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Harvest time is a mixture of anticipation and sadness as you say goodbye to the plants you have nurtured for so long and hello to your own smoke.
The methodology is simple: you take a pair of scissors and cut the plant down. The timing however, is not so easy. Different strains take longer to mature, and harvesting marijuana at different periods of ripening even within the same strain will effect the chemical composition of the flower and therefore the effect those chemicals have on the smoker.
Indicas have a shorter ripening period than those marijuana plants which are Sativa based. And outdoor grown plants are much more effected by gradual lessening in light and even by your latitude, than indoor ones where you choose the photo period. But this information you will be given in general form when you choose and purchase your seed.
There is no hard and fast date and time for harvesting marijuana. Get involved with your cannabis plants and watch closely as the trichomes develop from around the 4th week of flowering. What you are hoping for are densely packed clusters of hairs which gradually swell as the plant matures. As the calyxes (floral groups made of trichomes) swell, they gradually ripen and the hairs begin to turn an amber colour.
When around 20% of the hairs are amber to brown, you need to start the process of flushing out. Stop giving nutrients and instead use only pHd water. Otherwise you will end up with a nasty chemically tasting smoke. Its all too easy to want to cut down the plant too soon, but its worth waiting not only for a 2 week flushing out period to finish, but also to allow the flower to fully mature. You want to aim for around 70% amber hairs. At this point there will be maximum amounts of THC before it breaks down to CBDs and and CBNs.