When to Harvest Cannabis?


Harvesting cannabis at the right time is critical to ensure that the plants produce the desired effects and potency. Timing is crucial since plants that are harvested too soon may not be fully mature and lack potency, while plants that are harvested too late may have lost their effectiveness and be overripe.

The topic of when to harvest cannabis, how to decide when to harvest, and advice for a fruitful harvest will all be covered in this article.

Factors that Affect When to Harvest Cannabis


Different strains of cannabis have different growth and flowering periods. While Indica strains typically have shorter flowering times, Sativa strains typically have longer flowering times. Understanding the strain and its expected flowering period is important in determining when to harvest.

Growing Environment

The growth and flowering of cannabis plants can be impacted by the growing environment, which includes temperature, humidity, and light intensity. The timing of the flowering phase and, consequently, the timing of the harvest, can be impacted by several environmental conditions.


The genetics of a cannabis plant can affect when it is ready to be harvested. Some strains are genetically programmed to have a longer or shorter flowering period than others.

Trichome Development

When to harvest is mostly determined by the growth of trichomes, which are the resinous glands on the surface of the buds. Trichomes change in appearance as they mature, from clear to milky to amber. The timing of the harvest can be based on the appearance of the trichomes.

How to Determine When to Harvest Cannabis

Pistil Color

Pistils are the small hairs that grow on the buds of cannabis plants. The pistils’ color will shift from white to orange or brown as the plant ages. When the pistils have turned mostly orange or brown, the plant is likely ready to be harvested.

Trichome Color

As mentioned, the color of the trichomes is a key indicator of when to harvest. The trichomes should be observed under a microscope or magnifying glass to determine their color. While milky trichomes signal that the plant is getting close to maturity, clear trichomes suggest that the plant is not yet ready for harvest. Amber trichomes indicate that the plant is overripe and may have lost potency.

Seed Development

It is probably time to harvest the plant if it has begun to generate seeds. The seeds, however, can reduce the potency of the buds if the plant is taken too late.


The smell of the plant can also be an indicator of when to harvest. As the plant matures, it will develop a stronger and more distinct aroma. When the smell of the plant is at its strongest, it is likely ready to be harvested.

Tips for a Successful Harvest

Flush the Plant

Before harvesting, it is important to flush the plant with water to remove any residual nutrients or chemicals. This will help ensure that the buds are clean and free of any unwanted substances.

Use a Sharp Pair of Scissors

When cutting the buds from the plant, use a good pair of scissors. This will help ensure that the buds are not damaged and will retain their potency and flavor.

Dry the Buds

After harvesting, the buds should be dried in a cool, dry place. This will help remove any excess moisture and preserve the potency and flavor of the buds.

Cure the Buds

The buds should be stored in a tight jar for a few weeks after they have dried up. This will help remove any remaining moisture and enhance the flavor and potency of the buds.


Harvesting cannabis at the right time is critical to ensuring that the plants produce the desired potency and effects. Factors that affect when to harvest cannabis include the strain, growing environment, genetics, and trichome development.

To determine when to harvest, the pistil and trichome color, seed development, and smell of the plant should be observed. Tips for a successful harvest include flushing the plant, using a sharp pair of scissors, drying the buds, and curing the buds. By understanding when to harvest cannabis and following these tips, growers can produce high-quality and potent buds that are sure to please.

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