Cannabis 101: When & How To Harvest Your Plants
Timing is everything in harvesting cannabis plants. For the uninitiated, determining the best time for harvest has always been one of the many challenges of growing weed. Thankfully, there are fairly simple ways for beginners to get it done right the first time. If you are a newbie grower, here are some of the things to keep in mind on when and how to harvest your plants.
When to Harvest
Harvest time is a critical point in cannabis cultivation. Mistakes at this point can be costly if you consider the time and resources you have invested. Harvest time and the method you employ can greatly affect the results you get. So what are the things you need to know to get the best outcomes?
1. The simplest way many beginner growers use is to check the pistils. The pistils are those hairy looking growth you will find on your buds. Inspect the pistils closely paying particular attention to their color. It is still too early to harvest the plant if most of the “hairs” appear white in color.
2. Another method, which is widely considered to be more accurate, is to check the trichomes using a magnifying glass or any type of magnifying tool. Look for growths resembling a mushroom that appear on the buds. These are the trichomes you need to observe closely. Like the pistils, trichomes also change in color as the plants mature. You will know it is still too early to harvest if you see that the trichomes still appear translucent. You have to wait until they get darker or cloudy-looking.
3. The best time to harvest your plants will be when the pistils have darkened to about 60 to 70% if you are after high THC levels. But if you are looking for a more calming effect, you may want to wait until the weed darkens to up to 90%.
4. If using the other method, harvest your plants the moment you notice the trichomes have turned cloudy.
How to Harvest
1. Prepare for harvest by removing the grow lights or lamps. Set up your drying area. You can install a wire that you can use to hang the harvested plants.
2. Cut the plants from the base.
3. Hang them upside down to dry away from direct light.
4. Keep the room dark and the temperature at around 18°C or 64°F. Place a fan underneath the buds.
5. Let the plants dry naturally for at least one week or between 10-12 days.
6. Check the plants regularly and pay extra attention to any signs of mold growth that might develop which can ruin your harvest. Make sure that you keep the humidity at just around 45%.