Photo by hanohiki / Adobe Stock Photo

Learn | 07.30.2021

How To Know If Your Buds Are Ready For Harvest

When growing weed, there's always one question: are these buds ready? We answered that and many other inquiries of novice growers.

If you’re a cautious or inexperienced grower, it may be hard to determine whether your buds are ripe for the picking (without a microscope!). But if you’re looking for the best quality and consistency out of your growth, then you came to the right place. You’ll thank us down the road.

First thing’s first, you’re gonna need a microscope for cannabis like this one cause things are gonna get pretty tiny.

Bud Ripening Signs On Outdoor Weed

Photo by Aran / Adobe Stock Photo

Keep an eye out for pink flowers forming. Pink is a sign of something different, and not precisely ripening. Count back one week from the time you see the first sign of color, and then start your countdown from there. Once you stop it, it will take about seven or eight weeks to ripen.

For more information on outside grows, read our full guide to outdoor weed.

The Cannabis Bud Ripening Process

Photo by laplateresca / Adobe Stock Photo

After a few clear days of sufficient darkness, the plant’s growth pattern changes. First, its growth rate, which can be five centimeters per day, slows down during the vegetative growth period.

Indicas will grow up to 25% bigger than before they started growing under a flowering light regimen. Sativas can double in size before growth stoppage occurs. Hybrids develop patterns of growth that vary between these two extremes.

This results in a dimorphism, which means that the male and female plants begin to look different from each other. The female plants grow short and stocky, with small leaves that spread out along the touch.

These underdeveloped leaves house copious amounts of sensimilla, the buds that develop into the best marijuana. This form of marijuana is wind-pollinated, so tall males yield more pollen than small females.

After a week of growth, female marijuana plants have thicker stems with shorter nodes between the leaves. The number of fingers on the new leaves reduces, and the plants no longer form leaves on alternate sides of the stem, but now the sides alternate.

This is when the female marijuana plants form their beautiful white pistils which you can distinguish as hair-like structures that grow where the buds will eventually form.

A few weeks later, the first stigma is joined by a cascade of new blooms. This is when the plant starts to focus its energy on flowers. The color of the flowers looks like sunrises and sunsets, and they vary from white to pink or red.

Photo by Kyle / Adobe Stock Photo

As spring approaches, numerous clusters of young female flowers appear on a plant. As the months pass and the weather warms up, the clusters fill out with young unfertilized female flowers. These flowers look like they will last a while, but that’s not the case. When one type of flower dies, another kind of flower springs up in its place.

As the cannabis buds begin to mature, they show the first signs of calyx swelling. The female pollen sacs in the swollen calyx will soon release the plant’s seeds — if properly fertilized by her male counterpart.

Since the color of cannabis is a genetic trait of its particular variety, you will find that red-colored pistils are often found on indica strains and a more purple hue is an indication of sativa strains.

The Maturing Process Of A Trichome

Photo by Iarygin Andrii / Adobe Stock

In this stage, the resin glands (or trichomes) are growing on the plant’s leaves. Their tiny, stalk-like appearance makes them look like hairs. Stringy white pistils can be seen between the actual leaf and the resin glands.

When marijuana flowers become more erect, look for the buds to swell. Increased resin production will be visible on the surface. These are signs that the period of heavy flower growth is coming to an end.

When new THC or terpenes are produced in the resin glands, they become so packed with pure, powerful medicine that the smell of the plant intensifies. The flowering tops are also known as trichomes.

The trichomes are the resin glands that cover the buds, and the fluorescent quality, when exposed to light, is the most visually dynamic feature of a cannabis plant.

The Costly Aspect Of Production

Photo by Kyle / Adobe Stock Photo

Like all living things, marijuana plants have evolved chemical defenses. The main component of the plant, cannabinoids, allows the plant to fight off bacteria, pests, and predators without harming itself.

The chemistry of cannabis plants is mind-blowing. You probably guessed it by now, but high CBD levels are excellent for treating pain without the psychedelic effects of pot.

Once that sweet smell lures a small animal, it is nearly doomed to be eaten. The animal eats the pod and then leaves the area in search of new food.

For safer results, we suggest you try a grow box. These machines are basically a plug-and-play cannabis growing system that will do everything for you.

We recommend you check out the Grobo Solid. A stylish device that will do everything for you. It even has an ROI calculator that’ll show you how long it’ll take to recover the investment!


If you ever wonder how some buds are so tasty and others just plain gross, this is the best explanation we’ve found. It goes beyond the effects of a particular strain and looks at how each plant has been handled affects the taste.

Best HHC Products To Try For The First Time


Francisco Borrero

Spirituality And CBD: What’s The Real Connection?


Rachel Abela


enter your email below to get insider updates delivered straight to your inbox.