Every cannabis grower looks forward to harvest time, but it is only rewarding when you have gone through various growing stages. Trimming is one of the most vital.
You can tell poorly trimmed or untrimmed cannabis from just looking at it. The leaves of well-tended cannabis plants are good-looking, and they yield higher since they are all healthy. The whole process of growing this plant is quite demanding, and since it happens fast, you want to pay attention to each stage if you hope for a good harvest.
Why you Want to Trim your Buds
If you are growing your personal stash, you may choose to trim the buds or not. If you are doing it commercially, you certainly have to do this if you hope for a decent harvest.
Here’s why this monotonous task is absolutely necessary:
- It improves the weed’s potency
- The final product will be esthetically appealing
- Trimmed weed makes for a smooth smoking experience
- Reduces the chances of mold formation
There are these main trimming methods: Dry and Wet, and Hand or Machine trimming.
This process involves cutting and then hanging the plant upside down for days to dry the excess water. This means you will have to leave a hook to make it possible to hang the leaves.
- With large shears, cut the branches of your cannabis plant to separate the buds from fan leaves. Fan leaves are easy to tell apart since they are large with no visible trichomes.
- Buck – cut off the individual buds from the branches.
- Trim the Buds – Your buds are off the branches, and so now you can start trimming them. You could break them down into smaller buds so they can dry faster.
- When trimming, go as close to the bud as you can get without causing it to break down. You want to remove the tiny leaves at the bottom that most people refer to as crow’s feet. Angel your weed trimming scissors and get to work when you get the rhythm going, and this process won’t feel as monotonous.
- Trichomes stick on everything, but they harden as they dry. This method makes the whole process less messy.
- Slow drying, which happens when you leave the leaves on, prevents excess terpene loss. This retains the flavor for the final product.
- If you don’t handle your buds with care, they may drop their trichomes and THC levels when the drying trichomes break off.
- It takes up lots of space since you will be hanging entire plants.
A wet trim happens in one sitting, and you will not need too much storage space for your buds. It is also the go-to method when thinking of how to quickly dry a sample bud. Here’s how it happens:
Start by cutting the branches using shears, and then place your cuts into a clean container.
You could hang them on a line to prevent the buds from getting squished while in the bin as you work on each of them.
Using weed scissors, start removing the fan leaves as they are of no use to the final product. The smaller leaves that are too close to the trichomes contain some sugar and can be used in tinctures.
While at this last stage, shape your bud into its best, leaving the trichomes as whole as possible.
- The buds dry faster since the leaves are removed from the get-go.
- The trimmed buds do not take up too much storage space.
- Little chance of the crop catching mold.
- Some people feel like the drying process is rushed and so it could rob the final product of terpenes.
Hand Trimming Vs. Machine Trimming
If you are a commercial grower, you may opt for machine trimming to reduce the time it takes to get the whole job done by hand. Hand trimming is cheap, you will easily spot mold, and you can shape individual buds to suit your needs. On the downside, it is messy and time-consuming.
Machine trimming is efficient in large-scale farming and will be less messy. If the farm is commercial, it makes all the sense to get the machines to do the dirty work. The major con is a machine’s tendency to known off trichomes, effectively reducing a bud’s potency. Seeds and stems are also likely to get into the finished product.
Best Tools for the Job
Scissors or shears. There are electric scissors for trimming buds that work well.
- A container for placing the branches
- A workstation
- Rubbing alcohol to clean off all the sticky resin from your scissors
- A comfortable seat
- Music or a podcast
Above all, bring along lots of patience. And friends if you have any that could help with the task.
Tedious but Worth it
Harvesting feels like the end of a long journey, but it is only the beginning of the next when dealing with cannabis. Trimming starts immediately, but it is worth all the effort when you shape your buds into a beautiful product that you would like to smoke. It is art.
This article is written by Lana Braslavskaia from AskGrowers