How to Tell If Cannabis Is Ready for Harvest

It’s important to know how to tell when your cannabis is ready for harvest. These tips will help you determine when it’s time to harvest your crop.

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The Trichomes

The primary factor in deciding when to harvest your cannabis is the trichomes . Trichomes are the tiny, clearish-white crystals that cover the surface of the buds. If most of the trichomes are still clear, the THC hasn’t fully developed and the plant isn’t ready to harvest.

What are they?

Trichomes are the tiny crystals that cover the outside of the cannabis plant – they look like little hairs, and they’re responsible for producing cannabinoids like THC and CBD. In other words, they’re what make your weed get you high.

While the THC content of a cannabis plant is determined by its genetics, the level of trichomes will determine how strong that THC is. If you’ve ever wondered why some weed is more potent than others, this is why – it all comes down to the trichomes.

Not only do trichomes make weed stronger, but they also protect the plant from predators and pests. These little crystals contain a sticky resin that can trap insects and small animals, deterring them from eating the plant.

How do they affect readiness for harvest?

The trichomes are tiny, clear crystals that cover the surface of the cannabis plant. They are most dense on the flowers (buds) and leaves. These crystals contain high levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, which are responsible for the plant’s therapeutic and psychoactive effects.

The trichomes also affect the plant’s appearance. When they are dense, the buds look frosty or sparkly. When they are sparse, the buds look dull.

You can use a jeweler’s loupe or a microscope to get a close-up look at the trichomes and assess their density. This will help you determine when to harvest your crop.

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to harvest when 60-70% of the trichomes have turned from clear to milky white. If you wait any longer, the THC will begin to degrade and convert into CBN (cannabinol), which has different effects on the body.

The Pistils

The pistils of a cannabis plant are one of the best indicators of when the plant is ready for harvest. The pistils are the small, white hairs that protrude from the buds of the plant. When these hairs turn from white to brown, it is an indication that the plant is mature and ready for harvest.

What are they?

Cannabis pistils are the hair-like structures that protrude from the flower’s calyx. They can be white, orange, red, or brown, and they plays an important role in the plant’s reproduction process. The pistils are actually tiny sepals that protect the flower’s reproductive organs. In cannabis, these are the stigmas, which collect pollen from male plants. Once pollinated, the ovules inside the pistils mature into seeds.

Pistils also perform another important function in cannabis cultivation: they’re a key indicator of when your plants are ready to harvest. As flowering begins, the pistils are generally all pointing upward. But as harvest time approaches, they begin to curl back and point downward again. This change in direction is caused by swelling of the stigma as it collects more and more resin. When about 70% of the pistils have changed direction, it’s usually time to harvest your crop.

How do they affect readiness for harvest?

The color of the pistils is one of the most important indicators of readiness for harvest. As the plant nears maturity, the pistils will begin to change color from white to red, orange, or brown. The rate at which this change occurs will vary from strain to strain, but it’s generally a good idea to start checking for readiness when about 50-75% of the pistils have changed color.

Once the majority of the pistils have changed color, you can begin checking for trichome development. Trichomes are tiny resin glands that cover the entire surface of the plant, and they contain high concentrations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Use a jeweler’s loupe or microscope to get a close look at the trichomes—they should be clear and milky white in color. If they’re starting to turn amber or brown, it’s an indication that the cannabinoids are beginning to degrade and the window of peak potency is closing.

So, in general, you should harvest your cannabis when the majority of the pistils have changed color and the trichomes are still mostly clear/white in color.

The Stems

The first thing you want to do is check the stems. Are they beginning to turn brown and papery? If they are, it’s time to harvest your cannabis. If the stems are still green, the buds are not ready yet and you’ll need to wait a little longer.

What are they?

Cannabis plants produce flowers that are full of resin. The resin is glands that contain the plant’s essential oils. These glands are covered in tiny hairs called trichomes. The trichomes make the resin sticky, and they are where the plant produces its cannabinoids, like THC and CBD.

The stem is the hard part of the plant that connects the leaves to the roots. The stem has two main functions: to support the leaves and to transport water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves.

As the plant grows, the stem becomes thicker and stronger. When it’s time to harvest, you will be able to tell by the color of the stems. If they are green, then the plant is not ready yet. If they are brown or red, then it is time to harvest.

How do they affect readiness for harvest?

The stem is the main stalk of the cannabis plant. The thickness of the stem is an indicator of the plant’s health and its readiness for harvest. If the stem is thick and strong, the plant is healthy and ready for harvest. If the stem is thin and weak, the plant is not ready for harvest.

The Leaves

The leaves of the cannabis plant are one of the best indicators of when the plant is ready for harvest. If the leaves are starting to yellow and brown, that means that the plant is getting close to being ready. The leaves will also begin to dry out and curl up when the plant is getting close to harvest time.

What are they?

Cannabis leaves are green and have serrated edges. They are arranged in pairs opposite each other along the stem. The leaves are used to photosynthesize sunlight into energy for the plant. They also absorb nutrients from the soil and help to protect the plant from predators.

The leaves of a cannabis plant can vary in size, shape, and color depending on the strain. Indica strains tend to have wider, darker leaves, while sativa strains have thinner, lighter-colored leaves. The number of fingers on a cannabis leaf (known as “lobes”) can also vary depending on the strain. Leaf shape and size can also be affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels.

As cannabis plants mature, their leaves will begin to change color from green to yellow, brown, or red. This is an indication that the plant is getting ready for harvest and that the THC levels are at their peak.

How do they affect readiness for harvest?

The end of flowering is signaled by the production of leaves with fewer and smaller buds. At this point, the plant has used up most of its energy reserves and is starting to turn its attention to seed production. The leaves play an important role in the final weeks of flowering, helping to produce and condition the seeds.

The leaves also affect the taste and smell of the buds, as well as the potency of the final product. As the plant uses up its energy reserves, the leaves become less able to produce flavonoids and terpenes, which are responsible for giving cannabis its distinctive taste and smell. The THC levels in the buds also begin to decline at this stage.

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