Harvesting Cannabis: Ultimate Guide

Harvesting cannabis

Harvesting Cannabis: Ultimate Guide

Growing cannabis is an art. 

There are rhythms and subtle nuances that go along with this art form. 

However, cannabis cultivation does not come without its issues…

Cannabis is a particular plant with specific needs; if those needs aren’t met, she suffers. And so does your harvest. 

More and more people are turning to cannabis cultivation in recent years due to the shifts in legislation. Cultivating your own cannabis is a beautiful skill to have and a journey to embark on. 

Those who have done it before know that hardly anything is as exciting when it comes time to harvest.

You’ve just poured energy and love into these plants for weeks. Finally, your hard work is paying off. 

This labor of love requires lots of patience and care. It all pays off in the end (literally) as you save money from weekly dispensary trips and invest in your premium cannabis product.

Harvesting is not too complicated. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of. We have combined our collective knowledge, and these are the pro tips you need to know for effectively harvesting your cannabis.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of harvesting your precious buds.

harvesting cannabis

Harvesting Cannabis: How To Prepare For Harvesting

Congratulations! You made it this far in the cannabis cultivation process. 

Many people give up early on in the process because it takes real dedication and patience.

You didn’t, though; you stayed with it and gave your plants all the love that they deserve. 

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You are about to have a bountiful harvest that you grew from seed or baby clones!

Harvesting your buds is one of the most exciting and essential steps in the cultivation process.

However, before we get too into it, there are a few things you need to take care of before we get started.

  • Be sure to inspect your plants for any impurities. Look for pests, fungi, and everything in between. You must do a tedious and meticulous inspection of your plants and discard any sick or damaged parts of the plant.

  • Giant fan leaves indicate that your plants are flourishing in their environment. They can be used for edibles but are not a part of the bud harvest. Remove any fan leaves that are too large.

  • Flushing your plants. This is optional but highly recommended. Experts recommend that you do this step two weeks before the plants are ready for harvest. We’ll discuss the timing later.

Flushing plants can seem daunting if you haven’t done it before, but it’s pretty simple and doesn’t cost any money. You can water your plants as you would normally, but without the addition of any mineral nutrients or supplements. Be sure not to overwater.

Your plants can lose some of their green color during the flush period and turn slightly yellow. Just be sure that the sugar leaves on the bud don’t turn yellow, as this will impact your buds and cause them to deteriorate. Furthermore, you should harvest your plants before the sugar leaves turn yellow.

After about two weeks of flushing, you are officially ready for the next stage: harvest!

when to harvest cannabis

Harvesting Cannabis: How Do I Know When To Harvest?

After you flush your plants, it’s time to harvest them. How do you know when to harvest your plants? Many factors affect the timing of your plants’ harvest. Keep a watchful eye to determine when your plants are ready to be harvested.

  • Check the flowering start dates of your specific plants. To harvest your plants successfully, you should pay close attention to when your plants first started to flower. It is important to remember that this date can vary depending on your plants, so don’t rely on it exclusively as your harvesting guide.
  • Indica-dominant plants can finish flowering within seven-eight weeks, while Sativa dominant strains can take significantly longer, sometimes up to 24 or more weeks.
  • Check your buds’ curls. Beyond the flowering stage, you need to be attentive to the growth of your buds. Do not harvest too soon, or your flower will be less potent. Your buds are ready to be harvested when the little curly hairs turn a deep brown and become as curly as possible.
  • Look out for glittery trichomes. Your trichomes are the most important thing about your cannabis plants’ health. A magnifying glass is the best way to examine them. Your trichomes won’t be as potent at the beginning of cultivation because they will be transparent and clear.

By the time your plants are mature and ready for harvesting, the trichome heads will turn a glossy, glittery white, indicating the highest levels of cannabinoids-especially THC and CBD.

You can also give your trichomes more time to mature if you prefer lower levels of THC. This will result in a relaxing, full-body feeling. When they turn a golden/amber shade, it’s time to harvest.

Some strains of Sativa or “Haze” have trichomes that never turn amber. So if your plants are turning mostly white and not showing signs of progress, it’s probably time.

  • You should pay attention to the dimensions and weight of your branches. The branches will get heavier as they develop buds. They will hang lower and become heavier. You should look out for trichomes, which will help you determine how much your buds have advanced.
how to harvest cannabis

How To Harvest Cannabis

Now that you know what to watch out for, it is time to move on to the most critical step: harvesting!

It is better to harvest cannabis in sections than cut down the whole plant. The buds on the top of your plant’s branches usually ripen faster. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your harvest, be sure to harvest the top branches first and let the lower branches get more sun and mature to their fullest potential. 

It is easier to harvest your plants in sections; it saves you time and makes the process more efficient. 

However, before you get started, make sure that you have all the necessary tools for harvesting:

  • Shears/Pruners for cutting your branches
  • Scissors for trimming the buds
  • A trimming tray for more accessible transportation
  • Rubbing alcohol will help keep your scissors clean and remove the resin

After you have all your supplies, you can begin trimming and drying. This process will differ depending on whether you prefer dry or wet trimming. However, here are the essentials to help you get started.

dry trimming cannabis

Dry Trimming

Dry trimming cannabis will require you to hang it up for a few days to dry. Most cultivators hang their plants upside-down. Your plants will dry quickly, and the THC will turn into its psychoactive form. Yay!

While most experts recommend that drying takes between 5-7 days and 7-10 days, the time will vary depending upon climate, location, plant type, and other factors. Your plants should be dried in an area at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and darkened with 45 to 55% humidity.

wet trimming cannabis

Wet Trimming

If you prefer wet trimming, you don’t need to hang your plants up after cutting them down. Trimming is done by cutting off large branches and being careful around delicate buds. The branches should be easy to grasp.

Growing cannabis at home can be complicated and requires patience. However, with the right tools, tips, & tricks, it is possible to master this process in no time.

Are you familiar with any of these tricks? Do you have any other tips you would like to share? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

We hope this article on harvesting cannabis was helpful for you in your growing journey.

Tired of making rookie mistakes? We offer online and hands-on classes on how to become an expert cultivator in no time! Stop making expensive mistakes that ultimately affect your yields, and learn proven ways to be successful as a cannabis grower today!

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