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Factors That Impact Your Cannabis Strain: Part 4, Harvesting Methods

October 20, 2015

So far we know that genetics, environmental factors, and growing techniques can all impact a cannabis strain's end result. Today we'll learn how harvesting methods can also affect your strain.

The manner in which cannabis is handled during harvest time can completely sway the end result of your strain. Everything from the way the plants are flushed, when they are cut down, and even how they are dried can change the look and potency of each bud.


Flushing Your Cannabis Plants Before Harvest

Flushing, the step before the actual harvest, is critical when it comes to the final flavor of your strain. Without properly flushing out residual nutrients, the resulting buds can taste too chemical or bitter. A proper flush will stop any additional feeding and break down salt that has formed from the build up of nutrients over the plant’s life cycle.


When to Time Your Cannabis Harvest

Harvesting your buds at precisely the right time is arguably the most important factor when it comes to the overall harvesting process. Growers use a variety of signals to tell them that the plant is ready for harvest. Some common indicators are the color of the pistils and analyzing the appearance of the trichomes under magnification. Making sure a plant is truly ripe will allow for the greatest potency and enhanced flavor as the cannabinoids and terpenes have had the opportunity to fully develop into the characteristics typical of their genetic lineage.


Trimming Your Cannabis Buds

Cutting and trimming techniques vary as well, but what it really comes down to is how the plant is handled. The trichomes that hold the valued essential oils are fragile, and as they dry they become brittle and even more susceptible to breaking off, causing the buds to lose potency. This is why many connoisseurs prefer their cannabis hand-trimmed. Aside from it being the traditional way to do it, trimming by hand and with a light touch gives the greatest opportunity for the strain to reach its full potential when it's cured and ready to smoke. Automated trimming machines can run the risk of agitating the buds with rough mechanics and fast actions.

We're at the home stretch! Don't miss our final part of this series that examines the many factors that impact your cannabis strain: the curing process.

Did you miss the previous sections of our series? Catch up on your reading by learning how genetics, environment, and growing techniques can all affect your strain's end result.

 Factors That Impact Your Cannabis Strain: Part 2, Environment

Factors That Impact Your Cannabis Strain: Part 2, Environment

Factors That Impact Your Cannabis Strain: Part 3, Growing Techniques

Will Hyde's Bio Image
Will Hyde

Will is a cannabis expert and former co-host of Leafly's "What Are you Smoking" podcast. He's a cultivator and former budtender who loves complex hybrids with piney and gassy terpene profiles. Follow him on Instagram at @the.avid.dabber

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