When to Harvest Buds Based on the Color of the Trichomes

When harvesting, the key is perfect timing. That is the general rule with most plants, but harvesting a little early or a little late doesn’t really make that much of a difference. However, when it comes to harvesting your marijuana plants, you’re timing has to be as close to perfect as possible.

There are too many factors that affect when the weed can be harvested it is virtually impossible to determine a specific length of time to know when to harvest considering the dizzying strain varieties. The way you grew your pot also heavily affects when to harvest. However, there is one way that can be used in almost all strains. With the right tools, this can be done. Some experienced growers don’t even have to use tools.

The plant can tell you

Specifically, its trichomes. If you don’t know yet, they are the “fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and certain protists,” according to Wikipedia. You can tell when to harvest by looking at the color of the trichomes to determine its stage of development. There are three states/colors namely: clear, cloudy, and amber.


The first stage, or the clear stage, means the plant is still immature and not yet ready for harvest. They contain precursor cannabinoids but these are not psychoactive which means it will not give you the high you’re looking for.


When the trichomes are cloudy or milky, get your harvesting tools ready, take out your pipe, layout the rolling paper, and clean your bong because it’s time. Maximum potency is achieved when all the trichomes are cloudy but because trichomes continue to develop, it is impossible to find them all cloudy at the same time so try to stay close to 100% cloudy as much as possible when harvesting.


At this stage, the plant has turned tetrahydrocannabinol into cannabinoid. There’s roughly a 90% drop in potency when THC turns to CBN so watch the trichomes closely in order to avoid this. Research also shows that CBN does not produce the same high as THC. Have you ever felt a sickly feeling instead of the usual nice high? That’s the CBN. Unless you want that, harvest on time.

If you want to look like a scientist, find a cheap microscope to get a really close look at the trichomes but a magnifying glass can do the trick. Just remember, when it’s cloudy, it’4:20.