When to harvest marijuana

A question from a fellow grower:

I’m an amateur against a pro grower like you.
Find attached of my first growing attempt.
Anyway I’m from South Africa
Not sure when to harvest? Any tips

Most cannabis plants will flower in the fall, when the nights get long. This is why 12 hours daily of uninterrupted complete darkness is used indoors to “trick” the plant into flowering. Outdoors, some strains may start to flower a lot earlier than the autumnal (fall) equinox with as little as 10 or 11 hours of darkness daily.

Once flowering has started, you should see calyxes and pistils forming (the buds), the pistils will usually look like white creamy fuzzy “hairs”. The buds will continue to swell and create more new white hairs. Eventually the new buds and hairs production will slow and the hairs will turn yellowish, brown or red, or maybe even kind of purple, depending on the strain. At this time you will want to keep a close eye on the trichomes, or the shiny sparkly frosty crystals that form on the buds and some of the nearby leaves.

You need magnification to peer into these little crystal globes, say a 30x, 40x or 60x magnifying jeweler’s or photography loupe. When the trichomes have become more than just clear, they will become kind of cloudy or milky, and then some will progress to more of a honey amber. Most people try to harvest before much of the trichomes have turned amber, where say, all are very milky, with 0% to only about 10% or 20% are amber for a more uplifting effect and others like more amber, and some even like more than 50% amber for more of a relaxing “couch lock” effect.

Depending on the strain, this won’t happen for at least 6 to 8 or maybe even as much as 9 or more weeks after the first signs of flowering has shown up.