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When to harvest cannabis plants?

When to harvest cannabis plants? It is a very frequent question among beginner growers, because after several months of work, starting from germinating the seeds, taking care of irrigation, transplants, using high quality fertilizers, observing day by day its growth, its flowering, giving all the pampering possible to our plants, etc… The most awaited moment for all growers arrives “The harvest“.

when to cut marijuana plants

But be careful not all varieties are harvested at the same time, there are strains that need more time to mature, knowing the basic methods we will know perfectly when to cut our marijuana plants. Most people think that they should cut the plants when the hairs turn brown, usually at a glance you can see if a bud is ready to cut, but in this way we will not know the type of maturation it has.

In order to be able to cut the marijuana plants at the exact moment, we must know several things and we will need a magnifying glass or microscope. Most customers see the use of a microscope as something very complicated or imagine that it must be something very expensive and the truth is that it is very simple and cheap, we have the x60 mini microscope for only 8€.

For those of you who have never looked at a bud under a microscope, here is an image to give you an idea. This is what trichomes look like under a microscope.

Marijuana trichomes
Photo trichomes from microscope

States of maturation of the trichomes:

When we examine the marijuana buds with a microscope, we can see different stages of maturation of the trichomes, in the following photos you can see 3 types of maturation; Transparent, white and brown.

Transparent trichomes:

When we observe the transparent trichomes, we should never cut the plants. This means that our plants are not ready, if you harvest the plants at this time you will have lost production, effect and flavor.

Transparent cannabis trichome

White trichomes:

If you grow Sativa cannabis strains and are looking for an uplifting effect, then you should harvest your plants at this time.

white marijuana trichomes

brown trichomes:

If you grow Indica varieties and are looking for a relaxing effect, then you should cut the plants when 80% of the trichomes are brown.

Never let the buds exceed 80% brown trichomes, as they could overdo it and ruin your harvest.

Brown cannabis trichomes

Things to keep in mind to cut your plants at the right time:

Flowering time of the seeds by the manufacturer:

At the time of buying cannabis seeds, we can ask the seller the flowering time, since normally the manufacturer (seed bank) always gives this information, so we will have an approximate idea of when we will have to harvest the plants. When we grow indoors, we will know the flowering time in days (from 42 days to 120 days, depending on the variety). If we grow outdoors we will know the month in which we can harvest, normally between September and October, although there are much faster varieties, so it is very important to look at the harvest month.

Do not cut your plants by eye, use a microscope

Not cutting your cannabis plants at the right time can ruin your harvest… Don’t waste so much time and work for what a magnifying glass or microscope costs. With the help of a magnifying glass or microscope we can easily observe the trichomes and harvest at the desired time.

If you have not yet decided to buy a microscope and decide to cut your plants by eye, be guided by the color of the pistils and the tonality of the buds. The pistils are the threads that come out from between the buds. We do not advise you to use this method if you want a specific effect, but with a little vision and experience you can do it.

white pistils marijuana
Flowering beginning
(white pistils)

pistil bud maturation
Late flowering
(40 – 50% brown pistils)

Brown pistil bud

ready to cut
(70 – 80% brown pistils)

Desired effect:

If you are looking for a stimulating, cerebral, active effect, laughter, etc. Then we advise you to grow Sativa varieties and for this you must harvest your plants when most of the trichomes are milky white.

If you are looking for a more relaxing effect, narcotic, sleeping pill, etc. For this we must cultivate Indica varieties. To achieve this effect of an indica variety, we will harvest the plants when 80% of the trichomes are brown and 20% white.

When we grow 50% sativa 50% indica hybrids, we will cut the plants according to the desired effect.

Tip: Do not harvest your sativa plants with a high percentage of brown trichomes, as they would lose that much-desired sativa effect. And with indicas the same, don’t cut your indicas before your trichomes mature, if you harvest an indica when the trichomes are still white, you will lose that relaxing, narcotic effect. But you will also lose in THC, in flavor, etc.

Cut your plants first thing in the morning

THC levels will be much higher if you cut your plants first thing in the morning. If you grow indoors, harvest your plants in the first hours of light.

marijuana leaf sunrise

Don’t leave your plants without water

Do not leave your plants without water the days before harvesting, because if you do this your buds will be dehydrated and you will lose a lot of production and potency.

What should you do once the plants are cut?

Once you have cut the plants, we advise you to prune all the leaves, since if you do the trimming when the marijuana is dry, you will lose much more pollen than when doing it green. Also, doing it when the grass is green allows you to use trimming machines.

pro spin bud peeler
Trimming Pro Spin

In our online store you will find the harvest section, where you will find different types of trimming machines, scissors and many more things to make this job easier.

Once harvested, it’s time to move on to drying

Once the plants have been cut and the buds manicured, we prepare the place where we are going to dry and you can start with the drying, which by the way is one of the most important parts of the crop.

For drying you can use the drying meshes.

marijuana bud dryer

drying meshes

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