When is cannabis ready to harvest? This all depends on various factors.
If you’re growing a cannabis plant for the first time, it’s important to know when it’s ready for harvesting. Harvesting the plant too soon or too late can have a major impact on its quality, potency, and yield.
So, the question is: when is cannabis ready to harvest? The answer to this question, we need first to understand the stages of cannabis growth.
Keep reading for additional insight into cannabis harvest time now.
The Stages of Cannabis Growth
Cannabis growth can be divided into six distinct stages: germination, seedling, vegetative, pre-flowering, flowering, and harvesting. Let’s take a look at each in detail.
1. Germinating Seeds
This is the first stage of growth, and it involves soaking cannabis seeds in water to encourage them to germinate. Once the seed splits open, the taproot will emerge, signaling the seed is ready to be planted.
Once the seeds have been planted in soil, they will enter the seedling stage. This is when the first set of true leaves appear, and the plant starts to develop its root structure.
During the vegetative stage, the plant will continue to grow and develop its root system. Leaves and stems will increase in size as the plant develops.
At this stage, the plants will begin to form buds, and this is when growers will typically start to think about harvesting.
The flowering stage is when the plants will begin to produce buds and start to mature. This is the longest stage of cannabis growth and can last anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks, depending on the strain.
Harvesting is the final stage of cannabis growth, and it requires careful attention. The best time to harvest cannabis plants is when they have reached their peak potency and when the trichomes on the buds are mostly cloudy. The harvesting process can be tricky, but it’s important to get it right in order to get the best yields and the highest quality of buds.
Loving this post? Make sure to check out our other article about why cannabis is banned in the Olympics before you leave!
How to Know When to Harvest Cannabis?
There are several methods used to determine when the optimal time for harvesting cannabis is. They are:
- Examining Trichomes: This is one of the most popular methods and involves using a magnifying glass to examine the trichomes on the buds. The trichomes will transition from clear to cloudy and even amber, so it’s important to keep an eye out for this change.
- Feel the Buds: Another method is to feel the buds to determine if they’re ready for harvesting. Buds that are ready to be harvested should feel dry and firm, not soft or mushy.
- Observing the Pistils: The pistils are the tiny hairs that cover the buds, and they will start to darken over time. Once they have darkened and start to curl inwards, the plant is likely ready for harvesting.
- Checking the Stem: Finally, you can also check the stem of the plant to see if it’s ready for harvesting. If the stem snaps in half easily, then it’s likely ready for harvesting.
Harvesting Cannabis FAQ
What do trichomes look like when ready to harvest?
Trichomes appear as small crystals on the buds, and when they’re ready for harvesting, they’ll be mostly cloudy with a few amber trichomes.
How long does it take for cannabis to be ready for harvest?
It depends on the strain of cannabis, but typically flowering lasts 8-16 weeks. Be prepared to monitor your plants as they grow and get closer to their harvest date.
Can I cut a bud off my plant early?
Yes, but it won’t be as potent or have the same yield as a fully matured bud. It’s best to wait until the buds have reached their peak maturity before harvesting. If you can’t wait, you can expect popcorn buds. While potent, popcorn nugs tend to offer smaller and less desirable buds than premium flower.
What happens if you wait too long to harvest?
If you wait too long to harvest, the buds may become over-ripe and lose some of their potency. Equally important to know is that mold or mildew may start to form on the buds. This is why it’s best to harvest when the flower is ready.