How to trim cannabis

Trimming cannabis buds

The so awaited time of harvest has come. We will enjoy so much having sticky fingers. Harvest marijuana always is a joyful moment. With friends or alone, surrounded of a delicious perfume, the hours go by. For outdoor crops, this task can be long and boring, therefore, we will talk about the existing material on the market to make this work more comfortably. Moreover, we will give you some ideas for recycling the trimming off-cuts and take advantage of almost all vegetable matter.

We suggest that you read our previous post that speaks about When to harvest cannabis plants.

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Trimming of a marijuana bud from Philosopher Seeds

Some marijuana strains are already easier to trim, since they have less leaves. As for example SuperJuani or Amnesika 2.0. On indoor crops, the type of light-bulbs we use for flowering can produce more or less leaves. A MH bulb (growth, blue spectrum) or a dual bulb type  "Grolux" favours  the leaf development. However, a HPS light-bulb (HPS with special red spectrum for flowering phase) will produce less leaves and more calyxes.

Philosopher Seeds
SuperJuani Bud

Trimming before drying

Many growers prefer to remove the leaves of the buds while the plants are freshly cut or still alive. It may be is more comfortable to trim marijuana plants while they are fresh for various reasons. The best is to experiment and make you your own opinion. Everyone has preferences when it comes to work.

Philosopher Seeds
Trimming of an entire automatic plant

This can be done when the plant is still standing and then cut it to put it to dry upside down. But it’s more practical to separate the buds one by one and trim them on the fly.

To do so with the whole plant, you just trim with scissors, and once finished, you put it to dry upside down. When the drying process is finished, separate the buds for their storing. This first technique requires a few more days of drying than the second because not only the buds have to dry but also the stems (until they crushes when they are broken). We recommend that you don’t take too long to put them into jars or in boxes in order to perform the curing.

The second and better option, in our opinion, is to cut the plant, separate the buds and trim them.  Once trimmed, you lay them out on a mesh or a drying tray. This method is necessary to trim with machines specialized in pruning leaves.

Philosopher Seeds
Separate the buds before trimming

Manicure cannabis after drying

Philosopher Seeds does not recommend proceeding this way because once dry, during the manipulation of the bud, the trichomes (resin glands) will break easier and therefore, the quality will reduce. It is inevitable to touch the resin, so by opting for this method we recommend you to manipulate the buds with great care, and if possible, work on the top of a Work Table to recover the resin.

Philosopher Seeds
Work Table 00 Box

The advantage of this method is that drying lasts a few more days and that may be improves the flavor. This obviously depends on general drying conditions.

Trimming cannabis manually

There are different models of scissors designed and created especially to prune cannabis plants. They tend to be the most practical and the most comfortable, an important thing to take into account if you expect to work for many hours. These scissors are ergonomic, some of them has a padded handle and a spring that eases their handling.

Philosopher Seeds
Scissors Bud Clean for trimming cannabis

You can use the conventional scissors of your home if you have little amount, but invest in some proper tools is not a luxury.

Trimming by hand, we will have the privilege of smoking the first joint of Finger Hash or Charas of our harvest. The Charas is hashish or resin that sticks on our fingers. Usually it has some vegetable impurities. But it’s so good!!

Philosopher Seeds
Charas or Finger Hash

According to the preferences of each one, it can be used or not gloves. Even if you want to collect the precious Finger Hash, it’s better to not use. Gloves keep hands clean, but according to the gloves you use, it’s better to have a few pairs of them as replacement because they always end up breaking or punctured by the scissors.

Once finished the trimming, we can clean us the hands in different ways. Philosopher Seeds recommend using olive oil: they apply five drops of olive oil in the dry hands, rub, and then use soap and rub again. To finish, rinse abundantly with clean water.  Possibly you have to repeat this operation if there is still something of resin on your hands. Another option, is to clean them with some types of solvent or alcohol, it’s the fastest way, but these products will damage the skin. These liquids, on the other hand, are the best to help us clean the scissors or the cannabis bud trimming machine.

Trimming buds by machine

To trim marijuana leaves by machine is increasingly common. A few years ago, such tools had a very high cost, and most of them were too big for personal use. Today, there are some of smaller size and affordable price that fits perfectly to home-grown crops.

Philosopher Seeds
Hand-operated Trimpro

This method facilitates and speeds up the work but it has some disadvantages:

  • The noise that emits the machine is annoying, and is not very recommendable if you want to be discreet.
  • The cleaning of some machines is complicated. The resin stays stucked and is difficult to leave them clean.
  • According to the model, some of them are dangerous. They have knives to cut the leaves and who says knife, says danger of cutting...
  • No matter what, you have to trim on the same day on that you cut the plant.
  • The machines in general usually make to lose quality given that part of the resin sticks to them.

Philosopher Seeds
Bud trimmer Trimpro Rotor

Outdoors, harvests tend to be most abundant so the use of machines is a good choice, but for an indoor of responsible size, the money investment may seem excessive.

What to do with the cannabis remains?

Many of the trimmed leaves have visibly resin. It would be a pity to throw them without taking advantage of them before. For this reason, while we are manicuring the buds, we will remove  the large sheets without resin that we'll throw, and will separate the small ones loaded with trichomes that we will put to dry for a few days.

With these last ones,  we can do several things:

  • Hashish: whether dry sift or with water and ice, the "Pollen" or "Bubble Hash" are most elected by the growers.
  • BHO: As the hashish, with the trimming remains, you can make can resin concentrates. The amount of end product will be less than with buds, but it’s always better than nothing…
  • Marijuana Butter: a simple way and very effective to gather THC, and consume it orally in different recipes. Vegans can make coconut oil with marijuana.
  • Ointment: The virtues of cannabis on the skin are increasingly popular and used by people who have acne, herpes, dryness, irritation ...

Philosopher Seeds
BHO of Jack el Frutero

We hope that you like this post, if you still have questions, we invite you to leave a comment, it will be a pleasure for us to answer you.

Greetings and have good trimmings!

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About this Cannabis Blog

This is the blog of the seed bank Philosopher Seeds. It is intended for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

You'll find information on homegrowing cannabis, tips, tricks and news from the cannabis sector.

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(+34) 972 099 409
(+34) 972 099 409