How to Trim Cannabis the Right Way

How to Trim Cannabis the Right Way

Table of Contents

A lot of first-time cannabis growers are not aware of what to do next after harvesting their plants. Well, you should take off the leaves from the plant so that all that stays are only the buds – the part of the plant that has the majority of the active elements that we are fascinated in. Although the stems and the leaves also contain THC, they do not emanate a nice taste. You should know the proper way on how to trim cannabis.

There are several ways on how to trim cannabis. Learning the fundamentals before obtaining a shear shall help guarantee that you will end up with the excellently trimmed buds that you are searching for when you are trying to get your first smoke.

Why Should You Trim Your Cannabis?

There are several reasons why you should trim your cannabis. Artistically speaking, your plants will look more appealing if they are well-trimmed. Cannabis that undergone the process of trimming has a more compact, more consistent look. Excess leaves are not pleasing to the eyes, and later part the buds commonly lead to an output that is not visually satisfactory.

Aside from making the bud look more appealing, it will also facilitate the increase of its potency and cut down the sternness of the smoke. And while trimming can cut down the overall size of the final product, the enhanced bag is more appealing than compensate for the forfeited weight.

Furthermore, sugar leaves happen to have a minimal accumulation of trichomes. Taking off these bulging leaves shall display portions of the nugs which have a higher concentration of trichomes. Bigger leaves bulging from the buds are also likely to produce grimmer smoke since the foliage is harder and thicker to absorb and eliminate moisture. 

During the process of curing, the trimmer buds will keep a more consistent content of moisture, exhibiting a more suave and tasty smoking experience.

When is the Right Time to Trim the Cannabis?

Trimming must be initiated a few days before the scheduled harvest, once the bigger fan leaves are taken off. Growers commonly trim away certain fan leaves during the weeks directing to the harvest since this is when senescence starts – a stage in the plant’s cycle when bigger fan leaves start to perish with age. It is harmless to start taking off the decaying foliage in the days before the scheduled harvest. 

Three Reasons Why a Good Trimming Execution is Important

The common fact of the matter is, you should trim your cannabis. Here are the three vital reasons why:

1. Appearance

Since high-rate plants are commonly exhibited in gleaming magazines, in dispensaries, and other venues for sale, well-trimmed buds have been very important to provide the product the look of being enticing and potent. Yes, trimming helps make the buds appear more visually attractive and, whether you agree with it or not, it is now the new guideline.

2. Trichome Concentration

The truth is, the higher trichome concentration is seen in the buds, the lesser is found in the small leaves that surround them. Trichomes are similar to little factories that release a great number of known cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that comprise unique, potent, efficient, high-rated plants. Gram for gram, there are plenty of trichomes found in the buds rather than the leaves. Thus, trim the leaves to achieve maximal potency.

3. Smoother Product

Once the final product is used, excess leaves in the buds may contribute to a harsher experience once smoked. Trimming off the excess, you can make a smoother product.

Essential Tools in Trimming Cannabis

Trimming cannabis can be well-timed, but it surely does not involve a big cost. Certainly, you can go out and buy a bundle of costly equipment if you like to have the job done faster and more efficiently. However, in all actuality, hand-trimming is perfectly workable for a home-grow activity. All you just require to trim cannabis is a list of quality tools:

  • Manicure scissors to do a precise trimming
  • A reliable pair of sheers to cut down the plant
  • A clean tray to collect the trim
  • Disposable gloves to secure the trichome content and downplay cross-contamination
  • A clothing line or hangers from which the trimmed buds will be hanged

Surely, you can always use additional equipment as you keep on your growing adventure. But these tools are all you require to get started.

Learning How to Trim Cannabis

Trimming is necessary when harvesting your cannabis. However, there are several methods that you can execute to finish the job perfectly. The following techniques were kept simple to make sure that even the neophytes can easily perform them. 

Although the ideal period to harvest the cannabis plant is quite standard, the best period to trim the plant is an uncertain subject among many cultivators. Some opt to use the “wet method”, while others find the “dry method’ more appropriate for their cannabis trimming. Both approaches are suitable in certain conditions depending on factors such as the environment of the following cure process and the time constraints, hence, it is up to the grower to determine which one will fit well.

Hand and Machine Trimming Cannabis

Machine trimming taps a lot of conveniences and is a practical technique for business growers. If you consider employing these devices, the flower is likely to appear essentially alike from strain to strain. As an output, you obtain an artistically satisfying bud. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that machine trimming is not the most suitable option for aroma and potency.

Unluckily, the machines that are employed nowadays are curtailing excessive bud material. This comprises trichomes, the crystalline formation that wrap the buds, and is accountable for the flavor and fragrance of the weed.

It is a reality that each cannabis plant bears buds that are unique in formation, size, and shape. Trimming machines are now mindful of these distinctions and cannot distinguish the buds formed in resin. But the most catastrophic is that you cannot modify the tool to manage various shapes.

As an output, you are assured to miss potency and trichomes. The amount involved in buying or appointing machines is also high. Considering the common maintenance concerns, you should avoid this trimming method.

Can You Use DIY Trimming as a Workable Option?

If you are a small grower, trimming the cannabis can be done by yourself. On the other hand, business growers should employ trained staff to trim the buds with their hands. To clarify, you cannot easily approach the street and immediately trim your cannabis just like an adept. There is a certain level of training, experience, and concentration needed to make sure that cannabis is managed and processed properly.

Bear in mind, various strains contain THC-filled resin in various parts of the plant. Also, there are different bulks of trichomes in some areas. Furthermore, the expansion of legalization within the states of America implies that there are adept trimmers available. 

If you are an organized organization, you may make your guidelines without the help of machinery. In summary, hand trimming is enormously exceptional to its machine counterpart.

Wet Trimming

There are two seasons where you can trim your cannabis. The most discernible period is during the harvest season (wet trimming) while the plant is still positioned on the vine. The second period happens 4 to 10 days after the harvest. At this period, cannabis plants have abled an essential distribution of their moisture.

Please remember that untrimmed plants take a more extensive period to properly dry. Moreover, you must allow untrimmed cannabis in a setting where you regulate the temperature, humidity, and light. Else way, the bud will unevenly dry, which will constitute the quality.

Wet trimming is the easiest and the most popular method to trim cannabis. It is trimming the plant immediately after harvest while the leaves are stiff and moist. This method of trimming cannabis is specifically prominent because of its efficiency and ease, and its capability to bear artistically perfect buds.

Most cannabis growers opt to use wet trimming. Taking off the dead leaves through the hands and scissors is a lot more manageable if the plant matter is wet. Impeccably, you will only manage the stems and whirl the buds to locate the best cutting points. Although you get a lighter end output, it is of superior quality.

The major deprivation that is related to wet trimming is that it is costly and time-consuming for business growers. You must employ expert trimmers. They should perform immediately to properly trim each harvested cannabis plant while still wet. Conclusively, wet trimming assists the bud to get dried faster. 

Steps in Wet Trimming

How to trim cannabis with wet trimming? To execute this method, start by reaping your plants at the stock holding numerous branches where you can hang them. Keeping the buds on the branches during this period shall help them dangle easily during the process of curing and shall make the buds easier to manage during the process of trimming, too.

Start by whirling your newly-harvested branches upside-down to get easy contact with the stems of the bigger leaves. By using trimming scissors, trim the big fan leaves far from the buds and include them in your compose or you can keep them to roll a cannabis cigar later.

Next, executing it on a clean tray, get the smaller sugar leaves trimmed away from the buds, cautiously executing the scissors between the buds and the stem if possible. 

Lastly, form the buds into a teardrop-like shape then dangle them to dry in a cool and dark spot with a humidity level that ranges from 45 to 55 percent and a temperature that ranges from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best terpene retention.

Dry Trimming

Dry trimming is mostly chosen by large-scale cultivators. The method comprises suspending the cannabis plant upside for a few days until the weeds get dry. It consumes a longer period, and captured moisture may lead to moldy buds. Naturally, it is an option if there is not a sufficient period to trim wet cannabis. This is mostly the situation when a company requires to transfer the plants for storage almost right away.

Growers who live in a place with a dry environment, or those employing machine trimmers, often choose dry trimming to extend the process of curing. By keeping the bigger leaves on the plants for 4 to 10 days, the buds can slowly dry out and hence more evenly, leading to a smoother and tastier experience.

Steps in Dry Trimming

Dry trimming cannabis simply needs that the bud is trimmed after the fan leaves got the opportunity to dry out. This method is more exhausting since the leaves have already dried and coiled back into the buds at this time but may still be executed fairly by first drawing off the fan leaves then forming the buds to the coveted shape. After trimming, either dangle to complete drying or put buds in air-tight containers to start the process of curing.

Grow season may have just started, however, in just several months it will be the time to reap and trim the buds to their utmost potential. Although there are different methods available, the fact stays that properly-trimmed buds are favored buds.

Conclusively, both approaches exhibit their pros and cons. Wet trimming is perhaps the best option for small-scale growers. However, growers with multiple harvests in a year must-try dry trimming. Realistically, you should trim an acceptable quantity of plant matter while it is wet. You may complete the trimming after it gets dry for several days.


There you go – learning how to trim cannabis is important if you want to achieve the best quality for your buds. The steps involved in trimming your plants are not significantly different. The main distinction is only the schedule of when you get the buds dried.

For some cultivators, the exhausting responsibility of trimming the bud is not something they contemplate. Hopefully, you have learned from the different techniques discussed. Trimming properly your cannabis plant can bring you closer to marketing your buds! Trimming is a critical step during the harvesting period to provide you the best final product possible.

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