When to Harvest Cannabis

The ripening stage of the cannabis plant varies from strain to strain. However, some key pointers can be used to indicate the right set of ripening if examined closely. The following guide can help you understand the stages of cannabis ripening weekly and avoid over ripe buds.

  •     Week 1-3: At this stage, white pistils can be seen arising from the calyx of the plant. Although, very few calyces may be present. Sativa-dominant cannabis plants stretch the most during this early stage.
  •     Week 4-6: At this time, you could visualize numerous buds present on the plant. You might also witness the slowing down of stretching. It is due to cannabis buds becoming more swollen and producing resins. You can also see a few trichomes here and there.
  •     Week 7-9: This is the time! The time to harvest has come closer during this week. During this stage, the terpenes are aromatic and more potent. Although some strains of cannabis plants may require additional weeks of growing, most auto-flowering cannabis plants are ready by week 9!

What are the “body” parts of the cannabis plant

Cannabis is quite similar to other plants, with slight variations. In this section, we will discuss the essential anatomical parts associated with cannabis plants and the functions they serve, so here we go!

  •     Flower: This is part of the female cannabis plant that is smoked, and in layperson’s terms, it’s also known as pot/weed bud. Once mature, the flowers produce resin glands containing terpenes and cannabinoids.
  •     Pistils: This is the portion where the reproductive parts sit. One can also see many thin strands of hair-like structures called stigmas. Pistils are responsible for collecting pollen.
  •     Cola: This is one of the most accessible parts. It’s a bunch of buds together that form the colas. The main cola can be found on the topmost part of the cannabis plant.
  •     Bracts: This part of the female cannabis plant contains the maximum number of cannabinoids. These tear-shaped resins-containing glands are present near the reproductive region.
  •     Trichomes: This part of the cannabis plant protects the wild. They cover the buds of the plant.
  •     Fan leaves: These unique leaves capture the excessive light on the cannabis plant.

How much time do you need to grow cannabis?

It usually takes 3 to 8 months for a typical cannabis plant to grow. Nonetheless, there’s always some alteration during the vegetative phase.

When it comes to indoor flowering, one can manage and cause it within a few weeks. However, you’ll be at the mercy of the changing seasons in outdoor cultivation. People have started using light deprivation techniques while growing outdoors to tackle this.

If you’re looking for a detailed timeline for growing cannabis, following guidelines can help you each step of the way.

  •     Preparation stage: 0-4 weeks
  •     Seed Germination: 1-7 days
  •     Seedling stage: 10-15 days
  •     Vegetative stage: 2-8 weeks (This stage is subject to variations)
  •     Flowering stage: 5-16 weeks

Nevertheless, if you’re aware of the proper techniques, you can control the growth of your cannabis plant. For example, genetics is one of the significant factors that influence the development of cannabis plants. Most people use auto-flowering cannabis seeds since these can flower within 2-4 weeks after planting. Other than this, the environment is the primary factor to look for. Proper temperature, light, humidity, and the correct quantity of water can make all the difference when flowering outdoors.

What sorts of strains are the easiest to grow at home?

It could be very confusing for beginners to find the right strain of cannabis or marijuana plant to grow indoors. However, you’ve got nothing to be worried about. This section will review five significant forms of cannabis strains that are easy to grow at home.

  1.   Northern Lights: This pure Indica plant is grown best indoors. It can be grown in hydroponics and usually needs around 70-85 F. Within 6-7 weeks, Northern Lights will begin to flower.
  2.   Blue Dream: This Sativa-dominant plant can be harvested within 10-11 weeks. It is a potent hybrid with a THC component of around 17-24%.
  3.   Gorilla Glue #4: This is one of the stickiest cannabis plants, hence the name. Like Blue Dream, this one is Sativa dominant and can flower within 8-9 weeks.
  4.   Blue Cheese: This one is an Indica-dominant cannabis plant whose aroma strongly resembles blue cheese and blueberries. It is also one of the earliest-growing cannabis, with only 50 days of flowering.
  5.   Green Crack: If you’re a beginner, Green Crack is for you. It’s a Sativa dominant strain with THC levels reaching 25%. Besides this, due to rapid flowering, it can be harvested quickly indoors.

What sorts are bad ideas to grow at home

Certain strains of cannabis can cause you a lot more trouble than one can anticipate. This is due to cannabis strains requiring specific needs for optimum growth, which can be challenging to meet. Some of the following strains mentioned below can give you a tough time.

  •     Colombian Gold
  •     San Fernando Valley OG
  •     Dr. Grinspoon
  •     Chocolate Thai
  •     Headband

These cannabis strains often have long flowering periods, relatively low yield, and often come with specific needs. They can even require more labor work, additional supplies, and money which may or may not be worth the hassle.

Dos and don’ts

In this section, you will find specific tips and tricks to increase the yield and productivity of your cannabis plants and how to harvest marijuana. It’s essential to abide by the following do’s and don’ts to produce desirable results.


  • Wear clean gloves during the harvest process
  • It is recommended to harvest in proper phases rather than rushing the process
  • Use an excellent sharp harvesting scissor
  • Post harvesting, dry your weed buds nicely and slowly for the desired yield


  • It would be best if you avoided unnecessary touching of the plant
  • An oscillating fan shouldn’t be used for drying
  • Never stash your harvested buds or weed plants before they’re dry enough

Markers of cannabis plant maturity

It is incredibly crucial for one to be aware of the signs leading to the maturity of the cannabis plant. This is the part where we answer when to harvest cannabis. This is precisely the time when you should begin the process of harvesting.

Studies report that both the early and late harvesting of cannabis can lead to undesirable results and yields of weed.

If you harvest cannabis too early, your premature buds will yield less. On the other hand, if you harvest too late, cannabis potency becomes low, and some rotting may occur.

So how do you know the right harvest time for your long-awaited cannabis plant?

One of the best ways to figure out a cannabis plant’s maturity, look for darkened and curled pistils. Besides this, some people suggest having a close-up photo or a microscope to visualize the presence of amber trichomes that were previously clear. Or, if you’re witnessing it from the naked eye, look for 80% of pistils to turn from white to red.

If you witness any of the above processes, it’s time to harvest!

Markers that it is not time to reap

One should be aware of the signs leading to the prematurity of cannabis plants. The average period required for the cannabis flowering stage or harvest time in cannabis plants is around eight weeks. Therefore, before that, one shouldn’t even think of harvesting.

Besides, it isn’t the right harvest time if most of those tiny hair-like pistils haven’t curled up or darkened.

If you’re someone using a microscope to closely examine the trichomes, remember that translucent or transparent trichomes indicate the prematurity of the plant. Wait for 80% of trichomes to turn milky white (highest THC content) to amber (slightly low THC content) for more desirable cannabis effects.

First signs of the flowering stage outdoors

When does flowering start outdoor? The first signs of the flowering stage of cannabis outdoors typically occur in mid to late summer, when the days begin to shorten and the nights become longer. This signals to the plant that winter is coming, and it begins to produce flowers. During this time, plants will grow tall and their leaves may turn yellow. They will also develop white hairs (pistils) on the buds, eventually becoming full-blown flowers filled with resin glands containing cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These buds can also develop some beautiful colors such as purple or pink, depending on the strain. As time passes during this stage, the plants will become denser and more frosty looking as their trichomes swell in size. This is when their aroma profile changes from a sweet smell early on to a more skunky aroma closer to harvest time. Additionally, pistils may vary from white to orange or red as they mature. The flowering stage is a critical part of harvesting high-quality buds, so it’s important for growers to observe their plants closely during this period for optimal results!

What to do after harvesting?

If you’re a farmer, you would know that harvesting at the right time isn’t the only thing necessary for maintaining a cannabis plant’s potency. To further preserve it, it’s essential to perform certain post-harvest rituals. These include Drying, Trimming weed, and Curing of the Cannabis buds.

  •     Drying: There are two common ways of drying cannabis buds. You can cut the branches or hang the cannabis plant upside down via strings/cloth hangers. Or, if you want, you can also cut the buds of the cannabis plant and place them on a mesh drying rack. During the drying process, keeping the room temperature around 70 degrees is fundamental, and humidity should be between 45-50%. It is also recommended to have a slower drying process rather than wrapping things up!
  •     Trimming: The next step is quite the easy one. This involves the nice trimming of sugar leaves to expose evident manicured buds. Trimming weed can be done by hand or through a trimming machine. It is crucial to trim the cannabis plant before you move ahead with the Curing process.
  •     Curing: Once you’re done with the above two steps, it is time to find some Mason jars or any other sealed container with an immediate and controlled environment. Fill ¾ of the jars with cannabis buds in a dark background. Ensure you keep the temperature around 60-70 degrees with 60% humidity. Through this process, you can produce cannabis plants resistant to degradation.


This article about Medical Marijuana was published on and updated on March 2, 2023 . Medical facts in this article was checked and article was medically reviewed by our . Author of this checked article is
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