So you’ve successfully germinated and planted your cannabis seeds and have made it through the vegetative stage. Now what? How can you tell when it’s time to harvest your marijuana plants, and how do you care for your plants in the best possible way until that time comes? We’ll explore just how to answer that question below.

Timing of the harvest

What many marijuana growers may not realize is that harvesting their cannabis plants at the right time is equally as important as how you grow the plant itself. If you harvest your marijuana too early, your plants may not be as potent or produce as much. On the flip side, if you harvest too late, your cannabis may not be good for much except making you super sleepy.

Cannabis Growing Series

How long do I have to wait?

Depending on which strains of weed seeds you planted, you will be dealing with differing flowering times. The typical range runs between eight and twelve weeks. 

Signs to look for

If you can get your hands on a microscope, now would be the time to pull it out and look at one of your cannabis buds underneath it. Hopefully, you’ll see thousands of tiny mushrooms, which are called trichomes. These tiny mushrooms contain terpenes, which contribute to smell, flavonoids, which contribute to flower coloration, and additional cannabinoids which provide a psychological effect on the body. Trichomes are thought to also repel insects and to protect cannabis buds from damage from UV rays.

As your cannabis plants reaches the later flowering stages, its trichomes also go through some changes that will notify you that it is time to harvest.

Cannabis Growing Series

Paying attention to trichomes

At the beginning of the window for harvest, you should see the heads of your cannabis buds’ trichomes starting to turn white and fattening up. As more and more of them turn white, your marijuana plant’s THC levels (and levels of psychoactive effects) are increasing. If you are hoping for more mental effects from your weed, you might consider harvesting your cannabis buds now.

If you’re more interested in cannabis’s effects on your body, you might want to hold out to harvest until the end of the harvesting window. After the majority of your trichomes have become white in color, they will then start turning a yellowish/amber color. When this takes place, you’ll know that the mental effects of your weed have lessened, but the effects on the body will be increasing at the same time. If you’re looking for body relaxation from your weed, it’s best to wait until now to harvest your cannabis plants.

Finding a perfect balance

Some people swear by waiting to harvest until the trichomes are a combination of amber and white. Specifically, they might recommend waiting until between twenty and thirty percent of the trichomes have turned yellow and the remaining seventy to eighty percent are still wait. Allowing the cannabis buds to get to this point should provide a good combination of both mental and physical effects.

When things have gone too far

You’ll want to be sure to harvest your cannabis buds before all of its trichomes have turned the amber colour, because at this point they’ll start to wither and die. If you let them get to this point, all is not lost, but in general, your cannabis will have fewer mental effects and will elicit sleepiness.

Cannabis Growing Series

Once you’ve decided to harvest

Congratulations! Now that you’d decided to harvest, you’ve reached a major milestone in the marijuana growing process. Before you get too busy celebrating, remember that there’s still quite a ways to go. Your first step in harvesting your cannabis is to cut down your plant. Some people choose to cut the entire plant off at its base and hang it upside down to dry, which others cut off branches piece by piece and, rather than hanging by the ends, choose to use a mesh screen or a rack for drying.

Getting your buds dry

As you probably know, before you can utilize your cannabis harvest, you need to make sure your buds are completely and totally dry. Because of this, many people who grow marijuana plants choose to trim away the large fan leaves of the cannabis plant so that the buds can dry evenly. It’s up to you to decide how many leaves you’d like to trim off of your branches.

Harvesting marijuana can be one of the more stress-inducing situations for those who are new to growing their own marijuana plants. However, it doesn’t have to be! Check out Growers Choice Seeds for the best possible quality marijuana seeds, delivered right to your door, as well as for tons of helpful tips and tricks on how to grow (and harvest!) cannabis successfully. Happy harvesting!

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