So you are ready to harvest weed? The time to harvest weed is when the plants have reached their peak of maturity. Some people say it is better to cut the Cannabis weed before they are ripe, but this virtually guarantees a loss of potency. It is much better to wait until maturity and then let nature take its course in curing. Reaching maturity means that the pistils (the female hairs that stick out of the flowers) are turning brown and dry. By harvesting weed plants, they will finish curing with a full complement of potent resin.
Cannabis: When to Harvest Weed
The time to harvest weed comes right at the end of flowering in most cases. Although, when growing weed outdoors it may be better to wait for some plants to develop their secondary sex characteristics. Some male Cannabis plants produce pollen sacks, or balls of tiny seeds that appear on the ends of branches and may turn red or orange at maturity. Although there is no way to determine the sex of the Cannabis plant before flowering, it is not a bad idea to harvest these males along with their female counterparts. This is in order to increase the seed content in your stash without sacrificing potency.
Another way to harvest weed carefully, is to choose an individual flower. Wait until the pistils are starting to brown and the resin glands are milky white in appearance, then cut that flower with a clean razor blade or sharp scissors. This will preserve most of the potency because it leaves more buds on the stalk than if you just cut off branches. Be careful, however, not to strip the plant of its branches. Leave enough so that the Cannabis plant is able to branch out again and form more flowers.
When your mature Cannabis plants are ready for harvest, time your cutting so that you don’t leave an excessive amount of muggy air in your drying area. The mold is fussy; too much humidity and it can get out of control in a hurry.
Harvesting & Curing Your Own Cannabis Buds
The actual harvesting weed procedure itself is simple, provided you have already taken the time to sort the male plants from the females. This means that there should not be any leaves left on the buds themselves, or else they will need to be removed after they are picked.
Pull the whole plant from the ground, and make sure that you do not disturb any of the roots. Use a sharp blade to cut down just above the top sets of leaves on each branch. You can keep these leaves if you like. Some people suggest using them in cooking recipes or making tea. Sometimes, though, they are small and insignificant. You can easily tear them off with your hands.
Curing Harvest Weed is The Most Important Part
Take the branches of the weed plants indoors and hang them upside down so that air can circulate freely around them. This is called “curing.” Leave the harvested weed in a cool, dry place for at least two weeks to finish curing before you smoke it. It will burn more smoothly and be less harsh on your throat. Curing is the most important part of preparing mature weed buds for smoking. The process helps to preserve potency, improve flavor, and eliminate harshness.
You can dry some of your Cannabis plants you harvested in the sun if you wish, but this takes a lot longer. It is best to cure your buds indoors if you can. Direct sunlight tends to lower potency somewhat anyway, because it causes a chemical reaction that creates degradation compounds called terpenoids. These are not particularly hazardous in and of themselves, but they tend to result in a much more pungent aroma and taste.
The idea of curing mature Cannabis is to allow it to slowly dehydrate, so that it ends up with a nice fluffy texture and burns smoothly. This also allows time for the high to settle into your bloodstream, instead of rushing through immediately like a flash flood.
Drying and Curing Tips for Harvest Weed
All parts of the Cannabis plant are psychoactive, although some contain more resin than others. If you grow your own Cannabis buds, you will probably want to harvest all of the plant that you can.
When harvesting and curing mature Cannabis, don’t strip your plants or cut them down with a power saw. Allow for plenty of airflow by cutting branches from the bottom. Make sure to wear gloves and goggles, as resin glands contain cannabinoids that are very sticky and can easily get in your eyes, mouth, and nose when you are harvesting weed. You may also want to wear a dust mask to protect your lungs from smoking resin dust.
Take care not to damage the buds themselves by shaking them or getting dirt on them. This could reduce their potency in the future.
Some growers claim that it is best not to store fresh Cannabis plants in a refrigerator, because it tends to rot more quickly. Instead, dry it out slowly and cure your buds as soon as possible.
After the harvest is ready, the next step is to cure your buds properly with plenty of airflow and time. It takes several weeks for complete curing to take place. There are many ways to speed this up, but it is best to let the buds naturally dry out. This can be a slow process if you are drying them indoors in a dark area of your house or building.
The Importance of Good Airflow When Curing Harvest Weed
Good airflow really helps with curing your harvested weed plants. And you should ideally hang your crop outside where they will receive plenty of air from all sides as well as UVB light, for proper curing. For maximum potency and ease of smoking, you do not want your buds to dry too fast. Depending on the size of your crop, this could take several weeks or more .
Advice for Beginners Growing Cannabis
If you’re a complete beginner at growing, harvesting, and curing Cannabis, it probably isn’t a good idea to start out growing very many plants at one time. If you do decide to grow more than one, you may want to have your separate growing space.
Sometimes it takes a few good harvests of mature Cannabis plants before you know exactly what you are doing at all times. It’s okay if this is the case for you. Just take notes on everything that works and doesn’t work in your garden so that you can improve.
If you have specific questions about growing, harvesting, and curing mature Cannabis (either indoors or outdoors), check out the forums at Https://www.Cannabis.Page and ask there! You’ll usually get some help very quickly because many of our members are experienced growers who are willing to share their knowledge with others.