With more than 30 states in the U.S. having legal, medical cannabis markets and many also offering access to cannabis for adults over the age of 21, Croptober is busier than ever before for cultivators of medical cannabis. Croptober is more than just a month-long celebration; it is a tradition and one that has been practiced by cultures around the globe for centuries during the fall’s bountiful harvest.
Croptober – The Harvest Month for Cannabis and Other Sun-Grown Crops
Medical cannabis is becoming more commonly cultivated in climate-controlled environments like tents, rooms, and greenhouses. However, a lot of it is still grown outdoors. For these crops, October, aka Croptober, is harvest time. In general, the cultivation of outdoor cannabis crops, as well as many agricultural crops, begins in the spring. Also, like other outdoor crops, many cannabis cultivars that are planted in spring are ready to harvest around the time of October’s full moon.
October Full Moon or Harvest Moon?
In early times, the harvest moon was embraced for harvesting the crops in the fall not just because it coincided with the proper time for harvest but because the full moon allowed for those harvesting to do so well into the night due to the light provided by mother nature! More on this below!
It is also thought that during the full moon, the gravitational effects of the moon cause plants such as cannabis to push all the resins and other compounds within the plant into the flowers/buds allowing for a more potent and flavorful crop. However, the science isn’t exactly there to support this theory, though many cultivators swear by it. So now the question is, should you harvest on the harvest moon or October’s full moon? For cannabis plants, October’s full moon is best, but does this always coincide with the harvest moon? The simple answer is no. Let’s explore.
Is October’s Full Moon Always the Harvest Moon?
No, October’s full moon is not always the harvest moon. Unlike other full moons throughout the year, the Harvest moon could occur in September or October. Check out this explanation from Almanac.com!
“One thing that sets the Harvest Moon apart from other full Moon names is that it’s not associated with a specific month, as the others are. Instead, the Harvest Moon relates to the timing of the autumnal equinox with the full Moon that occurs nearest to the equinox being the one to take on the name “Harvest Moon.” This means that the Harvest Moon can occur in either September or October, depending on how the lunar cycle lines up with the Gregorian calendar.”
During the Harvest moon’s cycle, which includes the night of the full moon and the days directly before and after, the moon rises at nearly the same time each night. Throughout the rest of the year, however, the “moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each day.” This extended light throughout these few days made the perfect time for harvest before the times of spotlights and heavy harvesting machinery.
Croptober’s Importance to Cultivators of Medical Cannabis
While cultivators are hard at work all year long working to grow the best cannabis possible for consumers and medical cannabis patients, harvest time and Croptober are the busiest times for those that grow. Harvest time isn’t just chopping down plants and putting buds into jars. In fact, there is a lot that can go wrong during harvest, drying, and curing that could ultimately ruin all of the year’s hard work leading up to this point. For this reason, much caution and care should be put into each step. This means a lot of long hours for cultivators, trimmers, and other staff.
In the past, the fall harvest was a time of worry for many indoor growers, and the mass influx of outdoor cannabis that would flood the market could cause the market price to drop by as much as $500 or more per pound. Kevin Jodrey, the founder of Wonderland Nursery, based out of Humboldt County, California, told media sources the following in a 2019 interview, “Croptober was scary for a lot of producers in the past who were indoor cultivators because when the outdoor came out it would come in such a massive quantity that it would change pricing,” he explained. “Now, you have a more balanced flow through the year. So I don’t think Croptober is going to have the same incredible impact on pricing that it once did.”
For cultivators that are focused on sun-grown cannabis, however, this time is the most bountiful for them in many different ways. It is the time in which they get to see the literal fruits of their labor and to share that with consumers and medical patients. This is also the most bountiful time as when these crops cure, it is then time for them to be sold to legal cannabis businesses such as processors and dispensaries. This is also a great time for consumers and medical cannabis patients as the fall harvest brings about much good for the fall and winter months.
What Does Harvest Season Mean for Medical Cannabis Patients?
Despite there being so many advancements in cannabis cultivation, nothing can quite compare to quality sun-grown organic cannabis grown from seed in the soil as it has for centuries. This makes the fall harvest a special one as it is typically the only outdoor cannabis crop harvest that occurs in North America each year. The influx of cannabis to hit the market during this time is also highly beneficial for medical cannabis patients as it tends to lower the prices of quality cannabis at local dispensaries. If you happen to be a medical cannabis patient that grows their own cannabis at home, if you have outdoor plants, this is also a bountiful time to reap the benefits of your hard work and hopefully stock up on some quality meds for the fall and winter months!
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