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when are marijuana seeds ready to harvest

When Is Cannabis Ready To Harvest?

At the end of every grow, harvest time awaits – if all goes well, that is. But when does the perfect time to harvest cannabis arrive? Too early isn’t good, but waiting too long will negatively affect the results as well. We’ll explain just how growers can detect the onset of harvest time. Find out how to determine the perfect time to harvest cannabis here!

The Right Moment To Harvest Cannabis

The culmination of any cannabis grow with the world’s finest seeds is a perfectly timed harvest. At the right moment, a marijuana plant will contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes to provide the intended effect, whether for medicinal purposes or for pleasure. Determining that perfect moment can be tricky, though; especially for less experienced growers. That is why this blog explains just what ganja farmers should look out for.

Flowering, but not yet ready to harvest.

Knowing when cannabis is ready to harvest is all about watching the buds of the plants. Whether it’s autoflowers or not, flowering plants take a while before they are perfectly matured. All our strains feature indications of flowering times, usually ranging from about seven to ten weeks depending on genetics. Still, these are only guidelines: there is much more to take into account.

Firstly, cannabis plants tend to start looking less vibrant as harvest time approaches. As the end of the natural life course nears, leaves start to go limp and the lower foliage even turns yellow. The need for water decreases. The main change, however, occurs in the trichomes and pistols that decorate the flowering plant’s buds or colas. We’ll explain how these features indicate when to harvest cannabis crops.

Harvest Time: Watching Cannabis Trichomes

Trichomes are the tiny glittering ‘crystals’ you’ll see on and around the buds of flowering marijuana. In fact, trichomes aren’t crystals at all; they are tiny resin glands when you look up close. Their appearance is a good indication of how mature the buds are. You’ll need a (pocket) microscope or lens to get a good look. Below, you’ll read how trichomes reveal the best moment to harvest cannabis.

Is The Weed Good To Go?

Throughout the flowering stage of a cannabis plant’s life cycle, trichomes change in colour as well as in the compounds they contain. The different colours of trichomes and their respective concentrations reveal the perfect harvesting time. Special magnifying lenses or microscopes get the best views, but a phone camera with proper zoom function will do the trick as well. Taking trichome photographs requires either a DSLR camera or a phone macro lens for optimum results.

Clear, opaque, and brown trichomes

Clear Trichomes

At first, trichomes appear fully transparent and colourless. The cannabis plant is not ready to harvest yet, as the trichomes contain little or no active ingredients at this point. Harvesting now yields weed with no high. The plant needs more time to mature.

Opaque Trichomes

As flowering progresses, trichomes gradually change to a milky-white colour, as they slowly turn from transparent to opaque. At that point, trichome heads are full of cannabinoids; usually mainly THC depending on the strain. Actually, we should say THCA rather than THC, because the glands contain tetrahydrocannabinol’s biological precursor in acid form. Don’t worry, though, because heat turns THCA into THC in a process called decarboxylation.

Of course, in perfect circumstances, every individual trichome ought to be white and opaque. That will never happen though. Normally, as part of the trichomes turns white, others are still transparent. At the same time, others start to turn amber to brown as explained below. Although it’s ultimately a matter of taste, most growers agree that the best time to harvest cannabis arrives when about half the trichomes have turned white.

Brown Trichomes

If the plant continues to flower, most trichomes will turn amber or brown as THC converts into CBN (cannabinol). This compound does not produce a THC high. Mild euphoria and strong sedative effects are more common to CBN, so harvesting late results in sleepy highs and stones. Some consider this a benefit, such as growers trying to fight insomnia; but there are specific strains to counter sleeplessness as well.

Pistil Hairs And Cannabis Harvest Timing

Even without microscopes and zoom lenses, cannabis reveals the ideal harvest time by its appearance. You’ve probably noticed how flowering plants grow striking white hairs on their flowering colas. These hairs are called pistils. They are white at the start of the flowering stage, and harvest time is near when new white pistils stop emerging.

The first white pistils

Instead, the existing hairs start to turn orange or a rusty brown. By then, the heavy buds will be spreading a heavy scent due to the increased terpene content of the trichomes. Heads up – harvest time is almost here!

  • Once 40% of pistil hairs have turned brown, the harvesting window opens. The plant contains enough THC to cause an energizing high, but she’s not peaked yet;
  • As 50% to 70% of all pistils turn brown, the cannabis plant reaches maximum harvest potential, with buds full of THC (or THCA, to be precise);
  • Once 80% to 90% of the hairs are brown, the plant has flowered too long. Most of the THC has turned onto CBN. This causes a lazy, sedative effect rather than the psychotropic THC high, which some people consider useful for analgesic or anti-insomnia purposes.

The Cannabis Crop Is Good To Harvest – Now What?

Alright, so now you know when to harvest and how to see the signs in cannabis plants. Still, even with that knowledge handy, growers need to wait patiently until that perfect moment arrives. Harvesting too early is a waste, but waiting too long ruins the weed and its effects. The trick is knowing how to strike at the right point of time within that window of opportunity.

See also  indoor sativa marijuana seeds

Once the harvest is in, the next challenge arrives: trimming, drying, and curing the cannabis harvest. We’ll explain just how to do that in a different blog. Until then, though, there’s plenty of time to enjoy those growing and blossoming beauties out there!

Disclaimer: Local laws and legislation on cannabis cultivation and germination of seeds vary between countries and states. Amsterdam Genetics products and information are exclusively intended for use in areas where such use is fully legal. Check your local rules; do not act in conflict with the law!

An Easy Guide to Marijuana Harvesting

The whole point of growing a marijuana plant is to be able to make use of it and that means you need to harvest its buds. Here is a brief and easy guide to marijuana harvesting.

When it comes to marijuana harvesting, timing is everything!

Choosing the right time to harvest your beautiful buds is part science, part skill and part judgement. When you buy your cannabis seeds you’ll probably be given a guide time as to how long a flowering period is, for your choice of marijuana plant. Usually this will have a bit of leeway, for example 8-10 weeks. This is your initial guideline and you should start to keep a close eye on your buds as the start of this period approaches.

Your eyes are your first tool for determining the right time to harvest your cannabis. Check each marijuana plant to see how many of your trichomes have turned cloudy. You need a minimum of 20% of trichomes to be cloudy, before you think about making a move with your marijuana harvesting. If you choose to harvest at this point, you will get the lowest amount of bud and minimal THC. But if you’re in a hurry it can be done.

When you see that 50% to 70% of the trichomes are cloudy and 20% amber, then you are at peak THC. If you let your plants continue to mature, then THC levels will drop. But the payback for this is that you give the marijuana plant time to develop more buds. Once you have reached 20% amber trichomes, you should make it a priority to get on with your marijuana harvesting. Otherwise you are going to go over the point of diminishing returns. Unless your aim is to collect the world’s most powerful sleep medication.

Important: There are some varieties of marijuana where the pistils don’t really colour much. If you’re a beginner, you may want to avoid these. With these strains, your only guide to harvesting is the state of the trichomes.

Trichomes are your ultimate guide to the right time for marijuana harvesting.

Once you can see that the trichomes on your marijuana plant are how you want them to be, it’s time to start looking at the detail. Ppecifically, you are looking for mushroom-shaped trichomes on your plants. It’s important that you only look for the trichomes which have the little ball on the end. As these are the ones which really make a difference to how potent your cannabis will be. In the early days, these trichomes will be transparent. As the plant matures, they will start to get cloudy. The cloudier they are, the more THC they hold. If you allow the plant to continue to mature, the trichomes will turn from a cloudy white to a darker colour, usually an amber. Before finally reaching the point of no return and turning grey and withered.

Unless you have seriously good eyesight, you’re going to want some help with this and the cheapest approach is a jeweler’s loupe. Digital microscopes are a bit more expensive, but give a much greater level of detail. Plus you can post the pictures on the internet, if you want some help in deciding exactly when to collect your harvest. We’d recommend getting both. Use the jeweler’s loupe for your early checks and then move up to the digital microscope.

Flushing

The key point to remember is that you usually have about a 4-week window to get in some sort of marijuana harvest. Even if it doesn’t have the exact effect you want. After that, time’s up. It’s better to harvest a bit too early that to leave it too late. If you have at least 25% mature pistils, it’ll be hard for you to go too far wrong.

The term flushing refers to the practice of stopping feeding (but not watering) marijuana plants shortly before you plan to harvest them. The basic idea is that this will force the plant to use up the store of nourishment in its buds and as a result the buds will be cleaner and therefore smoother.

It must be said that, right now, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to support the idea that flushing is good for your buds whereas it is fairly obvious how it could harm your buds. It also must be said that a good cure will go a long way to making your cannabis smooth and satisfying. In short therefore, you probably won’t be giving up too much if you choose not to flush”, so if you’re a complete beginner you may want to skip this step or do a “flush light” which has less risk.

There are three key points to remember when flushing. The first is that your plants should be ready to harvest as soon as your flush is finished, the second is that you absolutely must continue to use pH-balanced water and the third is that you must maintain the same level of watering (i.e. don’t be tempted to increase it to try to compensate for the lack of food). If you’re growing in soil, you want to start your flush up to 2 weeks before marijuana harvesting. For coco and rockwool, it should be up to a week and for hydro a few days is enough.

If you are a beginner, we’d suggest you play safe and either bypass flushing or just perform a limited flush, perhaps for half the standard time.

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Trimming

Regardless of whether you decide to flush your cannabis when marijuana harvesting, you will need to trim your plants. This is another process which should start about a week or so before you want to harvest.

You’ll probably have started trimming already by removing dying fan leaves, if you haven’t done so already, you can go ahead and remove the rest. There are two main methods of trimming and in many cases the best approach is to use a combination of both.

Wet trimming involves trimming the plant literally just before harvest. By this point, the sugar leaves you want to remove will be extending outwards, which makes it a whole lot easier to remove them. By stripping back the excess foliage you speed up the drying process. Dry trimming happens once the buds have been cut and had a chance to lose some of their moisture. It can be a whole lot easier on your shears, but if it is your only trimming method, you may find your bud dries both slowly and unevenly and remember, anything wet (or even moist) can be vulnerable to mould. Our suggestion, therefore, is to do as much trimming as you can when your plant is still alive and then, if need be, finish off the job a bit later.

The Final Cure

To give your plants the best cure, spread them out on something with a mesh so that the air can reach them from all directions. Spread the buds out evenly making sure they’re spaced far enough apart to permit good airflow. Go low and slow (aim for a temperature of about 21°C and about 50% humidity). Check your buds every 3 days or so and try snapping them in half with your hands. When they snap easily they are dry enough to move on to stage two.

Put your buds into jars with a couple of centimeters of space at the top for air. Put the jars in a place with a temperature of about 21°C and about 60% humidity and keep an eye on them. For the first couple of weeks, check your jars every day and look carefully for any sign of mould. If you do spot mouldy buds, take them out immediately. After that, the buds should be dry enough for mould not to be a risk and at that point it’s up to you how long you leave them to cure. The longer you give them, the smoother your smoke will be.

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Cannabis Harvest, all the information

When cannabis harvest time comes, it’s a great joy for everyone. If everything has gone well cannabis harvesting day is a party, but you also have to know how to choose the best moment and perform the harvesting process perfectly.

For these reasons we have decided to create this post, to know when to cut, where to start and how to proceed. So prepare the scissors, the axe or the saw, the best stage of the crop has arrived.

⭐ How to know when to harvest Cannabis

There are several ways to know the optimal point to cut cannabis, such as the information that seed banks give us about their varieties. Another way to guess the best time to harvest weed is by how the pistils on the flowers look, although this is an indicator that can be misleading.

The best way to know when cannabis buds are ready to be cut is with the help of a microscope. In our blog you can read a very complete article where you can see how trichomes are the natural markers for the ripening of cannabis flowers.

⛳ When to harvest Cannabis indoors

During the last week of indoor growing some growers prefer to lower the temperature, or leave the plants in the dark for several days. This gives an extra resin and essential oils, as it slows the evaporation of terpenes and flavonoids. Cutting weed indoors has nothing to do with doing it outdoors, where we cannot control environmental factors.

In indoor cultivation it is easier to predict the right time to cut, and even better to prepare. As there is no risk of rain or anything else that might disturb our buds we can choose the perfect moment, calculating the time from the last watering so that the plants have dried the substrate and washing the roots from the day we choose.

✨ When to clean weed for harvest?

It depends on the fertilizers you have used, if these are minerals it is better to stop using them about 15 days before the cut, but if they are organic you can safely fertilize up to 7 days before the harvest.

How to wash cannabis plants before harvest

This part is very important to get the best aroma and taste in our buds. The aim is to eliminate the remains of salts from the substrate by leaching. To do so, it is necessary to water with a quantity of clean water approximately 3 times the volume of the pot, for example, if you have used a 5.3 US gal (20 litres) pot to grow, you will have to use about 15.8 US gal (60 litres) of water, watering slowly until we see that the water comes out clean from the drainage system.

If you want to read about this process carefully, I recommend you to read this interesting post from our blog in which we talk about the perfect cannabis plant root washing.

Outdoor Cannabis Harvest

When we grow with artificial lights we can control photoperiod, and grow or flower the plants when we want to. But outdoors we can’t do that, and photodependent plants grow during spring and part of summer, and bloom usually from mid-summer to autumn.

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What month is cannabis harvested outdoors?

Many customers when they buy their seeds ask us when is the harvest season for weed? The harvest month for cannabis of approximately 70% of commercial photodependent varieties is October. There are almost 20% of genetics that can be cut earlier, and just over 10% that are harvested in November or even later. This is in the northern hemisphere, and in the south 70% are harvested in April, there are almost 20% that can be cut in March or earlier, and just over 10% that are harvested in May or later.

Since they do not rely on hours of light and darkness to grow or flower, the automatic ones can be harvested in different months of the year outdoors.

When to harvest autoflowering cannabis ?

First of all we can find out about the cycle of the variety in question, and according to what the seed bank says we can already get an idea of the expected day. If the bank says that it needs 75 days from germination to harvest, we will start monitoring the ripening from 60 days onwards.

If we have a microscope, the best thing is to look at the trichomes, and if we don’t, we’ll be guided by the pistils. Depending on our preferences regarding the effect, we will choose to cut before or after. If we’re going to cut with half of the trichomes in amber, when we notice that resin of this color starts to appear, we stop fertilizing and do the root wash. During the days that it takes the plant to consume its last nutrients many trichomes that were milky on the day of washing will become amber.

☕ What happens if you harvest weed too early ?

Early harvesting of cannabis can be a good solution in cases of pests, fungi, bad weather, thieves or other reasons. It can also be interesting in case you need cannabis earlier, but you have to keep in mind that it will not be the same as if you cut it completely ripe.

Can you harvest weed earlier without a problem?

Cutting cannabis early can be bad for several reasons. The main one is that buds aren’t completely made up, but it is also dangerous not to respect the safety deadlines if you have used phytosanitary products. Another thing that can happen is that salt residues from fertilizers remain unused or leached, which can give our cannabis a bad taste.

If you need to bring forward the harvest for some reason, the ideal is to use products such as GHE’s Ripen which forces plants to finish earlier and improves taste. In indoor cultivation you can save a few days by removing hours of light in the photoperiod, for example, instead of finishing the last month of flowering at 12/12, put 15 days at 11/13 and the last 15 days at 10/14.

Cannabis harvest time

The best time to harvest weed is first thing in the morning, when it contains the highest levels of essential oils. In indoor cultivation it would be just when the lights go on.

Outdoors the ideal option is to consult a lunar calendar to grow cannabis, which will tell you the perfect day for cutting, when most of the plant’s sap is in the roots and drying will take less time.

How to harvest Cannabis

There are things that can be done in many different ways, such as cutting cannabis plants. Some people cut the main trunk close to the substrate and directly hang plants upside down without manicuring. Once dry, they carefully remove the leaves and separate the buds.

Many prefer to cut cannabis in parts, starting with the main tips, which usually ripe before the rest of the plant. This way it is harvested gradually, as flowers reach their optimum point of ripeness.

There are also growers who start removing leaves from mid-flowering onwards. At first light defoliations, from the large leaves that stop light from reaching the buds, then continue with the oldest leaves, low and yellow, and when the plant begins to ripe they cut many of the remaining leaves, leaving few more than the small ones that are close to the buds.

➕ Pictures of Cannabis buds ready to harvest

Below you can see some pictures of weed ready to be harvested, sometimes a picture is worth more than 1000 words. With graphic examples it’s easier to get an idea of when is the best time to harvest cannabis.

Photo of ready-to-harvest weed from Girl Scout Cookies variety*

Image of a Fat Banana by RQS at the optimum time for cutting*

Photo of a Gorilla Glue #4 bud ready for harvest*

Image of a cannabis plant about to be harvested*

Tips for Cannabis harvest

Keep in mind the genetics of the cannabis variety you are growing and your personal preferences for effect in order to decide the right time for the harvest. A sativa can lose its stimulant power and psychoactivity due to over-maturing, just as an indica can be less medicinal if cut too early.

Clean the roots well several days before harvesting, it is a pity to spoil the organoleptic quality of the weed after such a long time of cultivation. It is best to wait until the leaves turn pale or yellow, which is a sign that all the nutrients have been consumed.

Take advantage of the resinous leaves to make cannabic extractions, cream, oil or your favorite recipes, but do not throw them away.

I hope you liked this post and that you understand better the cannabis harvesting process. If so, we would appreciate if you share it, it won’t take you much time and you will be doing us a great favor, thank you.✍