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Marijuana seeds life cycle

The Life cycle of Cannabis: From seed to harvest

Cannabis passes through a series of stages in its life. The most important of these are the germination, seedling, growth and flowering stages. Each stage brings its own challenges. Novice growers need to be aware of these, to be sure of giving their plants the attention and care that they deserve.

Plants are living beings. They are at the base of the evolutionary tree, they heal our bodies and souls, they delight our senses. I think all our readers know by now which is our favourite plant: Cannabis sativa L. – a fantastic crop and medicinal plant, and one of the oldest plant genera in the world.

No matter why cannabis is being cultivated, to see with your own eyes how a small seed grows into a bulky plant, which then starts flowering, is a moving experience every time.

Cannabis is an annual plant, so its entire lifecycle takes place within a single year, with most varieties reaching the end of their life after between four and ten months. In general terms, the following four stages of life can be distinguished:

  • Germination stage
  • Seedling stage
  • Growth or vegetation stage
  • Flowering stage

A quick glance is usually enough to determine the current stage. Over time, it is not just the appearance of the plant that changes, its needs also change. Different stages require different quantities of light, water and nutrients. Furthermore, if you want to determine the sex of the plant or prune it, it is useful to know which stage the plant has currently reached.

1 – Germination stage (1 to 2 weeks)

All forms of life start from a seed of some kind. High-quality seed is the single most important factor for successful cultivation. Cannabis seeds should be hard, dry and brownish in colour. There are a number of different ways of getting the seeds to germinate. The easiest is the paper towel method.

In the germination process, the germ in the seed breaks through its shell and forms a root, which is known as the taproot. Germination takes anything from 24 hours to 7 days. Generally cannabis varieties with a high proportion of Indica germinate faster than pure Sativas.

The germinated seed can now be placed carefully into the growing medium. The plant will start to grow and force its way upwards.

While the first two cotyledons (seed leaves) are being formed, the plant shrugs off the protective seed husk. That signifies the end of the germination stage.

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2 – Seedling stage (2 to 4 weeks)

Particular care is necessary at this stage in the lifecycle. Seedlings are susceptible to illnesses and mould. Many novices get carried away with watering and give the seedlings too much fertiliser. Even if you plan to grow outdoors, it may be useful to give the plants a healthy start indoors, assuming that a location is available with adequate light (e.g. a windowsill). The plants need as much light as possible at this stage.

How long the seedling stage lasts depends on the variety and on the environmental conditions. The main focus of the plant is on developing a root system. This forms the foundation for its later growth.

Meanwhile the plant will grow its first “real” leaves with the characteristic marijuana shape.

The leaflets are long and jagged. Initially a leaf has just one leaflet, although a mature cannabis plant will have five to seven leaflets per leaf.

Once the plant produces the full count of leaflets for each new leaf, the seedling stage is over.

3 – Growth stage or vegetation stage (2 to 8 weeks)

Now the plant starts its main growing phase. Provided it receives enough light, it can grow up to two inches (5 cm) in a single day. It is obvious that the plant needs to be repotted if it is still growing in a small pot.

Leafy plants like a healthy soil that is rich in nutrients. The production of chlorophyll and proteins depends on a supply of nitrogen. It is worth investing in the right kinds of fertiliser or even producing them yourself.

As it grows, the plant also needs more water. Young plants are best watered close to their stem, but later on water should be distributed more widely so that the tips of the roots can absorb water more efficiently.

Have you ever heard of topping, super-cropping or lollipopping? Using these techniques you can train cannabis or manipulate the shape of the plant. Growers use them to develop stronger plants with more buds. Opinions vary, however, on whether these techniques actually deliver results. They are only necessary for special cultivation methods such as the Screen of Green (SCROG).

How long the growth phase lasts is not a simple question to answer. Autoflowering cannabis varieties move automatically on to the flowering stage within 2 or 3 weeks. Regular or feminised varieties only start flowering once the days become shorter (outdoor cultivation) or the grower reduces the lighting period to 12 hours (indoor cultivation).

4 stages of marijuana plant growth

Cannabis plants go through a series of stages as they grow and mature, and those different growth stages call for different amounts of light, nutrients, and water.

It’s important to know these stages and how long each lasts to know what the plant needs and when. Knowing where your cannabis plants are in their life cycles will dictate when to prune, train, and trellis your plants, and when to harvest.

How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?

Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to grow a weed plant from seed to harvest. It’ll be quicker if you start with a clone or an autoflower seed.

The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flowering.

If you’re growing indoors, you can force a weed plant to flower after only a few weeks when it’s small or after several weeks when it’s big.

When growing outdoors, you’re at the whim of the seasons and will have to wait until the sun starts to go down in the fall for plants to flower, and then to harvest.

However, one way outdoor growers can control the flowering cycle is by using light deprivation techniques.

How long can a marijuana plant live?

Weed plants are annuals, meaning they grow and live for one season and then die. Wild cannabis plants grow seeds and drop them when they die, which will grow into new plants the following year.

When harvesting, plants are cut down and die in order to get their buds. New seeds need to be planted in order to grow more plants.

If left unharvested, weed plants will eventually wither and rot within a few months after the peak flowering phase.

When should you grow marijuana?

If you’re growing outdoors in the Northern Hemisphere, growers usually get their seeds between February and April and start germinating seeds by the end of April.

Many start growing seedlings inside in a more controlled environment because seedlings are more delicate, and then put the seedlings in the ground outside once they’re a little bigger and the weather is warmer.

If you’re growing clones or autoflowers, you have a grace period of another month or so. Plants usually need to be outside, in the ground, by the end of June.

Harvesting happens sometime between September and November. This depends on your local climate, as well as the weather that particular year—one year it could be the end of September, the next, end of October; growers in the Pacific Northwest will have to pull down their crops earlier than those in Northern California because of cold weather.

If you’re growing weed indoors, you can grow whenever you like. Keep in mind that the outside environment will affect your grow space—you may need to add heaters in the winter or fans and ACs in the summer.

Other than that, you can start seeds whenever you like and flip them into flower whenever you like, depending on how big you want the plants.

Important dates for growing marijuana outdoors

Many growers begin germinating seeds as early as February and March in order to have big plants come harvest time, but the Spring Equinox is a good reminder that it’s time to kick off the outdoor growing process and start germinating your seeds if you haven’t already.

Many farmers wait until after Mother’s Day in May to put their plants outside. Just make sure all of your plants are outside by the Summer Solstice at the latest.

The weather will start to turn and the sun will begin descending in the sky as your plants fatten up with sweet, sticky buds. It might be tempting, but the Fall Equinox is about when to start harvesting. It’ll depends on your climate and the year—it could happen a little before or after.

Everything should be cleaned up, dried, and curing by Thanksgiving, and in some places, even by Halloween.

As winter approaches, it’s prime time to make your own cannabutter, topicals, or tinctures with all that trim from the harvest. Kick your feet up, relax, and hunker down for the cold, it’s been a long growing season!

Notes on marijuana growth phases

We can’t stress enough that the timeframes in the above graphic are ranges of time for the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll need to adjust them based on your specific region and local weather and climate.

Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds next year.

Take meticulous notes on when and how you perform each step, noting:

  • Weather
  • How much water you give plants, and at what intervals
  • Nutrient amounts
  • When you top and prune

Pictures will also give you a better sense of how your plants look along the way.

What are a weed plant’s growth stages?

The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:

  • Germination (3-10 days)
  • Seedling (2-3 weeks)
  • Vegetative (3-16 weeks)
  • Flowering (8-11 weeks)

Cannabis seed germination

Seed germination length: 3-10 days

Marijuana light cycle: 18 hours a day indoors; full, direct sun 6 hours a day outdoors

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The first marijuana plant stage begins with the seed. A cannabis seed should feel hard and dry, and be light- to dark-brown in color. An undeveloped seed is generally squishy and green or white in color and likely won’t germinate.

Once your seed has germinated, or sprouted, it’s ready to be placed in a growing medium, like soil. The tap root will drive down while the stem of the seedling will grow upward.

Two rounded cotyledon leaves will grow out from the stem as the plant unfolds from the protective casing of the seed. These initial leaves are responsible for taking in sunlight so the plant can grow healthy and stable.

As roots develop, the stalk will rise and you’ll begin to see the first iconic fan leaves grow, at which point your cannabis plant can be considered a seedling.

Seedling stage in cannabis plants

Seedling stage length: 2-3 weeks

Marijuana light cycle: 18 hours a day indoors; full, direct sun 6 hours a day outdoors

When your marijuana plant becomes a seedling, you’ll notice it developing the traditional cannabis fan leaves. As a sprout, the seed will initially produce leaves with only one ridged blade.

Once new growth develops, the leaves will develop more blades, or “fingers” (3, 5, 7, etc.). A mature cannabis plant will have between 5 or 7 blades per leaf, but some plants may have more.

Cannabis plants are considered seedlings until they begin to develop leaves with the full number of blades on new fan leaves. A healthy seedling should be a vibrant green color.

Be careful to not overwater the plant in its seedling stage—its roots are so small, it doesn’t need much water to thrive.

At this stage, the plant is vulnerable to disease and mold. Keep its environment clean and monitor excess moisture. Be sure to give it plenty of light.

Even if growing outdoors, a lot of growers will start their seeds inside under an artificial light to help them through this delicate stage of marijuana growth.

If you buy a clone from a grower or breeder it will be a seedling, so you can skip the seed germination phase.

Vegetative stage in cannabis plants

Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks

Marijuana light cycle: 18 hours a day indoors; full, direct sun 6 hours a day outdoors

The vegetative stage of cannabis is where the plant’s growth truly takes off, and it typically lasts 3-16 weeks. At this point, you’ve transplanted your plant into a larger pot and the roots and foliage are developing rapidly. This is also the time to begin topping or training your plants.

Be mindful to increase your watering as the plant develops. When it’s young, your plant will need water close to the stalk, but as it grows the roots will also grow outward, so start watering further away from the stalk in the soil so roots can stretch out and absorb water more efficiently.

Vegetative plants appreciate healthy soil with nutrients. Feed them with a high level of nitrogen at this stage.

If you need to determine the sex of your plants (to discard the males), they will start showing sex organs a few weeks into the veg stage. It’s imperative to separate males so they don’t pollinate the females.

Cannabis plant flowering stage

Flowering stage length: 8-11 weeks

Marijuana light cycle: 12 hours a day indoors; full, direct sun 6 hours a day outdoors

The flowering stage is the final stage of growth for a cannabis plant. This is when plants start to develop resinous buds and your hard work will be realized. Most strains flower in 8-9 weeks, but some can take even longer, especially some sativas.

Outdoors, flowering occurs naturally when the plant receives less light each day as summer turns into fall.

Indoor growers can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing the amount of light marijuana plants receive from 18 to 12 hours a day.

There are three subphases of the flowering stage:

  • Flower initiation (week 1-3): The plant will continue to grow and females will develop pre-flowers—pistils, or white hairs, will grow out, which are the beginnings of buds.
  • Mid-flowering (week 4-5): The plant itself will stop growing and buds will start fattening up.
  • Late flowering/ripening (week 6 and on): Trichome density will increase and plants will get very sticky; keep an eye on the color of the pistils to tell when to harvest.

There are a number of changes to consider once plants go from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage:

  • Don’t prune when plants are flowering, as it can upset their hormones
  • Plants should be trellised or scrogged so buds will be supported as they develop and air can flow through plants
  • Consider giving plants bloom or phosphorus nutrients

When do buds grow the most?

Buds typically grow the most toward the end of the flowering life cycle. You probably won’t notice much budding out at the beginning of the flowering stage, and it will slow down toward the end of the cycle, when buds become fully formed.

Once buds have reached full maturation, it’s time to harvest your marijuana. How long it takes to harvest buds depends on many factors, including harvesting methods and how many plants you harvest.

The 7 Key Stages Of The Marijuana Plant Life Cycle

Are you curious about the natural life cycle of the cannabis plant? Do you want to try your hand at producing your own marijuana harvest, but are unsure about how, exactly, to go about it?

Well, have we got a treat for you!

In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana will examine the seven key stages of the marijuana plant life cycle.

Along the way, we’ll discuss:

  • The importance of labeling the sex of your seeds
  • How to encourage germination
  • How to recognize embryonic leaves on a marijuana plant seedling
  • The importance of light during the vegetative stage
  • The difference between the male and female plants
  • Why you need to isolate the female plants if you want to produce the most bud
  • The best ways to harvest and preserve your marijuana plant
  • Planning for the next growing season

After that, we’ll guide you through the entire growth process of the marijuana plant—from germination to seedling; through vegetation, pre-flowering, and flowering; to harvesting and the next seed life-cycle stages of your pot plant.

The History Of The Marijuana Plant

The marijuana plant — like corn and wheat — has been around for a LONG time. “How long?” you ask. Try 12,000 years.

Trace records at Neolithic archaeological sites hint that the Chinese culture at least knew about the marijuana plant between 10,000 and 4,000 years ago.

Somewhere in that time period (probably around 5,000 years ago), legend has it that a Chinese emperor — Shennong by name — “discovered” and put to use the textile, psychoactive, and health benefits of the marijuana plant.

In fact, the legend holds that Shennong first used the marijuana plant to make a tea. He later recommended this tea as a treatment for more than 100 afflictions, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, and absentmindedness.

Fast forward and we find record that the Egyptians of 1500 BCE (some 3,500 years ago) knew about and used the marijuana plant to treat various maladies, including glaucoma and hemorrhoids.

Further down the timeline, Indians (from India) living around 1000 BCE began using the marijuana plant in a special drink called Bhang to provide relief from anxiety, fever, dysentery, sunstroke, phlegm, digestion problems, and decreased appetite.

From there, the marijuana plant made its way into the bowels of Africa, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, and, more recently, to North and South America.

Believe it or not, though, those original plants from China, India, and Egypt were wildly different than the strains we’re used to today. Those ancient marijuana plants are called landrace strains.

Over the past century, ganja growers recombined the genetics of the marijuana plant to produce certain desirable traits (e.g., flavor, aroma, THC content, and CBD content).

Thing is, no one really wrote anything down about exactly where their plants came from. This lack of record-keeping extends even further back to potheads living thousands of years ago: they really didn’t keep track of which plant came from where. They were just glad to be growing their own crop.

With the advancement of genetic analysis and manipulation in the latter half of the 20th century, biologists no longer have to rely on written records or word-of-mouth to figure out where a plant strain came from.

They can dive right into the plant’s genetic makeup and dissect things from there.

Landrace Strains

The technical definition of a landrace strain is:

A variety of the marijuana plant that contains less diluted DNA than other strains of cannabis.

What that means for Joe and Jane Average User is that landrace strains contain DNA that is much closer to what it was originally when Shennong first brewed his ganja tea all those many thousands of years ago.

To help you understand landrace strains, let’s track their development through to our modern varieties.

Going back to the Chinese during the Neolithic period, they likely stumbled on a wild species of the marijuana plant. Seeing the plant’s value, they took seeds and planted them in order to grow their own stash.

They may have planted them in China. They may have planted them in India.

The plants that grew in those new locations were directly descended from the original species and are known as landrace strains.

From there, growers continued to breed the marijuana plant to achieve specific results (shorter growing season, bug resistance, cold resistance, etc.). During the course of those 100-200 years, the original landrace strains developed into what we now call our modern hybrid strains.

Are Landrace Strains Better?

Not necessarily. Landrace strains aren’t stronger, more potent, or better in some way. They’re just less diluted genetically than other strains.

This question is like asking if a Ford Model A (built from 1927-1931) is better than a 2019 Ferrari.

Even if you like old cars better, you’ll probably enjoy the ride in a Ferrari more than you would the Model A — the Ferrari is easier to start, is more comfortable, has a smoother ride, and handles better.

It’s similar with the landrace strains. If you have the opportunity to consume a landrace strain, you’ll be experiencing what the plant originally did back when it was closer to being a wild species.

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Compared to modern hybrid strains, it might barely get you high or barely relieve your pain.

It would be an interesting experiment, for sure. But if you’re looking for specific results — like a reality-bending high, a reduction in your nausea, or relief from seizures — you’ll definitely be better off with a more recent high-THC or high-CBD strain.

By the way, if you’re looking for the absolute best marijuana you can get, you can’t go wrong with saving your pennies for some organic, pesticide-free cannabis.

So now that you know where your marijuana plant came from, strap yourself in for a wild ride through the basic biology of your favorite weed. It’s sure to be an enjoyable trip.

We’ll start our journey where all good journeys begin: at the origin, the source, the seed.

The Key Stages Of The Marijuana Plant

Stage #1: The Marijuana Plant Seed

Source: Pinterest.com

Pick up any seed and examine it closely. Turn it over and around. Feel the weight. Notice the shape and the color.

Now tell me if that seed is going to produce a male marijuana plant or a female marijuana plant. Can’t do it, can you? Don’t feel bad. No one can.

But that introduces a major problem into the world of do-it-yourself ganja growing: how can you be sure the seeds you plant will produce the marijuana you want?

This is an important question because only the female plant produces the trichome-rich cola buds that you can harvest to smoke, vape, dab and ingest.

The male plant produces none of that. In fact, the male marijuana plant can actually be a detriment to your cannabis harvest if grown together with female plants.

This is because the male plant’s sole purpose is to pollinate the female plants. And while that doesn’t sound like a bad thing, it actually is.

When female marijuana plants are pollinated, they start using their energy to produce seeds and stop using their energy to feed the buds that we all know and love.

Allowing a male plant to grow alongside a female plant is a recipe for reduced bud harvest and can ruin the euphoric properties of the female cannabis plant’s high-inducing “fruit.” Be sure you separate all male and female plants right away.

So as you can see, it’s good to know if your ganja seeds will produce female plants or male plants before you begin growing them.

But that brings us back to the earlier question: how can you be sure the seeds you plant will produce the marijuana you want?

Many marijuana seeds can look alike so, really, the only way to know for sure if the seed you’re holding is male or female is to label it immediately after removing it from the plant.

Now, obviously, you can’t label the seed itself, but you can put the seeds in a container with other seeds of the same sex.

In the example photo below, you can see the tiny seed in what looks to be a shot glass or small candleholder. The paper label on the front shows the strain (Skunk Special) and the sex (F for female) of this particular seed.

Source: Weedsthatplease.com

And just to be clear for those of you who are already high as a kite, you don’t need to store each individual seed in its own container. You can fill the container with seeds as long as they are all the same strain and all the same sex.

Just thought we should state that outright before you blow all your hard-earned funds on a gazillion small containers.

For those of you on a budget, the simplest container is a paper bag or envelope, but other types will work as well.

Just make sure that you don’t store your seeds in a plastic bag or some other airtight container. The moisture that gets trapped inside will cause the seed to mold and become useless.

Whatever container you choose, be sure to mark it with the strain name and the sex of the plant so you can keep your strains separated.

When you’re finished sorting your seeds, it’s time to move on to the next stage in the marijuana plant life cycle.

Stage #2: Germination

Germination is the development of a plant from a seed or spore after a period of dormancy. Once you remove the seed from the marijuana plant, it will go dormant until it’s exposed to moisture.

That means that if you keep the seeds dry, you can store them for up to a year without affecting viability.

But should you germinate both the male and female seeds in order to produce quality buds for recreational or medicinal use? We’ll answer that question in the next two sections.

Source: 420magazine.com

Separate The Males

At this point, you should have a pile of male seeds on your left and a pile of female seeds on your right. The side each sex is on doesn’t really matter as long as they’re separated.

If you want male seeds on the right and female seeds on the left, more power to ya.

Now gather up the male seeds and store them in a dark, dry closet or cupboard. In fact, take a moment and put them in an entirely different room just to be safe.

You’re not going to need them, and you don’t want to take any chance that they’ll somehow affect your female plants.

Gotcha! There really is no risk of cross-contamination unless you plant the male seeds and allow them to grow and mature.

We were just waxing hyperbolic in the previous paragraph to underscore just how unimportant the male seeds are.

Germinate The Females

Now take the female seeds and soak them in a cup of water or fold them up in a damp paper towel.

Chances are, you’ve either done the damp paper towel experiment in science class or you know someone who did. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that you can start the growing process with nothing more than a bit of moisture.

If you choose the cup of water option, you may notice that some seeds will float at first. Don’t worry. They will eventually sink to the bottom as they absorb water, become saturated, and sprout.

Keep in mind that a single marijuana plant can grow to five feet tall with a wingspan (distance left to right) of two to three feet. That can fill up a room rather quickly.

The key point when planning your grow is to give each plant plenty of space. Don’t germinate 20 seeds unless you’ve got the square footage to accommodate that much biological matter.

Leave the wet seed covered in a warm dark place for 24 hours until the seed sprouts its taproot. When the taproot emerges, remove the seed from the cup of water or the damp paper towel and plant it in some good, healthy dirt.

Source: Autoflowering-cannabis.com

The taproot will then attach itself to the soil and start soaking up the nutrients it needs to continue in the growth cycle. Eventually, the seed will push a new stem up past the surface of the soil.

Thus begins the seedling stage of the marijuana plant life cycle.

Stage #3: Seedling

During the seedling stage, two embryonic leaves will open outward from the stem to receive the sunlight that the baby plant needs to break out of its underground seed casing.

The embryonic leaves will look nothing like the marijuana leaves that you’re used to.

The next pair of leaves to grow from the baby plant will be the first to have the classic rounded points that make the marijuana leaf stand out from all the rest.

The marijuana leaf is so recognizable that many people in the cannabis community use it as a symbol to represent their lifestyle. The image below shows the contrast between the two sets of leaves.

Source:Growyourownstone.com

The pair at the top and bottom of the image (top left and bottom right to be more specific) are the embryonic leaves. See how they’re smooth and fairly indistinct?

The pair at the left and right of the image are the marijuana leaves that you’ve come to know so well and love so much. See the serrations along the edges? These are a classic feature of the marijuana leaf.

All in all, the seedling will grow between four and eight leaves during this stage of its development. The seedling phase can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on:

  • Soil type
  • Strain of marijuana grown
  • Amount of water the seed receives
  • Airflow
  • Humidity
  • Duration of light
  • Quality of light

If this is your first or second grow (or even your third, fourth, or fiftieth), you should focus on growing a healthy plant rather than the exact amount of time it takes to get through each stage.

We just supply these general numbers to give you an idea of what to watch for as your plant grows.

So don’t freak out if the seedling phase is a day or two shy of a week or stretches slightly more than three weeks. It’s just a plant, man.

Yes, the end result is your very own homegrown ganja, but it’s not worth getting worked up about. You can always go buy a baggie of your favorite strain from your local dispensary.

That brings us to the next step in the life of the marijuana plant: the vegetative (or vegetation) phase.

Stage #4: Vegetative

Source: Growweedeasy.com

During the vegetation phase, the stem will grow thicker and taller and will begin to develop new nodes. These nodes will produce yet more leaves and even new branches.

Because it’s growing and producing leaves and branches, your plant will need plenty of fresh warm water along with:

  • Flowing, dry air
  • Lots of nitrogen-rich organic nutrients (e.g., liquid fish or seaweed)
  • As much soil space as possible

All of this together allows your marijuana plant to grow from an eight-inch baby plant into a two- to three-foot tall tree within the span of three to six weeks.

The plant’s growth largely depends on the rate at which its leaves can gather sunlight and transform it into chemical energy (photosynthesis).

This fact explains why the vegetative plant will need long hours of summer sunlight (12 to 15 or more in the wild) or 18 hours of fluorescent light per day.

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Source: Howtogrowmarijuana.com

The THC tree will halt its upward growth once it starts receiving less natural outdoor daylight or when the indoor grower reduces the plant from 18 to 12 hours of fluorescent light per day.

It’s at this point that the plant enters the pre-flowering phase.

Stage #5: Pre-Flowering

It can take anywhere from one to five months for the growing marijuana plant to enter the pre-flowering stage. When it finally does, you’ll be able to verify that you did indeed plant all females.

Source: Cannabisgrowersworldwide.blogspot.com

If the plant is a male, you’ll see little green banana-like sack structures on the node regions of the plant where the leaves meet the main stem. These sack structures hold pollen and will only appear on male plants.

You can see the difference between the male and the female plant in the picture above.

Male plants must be separated from female plants before the little green sacs burst open and release their pollen.

If you don’t find the male plants in time, and the sacs do burst, the pollen can fertilize the cola of the nearby female plants. This pollination ruins the psychoactive potential of the trichomes the female plant may grow.

Source: Growweedeasy.com

When you keep your female marijuana plant from being pollinated by a male plant, you produce what is called a sinsemilla. Sinsemilla (Spanish for ‘without seed’) refers to a female marijuana plant that does not have any seeds because it has not been fertilized by pollen.

Sinsemilla plants produce large amounts of resin as well as fake seedpods, both of which contain high percentages of THC. And really, that’s the goal of every grower, isn’t it?

You can identify sinsemilla plants by the white hairs that emerge from the pear-shaped bracts at their plant nodes.

Keep in mind that sometimes, a plant can be hermaphroditic. This means that it has both sets of reproductive organs (glands and leaves).

Source: 420magazine.com

Hermaphroditic cannabis plants can actually pollinate themselves and ruin your THC or CBD harvest.

For this reason, it’s important to remain vigilant and to separate and destroy any hermaphroditic plants with female glands and male leaves that carry the potential to pollinate and ruin your psychoactive sinsemilla.

Once the light duration begins to decrease (whether naturally or artificially), the cannabis plant moves into the flowering stage. That’s where we’ll go next.

Stage #6: Flowering

Source: Growweedeasy.com

Your plant will continue to grow into sticks and leaves without producing any of the flower’s medicinal qualities unless its light exposure is gradually reduced.

This may mean less time spent in the daylight or by artificially decreasing indoor fluorescent light time from 18 to 12 hours.

During the flowering stage, your pot plant will also require potassium and phosphorus-based nutrients, such as bat guano, in order to set flowers properly.

When it does, though, you’ll begin to see and smell dank trichome-saturated cola buds growing from your plant.

These buds will also produce long, thin, milky-white hairs, or pistils, that will begin to emerge over the next eight to 10 weeks. All of this flowering activity is triggered by a simple reduction in light. Amazing!

Source: Bigbudsmag.com

After the flowering phase comes the best phase of all: Harvesting! You’re getting close to the end, boys and girls, so hang in there.

Stage #7: Harvesting

Source: Pinterest.com

You’ll know your cannabis plant is ripe for harvest when the hues of the pistils on the cola buds transform from milky white to reddish orange.

You’ll also want to use a microscope to check the color of the heads of the trichomes oozing out from the ripe cola buds.

You’ll know that your buds are ready for harvest when the trichome heads turn from clear to milky and opaque to amber.

The presence of more amber trichome heads will likely indicate a higher CBD to THC cannabinoid profile ratio in its trichome resin.

Source: Buymarijuanaseeds.com

If you want to harvest your marijuana plant for its full THC or CBD effects, you DON’T want the trichomes to fall off. If that happens, that means that you let the plant grow too long.

The majority of the cannabinoids are now gone, you won’t enjoy the psychoactive or medicinal effects, and you’ll have to start growing a new batch of marijuana.

Instead, many growers suggest harvesting the crop when half the trichomes on the plant are opaque. In theory, this produces the highest level of THC with the lowest level of CBD (which counteracts the euphoric effects of the former).

The little hairs that grow from inside the calyxes or the pistils are another clue that helps you determine when to harvest your cannabis for the specific kind of chemical properties you want it to contain.

The color of the pistils changes from bright white to rusty orange or brown at the end of the plant’s flowering phase.

On one end of the spectrum, if you notice a higher ratio of white to red pistols, that means your pot will produce more of a euphoric THC high.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you notice a higher ratio of red to white pistols, that means your pot will produce more of a sober, calm CBD stoned feeling.

Squarely in between those two extremes, cannabis crops harvested in the middle of the flowering cycle, when roughly half the trichome heads are opaque and the pistils aren’t yet brown, should produce a more balanced THC-to-CBD blend of cannabinoids.

When you’ve determined that it is indeed time to harvest your bud, you’ll need a good pair of scissors or a sharp pruning tool to cut the trunk from the roots so it can be dried.

Source: a1b2c3.com

Make the cut as close to the base of the plant as possible. Then proceed to cut the tree into smaller branches. Doing so will make it easier to dry the plant.

Source: Thcfinder.com

Once you’ve cut your plant into small sections, string up the pieces and hang them upside down from lines of twine in a dark, cool room with a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent.

The plant matter should remain hanging in this way and in these conditions for four to six days.

While you’re cutting your pot plant into sections for drying, trim the leaves and stems and set them aside.

This material can be trimmed away, saved, and eventually processed to make cannabutter and cannabis concentrate after your buds have dried.

Source: Growweedeasy.com

Once your buds are done drying, place them in a wide-mouthed glass mason jar with a screw-top lid. Fill the jars to just below the top but don’t pack the buds in.

Doing so will decrease airflow and cause problems later on.

Store the mason jars in a closet or cabinet where the temperature stays between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Your jars should remain here for one to three weeks in order to cure the buds and finish the harvesting process.

That said, once a day you need to crack open the jars. This allows fresh air to get in and any gases produced by the curing process to get out.

Breeding And Cloning To Continue The Cannabis Life-Cycle

Source: 420magazine.com

As we touched on above, new, viable pot seeds (able to be planted and produce a new plant) will grow in the colas of the female plants in the two to 16 weeks after they have been pollinated by a nearby male plant.

The pistils on the seedpods may change colors before the pods burst and the new seeds are scattered to the soil below. But this isn’t the only way to get ahold of pot seeds in order to continue the strain.

You can avoid having to germinate new unidentified male seeds and continue the cannabis life cycle of your most successful plants through a process known as sensimilla cloning.

You can grow new, genetically identical versions of your favorite strains year after year by cutting a branch of four or more inches from your best plant and planting it in rooting solution.

Source: 420magazine.com

This process will stimulate the cut branch into growing a new root that you can then replant. If you do this after every growing season, you will always have new material with which to start your next year’s harvest.

Summing Up The Lifecycle Of The Cannabis Plant

Soak your pot seeds in water or a paper towel to sprout the taproot that will fasten into your soil and germinate into seedlings.

Keep checking the plant’s nodes during the vegetative phase to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted male plants among your crop.

If you do find male plants, be sure to separate them from the female plants. The cannabis plant will continue to vegetate until it begins to receive less light from natural or artificial sources. This will trigger its flowering phase.

Pay attention to the colors of the thin hairs or pistols and the color of the heads of the trichomes in order to determine the right moment to cut and harvest your plant.

Hang the wet weed buds up in a cool, dark, dry space with low humidity for approximately a week.

Before you can enjoy your glorious new buds, you’ll need to cure them in glass mason jars for 1 to 3 weeks while ensuring to open them once per day.

If you’re interested in growing a future set of buds, you can continue the marijuana growth cycle by allowing a male plant to pollinate a female into growing seeds with which you can experiment with, or you can cut a branch from your favorite plant and place it in rooting solution to clone it season after season!

That’s Biology. What About Technology?

In this article, we’ve focused on the biology of the growing marijuana plant from seed to harvest.

But there’s more involved in producing your own cannabis crop than just knowing how to identify the various stages of plant growth.

A successful grow also requires a bit of technology…even if you’re growing your weed outside. To get the inside scoop on that side of the undertaking, check out How To Grow Weed: The Organic Way. Then get started growing!

And for more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.