Its a question of looking at a few different factors (pistil colour, trichomes appearance, plant general appearance, leaf colour, feeding characteristics etc) to understand when to harvest your cannabis. Experience will help, as will knowledge of the particular variety that you are growing.
Probably most home growers these days look to harvest their crop when it is nether too early nor too late. Often they will look for the point when the trichomes have started to transition from clear to cloudy but before the trichomes have started to become amber. For many growers this gives them a cannabis harvest with a rounded and enjoyable high, neither too heavy nor too cerebral. Experienced growers will be able to notice subtle differences on plant feeding behaviour to judge harvest point. For example, hydro growers will notice when a plant is starting to slow down on the feed by looking at the electrical conductivity (‘EC’) of the feed solution, that can be a signal to harvest.
Many fans of early harvested cannabis will often grow specific varieties which they feel offer the best ‘early harvest high’, this is a question of personal taste. Often they will have grown the variety and smoked samples harvested at early, normal and late dates. So they will know that the variety should be harvested after a certain number of weeks, when the trichomes are mostly clear and before the pistils have started to run brown.
With early-harvested cannabis plants it is often obvious to the grower that the buds are still developing and growing. An early harvest often means that you will lose some of the harvest potential, but if you like early-harvested cannabis then its a price worth paying.
Late-harvested home grown cannabis is probably becoming more popular these days. There are a few reasons for this trend:
Its a question we have been asked many times over the decades, when is the best time to harvest cannabis? Seed banks in general often tend to state the earliest recommended harvest time for a particular variety, but we know from experience that lots of customers have their own ideas on when to harvest their home grown cannabis.
Cannabis is a plant that, just like the grower, doesn’t always follow the rules. So you will need to apply your own experience to the timing of the cannabis harvest. Some varieties, such as Frisian Dew, may show trichomes that are pink and are difficult to judge whether they have gone cloudy or amber.
- late harvested crops are often heavier because they have been allowed an extra week or two to finish, these allows the buds to get heavier, more plentiful and more resinous
- if you prefer the extra sedation and strength of late harvested cannabis you often have to grow it yourself. ‘Street weed’ is usually harvested at the earliest opportunity because dealers like to produce their crops as quickly as they can caring little for the optimal harvest point. So if you prefer a fully matured cannabis crop then you probably need to grow it yourself.
Late harvested crops will often look somewhat autumnal, with hints of yellow, brown and red in the leaves and general plant appearance.
When should you harvest cannabis? Harvest Early – Harvest Normal Time – Harvest Late – Autoflowering harvest theories