One of the best things about growing your own cannabis is watching the plants move through each phase of the lifecycle. And if you’ve ever grown pot you know that the most exciting part is when your baby plant is all grown up and starting to produce flowers. When your plants reach this stage, it might seem like all the hard work is done. But you have to know how to harvest marijuana properly if you want to end up with the smokeable herb you’re looking for.
If you follow the five steps outlined below you’ll get the most out of your plants, and you’ll end up with a pretty sweet little stash of homegrown ganja.
Step 1: Knowing When To Harvest
Harvesting is a crucial step. And it takes a little familiarity with trichomes to get it right. A couple of weeks after flowers first show up on your plants they’ll start producing short hair looking things. These are called trichomes, and they contain a lot of the resins, chemicals, and compounds that make cannabis such a potent plant.
The key to harvesting your buds at the right time is to watch the growth of the trichomes. They’ll go through 3 main stages:
- The trichomes will swell, and the tips will sort of flatten out into a mushroom looking shape.
- The trichomes will change from clear to milky white.
- The trichomes will turn from milky white to amber or brown.
Most people like to harvest when the trichomes are all white. At that point, the flowers have essentially maximized their THC production. If you’re looking to get buds for recreational uses, harvest when the trichomes are white.
But if you’re looking to produce cannabis for medical purposes, you may want to wait until the trichomes are amber or brown. At that point, some of the THC has degraded, but the CBD will be peaking. And in general, CBD is the stuff you’re looking for in medical cannabis.