The Complete Guide That Makes Harvesting Cannabis Simple

Are you curious about the cannabis harvesting process? If you’re not living on a marijuana farm or working on a team at a dispensary, harvesting cannabis may seem quite mysterious. 

Is it not as simple as planting a plant and picking off the buds? Well, no, there are a few steps to be taken in order to harvest your cannabis plant properly. 

There’s a science to it, just as there is with anything else in the cannabis industry. While it’s not as simple as you may think, it’s also not incredibly difficult. 

Keep reading for your complete guide on harvesting cannabis

Preparing Your Plants for Harvest 

To get the best results, prepare your cannabis plant before harvesting it. This is the most efficient way to get the best weed possible. 

Check for pests, and get rid of any big fan leaves. Discard any parts that have fungi or mold. 

Next, it’s time to flush your cannabis plants. Flushing is an important preparation process that helps get rid of any excess salt, fertilizer, or mineral nutrients found in the soil. 

Run a good amount of water through the plant’s soil, which will force your plant to use up any of the nutrients that were previously absorbed. This will result in buds with better flavor and aroma, and getting rid of excess fertilizer will help the buds be less harsh when smoked. 

When to Stop Watering and Fertilizing 

It’s a good rule of thumb to stop fertilizing your plants two weeks before you plan to harvest. Then, you can begin flushing them out, watering them with only water.

You should stop watering them one to three days before you begin harvesting. This will prevent you from harvesting a plant that is completely soaked through the soil. 

How to Know When to Harvest

Every gardener has their own preference when it comes to harvest times. Some like to do it earlier, while others prefer to wait another week. It will also depend if you are growing cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. 

A week or two won’t make much of a difference, but make sure not to let it get much past that before you harvest. 

Outdoor Cannabis

Cannabis is grown in the warm seasons, so harvest time should come between September and November if located in the Northern Hemisphere. 

It’s essential to know your local climate and to converse with other farmers in your area to see when the best time would be for you. Farmers in California may be able to harvest into late November, while those in Oregon harvest by mid-October before the autumn rain begins. 

Not one rule fits all climates, so make sure to do your research before sticking to a particular time frame. 

Indoor Cannabis

Since you don’t have to rely on the seasons or climate to harvest indoor cannabis flower, it all depends on the time frame. 

Indoor plants are usually ready to be harvested seven to nine weeks after transitioning them into flower. 

Different strains will take various amounts of time, but indica is known to finish quicker, while sativas are notorious for taking longer. 

Trichomes and Stigmas

Looking at the trichomes and stigmas is the best way to determine if your plants are ready for harvest.

Trichomes are glands of resin found all over the plant. The resin will change from transparent to more opaque and then transition to amber when the plant is ready.

Stigmas are tiny hair-like strands that cover the buds. These will turn color from white to orange when complete, and they will start to curl over. 

How to Harvest Marijuana 

Before you can harvest your marijuana, you first need to gather your tools. 

These tools include: 

Scissors for trimming

Pruners and shears for branches

Something to sit on

A clean, flat surface

Tray or container

Rubbing alcohol



You also want to make sure that you wear clothes that can get very dirty and very sticky. Get your station set up, and it’s time to begin the process, starting with chopping your plants.

If you’re dry trimming, your chopped plants must be hung for several days before you can trim the buds. On the other hand, Wet trimming involves you trimming the buds from the chopped plant right away. 

Regardless, you can begin chopping your plants with your shears by first removing any big branches. During this process, you must be very delicate with the buds as they can easily get damaged and ruined. 

When doing dry trimming, try to chop the plant in a way that creates a hook. This will make it much easier to hang for the drying process. 

When wet trimming, chop the plant in a way that’s easy for you to handle, so you can easily trim the buds off right away. 

You did it; your plants are harvested! 

Now, you can think about what you want to do with them, such as creating white label products, selling the flower on its own, or simply using it for yourself. You did the work. Now it’s time to enjoy it! 

Use This Guide to Make Harvesting Cannabis Simple

As this guide has shown, harvesting cannabis is a scientific process with specific steps that need to be followed. You’re likely to get a great batch of marijuana if you do so, which is the goal. It doesn’t have to be complicated; just make sure you pay attention to your plants. 

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