Getting the most from your crop
Proper harvesting methods are an essential aspect of marijuana cultivation, perhaps as important as growing the marijuana buds themselves. The right techniques are used by the cannabis home grower to ensure the crop improves with age, and the full aroma and flavour levels are attained. A good cure and proper marijuana storage is used to make your home grown marijuana buds smell and taste better. Like a fine wine, your marijuana buds need time to cure. If you're not curing already, you will be amazed at the results when you do. The harvesting methods used by each cannabis grower vary from garden to garden, so for this guide portions are written and contributed by three different marijuana growers, each with a varying garden size and style. We will now explain more on potency, curing and timing, giving insight into harvesting and curing seedbank style for personal marijuana stash.
The essential facts of timing your harvest
You've managed to make it to the end. You've maintained your marijuana plants well, now it's getting closer to harvest time, and you're wondering just how and when to harvest and dry those beautiful marijuana buds. Hopefully we can give you some insight into how this can be successfully done. The do's and don'ts of proper harvesting and curing. First, lets take a look at the harvest side of things. Timing of your harvest is critical! Harvesting at maximum ripeness is the key. In our experience, there is usually a five to seven day window when the cannabis plant will be at maximum ripeness. To understand this, you will need a jeweler's loupe, or magnifying lens, light optional. We would recommend a power of 30x or better, but you can get by with less. A greater magnification makes it much easier to see the trichome heads at the top of the stalked resin glands.
Resin gland color, potency and type of high
Gland color will vary with ripeness of the individual THC glands, starting at clear, turning to milky, then turning to an amber color. There may be some exceptions, such as some of the classic outdoor marijuana strains and Purple power. These will have darker, sometimes purple gland heads. But by far and large, these three steps of ripeness will exist with the vast majority of marijuana varieties on the market. The first stage, clear, will tend to make for a more cerebral, up high, with very little body effect. Harvesting at this stage when little if any trichomes are milky yet, can be tricky. Harvesting too early can make for a beautiful marijuana plant that will not have much psychoactive capability! THC needs to "mature" to be able to pass its psychoactive capabilities down to the smoker. This is why we always recommend waiting until 50% of the trichomes hit the second stage: milky or creamy. At this point, you will definitely have a marijuana plant which has reached its genetic potential. The milky trichomes have some "cerebral" qualities, as well as some of the more "physical" characteristics of the high. The last stage, amber, brings on a more sedative, physical stone. If this is what you're looking for, than we would recommend a sativa/indica cross [hybrid], or an indica dominant cannabis plant. Amber trichomes seem to ruin a sativa high if the marijuana plant goes too long. The above photo is a good example of a ripe marijuana plant: at least 50% of the gland heads have turned "milky," some heads are still clear, and a few are amber. This marijuana plant was harvested two days later.