How to Trim Your Bush: Trimming Best Practices

Trimming your cannabis harvest is an important step to ensure the best quality yield. After all your hard work and time put into growing your beautiful buds, it is important to take the time to ensure that you remove all fan and sugar leaves (optional). Trimming cannabis buds during harvest is a crucial step and has become standard when purchasing from a dispensary. Whenever purchasing top-shelf cannabis flowers they will be trimmed up for maximum aesthetic or “bag appeal”. Removal of the fan and sugar leaves gives the buds a more dense look and overall smoother taste. Here you will find some great tips for trimming best practices helping you to ensure the beauty and quality of your harvest. 

Why It’s Important to Trim Your Buds

Trimming your cannabis buds is a crucial step in ensuring a top-quality yield. When harvest time comes around trimming your buds is an important step in getting the most out of your hard work. Taking the extra step to trim up your harvest is important for a few reasons. 

The first reason you should trim your buds is for taste reasons. When you remove the fan and sugar leaves from the cannabis bud the flowers burn better and have a smoother taste. Fan and sugar leaves can produce a more harsh experience when smoking. This is why it is best to remove them and get the most quality from your harvest as possible. 

Another reason why trimming your buds is important is for the aesthetic or “bag appeal”. The difference in looks between a properly trimmed bud and a bud that was just plucked from the plant is night and day. While looks may not matter so much to certain individuals, trimmed up buds are considered to be more desirable and are what is found when purchasing flowers from a cannabis dispensary. 

Finally, you should trim your buds so that they smell better. Fan leaves and sugar leaves have a plantlike almost hay smell when kept in a jar. To avoid this it is important to trim these parts of the flower away to preserve the true smell of your cannabis flowers. 

How to Tell When It’s Time to Trim

Telling when it is time to trim is fairly easy. Trimming comes with the harvest of the cannabis flowers. So pretty soon after harvest is when trimming should take place. It all depends on if you plan on doing a wet trim or a dry trim of your cannabis buds. A wet trim would allow you to trim sooner whereas a dry trim requires the cannabis branches with the buds attached to be hung and dried first. Once your cannabis plant looks big and healthy populated with the desired density of cannabis flowers it’s getting close to trim time. Get your supplies together and decide if you want to do a wet or dry trim. 

Trimming Techniques Explained

There are a couple of different options when it comes to trimming and how you go about doing it. This really comes down to preference and what would work best for your personal situation. Larger grows might want more automation when it comes to trimming their harvest. However, a smaller growth might want a more hands-on experience with the trimming since their yields would be smaller than a large major grow. 

Hand Trimming vs Machine Trimming

These two methods of trimming cannabis are both goods in their own right. It all comes down to the grower and what they are looking for in a finished product, and how they want to go about getting to their finished product. Hand trimming is the most precise method of trimming cannabis flowers. However, hand trimming is time consuming and expensive to pay trimmers to go through pounds of cannabis by hand. Another positive attribute of hand trimming is that the trichomes that hold the cannabis terpenes are more protected in this method. 

Machine trimming is the quickest way to trim a large number of cannabis flowers. This will get your buds from the drying room into the curing process as fast as possible. Another positive aspect of machine trimming is that it allows for the sanitary collection of trim for the making of cannabis concentrates. While machine trimmers are fast there are some negatives that come with the process. Machine trimmers are known to over trim cannabis knocking off valuable trichomes that contribute to the terpene content of the flowers. They also tend to trim the flowers into the same generic football shape regardless of how the strain is supposed to be trimmed. 

Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming

Different growers have their own preferences as to when to start trimming up their harvest. Some growers like to wet trim, meaning that they do not dry the cannabis buds before they trim. While others prefer letting them dry before making the effort to trim. Each method has its own purpose and should be chosen based on your own situation. 

Growers should consider wet trimming when they are worried about mold and have a high humidity level. When drying in a smaller room with lots of buds it is best to trim before placing them in that room. Wet trimming will also help the buds dry out faster. 

Growers should consider dry trim when they are not worried about mold and have a low humidity level in the dry room. Trimming after drying allows the buds to dry slower which helps with maintaining color, smell, and density. 

  • Shears or scissors
    • To trim the buds 
  • Debudder
    • Used to strip buds from stems
  • Trimbag
    • Manpower trimming machine 
  • Gloves
    • Used to keep fingers from getting covered in hash
  • Comfortable space
    • Trimming is a tedious job you’re going to want to be comfortable 
  • Clean surface
    • Avoid contaminating your product
  • Cleaning supplies
    • To clean up the definite mess that will be left behind
  • Proper clothing
    • Clothes that you don’t care about ruining
  • Entertainment
    • You’re going to want to have something to watch or listen to in order to pass the time

How to Trim Cannabis Plants

Step 1 Remove Branches With Flowers

Remove all the branches from your cannabis plant that has yielded mature flowers in time for harvest. 

Step 2 Hang Dry

Hang the harvest branches in a room with a low humidity level to dry before trimming.

Step 3 Trim Away Bulk

First, trim away all the fan and sugar leaves to leave just the cannabis bud behind. 

Step 4 Fine Tune

After the bulk of the leaves have been removed take this time to fine-tune your trim. Going over carefully to remove any unwanted plant matter. 

Cannabis Trimming Tips and Tricks

  • Use spring-loaded trimmers 
  • Follow the natural shape of the bud 
  • Don’t over trim you can always take more off
  • Missed plant matter that should have been removed is easier to see after it dries.