How to Tell When Cannabis Is Ready to Harvest

It’s almost time to harvest your cannabis crop, but how can you tell when the plants are ready? Check out this blog post for some tips on how to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest.

Checkout this video:

The Trichomes

The trichomes are the little crystals that cover the cannabis plant, and they are what contain the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids. When the trichomes are clear, that means the plant is not ready to harvest. The trichomes will change color as the plant matures, and you can begin to harvest when they are a milky white color.

What are trichomes?

Trichomes are the tiny, crystal-like formations on the surface of cannabis leaves and buds that produce cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBG. They’re also responsible for the plant’s distinct aromas, flavors, and colors.

In short, trichomes are what make cannabis so special. And when it comes to determining when your plants are ready to harvest, they’re vital.

How do trichomes affect the quality of cannabis?

THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are produced inside of cannabis trichomes. Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. CBD and THC are the two most well-known cannabinoids, but there are many others that play important roles in the body including CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, and CBDV to name a few.

The quality of cannabis is largely determined by the quantity and ratio of these cannabinoids. For example, a high THC strain with very low CBD will produce different effects than a low THC strain with high CBD. The ratio of these cannabinoids is largely determined by the genetics of the plant, but can be influenced by environmental factors such as nutrition, light exposure, water availability, and temperature.

Trichomes also produce terpenes which are responsible for the distinct smell and flavor profiles of different strains of cannabis. Terpenes also play an important role in modulating the effects of THC by influencing how it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The combination of cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce what is known as the entourage effect which is responsible for the unique effects of each cannabis strain.

The Pistils

The pistils of a cannabis plant are one of the best indicators of when the plant is ready to harvest. The pistils are the small, white, hair-like structures that protrude from the buds. As the plant matures, the pistils will change color from white to red, brown, or orange.

What are pistils?

Pistils are the small, hair-like structures that protrude from the flowers of female cannabis plants. They plays an important role in the plant’s reproductive process, and also indicate when a plant is ready to harvest.

When the plant is young, the pistils are white or pale in color. As the plant matures, they will slowly turn red, orange, brown, or black. The color change is gradual, so it’s important to pay close attention to your plants in the weeks leading up to harvest.

The pistils can also give you a good indication of the plant’s overall health. If they are discolored or missing altogether, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the plant.

When harvesting your cannabis crop, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wait until at least 50-70% of the pistils have changed color. This will ensure that the majority of the THC has been produced and that the flowers are at their peak potency.

How do pistils affect the quality of cannabis?

Cannabis plants are flowering annuals. They grow from seed to maturity in a single season, typically taking anywhere from 60 to 90 days. Depending upon the strain, some cannabis plants will produce more flowers (also called buds) than others. The female flowers are what we’re interested in when it comes to harvest time, as they contain the majority of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

The female flowers grow on spikes called pistils. These originate from the nodes, which are the points on the plant where leaves and branches intersect. As the plant matures, the pistils begin to darken and curl inward, a process that is accelerated by exposure to light (i.e., when the plant is ready to harvest).

While there is no definitive answer as to how pistils affect the quality of cannabis, there is evidence to suggest that they play a role in aromatics and trichome production. Additionally, some growers believe that Pistil ripeness is a good indicator of cannabinoid maturity (i.e., THC/CBD content), as ripeness is directly correlated with increased levels of these compounds. Ultimately, however, it is up to the grower to determine when their plants are ready for harvest based on personal preference and experience.

The Color

The color of the cannabis plant is one of the easiest ways to tell when it is ready to harvest. When the plant starts to turn from green to yellow, it is getting close. As the plant continues to yellow, it is getting closer to being ready. When the plant is almost entirely yellow, it is ready to harvest.

What does the color of cannabis tell us about its quality?

Cannabis leaves can tell us a lot about the quality of the plant. The different colors of the leaves can indicate whether the plant is healthy, stressed, or ready to harvest.

Green: Green leaves are a sign of a healthy plant. The chlorophyll in the leaves is what helps the plant convert sunlight into energy.

Yellow: Yellow leaves can be a sign of stress. If a plant is not getting enough water, it will start to turn yellow. Yellow leaves can also be a sign of nutrient deficiencies.

Brown: Brown leaves are a sign of over- watering. If the leaves are brown and brittle, this is a sign that the plant is not getting enough oxygen and needs to be watered less often.

Red: Red leaves are a sign that the plant is ready to harvest. The anthocyanins in the leaves change color when the plant is exposed to low temperatures, which happens when the plant is ready to harvest.

The Aroma

What does the aroma of cannabis tell us about its quality?

When it comes to cannabis, the old adage “smell is everything” couldn’t be more accurate. Just like with wine, coffee, and cheese, the flavor and aroma of cannabis is determined by its terpene content—the essential oils that give each strain its unique smell and flavor profile.

Cannabis plants produce terpenes in order to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. But for humans, these aromatic compounds do more than just make weed smell pretty—they also affect the way we experience cannabis.

Different terpenes offer different benefits and can produce different effects when combined with THC and CBD. For example, limonene—a citrus-scented terpene common in sativas—is thought to increase alertness, while myrcene—found in indicas and some hybrid strains—is a sedative terpene that promotes relaxation.

While all cannabis strains contain some combination of these compounds, certain strains are known for their high concentration of specific terpenes. For example, the popular strain Girl Scout Cookies is known for its high levels of the sedative terpene myrcene, while Sour Diesel is revered for its pungent aromas of diesel fuel (caused by a high concentration of the terpene limonene).

In general, indica strains tend to be higher in Myrcene, while sativa strains tend to be higher in Limonene. However, there are many hybrid strains that contain a mix of both compounds.

When it comes to choosing a strain, much like with wine or cheese, aroma is a good indicator of quality. But just because a strain smells good doesn’t necessarily mean it will taste good—it all depends on your personal preferences. The best way to find out which flavors you like best is to experiment with different strains until you find one (or a few) that you really love.

The Taste

If you want your weed to taste great, you have to know when to harvest it. The taste of cannabis is contingent on several factors, but the most important factor is when the plant is harvested. Let’s go over how to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest.

What does the taste of cannabis tell us about its quality?

The cannabis plant has hundreds of aromatic compounds, known as terpenes, that give the plant its unique smell and flavor. When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, these terpenes are released and can have an effect on the taste and smell of the final product.

Terpenes are also thought to have an effect on the psychoactive properties of cannabis. Some research has shown that certain terpenes may increase the effects of THC, while others may decrease it. This is one reason why different strains of cannabis can have different effects, even if they have the same THC content.

The taste of cannabis can also be affected by how it is grown, processed, and stored. Cannabis that is grown in nutrient-rich soil will often have a more complex flavor than cannabis that is grown in poorer soil. Likewise, cannabis that is properly cured will often taste better than cannabis that is not cured properly. And finally, how the cannabis is stored can also affect its taste. Cannabis that is stored in an airtight container will often retain its flavor better than cannabis that is not stored properly.

Scroll to Top