When and how to harvest cannabis plants?

Updated: December 5, 2021

When it comes to growing this interesting plant, harvesting cannabis is often the most exciting time. All our efforts are thus paying off for us the moment we decide to harvest. As everything revolves around the harvest, it is important to understand what is happening at the chemical level with cannabis plants. What should we consider when harvesting, to ensure the best crop? When do we need to harvest cannabis exactly?

There are several factors, but they differ in accuracy:

• Flowering time recommended by the educator (seed bank).
• Color of the furrow of the fistula (hair-like threads covering the navel).
• Trichome color.

The time recommended by the seed bank actually expresses the least precise fact when the cannabis ripens, making it suitable for harvest. Of course, it is necessary to take the seed bank's opinion into account. But be aware that this sometimes does not express the exact time of harvesting. Many times, the plants are not yet ready for harvest. Most of the time this time shift happens in outdoors. Or when the strain is not stable enough to have the firm trait of flowering time.

A more accurate factor in this is the observation of the pelvic furrow (stigma). So when does cannabis ripen? This can be seen by monitoring the change in the color of the furrow of the pistil from white to orange.

Observing the buds of the navel trichomes serves as the most accurate indicator of when cannabis is ripening or ready to harvest. So when it comes to harvest, the actual science, therefore, lies in the trichomes.

Determining the optimal harvest time for cannabis

We will need a microscope to observe the trichomes. Handheld microscopes with a magnification of 30x to 100x will give us a clear view of them and their color. We can buy them in all the grow shops with equipment for cultivation of plants. Using a microscope, the grower can observe the transformation of the plant until it reaches maximum potential or desired one.

At this stage, the color of the trichomes changes from transparent to opaque until it finally changes to amber. During this change, trichomes reach their highest THC content. And then begins to decompose due to oxygen and UV rays. This results in a cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN).

Although cannabinol is the result of THC degradation, it has its own and unique set of benefits. Like other cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabinol is thought to help with insomnia and various inflammations, relieve pain with many other benefits. However, it has no psychoactive effects.

High levels of cannabinol are often associated with the term couch lock, which describes its highly sedative properties. THC, on the other hand, is very psychoactive. It can cause us to be more vigilant and have a stimulating effect on us. In addition, it offers us a range of health benefits. Whatever the benefits of cannabinol... Most cannabis growers try to prevent THC-containing trichomes from decomposing into cannabinol.

How to ensure highest THC content?

If you want to reap crops when these contain the highest levels of THC, it is best to start observing the furrow of the pestle. When a part of a plant called stigmata (two small hairs) begins to change color, it is a good time to start observing trichomes with the help of a microscope. Transparent trichomes should be found to indicate that the buds are young and still developing. From this point on, it is good (and also fun) to begin our daily trichome observation. It is good practice to look at the different locations of buds on plants. Remember, the upper buds of cannabis can become mature faster than the lower ones.

In the end, there will be a change in the color of the trichomes, the translucent color will turn into an opaque white color, which is an indication of full maturity. From this point on THC is no longer producing. Unfortunately, not all trichomes develop as quickly, so we will first notice some that are amber in color, before those that are consistently opaque will prevail. When the characteristic amber color appears, cannabinol begins to develop as a result of the breakdown of THC. We can now assume that the maximum concentration of THC is reached. Our plants are now safe to harvest.

If we have time, it is recommended to observe less developed buds located lower on the plants. Thus, the harvesting process can be divided into two parts. Such distribution allows us to continue developing the lower parts of the cannabis after the crop tops have been harvested. This helps to increase the quality and profitability of the buds.

Differing views on when cannabis matures

It is important to emphasize that each grower has a different opinion on when cannabis matures or when is the right time to harvest cannabis plants. Some like to harvest the crop sooner. Other prefer it later. so understanding cannabis botany is very helpful. Cannabis cultivation is a continuous learning process. The harvest may occur sooner or later, depending on the development of the trichomes. Because of this variable, the cultivation of cannabis plants of the same varieties that share the same genetics is encouraged for more than one harvest.

If we want to explore the benefits of cannabinol but do not want to reduce the THC content of our plants, we have other options. Unfortunately, cannabinoid-containing products are difficult to track down. It is also ironic that for the purpose of exploring the benefits of cannabinol, we can simply consume cannabis that has been stored incorrectly or harvested relatively late.

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