When to Harvest Weed

With marijuana slowly gaining acceptance as both a recreational and medicinal weed, its popularity has soared over the years. There are a lot of varieties you may choose from, from purple weed strains to fully white covered buds. With people embracing the need for weed and laws allowing for growing this cannabis at home, a lot have looked into growing their weed. By joining the bandwagon of ever-increasing growers, you have finally decided to grow your marijuana at home. Nothing is as exciting and fulfilling as having your own little weed garden in the comfort of your home. Nothing beats the excitement of seeing your weed grow in front of you. But before you start purchasing those feminized marijuana seeds,  it is advisable that you know the basics to grow them and when is the right time to harvest your weed.

We will delve into the basics of harvesting cannabis as we assume you already have some knowledge on how to grow these babies. Being a novice grower may lead you to commit basic mistakes of harvesting too early or too late, so let’s not waste time and educate you on how to determine when is the right time to harvest those resin-covered nugs!


Knowing when to harvest at the precise moment is key to the potency of your weed. This is an equally important stage in the cultivation process. If timed perfectly, you will be rewarded with the freshest and potent buds you will ever grow. However, one will need a sharp eye to spot the different factors that indicate whether your cannabis plant is ready for harvesting or not. All it takes is a lot of patience and practice before your trained eye can spot the differences.


The best and most practical way to judge if your plants are ready is by looking at their appearance. As the plant matures, there are different changes in the plant’s features. Just like people, they change features as they grow older. Here are some signs of maturity in your cannabis

  • Your plants will develop trichomes and pistils around the nugs as they mature.
  • Over time, these pistils become brighter and tend to be more vibrant in color. These pistils, depending on the marijuana strain may be colored, red, orange, yellow, or even a dull brown. Additionally, trichomes start forming covering the buds with a crystal white color. 
  • As the cannabis plant starts to mature, its stems and branches will start to harden and develop into sturdy supports for the heavy colas to cling on to. Once these stems and branches are sturdy enough to hold the plentiful colas of the cannabis strain, then the plant is ready for harvesting.
  • As the plant ages, its leaves start to dry up and turn yellow, this means that the energies of the plant are now directed to the ripening of the buds. Once this manifests itself, the plant is mature enough to harvest. 

While these guidelines will give you an idea of when to harvest cannabis buds, some other specific ways will teach you to time your harvests perfectly. Here are a few tips:


  • Pistils and trichomes observation

Pistils are the little hairlike structures that grow in between the nodes of a cannabis plant. Often, you can find these throughout the length of the stems. On the other hand, trichomes are the crystal-like spots that cover the whole surface of cannabis buds. While these are very small things to observe, they can spell the difference between young and mature cannabis nugs. 

A jewelers loupe could be used to take a closer look at the buds. Check the trichomes covering the buds and if they look foggy and cloudy in appearance, the buds are ready to be harvested. If the trichomes are translucent and clear in appearance, it is not yet ready.

About the pistils, if 80% to 90% of the pistils are colored brownish to orange-like, it is time to snip those buds, anything more or less will have different effects on the potency and quality of the bud.

  • Harvest based on flowering periods

This is less accurate than the pistil and trichome method but it will still be worthwhile to know the average flowering tie between an Indica, Sativa, and an Autoflowering strain. 

  • Indica strains will take 6 to 8 weeks to flower before they can be harvestable. 
  • Sativa strains will take 8 to twelve (12) weeks to flower before they can be harvested.
  • Autoflowering marijuana strains usually have flowering periods of ten to eleven weeks from being a seedling before they start to flower. 

Growing your cannabis plant is not that easy if you are a beginner. But if one is determined to grow their weed, it is important to know the basic growing techniques such as lighting requirement,  humidity levels, feeding the right amount of nutrients, and ambient temperatures.  Aside from growing the plant, just as important as knowing when to harvest the produce. Getting the timing right is key as the buds potency and quality largely depends on this. Growing and harvesting will require a lot of practice, don’t expect to do it right the first time. Patience will play a major factor in this case as it will take several attempts to finally get it right. So grow that weed now and start honing your skills as a future cannabis cultivator! 

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