Harvesting Cannabis

Harvesting Cannabis: A Step-By-Step Guide

Welcome, dearest weed lovers, to the Get Kush guide on harvesting cannabis. In this step-by-step journey, we will provide you, our fellow blazers, with the knowledge and resources needed to achieve a successful harvest of your marijuana plants.

We are more than a dispensary, over here at Get Kush. We are bonafide, deeply passionate enthusiasts of all things cannabis and see the process of growing the finest weed as an art form, something we love with all of our hearts, rather than a business venture alone. We got into this because we believe in weed and love it dearly – it’s as simple as that.

Not to blow our collective trumpets too much, but we like to think that we have perfected the art of growing cannabis through years of experimenting, study, trial, and error. We enjoy seeing our customers far and wide cultivate their own growing projects and believe that farming cannabis should be enjoyed by everyone who is legally able to do so.

So, with that spirit in mind, we shall hold your hand through the basics of harvesting, through this article. But first, a quick caveat: harvesting cannabis is a subject we could write several pretty thick books about, but at the risk of blinding you with too much science, we decided to stick to the raw basics for now and equip you with the knowledge and steps to knock your harvest out of the park.

In other words, we have got you covered with the chief relevant aspects of harvesting marijuana. Over time, you will learn a few tricks and tips of your own through trial, error, and research that will help you enhance and optimize your harvesting marijuana game going forward.

For now, let’s stick to the most important stuff, beginning with something absolutely key to harvesting cannabis successfully: perfect timing.

Timing is Everything: Finding the Best Moment to Harvest

As with many things in life, when it comes to harvesting cannabis, timing is pretty important. The perfect moment to harvest your cannabis plants depends on a combination of various factors, chief of which are the general cultivation conditions, and genetic characteristics of the plant.

Basically, each cannabis strain comes with its own unique maturation rate, requiring individual assessment to figure out the perfect harvest window. With that in mind, let’s explore the various ways you can pinpoint when your cannabis is ripe for the picking:

Seek Wisdom in Grow Guides and Breeders’ Recommendations

Many cannabis breeders offer invaluable cultivation guidelines for their own strains, giving you, the grower, the best possible insights into the ideal time to harvest. Usually, this information will be volunteered in advance. If it isn’t, just ask.

There is something to be mindful of, in addition: the massive popularity of certain strains (such as our very own Banana Clip, for example) means that extensive grow guides are available online, offering specific information on the optimal harvest time for various cannabis cultivars.

Provided you know what strain you have (and why wouldn’t you), all you have to do is jump online and search for the grow guide relevant to the strain in question. Simple.

Visual Cues: Trichomes and Pistils

Even without access to growing guides, you can usually rely on visual cues – or even a visceral ‘gut feeling’ developed over time – to determine the readiness of your cannabis plants.

A key step of the process is to keep a keen eye out for pistils—the fragile white hairs extending out from the buds. As the flowering stage moves forward, these pistils will curl up and switch from white to a lively and quite pretty orange hue. Another valuable visual clue is the trichomes—the tiny oil sacs present on the actual buds. In theory, this is quite a simple thing to look out for because when the trichomes appear cloudy, it hints that the cannabis is maturing.

For a closer examination of the trichomes, a handheld microscope will prove quite handy and is something you should probably possess in your growing kit arsenal anyway.

All of that being said, it is important to bear in mind that visual cues alone may not be foolproof all of the time, as they can vary among different strains. For more precise results, you may want to consider utilizing gas or liquid chromatography to test the raw potency of your cannabis, ensuring an accurate assessment of its readiness for harvest.

Testing the Potency Buds: The Science of Harvesting

For those of you who are seeking absolute nailed-down precision in determining when to harvest cannabis, running your own potency tests using chromatography equipment is actually something we highly recommend.

By testing multiple samples of your cannabis, you can obtain accurate readings of the cannabinoid and terpene potency. Comparing the tested potency with the expected range for your strain will provide you with a crucial heads-up.

Over time and with enough practice, this process will help you to develop a deep understanding of the ideal cannabis harvest range for each strain you cultivate.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cultivation

The harvesting process differs between indoor and outdoor cannabis crops due to the unique conditions they are presented with. When it comes to cannabis cultivation and harvesting, two distinct realms exist, which are indoor and outdoor growing.

Basically, both strategies offer their own set of advantages and challenges, which, in turn, influence the cannabis harvesting process. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two approaches and explore how they shape the path to an amazing, rich, bountiful cannabis harvest.

When to Harvest Outdoor Cannabis?

Cannabis that is produced outdoors follows the natural seasonal cycle, and are often sown or planted as seedlings in May before they finish their vegetative cycle sometime in July.

At this time, resinous blossoms begin to grow, and usually by mid-October, they are at their most potent. After this, harvesting needs to be done right afterward in order to avoid seasonal rot and maintain quality – be mindful of this as you harvest, as many beautiful crops have been ruined by delaying the harvest.

When to Harvest Indoor Cannabis?

The beauty of indoor growing is that you can grow cannabis plants all year round. It is because of this unmatched flexibility offered by indoor growing that it has always been so popular (especially with our quite brutal Canadian climate in mind).

In order to ensure that all of the different batches of plants are at different stages of the culture cycle, many indoor growers will stagger their crops. The earlier methods we mentioned – such as visual cues and potency testing – are crucial for indoor producers in figuring out the ideal cannabis harvest time.

The ability to design your own cultivation environment brings up a world of opportunities and exploration, which is another plus point for indoor growing, and another reason it is the preferred method.

The Art of Harvesting Cannabis: Step-by-Step

So, after careful inspection, you have determined that your cannabis plants are ripe for harvest, and you are excited about getting into the hands-on process of the actual harvest. We know that feeling all too well.

Let’s now take a look at the exact steps – taken diligently, mind – to ensure a successful cannabis harvest, and one very happy grower:

1. Confirm Your Plants’ Readiness

Without stating the obvious too much, It is essential to confirm that your plants are truly prepared before beginning the cannabis harvest process. Utilize the techniques and procedures indicated above to examine and test your cannabis plants. Keep in mind that once you separate the roots from the buds, there is no going back!

2. Visual Inspection of Your Cannabis Plants

Take a very careful visual inspection of your cannabis plants, searching for any signs of mold or abnormalities. If you spot any mold, act promptly and remove the affected areas to prevent its spread to the rest of your crop.

Mold can pose a nasty threat to your cannabis plants, compromising their general potency and even posing health risks if consumed through edibles. As you inspect your plants, pay close attention to the leaves, buds, and all surrounding areas for any visible signs of that dreaded mold growth.

Try to keep an eye out for fuzzy white or gray patches, lingering dark spots, or any ‘unusual’ discoloration. Mold always thrives in moist, humid environments, so any areas that are consistently damp or poorly ventilated are particularly susceptible to the nightmare that is mold!

3. Cutting and Hanging Your Plants

Once you have confirmed the ok for the harvest of your tenderly cared-for cannabis plants, it is time to go ahead and execute the first step of the harvest. This is the fun part, you might say.

Carefully cut the plants at the base of the main central stalk, ensuring a Samurai-like clean and precise cut. Aim for a cut without any unnecessary damage to the surrounding plant material. This level of precision not only aids the drying process but also helps maintain the integrity of the harvested buds.

Now that your plants have been severed from their roots, it’s time to prepare them for the next stage—drying. Find a suitable dry environment with adequate airflow to hang your plants upside down. This allows gravity to do its magic, assisting in the even distribution of moisture throughout the plant as it begins to dry.

Ensure that the drying area maintains a consistent temperature and humidity level. Avoid excessive heat or humidity, as these conditions can lead to mold or uneven drying. A well-ventilated room or a dedicated drying space with fans or air circulation will aid in the proper drying process.

4. Trimming and Curing Your Buds

Once your cannabis plants have achieved the desired dryness (hovering around 10-12% moisture content), it’s time to enter the next chapter of this process: the art of trimming and curing.

This phase is where the magic truly happens. Using that same Samurai-like precision, remove the buds from the stalks and delicately trim away any unnecessary leaf material. Your objective here is to reveal the buds’ beauty and unlock their full potential.

To move forward with the curing process, carefully place the trimmed buds in sealed mason jars or hermetically sealed containers. These vessels act as sanctuaries, allowing the buds to undergo a transformative journey. Remember, patience is key here, so have plenty of it! Open the containers every 24-48 hours, permitting air circulation that serves to nurture the ideal curing conditions. This interaction with oxygen promotes the gradual development of flavor, aroma, and smoothness of your cannabis grow.

5. Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!

After approximately three weeks of curing, your cannabis buds will have undergone the transformative process necessary to unlock their full potential. It’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewards of your hard work – you deserve it, so enjoy it!

Go ahead and revel in the aroma, savor the sweet flavors, and experience the effects of your meticulously cultivated cannabis. And if it didn’t go exactly to plan, remember, Canada’s finest cannabis dispensary is just one click away, if you need to grab some last-minute quality!

When to Harvest Cannabis FAQs

Let’s take a look at some of the more common questions we receive here at Get Kush, surrounding the art of cannabis harvesting. In no particular order:

How long should cannabis flower after reaching full size?

The flowering duration varies from strain to strain, typically ranging from 7 to 10 weeks after reaching full vegetative size. To figure out the exact flowering duration for the strain you are growing, consult strain-specific data (as mentioned previously) or seek guidance from experienced growers.

When should I stop watering cannabis before harvest?

Generally speaking, it is recommended to stop watering your cannabis plants approximately three days before the harvest. This allows the plants to draw excess water and start the dehydration process without causing any damage or (god forbid) reducing potency.

Can I harvest buds at different times?

Yes and no. While it is technically possible to harvest your buds at different times, it is generally best to harvest the entire plant all at once. Harvesting the buds together reduces the risk of stress, infection, and even human error. Taking a more unified approach to the cannabis harvest will ensure consistency and maximize the overall quality of your harvest.

Or at least, that is the way we see it, through years of harvesting our own plants.

How do I differentiate between ripe and unripe buds?

Git instinct comes into play through some of the harvesting process, and for those lacking experience in visually determining the ripeness, alternative methods can be called upon. You should rely on visual inspections, strain-specific growth cycle information, or lab testing of bud samples to arrive at spot-on accuracy. Regular testing throughout the maturation process also allows for more informed decisions and precise timing.

Wrap Up

As already mentioned, we could write a book – or maybe even several books – on how to harvest cannabis. Through this guide, we have tried to focus on the main points. Everything you need to get your harvest going, in other words.

By embracing these guidelines and following the proper techniques, you should be just fine, producing a cannabis harvest that you can step back, behold, and be proud of. However, remember that learning from trusted cannabis cultivators and industry experts can catapult your journey even further ahead.

With that in mind, Get Kush is committed to providing top-quality products and ensuring an enjoyable shopping experience for even the most demanding cannabis enthusiasts.

Please check out our store – you will find a wide range of Cannabis from the best budget weed in Canada to top-shelf AAAA products, all grown with love, expertise, and a deep passion for the cannabis plant. Right now, our customers are enjoying free shipping on all orders over $129, and in a joyful act of generosity, we are even throwing out free gifts with every order. All part of the Get Kush magic!

For the time being, we wish you the best of luck with your harvest and an abundance of buds! Happy harvesting, Kushers!

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