This question is very often a thorn in the side of many growers. When we ask ourselves when to harvest cannabis plants, a good answer should be “especially not soon”.
Some of you may be impatient by nature, but you should still realize that the time you want to start harvesting is as important as growing the plant itself. If we harvest too soon, we will lose some of the crop and potency from the plant. If we harvest later, THC gradually degrades us to a very effective sedative.
What we need to determine the maturity of our plants?
1. Knowledge – you will learn everything today
2. Magnifying glass of microscope
What equipment can we use?
• Jewelry magnifier – it’s a pocket magnifier that you can find in almost every jewelry store. Thanks to this small thing, the experienced eye of a jeweler can find even small defects. It is similar for cannabis plants. If you have healthy eyesight, this tool will suffice.
• Camera on the phone – Today’s smartphones can zoom very well and the macro lens can see very precise details up close, which will come in handy when examining your plants. You just need to hold the phone firmly while zooming.
• Digital microscope – the perfect thing that you connect directly to a computer or phone. The approach is usually absolutely famous.
• Classic magnifier – no need to describe.
We will introduce you to two methods, thanks to which you can easily know that the cannabis plant is ready for harvest. In the first you orient yourself according to the pistils (white hair on the buds) and in the second according to the trichomes (the small spongy growths on the buds).
FIRST METHOD: Cannabis plant pistils
For those of you who don’t know what’s going on, pistils are the little white gladioli / hairs that grow on buds. You can only harvest a cannabis plant if most of it darkens and twists.
When do we not harvest?
When the pistils are white, it goes without saying. The plant is not yet fully grown and the values of the required cannabinoids are not at the required level.
When is the cannabis plant ready to harvest?
When most pistils are pretty dark and twisted. When 70-90% of them darken, it means that the plant is ready for harvest and the THC value is at the highest level. With a ratio of 90-100%, THC is slowly changing to CBN and the resulting product is rather calming and has an excellent anti-anxiety effect.
What to do when the plant becomes sick or is sick?
Unfortunately, this can also happen. In such cases, you can wait and let the plant ripen a little. However, there is a risk that the disease will spread to flowers (and then it is too late). Another option is an immediate harvest, even at the cost of the plant not yet at the desired stage, but still better than nothing.
During the flowering phase, also avoid heat and light stress to a greater extent. It may happen that the plant starts to form more (white pistils) that could confuse you through the harvest time. In the worst case, the plant might want to fuck itself (male flowers looks like a bananas in the upper half of the cone). Even at this stage, the plant must be harvested prematurely.
This method is not as accurate as the following. Mainly depends on the characteristics of the particular variety.
SECOND METHOD: Cannabis plant’s trichomes
According to many growers, this method is very accurate, as trichomes will say much more.
And what are those trichomes? These are the tiny, white (clear) growths that you will find right on the cone. They have a spongy shape. It is in their heads that the largest percentage of cannabinoids is hidden.
You will definitely not confuse them with pistils, as they are much smaller and you will not be able to see them without a magnifying glass or some magnifying device.
When do not harvest?
As with pistils, trichomes show when the plant is ready.
In the first stage, the trichomes are clear white to transparent. You could say that they are empty and have a minimum of cannabinoids. So the potency is more at the freezing point. Definitely not harvesting!
In the next stage they are gray. Like when you have smoke in a glass. This indicates the production of cannabinoids and the potency increases, still not at the required level.
When is the cannabis plant ready for harvest?
If you find magnifying glass trichomes that are milky white, you have won. You have reached the maximum level and you can pick up the first place.
In the last stage, the trichomes are the color of gold or amber. This indicates THC degradation. The weed starting to has relaxing effects and is suitable for consumption.
What if I cannot know when trichomes are clear or milky white?
Don’t do anything about it, sometimes you just can’t see it so well. If you are not sure whether the trichome is such or poppy, look at the pistils (combine both methods) and find out more about the strain.
Published by Jan Veselý28/05/2021