How many opinions can fit on one web page? Those who grow their own cannabis get perhaps too anxious after waiting the weeks of growth. And, they should pursue research the growth patterns for their respective strains.
If you’re growing one plant for a small stash, the farming takes much less effort and juggling than growing the number of plants allowed for personal use by some regulations.
- If you favor one strain, you should stagger them, so they mature at different times.
- If you like to switch strains, you should plant them with their respective maturity dates in mind, dates that might be weeks apart.
- If you raise only one plant, and you do not want to invest the time or real interest, the value is yours to waste.
But, once my marijuana plant is fully grown, how do I prepare it for smoking?
Plants have a window between ready ripe and over ripe. That’s about two weeks for Indica strains raised indoors, but it may be much longer for Sativas. What you want to watch for it the shift of trichomes to a milky appearance when THC content plumps them up with resin.
This is more reliable than waiting for the pistils to change color to dark red and brown. This coincides with the change in the trichomes, but it is not as reliable from one strain to another. And, serious growers will follow the maturity of the trichomes with a magnifier.
Farmers and users believe that harvesting your Sativa early will produce a head high while a late harvested Indica will launch a full body high.
Experts flush their plants with clear water (pH of 6.2) to wash away excess sales and nutrients at least two weeks before harvesting. Fertilizing chemicals left in the soil can lead to a harsh and grating smoke, black ash, sizzling burn, and sore throat.
Farmers will use water in three times the pot capacity and water with pure water thereafter. At this stage of the farming, the growth needs no nutrients other than fresh water because the plant’s internal chemistry is fully underway.
As your harvest nears, it’s time to remove debris. Reaching among the branches, you gently remove the dead and dying leaves. With those wasted fan leaves gone, the plant will direct its biochemistry to growth.
It’s smart to sterilize your pruning tools to prevent contamination. And, using such tools cut the branches where they join the main stalk from the bottom up.
With the branches gathered, you will prune the small side shoots from the main branches at the base. And, if the branches are large, you might cut them into smaller pieces.
Finally, you remove the remaining leaves from the branches. The leaves lack THC so have little value.
The caution is to be gentle. You might invest in harvesting tools designed for the work because you do not want to abuse the flowers an trichomes.
Good product should have 8% to 10% moisture, so the buds do not crumble or powder. You can test for moisture by lightly squeezing the buds. If they snap or crumble, they are too dry. If the buds give and bend without snapping sounds, the moisture is still good.
- Traditionally, harvesters have hung their cannabis branches upside down to dry with enough space not to bump into each other. The space should be dark and open to circulating air. Some growers arrange the branches across window screens set up as drying racks. This does promote a fast dry, but that can also mean a harsh smoke.
- Drying lines like clotheslines hang branches upside down for convenience. The slow dry enhances flavor and quality.
- Wire cages of different sizes can be made or purchased. You can move cages to or from ventilation sources, fans, heaters, or dehumidifiers.
If you want to maximize marijuana flavor and potency, you must cure it. Pulling away the last small leaves and removing seeds where applicable, you will have the ingredients for extracts, oils, and edible recipes.
Once you have pulled apart the nugs, they go into clean jars. You must store the jars in dark dry places for two weeks, but you must open them twice a day for about 15 minutes, so they can dry.
You can use brown paper bags if you open them and gently stir contents at least once each day. Note: Do not use plastic bags or white paper bags.
You can smoke the product anytime, but the longer the cure, the smoother the burn and taste.
Breaking apart the bud, you remove the seeds and stems. They do not contain THC and affect taste and aroma. Regulars use easy-to-buy grinders to get a common texture for the “tobacco.” You are ready to smoke in pipe or roll your own joint.