Harvesting pot isn’t one of those things that you can put minimal effort into and still make it through the year. Many first time growers make fatal errors, from flushing to cutting and even curing, and this can all lead to disappointment at the end of the day.

The most important thing to remember when harvesting cannabis is knowing when to start chopping. You don’t want to cut them down when they aren’t at their best and you don’t want to cut them down too late, at a point when the THC glands have curtailed. If you want to know whether or not your plant is ready, then take a look at the pistils, or the long hairs. At the point of flowering, they become white and stringy, but then they turn from white to orange and then dark red or brown. These colors will tell you how mature your bud is, but there is a better way to find out whether or not your buds are ready for harvesting.

To do this method, you’ll need to perform a trichome examination. Trichomes are the resin glands that contain all the THC. They are incredibly delicate and they can also be ruptured easily. You can see them on the outside of the buds and they look a little like sugar crystals. When you take a magnifying glass to them however, you will notice that they are stalks with a resin head.

These also change colour as they mature. Take a magnifying glass that allows you to magnify between 50x-100x and look for a milky or creamy colour in your trichomes. Over time, trichomes discolour and this means that they are decaying, losing you potency. By harvesting when they are white, you can achieve maximum THC.