Cultivation techniques, strategies, and preferences affect the growing season as well, and farmers make calculated decisions based on their experiences and objectives. Many believe it is better to plant when the moon is waxing and harvest when the moon is waning. Guerilla growers sometimes plant later in the season, a strategic decision resulting in smaller plants that are easier to conceal from law enforcement. Regulations such as plant count limits incentivize some legally permitted cultivators to plant early in order to grow larger plants.
When flowers ripen in the fall, farmers must choose the most opportune moment to harvest. Flowers that are harvested early induce a lighter, more cerebral high, and flowers that are harvested late have a more narcotic body effect. A later harvest also leads to increased risks from mold, mildew, pests, and damage from frost or storms.
Ed Rosenthal, the “guru of ganja,” considers cannabis perfectly ripe when the trichomes turn to a milky or amber color, but notes, “this is about a week later than some people prefer.” In his Big Book of Buds, Rosenthal complains that the cannabis for sale in Dutch coffeeshops is often immature, which results in a “racing and buzzy” high that he finds unsatisfying. “Obviously, ripening time is affected by your idea of ripeness,” he concludes.
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