Harvesting is a wonderful and exciting experience. Finally, the time has come that all your creativity, love, hard work and courage will be rewarded. There are different methods of harvesting your plants. The method you can apply best depends on the number of plants you have, the size of your plants and your personal preference.
Before you start trimming, you need a space to trim plants in. Look for a room that is well ventilated because the plants emit a strong odor. You'll probably like the smell and be accustomed to it soon, but do not underestimate its strength. If your growing space is large enough, you can harvest there while continually letting a fan blow. An extraction system with a carbon filter also diminishes the odor during the harvest.
Trimming and drying in your grow tent
You can also trim and dry in your grow tent. Hang the harvested plants upside down and switch on your fan and carbon filter at a low setting. This prevents odor nuisance and mold on your buds.
The most common method is to trim the buds wet. In this method, you trim the plants one by one. My preference is for this method because you can trim the plant nicely. Take a full-grown plant, cut off the branches one by one and remove the leaves around the buds. You can remove the leaves earlier on as well. The advantage of this is that you can divide the work and that the lower buds get more light, making them grow bigger. These leaves contain a lot of THC. You can save them to make hash or ice hash. Try to remove the leaves with fewer THC crystals (trichomes) to improve the final quality of your hash.
By trimming the plants wet, you can trim them shorter and more clearly than when the buds are dry. The buds will look their best. The first time might be uncomfortable because you will try to find out which is the best way. But soon you will find a technique that works the best and the fastest for you. Trimming in itself is not hard but a good technique delivers the best final results. Women hands are slightly better for trimming than man hands. Because they are often smaller, they can work more sophisticatedly.
Suzy’s Tip: Invest in a good trimmer! Don't use just any trimmer. Try a couple of trimmers before you actually start trimming. Trimmers exist in various types and sizes so you can test which one you prefer. Bad trimmers dull quickly. Also, the hinge might break if it is jammed by too much sticky THC. Use a product to remove the sticky hairs and always keep spare trimmers.
For this technique you let the plant dry out before you start trimming it. The branches are cut and hung up. This method takes a bit more time than trimming wet. It is usually applied when the weed is grown outdoors, when there are a lot of plants and when time is limited. Dried buds are harder to trim and give a less neat result. More THC is lost because it is less sticky if the plant is dry. This is only relative because there will still be a large amount of THC left on the buds as well as the leaves.
It is important to dry the buds well. It would be a shame if, after all these months of work, your buds would become moldy. The ideal space for drying buds is a cool and dark room with a temperature of around 15 to 22 °C. You don't have to heat the room because the buds have to dry slowly in order to achieve an optimal effect. Make sure that the air is circulating well to avoid molding of the buds. Don't stack them onto each other, but put them next to each other with some space in between.
Purchase a special drying rack, so the buds dry optimally..
The duration of drying depends on the size of the buds. After only one week, the small buds will be dry, but the medium to large buds will need two weeks. If you have really big buds, it can take even a couple of days longer. You can choose to dry the big buds in a whole or you can take them apart because a big bud consists of various smaller buds that have grown to each other. You can see if the buds have dried sufficiently by trying to break a twig of a large bud. If it breaks easily the bud is dry enough.
Suzy’s Tip: Be patient!
Storage and curing
If the buds are dry enough you can smoke them. They have not reached their best but they are already good enough. If you want to get the best out of them, you have to let them mature. First, you have to store the buds properly. To maintain the quality you have to store the buds in a cool, dark space. Put the buds in a light-tight plastic container or glass beaker. Light affects THC, so make sure no light can reach the buds.
Beware: If you store wet buds with dry buds, the dry buds will become moist again. You have to let the buds mature two weeks, making it a total of one month since the harvest. Thanks to the maturing process the buds will taste better and give a better high. After a month, the taste will have reached its best, although some strains need more time.
For those who are going to smoke or vaporize cannabis, it is advisable to cure cannabis. That means storing under a certain humidity in special cure jars or preserving jars. Curing gives cannabis the chance to ripen, which greatly benefits the taste.
An old skool method to cure cannabis. The not yet completely dried cannabis tops are put in large glass airtight jars. The preserving jar then aims for the humidity of 62%. This is done by opening the preserving jar daily for a few minutes. This allows moisture to escape, causing mold problems. Fortunately, people no longer have to burp, since the arrival of humidity control patches.
Time to smoke, vaporize, extract or make your own edibles!
The time has come! You grew your own cannabis! Now you not only have a good stash of smoking material, but you can also make kief, hash, hash oil, Rosin or ice hash from it. You can read all about this on our website. Enjoy!