Hacking your marijuana bloom phase gives you a way bigger range of highs you can’t get if you follow the breeder’s standard bloom phase duration recommendations.
Done right, it also gives you higher yields.
I learned this when I ran out of weed several weeks before my three Sativa-dominant strains were finished with marijuana bloom phase.
I was growing Kali Mist, Tangie, and Silver Haze.
These strains had a breeder-specified bloom phase of 66-78 days.
In fact, the Kali Mist breeder stated that it can take as long as 11-12 weeks for this psychedelic pure Sativa to finish.
I first thought about harvesting “early” when I read an article about marijuana’s four bloom phases.
What the article says is that marijuana bloom phase plants have four distinct sub-phases.
There’s no use harvesting in pre-flowering or early bloom before any resin glands are formed.
But once your marijuana bloom phase plants reach peak bloom, you can harvest buds selectively and discover the high is very different from the high you’d get from buds harvested at the specified end of bloom phase when the buds are in late bloom.
I don’t mean to say you get a different and less potent high.
In many cases, you get the same potency, but the high is not the same as a late-harvest high.
For example, my Silver Haze (bred by Sensi Seeds) is supposed to have a 70-75 day marijuana bloom phase.
At day 49 of bloom phase, I was desperate to get high and wanted to cut some of the lower branches to dry and cure them when my three cannabis strains.
Examining my three strains with a powerful magnifier, I saw the Silver Haze had small, stalked resin glands on most of the inner bud areas.
My Kali Mist buds had resin glands covering the very innermost part of the buds, but the glands weren’t stalked yet and were much smaller than the head of a pin.
My Tangie had stalked glands and some glands that hugged the surface they were growing on.
The gland heads on all three strains were immature, absolutely clear like clear glass, and obviously not fully ripe.
Not only that, none of these buds had scent, even if I crushed them a little bit.
They were clearly immature with a long way to go before the resin glands would be at maximum size, maximum potency, and would be starting to turn cloudy or amber, which is a sign that late bloom has finished and it’s time to harvest.
I cut a few buds.
After about two weeks of drying and curing, I was eager and curious about what if anything these buds would do to get me high.
I was very happily surprised when I sampled these buds.
The high was psychedelic, powerful, and way different from the high of these same marijuana strains if I had harvested buds at the end of bloom phase.
In part because my plant profile had straggler branches at the bottom of these tall Sativa plants nearing 6-7 feet tall, I figured that because those branches weren’t getting much light and were in the way when I worked in the grow room, I should harvest them every few days.
As I sampled buds harvested at 49, 55, 67, 74 and (only in the case of Kali Mist) 80 days, I discovered the high, taste, and scent were enjoyable and different at every stage.
As I spent many months comparing the highs from the different buds at different harvest stages, I discovered what I liked the most.
The funny thing is that the potency I experienced didn’t change much from a bud of Tangie harvested at 55 days versus the same Tangie plants harvested at 74 days.
The potency was very strong even from the early buds.
What changed over time was the high itself, which reflects how percentages of THC, CBN, CBD and terpenoids ripen over time.
In general, the high changed from psychedelic, uplifting, smiley, stimulating, and clear to heavy, more body effects, and somewhat overwhelming.
Harvesting earlier than the end of late bloom phase can result in lower total harvest weight if not done carefully.
If selective harvesting is done properly, it increases bud weight, especially if you cut the ripe growing tops of long thick buds so that the bud structures lower down the plant get to be at the top of the plant.
When you remove the top 15% of mature buds, for example, the less-mature buds underneath get more light, and tend to grow larger, thus increasing your overall marijuana bloom phase yield.
This is very useful in cases when your flowering plants have stretched too high and are too close to your lights.
The marijuana bloom phase hack I’ve described opens up a wider world of different highs from the same plants.
Instead of the high you get if you harvest only at the end of bloom phase when your resin glands are cloudy, amber, or otherwise degrading, you get many other highs, and some of them are cleaner and clearer than the late-season harvest high.