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Cannabis is of 2 kinds – Indica based and Sativa based. The harvesting time according to trichomes depends upon these strain types. However, it can vary by a few days to even a few weeks, according to the genetics of the plant.

First, we will talk about harvesting Indica based cannabis according to trichomes.

Indica based cannabis is identified with a high THC concentration, and the amount of that THC will depend upon when you harvest the crop. Ideally, the trichomes have a translucent color when the THC level is at its peak. This is the best time to harvest cannabis if you want your plants to have high THC percentage. The content wouldn’t vary much by the margin of a few days, but it will alter significantly if harvested earlier.

In fact, when the plant is harvested too early or too late before the trichomes start producing resins, the taste wouldn’t be very good. It is because terpenes – the aroma producing molecules in cannabis – will either be underdeveloped or over developed. In either cases, the floral scent will not be at its best.

All in all, a few lessons learned about harvesting indica based cannabis according to trichomes include the following.

  • Resin glands in trichomes shouldn’t be raw or over-ripped.
  • Ideal translucent color of the trichomes shouldn’t turn amber – that’s an indication of over-ripped resin.

Now comes harvesting Sativa based cannabis plant according to trichomes.

The basic difference between the 2 types is that, indica dominant cannabis has more THC and very little CBD, but Sativa dominant cannabis strains have more CBD and less THC. Therefore, harvesting these two strains according to trichomes is very different.

When harvesting sativa based strains, the resin glands in the trichomes should be perfectly ripe. Ensure that at least 30% of those translucent buds have turned amber. Why? It is because the ripe cannabis has less THC and high CBD. However, there’s a catch. If you delay harvesting sativa based cannabis for long after the flowering stage, the taste of the plant will change.


Now that you know how to harvest cannabis – Sativa as well as Indica – according to trichomes, there are a few takeaways that you should memorize.

  • Cannabis shouldn’t be harvested before the 3rd stage – the flowering stage.
  • The ideal time for Indica and Sativa harvesting is best seen under a microscope or a lens.
  • The late flowering stage will alter the taste of both the types manifolds.