How to Harvest Weed the Right Way

The long wait is totally over! You’ve watched your marijuana grow from a tiny seedling into a full bloomed cannabis plant that is boasting with sweet crystalline buds and now is ready for harvest.

The secret in achieving a perfect weed harvest is the proper timing on when you will gather those potent buds. Finding that perfect time to harvest it is considered as one of the trickiest processes especially for those newbie weed growers. Harvesting it at the wrong time will produce either a less potent bud or a powerful tasting one.

You can now worry less because we will be listing down some guidelines on when and how to properly harvest your beautiful fruits of hard work and labor.

The Right Time to Harvest

Once your marijuana plant has undergone its flowering cycle, you will notice that its health is slowly beginning to weaken. There are actually various changes that you’ll see that are indications that it is ready for harvest.

  • There will be an evident change in the colors of your cannabis plant’s pistils from its original color to a bright red one.
  • The stems of your plant will also broaden.
  • There will be also color changes on the resins present in the buds which will become darker and almost brownish in color while the leaves will turn yellow and eventually dry out and die.

Above are the basic symptoms in which indicates that your plant is good to go. Actually, the right time to harvest the buds depends solely on the preference of the grower.

There are other ways of determining when your cannabis plant is ready for picking.

On the following sections, we will be discussing the various indicators one must have fully grasped to be able to identify that a cannabis plant is ready for harvest.

Flowering period

Most marijuana plants have a standard flowering cycle that you must know before deciding on growing and cultivating them. It is usually based on the dominant gene that it possesses which are indica, sativa, or auto-flowering.

Although it still depends on the techniques, methods, and environmental conditions that you lay upon your seedlings to determine the right time, these are just estimated duration that you should be aware of.

  • Indica

Indicas usually have an average flowering period of eight weeks before harvesting when grown indoors. Outdoors, it is usually ready for harvest during the end of Septembers.

  • Sativa

Sativas, on the other hand, have a longer flowering period of about 12 weeks during indoor cultivation and it is generally ready for harvest during the end of Octobers.

  • Auto-flowering

This type of marijuana is a special case wherein it doesn’t follow any changes in lightings. You can expect it to be ready after 10 weeks from planting.


Aside from checking on the dominant strain that your marijuana plant has, one of the ways of checking if it is ready is through the color of the pistils. This is known to be the most accurate and precise way of determining that the plant is ready for harvest.

  • Pistils that has turned 50% to 70% brown are closing harvest period but are still early for picking. This results to a taste that is lighter and a high that is not that extreme.
  • If you notice that the pistils are already brownish by 71% to 90% then it is the perfect time for harvesting it since it contains the optimum strength and heavy high that it should possess.
  • A 90% to 100% brownish pistils is an indication that you’ve missed the opportunity to gather the perfect product. Usually harvesting the plant during this condition will equate to a narcotic plant that has a very deep flavor and taste.


The third and last indicator that your plant is ready for picking is the trichomes. With the use of magnifying tools, you must observe if the trichomes reached the desired condition before harvesting it. The best moment to get those buds is when the ball-like structure on top of the trichomes must be mostly cloudy.

You would know if the trichomes hit the cloudy parameter when 50% to 70% of the hairs have already turned dark from their original whitish color. At this point, it can provide the extreme high that is both euphoric and pain-relieving in nature.

Harvesting Proper

Now that you know how to identify if the plant is ready for harvest, it is now time to pick those little bundles of joy up.

The first thing that you will need to do is to remove the lamp on your indoor farm and place some wires on the ceiling. Carefully cut the plant on its base and hang it upside down on the wire you hanged earlier.

Place a fan underneath it and turn it on. Make sure that you keep a humidity level of about 45% while the temperature is maintained at around 64°F. The room must be dark and the extractor fan is up and running.

Use heavy duty scissors or shears so that it can cut through even the thickest stem or branch. You must also prepare some isopropyl alcohol to wash off the resins off your shears or scissors since it can tend to be so sticky. Don’t forget to work with some gloves on.

The basic concept regarding this set up is to allow the moisture contained in the plant to evaporate and the plant’s chlorophyll to break down completely. Hastening the process of drying may result in some chlorophyll to be left behind which affects the taste of your weeds.

Allow everything to dry up and it usually lasts for about 10 to 14 days. You should also constantly check up on the plants and prevent the development of molds.

Outdoor harvest

Harvesting your marijuana plants outdoors is more crucial and needs a lot of attention compared to indoor harvesting. There are a lot of factors that you should consider before picking those luscious buds off your backyard farm.

  • It is all in the color

The leaves will all turn yellowish-brown when the plant is about to die so make sure you harvest at the right time before this one happens. Always check the buds’ colors because they’re your best weapons for identifying that they are good to go. Once they’re beginning to lose the bright green color then it is time to pick them up.

  • Bring the right equipment and tools

Remember to double check the needed items for harvests like resealable bags, shears, scissors, and gloves. Once ready, don’t stick on the site for a very long time or you might get caught by officials.

  • Personal security must be observed

Make sure you harvest your marijuana plants in a secured manner since being caught by the police can be a huge hassle. Know the rounding and patrolling patterns of the police in your area and make a concrete schedule on when to harvest your plants to avoid being caught.

Right Knowledge is the Key

In almost everything that you do, being geared with the right amount of information is the best tool in achieving the best results. This is true especially in harvesting the fruits of your labor wherein knowing the best time, harvesting methods and techniques, and issues regarding marijuana strains are crucial for any weed farmers to have.