Getting the timing right when to harvest marijuana is important for making it as strong as possible. Some people harvest it too early or too late, which means the end result isn’t as good as it could be.
Even just a few days can change how strong the final product is. Towards the end of their growth, female marijuana plants focus on making a sticky substance called resin. People who grow them need to harvest them at the right time, when they’re the ripest, so the good stuff in the plant doesn’t start to break down.
This article has all the information you need about when marijuana and hemp plants are ready to be harvested for the best effects.
- Why do experts have different ideas about when to harvest weed
- What happens if you don’t harvest on time
- Here are three rules for harvesting marijuana at the right time:
- How to sell if there is THC using Trichomes
- FIRST RULE
- Checking for THC via the pistil method
- SECOND RULE
- To know about THC use special tests:
- THIRD RULE
- How to know if it’s not time to harvest cannabis yet
- How people actually harvest cannabis
- Helpful advice for when to harvest cannabis
Why do experts have different ideas about when to harvest weed
People who are really good at growing cannabis don’t always agree on when it’s best to harvest it. There are a lot of reasons for this, like personal taste.
If you pick cannabis early, it can make you feel more alert and happy, but if you harvest it later, it can make you feel more relaxed.
It’s also confusing because the plant itself is different. Different types of cannabis look and act differently when they’re ready to be harvested.
And, people who really know about cannabis like different types for their unique parts. These unique parts can show up at different times when the plant is growing.
Some types of cannabis like a long time to grow, like a never-ending summer that lasts for 16 weeks. Others can be ready in as little as five weeks.
Also, the flowers on a single cannabis plant don’t all grow at the same speed. The ones at the top get more light than the ones at the bottom.
Since the lower flowers don’t get as much light, they aren’t as strong and don’t have as much of the THC-rich stuff called trichomes.
All of this can make it tricky to figure out the best time to harvest cannabis. It can also affect how you plan and do things when you harvest the plants. But there are some important things to remember.
If you really pay attention to your plants and watch for signs, you’ll greatly improve your chances of having a successful harvest.
What happens if you don’t harvest on time
Marijuana has more than 100 special compounds. We know about THC and CBD, but another one called CBG is also important.
CBG is like the starting point for THC and CBD. When the plant is growing, it has a lot of CBG, but as it flowers, CBG changes into THC and CBD. When CBG is almost gone, THC is at its strongest.
But if you wait too long, THC starts to change into something not as good called CBN. Things like air and light make THC weaker as the plant gets older. This also happens when you keep the flowers after harvesting them: THC slowly turns into CBN.
CBN helps people relax, but many like more THC or CBD without feeling sleepy.
Here are three rules for harvesting marijuana at the right time:
- Look at trichomes and pistils. They change as the plant grows, so you know when it’s ready.
- If you have special tools, you can also test the chemicals.
- This helps you know when to harvest the best marijuana.
Trichomes are like little mushroom-shaped blobs with sticky stuff on the flower and leaves. Pistils are the hair-like things on the flower.
How to sell if there is THC using Trichomes
Trichomes start clear and become milky-white as the plant grows. When they look white, the sticky stuff like THC, CBD, and smells are at their highest.
But they don’t all change at once. It happens slowly over time.
When lots of trichomes turn white, a few might turn amber or brown. Amber means the good stuff is getting weaker.
Here’s the first rule: Harvest marijuana when more than half of the trichomes are white and cloudy.
People who use the Trichome Method usually harvest their plants when more than half of the trichomes are white and cloudy, and only a few are amber. If most trichomes are amber, the plant is not at its best anymore.
Checking for THC via the pistil method
Pistils are like the plant’s hair. They stick out from the flower and try to catch pollen to make seeds.
As the plant grows up, the pistils change colour to brown or orange. This means the plant is growing slower and doesn’t need pollen for seeds anymore.
Here’s the second rule: Harvest marijuana when 70% of the hairs on the flower are brown or orange.
People who use the Pistil Method usually harvest their plants when 70% of the hairs on the flower have turned brown or orange and are curling in. If 90% of the hairs are brown or orange, the plant is not as good anymore.
To know about THC use special tests:
People who grow plants and have special tools can do tests. These tests tell them how strong the plant is. They can see when THC and CBD are the strongest.
But the amount of THC at the end is not easy to guess. So, they watch another chemical called CBG.
Here’s the third rule: Harvest marijuana when there’s almost no CBG left.
When there’s almost no CBG left, it means the plant has changed it into the good stuff like THC and CBD.
How to know if it’s not time to harvest cannabis yet
Harvesting too soon makes the plant not as good, so it’s better to wait, even if it takes longer.
At the very least, wait until half of the trichomes are white and half of the hairs have turned color.
Remember, don’t harvest if less than half of the trichomes are white, and don’t harvest if less than half of the hairs are brown or orange.
How people actually harvest cannabis
Most growers look at both trichomes and hairs to decide when to harvest. They also use their experience and feelings. They might want a happy feeling (if harvested early) or a calm feeling (if harvested later). They also think about when they have time to do it.
And for those wondering about harvesting outdoor cannabis, it could depend on the weather. It’s better to harvest before a big storm than wait for perfect trichomes and losing the plants to cold or wet weather. Where you live matters too, so it’s hard to give one answer for when to harvest outside.
Helpful advice for when to harvest cannabis
Harvest in the morning or before the lights turn on. The plant makes the sticky stuff at night and food during the day. If you harvest during the day, it might not taste as good.
Use a little magnifying glass. A 30-100x magnifying glass is good to see if the sticky stuff is ready. You can find them at stores that sell plant supplies (these can also help check for bugs). Or you can use a special camera and look at the pictures on a big screen.
Think about harvesting in parts. The top of the plant is ready first. You can harvest them and let the bottom grow more.
Make a full plan for harvesting. If you have a big garden, get ready many months before. Get people trained, buy tools, and write down all the steps for harvesting. Do this even before the top parts are ready to harvest.
Harvesting for Freezing Fresh. If you want to use a method to get good stuff from the plants, harvest a few days before you normally would.
If you’re a big grower thinking of a new way to harvest, contact Mobius. They can tell you what tools you need to work better and make more money, all while following the rules and avoiding problems.Read More: When To Harvest Weed: Know The Right Time!
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