Growing weed takes a lot of time and effort, but if you don’t trim it properly at the end of growing it, you won’t have an excellent product. Trimming your weed is one of the most critical steps to making your buds look beautiful and create a product that’s genuinely worth consuming.
We’ll guide you through the reasons why trimming is so necessary and how you can do it.
What is Trimming Weed?
Trimming weed is one of the last steps of the growing process. After months of putting effort into getting your weed plant from seed to full-grown plant, it’s matured and ready for you to harvest.
Harvested buds will still have long fan leaves attached to them, which trimmers should cut off. Fan leaves carry minimal THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high and the one most people smoke weed for.
Trimming off fan leaves also makes your buds look nicer than if you leave it as is. Trimmed buds are one of the reasons why pricier weed has a more “top shelf” appearance. Somebody had to sit there and manually process the buds themselves!
Additionally, less plant material on the buds makes them improves the quality of the smoke.
Compared to the buds themselves, the leaves and stems are much harsher on the throat. Ensuring that the bud is free of any harsh-smoke-inducing parts will drastically improve the smoking experience.
Trimming weed and manicuring the buds is a very tedious task if you have a large amount of cannabis from your harvest, but the difference between a well-trimmed bud and one that was left with excess plant material is massive.
Why is Weed Trimming Important?
Trimming and manicuring weed after its harvest is essential for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is that removing the excess plant material that you don’t want to smoke makes the buds look nicer.
They won’t have long, fluffy leaves hanging off of the dense, sticky buds making your herb appear much more admirable than when left as is.
Beyond making them look nice, smoking fan leaves is harsher and less enjoyable overall than the buds. The plant’s trichomes are the most concentrated in the buds, not the leaves.
Trichomes contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that create the effects, flavours and aromas people are looking for when they consume cannabis, so you’ll want a product that has as little excess material outside of the buds.
As stated before, the fan leaves still have trichomes on them so that you can use all of your trimmings for other products; you just don’t want them on the buds.
How to Trim Weed
Trimming weed looks like a daunting task before you start, but it’s best to dive right in once you know how to do it!
When you are cutting branches off of the plant, you will have to decide between trimming the plants in wet or dry. Both methods have benefits, but understanding which way is a vital part of the process.
Wet vs Dry Trimming
The two most common techniques for trimming weed involve “wet” and “dry” methods.
For wet trimming, the fan leaves are removed right after harvesting the branches and before the drying and curing process. Dry trimming is done after the buds are already dried.
There are some advantages to both methods, but it boils down to preference at the end of the day.
Many might not have the luxury of having the space or situation where they can let the buds dry before trimming. You may have to get your product moved to a different location than where it was harvested to allow time to dry the buds out. Wet trimming isn’t always ideal, but at least it makes the process quicker.
If you’re using specific trimming machines instead of hand trimming, they may require the buds to be fresh, making wet trimming necessary.
Dry trimming will allow your plants the best scenario to keep their shape perfectly, though. The harvested buds are much softer when freshly cut off of the plant, so if they are laid down for a length of time before they’re dried, which might make them flatter than expected.
Some strains will also end up changing colour during the drying process too. If there is more plant material to dry with the fan leaves left on for your entire drying process, it will take longer but is a practical step to take.
This is an advantage, though, since the buds will have more time to take on the final appearance they are supposed to have.
How to Start Trimming Weed
You will need at least a few tools to begin your process. Getting a pair of pruning shears will make it easy to cut through the large branches on your plant. You will also need a couple of small, sharp scissors to get a close cut to the buds and remove leaves.
A box of disposable gloves is also a bright idea. Gloves aren’t essential, but you can avoid getting sticky residue all over your fingers while handling your buds.
One pro-tip to you can do to keep your hands clean is to leave the stem intact during the pruning process. You can use the stem as a pivot point as you rotate and handle the weed.
To start trimming weed, begin by using your sheers to chop the branches of your harvest into smaller, more manageable sizes. From there, you can prune off large portions of bud into individual clusters.
Once they’ve been chopped to size, you can start finely manicuring the bud.
Starting from the stem, work your way around the bud, trimming as close as possible without ruining the bud itself. You want to remove the extra leaves and plant matter only, not the bud.
Take care to remove any extra-long pistils or fan leaves that may poke their way through the surface.
The order and process of these steps might differ in order depending on the trimming method used. However, this strategy should work well enough for both methods if the proper procedure is followed.
Manicured Bud – The Gold Standard of Weed
Whether you’re purchasing a dime bag off of your street guy or some AAAA strains from an online weed store, you’ll notice that weed sellers will trim their bud no matter what. After all, the results go beyond appearances.
Trimmed weed is tastier, smoother and more enjoyable to smoke than untrimmed weed. Not only dos trimming weed add to a strain’s aesthetic qualities and bag appeal, but it can also elevate the potency of your smoking experience!
As such, if your weed arrives poorly trimmed or not trimmed at all, that could be a red flag warning you of more significant, unseen issues with your flower!