavour. Hope that helps, all the best and happy growing!
I know everyone has different approaches to growing but can someone help me with what is a decent temperature level for both veg and flowering for a indoor crop would sit at?
Tim Alchimia 2018-02-23
Hi Jamie, Thanks for your question, the temperature in the grow room should not go over 31°C (maximum temperature) and should be above 17ºC (minimum temperature), although the ideal temperature is between 20 and 28ºC. As a general rule you’ll want things a few degrees cooler in flower than in veg. Here are a few of our articles to help get your environment on point! Vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in cannabis cultivation Basic tips for growing cannabis indoors Growing marijuana in grow tents Hope that helps, happy growing!
Since you’re indoor grower, seen the 12-12 hours, 56 day indica cycle, and trichrome colors but what is your insight on California Lights programmable leds with adjustable light spectrums? Is the plant annual in your perspective or is it completely manipulated to harvest at ones desire? BTW I totally agree with organic. not only with this website but only Lord knows what companies put in food consumers eat. GROW WHAT’S GREAT ?
Tim Alchimia 2018-01-02
Hi Tommy, thanks for your comment! I haven’t seen California Lights products but I think programmable LEDs with adjustable spectrum are a great innovation for indoor growers wishing to recreate the natural light spectrum of the sun. And yes, the cannabis plant is by nature an annual plant that we’ve been able to “trick” into growing as a perennial by manipulating the photoperiod to delay flowering until we choose. All the best and happy growing!
Hello, First of all i want to say thx for all the info provided on your site. While I agree with most of the info posted, having switched to growing outdoors exclusively organic over the past 4 years has taught me that the harvesting/maturing window really does depend not only on the change in natural light to a 12/12 pattern but also on other outdoor factors like temp fluctuations, light availability (i.e. sunny vs rainy days) and even some variation among seeds from the same batch. Growing (among others) the same strain year after year really opened my eyes to the fact that there is no rule set in stone for harvesting even say when all trichomes turn milky . because even THAT varies from season to season. Of course growing indoors allows far more regulation of these parameters and this makes it more predictable from cycle to cycle (and this is indeed a good thing for planning ahead). Another thing that I would like to share from personal experience is that drying your flowers SLOWLY really improves the flavour and smoothness of the final product, as does harvesting during dark hours/late night before daybreak when most starches are in the roots of the plant. FAST drying (while definitely more practical) rarely produces similar quality in the finished product imo. Also, I DO NOT remove too many fan leaves at harvest, instead allowing them to hang over the buds for about 5 days before i start removing them in stages (I do try and aerate the plants by shaking them up every 2 days in the first 5 of hanging just to move some air through the buds in order to avoid mould formation . nobody wants that). Thus, I hang the entire plant upside down for up to 12 days . removing fan leaves in stages (either as they turn yellow or starting after about 5 days). This avoids the strong odour that comes with chlorophyll bleed from early trimming. This year, i will try and hang them for 14 days before trimming and moving onto curing cycle to see if i can refine them even further. Another important consideration for those looking for smooth bud is the TDS in your water (ideally under 100ppm if possible . plants may love calcium and magnesium to grow big flowers but smoking bud that grows big using large doses of these gives off A LOT of burn in the throat). Also for those who believe in the NUTE FLUSH . it’s a joke! YOU CANNOT EVER FLUSH OUT ALL THE CHELATED NUTES USED . sorry to all the hard workers out there using this approach. I started hydroponic, then went aeroponic before discovering the right approach . natural sun, good organic soil, mycorrhiza, blackstrap molasses, kelp and distilled/rainwater is all you really need! of course, good natural cannabis specific soil took me 4 years to achieve but looking back it was so worth it. NOTHING BEATS NATURAL SUNLIGHT . I’ve tried them all! The other advantage with living soil is that the pH of your water is not as critical because the soil will buffer it to what the plant needs. And every pest has a predator in nature that helps keep it in check. The overall costs are WAY LOWER when growing properly outdoors . and with proper care the soil can be recycled and reused indefinitely with minimal maintenance (i now just top dress with 5-8 year old steer and cattle manure every other year). All you need is good genetics and a decent amount of sunlight during the growing season . and a lot of TLC for the plants (i.e. weeding, pruning, mulching, building proper support/anchor systems for the fall winds, etc. . all can be learned in organic farming principles). Lastly, if you’ve cured the bud to below 50% moisture levels you can safely VACUUM SEAL it (this also compacts it and slows down the sweating) as mould will not develop without ANY AIR in the container. You can then open these bags after about 1 month, let them breathe for a few hours and then re-vaccuum and freeze them for as long as needed without fear. Mould tends to develop at humidity levels above 65% (learned this the hard way in my cigar humidor) and is one of the reasons I’m always hesitant to use the boveda 62% packs to stabilize humidity levels before the start of curing . it’s just so close to 65% it makes me queasy. Sorry for the long post, noticed some of these topics came up in different posts and wanted to share some ideas. Wishing everyone a happy harvest. 😉
Dani Alchimia 2017-10-17
Hi R, It is always a pleasure to read comments like yours!! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience, I subscribe every single statement you’ve made here, especially with regard to sun and organic nutrients. What you said about not trimming entirely the plant is something I’ve seen in many experienced outdoor growers, they leave almost all leaves during the drying process and remove them as they smoke it. I’m an indoor grower, some of my plants are in coco coir, others in soil. I can tell you, my best indoor buds were grown with soil and solid organic nutes, I only used water and bacteria for watering them. Amazing quality!! I also agree about harvest windows in outdoor crops, I’ve grown the same cuts outdoors for years and I’ve never harvested them on the same dates, every year is a whole new story. I really hope to read your comments soon mate, keep up the good work!! 😉 Best!
Dude nice page. Thanks..