Harvesting is one thing the grower has looked forward to since the day they decided to plant a crop, since the day they ordered cannabis seeds from a seed bank, and from the day they began germinating the seeds. This is also a time when the grower will need to prepare the plants about two weeks prior to actually harvesting them. There are several things that can make harvesting perfect and result in having a quality smokeable yield.

  • Two weeks prior to harvesting the cannabis crop watering should be done with distilled water or reverse osmosis filtered water. The reason for this is to filter the toxins left from fertilizer out of the soil which the roots will also be nourishing the plants from this chemical free soil. This should be done about ten days so that the chemicals will be out of the leaves and buds when they are harvested.
  • Before harvesting the crop the grower should stop watering the plants and let the soil become dry, not enough to wilt the marijuana plant, but enough that they could use a good long drink. This will help to begin the drying process, since the leaves are not being fed and filled with moisture.
  • Darkness, is something that will help the grower prepare the cannabis plants to harvest, there are growers that through experience know by giving the plant a 24 hour dark period will promote the plant to produce more resin. This will not cause any damage to the plants or affect the harvested pot, except to make it more potent and there are some strains that benefit from this in a big way, like the White strains.
  • When the time to harvest finally arrives the grower will need several things and one of them is a pair of sharp scissors. These will be used to cut the bud leaves away from the buds and that means it will be hours of work and it is important to have scissors that are both comfortable and ones that are made for this type of job. The proper type of plant scissors can be found in gardening stores that will allow the grower to get in where they need to, they will have comfortable grips and will have the sharpness that is needed for this type of job.
  • Another thing that will be needed is clothesline or rope, and one thing the grower should make sure of when obtaining either clothesline or rope is that it is non-stretching. There will also need to be something that each end of this line can be attached to that is safe enough to keep the rope or clothesline from coming lose underneath of the weight that the plants will put onto the line. If the line is not secure enough it is possible that the plants could fall to the floor of the drying area, and if the line or rope is made of materials that can stretch there can be problems with it touching the ground also due to the weight.
  • Hanging the marijuana plants is not difficult with the use of either clothespins or even something like large fish hooks or paper clips. The fish hook and the paperclip can be put through the stem and then the plant can be hung on the clothesline or rope that is securely put in place to hold the weight of the plants.
  • How a grower actually harvests the crop is their decision, some growers prefer to cut off some or all of the top branches of the cannabis plant, while others trim the entire plant. Then there are growers that believe that by cutting off the top branches and trimming the smaller leaves will decrease the drying time. The grower that does not trim the leaves is under the belief that leaving them on will add to the amount of THC, because of the trichomes that are on the underneath. Also, it shortens the length of harvesting time at this point, because they are cutting it into two sessions for working with the plants.
  • The temperature in the area where the marijuana will be dried is important for drying time and for most growers the optimum temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees, although closer to 70 degrees is better for the safe drying of the plants. There is also the need for an oscillating fan, because heat and sun are enemies to drying pot, along with a gauge to check the humidity in the drying area. In warmer climates or basements where dampness and humidity are common it is extremely important to check the humidity often, because this along with heat is a prime way for the drying cannabis to be attacked by mold and it will also extend the drying time.
  • While it is important to watch the humidity level, as long as it is not over 50 percent there are growers that will allow the marijuana to hang for 24 hours with no air movement in the drying area, and this is a way they believe will help the buds to dry without being crisp. After this first day of drying with no air movement, they will then turn the fan on the lowest setting, but not directly blowing on the leaves and buds, to keep air movement but not to increase the rate of drying. When this is done the fan is placed in a location that the hanging plants are getting air, but it is not being directly blown on them and for this having the humidity between 45 and 55 percent is the right amount of humidity. The experienced grower will also turn the cannabis daily to ensure that all of it will dry at the same rate.
  • When the harvested marijuana is dry and this means the buds also must be dry of any moisture, usually this will be approximately five to seven days after hanging the next stage in the process can begin. This is the curing stage, and the cannabis is ready at this time to be placed in jars to be cured. There are one of two ways to check the harvested marijuana to ensure it is ready to be placed in the curing jars, the first is by snapping the stem that the buds are on, if it snaps easily then the buds are dry enough, if it does not snap easily then it usually will not be dry enough for this next process. The second way is to squeeze the bud, to feel how dry they are, but this method should only be used by the grower that is doing this from the beginning of the harvest so that they are able to tell the difference in how dry the buds feel. If the cannabis is not dry enough when it is placed into the curing jars the grower runs the risk of mold hitting the curing marijuana. This will ruin the harvest and the start of mold in plants that have been placed in the jars while to moist will have an acrid odor when the jars are opened. If this should happen the grower will need to take all of the pot out of the jars and place it on newspaper and allow it to dry longer.
  • When preparing the cannabis for the curing process using scissors the buds are cut from the main stem and this will need to be done as gently as possible in order to keep from losing the THC filled glands. Then the buds are placed in the jars without packing them tightly, so they have room while curing in the jar. The jar once filled will need to be stored where the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees and where it is dark, because during the curing process just as during the drying process heat and light is not the marijuana bud’s friend. The next step in this curing process will be for the grower to open the jars each day and leave them open for about 15 minutes in order to rid the jars and buds of any moisture, this should be done for at least a week.
  • While the cannabis could be smoked at this time, it is better with most strains to wait for a longer curing time, even as long as two months. This is because the pot will be smoother tasting when smoked and have a higher potency. The most important thing for the grower to remember is that the curing jars must be kept away from light and heat or it can dramatically lessen the potency and even be a dangerous factor in starting mold in the curing jars.
  • Marijuana that grows mold will not be able to be smoked and this is why it is important that the moisture is out of the buds and leaves prior to placing them in the jars for curing.  The cannabis can be left in the curing jars as a storage place for as long as a year when they have been dried properly.

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