When to Harvest your Cannabis Plants

When to Harvest your Cannabis Plants

Understanding when to harvest your cannabis plant is something every new grower of cannabis wants to know.  Harvesting times can vary depending on the strain of cannabis that you are growing.

Indica’s for example can normally be harvested in around 8 -10 weeks of flowering, while sativas can take a little longer, anywhere from 12 -14 weeks of flowering. Then we have the Hybrids, these can be ready to harvest from as little as 6 weeks and can stretch up to 14 weeks.

These timings should only be used as a rough guide, of course, the plant can take a shorter or longer amount of time depending on the strain, and the growing conditions. (Growing indoors or growing outdoors can differ).

So, when do you really know when your plants are ready to harvest?
The answer is in the Trichomes!

When to Harvest your Cannabis Plants

A close up of mixed Trichomes on a cannabis leaf

Trichomes

The Trichomes are the tiny resin glands that cover your cannabis plants’ flowers and leaves. They resemble a mushroom in appearance, a small stalk supporting a bulbous, spherical head.

When the plant starts to flower, she starts to develop more and more Trichomes as the resin production increases. These amazing tiny structures contain all the cannabinoids of the plant and are the key to understanding when to harvest.

Close up of clear and cloudy Trichomes

Close up of clear and cloudy Trichomes

Early Trichomes

In the early stages of production, the Trichomes are translucent and clear, it is possible to harvest the plants at this early stage if wish. Harvesting at this stage is very common for new growers and this stage is sometimes used as a guide for harvesting for quick flowering strains. 

The second stage is when the Trichomes change from being clear and transparent to be cloudy in appearance. The flowers of the plant are also larger than when the Trichomes were clear. The plant is almost at its optimum for harvesting.

Close up of milky and amber Trichomes

Close up of milky and amber Trichomes

Maturing Trichomes

The third stage sees the cloudy Trichomes change again, this time the cloudy appearance changes to a milky appearance, This is the most favored time to harvest if you are looking for very high THC values in your cannabis.

The final stage of development sees the Trichomes change from their milky white appearance and turn amber. This is the final change in appearance and the latest that you should leave a plant to flower before harvesting.
At this stage, the plant has maximized its potential for growth. The THC potency has decreased slightly but the yield of the plant is higher. This is the preferred stage of many experienced cannabis growers and connoisseurs. 

Choosing which stage is right for you comes down to personal taste, Many people prefer to harvest plants around the third to the fourth stage when the plant has around 70% milky and 30% amber Trichomes coverage.

Harvested Buds

We recommend experimenting with the flower times of your plants… you may find that early cloudy Trichomes are your preferred choice, rather than milky and amber. Which ever you go for, we hope this has been a helpful guide to understanding when to harvest your plant.
As always, enjoy the fruits of your harvest 😉

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