If you’re looking to optimize potency, and all the wonderous potential of the cannabis plant, properly timing the harvest is key. Harvest is one of the most enjoyable parts of growing cannabis, as the fruits of your labour are realized, but how do you know the right time to cut your ladies down?
Chemical Changes Are Occurring
It is crucial to understand what is happening on a chemical level at the time of harvest. Trichomes are developing and go through three phases where they appear clear, cloudy white, and eventually amber in colour. To view trichomes a 300x microscope is required and can be purchased online for about $20.
When trichomes appear clear, the plant is still growing and producing THC. Once all trichomes appear cloudy white, THC production has stopped, and the plant has reached maximum THC content. When trichomes turn amber it represents the presence of CBN production. The main difficulty in determining when to harvest is that all parts of the plant do not mature at the same rate and trichomes in certain spots will turn red prior to all trichomes going cloudy white.
The Perfect Harvest
This is where personal preference comes in. If the intention is to produce a plant with maximum THC content, then harvesting before trichomes turn amber is important. Harvest should occur when the majority of trichomes are cloudy white. If the intention is to produce a plant that is beneficial for pain and insomnia, a bit of CBN might be helpful and harvest should be performed when up to 50% of trichomes appear amber in colour. The more red, the more you will need a bed!
After taking the care and time to grow your cannabis plants, make sure you harvest them based on their intended applications. Growing amazing cannabis is something that takes time and practice, so be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes.