How to Tell When to Harvest Weed – 2023 update
So many new growers jump the gun on harvesting their plants and end up with super hairy bud that’s undeveloped. Patience is key when it comes to harvesting your buds and there is a definite science that has been proven throughout the history of growing marijuana and weed, so please don’t try to defy it.
The first thing to understand is your plants genetics because it will give you hints on how long flowering will take. Most seed banks will give you this information and its pretty reliable on knowing when your plants will be ready, But DON’T follow it to a T.
As you get closer to harvest, you’ll notice that the buds will start to get dense and now buds will be too heavy to stand on their own.
There are several reliable signs in knowing when your plant is close to harvest. One sign is when the fan leaves start to yellow throughout the plants. During the end of flowering, plants start absorbing all of the nitrogen in the soil and in the leaves suck up all the nutrients in a last ditch effort to make fat buds. Yellowing is common as you get closer to harvest so don’t think this means there’s something wrong with your plants.
The second sign is when the pistils change color from white to brown. Pistils are the little white hairs sticking out of the bud sites and make up the majority of the cola and buds when they are younger. When almost all of them are brown and start curling in towards the bud, you are getting close. At this point the buds will be nice and fat and the length of the pistils will look short. However, Keep in mind that some strains have pistils that never brown, so this is not the best method for knowing when to harvest.
The absolute best method to know when your plants are ready to chop, is to use a jewelers loupe to take a closer look at the trichomes.
Trichomes look like little glass mushrooms and their colors are either clear, white or brown from youngest to oldest. Once you see some of the signs that the plans are getting close to harvest, begin looking at the trichomes every other day. I find that trichomes on the sugar leaves always brown a lot earlier then the bud sites so take a look at the trichomes on the buds themselves, preferably in the middle of the bud. Clear trichomes means that the flowers are not ready yet and its confusing for new growers to distinguish the difference between clear and milky without any references.
When trichomes are clear, they look like glass and fresh crystal clear ice. Milky or opaque trichomes look like frost from far away and close up, they look like old ice cubes. When trichomes are milky, it means that your bud is at peak THC levels. At this point, this is where you as a consumer make the executive decision on when to harvest, based on what type of high you prefer. Similar to the difference in indica and sativa strains, trichome colors also have different types of highs. If you want more of a head high, mostly milky trichomes is what you should aim for. If you want more of a full body, couch lock type of high, wait until about 50% of the trichomes look amber. Amber trichomes just mean that THC has converted to CBN so the psychoactive effects is more for numbing and pain relief. Personally, I prefer a cerebral high, so I harvest at the first sign of amber trichomes on the buds which is also when all the trichomes are milky. Again, the main point is to make sure you don’t harvest when the trichomes are clear as THC will be low and you will have hairy buds.
Patience is the key, so don’t ruin it by chopping too early. If you’re uncertain, message me direct at howweedgrow on reddit and Ill tell you my opinion.
Check out our other videos for more tips and tricks on how to grow weed.
Great tutorial. One little typo: ‘Amber trichomes just mean that THC has converted to CBD so the psychoactive effects is more for numbing and pain relief.’ THC converts to CBN, not CBD.
The video did say CBN didn’t it?
I am growing as a beginner my Moby Dick I don’t know when to harvest it it’s been in there for 8 weeks from December January February. I’m looking closely I see a lot of brown hairy and leaves with milky frosting is it time
It’s been 8 weeks I have been growing my Moby Dick autoflower it’s very small but very thick when do I harvest I am a beginner
I would need to see a picture, join our discord (scroll bottom right)