Harvesting your plant is actually really easy. The trick is identifying WHEN to harvest your cannabis plant.
As you probably know by now, The Canna Dogg likes to take a stress-free (apart from low-stress-training, of course) approach to growing weed, and learning how to grow cannabis should be a fun and rewarding effort.
To that end, there’s no need to panic about finding the right harvest-window of your plants. If you’re following The Canna Dogg’s Ultimate Beginner’s guide, you’ll be keeping a grow-log/journal anyway, so we have plenty of data to support our decision on when it’s time to harvest.
Figuring out when to harvest your cannabis
Generally speaking, there are three main ways of figuring out whether or not your plant is ready to harvest:
The Canna Dogg doesn’t like using time to figure out when to harvest your cannabis. There are simply too many unknown variables that factor in, making time not the ideal contender here. That being said. Log your time of harvest in your grow-journal. That way, in the event you’ll be doing another grow with the same strain/conditions as your current grow, and you’re happy with the end-result, you’ll have a really good metric for when to harvest. Just like with the watering baseline The Canna Dogg talked about in the Beginner’s Guide, this is only a baseline, and should not be exclusively relied on.
So, instead we’ll be focusing on using pistils and trichomes to figure out when it’s time to harvest your cannabis.
Pistils are the little white “hairs” that cover your buds. You’ll want over 50% of your pistils to be brown or red. On the wider interwebs, you’ll find a load of different guides on how to use the percentage of pistils to determine when the time is right. The Canna Dogg suggests only using pistils as a rough guide that tells you when to start considering harvesting, and always looking at the trichomes through a magnifier to make sure you’ve reached the right time.
This is where the gold is.
Looking at the trichomes (a picture truly says more than 1000 words here), you’ll have the best chance of figuring out the right time to harvest. The Canna Dogg encourages you to looks at your buds through a magnifier from the very beginning, so that you’ll have a better chance of seeing the development over time. It’s easier to spot a change, if you’ve actually been looking at them throughout the plant’s life cycle.
As covered in the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide, you’ll need a magnifier, in order to actually determine whether or not your bud’s ready.
Please note, that the time of harvest has a lot to say as to how intense/what kind of high you’ll get. For your first grow, go with the golden middle road. You can always adjust up or down for your next grow. Essentially, the longer you wait, the more of a couch-lock high you’ll get.
However, if you’re looking at your plant through a magnifier, you’ll want the majority of your trichomes to be cloudy. That’ll give you the highest level of THC.
Because the subject can be one of the most confusing ones for the first-time-grower, The Canna Dogg has summed it up in some bullet points and created a handy chart for your reference as well.
Do keep in mind, though, that this is a personal preference. The more you grow, the more you know. So keep growing, and keep figuring out when your personal preference is. If you have a phone that’s capable of getting some real high-quality shots either on its own or through your magnifier, remember to snap some photos of your plant before harvest, and keep them with your grow-log. This will make your next grow a lot easier, as you have some baseline data to compare with!!
The Canna Dogg’s Guide on when to harvest cannabis:
1. Look at the pistils.
- If more than 50% of them have darkened, continue.
- If your trichomes are all clear. Wait.
If you want a peak THC-high:
- If more than half the trichomes have turned cloudy. Harvest.
If you want a peak CBN-high:
- If more than 20% of your trichomes have turned amber. Harvest.
Anything more than that, harvest.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be harvesting that plant when it’s just right for you. The Canna Dogg will be publishing a separate article on how to actually harvest it, so stay tuned!