Trimming Guide: How To Trim Your Cannabis Flowers
Many first time growers don’t know that trimming the buds after they’re harvested is a very important part of the process of cultivation. For a good smoke you need to remove the leaves that are left in the buds, this will better your bud’s appearance and flavor.
1. Why Trim Our Buds?
The leaves on a cannabis plant are where they absorb the light necessary for photosynthesis, they are extremely necessary for a plant to grow.
After your plant has been harvested, the plant doesn’t need them anymore (obviously). The leaves can contain a high level of chlorophyll if you didn’t flush properly so it’s better to remove the excess plant material off your buds.
It will not only help your bud look better, but it will also help increase the potency and reduce the harshness of the smoke. Even though trimming reduces the overall yield, the improved taste and appearance make up for the lost weight.
2. What Materials Do I Need To Trim?
You don’t actually need any materials to trim. You can even use your own fingers to remove the excess leaves and plant material but using the following will minimize errors and cross-contamination.
For properly trimming you will need:
• Shears for cutting branches
It is best to use a separate pair of scissors (or shears) to cut down branches and not the same one that you’re going to use to trim your buds.
Some branches are really tough and can destroy a small pair of scissors. You want you trimming scissors to be sharp.
• Disposable gloves to protect trichomes and avoid contamination
Disposable rubber gloves are needed for two things. First, you have to protect trichomes on the buds from the contaminants on your hand.
Second, handling your bud without gloves will make your hand sticky, this can become a problem and the resin is hard to remove.
• Manicure scissors for trimming buds with precision
If you’re going to invest in scissors to prune your buds, look for trimming shears. They’re not expensive. The extra sharpness and precision will end up saving you time and avoid errors, leaving your buds looking way better.
• A clean bucket or tray to catch the trimmed leaves
The tray or bucket is optional. Usually, growers who want to make extractions with the trim will trim their buds and collect the excess plant material in buckets or trays.
This can also help you avoid all the cleaning up after trimming. Collecting the excess plant material in a bucket or tray as you go will save you from having to sweep and cleaning after trimming.
• Clothing hangers or drying nets to place the buds after trimming
You need a place to hold the trimmed buds after. Clothing hangers or clothing lines are used when you harvest the whole plant, drying nets are for when you remove the buds from the branches when trimming.
This is up to you and it doesn’t matter which way you do it, you will need a place to place your buds while you haven’t finished trimming all.
2. How To Trim Your Buds?
Trimming consists of removing the excess plant material such as leaves and sometimes excess pistils to leave the bud looking good and appealing.
In the trimming process, aim to take away everything that isn’t fully covered in trichomes. Try to create a uniform surface area around the buds, this includes removing pistils all the way to the foliage. Pistils have very little trichomes and should only be kept long for the looks.
The way you’re trimming depends on the goal for that batch of flowers. It can be different if you’re making extracts, edibles or you’re smoking the flower.
Usually, if you’re smoking the flowers, you want to trim the buds the best way possible, removing every excess possible.
When using the buds to make edibles or extracts you want to trim a little bit less so you can extract all the trichomes possible, this is because you won’t see the flowers in the final product.
Wet Trimming vs Dry Trimming
Although there is an accepted best time to harvest cannabis, the best time to trim and manicure your cannabis is debated among growers.
There are two ways to manicure them: wet trimming, and dry trimming.
Some prefer wet trimming while others prefer dry trimming. Both are correct in certain circumstances, it all depends on things like time and the environment of the curing process, so it’s up to you do decide which one will work best.
Trimming your cannabis before drying is known as a “wet trim” because the leaves are still wet during the trimming process. This method is arguably the most preferred method for several reasons.
Wet trimming gives you better access to your buds, the small leaves will be out due to their moisture content, making their removal an easy process.
Note: Drying buds extremely fast will leave them smelling like hay. Even though they will dry faster, you should not accelerate the process even more (e.g. by applying heat or fans facing directly onto the buds).
Wet trimming is better when:
• Your relative humidity is above 60%, removing the excess plant material before drying prevents mold.
• You have a small drying space, removing the excess plant material will let you fit more buds in the same space.
• You want buds to dry more quickly, trimming leaves before drying will remove the excess moisture.
Dry trimming occurs after the drying process, this process can take 10-15 days, in this period buds will lose most of their moisture
Many growers prefer dry timing because it tends to be easier and less messy. Wet trimming can leave your hands and shears covered in resin very quickly, you will need a lot of cleaning breaks before finishing.
Dry trimming is better when:
• You’re not worried about mold.
• Your relative humidity levels are below 45%.
• You want buds to dry more slowly (drying buds too fast may cause them to smell like hay).
There are various trimmer models available, the most common ones work by introducing the buds into a machine where the leaves are removed and separated from the buds.
Usually, trimming machines are used when you want to make extractions, edibles, or any type of cannabis product where people don’t see the buds. It is also used for trimming CBD buds.
Using trimming machines is super easy and work-less. Although the buds won’t look as good as if you trim by hand, this will save you a lot of time and can be helpful in some cases.
3. Disposing Of The Rest Of Your Plant
After you finished trimming your plant, you’ll be left with all the branches, roots, and other small parts of your cannabis plant.
If you live in a place where cannabis is illegal you should be really careful. To prevent any problems, cut your plant into small pieces, and put it in a double bag.
If possible, try not to throw it in the trash until the day your trash is picked up, this prevents people from going through your trash and accidentally finding the plant material.
4. Tips For Trimming
Always use the tips of your scissors when trimming, this will keep your tools cleaner for longer.
Save your trim for edibles or extractions. There is still a good amount of trichomes content in this excess plant material.
The sticky residue left in your scissors and hands is a great way to try your freshly trimmed plant if you’re eager to try it. Also known as scissor hash or finger hash, it can be rolled into a joint.
5. In Conclusion
It really doesn’t matter how your buds look as long as you don’t have any problems with mold or your buds smelling like hay. There is no correct way to trim and how you do it it’s almost entirely up to you, as long as you follow the basic guidelines.
Trimming shouldn’t be a tedious activity, listen to some music and have fun, soon you’ll be trying your newly-harvested flowers.
Many first time growers don’t know that trimming the buds after they’re harvested is a very important part of the process of cultivation. For a good
Cannabis Trimming Techniques And Tips
The pro growers that pull down the heaviest harvests from the fewest cannabis plants are, without exception, highly skilled at trimming marijuana. With the trimming tips in this blog, you too can take the path to a scale-tipping harvest, even with just one cannabis plant in the garden.
What Are The Advantages Of Trimming Cannabis Plants?
The natural structure of the cannabis plant is similar to that of a Christmas tree. For most real-world indoor and outdoor cannabis growers, this shape is not ideal. Sure, if you have the space and privacy someplace sunny in a southern climate, you can crop great big ganja trees and not bother with pruning. Make Haze while the sun shines.
However, for the vast majority of cannabis cultivators, plant height needs to be controlled. And who couldn’t do with a heavier harvest? Trimming solves both issues for photoperiod-dependent cannabis strains. Autoflowering strains are best left untouched by scissors or fingers until harvest day. Trust us, or find out the heart-breaking way.
The 5 Most Common Trimming Techniques
This is by no means an exhaustive list of cannabis trimming techniques. These are the 5 most popular techniques that can be combined with the ScrOG or “screen of green” method for maximum yield. That being said, there is a price to be paid for trimming. Pruning cannabis will cost you time during the vegetative growth phase with every technique applied. Cannabis plants need time to recover. Usually about one week. Otherwise, you run the risk of stunting growth and/or stressing plants into hermies.
Topping is the process of removing the terminal bud or tip of the main stem. The set of branches below the cut rise to become two new top colas. All branches grow more vigorously as growth hormone is dispersed throughout the shoots instead of toward a single main cola. This gives the plant a bushy profile and can be easily repeated to fill more lateral space. Aside from the FIM method, topping works well in combination with the rest of this list and the ScrOG method.
The FIM or “Fuck I Missed” is essentially an untidy topping. Surprisingly, fimming produces twice as many top colas as proper topping. Four, rather than two new main colas are typical with fimming. Removing about 75% of the tip from the main stem instead of the whole thing looks untidy and plain wrong, but that’s how to FIM.
During week 3 or 4 of the flowering period, the lower bud sites can be removed. Leaving only big, chunky tops. Lollipopping gets its name from the lollipop look it gives shoots post-pruning. This technique concentrates plant energy on large flower tops, reducing popcorn budding and boosting big bud production in effect.
Defoliation is probably the most contentious technique on this list as there are growers that will recoil in horror at the thought of leaf stripping. But if too many bud sites are shaded by fan leaves, it hurts yields. Leaves are the “solar panels” of the cannabis plant, but it’s the flowers you want to smoke. So some leaf sacrifices must be made for trophy colas.
#5 Cut Off Lower Branches
Cutting off the first set or two of branches (once plants are 30cm in height or above) is a good way to improve airflow and concentrate plant energy on higher branches closer to the light. This is most growers’ introduction to pruning and a simple way to crop a little more bud.
Tips On How To Trim Your Cannabis Plants
Tip 1: Prune In Stages
If you plan on going for it and experimenting with a few trimming techniques, you can absolutely combine multiple methods to achieve max yield. Just don’t do too much all at once. Trim plants in weekly intervals and monitor behaviour closely. Trimming the lower branches and some fan leaves is a good place to start and perhaps, really as far as you need to go.
Tip 2: Be Hygienic
Clean grower, clean grow-op, clean cutting tools. No exceptions. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, as they say.
Tip 3: Don’T Be Afraid To Trim During Bloom
Contrary to the sometimes hapless misinformation that cannabis hacks are peddling, you can prune flowering cannabis plants. For starters, you have to wait until week 3 or 4 of bloom to lollipop. Monster cropping requires clones cut from plants at the same stage of bloom. Defoliation can be an ongoing process; some growers will prune leaves every 3-4 days. Also, pests and disease can strike at any stage, with pruning often required to remove dead or dying leaves and shoots. So ignore the naysayers. Be brave, be a winner, and trim as necessary during flowering.
Tip 4: Use The Right Tools For The Job
If you favour cutting tools like trimming scissors or a scalpel, make sure they are comfortable for you to hold and 100% sterile. Pinching tops with fingers is fine too. But you still need to wash your hands first. Fingers are generally best for fimming and lollipopping. Topping, defoliation, and trimming branches is best performed with clean scissors. Scalpels are normally reserved for taking cuttings.
Tip 5: Repetition Is The Father Of Learning
Trimming cannabis plants is a skill that will take time and practice to master. It’s best to begin by trimming from the bottom up, at least until you get some growing and trimming experience under your belt. If you don’t get amazing results the first time you experiment with a trimming technique, don’t give up. Remember that every Grand Master grower was, once upon a time, a rank amateur who was not sure what they were doing.
Trimming your cannabis plants is nothing to be scared of. This blog features the tips you need to get trimming down and your marijuana yield up.