When is My Cannabis Ready to Harvest?

When is My Cannabis Ready to Harvest? You’ve waited all season, and now it’s finally time to harvest your cannabis crop. But how do you know when your plants are ready?

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Cannabis harvest time is one of the most exciting times of the year for growers. After months of waiting, your hard work is about to pay off! But how do you know when your cannabis is ready to harvest?

There are a few different ways to tell. One is by examining the trichomes, the tiny crystals that cover the flowers and leaves of the plant. These can be seen with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe will help you get a closer look.

When the trichomes are clear, that means that THC levels are low and the plant is not yet ready to harvest. As they begin to turn milky white, that’s when THC levels are at their highest, and this is generally considered the best time to harvest. If you wait too long and the trichomes turn dark brown or amber, that means THC levels have begun to degrade and you’ll be left with less potent buds.

Another way to tell if your cannabis is ready to harvest is by looking at the pistils, the tiny hairs that protrude from the buds. In the early stages of growth, these will be white or pale in color. As harvest time approaches, they will begin to darken and curl inward. When about 50-75% of the pistils have darkened, that’s usually an indication that it’s time to harvest.

Of course, these are just general guidelines – ultimately, it’s up to you as the grower to decide when your plants are ready for harvest!

The Different Stages of Cannabis Growth

Cannabis goes through different stages of growth. The first stage is called the vegetative stage. During this stage, the plant will grow leaves and roots. The second stage is the flowering stage. This is when the plant will start to produce buds. The final stage is the harvest stage. This is when you will cut down the plant and dry the buds.

The Vegetative Stage

One of the most critical stages of cannabis growth is the vegetative stage. This is when your plants are growing and developing their structure. The vegetative stage usually lasts between 3 and 16 weeks, depending on the strain you’re growing and your environment.

During the vegetative stage, you should keep your plants on a 18-6 light cycle (18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness). This will encourage them to grow as quickly as possible. Once they start getting 12-14 hours of darkness per day, they will begin to flower.

To determine when your plants are ready to transition to the flowering stage, you can use a number of different methods:

-The SOG (sea of green) method: This involves harvesting your plants when they’re around 6-8 weeks old. This is a good method if you want to maximize your yield per square footage.

-The Screen of Green (SCROG) method: This involves training your plants so that they grow horizontally across a screen. This maximizes the amount of light each plant receives, which increases yields. Plants are usually ready to harvest after 8-10 weeks using this method.

-The Mainlining method: This is a more advanced technique that involves selecting the main branch of each plant and training it to grow horizontally. The goal is to create an even canopy with an equal number of branches growing in all directions. Plants are typically ready to harvest after 10-12 weeks using this method.

The Flowering Stage

The Flowering Stage is the final stage of cannabis growth. It is when the cannabis plant produces the buds that we harvest and dry to enjoy. The flowering stage can last anywhere from 7 to 16 weeks, depending on the strain of cannabis being grown. Most cannabis strains will be ready to harvest 8-12 weeks after the flowering stage begins.

During the flowering stage, you will notice the following changes in your cannabis plants:

-The leaves will begin to turn yellow or brown and die off. This is normal and is caused by a lack of chlorophyll production as the plant focuses its energy on producing buds.
-The buds will grow larger and begin to harden.
-The stem will thicken and become woodier.
-The pistils (hairs) on the buds will darken and curl inward, slowly becoming thicker and longer.
-You may see some white or amber trichomes (resin glands) on the surface of the buds. These are what contain most of the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that give cannabis its effects.

The Ripening Stage

The last stage of growth before harvest is called ripening. During ripening, the pistils (hairs) on the cannabis flowers turn from white to red, orange, or brown. This is a good indication that the THC is increasing and the plant is maturing. The plant will also produce more pollinated flowers, or seeds, during this stage.

When to harvest: For the best possible results, wait until at least 70% of the pistils have changed color before you begin harvesting your crop. This will ensure that the THC levels are at their peak and that you won’t end up with too many seeds in your final product.

How to Tell When Your Cannabis is Ready to Harvest

It’s almost harvest time! Here are a few tips on how to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest. The first thing you want to do is check the trichomes . If they are cloudy, it’s time to harvest. You also want to check the pistils. If they are red or brown, your plant is probably ready to harvest.

The Trichomes

Cannabis growers must carefully monitor their plants in order to determine when they are ready for harvest. The key factor in this determination is the maturity of the trichomes, which are the tiny resin glands that cover the surface of the plant. These glands contain high concentrations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, which are responsible for the plant’s medicinal and psychoactive effects.

When viewed under a microscope, trichomes appear as clear or milky white balls. As the plant matures, these glands darken and become amber in color. The timing of the harvest is crucial, as waiting too long can result in a loss of potency. In general, growers will want to harvest their plants when approximately 50-75% of the trichomes have turned amber.

To get a closer look at your plant’s trichomes, you can use a handheld magnifier or a jeweler’s loop. You can also purchase an inexpensive digital microscope that attaches to your smartphone. Once you have determined that your plant is ready for harvest, it is important to act quickly in order to preserve the quality of your crop.

The Pistils

Once the majority of pistils have changed color, it’s time to start checking trichome development. Trichomes are where the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are produced. They look like tiny hairs or crystals and appear on the leaves and buds. To get a good look at them, you’ll need a magnifying glass or microscope.

You can also do a simple visual check by gently bending a leaf between your fingers. If it snaps rather than bends, that’s an indication that the trichomes are ripe and the plant is ready to harvest.

The Stem

One of the most reliable ways to tell when your cannabis is ready to harvest is by checking the stems. As the plant begins to mature, the stems will start to thicken and the nodes (where the leaves branch off) will begin to grow closer together.

To check the thickness of the stem, gently squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels like it’s close to breaking, that’s a good indication that it’s time to harvest. You can also use a microscope or jeweller’s loupe to check for trichomes (the tiny, frosty-looking crystals that cover the buds and leaves).

If most of the trichomes are clear or white, that means the THC hasn’t fully developed yet and you should wait a bit longer. If they’re mostly amber or brown, that means they’re beginning to degrade and you should harvest soon. The ideal time to harvest is when about 60-70% of the trichomes are cloudy white with a few amber ones mixed in.


Cannabis is ready to harvest when the majority of the trichomes have turned from clear to cloudy white. If you are aiming for a more psychoactive effect, harvest when 60% of the trichomes have turned amber. For a more cerebral high with less couch-lock, wait until most of the trichomes have turned amber.

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