The cannabis industry has received a significant boost after The United Nations removed cannabis from the list of most dangerous substances. The removal of cannabis from the list means that there will be an increased number of cannabis users.
The increase in numbers indicates room for expansion for various cannabis-related businesses and even creating more opportunities in the society for the people.
For instance, if you come from a state where cannabis Is legal then you will note that the marijuana growers are increasing every single day. The growers plant high-quality cannabis seeds which then later grow into healthy plants which upon maturity are harvested and sold to consumers and large-scale sellers.
The Problem of Harvesting Cannabis
However, most of the marijuana growers have a common problem. They do not know when is the perfect time to harvest their weed. Yes, after pollination the marijuana seeds grow into seedlings which are transplanted into a medium of growth that the farmer chooses to use.
So, the short period between the budding flower and yellowing of the plant is the time when your weed will produce the best THC levels. This means that your plants will go through a given cycle of growth until they are mature after which you will be able to harvest them. In this guide, we shall discuss the process of harvesting your cannabis plants.
What are cannabis seeds?
These are the seeds that are grown to produce cannabis plants. The female cannabis plants are the ones that are responsible for producing the beautiful buds that we see while the male cannabis plants are the ones that are responsible for cross germination.
Cannabis seeds are usually grouped into two major groups; feminized marijuana seeds or auto-flowering marijuana seeds. Also depending on the strain that the farmer will grow the seeds will either be Indica dominant (high CBD levels)or Sativa dominant. (High levels of THC).
After your seeds have grown into full cannabis plants how do you harvest them? Here is the procedure.
When do you tell that your plants are ready for harvest?
Plants take a given period to fully grow before they are harvested. The same case applies to cannabis plants. The different strains of cannabis plants have different periods that they take before they are harvested as follows;
- Indica strain-8 weeks after flowering
- Sativa strain-10 weeks after flowering
- Auto-flowering plants- 10 weeks from seedling to bud.
Thus, observing their period of flowering is a great way to help you determine the maturity of the plants.
How to prepare your plants for harvesting
Harvesting preparations is not a day’s job. First, you should no longer spray your plants with any fertilizers or growth helpers, instead, spray them with water. Secondly, you should remove all the yellow leaves from the bottom of the plant.
Prepare the lighting
All lights and lamps should be turned off in the growth room to avoid the lights from affecting the levels of THC in the plants.
Gather your tools
- Trimmers- you can either use electrical or handled. However, handled scissors work the best since they allow for more human control
- Gloves- they help you avoid cross-contamination, smelling hands, and stickiness.
- Lines- for hanging your plants.
- Ties/small clothes- for hanging the plants on the lines.
- Isopropyl alcohol- to keep you and your workstation clean.
Flushing your buds
If it applies to your growth then you should use distilled water (do not use tap water) or water that has been mixed with a flushing agent to remove fertilizer. The flushing process should be carried out 7-10 days before harvest.
Methods of Trimming
There are two major methods of Trimming plants;
- The whole plant trimming method- is the fastest method to use in trimming your weed. It is quick and easy to use since it does not consume your time monitoring individual buds with much attention.
- The ripe bud trimming method-This method tends to consume more time. However, it can produce a higher yield that has a better bud quality. The outer buds usually mature first. This means that you will be required to trim your weed from the outside to the inside over time.
When should you trim the leaves?
When you want to trim the leaves from the buds then you should decide on whether to do it before or after drying the buds. Generally, if you are in a humid environment, then you should trim the leaves before drying them and also keep the leaves before drying them if you come from a low humid environment. When Trimming the leaves, cut an angle with an outward motion.
N/B leaves that are in a humid environment may grow mold whereas leafless buds that are in an environment with low humidity may dry too quickly.
Also, remember that the leaves are easier to cut immediately after harvesting because they are still wet, and also the softer trichomes have fewer chances of being accidentally removed.
Drying your buds
When drying your buds then you should hang them evenly with enough ventilation for 3-6 days at a humidity of 50%. The stems will not bend when properly dried but instead, they will snap.
Finally, it is time to do the final trimming if there will be a need for it. After the final trimming, seal your seeds in a container that is tightly closed to finish the curing process.
Harvesting weed is more fun and enjoyable when you do the right thing from the beginning. As a grower, you have to look for high-quality seeds first after which you will, later on, germinate them. All these processes require you to do your work with a passion for a better final result.
Also, for you to harvest high-quality plants you need to have a clear understanding of the visual signs to help you know when the plants have matured. You are also required to be well equipped with knowledge on how to prepare your plants for harvesting, have the right tools that will enable you to harvest your plants well, and a piece of basic knowledge on proper storage of your harvested weed to avoid it from losing the levels of THC that it has.