Welcome to the Stage 3 of Pot Prof’s complete guide to growing weed!

Harvesting weed is undoubtably more fun with some company around to pass the time with. The best way to harvest cannabis colas is with friends.  After all, trimming, drying, and curing weed is a long and somewhat boring task, so why not share it with friends? Throw a party, spark a bowl, and have a conversation while you partake in the ancient art of herbal harvest. You and your friends will look back fondly on the time well spent.

Stage 3 is the process of transforming growing, living, flowering plants into smokable nugs. There are many complex subprocesses to the harvesting Stage and ample room for innovation. The exact steps taken will differ from one person to the next and depend heavily on the space and tools you use to trim and dry your weed. But with time and practice, and by following this guide, you will develop your own harvesting techniques and style.

Links to go back to previous stages of this guide:

  1. The Beginning: The 3 Stages Of Growing Cannabis
  2. Stage 1: Grow Room, Nutrients, Seeds, And Germination
  3. Stage 2: Vegetative And Flowering Growth
  4. Stage 3: (You are here!)


The guide to Stage 3 is composed of smaller guides for each step in the harvesting process.

  • The steps of harvesting cannabis:
    • Timing the harvest
      • How to prepare weed plants for harvest
      • How to tell when weed plants are ready to be harvested
      • How to build a drying tent
    • Trimming and drying buds
      • How to trim marijuana colas
      • How to dry marijuana colas
    • Curing nugs
      • How to cure weed
      • How to store weed

    Harvesting Weed Is An Overlooked Artform

    In many of the “complete guides on how to grow marijuana” that are available across the internet, one all-important aspect of the process is consistently neglected: the harvest.

    Sure, it’s not the sexiest part of growing weed. It’s long, and boring, and time-consuming, and even downright painful at times (hand cramps, anyone?). But the harvesting process is possibly the most important process of all in the art of cannabis cultivation. After all, without good technique, all of your previous efforts could be wasted.

    The most important piece of advice I can give you is to harvest slowly and take your time. There is no need to rush the process. By harvesting with a nearly surgical level of care and attention, you can often save several grams of otherwise lost bud.


    3 Phases Of The Harvest Stage

    1. Timing & Flushing For Harvesting Weed

    Timing your harvest is often a bit tricky. But there is one way to know almost exactly when the right time to harvest is. Learn how to flush and prepare the plants for harvest as well as a create a drying tent and workspace to harvest in.

    2. Trimming & Drying Weed

    Trimming can be tedious, but with the right techniques, you can avoid a lot of the pain associated with holding shears for hours. Learn how to capture shake and use fan leaves, plus set up a tent for drying weed. Finally, learn the answer to the age-old debate: dry trimming or wet trimming?

    3. Curing & Storing Weed

    After all of the work, the last phase is finally here. Learn how to cure recently harvested buds, and why curing is important. Find out tips and tricks for storing weed long term, as well as how to avoid common problems such as dried out buds.

    Phase 1: Timing And Flushing For Harvesting Weed

    When to harvest weed – ANSWERED

    The main question on everyone’s mind is: when should I harvest my weed and how do I know when? Harvest too early and you risk cutting the plants down before they have reached their full potency. Harvest too late, and the buds will be stale and diminished in potency. So – how do you tell when marijuana is ready to harvest?

    You will find many creative answers. Some will tell you to wait until all of the large fan leaves have begun to turn yellow or brown, others will say that your growing schedule is all you need. The real answer is a bit more complicated: grow schedule and strain specifications are two factors to consider, but the only way to really know for sure is to look at the trichomes close up.

    Phase 1 covers how to read the trichomes to know when to harvest. It goes on to cover all of the techniques for building a drying tent, flushing your plants, and then timing your harvest perfectly. In the end, you will have a workspace ready to go and your plants will be fully prepped for harvest. It can be tricky to time everything perfectly but with some finesse and careful planning, you can pull it off even if you have never timed a harvest before.

    Phase 1 Snapshot Overview

    Phase 1 starts with a deep-dive into the art of trichome reading. The best way to know when to harvest your weed is to look at the trichomes, but characteristics of the strain as well as the grow schedule also offer clues for timing the harvest.

    • This section then moves on to the following topics:
      • How to flush your plants and prepare them to be harvested: why does flushing matter?
      • How to set up a drying tent and prepare a space for drying your harvested cannabis
      • How to examine and evaluate trichomes in order to perfectly time your harvest

    Phase 2: Trimming And Drying Marijuana

    Now the real work begins: How to trim and dry marijuana

    Trimming and drying marijuana is an exciting, if tedious, time in the life of a grow operation. This is the moment where, as a grower, you will get the first chance to estimate the total output of your grow as well as anticipate the quality of the product. Take your time, and with a bit of skill and careful attention, your harvest will be bountiful.

    One of the best ways to make trimming and drying more fun is to invite friends to help you do it. Put on some music, choose your preferred medicinal delivery system (blunt, edible, bong, etc.), and start clipping away at those buds. For many growers, Phase 2 of Stage 3 is when the party starts and everyone gets to celebrate the great job you have done as a grower.

    Phase 2 Snapshot Overview

    Phase 2 is when you will get the first look at the productivity of your garden. See how to weigh colas and estimate the total output of your grow before the final step of curing begins.

    • This section then moves on to cover the following topics:
      • How to trim marijuana properly: how to trim marijuana without losing any bud at all
      • How to capture shake to make concentrates, and what to do with fan leaves after trimming
      • Techniques for trimming evaluated: trimming philosophy, and dry trimming or wet trimming?
      • How to dry your weed: how to know when marijuana has dried enough but not too much
      • Troubleshooting dried out buds: how to save your buds if they dried out too much

    Phase 3: Curing And Storing Marijuana

    Congrats! You have reached the final steps

    Finally, after weeks and months of effort, the cannabis plants you have been so carefully tending will now complete their transition into fully cured, smokable buds. Good job to you! Give yourself a pat on the back.

    Phase 3 is all about learning how to cure your dried and trimmed buds to improve their smoke-ability. Curing as often one of the most overlooked steps of the already often overlooked art of harvesting cannabis, but it is very important for the long term storage and enjoyment of the product. Have you ever smoked bud that burned quickly or harshly? Chances are good that they were not cured properly. 

    Phase 3 Snapshot Overview

    Phase 3 begins by discussing why curing matters. Even though you are almost done, this all important step will make that first toke of your new stash so much more enjoyable.

    • This section then moves on to the following topics:
      • How to cure marijuana: various techniques for curing marijuana properly
      • How jar buds and then burp the jars to prevent rotting buds
      • How to determine when marijuana has been cured for long enough
      • How to store marijuana properly for long term storage to prolong the life of your stash
      • How to recognize and prevent rot, mold, and other signs of trouble on your curing buds

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