How to Know When Cannabis Is Ready to Harvest

It’s harvest time! Here’s a quick guide on how to tell when your cannabis is ready to be harvested.

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The Trichomes

One of the most important things to know when harvesting your cannabis is when the trichomes have reached their peak maturity. The trichomes are the tiny, sticky crystals that cover the buds and leaves of the plant. They contain the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. To determine when the trichomes are ready, you will need to use a microscope.

What are they?

Trichomes are the tiny, sparkling crystals that cover the outside of cannabis buds. They’re made up of a sticky resin that contains THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes, which are the molecules responsible for the plant’s aroma and flavor.

This resin also protects the plant from herbivores and pests, and provides a water-resistant barrier to help the plant survive in harsh climates. In essence, trichomes are like armor for cannabis plants.

Why do they matter?

The trichomes are tiny, clear glands that protrude from the surface of the cannabis plant. These glands secrete a resin that contains high concentrations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes. In other words, the trichomes are responsible for giving cannabis its psychoactive properties.

The majority of the THC in cannabis is stored in the trichomes. For this reason, it is important to harvest your plants at just the right time in order to maximize potency. If you harvest too early, the trichomes will not have had enough time to mature and your buds will be less potent. If you harvest too late, the trichomes will begin to degrade, which will also result in less potent buds.

The best way to determine when to harvest your plants is to inspect the trichomes with a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe. The trichomes will change color as the plant matures – they will start out clear, then turn milky white, and finally turn amber. You should Harvest when the majority of the trichomes are milky white with a few amber ones mixed in. This is when the THC levels are at their peak and you will get the most potent buds possible.

The Pistils

One of the most reliable ways to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest is to closely observe the pistils. The pistils are the little white hairs that sticks out of the buds. When the plant is first developing, the pistils are white. But as the plant matures, the pistils start to darken and turn colors.

What are they?

Pistils are the tiny, hair-like structures that protrude from the cannabis flower. Many new growers mistake them for mold or think that they are useless parts of the plant, but they actually play a very important role in the reproduction process. The pistils are where the pollen from male plants lands when they are ready to fertilize the female plant. This reproductive process is how new cannabis plants are formed.

Why do they matter?

Pistils are the tiny, white, sometimes red-tipped hairs that grow out of the calyxes of female flowers. They serve an obvious purpose in plant reproduction but can also give you insight into a cannabis plant’s maturation process. As the plant grows and develops its flowers, pistils will gradually change color as they slowly mature.

In her book The Cannabis Encyclopedia, author Amanda Perring notes that the color change can happen quickly or slowly depending on the strain, growing conditions, and even the individual plant. The color change begins at the Pistil base and works its way up.

White pistils eventually turn red, orange, brown, or black as the flower matures. If you see a mix of colors on one flower (i.e., some pistils are still white while others are changing color), that’s an indication that the trichomes on that particular flower aren’t all ready yet either.

The Stems

How to know when cannabis is ready to harvest? This is a question asked by many first time growers. The answer is that it depends on the variety of cannabis being grown. indica, which is shorter and bushier, typically takes about 8 weeks to mature, while sativa, which is taller and leaner, can take up to 12 weeks.

What are they?

Cannabis stems are the main support structure of the plant. They are typically long and thin, and can be either straight or curved. The stem is covered in tiny hair-like structures called trichomes, which contain the plant’s cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD). The stem also contains a network of small blood vessels called xylem tissue, which transport water and nutrients throughout the plant.

When harvest time comes, cannabis growers will carefully cut down their plants and then trim away the leaves and smaller branches, leaving only the main stem. The stems are then dried and cured like the rest of the plant material, and can be used to make a variety of products including CBD oil, tinctures, edibles, etc.

Why do they matter?

The stems of your cannabis plant matter for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is that they contain trichomes, which are where the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids are produced. If you harvest your plant too early, you won’t get as potent of a final product.

In addition to containing trichomes, stems also help support the weight of the buds and leaves. If you have a lot of big buds, the stems will help keep them from drooping and falling over. Stems also store water and nutrients, which can be helpful if your plant is under stress or doesn’t have access to a lot of water.

Finally, stems can be used to make edibles and extracts. If you want to make cannabutter or cannabis-infused oil, you can use stems in addition to buds. Stems also have CBD in them, so they can be used to make CBD products like tinctures and topicals.

The Leaves

The first thing you need to do is inspect the leaves. Take a look at the trichomes, which are the small crystals on the leaves. If they are clear, the cannabis is not ready to harvest. If they are milky white, the cannabis is ready to harvest.

What are they?

Cannabis leaves are the most important part of the plant when it comes to producing cannabinoids like THC and CBD. In fact, it’s the leaves that contain the highest concentrations of these compounds.

The leaves of a cannabis plant areflat, skinny, and have serrated edges. They grow opposite of each other in pairs on the stem. At the base of each leaf is a stalk called a petiole, which connects the leaf to the stem.

Cannabis leaves are typically green, but can also be purple, red, or yellow. The color of the leaves is determined by the strain of plant and its genetics.

The size of cannabis leaves can also vary depending on the strain. Some plants have small leaves while others have very large ones.

Why do they matter?

Precisely when you decide to harvest your cannabis plants will have a profound effect on the quality and character of the final product. The leaves of the cannabis plant produce various cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, as well as terpenes, which are responsible for the plant’s characteristic aroma and flavor. Depending on when you harvest, the ratio of these compounds will be different, leading to weed that smells and tastes differently, and produces different effects when consumed.

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