Ganja Guides

How to Harvest Half a Weed Plant

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Some growers are now elevating their game by harvesting the top half of the weed plant to maximize yield and potency. In our curated guide, we’ll delve deeper into how to harvest half a weed plant, ensuring a bountiful harvest without compromising the crop.  

Photo: Unsplash

Can I harvest the top half of my plant?

The top buds usually mature faster than the lower ones unless your plants are pretty small. With that said, it’s possible to harvest the top-developed buds to avoid degradation of the cannabinoids and terpenes. 

However, you should be extra cautious when harvesting the top half to avoid stressing your plant, which can hinder its growth. 

Why harvest half a weed plant

Let’s now discuss why some growers may consider this approach: 

Optimizing THC potency 

Exposing matured buds to elements such as temperature may naturally activate the decarboxylation process, leading to unstable THC and CBD, affecting the potency. Thus, by harvesting the top mature flowers, you can enjoy a higher potency without having to wait for the whole plant to mature. 

Also, the top buds tend to contain higher levels of THC and CBD due to optimum light exposure. Hence, you can prioritize your plant’s most desired and potent section by partial harvesting. 

Avoid parasite infestation

Parasites such as mildew and mold can attack the lower buds, mainly due to insufficient ventilation. However, by harvesting the top half, the light can penetrate deeper into lower branches, discouraging mold growth and saving your yield.

Also, increasing the light penetration deeper into the plant allows the lower buds to continue maturing, leading to an extended harvest window, potentially increasing yield. 

Space limitation 

Vertical growth can be an issue when growing plants in limited spaces such as greenhouses or indoor setups. Harvesting the top half ensures the crops grow at the optimal height.

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Steps on how to harvest half a weed plant 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to strategically harvest the top half of your cannabis plant: 

Monitor the flowering stage 

Carefully monitor your plant’s flowering to ensure you harvest the matured buds at the right time. A mature bud has opaque or milky-like trichomes. Also, the pistils turn from white to reddish-orange. At this stage, the buds have a higher concentration of CBD-THC ratio, leading to optimum yield. 

Also, prepare your plants one to two weeks before harvesting by flushing them. This is the process of running a lot of water through its growing medium, such as soil, to eliminate excess salt and mineral nutrients. The flushing process results in buds with better aroma and flavor. 

Assemble the tools 

You’ll need:

  • Pruning shears or scissors
  • Latex gloves to avoid sticky fingers
  • Rubbing alcohol to clean your tools and hands
  • Trash bags
  • Hangers

Once you have the needed materials, prepare the drying space. Ensure the room is dark, cool, and well-ventilated with a relative humidity of around 50%.

Cut the top buds

Start by cleaning your hands and tools with rubbing alcohol to avoid contaminating your plant. It also prevents infecting the plant, which can affect overall yield. 

Cut top mature buds individually, leaving a small stem attached. Then, continue working downward, cutting the top half systematically.

Remove the sugar leaves 

Trim away sugar leaves from the harvested buds. Although you can smoke sugar leaves, they’re less flavorful and potent than buds. 

Hang the buds to dry 

Using strings or hangers, hang each bud upside down. Ensure the buds are spaced out correctly, guaranteeing proper airflow. 

Once the buds are thoroughly dried, move on to the curing process. The process helps improve your nugs’ flavor, aroma, and potency and may take several weeks. However, monitoring it closely to maintain the correct airflow and humidity is crucial. 

Tips when harvesting

Handle buds gently 

Handle the buds with care to avoid damaging cannabinoid-filled trichomes. Damaging the trichomes may affect the potency, leading to a less desired experience.

Choose the correct trimming method

You can trim the harvested buds before or after drying them. Your chosen method will depend on your preferences or desired end product. 

Once you have trimmed your buds, store them in a clean storage container. Also, place all the seeds, fan leaves, or stems into your trash bags. 

Selective harvesting 

Partial harvesting can maximize yield while utilizing available growing space. However, be cautious to avoid damaging your plant, affecting your future harvest. 

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About Jeremy

Jeremy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Kenya. Over the past four years, he's been passionate about writing on a wide range of cannabis-related topics. In addition to guides, he's explored various aspects of cannabis, including its medical benefits, legalization efforts, cultivation techniques, and its impact on society. You can reach him at [email protected].