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When to Harvest Cannabis!

Updated: Mar 12

marijuana plants in outdoor green house

If you’re new to the world of harvesting cannabis, you are probably hoping to learn an effective way of cannabis cultivation and are eager to take pleasure in your harvest. If so, you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will discuss the process of harvesting cannabis and you will be able to learn from true experts that know and understand the process. 

There are six growth stages to harvesting cannabis, which include:

  • Germinating

  • Seedling

  • Vegetative

  • Pre-flowering

  • Flowering

  • Harvesting

It is important to know that the growth cycle of marijuana plants is dependent on a number of factors, including environment (inside or outside), amount, and strain. By considering those factors, it may take six to 16 weeks to harvest the majority of marijuana plants. Generally, most growers can expect a harvest in nine to 12 weeks. However, as mentioned previously, the duration of the growth cycle is dependent on different factors. Continue reading to learn more about the process, what to look for when it’s time to harvest, and more.

How to Determine When to Harvest Cannabis

There are specific indications that will help determine when to harvest your cannabis plant. Here are some visual indicators:

Trichome color: The trichomes are the resin glands that are on the flowers and checking its color is one of the best ways to determine if it’s time to harvest. At least half of the trichomes should have a milky white color and the others should have a deep amber color. If the trichomes appear to be clear, then it is best to wait a while before harvesting. Checking the plant’s trichome color is generally the most reliable way to determine when it’s time to harvest. However, the color may be difficult to determine with the naked eye so it may be helpful to have a magnifying glass on hand.

Leaf color: Another great sign that a marijuana plant is ready for harvesting is when you notice that the leaves begin to change color. They should turn a yellow color when it’s time to harvest.

Leaves begin to curl: When the leaves turn yellow, this means that the nitrogen level has decreased. As a result, the leaves may also begin to curl and become dry. Because the leaves are lacking moisture, this is a natural response as the later stages of the growth cycle take in less water when it’s near harvest time.

Pistil color: When a marijuana plant has matured, the pistils will turn brown. The best time to harvest a marijuana plant is when at least half of the pistils are brown in color. Similar to checking the colors of the trichome, you will want to have a magnifying glass on hand for checking the pistil color.

Bud shape: Although the bud shape is not the most defining characteristic of a marijuana plant that is ready to harvest compared to checking the trichome, you can still check the buds to determine the level of maturity. The buds should appear firm and tight when the plant is ready to harvest. However, the most reliable way to determine if the marijuana plant is ready is by checking the trichome color with a magnifying glass.

woman inspecting cannabis plants at indoor grow

What You’ll Need to Harvest a Marijuana Plant

In general, you’ll need four elements to harvest a marijuana plant, which is water, light, CO2, and nutrients. The amount of water, light, and nutrients will depend on the stage of the growth cycle. 

How to Tell if it’s Too Early to Harvest a Marijuana Plant

The trichome test is certainly the best way to determine if the marijuana plant is ready to harvest. If the trichomes are clear, then it is too early to start harvesting. Additionally, if the majority of the trichomes appear to be clear, then it is not ready for harvesting. When the trichomes are clear, this means that the resin production is not at its peak and the weed will likely be less aromatic, potent, and flavorful.

How to Tell if it’s Too Late to Harvest a Marijuana Plant

The trichome test is just as effective when determining if the marijuana plant is overripe. Check the trichomes and if they are mostly amber in color, then it means that the flowers are overripe. When harvesting overripe plants, will result in a displeasing taste. In addition, the level of THC begins to reduce if there are too many amber-colored trichomes. In some cases when the flowers are too overripe, the trichomes may even begin to turn black. Aside from checking the trichome color, you may also notice that the trichomes are too brittle. When a plant is overripe, the buds may even fall to pieces in your hands.

What to Do After Harvesting a Marijuana Plant

Now that you know when to harvest a marijuana plant, the next step after harvesting includes drying, trimming, and curing. These are very important steps after harvesting. Once you have completed the drying, trimming, and curing process, your weed can now be enjoyed or put away for future use. If you plan to store your weed for future use, it’s important to keep it in a tight container that is vacuum-sealed and in a cool, dark place. This will help it maintain its freshness and shelf life.

About Waferz

Our team at Waferz strives to be a reliable resource for education, providing valuable insight about cannabis products and the industry. We are dedicated to keeping you abreast of the latest news and developments surrounding cannabis, ensuring that the information received helps you stay informed and connected. With years of experience in the industry, our team is committed to helping individuals in the community accurately capture the variation of cannabis, its uses, the latest developments, and more. We strive to be a reputable resource in the cannabis industry, utilizing years of experience, skills, and research to help you stay informed and connected. Learn more about cannabis with Waferz at

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