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Hand Trimming: A Guide to Improving Quality

May 18, 2016

Looking for better quality product? Trimming may be the place to start, and the first decision is to hand trim or machine trim. Conventional wisdom says that hand trimming will yield better quality—less damage to the product, more product intact, and a bud that looks more appealing. But that debate is for another day. Let’s assume you’re hand trimming and review some basics while providing a few ideas that could help you increase the quality of your product by upping your trimming game.

Once you’ve removed the leaves (and anything that is clearly not bud), the buds will be ready to dry. Do not, however, cut those delicate fine little hairs covering your buds. They are loaded with THC and CBD, so it is important to touch them as little as possible. Wear gloves and be gentle so as not to release the vital crystals or oils.

Use a pruning shear with an ultra-fine tip, which will enable you to get deep down into the bud. If the leaves and stems are not cut down to the flower, then the buds could grow mold while drying. Using the ultra-fine tip and exhibiting patience in hand-trimming is the way to go for a high quality smoke.

Here’s an important but often overlooked tip: Use a razor blade to remove the gunk that builds up on your scissors. This “scissor hash” is pure trichrome (very potent). Scissor hash is one of the best byproducts of your harvest, due to the fact that you don’t need any intricate process to remove the active chemicals. And once you’re done, you can use the trimmings to make hash, edibles or tea.

Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming
Both wet and dry trimming are used in professional grow operations today, but growers going for quality more often use dry trimming. Wet trimming may go faster because the leaves are not dried up and curled; however, this will mean you have to cure longer for a smoother smoke. Dry trimming provides a better smell and flavor. So it’s usually better to take the time up front to dry your crop before you trim.

It is also important at this point to keep everything organized. Put your trimmed bud in one container, leaves and other trimmings in another, and stems in yet another. All of the plant has value.

Looking for more help with trimming? Check these sources:


By Kelly Martin

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