When to harvest marijuana? Here’s how to know when the time is right.

Knowing when is the right time to harvest marijuana

Modified on: 27/04/2022

One of the most important moments for a grower is the harvest of cannabis flowers. But how to understand that the right time has come?

Plant cannabis seeds, take care of them until germination, give the seedlings everything they need to grow resistant and productive, and harvest the flowers once they are ripe… These are just some of the hemp grower tasks, light in the UK and high in THC in countries where it is possible to plant marijuana seeds for personal use.

All stages of the crop are essential, including the harvest, which should not be underestimated. It is necessary to develop it at the right time: being imprecise could ruin months of hard work.

But when to harvest marijuana? How to understand that the right time has come to finally get hold of the precious buds and start the drying process?

In this in-depth study, we will answer these questions. First, we want to remind you that it is not allowed to grow cannabis for personal use in the UK. It is possible to grow industrial CBD cannabis, while auto flower seeds, feminized seeds and fast growing weed seeds with high THC can only be collected.

Consequently, the data below have the sole purpose of the disclosure; we suggest that you do not practice them in any way.

How to tell if cannabis flowers are ready for harvest?

How to tell if your cannabis flowers are ready for harvest

The main principle of anyone who wants to get great marijuana buds is not to be in a hurry. Impatience is the enemy of growers who aim to harvest cannabinoid-rich flowers such as THC and CBD!

The longer you wait, the more cannabinoids there will be in the buds, that’s for sure. However, a specific time limit should not be exceeded because you risk harvesting “old” marijuana or marijuana damaged by parasites and moulds.

To help growers worldwide, there are basic guidelines to help you understand when to harvest your marijuana to avoid doing it too soon… or too late.

Specifically, it is necessary to observe some characteristics of the flowers and the plant, namely:

  • The colour of the trichomes
  • The colour of the pistils
  • The appearance and colour of the leaves

Let’s see how these factors manifest the actual ripening (or not) of cannabis.

Read also: Hermaphroditic marijuana: what it is, how to recognize it and how to distinguish it from a male or female plant

The colour of the trichomes of buds ready for harvest, not yet ready and excessively ripe

Trichomes are the small resin glands present with great density on cannabis flowers (and smaller numbers on the leaves). Their appearance is fundamental for understanding the maturation stage of the buds.

Specifically, many transparent trichomes indicate that marijuana is still immature and, therefore, unsuitable for harvesting.

When the trichomes are mostly white and, in fewer numbers, amber, it’s time to prune the flowers and dry them. Growers usually harvest flowers during this trichome stage for high THC percentages.

If the trichomes are honey-coloured in large numbers, then the perfect harvest time has come for those looking for cannabis with relaxing and anti-anxiety effects as the CBD content gets higher.

What if the glands are dark, brownish and black? Bad news: we can say with certainty that the point of perfect ripeness has passed. Flowers harvested during this stage may be low in cannabinoids and have an unpleasant taste.

The pistils also give us essential information on the ripening stage of the flowers.

Pistils and degree of ripeness of marijuana flowers

When the cannabis buds are still immature, the pistils tend to have a nice milky white colour that informs us about the buds’ young age. The flowers rich in white filaments must therefore be left on the plant to mature.

These filaments begin to take on colour as the flower matures: the buds ready for harvest are covered with pistils that turn from dark orange to red to brown.

Ripe marijuana flower with orange pistils

To be even safer, growers also check the appearance of the plant’s leaves.

Read also: Autoflowering THC cannabis seeds: what they are and which one to choose?

Cannabis leaves: This is how they tell us if the plant is ready to harvest or is still immature

Cannabis plants tend to absorb less water and retain low amounts of nitrogen just when their flowers are ripe.

What is the direct consequence of these behaviours? The change in colour and appearance of the leaves turn yellow, curl and begin to fall.

Here, this is a further indication of a well mature plant ready for harvesting.

In conclusion

In summary, you now know that when cannabis plants are ready to harvest, they have flowers with milky or amber trichomes, pistils that turn orange to brown, and leaves that begin to fall and turn yellow.

However, we remind you that in the UK, it is not allowed to grow cannabis (neither for therapeutic nor recreational use). Therefore, the relative seeds are intended for collecting.

Buy them now on SensorySeeds, our online cannabis seed shop!