CUTTING DOWN CANNABIS PLANTS
This is what you have been waiting for! The time to harvest your cannabis plants! Not only is it the most anticipated and beautiful moment, it is also one of the most important; timing is everything here and if you get it wrong you can drastically affect the overall quality of your yield.
There are two main ways to determine whether your cannabis plants are ready for harvest; these are by naked eye or with a microscope.
WITH THE NAKED EYE
On top of the buds there are large hairs called pistils. As your plant nears harvest, these will begin to change colour. They usually change from a white color to orange/gold, or red to brown depending on the strain. All strains are slightly different, but the most common is from white to orangey/gold. If you decide to use this method then it is recommended to follow the harvesting guidelines of the seed bank you got the seeds from. Usually when 80% or more pistils have changed colour, the cannabis is ready for harvest.
USING A MICROSCOPE
This is our highly preferred and recommended method of assessing whether or not your cannabis crop is ripe for harvest – it is highly accurate, professional and reliable.
By using a microscope it is possible to view the tiny THC crystals on the buds of your plant. If you look at a young plant, these crystals will be small and translucent. As the plant grows and flowers, these crystals will get bigger, and turn from translucent to milky white and then to an amber-like colour.
Depending on the strain you are growing you will need to harvest at different times – according to the THC crystal colour. The timing of your harvest will have an implication and impact on the final effect and taste of your marijuana.
If you have indica strains, then a good time to harvest is when the crystals are milky white, but still a little bit transparent.
When you are growing an indica/sativa hybrid, or almost any autoflowering strain, you need the crystals to be a solid milky white colour before harvest.
Should you be growing sativa strains, then a good time to harvest is when the majority of THC crystals are a solid milky white, with about 1/3 having turned amber in color.
If you are ever in doubt about what is right for you, take the safe middle ground and go for option 2.
If you harvest your weed too late, then you are highly likely to run into an effect called “couch-lock” when you use it. Most smokers have experienced this at least once in their time. It is when you cannot move at all, you effectively become locked down on the couch and the only way to move is if someone else physically picks you up and carries you. This can have its advantages and is favoured by some people in some situations; but you will find on the whole that it is an undesirable and impractical effect.
We really cannot recommend using a microscope enough. There is nothing worse than harvesting your cannabis, only to realize you have done it too early or too late – devaluing the amount of time and effort you put into your marijuana's growth. It is almost seen as a sin by the more professional cannabis community not to use one. You don’t want to end up with a crop that doesn’t taste right or does not have the desired effects. However, you do not need to get a really advanced microscope - a 15-25 euro scope with a 60-100x magnification will suffice. If you do this, then with time and experience you will know exactly what to look for, putting you on the right track to becoming an accomplished cannabis cultivator.
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