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When to Harvest Marijuana

You were so attentive with the development of your buds throughout the past months and had been anticipating the moment that they become mature. Sooner or later, there will come a time that you will finally decide to collect your yields. However, deciding when to harvest marijuana is not that simple to do. 

With your enthusiasm to harvest your marijuana for the first time, there can be a possibility that you will mow it down quite very early. And as an output, you fail to enjoy the optimal benefits of the weed. But if you are serious with your cultivation, the last thing that you will want is to get a harvest that does provide the potential benefits.

Common Methods Used by Growers

The inquiry of when to harvest marijuana is a concern that troubles many neophytes. Most of the objectives of the growers are to pull out the plant at the precise period when the bud possesses peak potency. In reality, the aptitudes required to discern the specific time when a marijuana plant is in its peak may only be attained through several years of direct experience. Nevertheless, even the neophytes should learn to discern the window of the period while harvest leads to a leading plant.

For many cultivators, there are two steps of figuring out the best time of harvest of the marijuana plants. These methods are the trichome method and the pistil method. The latter only needs the participation of the eyes. The former, on the other hand, involves the utilization of a magnifying glass.

The time of harvest is conceivably the most delicate part of cultivating marijuana for neophytes. If you harvest very early, you lessen the comprehensive potency of the cannabis. However, if you collect your yields very late, the cannabis will develop an extremely sharp taste and an undesirable narcotic impact. 

Figuring When to Harvest Marijuana

After a few weeks in the period of flowering, the marijuana plant shall start to deteriorate in health. The moment majority of the pistils become red; you will know that it is conceivably late. As a result, the marijuana you collect may lack the psychoactive impacts that you long to enjoy. During the latter part of the flowering period, the trichomes present in the plants turn yellowish. 

They conclusively get into the maximum THC level. However, if you have not initiated the harvesting by then, the psychedelic cannabinoid begins to disintegrate after being disclosed to oxygen and UV rays. Through time, the THC turns cannabinol or CBN. Although this specific cannabinoid has certain possible medicinal features, it does not have the kind of high secured by THC. Without a doubt, CBN is recognized for its sedative characteristics. Hence, it is recommended if you are suffering from insomnia and require a night-time smoke session.

As a general rule, Indica plants will be set for harvest after 8 weeks, while the Sativa plants require 10 weeks. The auto-flowering plants need 7 to 10 weeks in entirety when counting from seedling up to bud. Nevertheless, you cannot take these suggestions as an assurance. Thus, you have the choice of utilizing any of these methods to figure out the best moment to harvest.

What is Trichome Method?

Unless you have extraordinary eyesight, you cannot carry out this method with just

your eyes. We suggest securing a handheld microscope performing a range of 30x to 100x. You will have to inspect the trichomes seen in the buds and the neighboring foliage of the plants. Preferably, you will employ a microscope that flashes the foliage for you to get an unclouded sight of the trichomes.

In the event you were not mindful, trichomes are the crystal-like structures you notice developing in the leaves and buds. They are the ones responsible for why marijuana is very gummy, and they also play an important part in the potency of the weed. You will be searching for trichomes that look the same with tiny mushrooms – resin glands with a small ball over them.

If you notice a great volume of mushroom trichomes, it means that the marijuana plant has efficiently obtained the highest potency. Be attentive to the color. Marijuana plants exhibiting clear trichomes are not yet set for harvest. On the contrary, marijuana plants exhibiting an amber or milky white trichomes are already qualified for harvest. However, if the entire trichomes have turned amber, you may have left the plants quite too late for harvest.

What is the Pistil Method?

If most of the pistils of the marijuana plants are white and aligned, it means that they are still very immature for the harvest. You may have to wait for a few more weeks. If you notice that around 50 percent of the pistils have attained a reddish or brown color and they start to fold in, it means that they are very near to the harvesting period.

If 70 percent of the pistils have darkened, you will then know that it is the best time to harvest if you like marijuana that provides a tranquilizing effect. However, if you decide to hold it long, marijuana may lose the majority of its psychedelic traits.

Nonetheless, some cultivators think that this method does not work effectively. Traditional judgment, as already mentioned, is that permitting 90 percent of pistils to turn color is awful news.

In actuality, a lot of cultivators explain that they encounter a unique kind of high – and that is heftier. And others explain that their pistils entirely altered their shades and still generate weed that performs the task. They think that it all lies in trichomes.

THC Level During Harvest Period

Generally, the best period for harvesting relies on what you are searching for. For example, if you like marijuana that serves as a soothing element, wait for the time that the pistils are nearly all amber. With that, you will obtain marijuana with a high content of CBN. Nevertheless, for the greatest THC level, you must contemplate doing the harvest if 70 to 90 percent of the pistils have turned color.

Optionally, wait until such time that the resin on the plants has turned its darkened color into ever slightly. To check for buds with the greatest level of THC, check the trichomes by using a magnifying glass. If you notice clear trichomes, it’s an indication that the buds are still in the process of developing. Considering that you have the marijuana plants nearby, it will be ideal for tracking the trichomes are regular as possible. This will be an amazing moment as the plants are very near to getting mature.

A lot of growers consider the marijuana plant matured if the THC level reaches its highest. It is not reasonable for a common grower to quantify the level of THC in the plant since the chemistry is considerably complicated. 

In a developing plant, every ensuing pair of leaves have more THC content that the first pair. The tips of the budding have the majority of the THC. Both female and male plants have THC. Some study has displayed that during the early period of growth, the male plants have more THC content than the female plants. Many cultivators think that it will be worthy of cutting and sampling shoots before they reach to the maximum THC.

Best Time to Harvest According to Desired Effects

Would you prefer a blissful high rather than a soothing high? You can have the advantage of regulating these effects by collecting marijuana plants at varied times. Here is a simple guideline:

  • Intensive, euphoric high – 50 to 70 percent hazy trichomes
  • Relaxing high – 70 to 90 percent hazy to amber trichomes
  • Exhilarating high – 50 percent hazy trichomes, 50 percent clear trichomes

The color of the pistils also relate to the effects of marijuana:

  • Relaxing high – 70 to 90 percent dark, coiling pistils
  • Intensive, euphoric high – 60 to 70 percent dark, coiling pistils


Deciding when to harvest marijuana can be tricky and depicts a notable test for the neophyte. Most of all, please bear in mind that you are permitted to trim off tiny portions of the plant if you believe that the harvest period is near. Test the parts you collect to identify your preferences.

Although it isn’t a definite science, it is not as tough to choose the best time as to how you thought it is. The moment the trichomes and pistils start altering shades, you simply have to closely monitor the plants. Inspect it daily and follow the guidelines stated above. Cut down the weed to cure and dry once the plants have attained the highest possible potency. 

Do not worry if you think that you are too young and fresh for this task. While you acquire more experience in cultivating specific strains, you will earn better ideas of when will be the best time to harvest them. You may also refer to whoever you obtained your seeds from so he can tell you the typical time of harvest.

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