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Trimming Your Cannabis Buds: Wet Trimming Vs Dry Trimming

While many cannabis growers treat harvest like the final stage of cultivation, it is far from the end. Along with improving their looks, trimming cannabis flowers makes for smoother smoking, greater potency, and reduces mould formation too! We’ll cover each step of the trimming process, compare and contrast methods, and show you how to do it right.

The what, when, and how of trimming cannabis.

  • 1. Why should you trim cannabis buds?
  • 2. When to trim cannabis
  • 3. Trimming: the best tools for the job
  • 4. Types of trimming
  • 5. Pros and cons of each cannabis trimming method
  • 6. What to do with the leftover trim
  • 7. Dry and curing cannabis: the next step
  • 1. Why should you trim cannabis buds?
  • 2. When to trim cannabis
  • 3. Trimming: the best tools for the job
  • 4. Types of trimming
  • 5. Pros and cons of each cannabis trimming method
  • 6. What to do with the leftover trim
  • 7. Dry and curing cannabis: the next step

Most growers agree that harvest time is the most rewarding part of the growing cycle. After months of raising your seedlings into mature, bud-laden plants, you’re finally able to sample the fruits of your labour!

However, you still have work to do; you’ll need to properly prepare your flowers for drying, curing, and storage. Do it correctly, and you’ll have buds that look, taste, and smoke better. Trust us; it’s worth your time and effort.

A key step, of course, is trimming the sugar leaves off your buds after clipping branches off the plant. Remember those pristine and nugget-like buds at your local dispensary or coffeeshop? Those are the result of manicuring—another word for trimming. Moving past aesthetics, these buds will also smell better, smoke better, and stay fresher after a good trim.

Let’s dive deeper into why you should trim your harvest, and consider different techniques used to get the job done.

WHY SHOULD YOU TRIM CANNABIS BUDS?

Trimming those sugar leaves off will help ensure your flowers are free of mould and excess plant material. If you need more convincing, let’s break down the main reasons to trim.

AESTHETICS

Taste, aroma, and effects are the most important aspects of cannabis. However, looks don’t fall far behind. After all, nothing feels as good as pulling pristine, manicured buds out of a stash jar. Trimming your flowers will transform them from rugged nugs into those worthy of a spot on the top shelf.

AROMA

Every strain offers a unique blend of terpenes that underpin its aroma. With the sugar leaves out of the way, terpenes will be that much more front and centre. Trim at the right time so you can avoid dislodging too many trichomes—the glands that produce these aromatic molecules.

SMOOTH SMOKE

Lingering sugar leaves are harsh on the lungs when smoked, and they have far less THC, so it’s best to toss them aside. Once you trim your buds, they’ll hit as smooth as the best you’ll find in the dispensary.

CANNABINOID CONTENT

Most of the trichomes that produce cannabinoids and terpenes reside on the buds. Sugar leaves do produce trichomes, but in much fewer numbers. After trimming your buds down, the ratio of plant material to cannabinoids will be more in your favour.

WHEN TO TRIM CANNABIS

Now that you know why you need to do it, you need to know how to do it right. As we mentioned earlier, timing is key when it comes to trimming cannabis flowers. For those keeping track, it’s your next port of call after harvest.

Before you even harvest, however, there are steps you can take to maximise the benefits of trimming. These steps include flushing, which, for those unfamiliar, involves cutting out nutrients and administering pure water to your plant’s growing medium before harvest. This practice encourages plants to utilise stored nutrients before harvest time, resulting in smoother and more flavourful flowers.

Most growers opt to flush their crop for around two weeks during the tail-end of the flowering stage. Proceeding to properly trim, dry, and cure your flowers will further blunt the harsh edge and enhance their aromatic properties.

Some growers prefer to trim immediately after harvesting their flowers, whereas others like to dry out their buds beforehand. Both of these techniques feature their own benefits and downfalls.

TRIMMING: THE BEST TOOLS FOR THE JOB

As it goes with any cannabis growing-related job, you’ll need the right tools to get it done. While they may seem simple, and in many ways are, they’re important nonetheless.

CURVED TRIMMING SCISSORS

To start, any grower will tell you that curved trimming scissors make both harvesting and trimming so much easier. The rounded blades fit perfectly around the base of buds, allowing you to safely snip them off the branches.

They also cut flush against the natural curve of cannabis buds, allowing growers to remove sugar leaves without damaging flowers. Trimming plants can wear down your hands, though, and calluses are common. Thankfully, these scissors feature a comfortable PVC grip and spring resistance to help counter those issues.

Curved Trimming Scissors

ROLLING TRAY / COLLECTION TRAY

You’ll also want to trim your flowers over a collection tray so you can save the sugar leaves for later. If you don’t know where to start looking, our line of rolling trays feature vivid designs and raised edges that will prevent spillages and mess. You also have the option of selecting your favourite colours and sizes.

SUITABLE STASH JAR

Where do you plan on putting all of that processed bud? You can’t leave it lying around on your coffee table! You’ll need something airtight, spacious, and convenient. Our in-house brand, as it happens, has the perfect solution in the form of the RQS Re:stash Jar.

These airtight jars feature a branded silicone sleeve that keeps the internal mason jar insulated. The lid—BPA-free and crafted from renewable hemp fibre—helps to maintain freshness and optimises terpene content.

TYPES OF TRIMMING

There are two ways to trim cannabis by hand: wet and dry. Alternatively, buds can be processed en masse via machine. Different growers have their own preferences, but they all end up at the same end result (if all goes well). Let’s cover the procedure and pros/cons of each method below so you can see which you prefer.

WET TRIMMING

Wet trimming refers to cutting away sugar leaves immediately after harvesting your flowers. Because they still hold a lot of water, the flowers remain wet and ultra-sticky.

1. Harvest your buds

Cut each branch near the node using your curved trimming scissors. Each branch will hold several buds. Keep them attached to the branch during trimming to make your life easier. Place your bud-laden branches into a large jar or bucket until you strip the entire plant.

2. Collect your tools and prepare your hands

Gather your scissors and tray, turn on a podcast, and drink some coffee to help you plough through the task ahead. Wash your hands and dry them well. Then, put on a pair of latex gloves to prevent your hands from getting caked in resin.

3. Trim

Pick up each branch, one by one, and use your curved scissors to carefully cut away all of the small sugar leaves on each bud. Many growers like to start at the base and work their way upwards in a circular fashion to ensure even, rounded edges. Some of the sugar leaves will be almost entirely concealed by the body of the bud. Remove as much as possible without damaging the flower. There will always be traces of sugar leaves left behind—don’t worry!

4. Drying and curing

Of course, you’ll need to dry and cure your manicured buds before you blaze them up. Place them on a drying rack in a lightly heated room with a fan. Once dry, remove individual buds from their branches before placing them into jars for curing.

DRY TRIMMING

Dry trimming, in contrast, takes place between drying and curing. Dry buds are much less sticky, but a little more tricky to trim. Here’s how to do it.

1. Harvesting and drying

Cut your plant at the base, and hang it upside down in a warm room with a fan.

2. Processing

Once completely dry, cut off each individual branch and set them aside for trimming.

3. Collect your tools

Get comfy, put on a podcast, and grab your scissors. Wash your hands and put on a pair of gloves here too.

4. Trim

Once you’re settled, cut away all of the sugar leaves from each bud. Use your scissors to cut each bud away from the branch, one at a time. This will make them easier to cure and store.

5. Start the curing process

Load your buds into their curing jars for smoother hits and better flavour.

MACHINE TRIMMING

Trimming by hand allows growers great attention to detail when processing their flowers. However, home growers don’t have to worry about massive volumes of flower. Commercial growers, though, view hand trimming as somewhat archaic, instead using machines to get the job done.

Trimming machines are available in many different sizes and shapes, and at different price points. Commercial-grade machines, while out of reach for average folk, can trim warehouse yields in no time. Smaller devices also exist to remove the task from the to-do list of smaller growers.

It sounds like a great hack, but there’s still a downside. Machines, unfortunately, have a reputation for damaging otherwise pristine cannabis flowers. They can save time, but you need to decide if you can tolerate the tradeoff.

PROS AND CONS OF EACH CANNABIS TRIMMING METHOD

As we’ve gone over, each of the methods above offers its own advantages and disadvantages. carla

WET TRIMMING ADVANTAGES WET TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It’s useful for preventing mould in climates with high humidity It’s a stickier process, making it feel more tedious
It’s more of a linear process following harvest (with nothing between drying and curing) The buds might dry too fast, leading to less nuance in flavour
The flowers dry faster without sugar leaves The buds will be less dense and compact, which some growers don’t like
Growers are able to dry more buds on their drying rack
WET TRIMMING ADVANTAGES WET TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It’s useful for preventing mould in climates with high humidity It’s a stickier process, making it feel more tedious
It’s more of a linear process following harvest (with nothing between drying and curing) The buds might dry too fast, leading to less nuance in flavour
The flowers dry faster without sugar leaves The buds will be less dense and compact, which some growers don’t like
Growers are able to dry more buds on their drying rack
DRY TRIMMING ADVANTAGES DRY TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It’s ideal in places with low humidity levels Sugar leaves can store pockets of moisture, leading to mould
The buds become nice, compact, and nugget-like Dry-trimmed flowers lose their initial colour quite quickly
The flowers dry at a slower rate and maintain their full flavour The dried sugar leaves become even smaller and harder to cut in a clean fashion
DRY TRIMMING ADVANTAGES DRY TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It’s ideal in places with low humidity levels Sugar leaves can store pockets of moisture, leading to mould
The buds become nice, compact, and nugget-like Dry-trimmed flowers lose their initial colour quite quickly
The flowers dry at a slower rate and maintain their full flavour The dried sugar leaves become even smaller and harder to cut in a clean fashion
MACHINE TRIMMING ADVANTAGES MACHINE TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It saves time compared to either hand-trimming method There’s a risk of the machine damaging flowers
Smaller machines help home growers process larger yields All that noise and gear is not ideal for stealthy growers
They remove one of many tasks growers are faced with
MACHINE TRIMMING ADVANTAGES MACHINE TRIMMING DISADVANTAGES
It saves time compared to either hand-trimming method There’s a risk of the machine damaging flowers
Smaller machines help home growers process larger yields All that noise and gear is not ideal for stealthy growers
They remove one of many tasks growers are faced with

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER TRIM

After trimming your entire harvest, your collection tray will be filled—or overflowing—with stems, stalks, fan leaves, and sugar leaves. Although these components might seem like waste material, you can actually put this trim to good use.

No, you won’t want to smoke them, but all of these parts contain cannabinoid and terpene stores. You can use them to make all sorts of homemade products that’ll have you feeling those good herbal vibes.

Growers can get especially experimental with sugar leaves. They aren’t the best to smoke, but you can use them to make some quality cannabutter, some sugar leaf tea, or even some tasty kief to add to your bud.

Likewise, you can use the stems to make an assortment of extracts and concentrates. We believe the best uses for cannabis stems include:

DRYING AND CURING CANNABIS: THE NEXT STEP

With trimming over, you’ll need to dry (unless you dry trimmed) and cure your flowers. Drying removes any excess moisture from your flowers, minimises mould formation, and makes them viable for long-term storage.

Curing your buds will greatly enhance their flavour and contribute to buttery smooth hits. The process forces buds to maintain just the right amount of moisture to make them pleasant to smoke and ideal for storing.

Check out our article on how to correctly dry and cure your harvest for more information!

Between harvesting and curing your cannabis buds, we suggest you trim them. Find out why, when, and how to do it right, along with helpful tools for the job.

Complete Guide to Trimming Cannabis

Table of Contents

“Wet Trim” vs “Dry Trim” (trimming buds before or after drying them)

This trimming tutorial is part of our “how to harvest cannabis” series:

Why do growers trim cannabis buds in the first place?

Harvest time has come! You are cutting down your homegrown cannabis buds to dry and cure them. But do growers need to trim their cannabis buds? When is the best time to trim, and why do growers trim buds in the first place?

Trimming cannabis buds – before & after

Here are some reasons to trim buds:

  • “Top Shelf” Appearance – Trimmed buds are often considered higher quality. Most buds are completely manicured (or at least somewhat trimmed) when you see them in magazines, at the dispensary, and online. This is the appearance we’ve come to associate with “good weed” and so untrimmed buds may look less appealing to some people.
  • Better Smell – Buds that are trimmed before being going into jars tend to gain a stronger “weed” smell over time. On the flip side, untrimmed buds take on a “planty” hay smell if they’re stored in an airtight container for too long (several weeks to months).
  • Easier on Your Throat – Leaves are more “harsh” on your throat/lungs than flowers when vaping or smoking. Trimming off extra leaf matter makes buds more “smooth” to smoke or vaporize.
  • Higher THC Concentration – Even trichome-encrusted sugar leaves have a significantly lower concentration of THC and other cannabinoids than the flowers. That means trimmed buds tend to have higher levels of THC gram-for-gram.

Many growers want trimmed buds but don’t want to waste any THC, so they process their trim to extract the THC in the leaves separately. You have endless options for getting the good stuff out of your leaves and other trim, but my favorite ways are making dry ice hash, butter or canna caps. I sprinkle dry ice hash on top of bowls to skyrocket their potency, I use butter for edibles, and I love canna caps for the ability to easily dose edibles on the go!

An example of well-trimmed cannabis buds

Untrimmed cannabis buds – pic by psychonaught

Trim before or after drying? (“Wet Trim” vs “Dry Trim”)

When I first started growing I didn’t know anything about trimming. I knew you could do it before or after drying, but I didn’t know the pros and cons of each. From reading online, I could see that growers successfully use both methods, so there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to trimming cannabis. Some growers trim their cannabis buds before drying them, and some growers trim their cannabis after buds have already dried.

Trimming your cannabis before drying is known as a “wet trim” because the leaves are still wet during the trimming process. Trimming after the buds have already dried is known as a “dry trim” since your buds will already be dried before you trim off the sugar leaves.

Most growers will at least remove all or most of the big fan leaves with their fingers before drying, though some growers will hang the whole plant upside down without any type of trim whatsoever.

Wet Trim Example – all leaves are removed before buds are allowed to dry.

Dry Trim Example – little trimming was done before buds were dried

Dry Trim Example – full branches were hung (not even fan leaves were removed before drying)

Trim before drying (“wet trim”) when…

  • You’re worried about mold
  • You have high humidity (above 60% RH)
  • There’s a lot of buds drying in a small space
  • You otherwise want buds to dry more quickly

Trim after drying (“dry trim”) when…

  • You’re not worried about mold
  • You have low humidity (below 45%RH)
  • You want buds to dry more slowly (buds drying too fast is the #1 cause of “hay smell”)
  • You want buds to be “tighter” or more dense
  • You don’t mind buds losing their color vibrance (dry trim buds tend to lose their green/purple/color and take on shades of brown or tan)

Here are some examples of buds from plants where I trimmed half the buds before, and half after. I wanted to help you see what difference it made. It’s really kind of different depending on each plant.

Notes on test of dry trim vs wet trim

  • The untrimmed buds took 0.5 to 3 days longer to dry. The leafier the plant, the longer it added to the dry time.
  • The biggest difference is I noticed the “dry trim” buds seem noticeably more dense/uniform.
  • The dry vs wet trim buds smell a bit differently, but all smell good. Neither seems particularly stronger or better as far as smell.
  • I noticed that the “dry trim” buds often seem browner as if they’ve been curing for a while. The effect was most pronounced on the leafiest plants, which may have taken a little too long to dry.
  • As far as comparing taste/smoothness/potency. In blind tests with cannabis enthusiasts, I’ve gotten mixed results. Some people prefer the smell or smoothness of the buds one way, while others like the exact opposite. It doesn’t seem to follow any particular pattern that I can tell. I truly think it’s a matter of personal preference, and also varies from strain to strain.

In practice, I’ve seen a huge variation between growers as far as when they trim. Some growers trim plants immediately after harvest, some trim partway through drying, some trim after buds are totally dry, and some never trim at all. It can also vary with the local weather and even the particular plant. For example, if I had an extremely leafy plant and the humidity was high right as I was harvesting, I may opt to trim the plant before drying to prevent the chance of mold, even though I might normally prefer to trim after.

Some growers barely trim buds at all

If sugar leaves are healthy and covered in trichomes, it’s more common for growers to leave them on. This is what that might look like after the buds have been dried:

Although these cannabis buds are beautiful and the sugar leaves are absolutely covered in trichomes (so you know they have significant amounts of THC), the buds may possibly be slightly more “harsh” than if all the sugar leaves had been trimmed away.

On the flip side, there are many people who prefer seeing trichome-encrusted sugar leaves on their buds, so in the end, it’s a matter of personal preference. There’s no right or wrong way about it!

How to trim your buds like a pro!

What You’ll Need

Sharp scissors (for trimming buds)

Fiskars scissors are our weapon of choice. The blades are thin and sharp, which makes it easier to get your bud looking perfectly manicured. They also have a built-in spring to automatically open the blades after each snip. That ends up saving a lot of work for your hands by the time you’re done trimming.

Any “bonsai scissors” usually work well for trimming. These bonsai pruning shears are popular because they’re cheap, sharp, and spring-loaded.

Big pruning shears, or tough scissors you don’t mind destroying (for cutting off branches)

These will be used to actually cut down single branches as you harvest colas to be trimmed.

If possible, try to use a separate pair, and not the same sharp scissors you plan to use for trimming buds. Some branches are tough enough to destroy a pair of nice scissors in a single harvest. You want sharp scissors for trimming your buds; it will save you so much time!

Disposable gloves

Disposable gloves help protect your hands from your bud. Handling bud without gloves will make your hands sticky to the point where it becomes a constant problem. Plus, hands covered in resin are difficult to clean.

Disposable gloves keep the resin off your hands, and hand particulates off your weed!

3 Trays or Cookie Sheets

You need a tray to hold your untrimmed buds, one to hold your newly trimmed buds, and the last one to hold your ‘trim’ (the plant matter you cut off the buds).

Use cookie sheets or any clean sizable containers to keep your trimmed weed, untrimmed weed, and trim separate.

Of course, you can use anything to keep your separate piles in, but cookie sheets have worked really well for me! Baking sheets work nicely and are cheap, but honestly, any non-absorbent flat surface will work. I like cookie sheets and other wide cooking pans because they have a lip around the edges to help keep everything contained!

Once you have all of your gear assembled, move onto the steps below when you feel ready. Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process depending on how much bud you’ve grown. However, any negative feelings you get from the labor of trimming will be far outweighed by all the bud you’ll be drying soon!

One last thing… Don’t forget to save all your leaves and other trim! You can use the extra leaves you cut off to make edibles or hash. If you can see trichomes (“glitter”) on the leaves, that means they have good stuff to extract! If a bud is very small or wispy, sometimes I’ll throw that in the trim pile as well.

Learn how to turn your trim into…

1.) Set Up Your Trimming Area

Before you start trimming your plants, you should set up a nice, comfortable place to trim your bud-laden branches. Trimming can take a lot longer than it might seem at first, and it’s a good idea to dedicate at least an afternoon to trimming. I usually try to start trimming in the morning on a day I have off with no other plans in case it goes on longer than expected.

As far as where to do your trimming, a large, clean and cleared table on a non-carpeted floor works great! You will be getting little pieces of leaves everywhere, even if you’re careful, so try to trim in a spot that’s easy to clean. If you have to trim on carpeting, put down a sheet or tarp so spare your poor carpet from trichome stickiness.

I like to get set up in front of a TV, so I can watch movies or shows in the background while I’m trimming. Music or radio can be nice too. In order to stay as comfortable as possible while trimming, I believe it’s important to make sure you get up at least once an hour, even if just to walk around the house or move to a different chair. Take a second to stretch your arms, shoulders and neck. Sometimes you can get in the zone while trimming and not move for a while, so making a point to make breaks will help keep your back, neck and hands from getting cramped up.

Put out your trays as you’ll be using them in just a moment. You’ll be using one tray to hold your untrimmed buds, one to hold your trimmed buds, and one to hold your leaves/trim. You want to keep it all separate if you can, though some spillover is inevitable.

Smell Control: The trimming of buds creates a great deal of odor, especially if they’re fresh! The room that you trim in (and any adjoining rooms) will smell like a cannabis farm. The smell is actually stronger than in the flowering stage. Make sure to contain the smell and try to mitigate the odor if you can. I like to run an exhaust fan on a carbon scrubber (the same one I use in my tent) while I trim. While it doesn’t completely cancel out the smell, it does get pretty close.

Now that you’ve set up your space, it’s time to start harvesting!

2.) Wash your hands and put on a pair of gloves

I prefer latex gloves as they’re sturdy and it feels easier for me to change into a new pair. But any gloves you like will do the trick!

These gloves will soon be sticky with resin!

If you don’t use gloves, get some rubbing alcohol ready, because you’ll need it to get all the resin off your fingers once you’re done trimming! Soap and water won’t cut it! You can also save the resin – it’s basically hash!

3.) Using your tough scissors, cut a branch off your cannabis plant

You may want to cut just one branch down the first time so you can get a feel for trimming, instead of cutting everything down at once. That way you can get an idea of how big of a branch you want to work with at a time.

If trimming immediately after harvest, this also allows you to harvest the plant in stages. If you have to stop halfway through for whatever reason, the buds will be fine for an extra day or two as long as they’re still attached to the plant (even if the rest of the plant is completely hacked up).

When cutting off branches to trim, remember to cut them to a comfortable working size. No larger than these two or you’ll probably have a hard time handling them!

4.) Remove Large Fan Leaves with Your Fingers

These are the leaves that are easily pulled off by their long stem. Put these fan leaves in a pile to be disposed of later.

Here’s a pile of colas that still have their fan leaves

This is what buds look like after most of the fan leaves have been removed by hand

Sometimes you’ll have a big fan leaf that “goes into” the bud and you can’t easily reach the base with your fingers. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to snip those leaves off easily in the next step.

Many fan leaves do not have a usable amount of trichomes on them. If you plan to save your trimmings to make hash you may want to put these bigger fan leaves in a separate pile so you can throw them directly away, instead of mixing them in with your “trim pile”. The big fan leaves add a lot of plant matter that you have to process, but without adding much THC.

5.) Trim Off the Sugar Leaves

Make a note of the small leaves that stick out of the buds; you will be able to see the leaf tips, but usually not the stems. These are typically referred to as “sugar leaves” and don’t need to be removed, only trimmed with your scissors if they stick out.

Before & After – Trimming Sugar Leaves

Another example of trimmed vs untrimmed weed

If the sugar leaves are covered in a lot of trichomes, some growers will leave them on instead of trimming them. I personally don’t recommend doing that if you plan to smoke or vaporize because any extra leaf matter tends to make buds harsher on your lungs. You want as close to pure bud as possible for the best smoking or vaping experience. They don’t have to go to waste. Save them in your separate trim pile and you’ll be able to extract the trichomes off the leaves later to make extracts like hash, caps or weed butter, This means you’re still getting all the THC, but without the added harshness of extra leaf matter. That’s why I recommend trimming all the sugar leaves until they are flush with the buds.

Sugar leaves are cut so they are flush with the bud, giving it a round, almost smooth appearance

Some buds will always have sugar leaves you can see, even if you cut them flush with the outsides of the bud. This is just the way that some cannabis buds grow and is normal genetic variation

When it’s difficult to determine where buds stop and sugar leaves begin, just try to use your best judgment.

You should be left with a branch with trimmed bud on it. Now that you’ve got the hang of it, repeat this process on the remainder of the branches on your cannabis plant!

Do your best to make sure that all the ‘trim’ (the leaves trimmed from your bud) falls onto the tray designated for it. Not only does that let you save more trim for hash, it will help you with cleanup later! Try not to cut off any of the actual buds, but if you do by accident, throw it in the trim pile.

The whole trimming process can take a while depending on how much you ended up with, but if it’s more than you can do at once, it’s perfectly okay to harvest your plant in stages over a few days.

If the buds are already dried but you didn’t have enough time to trim them all, put them in jars or a turkey bag to prevent them from drying further, even if they’re untrimmed. You can come back to trim them later. Just don’t leave them stored like that for too long or the buds take on a hay smell.

Problem: Buds are dry but you don’t have enough time to trim today. Store them in oven bags (also called turkey bags) until you can trim, just don’t leave them too long!

Trimmed and ready

After trimming, your scissors (and fingers) will be covered in hash. Don’t throw that stuff away – it’s concentrated cannabis resin! You can vape, smoke or consume hash just like cannabis flowers!

Don’t toss out all your leaves! Learn how to turn your trim into…

6.) Dispose of your plant

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to securely dispose of the remainder of the plant!

Cut your plant up into pieces and double bag all the plant matter left over after harvest. Do not throw this bag away until the day your trash is picked up. This means there is less time where someone could go through your trash and find it!

Gadgets, tools & shortcuts to help you trim your cannabis better!

For Trimming Cannabis by Hand

Sharp Scissors – Any “bonsai scissors” work great, too!

Fiskars scissors are one of the most popular scissors for trimming buds by hand. They are thin and sharp with a spring to automatically open after each snip. That saves your hands a lot of work over the course of a trim session. These are what I use to trim my buds 🙂

Any “bonsai scissors” usually work well for trimming. These bonsai pruning shears are popular because they’re cheap, sharp, and spring-loaded.

To actually cut off branches from your plant you want something stronger, like these big pruning shears. If you use your Fiskars scissor to cut through stems they will become dull quickly!

Disposable gloves

Disposable gloves keep the resin off your hands, and hand particulates off your weed!

3 Trays or Cookie Sheets

Use cookie sheets or any clean sizable containers to keep your trimmed weed, untrimmed weed, and trim separate. You can use the 4th pan (or a trashcan) to capture the big fan leaves that don’t have trichomes and are often tossed.

Other Ways to Trim Cannabis

Electric Handheld Scissors

There are a few different types of these to make trimming easier. The Bonsai Hero electric trimmer used to be the most common option, but it’s now been discontinued. There are similar options like the Trim Daddy, but it seems to be of questionable quality.

The cool thing about electric trimmers is they let you trim far faster than if you were doing it with regular scissors. They are also easy on your hands since the scissors do all the opening and closing themselves – you just guide them!

The downside is you just can’t get as close a trim job with electric pruning shears compared to regular scissors. They’re just not precise enough. It’s common for growers to use them quickly to trim off most of the leaves and use scissors to tidy the buds up afterward. The other downside to electric scissors is you will end up cutting off more bud by accident than if you were hand scissoring.

However, sometimes the time savings is worth losing a little bud and leaving a little extra leaf matter. In large-scale growing operations, it’s common to give buds a rough cut with electric trimmers and just sell them that way. It gets 90% of the work done in half the time!

Be warned, these are all obscenely expensive! (Seriously, stick to Fiskars!)

Bowl Leaf Trimmers

These have many of the same pros and cons of electric hand trimmers, but there are differences.

First off, they’re quick! With a bowl leaf trimmer, you will be done trimming faster than with pretty much any other trimming method. But on the flip side, you will also lose more bud matter (it will be trimmed away) than other methods, because these basically work by “smoothing” out the outsides of the bud, whether it’s taking off leaf or bud.

One thing about these trimmers that makes them unique is you have to remove the buds from the branches before using the machine, which means you’ll probably also want to use a mesh hanging rack to dry your buds.

And since the buds will be removed from the stems, it may be more difficult to get them to dry slowly. Another option is to trim them with the machine after they’ve already dried.

If you have a whole lot of bud to trim, the ease and quickness of the bowl trimmer method may be worth the reduced flower yield (plus you get higher quality trim)

Now that you have trimmed your buds, it’s time for the cure! You’re almost there!

Continue to the next article to learn about curing your buds

This trimming tutorial is part of our “how to harvest cannabis” series:

Learn how to trim your buds so they look like the ones at a dispensary! ]]>