Culture & Grow

What is the right moment for an optimum harvest?


Guide to a good harvest at the right time, with the method of recognition of the pistils and trichomes of Jorge Cervantes

Harvesting your cannabis is often the most exciting time when it comes to culture. All your previous efforts are culminating in the moment when the decision is made to harvest ... Since the decision to harvest is so important, you need to understand what is happening to the chemical with plants. What to consider when approaching harvest to ensure the best possible quality?

There are several factors, but each varies in precision:

  • The flowering time recommended by the breeder
  • The color of the pistils (the locks of hair that cover the bud)
  • The color of trichomes

A cannabis plant matures with time; it's a process. Cannabis is an annual plant that completes its life cycle in one year or less. Outside, cannabis flowers in autumn. Long nights and short days are the main signal that Mother Nature gives cannabis to bloom.

Inside, where crop lights replace the sun, growers use an electric timer to create their own seasons. Summer is created with 6 hours of darkness and 18 hours of light.

The autumn flowering photoperiod is replicated with 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light. The female cannabis plants are ready to be harvested in 6 to 12 weeks after the light has been changed to a day / night mode of 12 hours. As plants mature, there are some clues to help you know when to harvest cannabis. Here are some methods of identification from the famous cannabiculturist Jorge Cervantes.

Have the pistils changed?

Look at the white hairy pistils that protrude from the seed bracts on the buds. The white pistils are healthy and turn reddish-brown when they die, or senescent. When half or three quarters of the pistils have become reddish-brown, the flower buds must be ready for harvest. But you have to take a closer look ....

Very colorful pistils of Cannabis sativa subsp. (sativa x indica) 'Holger's Paars'
Control of the THC content by the Pistil method
  • 0-49% of Pistils are brown It's not the right time to harvest because your marijuana is far from reaching its peak.
  • 50-69% : Your plant is not yet at its maximum level of THC, but you have the opportunity to harvest it now for a mild and light taste.
  • 70-90% : Once you reach that range, it is definitely time to harvest because your marijuana is as powerful as it ever will be! Most growers suggest that the 'spot spot' is 75-80%, but at any time after 70% and below 90%, this will result in a high quality weed.
  • 91% + Your plant has now exceeded its maximum THC content and the cannabinoid has already begun to degrade to CBN. Marijuana left so late will have a strong taste and a narcotic effect that will not fail to make you sleepy.

Examine the resinous glands (trichomes) carefully.

Use a portable 30-50X microscope to inspect the resin glands, also known as trichomes, found on flower buds and adjacent foliage.

I like to use a microscope that illuminates the foliage to get an unshaded view of the translucent resin glands. The microscope will allow you to distinguish several resin glands. Jorge Cervantes

Tip: With a good digital camera with a macro function, take some pictures and zoom in close-up with software like Photoshop or others ...

The most important are the resinous glands with padded petiole. They consist of a stem with a small spherical globe on top. Be careful when looking at the resin glands, they are very fragile.

The majority of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is at the base of the globe where it joins the stem. Fragile resinous glands with padded petioles begin to age as the plant approaches the end of its life. The globe begins to degrade first and the cannabinoids escape.

Cannabis is ready to be harvested when a small percentage to more than half of the conquered petiole glands have begun to degrade. They become amber and darker when they degrade.

Some growers prefer to harvest earlier than later; others, later than earlier. Everything is a matter of preference, which leads to the third point, consumption. Tips exist for increase your trichrome production.

Moreover, the ideal moment for most varieties
  • 20% translucent, transparent :
    Trichome heads perfectly formed but still clear will bring you a higher effect cleaner and more stimulating with less sedative effect; it is the best harvesting window for heavy Indica varieties.
  • 60% white, opaque :
    Trichome heads perfectly formed and becoming slightly veiled or milky; this is probably the best time to harvest most hybrids currently available.
  • 20% amber, brown :
    Trichome heads perfectly formed and completely veiled or milky, with at least 30% turning amber; this is usually the best harvest window for late maturing Sativa such as Haze. It's also a good time to harvest when you use the plant to make hash

Trichomes are incredibly volatile and may be destroyed and / or degraded by many catalysts, such as:

  • Physical contact or agitation
  • Heat
  • Light
  • Oxygen
  • Time

Sample the bud

Dry some flowers in the oven at 150 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Smoke or sprinkle and see what you think!

The flower buds do not ripen all at the same time. Often, flowers that receive more light and are on the top of the plants mature a few days to more than a week before the lower buds.

The difference in cannabinoid content, including potency, may be noticeable. The flowers of short plants grown indoors have a lower cannabinoid content than the larger plants grown outdoors.

Outdoor crops that can not be protected should be harvested if there is a risk of frost or heavy rain.

Inside or outside, harvest in the morning whenever possible. Flowers near the top of houseplants and greenhouses may be a few days riper than flowers that receive less light; in this case, spreading the crop is a good idea. The lower flower buds of outdoor plants that receive less light ripen more slowly, up to two weeks after the flowers near the top of the plants. Once the flower buds are fully ripe and ripe, the harvest period lasts 3 5 days in.

To read :

Better buds with rinsing your plants before harvest

Prevention against end-of-harvest contagion