Indica and sativa are the two basic types of marijuana. There are pure sativas, 100% indicas and a mix of both traits. The flowering time of the weed plants will depend on the kind of strain you are growing. Indica marijuana plants mature faster than sativa weed plants. You will know that buds are ready for harvest when white pistils will start to change color. When almost 50% of the trichomes will turn reddish to brown, then you can already begin harvesting.
The timing of bud harvest is a matter of personal preference. If very potent buds are what you want, harvest the flowers earlier and do the harvest at a later time if you want heavier buds. But please note that harvesting late may give you dense buds but potency can be lowered. The THC level of the buds is at peak when the glandular trichomes are whitish with a little discoloration. For people who want a heavy narcotic effect, the cannabinoid content is increased by allowing the resins to form into clusters and change into amber to brown color.
The right time to harvest sativa marijuana plants
Sativa marijuana plants take longer to mature. Some will produce buds up to 12 to 13 weeks. If sativas are grown outdoors, harvest time can be done in November to December. Sativa plants cultivated outdoors will flower late than indicas because they will depend on the growing season.
The best time to harvest indica cannabis plants
For indica cannabis plants grown indoors, harvest can be done in about 2 weeks long. Indica types are known to mature earlier than sativas. Some strains will only take 8 weeks to fully mature. For indoor growing, the weed plants can be induced to flower by switching light and dark cycles, from 18/6 hour vegetative light cycle to 12/12 hour flowering cycle. If indica plants are grown outdoors, harvest usually starts in October or late September.
Early and late harvest produce buds with different high. In choosing the optimum time to harvest the buds, consider what kind of high you want to experience and how much amount of yield you want to obtain. If a strong heady effect is desired, it is best to harvest sativa plants earlier. If you prefer a very narcotic high, harvest the buds of indica marijuana plants late. To make harvest more interesting, try some bit of experimentation by doing early and late harvest until you find the kind of potency you want.