When is cannabis ready to harvest?


Cannabis sativa, generally known as marijuana or weed, is a herbaceous flowering plant that is indigenous to most parts of Asia but has been distributed all over the world due to widespread cultivation. Throughout all times it has had very many other uses like seed oil, industrial fiber but under some circumstances, it was for spiritual or religious purposes and medicinally.

when is cannabis ready to harvest

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How to find out if your plants are ready to harvest?

For most growers, the biggest question is when to harvest pot, but under most circumstances, we end up with answering ourselves with “not soon enough.” Being that most growers are impatient, knowing the right harvest time is as important as knowing when you will hit the jackpot if you try. Well, for a farmer, one knows that harvesting the plant real early one loses potency and profit while harvesting too late will only be a beginning quest to a batch of sleeping medicine.

However, this can be prevented by following three significant steps;

  1. Getting all the necessary knowledge on the plant;
  2. Using visual inspection;
  3. Use of a magnifying tool.


Just in a matter of understanding, getting more knowledge on the significant steps.  Acquiring knowledge of when to harvest the weed is basic knowledge that is provided by the breeder as he or she specializes in the species of cannabis he grows. Using visual inspection is an essential tool, and any regular farmer uses this to know when the bud should be harvested. Using a more advanced method is the use of a little tool or a magnifying tool. The use of this tool makes the resin filled trichomes easier to see. This, however, is not 100% necessary, but it helps in the timing of your harvest to utmost perfection with the affects you are looking for. The magnifying tool comes in various options example

  1. The Jeweler’s loupe – for one, it is cheap and low technology that can get the job done. This however still needs the use of good eyes to be able to get the best view.
  2. Digital microscope – It is one of the best-used tools all time. It takes much as it is digitally the best, but it needs a connecting laptop and will bring you up close to the trichomes. It does cost a lot but being up close, very uncomfortable to your herbs, is entirely worth it. 
Digital Microscope
A digital microscope with a digital screen on the microscope.

When going through with the whole weed farming, one needs to understand how different plants grow differently and their ripening time.

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Visual aspect of a ripe cannabis plant

There are various ways distributed to when pot should be harvested, and their accuracy tends to vary. For one, the most basic way is using the flowering time recommended by the breeder. One can also check the color of the stigma or one can also look at the color of trichomes.

One of the best ways to ascertain when the weed is ready to harvest is by watching the development of trichomes. Trichomes are stalk like glands that grow on plants and grow on the leaves surrounding the flowers. The trichomes contain all the active compounds.

When cannabis is ready to harvest, you’ll need a bud trimmer. Find out about the best bud trimmers right here.

As the flowers near ripeness, their caps swell with resin and become more prominent and stand erect. The liquid in the trichomes is a sticky liquid that contains terpenes and cannabinoids produced on the inside membrane, and as the resin accumulates, the flower odor becomes stronger. The smells intensity heightens the same time the trichomes begin to glow in the light, twinkling like crystals. Under magnification, you can see different glands turning from clear to amber or a hazy white. At this stage, this is when to harvest the weed as it is at the peak.

Stigma of the cannabis plant

Another accurate way of getting to know when to harvest your pot is looking at the plant’s stigma. The stigma of the weed tends to change its color from white to orange.

The when in the harvesting is the most critical factor here is to consider as it is the one question a lot of weed farmers ask. For one, the use of the microscope is the most convenient way there is out there. So, using the best intensity will be of great importance. Handheld microscopes need to be ranging from 30x to give the best-required results 100x.With these magnification intensities, there is a clear view of the color of the trichomes. It is the best idea to viewing the peak potency of the plant up to its maximum growth.

In this stage, the trichomes go from transparent to opaque then later to amber.  At this stage, the amount of THC content is at its maxim and then due to UV rays hence beginning to break down, and the result is cannabinol (CBN).

Ripened trichome of ripe cannabis bud ready to harvest
This is a ripe trichome of a cannabis bud that is ready to harvest.

Compound levels and the big H of harvest

Every farmer needs the profits as much as he needed the capital to begin his or her endeavors. Hence understanding how the levels of THC and CBN work would do the farmer very high honors. For the plant to be harvested the levels of THC, have to be at optimum, and this can only be checked or confirmed from the sigma. Once the stigma changes its color, the farmer later starts observing the trichomes by the use of the microscopes as was earlier stated. 

From the microscope, if the trichomes are clear, the weed buds are still young and developing. Much too common knowledge, one will have to go through the observation daily, which to some people is the best idea. One needs to look at the different bud sites since different buds mature differently though with common knowledge the top buds tend to evolve faster than the bottom buds due to a couple of reasons like oxygen content and the UV light radiation intensity.

The trichomes then later shift to an opaque color or opaque white which indicate full maturity. The THC levels are at their maximum as the trichomes can’t produce any more THC. Unfortunately, not all of them mature at the same time hence amber trichomes will be seen before the opaque white. The amber indicates the development of CBN due to the breaking down of THC. By this point you can presume the buds are ready to be harvested.


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