What makes a good cannabis harvest?
seeds of cannabis

One of the best things about growing your own marijuana seeds is watching the plants move through each phase of the lifecycle. Cannabis Business Times interviewed a group of well-known industry players and frequent CBT contributors about their best practices, casing everything from lighting to custom fertilizing to specialized grow techniques, and design innovations, such as rolling aisles and vertical growing, and provide advice for beginner and advanced growers alike. And if you’ve ever grown pot you know that the most exciting part is when your baby plant is all grown up and starting to yield flowers. When your plants attain this stage, it might seem like all the hard work is done. But you have to know how to harvest marijuana appropriately if you want to end up with the smokeable herb you’re looking for. Here are some of the helpful tips that what makes a good cannabis harvest:

  • Harvest when 60-70% of hairs have darkened for highest levels of THC.
  • Harvest when 70-90% of hairs have darkened for more calming, anti-anxiety effect as some THC turns to the more relaxing CBN.

For some strains, you might observe new pistils grow and might lead to your hesitation but it is normal according to pro growers as much as they experienced such happenings, you just got to decide if you’re going to cut it already or not.

  • Look at trichomes under a magnifier to harvest cannabis buds with the right THC levels.

Observe the glandular stalked trichomes on the buds using a magnifying glass. Trichomes are the mushroom-looking growths on cannabis appears in ‘crystals’, or ‘frosty stuff’ look accumulating on your bud or leaves that makes weed so sticky and are accountable for its popularity. In some places, these trichomes are called “resin glands”. The trichomes you’re trying to see look like little mushrooms. Some appear to be tiny, clear hair-like trichomes without the mushroom head but these don’t affect the potency. Trichomes that have a little ball on top are where a lot of the THC and other good stuff in cannabis can be found. Recognizing when they’ve reached their highest levels of THC will help you be able to choose the exact right time to harvest your marijuana.

Manage to use jeweler’s loupe or another way to magnify the image for examining trichomes can be so tricky on naked eye, in order to use the “trichomes method” for determining harvest time.

Here are some general rules about harvesting cannabis based on trichomes and the color of the hairs or pistils:

  • Your plant is too young and not ready for harvest if you perceive that white “hairs” are almost sticking straight out and trichomes are mostly translucent.
  • The beginning of the harvest window opens when your plant has mostly stopped growing new white “hairs” or pistils and at least 40% of the white hairs have darkened and curled in.
  • The highest level of Tetrahydrocannabinol is when many or most of the trichomes have turned milky white or cloudy when viewed using a magnifier.
  • Some sativa and haze strains have trichomes that never really turn amber so if they’ve turned mostly white and don’t appear to be progressing more then it may be the right time to harvest.
  • The sedating effect occurs towards the end of the pot harvest window when the trichomes have turned to a darker color, typically amber or gold.
  • Bear in mind that when trichomes start looking grey or withered, the harvest window has passed, and buds will give you sleepy effect without any psychoactive properties.

People really like to harvest when the trichomes are all white. At that point, the flowers have fundamentally maximized their THC production. If you’re aiming to get buds for recreational purposes, harvest your cannabis plant when the trichomes are white. But if you’re considering producing cannabis for medical purposes, you may want to wait until the trichomes are amber or brown. At that point, some of the THC has degraded, but the CBD will be peaking. And in general, CBD is the stuff you’re looking for in medical cannabis.