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Darkness before harvest


So I was looking for some insight or results from practice regarding a total darkness period after flush and before harvest.

Alot of people say it does almost nothing, while a large group of people say it increases THC levels and allows the plants to finish ripening.

What do you guys and girls think?

Dark Time Before Harvest 🤔

I am a big practitioner of darkness before/during harvest. While I do not believe it increases cannabinoid/terpene content, I do believe it helps minimize the amount of excess nutrient in the canopy of the plant, leading to a shorter cure time.

Great topic, @vega0284!

What does the rest of our @Hobbyist community think about darkness before harvest?


From my growing experience pertaining to “Absolute darkness”, it is a must in the 12/12 cycle period. One way you may be able to lead to a shorter cure time is by increasing the dark hours to 13 or even 14. If you try this, let us know how you make out?


Will do, but I meant more of 48 hours straight of darkness right before I chop.


I have done that 48 or even once 72h total darkness and compared to same strain cut just before darkness. After dark had clearly more sugar.


I did 48, about to chop them in an hour or so. One thing I did notice yesterday, is that my dehumidifier filled up in almost 24 hours. Which is something to be mindful of. I didnt even think about the RH going up in extended darkness. Bud rot could have been a potential issue. However they’re looking healthy. I’ll take pics when I bring them down.

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Here are a few pictures after the dark period. What should be the first 3 pics, are what it looked like before. The remainder, alot i know… are after lol.


I usually do a dark cycle myself. It’s just so easy, turn the lights off and let it be.

I don’t think it helps trichome production either, I don’t really feel like any of the radical ideas to stress the plant at the end of is life to induce trike production really works


I also do at least 36 hours of dark, especially if any continued rippening is desired; and I also cut my plants free from the roots during the dark cycle, before photosynthesis can begin.


I’m not a savvy enough cannabis connoisseur to have witnessed a difference in effects or taste as a result of an extended dark period. I typically will turn the lights off for the last day before the chop and give them a 24 hour dark period instead of the usual 12, but I have harvested plants after just the “normal” night period and not noticed any appreciable difference in quality. Like @Growernick I do it primarily as part of the overall flush of nutrients from the plant/system.

This is one of those things I’ll likely adopt when some science comes out.

Let me ask my usual stoner question when someone brings up boosting trichome production at the very end of the flower period using stress inducing techniques like a dark period: Are you harvesting the plant based on the look of the trichomes? If so, and if the theory holds true that an extended dark period will increase trichomes, will those new trichomes be clear? Could that affect your desire to harvest if you had seen it prior to doing it?


I didn’t understand that to be the theory, I thought in my stoner thinking, lol, that it just ripens what’s there, so no new trichomes are produced, just the ones there might go a bit more amber before the chop.


I’ll drag my soil/soiless potted plants out of the flower room into darkness…because I always have.

I won’t drag a hydro plant out, though…it’s ball and chained to it’s spot till harvest by the reservoir and pipes.

I was just wondering…if darkness hastens trichome maturity why try to expose buds hidden lower in the canopy to light…it seems they are perfectly situated…but I try to expose them to light so they do mature more…you’ve seen them, the lighter colored green buds.
If it does work, then if someone needed a plant to finish earlier than the advertised 10 - 12 weeks of flowering, could they put it in 36 - 48 hours of darkness to initiate ambering weeks early?

If darkness continues the aging process then maybe we should store our stash in the light?


At some point, aren’t you looking for that process to slow down. You don’t want all your trichome to degrade down do you?


I’ve got greener areas down low but I want only trying to get light down there, I was also trying to give each cola some breathing room


exactly my point…to slow the process down, stop it, the dry harvested bud is kept in a dark place.
I’m not a botanist, just a lot of facts, thoughts, preconceived notions, dumb ideas fill my head and this is one…I truly don’t know when all the cellular activity stops in plants…is it when they are pulled from the ground or when they are dried out, so when a plant is harvested are the trichomes still maturing in the jar till the bud is dried and cured?

I agree with @Bogleg at this point…I don’t want fresh, clear trichomes only a day old popping up and in my mind I don’t see a day or two of darkness speeding up the maturing process…but I’m always happy to initiate harvest and make a spot in the flower room for another plant.


Awesome questions ,I’m not sure to the answer by I have done extraction experiments pertaining to this thought. I have done extractions on dried product that I harvested with the dark period and without, I did not see much if any increase in volume but I did notice a slightly lighter color to the extraction and better flavor tho suttle differences but improvement none the less


From what I’ve read, and as I’ve said before, it mostly is a way of starting the curing process a little earlier.

A way for the chlorophyll to start breaking down without any new being created.

As far as when cellular metabolism stops, I haven’t read an exact description of how dry is too dry, but I’m sure a lot stays active as long as there is enough moisture and sugars to drive the metabolic processes.

I am pretty sure this is why plants after being chopped down are hung upside down, to keep the moisture in the buds and try and get as much of what ever metabolic functions are still going to use the sugars and such, as grower Nick said:



You dont need to go over 12 hours of darkness. Whenever you chop (hopefully you dont have a perpetual garden going) do it before the lights come on ( if youre running one crop). For example you have one whole crop in a tent ready to chop. If you have a flower schedule of 12/12 and say the lights come on at 8am. The day you plan to chop, dont even let the lights come on and you should be good. The idea with the darkness is that the sugars go down to the rootzones and thc levels are at their highest before lights come on or something like that.


I think a proper cure only works if the relative humidity is 58% or higher.i have red that the boveda 55 is a bit too low and the bacteria would die;)


But we aren’t talking about just bacteria.

Just because you cut the roots off a plant, this doesn’t mean it is dead right then. Just like when you take a cutting, it is alive and can re-root. This is more what I was referring to when I said: “As far as when cellular metabolism stops, I haven’t read an exact description of how dry is too dry”.

But absolutely, after all of the plant’s metabolism has stopped, there are other microbes that will continue the breakdown of chlorophyll. And I like the 62% boveda humidipak myself.