If you've ever picked up a juicy bud and wondered, "What gives weed its flavour…
Timing is everything when it comes time to harvest your beautiful marijuana plant, and it can be tricky. It’s not like any other fruiting plant where the signs are fairly obvious. This being said, there are some skills to master, so you will know when to harvest your cannabis.
Towards the last few weeks we understand that some growers will be bouncing with excitement. But it’s the last leg that makes our breaks your harvest.
Too early, and you won’t get those gigantic yields, and wait too long and you’ll be past the point of no return, and land up with a crop of CBD.
While we pride ourselves on being able to correctly predict the grow cycle of our seeds, there are other variables that will affect your plants lifecycle.
So, what to do? Learn how to spot the signs that your crop is ready. You will need a jeweller’s loupe, or a magnifying glass.
There are two techniques for ageing your plant.
The pistil (or the hairs on the bud) technique, and the trichome (the sticky compound on the bud) strategy. But let’s learn how to know when your harvest is ready!
If you’re uncertain what a pistil is, you might want to read up about the cannabis plant’s anatomy here.
Pistils on your plant’s flower start out white and are an indicator that plant’s flowering stage has just started. If you can see them this means you have a couple of more weeks to wait.
At the point when these hairs begin darken, the plant is starting to produce THC.
This is certainly not the most accurate method, as the next step is to make an estimate.
When 60%-70% of the pistils have darkened on the bud, you can harvest for a higher THC crop. However, if you wait till the later stages, when 70%-90% of the pistils have darkened, this means the plant is digesting the THC and turning it into a more cannabinoid bud – which is more relaxing.
This technique isn’t idiot proof as certain strains’ pistils don’t change colour. But it should be better than thumb-sucking an answer.
Now if you want to be more precise, grab your magnifying device and get ready to inspect the trichomes.
Know When To Harvest With The Trichome Method
It should abundantly clear that by using a jewellers loupe this is going to be more accurate.
What you’ll be looking at are the trichome. These are the globular resin droplets on your bud. Using the jewellers loupe you’ll be able to make out the mushroom structure.
What you’re looking for is the glob, or dewdrop, at the top of the trichome. If you see some without a head, don’t panic, it’s totally natural. With your jeweller’s loupe in hand, you’re going to investigate the dewdrop on the trichome.
These globules are what contribute the levels of THC in your harvested bud. If these droplets are clear, your plant is still in their early stages of flowering. This will also tie in with the fact the pistils will still be straight and white.
When the trichome start to get cloudy, they are ready, as the plant has stopped producing THC. Trichomes do age at different times, so it’s totally dependent on you to choose when to harvest the crop.
As a general guideline, harvest the top buds and wait a bit longer for the lower flowers to reach maturity (normally the lower ones get less sunlight).
Know When To Harvest Conclusion
We know you’re watching your plant’s closely. But make sure to watch the progression of the pistils, as they start to change colour, whip out your jewellers loupe and take a close look at those trichomes – until they’re all cloudy.
After that, it’s time to start trimming.