You can also judge the ripeness of the Marijuana by taking a look at the trichomes; or little hairs/crystals on the flowers and surrounding areas of the Marijuana plant. If they are transparent its still too soon, if they are milky white they are ready and if they turn brown they have become over-ripe. It is also advisable to follow the instructions to harvest Marijuana seeds on the packet since most reputable breeders also have a tried and tested flowering time for optimum ripeness, potency and flavour of a Marijuana strain.
If you meant when to harvest seeds from cross-pollinated Marijuana plants, then the seed will fall from the flower by itself once it is mature and ready to germinate into another Marijuana plant. Usually, as a best practice to harvest Marijuana seeds, some growers wait for the whole flowering cycle to end just as if they were harvesting the flower.
Look for these signs for when to harvest Marijuana seeds
After the whole process of germination, growth and flowering, a lot of growers ask themselves when to harvest Marijuana seeds. Usually, the breeders will include a suggested flowering time for each strain, but as a rule of thumb, Indica marijuana plants harvest in 6-8 weeks while Sativa Marijuana plants take 10-12 weeks.
You might find our FAQ Submission How Do I Harvest My Plant? useful
You can expect cannabis seeds that have been sealed and properly stored to last for several years, and in many cases, longer. Seeds may be dormant, but they are still alive. Over enough time, they will lose their viability.
Moisture is a death sentence for pollen viability. Because of this, many breeders opt to mix flour into their pollen at a ratio of 4:1 (flour to pollen) when storing it long-term. This additional step will help keep pollen dry for a longer period of time.
When it comes time to use frozen seeds, remove them from their container and let them sit out on a dry surface for several hours. Letting the seeds reach room temperature will help ensure a successful germination.
Seed and Pollen Storage
Long-term storage requirements for seeds and pollen are similar. Both require cool, dark, dry, and oxygen-deprived environments for optimal preservation.
Sometimes a grower has to move on from a certain strain. Maybe you’ve been growing the same strain for a long time and it no longer makes as much money as it used to, or maybe you just want to mix it up and start growing something else and don’t have the space for it.
Fresh seeds should have a germination rate close to a 100%, whereas older seeds will see a significant drop off over time in their ability to germinate.
Deseeding cannabis can be done by hand or machine. This process typically takes place after the plant has been dried for one to two weeks after harvest. This way, seeds will have reached their maximum maturity and plant material will be brittle enough to break apart with minimal effort.
If you prefer a more mellow and sedating experience when you smoke, wait for the trichomes to display an amber colour. This indicates decreased levels of THC and increased amounts of CBN, a cannabinoid produced as THC degrades.
Calyxes begin to swell as buds near maturation. This is because they are preparing to hold seeds if they are successfully pollinated by a male plant. Routinely hover your magnifying tool over calyxes to track their size.
Carson Microbrite Plus Pocket Microscope
Curing will also increase the potency of your harvest. Before buds are heated during smoking, vaporization, and cooking, THC exists as THCA. This cannabinoid acid is broken down (decarboxylated) into THC under high temperatures, or with time. Curing encourages this process and slowly increases THC levels.
The next port of call is to get your bounty into the drying room. Drying cannabis is essential to removing moisture from the exterior of buds to prevent mould formation. Plus, smoking wet weed isn’t pleasant. Before you begin drying, dedicate a space to your operation. This can be a spare room or even the grow tent you used to cultivate. If you’ve left your flowers on branches, then you’ll need to set up a washing line to hang them from. Otherwise, simply place your buds on a drying rack.
There’s another way to detect when harvest is closing in. Some basic knowledge of plant anatomy can help growers spot these shifts. Certain parts of the cannabis plant begin to change in appearance as they ripen. Rather than relying on guesswork alone, you can use these botanical landmarks as indicators. First, you’ll need to get familiar with certain tissues, glands, and organs, so you know what to look out for.