Find out when the best time to harvest your cannabis crop is with our handy guide. Get tips on how to tell when your plants are ready to be harvested and learn about the different stages of the cannabis plant life cycle.
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The Science of Light
In order to produce high-quality cannabis, growers must understand the science of light and how the plant uses it during its life cycle. By controlling the light that the plant receives, growers can manipulate the plant to produce the desired results. The amount of light, the intensity of the light, and the duration of the light all play a role in the final product.
The sun’s natural cycle
Most growers believe that the best time to harvest is during the sun’s natural cycle. This means that the plants are exposed to more light during the day, which can result in more THC production. However, some growers believe that harvesting at night can also be beneficial, as the plants are not exposed to as much heat and stress during the day.
The effects of light on cannabis
It’s well known that cannabis plants need light to grow, but the intensity, duration, and quality of that light can have a big impact on your crop. In this article, we’ll take a look at the science of light and how it affects cannabis plants.
Cannabis plants are mainly composed of two things: chlorophyll and carotenes. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color and is essential for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. Carotenes are yellow, orange, and red pigments that are also involved in photosynthesis.
The ratio of chlorophyll to carotenes in a plant can tell us a lot about its health. A plant with more chlorophyll relative to carotenes is typically healthier than one with less chlorophyll. This is because chlorophyll is more efficient at photosynthesis than carotenes.
So, how does light affect these two substances? It turns out that light has a big impact on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenes in a plant.
In low-light conditions, plants produce more carotenes relative to chlorophyll. This is because carotenes are better at absorbing low levels of light than chlorophyll. As such, plants grown in low-light conditions tend to be yellow or orange in color.
In high-light conditions, plants produce more chlorophyll relative to carotenes. This is because chlorophyll is better at absorbing high levels of light than carotenes. As such, plants grown in high-light conditions tend to be green in color.
The optimal light condition for cannabis growth is somewhere in between these two extremes. If a plant receives too much light, it will produce too much chlorophyll and not enough carotenes. This can lead to problems like bleaching (loss of color) and sunburn (leaf scorching). If a plant receives too little light, it will produce too much carotenes and not enough chlorophyll. This can lead to problems like stunted growth and reduced yields.
The Art of Harvesting
The decision of when to harvest your cannabis crop is possibly the most important task a grower faces. It is important to know the signs of when your plant is ready to be harvested, how to properly harvest, and how to cure your cannabis once it has been harvested. With this guide, you will learn all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to get the most out of your cannabis crop.
When to harvest based on trichomes
Harvesting your cannabis plants is a crucial step in the cultivation process. The timing of the harvest will determine the quality and potency of your buds, so it is important to know when to harvest based on the trichomes.
The trichomes are the tiny, resin-secreting glands that cover the surface of the buds and leaves. These glands contain the majority of the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which are responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal effects of cannabis.
The color of the trichomes is an indicator of maturity. When they are clear or translucent, the cannabinoids are not yet fully developed and the plant is not ready to harvest. As they mature, they turn from yellow to amber and finally to brown. At this point, they are beginning to degrade and lose their potency.
To determine when your plants are ready to harvest, you will need a magnifying glass orjeweler’s loupe so that you can get a close-up look at the trichomes. Once you have determined that they are mostly amber with just a few clear or translucent ones remaining, it is time to harvest.
When to harvest based on pistils
The simplest way to determine when to harvest your cannabis crop is to look at the pistils.These are the little white “hairs” that protrude from the buds. During the early stages of flowering, these hairs will be white and curl inward. As the plant matures, the pistils will begin to darken and straighten out.
You can start harvesting your crop when about 50-75% of the pistils have darkened andstraightened. At this point, the THC levels will be at their peak and you will get the most psychoactive effect from your buds. If you wait too long to harvest, the THC will begin to degrade and be replaced by CBN (cannabinol), which has more sedative effects.
The Perfect Time to Harvest
The perfect time to harvest your cannabis crop is when the trichomes on the buds are opaque. You can use a jeweler’s loupe or a microscope to take a closer look at the trichomes. When most of the trichomes are opaque, it means that the THC levels are at their highest and the buds are at their peak potency.
The benefits of harvesting early
You’ve waited all season, and your cannabis plants are finally ready to harvest. But, when is the best time to actually harvest your buds? The answer may surprise you – it’s actually better to harvest your buds early!
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Higher THC Levels: THC levels actually decrease as the cannabis plant matures. So, if you want higher THC levels in your buds, you should harvest them early.
2. More Potent Smell: The smell of cannabis is actually more potent when the plant is harvested early. As the plant matures, the smell will become more subdued.
3. Less CBN: CBN is a cannabinoid that causes couch-lock and drowsiness. It’s present in all cannabis plants, but it increases as the plant matures. So, if you want to avoid couch-lock, harvest your buds early!
4. Better Flavor: The flavor of cannabis is at its peak when the plant is harvested early. As the plant matures, the flavor will become more muted and subdued.
The benefits of harvesting late
Harvesting your cannabis plants a little later than usual can actually have some benefits. For starters, THC levels tend to be higher in buds that are harvested later in the season. This is because THC is produced in response to exposure to light, and since the days are shorter towards the end of the season, buds that are still maturing late in the season will have had less time to produce THC. In addition, cannabis that is harvested later in the season tends to be more potent and have a more intense flavor. If you are looking for a stronger high or more flavor from your buds, try harvesting them a little later than usual.
How to Harvest
The best time to harvest your cannabis crop is when the trichomes on the buds are mostly milky white with a few amber ones. If you wait too long, the amber ones will turn dark brown and your buds will be less potent. If you harvest too early, your buds won’t be fully developed and won’t be as potent.
The drying process
Before you can begin to harvest your cannabis, the plant must go through a process called “curing” or “drying.” This is when the plant’s buds are dried and cured so that they can be smoked. The drying process is important because it helps to improve the taste, smell, and overall quality of the final product.
The best time to harvest your cannabis plants is when the buds are starting to turn brown or have started to develop a few white hairs. This usually occurs around 4-6 weeks into the flowering stage, but it can vary depending on the strain. It’s important to keep an eye on your plants and harvest when they are ready so that you don’t miss out on any of the potent THC.
Once your plants are ready for harvest, you will need to cut down the main stalk and branches. You can then begin trimming away the leaves and buds. The buds should be dried in a cool, dark place with good airflow. Generally, it takes around 1-2 weeks for the buds to dry completely. Once they are dry, they can be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
The curing process
After your cannabis is dry, it’s time to cure it. Curing is the process of allowing the chlorophyll to break down and the flavors to fully develop. This process is essential in order to create smooth-smoking, great-tasting weed.If you don’t cure your cannabis, it will likely taste harsh and store poorly.Curing is easy, but it does take some time and patience.To begin curing, you will need to purchase some small glass jars with lids that seal well. Mason jars work great for this purpose.You will also need a hygrometer in order to monitor the humidity levels inside your curing jars.Too much moisture will lead to the growth of mold and mildew, while too little moisture will cause your cannabis to become harsh and brittle.Your goal is to maintain a humidity level between 55-60%.
Once you have your jars and hygrometer, you’re ready to begin curing. Start by breaking up your cannabis into small pieces and then placing them in the jars. Be sure not to pack the cannabis too tightly – you want there to be some airflow inside the jar.Once all of your cannabis is in the jars, seal them tight and store them in a cool, dark place like a closet or cabinet.Every day for the first week, open up each jar for about 5 minutes to allow fresh air to circulate. This process is called “burping” and it helps prevent mold and mildew from forming.After a week of burping, you can stop opening the jars on a daily basis. Instead, open them up once every few days to ensure that they are still curing properly.The whole curing process usually takes between 2-8 weeks, but some patients prefer to cure their cannabis for even longer – up to 6 months – in order to achieve optimal results.