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So you’re growing cannabis, your plants are getting taller, the buds are thickening up, and you’re able to smell the plant now, so when do you harvest it? Today’s article will be going over when your cannabis will be ready to harvest, what to look for, and how to harvest your cannabis!
What Should You Look For?
There are many different methods to use when determining the perfect time to harvest your cannabis plants. While some growers determine their harvest date by counting how many weeks have passed since they first planted, others harvest purely on the color of their pistils and trichomes. It’s important to realize that every strain and every plant is different, so results may vary.
The pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower, and the vibrant, hairlike strands of the pistil are called stigmas. Stigmas serve to collect pollen from males. The stigmas of the pistil begin with white coloration and progressively darken to yellow, orange, red, and brown over the course of the plant’s maturation. They play an important role in reproduction, but stigmas bring very little to the flower’s potency and taste.
Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes. Trichomes were originally developed to protect the plant against predators and the elements. These clear bulbous globes ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The basis of hash production depends on these trichomes and their potent sugar-like resin.
The actual harvesting process is very simple. You can either trim off your cannabis where each branch meets the main stalk, or you can just cut the main stalk and keep it all connected! It’s all up to you on how you do it!
Here’s Some Information About Trichomes
Most of us already know what trichomes are when it comes to cannabis. For those of you that do not know what those are, trichomes are very small resin glands that will grow on your cannabis plant, this usually results in your plants becoming stickier over time as the plant grows. What some people may not know is that there are actually three types of trichomes that vary in physical structure and amount!
Even though we find that these have different shapes, sizes, and amounts, all of these three types of trichomes will be found on the flowers of your cannabis plants. All three trichome types also produce the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds that make marijuana unique. People should keep in mind, however, that each variety of cannabis will produce a different mixture of those chemical compounds all depending on the genetics of the particular strain.
Cannabinoids are compounds that are found in cannabis and are often unique to the plant. They’re the reason you may feel a psychoactive high or therapeutic pain relief after consuming cannabis.
Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give each plant a distinctive smell and flavor. For cannabis, that means people can pretty much engineer their strain to have whatever smell that they desire!
In this section, I’ll be going over all the three trichome types: the Bulbous Trichomes, Capitale-Sessile Trichomes, and Capitate-Stalked Trichomes!
This is the smallest type of trichome found on cannabis. They don’t form in huge numbers, but each one is only made up of a few cells that create a stalk and a gland head which secretes resin.
Capitate Sessile Trichomes
Capitate-sessile trichomes are medium-sized glands that cover cannabis plants more densely than the bulbous trichomes do. This type of trichome consists of a stalk with a larger, rounded gland on top.
The largest and most abundantly found trichome type we find on cannabis plants. They appear during the flowering phase. This type of trichome is what most cannabis growers are looking for when harvesting a crop, as they produce the highest concentrations of the plant’s unique chemical compounds.
Half Clear – Half Cloudy Trichomes
Harvesting when you have close to a 50/50 clear-cloudy mix will result in a more energetic or “heady” high.
Harvesting when you have most of your trichomes a cloudy or milky color will result in a more euphoric high.
Half Cloudy – Half Amber Trichomes
Harvesting when you have a 50/50 cloudy – amber mixture will result in the combination of a head and body high.
Harvesting, when most of your trichomes are amber in color, will result in a body high, often referred to as “couchlock.”