A guide on when to harvest.

Discussion in 'Harvesting and Processing Marijuana' started by dc199, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. I take no credit for this. I did not make this. However i thought this would be very useful here on GC.

    Okay, I've posted this a couple times, but I though it deserved its own thread.

    Is it ready yet?: SpruceZeus's take on marijuana ripeness.
    This is by no means meant to be the definitive guide to knowing when to chop your plant, only my views on the subject.

    I'm personally of the opinion that 90% of the growers on this site (And probably in general) harvest too early. By letting the plants go a little longer you're ensuring that the've plumped as much as they're going to.
    Despite popular opinion to the contrary(and don't fool yourself, the jury is still out on this one) Recent studies have shown ;contrary to what was previously believed, that THC itself (And its predecessor THC-A) are quite guilty of causing the confusion and drowsiness associated with burnout and other cannabinoids (our friend CBN, and a handful of others) to be the catalyst (along with THC) to being 'high' rather than 'baked'
    Regardless, whether or not theres any substance to the aforementioned study, its easy to get the high you want.
    If you want a soaring 'cerebral' high: Get yourself a tropical sativa that contains a high level of THC-V and grow it until it is ripe.
    If you want the narcotic couchlock stone, grow a rugged indica until its ripe.
    Notice a pattern of growing it until its ripe? Its a really good rule to live by.
    OF course we have to remember that there is more to a good high than just THC. At last count there are at least 66 cannabinoids, and we don't know what most of them do.

    Now alot of people will tell you that you should harvest based on the colour of your trichomes. But (again, in my opinion) that is far too simplistic and there are too many variables to make that an effective strategy. I've made that point a million times before and i'm not going to re-hash it here,(maybe just a bit) but rest assured there is more to the picture than just trich colour.

    A ripe marijuana plant will be filled in, will have an amber tinge to the buds. The pistils should have browned (or orange-d) off and receded into the buds. The seed bracts should be swollen and the trichomes should be sticking straight out with bulbous ends. Also, because you're coming close to the end of plant's life cycle, the leaves should have yellowed off and started to die.

    one of my plants, 3 days before chop-chop.

    Another very important (imho) reason to let your plants mature is Terpenoid production. Terpenes are responsible for alot of the complex (And enjoyable) flavours that cannabis produces. Some of the most intense flavours are produced on the "downslope" of cannabis's life cycle. My personal experience with this first came when i was growing GH cheese. One of the plants i harvested at 8 weeks and it tasted pretty nice and had pretty dense buds. The other i grew until about 9 1/2 weeks and it had most amazing, sour, skunky, delicious taste with rock hard buds.

    Here is my interpretation (and maybe exaggeration) of a scenario i see all too often...

    Quote:noob mcboob
    I'm a new grower and i've been reading all this great information about when its time to harvest. Theres pictures and everything!!!

    Look at my trichs, they look nice and milky with a touch of amber just like the ones in the picture that says its harvest time now!!!

    So i just have one question....

    Does this look ready to you?

    That plant is 4 weeks into 12/12. Granted not all of the trichomes are that far along. And most people arent going to harvest weed that looks like this. But my point with this is that you have to look at the big picture. Stop being so scientific and start being practical.
    I'm not anti knowledge, i just cant stand these "rules" that more often than not lead people down the wrong path.
    Lets cut through the bullshit and spread good information in a way that is not so absolute. Or at very least explain the growth stages of cannabis making sure to mention that the pistils should have receded back into the bud before you chop. Regardless of trichome colour.

    If I could offer one piece of advice on picking the right time to harvest, it's all about watching the pistils. Not so much the colour, but the movement. They should have receded into the bud and the seed bracts should be swollen.

    It should look less like this
    And more like this.

    Trust me when I say, it is worth the excruciating wait.
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Word up brother aint that the truth
  3. great post
  4. this sooooo needs to be a sticky
  5. Question.. How about a strain that continues to produce new pistols regardless of age.. I just posted a thread asking about changing light cycle from 12/12 to 10-14 or 8-16 to help with finishing current pistols/calyx and will stop new ones from forming..
  6. This is just what I needed to see right before my harvest. This is great information! +rep
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Wow... Great info... even though i'm almost 9 weeks into 12/12, I guess I'm in for the wait!
  8. Yeah im almost 8 weeks into 12/12

    ill be following this method instead of trichs, while still watching them cause i love knowing :cool:

    and for jamaican, or anybody else....

    how many strains really never stop growing calyx's? im sure not many., if any? [im sure there is though, why not]
  9. mm i love STICKY
  10. bumpp, sticky this.

    and an expert needs to answer my question please [there are many lurking, i know it, your reading this] :cool:
  11. You say don't be scientific yet you reference all these chemicals that science discovered. You basically did science by harvesting at 8 weeks and then comparing to a week later. Thats science, doing experiments and learning from results. '

    Good guide though. If theres white hairs it means buds are still growing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Excellent post, thanks for putting it back our here. STICKY please :)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Sticky this please because the complex thc peek week harvest has messed up many grows i know some of mine took a turn for the worst lol, but this helps ppl to use common sense i know i wasnt, i got so caught up in reading i never waited on all buds to swell or hairs to receed:mad: +rep
    • Like Like x 1
  14. great post thanks man this is some good info for me to learn at the perfect time...i did notice on one of my roadrunners that the hairs receded and i was wondering if that meant anything..this is perfect to clear up what i was already thinking:hello:

    on another one i thought was ready that seemed ready by the trichs which is how everyone has told me to harvest by looking at trichs....it also was not ready and i harvested to early based on trichs but the hairs did not recede
  15. God bless you for posting this, it will greatly help me this time of the year.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. and i couldnt have seen this 2 days ago before i harvested. DEFINATELY too early
  17. AWESOME!!! I'm on my first grow, and my buds are frosty, but I'm looking for that body high since I medicate for fibro. 75-80% are still clear even though my plants are starting to lose some leaves. I was told that since I'm treating fibro, I want to wait until MOST of the leaves have yellowed and withered.

  18. how long was the transition from the first to the second picture?
  19. Thats a good question..
  20. no idea. didnt write this
    • Like Like x 1

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