It can be difficult to time your cannabis harvest–there’s a brief window between harvesting too early and too late. It’s easy to miss that window if you don’t know the signs that it is time to harvest your plants. Here are some simple tips to help you time your harvest perfectly.
What Happens if You Harvest Too Early or Too Late?
If you harvest too early or too late, it will negatively impact the quality of your product. If cannabis is harvested before it reaches peak resin production, the result will be a less potent product that lacks flavor and aroma.
Harvesting cannabis after its prime will still give you a potent product, but it will have subpar flavor and aroma.
How to Determine When to Harvest
The best way to tell whether or not your cannabis is ready to harvest is to inspect the pistils and the trichomes with a magnifying glass.
The pistils are the little hairs on the buds. When the pistils start changing from white to brown, your cannabis is maturing. When about half of the pistils on a plant are brown, this is a good indication that you should harvest.
Trichomes are the tiny growths on a cannabis flower that look like grains of sugar or sand. Like the pistils, the trichomes will change color. When about 50% of the trichomes turn an amber color or 75% swell up and turn a milky color, this means your cannabis is at its peak for potency, flavor, and aroma and should be harvested right away.
Timing for Indica vs. Sativa Strains
Keep in mind that different strains will reach harvest time at different paces. The best thing to do is routinely inspect the plants for the above signs of maturity, but a good general rule to keep in mind is that Indica strains will reach maturity first, with Sativa strains taking about two to three weeks longer.
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