Before we can get into why one method may be more beneficial than the other, we should first analyse what they both are and the steps involved with each technique.
Most mould develops in between the stalk and the bud during this stage. Removing the buds from the stalk eliminates this problem, which can save your stash if you live in a very humid area.
Trim off any large fan leaves and big sugar leaves that protrude out from the buds. Leave behind some of the smaller, sugary leaves. These will still keep the drying process slow and will protect your buds and their crucial trichomes. When the branches have fully dried up and finally snap instead of bend, this is where you trim the rest. Don’t just throw these away! Excess plant matter or “trim” is an excellent way of making edibles, tinctures, and even hash.
With all this in mind, here is how you can balance the methods and try to obtain the pros of each one.
It will be harder to trim dried up, dead leaves. But if your natural environment does not allow for a wet trim, you won’t have another choice. The quality of your cannabis is always more important than the extra effort you might have to put into it.
If you don’t understand the harvest process well enough yet and want some background on the subject, make sure you read our previous article on this.
This method will also give the buds a chance to puff out. They’ll be more aesthetically pleasing. If you’re planning to sell the buds you grow, this method will probably draw in more customers.
Wet trimming will also be the one most compatible with machine trimmers. If we’re talking about large-scale growth, this is probably the method to go with. If you choose to dry trim in a large-scale operation, you’ll have to call up the whole squad on trimming day.
This method is defended as a more caring one. While it is certainly less efficient, it’s argued as being more effective in some cases. Most growers that choose the dry trimming method want to prevent the buds from drying too fast. This makes them more pleasing to smoke and gives them the chance to dry out in their own time. The bigger leaves will coat the buds with constant humidity until the full branch is ready to be smoked.
The biggest concern with any method of trimming is trichome damage. You’ve spent all of your time and energy growing this amazing plant, you certainly don’t want to lose any potency at the last minute due to carelessness. So, make sure you study every aspect of it thoroughly and that you tailor all procedures to your specific conditions.
Have you always wondered how marijuana is trimmed and what method is best? We've curated a little guide on the differences between wet and dry trimming.
Most cultivators prefer to trim their cannabis after drying. Trimming immediately after harvest is the easier method, as sugar leaves haven’t dried up and closed in on the buds. Unfortunately, wet trimming also allows for more chlorophyll in the leaves, which may lead to a lingering grasslike aroma. Though more time- and labor-intensive, dry trimming is generally considered the better approach.
A lot can happen to a cannabis crop if it isn’t properly harvested, dried, and cured. When overexposed to air, light, or heat, terpenes can vaporize or evaporate and cannabinoids can decarboxylate, which can lead to a significant drop in the potency and flavor of your harvest. The cannabis plant’s trichomes, which are responsible for producing the protective, therapeutic, psychoactive, and intoxicating properties — are at their most vulnerable come harvest time. Without proper drying and curing, your harvest can also develop mold and fungus. Knowing how to properly harvest, dry, trim, cure, and store your cannabis will go a long way in ensuring the best possible results.
When your plant starts showing signs that it is close to harvest, it is important to flush the plant of any unused nutrients. Ideally, flushing begins two weeks before harvest.
To cure your bud, place it in glass jars or a tote for about 4-8 weeks. During the first two weeks, open the containers daily and allow fresh oxygen to filter through the air in the container. Open the containers every 2-3 days in the last two weeks of curing. The curing process should be gradual to ensure a proper balance of air and moisture that will preserve fragrance and flavor.
Step one in reaping the rewards of your cannabis plants is knowing when they are ripe and ready for harvest. Harvesting too early will reduce your overall yield and potency, as the last two weeks of harvest are the peak time for cannabinoid production. Yet harvesting too late can cause the trichomes to become extra-brittle when they are dried and cured, making them break off easily. Harvesting at the optimal time is crucial in ensuring you get the largest possible, highest-quality yield.
To trim your buds, hold them by a stem and gently cut away the sugar leaves and stems surrounding them. Trim over a screen to collect trichomes that break off the plant, and handle your bud with extreme care. Try to trim the crow’s feet — the leaves around the bottom of a bud — as closely as possible without doing damage. All contact with the bud can cause trichome loss or damage. Hold your plants and branches by the stem whenever possible.
Curing is the final stage in the drying process, allowing for a controlled breakdown of residual chlorophyll in the colas so they are neither too moist nor too dry.
To flush your plants, flood your grow medium with water. Wait a few minutes for the water to dissolve nutrient buildup, then add more water to flush it all out. Without added nutrients, the plant will begin to feed on what’s available in the grow medium leading up to harvest. Once you’ve flushed your plants, you will likely see the fan leaves change color as a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Finally, give your plants one last flush the day before harvest.
It’s important to avoid losing trichomes during the drying process by not letting your branches hit any surfaces while hang-drying. Contact with a surface can damage trichomes and break them off of the plant. Depending on environmental conditions, the initial drying process usually takes three to seven days.
How to Harvest, Trim, Dry and Cure Your Weed What You’ll Learn Properly harvesting, drying, trimming, curing, and storing your cannabis is essential for achieving the best possible