(Last Updated On: July 28, 2021)

Have you been learning how to grow cannabis? If so, it must have been a really time-consuming and demanding process. You need to read seed bank reviews, get your hands on a few seeds, and then care for a cannabis plant and its growth process to the best of your abilities.

However, that is not what growing cannabis is about. In fact, the most important part of the process is getting to cut down the buds and drying and curing these buds. Do you want to know how to go about it? If your answer is yes, this article is for you!

Here, you will find a beginner’s guide to harvesting cannabis. It includes a bunch of useful information, including how to determine whether your marijuana plant is ready for harvest and step-by-step instructions to harvest weed. Check it out!

Is Your Marijuana Plant Ready for Harvest?

In order to determine whether your plants have already reached their harvesting stage, you must check what the stigmas and the trichomes look like. The stigmas of mature plants turn from white to orange and start curling.

On the other hand, the trichomes turn opaque and then amber, but you will need a microscope to take a closer look. Fortunately, you can find handheld microscopes in every single growing supply store.

How Often Should Marijuana Be Harvested?

The answer to this question depends on the strain of marijuana that you are growing. Each strain has its own unique growth cycle. The information from the breeder can be really helpful in getting an estimate of when and how often it should be harvested.

In addition to that, you need to take into account the way in which you are growing your weed. If you are doing it indoors, your weed plant should grow from seed to harvest in three to eight months, which means that you can fit in up to four harvests in a single year.

Outdoor marijuana is a bit different in that regard. In general, it is harvested once a year, in the fall. If you are growing your marijuana plants in a tropical climate, you might be able to squeeze in two harvests instead of one.

What Equipment Do You Need?

You will need a few pieces of equipment in order to harvest your weed plants the right way. Fortunately, they are easy to come by in most houses. Here is a list!

  • rubbing alcohol
  • bowl / tray
  • a clean surface 
  • a comfortable chair
  • proper clothes
  • scissors (for trimming buds)
  • pruners (for big branches)

How Do You Harvest Weed?

The first thing that you need to do is determine what type of trimming suits your needs best. There are two types that you can choose from. 

The first one is dry trimming – you chop the plants down and hang them up to dry for several days before you get to trimming. The second one is wet trimming – you trim the buds right after chopping the plants down.

Once you are done, get ready to chop your plants down! Just grab the pruners and start cutting off big branches. Remember to be delicate with the buds, though!

Drying and Curing Cannabis Plants

Next, you will have to dry and cure your buds. This is done to let the moisture inside the buds evaporate and give your cannabis a nice texture. This way, you will be able to break it apart without having it crumble into pieces.

In addition to that, it will help break down chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives plants their green color. Unfortunately, it is what gives your buds a vegetal taste, which means that getting rid of it is a must.

It is worth noting that there is a subtle difference between drying and curing. The drying process occurs after / before trimming, when the initial amount of moisture evaporates from the buds. Curing is what happens later. It requires storing dried buds in airtight containers, which stops the loss of moisture and boosts flavors and aromas.

In Conclusion

To sum up, harvesting marijuana is the most important part of the process of taking care of marijuana plants – you get to reap the fruits of your hard work! In addition to that, it is quite easy to do, though it does take a bit of preparation and time.

Other than the things that were listed in this article, you might want to come up with something to entertain yourself with during the trim session, such as an interesting podcast and audiobooks. It is bound to make time pass a bit faster.

Moreover, put on clothes that you do not care about. The marijuana plants come with resin, which can make things really dirty. If you want to protect yourself from it, wear a silk apron! The resin is not going to stick to silk.

Written by Kathy Cooley