For those of you who made it all the way to harvest, good things are coming – if you do it right. Harvesting your cannabis can be as easy as pulling the things out of the dirt and hanging them to dry. But if you want a smooth smoke with very little chemicals left over from the growth period, you have an 8-day harvesting period to look forward to.
Cannabis is a weed and grows as such. You can visually notice growth on a daily basis. But since we’re smoking the stuff, a few ideas have to be put to paper as to the health cost of not processing your cannabis properly.
The first thing to consider is simply when to begin the harvesting cycle. You want your buds to be large and robust. Know a bud that is almost ready for harvest by pinching the buds, whatever their size. If the bud springs back it isn’t ready to harvest. If it keeps most of the pinch, maybe with a little oil being squeezed out, it is ready to begin the harvest cycle.
The harvest cycle consists of an 8 day period of both watering and starving your plants. Leeching the chemicals out of your plants is very important. Do this by replacing the nutrient solution with pH balanced water for 4 days. Keep the lamp on a 12 hour on 12 hour off cycle. The pH neutral water leeches the salts from the root ball first, then the rest of the plant.
It is important to keep the lamp on your plants during harvest. You want them to become dehydrated and stressed. This stress makes the plants ooze oils to keep from drying out. Within these oils is the good stuff we all love: THC. Keep the lamp as close to the plants as you had it during the budding stage.
The last 4 days are dedicated to oil production. Pull the root ball out of the growing medium and simply place the root ball on the top of the growing medium. Some people lay their root ball on paper plates. This stressing of your pride and joy is what will make your bud into killer couch glue.
After 4 days of stressing your plants, it is time to hang and fully dry them. It is at this stage that you would strip the leaves. Leave the buds to dry while you make oil from these leaves. I take the harvest process a bit further by hanging the buds to dry under the lamp. This makes sure that you’re getting every last bit of potency from your buds.