When it comes to the marijuana plant, growing your weed from the seed stage to the flowering phase is just one part of the entire process. The second part begins once you begin to harvest your plants. There’s much more to growing weed than just reaching the flowering stage – you also need to look at what happens after your flowers are ready. This is the process which is more important for professional growers and large-scale growers than for personal-scale growers. Trimming is one such part of the process. In this article, we are going to look at trimming from a 360-degree perspective and try and understand everything about it, while also focusing on wet trim vs dry trim and understanding the key differences between the two.
Trimming as a process has been around for a long while and professional growers need it to make their weed look more presentable. In this article, we deep-dive into why trimming is so important and how is it done. The two major ways shall be explored, and we shall also provide you with some expert tips and tricks about trimming which will help you become a total ‘pro’ when it comes to trimming your marijuana buds!
Many growers, particularly those who are new to the world of growing weed, find trimming to be an extremely challenging task. It is quite a difficult process to master and it takes a lot of time and patience, as well as skill, to tactfully trim a bud. Large-scale growers and professional organizations generally tend to hire the services of professional bud-trimmers in order to get their marijuana buds trimmed. By the time you reach the end of this article, you will be able to gain enough perspective to start trimming your buds on your own – at least on a personal scale. Our objective here is to make trimming a simpler and less daunting process than what it seems to be as of now.
Wet Trim and Dry Trim are two very commonly used methods of trimming buds and are things that every grower should familiarize themselves with. No matter which method of trimming suits your needs in the end, it is always best to know about both of these techniques. Knowing them better will also help you select which of the two is the better option for your plants.
What is Trimming?
Generally, on our website, our focus is almost always on growing marijuana – a process that pretty much ends at flowering. However, in the real world, flowering is actually reaching just the midpoint of the entire growing process. Once you’re done with flowering, you need to harvest your weed, trim it, cure it – and then store it in a manner that it can be used in the long term. Trimming is a very important part of this process. Trimming and Curing are usually the same phase – where you get to make your buds look more visually appealing and get them to look a certain way by removing all the unwanted portions of the bud.
Once the bud has been harvested, trimming is then done – some people like to trim their buds after it has completely dried out, while there are others who like to get into it while the buds are still fresh and moist (This, essentially is the difference between Wet Trim vs Dry Trim explained in one line! More details to follow). Trimming is a very important process because a ‘bud’ as you know it when you buy it from a dispensary, does not look anything like that at the time of the harvest. There are a lot of tiny hairlike threads coming out of it, small sugar leaves, and even some twigs and impurities might be there which need to be removed before the weed is finally ready to be presented to the world in those jars in a dispensary!
Not only does it improve the way your weed looks, it also improves the way it tastes. Something like a sugar leaf being a part of your bud won’t really benefit the stoners as these leaves carry a very small amount of trichomes and they are counterproductive for stoners as they bury beneath them the real stuff which is actually rich in the good ol’ THC that stoners crave. In addition to the sugar leaves, there are some regular leaves which also come out of the buds and when you smoke them. In case these leaves are not trimmed and if they get burnt while smoking your weed, you’ll get a very harsh smoke which can actually leave you coughing and can hurt your lungs. While you can also smoke up the untrimmed buds, trimmed buds generally tend to taste better when compared to the untrimmed buds.
Besides the taste factor, trimming can also improve the smell of your buds – and it is the sugar leaves at fault once again! Just like how they suppress the THC-rich bud, they also suppress the portions of your weed which are rich in terpenes, the compound responsible for the smell of the marijuana flower. With these leaves out of the way, it becomes much more convenient for a stoner to smoke their weed with a better smell!
Now that you have understood what trimming is and why it is so important to trim your buds, let us take a closer look at the two major methods of trimming: Wet Trim vs Dry Trim and try and understand which is the better of the two for trimming your cannabis buds:
Wet Trim vs Dry Trim: Which is Better for Cannabis?
As explained in the one-liner above, trimming your plants while they are still a little moist is called ‘wet trim’ while trimming your plants when they have completely dried up after the harvest is known as ‘dry trim’. However, this is a very basic and simplistic explanation of things. There’s much more to it than just this one summative sentence. Let us, deep dive, into it –
Understanding Wet Trim:
Wet trimming is done by growers at a point in time when the plants are still pretty fresh and moist. Once you have trimmed these fresh buds, it is then that they are kept for drying. Once your flowering has peaked and you have harvested your plants, they are very sticky and carry a lot of moisture in them. It is at this phase that wet trimming is done. While it is the messier of the two processes, the one major benefit that you get here is that it is much easier in comparison to dry trimming.
The logic behind this is, once the plants get dry, the leaves and the foliage of the plants tends to curl inwards which will then make you examine the bud very closely and pinout each of them individually and then snip them off which could take a lot of time. In comparison, here the foliage is pretty visible and easily identifiable and can be trimmed off with extreme ease. Sometimes, there are a whole bunch of leaves that are together and can be snipped off at once – this process gets very complex if the buds have moved inwards.
The one problem that growers face with the process of wet trimming is that the buds can be quite messy and sticky – but given that you will be wearing gloves and using a cloth or a paper below you, you don’t have to worry too much about the mess. Since they’re wet, you might also have to apply a little extra force and use a sharper pair of scissors to trim the buds.
When it comes to wet trim vs dry trim, another advantage that the former has over the latter is the fact that the buds dry much faster in comparison to dry trim. This is because in wet trim you are removing a lot of the excess bulk that the buds are carrying, which means the overall moisture content has been reduced and they remaining, (trimmed) buds will dry up much faster because of lesser surface area. This is a technique which is particularly helpful in areas where humidity levels are naturally high and moulding is a common problem.
Pros and Cons of Wet Trim:
Now that you know what the process of wet trimming involves, here’s a closer look at some of the pros and cons of wet trimming:
- Easier to identify the foliage here as it has not curved inwards
- Well suited for humid climates as moulding won’t affect plants
- Buds tend to dry faster in this process of trimming
- Lesser risk of trichomes being accidentally removed
- Tends to create a lot of mess because the buds are very sticky
- You’ll need to exert a great deal of force in order to cut off some of the sticky bits
Understanding Dry Trim:
When you look at wet trim vs dry trim, whatever that is true for one is the opposite for the other. In the case of dry trimming, the plants are harvested, dried, and then trimmed. These buds are generally kept to dry for about 10 days to two weeks before one starts to trim them. Let us examine closely as to why one would choose to dry trim their plants:
Dry trimming can be a process that is more time consuming and involves a significant amount of effort more than its wetter counterpart. However, a very large number of professionals tend to choose this method over wet trim. This is because when the plants are dried for a long time before the foliage is trimmed, it allows for the humidity around them to conserve the terpenes in them for a longer time. If you are growing in a place which has a very dry and arid climate, slow drying would be the best process for you.
Another major disadvantage that we see in wet trimming reverses itself in the case of dry trim. This is the mess that it causes. Given the fact that dry trimming does not have any moisture in it, it is a process that can be done with much less effort on your hands and doesn’t require really sharp tools either.
However, when it comes to trimming your buds using this method, you also need to know that it is not only the foliage around the bud that dries up, even the trichomes on the bud dry up and get a little brittle. You have to make sure you are not damaging them while trimming your bud. Secondly, when you are trimming these dried plants, you are actually dealing with a lot of foliage that has curved inwards, making it really hard to identify what to snip off.
Trimming this kind of a trimming requires a lot of precision and hard work, as well as a lot of focus as you need to single out each and every strand of foliage and then proceed to cut it off. This can be quite time-consuming and requires a significant amount of patience too. Most professional growers who work in the cannabis industry are specialists in dry trimming. This skill helps them earn tens of thousands of dollars with ease.
Pros and Cons of Dry Trim:
After having taken a closer look at dry trim and how it is done, let us take a detailed look at some of the pros and cons that one might face when it comes to this method of trimming your buds:
- Dry trimming is best suited for places that are arid and lack moisture, as it helps retain the moisture in the buds
- Dry trimming allows the trimmers to easily snip the buds as they are not as messy or sticky
- This process is great for retaining the taste and aroma of your buds as the terpenes are better absorbed here
- Unlike wet trimming, this process is not as messy as the moisture has been dried out
- Dry trimming involves a much higher level of skill as the leaves/other foliage has all curved inwards
Wet Trim vs Dry Trim: Which is better for Cannabis Growers?
When it comes to growing cannabis plants, one really has to make a choice. Are they going to opt for the dry trim or the wet trim as a process of trimming their buds? This is a choice that has to be made by the grower before they start the process of growing weed. We’d strongly recommend that if you are someone who is just starting out and is a novice grower, you go with the wet trimming as trimming drier buds requires a greater amount of effort and skill level than beginners might possess.
There’s one common purpose that both these processes solve – they make your bud look neater and taste better. The foliage stuck on the weed needs to be removed to get a smoother and better taste from your weed. However, the difference comes in at the point the trimming begins – is it done before or after your weed has dried. This is what makes all the difference.
You can choose to make use of either process depending upon where you are living. If you are living in a region where humidity is present in excess, we’d recommend you go with the wet trim as that would allow your plants to dry up faster as the removal of the foliage would speed up things and would also ensure that there’s no mould. Then there’s the process of dry trimming, which is better suited for drier, arid climates. This process makes sure that the bud remains moist for a longer time, just the opposite way in which it would otherwise function for a wet trim.
All things considered, the choice between a wet and a dry trim is ultimately that of the grower, and depends upon their skill level, climate and other variables.
Trimming Tips: How to Trim Your Plants in a Better Manner
Now that you are aware of the differences between the two trimming methods and the pros and cons of each of them, here are a list of trimming tips that we have curated together which will help you understand trimming in a better manner.
- Get a Comfortable Chair
We can’t stress more on how important this is! Getting just the right chair is very important! Trimming is a process that can take several hours a day and can go on for multiple days depending on your skill set and the amount of weed that you have to trim. You need a really comfortable chair for trimming your plants else you might end up with a sore back. A comfortable chair also helps you focus in a better manner.
- Use Latex Gloves
The process of trimming, especially if you are using the wet trim, can get quite messy because of the sticky stuff that’s present in your buds! In order to ensure that none of it is actually getting stuck in your hands, we’d recommend using latex gloves so that you can simply rub off any unwanted foliage that gets stuck to your hands!
- Get Really Sharp Pair of Scissors
You’ve really got to choose your scissors wisely. Getting sharp scissors helps, especially those which might be a little curved or are quite slender. These scissors can give you a greater amount of precision and they can also help you chop off the stickiest of portions. The better your scissors are, the easier it is going to be for you to trim through the buds. (more on why curved scissors are great in FAQs)
- Keep a Clean Tray
We suggest using a clean white tray to store the trimmed buds. Use another tray in which you put the foliage that you have cut off separately. The trimmed buds need to be in a clean space so that they are not contaminated with any dust or any other particles that might be around it. Besides, a clear white background also helps you see the edges in a clearer/sharper manner than otherwise.
- Ensure Proper Lighting
We strongly recommend that while you are trimming your buds, you make use of a very bright source of lighting, which would be helpful when it comes to identifying the strands and leaves poking out of the bud. This makes it much easier to trim it off than it would be if the lighting wasn’t so good.
- Music Helps
Many professional growers swear on their lives that it is always better to have music (or a podcast) playing in the background while you trim the leaves. This makes it much easier and way less stressful to trim the leaves. Music also helps you focus better and lightens up the mood while you trim. All in all, quite an added advantage.
- Wear an Apron While Trimming Buds
Since there’s a lot of foliage that is to be cut off and a lot of it might be quite sticky (especially if you’re wet trimming your buds) you might want to wear an apron so that your clothes remain protected even if the trimming gets too messy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Trimming Marijuana
Here are the answers to some of the most common and Frequently Asked Questions about trimming marijuana;
1. Is trimming only good to improve the way the bud looks?
Apart from improving the looks of the bud, trimming can also allow the stoners to get a smoother experience by removing the harsher parts away. Trimming is also beneficial as it allows for the growers to get a better taste and smell out of their buds by removing the unwanted sugar leaves and other foliage which tend to suppress the areas rich in terpenes.
2. Which is the easiest trimming method?
While both methods are equally good, we’d suggest going for the wet trim if you are a beginner because dry trimming requires more practice and patience compared to wet trimming. However, once you’re set and experienced, even dry trimming can tend to be quite a simple task.
3. Are curved scissors better for trimming weed?
Using curved scissors is better compared to using regular scissors because they have a rounded edge which makes it easier to snip off the bases of the buds, this is particularly simpler and advantageous when compared to a regular, flatter, scissor.
4. When should I trim weed?
Trimming always happens after the harvest is done. Wet or Dry Trim then depends upon your preference. Wet Trim can begin about a day or two after the harvest, dry trim usually takes about ten to 14 days after the harvest.
Trimming your buds is a very important process. This is basically manicuring them for a better look, but also works on another front – that of improving their taste and smell. Any grower who wishes to grow high-quality weed will always make sure they’re doing this process right. Trimming can be time-consuming on most occasions, but the end result is so good that most stoners tend to spend quite a bit of time doing it themselves! If you have any more questions about trimming your weed or if there’s any confusion between wet trim vs dry trim that still persists, feel free to send us a mail or lets us know in the comments below! Till then..