Harvesting at the proper time is just as critical as how the plant is grown. If you harvest too soon, you will lose potency and yields of cannabis. If you harvest too late, you risk creating a batch of sleep medication.

Buds are harvested after the majority of the “hairs” have darkened and curled inward, revealing the solid bud beneath.

Trichome heads begin as transparent and glassy. Buds are not particularly powerful at this stage.

As buds grow, the trichome heads become milky white in color. They have a plastic-like appearance. These white trichome heads indicate the presence of the greatest concentrations of THC and CBD.

If left alone for an extended period of time, white trichome heads transform into amber/golden (for most strains). Amber trichomes have less THC but deliver a stronger sedative/body/anti-anxiety effect.

In summary, buds are harvested after their hairs have darkened and curled inward, exposing the solid bud beneath. Harvest buds early for a more “energizing” mental/psychoactive impact (trichome heads appear milky white under a magnifier). Allowing buds to mature further results in the amber/goldening of the white trichomes. The more amber trichomes present, the more buds exhibit a “down” body/couchlock effect. This bud with all-white trichomes has the greatest THC/CBD ratio. For a more soothing effect, wait another week or two for the trichome heads to turn amber/golden.

Three Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Cannabis Harvest Time

To identify the optimal marijuana harvest timing, you just need three factors:

  • The ability to choose when to harvest.
  • Visual examination eyes.
  • A magnifying glass.

The three most common magnifying instruments are…

Jeweler’s Loupe— This is the simplest and least expensive method. Unfortunately, unless you have incredibly good eyes, it’s still tough to obtain the greatest insight into how your buds are doing.

Your Camera Phone-Many current smartphones are equipped with superb cameras capable of capturing good images of trichomes. Utilize as much natural light as possible, keep the phone relatively steady, and zoom in for the best results.

A digital microscope is one of the most effective instruments for identifying the optimal harvest time. A digital microscope is somewhat more expensive than a loupe, and many versions require a linked laptop, but it will bring you face to face with your trichomes and allow you to record video to re-examine or obtain a second opinion. You’ll come dangerously near to your trichomes!

This harvest lesson will explain in detail the two primary methods producers use to determine when to harvest marijuana plants.

The Pistil Method is the first method for determining harvest time

When the bulk of pistils (hairs) remain white and erect, this plant is not ready to harvest. At this time, both potency and yields are low.

The Trichome Method is the second method for determining harvest time

This method of harvesting is more exact than examining the pistils of your cannabis plant.

Under a magnifying glass, examine the glandular stalked trichomes on the buds using this way. Trichomes are the mushroom-like growths on cannabis that contribute to the plant’s popularity! Because these trichomes are responsible for the majority of the bud’s strength, knowing when they’ve achieved their peak THC content will enable you to harvest your marijuana at the optimal moment. If you hold the loupe directly over your buds, you’ll get a clearer view of the trichomes, allowing you to assess their color and form more accurately.

A digital microscope, in comparison to a jeweler’s loupe or other tiny magnifiers, often captures video and provides larger, more detailed images of trichomes. Not only can you see the trichomes more clearly, but you can also record video of them to examine later.

How to Tell When Cannabis is Ready to Harvest

It might be challenging to distinguish between clear and cloudy trichomes. Particularly if you do not observe both types of trichomes together. This is very normal, and it takes some practice until it becomes second nature.

Due of their eagerness, beginner gardeners have a great inclination to harvest the plant prematurely.

Regrettably, this frequently results in poor yields and bad-quality buds.

If you’re thrilled about harvesting your marijuana plant, pick the buds that appear to be the most mature off the plant and dry them to determine the strength for yourself.

Harvesting the buds in phases (slowly and in small quantities) can significantly help alleviate the thrill.

When in doubt, trust your instincts. Combining the two ways will assist you in determining the optimal harvest time, but only you know how you want your buds to look. This means that even the most effective solutions are only suggestions. However, you’re now one step closer to having your bud just as you want it.