How to recognize the perfect time to harvest cannabis
Plenty of cannabis growers wonder when to harvest hemp buds to not miss the right moment after months and months of hard work. In fact, from germinating cannabis seeds to harvesting, several months pass during which temperatures, humidity, nutrients, pH and many other factors must be monitored.
It would be a shame to pick the flowers too early or late after making the necessary effort to grow the seedlings in the best possible way.
Today we will talk to you about the perfect time to pick cannabis flowers (and how to recognize them). But first, we want to clarify that if you live in Italy and not in a country where it is allowed to grow marijuana, you should use the following lines for information purposes only.
Please note that it is illegal to grow cannabis with a high THC content in the UK. People who start producing weed for personal use commit an administrative offence, while those who make weed to distribute it are criminal offences.
Despite this, it is possible to buy marijuana seeds online to collect them!
And now, let’s start with the details of the collection, beginning with a fundamental fact.
The flowering times of autoflowering cannabis VS photoperiod cannabis: the essential indication to understand when to harvest
You must know that the autoflowering cannabis strain results from crosses between Indica / Sativa and Ruderalis. From Ruderalis, it inherits automatic flowering based on age, very rapid growth, not too tall stature and high resistance to bad weather and humidity. In contrast, Indica and/or Sativa inherit high percentages of THC, large and fragrant flowers.
On the other hand, photoperiod hemp has a flowering that depends on the photoperiod, that is, on the cycles of light and dark. It has much slower growth than auto flower seeds marijuana and develops widely in height.
Let’s focus on flowering times and the differences in this sense between autoflowering and photoperiod:
- Autoflowering cannabis has a flowering period of around 6-8 weeks, which begins about a month after the bud is born. The entire growth cycle, from germination of autoflowering seeds to flower ripening, can last up to 10-12 weeks.
- Most non-autoflowering cannabis plants (for example, those born from feminized seeds with photoperiodic growth) have a flowering period of 12 to 17 weeks for Sativa-dominant plants and 8 to 14 weeks for indica-dominant ones.
This information is essential to have a precise idea of the harvest times, but you must also pay attention to the plant’s signals.
The growth of cannabis does not have an exact protocol, and even a mistake by a week could compromise the final result: if caught early or late, cannabis could have low THC and less than ideal flavours.
Let’s see what signals growers pay attention to when the flowers are approaching ripeness (therefore the harvest period).
1. The color of the trichomes on cannabis flowers
To understand when to harvest hemp buds, you must first look at the trichomes, the resin-producing glands rich in cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, with a magnifying glass.
Are the trichomes transparent? Then the grass isn’t ready for harvest yet.
Are the glands all opaque and milky? Then I’m at my peak of THC production, and now is the perfect time to harvest. Warning: none of them must be transparent. If some are amber, but most are milky, that’s okay.
Are the trichomes all turning amber? Then you need to quickly harvest the buds before the THC starts to drop dramatically, leaving room for CBN (with CBD-like effects).
2. The color of the pistils gives indications of the ripeness of the marijuana flowers
Pistils are filaments visible to the naked eye that cover the entire surface of cannabis flowers.
During the first few weeks of the plant’s life, the pistils are white, indicating that the buds are not yet ready for harvest. Gradually, the filaments begin to change colour, taking on shades of orange, red, purple, or pink depending on the species.
Then, all the buds will be covered with colored pistils, which (together with the opacity of the trichomes) indicates that the cannabis is well mature.
However, it is necessary to check both elements, pistils and trichomes, to arrive at the final verdict.
Conclusions on cannabis harvesting
During this in-depth study, you found the answer to your question, “When to harvest hemp buds?”: Now you know what the average ripening times are based on the type of plant and the signals that growers use to understand when the right time has come for harvest.
We remind you that in the UK, it is not allowed to grow plants from weed seeds… but you can buy cannabis seeds online!
Buy now the best (with very advantageous discounts on volume) on Sensoryseeds.
We are waiting for you!