Climate Control: Harvesting marijuana has to be done carefully. Marijuana resin glands are fragile. They’re degraded by heat, light, high humidity, rough handling.
During marijuana harvesting, a lot of rough handling happens if you’re not careful.
The harvesting marijuana environment has to be right too.
Temperatures in the harvesting area as well as in the drying/curing area, should be between 68-75F, with relative humidity between 49-57%.
You want reliable air conditioning, dehumidification, and/or heating, as well as more than adequate ventilation to keep temperature and humidity in range.
What you don’t want when harvesting are fans blowing hard directly onto your work area.
Cut Well: We use two different cutting tools for harvesting marijuana.
One is a shear or large pruner for cutting thick stems and stalks; the other is a precision, straight-blade pruning tool for manicuring those buds to make them tight and beautiful.
In your hydroponics store you can buy both these tools made by Hydrofarm, and I buy them because I like to support hydroponics companies.
However, the allegedly “best” pruning and manicuring tools are made by Fiskars.
They cost more, but they last longer and are less likely to fail.
Rubbing Alcohol, face towels & Q-Tips: Your cutting and manicuring tools will get gunked up with marijuana resins, especially if you’re manicuring a sticky bomb like Gorilla Glue.
You may also find your hands and much of your clothing and body covered in resins.
Raw marijuana resins may irritate the skin and eyes. Of course you don’t put rubbing alcohol in your eyes, but you use it to keep your cutting tools and other materials clean.
Dip Q-Tips into the alcohol and clean carefully your cutting surfaces. Be careful not to leave any cotton on the cutters.
Put alcohol on the face towels to clean your hands, body and other surfaces that might be resinated.
Consider wearing protective surgical gloves & “safe suits” to keep resins and debris from hanging out on you.
If you have good outflow ventilation in your cut room, that helps keep resin glands from sticking to everyone and everything while reducing airborne particulate that can bind to resins.
Portable, expandable, drying racks. My favorite marijuana drying rack is the Quick Cure; the largest version of this portable rack is huge and can hold 1-3 pounds of drying bud.
The only downside of drying racks is that buds dried on racks tend to flatten on one side.
I still favor using clothesline or closet dowels so I can hang the buds while they dry and cure.
This ensures they don’t have any flattening.
I highly suggest you read this article that describes the ideal environment for drying and curing marijuana.
It also has good advice for managing the environment in which you harvest and manicure buds.
Extraction: Almost everything you grow (except for fan leaves, stalks, and stems) contains a useful percentage of marijuana components that can be made into hashish, medibles, extracts, or other cannabinoid treats.
Save your marijuana trim leaves, especially if they’re sugary.
I suggest having a clean non-plastic container or tray for your trim leaves, along with cannabis “extract” bags, bubblebags, or sift kits.
You’d be amazed at the amount of cannabinoids you can extract from trimmed material many marijuana growers would just throw away.
For more information on making water-extracted hashish, read this very useful article.
Storage Containers: Plastic containers aren’t good for marijuana. Harmful chemicals and chemical smells transfer from plastic into your buds.
That’s why I go for glass or stainless steel containers even though they cost more than plastic. Many growers use Bell jars.
Some marijuana growers use specially-designed humidor containers that maintain optimum humidity for marijuana.
You won’t need containers the day you harvest other than for trim you’re going to save for later processing.
When you’re storing your dried/cured buds, go for glass or stainless steel—not plastic of any kind, including shrink wrap.
Weighing Device: In many legal marijuana states, there are weight limits dictating how much dried marijuana you can possess.
I enjoy weighing buds when they’re wet so I can see how much weight they’ve lost as one factor in knowing when they’re fully dried and cured.
But be aware that possession of a weighing device can be used by police to accuse you of being involved in marijuana sales.
Some marijuana growers try to avoid this by having “kitchen scales” rather than small weighing scales that pot dealers carry, and/or by keeping their weighing scales in the kitchen so they can claim the scales are only meant for weighing food.
I don’t think police are going to believe that, so why bother trying that ruse?
Just get a good quality digital scale; store it off-site if you’re paranoid. Here’s a link to a quality scale.
Air purifier: You might already have air purification as part of your hydroponics grow room, but is it in the area where you harvest your marijuana plants?
If not, consider another stand-alone air purifier.
Note this is not just for odor control.
Your goal is to remove dust, pet hairs, and other particulates/debris from the air because they stick on your buds and go into your lungs.
Air purification also has the added benefit of making your marijuana harvesting environment more pleasant.
Magnification: I was recently in a marijuana harvesting room staffed by a crew of 11 people working at individual cutting stations.
Each station was accompanied by a magnifying lamp that allows the manicurist to better see the buds as they do fine trimming.
Speaking of workstations, make sure to have comfortable swivel chairs, and tables that are just the right height.
Intuition, and hidden cameras: If you have to use other people to help you harvest and trim your marijuana crop, you need to alert intuition, assisted by hidden security cameras…because trimmers are known to pilfer buds.
I recommend you do all harvesting and trimming by yourself.
The more people who know you grow marijuana, the more trouble you have.
Keep a close eye on anyone who does marijuana harvesting or trimming for you.
Stealing marijuana is a big temptation for some people.
So that’s what you need on marijuana harvesting day…
Nice, sharp, ergonomic scissors. A drying or hanging rack for your cut buds. Climate control. Comfortable workstations.
Security and monitoring equipment.
Alcohol (not the kind you drink).
For more information on marijuana harvesting techniques, read this.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m not a fan of mechanical marijuana trimmers.
In many cases, they damage buds, don’t trim as well as hand-manicuring, and waste resin glands.
Plus…they cost thousands of dollars and suck down lots of electricity!