If you are a beginner or a newbie when it comes to marijuana or cannabis cultivation, you have only probably researched how to grow the plant and have never gone through articles about harvesting them due to your excitement and enthusiasm. And also, you are probably in the process of determining when to harvest cannabis; then, we have you covered. This article will educate you with the following tips, tricks, and explanations of the indications and evidence that your plant is mature and ready to be harvested. Keep reading on to know more!
As your plant has already passed through the vegetation stage, the next phase that you will now encounter is the flowering stage. After a few months of waiting and observation, there is always the right time that you have to harvest the plant. Remember that you have to be precise, cutting them down early will not give you the plant’s full potential and strength.
When to Harvest Cannabis?
The flowering phase of the plant always depends on the strain that you have, so you have to determine this by researching and getting feedback from other growers.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are only two methods or processes that will accurately determine if the plant is already mature and ready to be harvested. These methods are called the Trichome and Pistil method. The Pistil method only requires your normal vision by the use of your bare eyes, and the trichrome method requires you to use a magnifying glass or a loupe that the jeweler uses.
Determining the exact harvesting time is a tricky endeavor, as it is not consistent every year. This is because of the changing environment that we have in which the plants may also adapt. There are corresponding repercussions when the plant is harvested early and late. As mentioned earlier, premature harvesting will lead to impotent outcomes, while harvesting later will lead to over potent strains that will cause negative effects to users.
Finding the Best Time to Harvest
The best time to harvest is a few weeks after the plant has begun its flowering stage, this stage is where the life of the plant deteriorates, meaning it is reaching the end of its life cycle. Obvious changes in the physical appearance of the plant can be observed; the hair-like parts of the flower become red. By this time, you should’ve finished your harvesting; any time later will provide you unpleasant experience when smoked or consumed.
As time passes by when you do not harvest the plant after showing these changes, the plant will end up in not having THC. The psychoactive effect of the plant will no longer be evident. THC will fade as well as the other cannabinoid naturally found in the plant.
A general rule that growers typically follow for harvesting indica strains is eight weeks, while for the sativa strains, it usually takes ten weeks in total. However, to be more accurate, you may use the methods that are further explained below.
The pistil method is the process of determining the condition and physical appearance of the pointy hairlike parts of the flower. These are usually silver or white in color when immature; you cannot harvest them at this stage. Once all of the pistils reach a red or amber color, you may now start to harvest; this is where you will get the most potent outcomes. If left for a couple of more days, you already failed, and you might just want to dispose of the plants.
However, some meticulous growers and breeders do not believe in this method because it is all based on traditional knowledge and perception of the person that will harvest, which they believe will result in inconsistent potency levels as well as inconsistent psychoactive high or effects. They strongly believe that when this method is applied, the euphoric high of the harvest is usually very heavy.
This is the method where you cannot trust your naked eye because it is impossible to determine the maturity of the plant without the help of magnification. This method takes advantage of a microscope or a loupe. Obviously, what you will observe are the crystal-like substances that you see on the flowers of the plant, this is the cause of the sticky feel of the plant.
Once you have identified the trichomes, you have to determine its shape; you have to look for trichomes that resemble the shape of a mushroom. If the majority of the trichomes shifts into this shape, this already means that your plant has reached the optimum stage where it can be harvested. However, that is not all; you have to observe the color of the trichomes, if it is still clear, it means the plant is still immature if it turns into white or reddish, this means it can be harvested. If the trichomes reach a dark red or amber color, it’s already too late.
Basic Tips in Determining Correct Harvest Time
- The plants are not ready for harvest if the pistils are still white and shooting upwards. This also applies to trichomes as well, harvesting in this early stage will just kill your happiness and your wallet as well.
- You have to be patient. It does not mean that the pistils and trichomes change in color, that you have to harvest now. You have to wait until the majority of the pistils and trichomes change in appearance. That is the only time that you can harvest the plant. Anything later than this stage will ruin your whole harvest.
- When 75 to 80 percent of the pistils have reached a dark red color, this means that this is the point where the plant has the most high level of THC content. If you want your harvest to packing a punch, you must clearly be aware of this point.
- Always remember that when the plant reaches its maturity stage, the plant dies quickly. You have to determine that the majority of the pistils and trichomes have already changed in appearance and color. This is the best time to harvest, you must not waste even a day, because this will make or break your whole output.
By reading and finishing this article, this has already answered your question on when to harvest cannabis. This phase requires a lot of patience and attention, so be sure to have a lot of time observing your plants. And sure after that, you will reap a good harvest that you can surely enjoy.
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