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How to Tell Cannabis Is Ready for Harvesting

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How To Tell Cannabis Is Ready For Harvesting

When it comes to harvesting your cannabis crop, timing is everything. If you harvest too early, your plants won’t be at their peak potency and yield. But if you wait too long, you risk losing precious buds to mold, pests, and degradation. So how can you tell when your cannabis is ready for harvesting?

Here are ten key things to look for;

1. Trichomes

The best way to know if your cannabis is ready for harvest is to examine the trichomes closely and the resin glands on the buds and leaves. These tiny, mushroom-shaped structures are packed with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and they’re what give cannabis its psychoactive properties.

When trichomes are transparent or translucent, it means the plant isn’t quite ready yet. But when they turn milky white or amber, that’s a sign that the plant is ripe for harvest.

2. Pistils

Another helpful indicator of ripeness is the pistils, or hairs, on the buds. When cannabis is in its early flowering stage, these hairs will be white or green. But as the plant matures, the pistils will turn red, brown, or orange.

However, note that the color change of the pistils isn’t always a reliable indicator of ripeness, as some strains of cannabis can retain their white pistils even when they’re ready to harvest. So it’s always best to go by the trichomes when determining harvest time.

Also, note that each strain of cannabis has its own unique flowering time. Indica strains tend to mature quicker than sativas, for example. So be sure to research the specific strain you’re growing before deciding when to harvest.

3. Leaf Color

Another helpful way to tell if your plant is ready for harvest is to look closely at the leaves. The leaves will be deep green in the early stages of flowering. But as the plant matures, the leaves will start to yellow and die off.

This is perfectly normal, and it’s a sign that your plant is putting all its energy into developing buds rather than leaves. So if you see this happening, it’s a good indication that harvest time is approaching.

4. Smell the Buds

One final way to tell if your cannabis is ready for harvest is to smell the buds. If they have a faint, grassy smell, they’re not quite ready yet. But if they have a strong, pungent aroma, that’s a good sign that they’re ripe and ready to harvest.

5. Taste a Little Bit of the Bud

If you’re unsure whether or not your cannabis is ready for harvest, you can always try it. Just make sure to sample a tiny bit, as the buds will be less potent than they will be at full maturity.

And, of course, if you decide to harvest your plants early, don’t worry – they’ll still be usable. However, they won’t be as potent or high-yielding as if you had waited a bit longer.

6. Check the Root System

One way to tell if your cannabis plants are ready for harvest is to check the roots. The roots will be white and healthy-looking in the early stages of the plant’s life cycle. But as the plant matures, the roots will start to brown and die off.

It may seem complex, but checking the roots is a pretty simple to tell if your cannabis is ready for harvest.

7. Look for Amber Hairs

As mentioned, the pistils on your cannabis buds will change color as the plant matures. These hairs will be white or green in the early stages of flowering. But as the plant gets closer to harvest time, the pistils will turn red, brown, or orange.

Amber hairs are a good sign that your plant is ripe and ready for harvest. So if you see this happening, it’s a good indication that it’s time to start cutting down your plants.

8. Check the Stalk

Another way to tell if your cannabis is ready for harvest is to check the stalk. The stalk will be green and flexible in the early stages of the plant’s life cycle. But as the plant matures, the stalk will start to brown and become more brittle.

Also, note that this may vary from strain to strain. So if you’re unsure, it’s always best to research the specific strain you’re growing before deciding when to harvest.

9. Break Open a Bud

If you want to be sure that your cannabis is ready for harvest, you can always break open a bud and check the trichomes. The trichomes are tiny, translucent hairs covering the buds’ surface.

If the trichomes are still clear, the plant is not quite ready yet. But if they’re starting to turn amber or brown, that’s a good sign that the plant is ripe and ready for harvest.

10. Check the Leaves

Another way to tell if your cannabis is ready for harvest is to check the leaves. The leaves will be deep green in the early stages of flowering. But as the plant matures, the leaves will start to yellow and die off.

In Conclusion

Remember, these are just a few general guidelines to help you determine when to harvest your cannabis crop. The best way to know for sure is to closely monitor the trichomes and pistils on your plants until they reach the desired level of ripeness. And if you’re ever unsure, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and harvest a bit early rather than risk waiting too long.

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