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Harvesting & Trimming Cannabis Plants During “Croptober”

For cannabis farms in Northern California’s golden triangle, October means one thing: it’s time for harvest. Now dubbed “croptober”, this is one of the busiest months for outdoor cannabis cultivation.

When Does Harvesting Begin?

The harvesting process needs to be efficient and precise. If started too early during the slower winter offseason, the plants may not have the desired potency levels. If done too late, the plant’s cannabinoids may no longer be effective.

Similar to other agricultural industries, cannabis farmers tend to know their crops intimately and have their own preferred methods for determining the right time to harvest their plants. For most, studying the pistils and trichomes of the plant are two indicators that the harvesting can begin.


Pistils are thin, hairlike structures that serve as the reproduction piece of the cannabis flower. Visible to the naked eye, pistils can signal its harvest time when they turn a deep amber color.


Trichomes are minuscule growths, so fine that they’re only viewable by microscope. These are sometimes referred to as the resin glands of the cannabis plant, producing the industry’s most valuable commodities: cannabinoids and terpenes. They also determine when a plant is ready to harvest. Use a fine microscope to watch a trichome head’s change color to indicate the content level of THC and CBD.

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Steps To Cannabis Harvesting

Determining when to harvest a plant can be challenging but the actual harvesting process is simple. To harvest a cannabis plant, cut the entire plant from the base, removing everything from the ground completely or, alternately, cut branches off one at a time. Be careful to touch the cannabis buds as little as possible during this process.

How To Properly Trim Cannabis Plants

Once harvested, the plants are trimmed, with great care taken to ensure that the delicate cannabis flowers are not harmed. There are two schools of thought on how to trim cannabis plants. One involves trimming immediately after harvesting while the other is done after the plant has been fully dried. Regardless, trimming involves precisely removing the cannabis flowers from the plant being careful to preserve the resin and pistils, both of which impact potency.

Cannabis Cultivation Supplies For Harvesting & Trimming

Item Grabber Green has built a curated shop of cannabis cultivation equipment. After weeding through countless products, we pride ourselves in selecting the best that the industry has to offer, saving you time and energy so you can focus entirely on building your cannabis business.