After long weeks of waiting for your beautiful plant to flower, you could be wondering when and how is the right way to trim your cannabis plant. Trimming is the term used to describe the process of cutting all the leaves not pertaining to the cannabis flower and its medicinal benefits. There are two different methods of trim: wet trimming and dry trimming, but really there is no “correct” way, it is a personal choice made by every grower. This “trimming” process is also known as manicuring.
The reasons why cannabis users and growers trim their buds is mainly because of their more beautiful and professional appeal, and for their fresher aroma and taste. While hand trimming is the preferred and most precise method of trimming, there are also machines available for this job. I’m going to recommend sticking with the hand trim because machines can be very expensive and might need lots of maintenance. Machine trimming also has a more generalized process where they can damage the trichomes and overall the flower buds.
The practice of trimming might be a little tedious and annoying to some, since it could incur long hours of cutting and attention to detail. I recommend to go to a room with an a/c or fresh room without much ventilation. Bring a very comfortable seat and some non visual entertainment like: music or a podcast since you’re going to spend some minutes per bud while perfecting their appearance. Try using the tip of your scissors through the whole procedure for a more precise cut. If you’re trimming a large quantity of plants, have an extra pair of scissors in hand to be able to exchange it when all the resin sticks into the scissor blades you will be using first. Below I made a list of steps where you can guide yourself into the trimming process.
1. Remove the fan leaves.
Fan leaves are the big five pointed leaves that surround the plant and can distinguish it from other plants. These leaves, although not high on THC or CBD, have other types of use, so you don’t necessarily have to throw them out. Some of fan leaves can be used for: making edibles, tea, lotions, smoothies, and others. If you’re using a machine, this is the time you will need it.
2. Cut the cannabis buds from the stem.
Separate the cannabis bud from the main stem by cutting the stem not too close to the bud, and leave all the small details for later. Place all the buds you cut out in a tray or opened container.
3. Trim out your buds individually
Now is when you want to get to details. Trim everything that is not covered in trichomes. The stem shouldn’t be visible anywhere but the bottom part, as close as you can from the flower. You also want to cut the large leaves at the bottom, also referred to as “crow’s feet”. After this you’re done and ready to dry them up or store them in an enclosed jar.
“At what stage of growth is better to trim my marijuana plant?” You may be asking… Well, it should be done some days before harvesting your plants. Some growers prefer to trim their plants while they are still wet, while others prefer to trim the plants after they’re dried. Most growers trim their plants before drying them up, but, as I mentioned earlier, it is also a personal choice of each cannabis grower or user.
Some mention trimming before drying the flowers ends up as an easier form because all the leaves are not yet compacted. Others also mention that trimming the plant while they are still wet, causes the drying process to be quicker. Trimming your plant after their drying process is preferred by people who live in dry climate areas. Unfortunately, drying them up in places that are too arid might cause the bud to dry unevenly and could make the plant less sticky, which is what the opposite laboratories aim for.
In this blog I mentioned some of the steps needed to trim a cannabis plant. Other tips and tricks are mentioned above for the convenience of practice. Trimming is an essential part of the life cycle of the cannabis flower if it is going to be consumed.
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