In this Oct. 4, 2016 photo, farmworkers remove stems and leaves from newly-harvested marijuana plants, at Los Suenos Farms, America's largest legal open air marijuana farm, in Avondale, southern Colo. For the fall 2016 harvest, the farm's 36-acres are expected to yield 5 to 6 tons. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The point at which mature cannabis plants are chopped down so buds can be trimmed, dried, and cured before smoking.

“I got a huge yield out of my harvest!” Weed for dayyysss.”

“I had to harvest early this year because the weather turned sour.”

What is a harvest?

Harvest is when a cannabis plant has fully matured and gets chopped down so its buds can be processed and then consumed. When growing outdoors, this usually occurs in the fall, before cold, wet weather sets in.

When growing indoors, growers determine how big they want plants to get in the vegetative stage before flipping them into flower. Harvest happens at the end of the flowering cycle, which is usually 7-9 weeks, but can take longer.

After harvesting a cannabis plant, buds have to be removed from the plant’s branches, trimmed, dried, and cured before they can be consumed. A proper dry and cure are necessary so mold doesn’t develop in weed buds. 

When to harvest cannabis

Each cannabis strain is unique and will harvest at different times. Growers usually look at the color of the trichomes on a weed plant to determine if it’s ready to get harvested. 

The trichomes of the cannabis plant are what house all the cannabinoids and terpenes, so you want to look at the trichomes to see when the plant is at its peak ripeness and potency. They will turn from clear to opaque and then amber.

Also, the stigma, the hair-like strands that cover buds, will turn from white to orange and will start to curl.