When harvesting ?
Each strain has it's best moment for being harvested, it usually occurs between 6 to 9 weeks of flowering period.
Generally, Indica plants are faster and can be harvested earlier than sativa strains that can take more than 6 month of flowering in the longest case.
It is important to know when to harvest according to your need. Indeed, the moment you harvest will impact taste and more significantly the kind of high you will get.
Usually, harvesting early gives an uplifting effect, much more on the energetic side.
On the other hand, harvesting late will produce a more narcotic effect.
Different signs can tell you when to harvest.
To look at the pistils does not give a precise idea of maturity, though it can give a hint. When buds are ripening, pistils will burn and turn brown (or red). When most pistils are brown, it tells you that the plant is at the dawn of her life, but it doesn't necessarily mean that buds are ripe.
The best way to know is to have a pocket microscope (x60) and to look at the trichomes. Young trichomes are transparent, slowly they turn milky and then amber. A good moment to harvest is when 30% of trichomes are amber and most of others are milky.
If you prefer a more energetic effect, it's better to harvest with less amber trichomes and more milky.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a relaxing effect, you can wait until 50% or more trichomes are amber.
It is commonly accepted that rinsing the substrate enhances the taste. You can see the effect of the lack of nutrients on leaves. They slowly turn yellow (or other beautiful colors...) until they die and fall. It is the senescence.
When harvesting time has come, for most growers, plants should not be green anymore. Instead, it should be yellow or any other color but green. It’s really ok though if your plant is still green when harvesting.