Our how to trim weed guide can make this tedious task a little more bearable.
Photography by Jonathan Coward via Herb
Trimming your cannabis is the final stretch of hard work before you dry, cure, and enjoy your harvest. The process is simple, but can be a little tedious and time-consuming. While some growers prefer to wait until their cannabis is dry to trim, at Herb we believe that trimming is best done immediately after harvest. Not only because it will allow your flower to dry faster, but because the buds are still soft and malleable. Better to handle buds when they’re supple than when they’re dry, fragile, and easily fractured.
If possible, try to maintain a humidity level of 45 to 50 percent in the room where you’re doing the trimming to keep your cannabis flower moist. However, if this isn’t possible, it’s not a big deal. Keeping a room at a specific humidity level is difficult, and so long as you’re trimming in a room with a comfortable temperature, your buds are going to turn out fine.
For trimming, you’ll want to use a small pair of trimming scissors. The blades of your scissors should be about one-and-a-half or two inches long. These smaller blades will give you more control, allowing for a more precise trimming process.
It’s also highly recommended that you use a pair of scissors that fits comfortably in your hands. Many trimmers recommend spring-loaded scissors because they will help prevent your hand from cramping up. Take a look at the packaging and try to find scissors that say “ergonomically designed.” Also, take a look to see if the scissors are made from a material that’s easily cleaned. As you trim, and resin builds up on the blades, you’ll want to be able to scrape it off easily and get back to work. For this reason, some blades will have an additional coating. Bonus: you can either save this resin to smoke, or simply wipe your scissors blades periodically with an alcohol wipe to keep them sharp and functional.
While the scissors you use may seem like an excessive consideration, keep in mind that the trimming process is long, requiring multiple hours of work. Trimming one pound of cannabis flower, for example, will take approximately six to eight hours.
It’s also recommended that you wear rubber gloves while trimming. Resin will collect on the rubber gloves as you trim. Once you’re finished trimming, put these gloves in the freezer overnight so that the resin hardens, and the following morning you can remove the resin from the gloves and consume it or make it into hash. If you don’t use gloves, all this resin will end up stuck to your fingertips, where it’s more difficult to remove.
Resin will fall like dust from the flower you’re trimming, so it’s recommended you trim above a fine silk screen so that the resin can be collected on the table below, and the trimmings either saved or discarded separately. This resin can be used for hash, or consumed in its powdery form.
We know you’re excited to trim your freshly harvested bud. But don’t rush. At least until you get the hang of trimming. Take your time to learn the basics, or else you’ll pay the price when it comes time to consume your hard-earned crop.
Trimming can be a messier process than most expect. Don’t wear your finest clothes to trim cannabis. Wear old clothes you don’t care about. If you want to really protect your clothes from getting coated in resin, you could always wear an apron. (This might be a little overboard, but to each their own.)
1. Trim with the tips of your scissors, not the base of the scissors. The tips of the scissors are more precise, and if you learn to trim with the scissor tips, you’ll have more success.
2. Prepare yourself for boredom. Try putting on music you like. Or maybe play a movie in the background while you trim. Podcasts are another great option. Better yet, enlist some friends to help you trim. You can bribe them by offering a portion of your harvest. It might be worth it to make the trimming process more fun. The truth is, any way you spin it, the trimming process is often mind-numbingly boring.
1. The first to go are the fan leaves. These are the largest leaves on the plant. They’re easily recognizable, with the distinct seven-pointed leaf shape that is almost always used to represent cannabis on T-shirts, flags, posters, advertisements, etc. There are no trichomes on the fan leaves. These can be easily plucked or snipped off of the plant and discarded.
2. Trim the buds from their stems. Cut the stems as close to the base of the buds as possible. Whether you’re selling your cannabis or keeping it for yourself, nobody likes stems. Just get rid of them! When you’re done, your buds should only have a tiny piece of stem on its base.
3. The next to go are the sugar leaves. These are the small triangle shaped leaves that extend from the buds. You’ll be able to identify them by the resin dust that sits like particles of sugar on the pointed leaves. These are easily snipped off the bud with your scissors. Snip these leaves off as close to their base as possible. Many cannabis growers save their sugar leaves and use them to create edibles or tinctures. They can also technically be smoked, although they’ll be harsh and not very flavourful.
4. Finally, remove any extra small leaves that protrude from the bud. Everybody has their own level of meticulousness when it comes to trimming. Some will put up with more small leaves and plant matter than others. But if you want to end up with buds that taste the best they can, and smoke the smoothest, you’ll want to get rid of as many small leaves as possible. By the end of the trimming process, your buds should look as if they went to the barbers and got a buzzcut.