Harvesting Marijuana Buds

bud plant ready to harvest

When to harvest cannabis buds

harvesting marijuana budsDetermining when your cannabis plant is ready for harvest is the most important part of harvesting marijuana buds. As a medical marijuana grower, whether indoors or outdoors, you need to know how to check the weed plants trichomes and the pistils to make sure you harvest at the perfect time, preserving the plants thc and potency levels. The easiest way to understand how to harvest your medical marijuana crop is to watch the video “harvesting cannabis plants for buds”. In this video I show you how check your plants and and buds for maximum size, potency and quality.

Trimming & Manicuring while Harvesting Marijuana Plants.

Now that you have checked your marijuana plants trichomes and pistils for harvest, I am going to show you how to trim your plants buds and branches. Harvesting marijuana buds takes a lot of time to do. Having patience is very important when you choose to trim each plant by hand and not by using an automatic trimmer, which some people say damages thc trichomes and results in lower potency. Knowing how to cut the branches and trim the leaves properly will make drying and curing much easier. In this video “trimming and manicuring marijuana buds“, I show you how to cut branches and trim each flower to perfection. After watching this short video, you will be ready to hang your marijuana buds to dry.

If you are growing MMJ in a large warehouse, you need to take into consideration how many plants need to be trimmed and calculate that by the time it takes to trim each plant or how long it takes to trim a pound of bud. With this in mind, you will need to either hire some people to help trim and manicure or you will need to invest in an automatic trimmer which runs between $8000-$15,000 to buy or some companies have rental options that include an operator, saving you time which results in more profit for your grow business.

Hanging & Drying after Harvesting Medical Marijuana Buds

Once the buds of the marijuana plant have been trimmed and harvested, they now need to be hung to dry and cure. This is the last step in harvesting marijuana buds and is also the most important part of drying marijuana buds. Every cannabis plant is different in size and density, therefore drying times will vary. The average bud takes 5 days to dry. You can feel the buds to see if they are dry. Keep in mind that even though they feel dry, they will regain moisture once they are put into the cure stage. During drying, you always want to make sure the temperature and air flow are perfect as this will help eliminate mold and nasty odors. Keeping light away from the buds while drying will preserve the THC trichomes, keeping potency at a maximum. The pictures below are just one simple way I use to hang and dry my plants. Due to limited space in this specific growroom, I use a dark, dry and cool area that has plenty of air flow, using some electrical cables that are already there to hang the plant branches from. In my large warehouse grow rooms I use drying racks that I custom made.

dried buds 

Dried buds curing in large container


After Harvesting Marijuana Buds, you can smoke, sell or turn the dried weed into edibles.

70 comments… add one


  • hello, I have seen your videos on your website and like the way you present your information and the process you use to produce quality MMJ. I'm a grower myself, and have been sucessfull in my own personal grow for two years now. I am interested in a job working with your company doing anything from trimming to managing a grow. Currently Im using sunshine mix #4 with the Advanced Nuitrents connisure system and have had great results. I have many other friends who have grows as well and through working with them have experience with flood and drain systems and other methods of growing MMJ. Another thing I greatly respect about your style is the hand trim only method, thats the only way I'll trim my crop. I've applied for the job openings you have posted and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time. Sincerly, Chris Montes
    • Hi Chris. I did receive your application online. I am going through them 1 by 1 in the order they were received. I will be contacting each applicant by phone to talk more about the position applied for. Please bare with me as this process will take some time. Thanks for your nice comments about my site and my style. I appreciate it! Talk to you soon Thanks, GHB
      • I just would like to say that is a very intersting process... I'm from arizona and leave further north from all the medical marijuana experiences. I don't think that we will ever get a chance to explore into it that field where I live, I am native american and seeing natural medicine being put to use is very awesome. I just would like to say that I am a fan, and hopefully one day I get to expierence something like that, because I am a farmer by nature and am very good with plants.
      • @ Brian Begay - Thanks for your interest in my site. As far as you growing in AZ, do you live on the reservation? if so, will the BLM allow you to grow medicine? Im actually interested in learning about more native americans growing mmj, as there should be. Why dont you talk to your local authorities and ask what it would take? Never hurts to ask. If you do, please keep me updated as I would love to learn more. Thanks and Good Luck
  • I see you use plastic containers for curing. Isn't it a better idea to use the airtight glass jars like Bell canning jars instead? I'm assuming you use the large plastic containers because your yields are so large or it moves out fast.How long does weed stay "good", little to no loss of THC and taste/aroma, in air sealed glass containers? I'm at the point where I'll be storing for long periods. Any advise on long-term storage? I get conflicting info on whether to store in a cool dark place, a fridge, or a freezer and ect. ect.Thank You
    • yes i use tupperware due to size of harvests and how fast it moves out... ive had buds for over 10 yrs that are still near perfect. i use the mason jars to put the buds in, then i vacuum seal the jar to keep all air in! i never use a freezer due to the fact that cold will make the thc glands fall off the buds..keep them in jars and youll be ok, if you have a vacuum sealer or can borrow one, then thats even better..
  • Hi,liking the info,after drying and curing,what is the best way to store mmj? And do you support the oven drying method? 10 mins at between 60 and 93 degree's C? Thanks again.
    • after drying, storing your buds is merely preference.. if you r like me and go thru a lot very fast, then a simple tupperware works well.. if you conserve, then maybe something like a mason jar or vacuum seal bag..NEVER use the oven!! will destroy the thc glands. and create a very nasty tasting bud.
  • Is curing and drying the same thing. I am new to being a MMJ Card Holder and not sure how to cure my harvest. I have had someone tell me to put them on a screen and let them air dry but I hear the word curing and I am just wondering if it is the same.
    • curing takes place after drying.. dry your buds by hanging them, then clip each bud off and place into a tupperware or jar.. Burp the container daily by opening the lid and releasing the air thats in there. lightly move the buds around inside the container. do this for a few weeks, you will notice that your buds will be nice and dry but not brittle.
  • I have a huge mite problem, I had to go out of town several weeks and when I returned I found them covering my buds I'm a caregiver for 5 patients and don't want to give them bad meds trichs are still clear with some turning cloudy, there are several top buds with webs on them help please. I love the good advice you give and seem to really know your way around a plant, thanks for anything you can tell me
    • this sucks! if the plants are close enough to harvest, do it now! once mites are in the room, theres a 99% they will stay there. i personally prefer Azamax to spray them and use to flood them via the nutrient reservoir.. there are a few home made remedies you can try, but like i said once they are present, they are a BITCH to get rid of... best bet is to harvest what you can now, then do a MAJOR clean/bleaching of the entire grow area.. clean EVERYTHING in sight!! i know this isnt the best thing to hear, but its the truth... High levels of Co2, cold temps, high humidity are all good ways to help keep them out too. dont give up, just keep cleaning until they r gone.. your next harvest you should use azamax spray all the way through the entire growth cycle. this is your best bet to help prevent them from coming back. let me know how this works, feel free to ask anymore questions..
  • haha good vids man, I have the same trimmers! they are fantastic.in my last few days before harvest and having a small problem with mites. around 1800 ladybugs to release in the room. they are doing well. not sure if they will get rid of all of them. I guess I will have to pick them off after cutting.
  • [...] larger cola top buds, which will result in a much healthier harvest. This also helps speed up the trimming and drying stage! Cancel replyLeave a CommentName *E-mail [...]
  • [...] http://theweedscene.com/harvesting-marijuana-buds/ There are some pretty decent videos on this site that show you how to tell if your plant is ready to harvest =). I can't wait to be at this stage for the first time!!! Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « First Grow - CFL | - » [...]
  • Thank You VERY much I have a BEAUTIFUL skunk plant........................I want to keep her..I thought there must be a way..I am new at this..I do how ever have many flower beds..........I love growing...
    • I don't anything about fancy lights. Or where to keep her...I do have a Jiffy Grow I was given all my plants are cones..She is root bound right now..................
      • go take some time and read through all the free info i have provided on my site, watch videos, etc.. it will give u a much better understanding of what it takes to grow plants. its not hard to learn, just takes time.
  • I have a medical marijuana card..I have a beautiful skunk plant,,I want to know if it can be a mother plant for me to use to get clones....How do I go about that...Thanks so much..Love your videos!!!
    • yes it can be a mother. On my site, there is a page "cloning marijuana plants" and "mother plants" all the info you need is there. if not, feel free to ask more. ;)
  • Hey There,I love the site and videos,they are very helpful. I am working on my third harvest,and due to the great sunlight i get out in CA,I have moved them form inside to outside. And they are growing like never before. You have gave some great tips on how to tell when the plant is ready to harvest. Is it ever acceptable to cut some of the larger buds before harvesting the whole crop? The larger buds on top are very heavy and making the plant droop. I have tied them up give support. Just curious if I should trim the larger ones. Will that effect the plant and the rest of its buds? Thanks
    • yes u can cut the tops a bit earlier than the rest of the plant.. just make sure they are ready to be cut. dont cut them just because they are too heavy. Thats a good thing!
  • you said in your video that you just throw away the shade leaves cant you use it in butter or is there not enough thc in the leaves to use them tanks for your time jtm
  • does any one know were to get some good seeds because im sick of growin garbage ass trees loll
      • I kno this is old but I reccomend attitude Seedbank. They are an online international Seedbank (based in the uk) and they carry all the best breeders (DNA, soma, g13). I would recommend the holy grail Kush from DNA . I'm currently growing kosher Kush which is straight fire! Stay lifted
  • Help, our indicas are 8 wks into flowering, tricones are looking clear to milky, just a tad of amber on the tips of a couple, found spider mites on the plants, on the small leaves with the thc on them,took several leaves off, don't want to use neem or any sprays at this point ( too close to harvest). Am I doing all I can do to help the situation or do you have anymore suggestions. The problem started during veg, (bought bad clones) thought it was taken care of only to have this be a nightmare and alot of wasted money, this is our third grow and have never had any pest or mold issues till now. Love this sight and your videos, keep up the good work. thanks in advance on any info you can give.
  • hi there i live in the uk and im about to start my first grow and info and advice would be great i plan to grow 16 plants with single 600w mh/hps light ina wilma pot system ,where is best to order seeds from,i plan to grow big bud fem ,am i using a good system and will 1 600w do the job? pls write back...thanx
    • 600 w should do the job. with 16 plants id personally use a 1000w hps to bud but 600w will be ok... as far as seeds, i dont know of anyone legit to order from. the only place i would recommend is canada!
  • Hey man I liked the videos you made and all ,but I'm a new grower and this is still all confusing to me. Can you PLEASE give me a STEP BY STEP process in growing my buds from germinating stage all the way to the drying stage. Thanks for everything
    • all of the info is here in this site!!! if i were to sit down and write it all out for u i would have no choice but to charge u $$ as that would take some serious time. if thats what u want, i can compile it all into a PDF and sell it to u.. if not, all of the answers r here in the site..
  • I am a new grower and I started my plants about 3 weeks ago. I only have two plants both female. One is as healthy as it can be but the other one has a few leafs that are yellow what can it be?? Thank u in advance
  • Help i have a aero nine-site by botanicare...i cannot find if i should leave the pump on 24-7 or what intervels?
  • when the trichomes on the plant starts turning opaque,milky, or clear, does it start on one side of the plant or the entire plant. so i mean like do you have to wait till all the trichomes are milky or does it turn milky everywhere at once? i hope you know what i mean cuz im not such a good explainer...
  • i want to learn how to make your clone machine...yeahh i watch the video..but i want to learn how to build your clone machine in ur other video... the one with the bigg ass clone.. its as one extra set at the bottom...and you been growing for 10 years afghan #1..hahahhhh... you know how to grow... my friend been growing for 10 years too.. and im wounding... if i can putt clones from your clone machine too soil... what i mean is...till they grow roots in your machine and there ready/ CAN I PUT IN SOIL_ WITH OUT THEM DIEING OR IN SHOCK. use it to just rootd and use soil after... im in to organic all in the soil... different soil secrets shhhhh_ that my nutrients.. natural, organic, soft, moist, fine, soil best tasty tasty tasty ummmm... but i want to use ur clone machine just to rootd on time then without shock or death... jump to soil...thats all. im a fan of youu. thank youu.
    • the machines are built the same way. one has more holes in the top for more clones.. but they are identical on the inside!! yes u can put the clones into soil after they root.
  • got a plant two weeks into flowering but its very short its also grown that far on its own without me doing anything.why so short is my concern
  • What do you mean by curing? I can't find anything on your website about this. Also, I havent really noticed anything about like watering or feeding the plant, how often and what while you put the plant after germinating. im sorry if i missed it on your website so if you could point me in the right direction that'd be great. thanks
    • heres my vid on youtube for curing. http://youtu.be/3bBXGwhlQKsthere are 34 videos on there - which all of your answers can be answered. after germ i place into veg, water 30mins every 6hrs.
      • Thanks! do you have any videos on making hash, i saw the one for dry ice kief and read about the different methods but wondering if you have a video or coming with one. what is your preferred method for making hash?
    • i mean u need to know its genetics, what climate it prefers, what size do they grow, knowing how long each cutting takes to root....and so much more. there are thousands of different strains, all of which different in their own ways.
  • I live in east of europe with continental clima and in the summers days the temeperature here is from 30 to 40 degrees. Tell me if i can grow them, bye.
    • Yes as long as you mean 30 to 40 celsius, just make sure you understand your local laws about growing outside and good luck
  • I have 2 plants growing right now. They r five weeks old and I'm wondering when they will b growing buds. And how much bud would one plant give me if its healthy
      • They r indoors. And one more ? How long untill I can harvest them if they r 5 weeks old? Thanks for ur help
      • if they r indoors they can start flowering anytime. thats up to u to change the lights and light cycle. i have some plants i bud immediately after they root as clones, and some i wait a few months to do... depending on the strain, the length of time they take to finish varies. anywhere from 6-12 weeks of flowering. u need to know your strain!
  • I'm a brand new grower started my plants about 3 weeks ago. I only have 2 of them but they were looking good. One has a few leafs that the edges are yellow but the rest of the plant is green. What can this be and how could I sove it??? Thank u for ur help. Website is amazing by the way
  • OK so i'm a new medical grower and i'm curious on what a good game plan would be as im growing 3 diff. strains indoor. I have L.R.2, G13, and J.H. I would love to make it cycle the best possible to always have some flowering. In veg. growth what are the best fluorescent ?
  • i have my first pineapple kush drying i went in the drying room this morning and i found that i accidently left the light on all night will this hurt my quality or any other aspect of my plant?
  • I just got my medical card and I want to start growing. I was wondering were I could get some seeds. Thanx and this site is awesome
  • Look, I wanna grow some plants but I wanna ask you if I can plent them in the nature no in the house but out in the nature, can you tell me, whether I can grow with the sun and night in a shadow ?