When and How to Harvest Cannabis: Guide for Beginners

When and How to Harvest Cannabis: Guide for Beginners

If you think about farming your own cannabis, one of the basic things you should know is when and how to harvest weed, so the buds are ready and high-quality. Harvesting a plant is just as important as growing it. You probably know that any fruit and vegetable harvested before its time will be sour and small. Unfortunately, cannabis is no exception.

Harvesting too soon will cause a lack of potency, but collecting too late will make your buds just a light sleep medicine, as they will lose all of their properties. Moreover, you need to follow a proper procedure to ensure that your weed is of the highest quality. To find out when is the best time for cannabis harvesting and how to collect it correctly, read on – and make sure that your pot serves all your needs.

When is the Best Time to Harvest Cannabis?

The answer to this question depends on your goals. If you want to have weed that is more likely to increase your appetite but is not very potent, harvest it when it has not yet reached the end of its flowering stage. To determine its readiness, use a magnifier (your phone’s camera, for example) to look at the trichomes – little white crystals that cover the buds and are filled with THC. Clear trichomes are low in THC and will produce a light effect.

In contrast, if you want to receive weed that is going to be great for pain relief and very strong, wait until the plant matures and goes into the end of the flowering phase. Trichomes should be cloudy and all-white, which means that they are filled with THC and very strong. However, for a high, relaxing effect, wait for the trichomes to turn amber or golden.

There are also some other factors that can signal when your cannabis is ready:

  • Yellow, curling leaves that are falling off;
  • Plump and developed buds;
  • Heavy branches that hang more than earlier.

How to Harvest Cannabis Properly

If you think it is time to harvest your weed, follow the next steps to ensure that your buds are of the highest quality:

1.   Wait for the Right Time and Weather

Many weed growers recommend harvesting your cannabis in the early morning, as it will taste better and dry faster. However, you also need to wait for the proper weather, as extreme temperatures can significantly affect the quality of the buds or even ruin them completely. Unless you want your weed not to stay potent, avoid harvesting it when it’s very cold or hot outside or ensure that the temperature inside is comfortable.

2.    Cut the Branches

When the timing and weather are good, you are ready to start harvesting. Cut the branches at the base of the plant – this is going to make it easier for you to hang them up. It will also provide better air circulation, helping your weed dry faster and better. Be careful and avoid cutting any leaves or buds – they can’t get moist.

3.    Hang and Trim the Branches

After you have cut all branches, hang them up. Make sure they are not touching each other – otherwise, it will be hard for them to dry completely, and some mold can appear.

When the branches are semi-dry (or whenever you have some free time), trim the leaves. That can be a time-consuming, tedious process, so try to get rid of at least the largest, prominent leaves, which can keep the branches wet. With the smaller leaves, you can wait until the branches are completely dry – it will be easier to trim them.

4.   Dry the Buds Slowly

It is very important to dry your weed slowly, as this will allow the THC to degrade slightly. However, make sure that there’s not much light, which can make your cannabis much less potent. If your weed is drying in a room, use boxes or blankets to cover the windows so that there is no air circulation and no direct sunlight. Also, don’t leave your cannabis to dry in a place where temperature can change rapidly – this can ruin it.


Harvesting is probably one of the most fun parts of growing your own weed. However, it’s not as simple as it may seem: you can’t just cut the buds, cure them, and use them right away. It takes much more: waiting for the right weather conditions, cutting the branches correctly, hanging them, trimming, drying, and checking if they are ready.

But the first step is always learning when exactly is the right time to harvest your weed. Depending on your needs, you can’t do that too early or too late – otherwise, you might end up with buds that are either too potent or not so strong.

We hope that this article was helpful – and that you’ll always end up with high-quality weed. Good luck.


Traffic Roots Pixel