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Is there anything more satisfying than smoking your own greens that you grew? But before you can light up the sesh, you want to make sure you can harvest the best buds possible. Trimming your weed is an important step in the cannabis cultivation process. It is also one that can significantly impact the quality of your final product. Proper trimming not only enhances the appearance of your buds but also ensures a smoother smoking experience. In this brief guide, we will explain everything you need to know about how to trim weed like a pro to ensure the best sessions. 

What Does It Mean To Trim Your Weed?

Trimming, in the context of growing weed, refers to the process of removing excess leaves and stems from the harvested buds. These unwanted plant materials do not contain high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, so removing them allows the trichome-rich buds to shine through.

It should be noted that trimming is different from pruning. Pruning involves removing large plant sections, such as branches and colas, that are damaged or unproductive to help the plant remain healthy. 

When Do I Need To Trim My Plants?

The ideal time to trim your cannabis plants is after they have completed their flowering phase and are ready for harvest. 

You will know your cannabis plants are mature enough to prune and harvest when the trichomes have turned milky white or amber in color, the pistils have changed to red or brown, and the fan leaves have begun to yellow. These physical changes indicate that the plants have reached their peak resin production and are ready for harvest.

Once you’ve determined that your plants are mature enough, it’s time to proceed with the trimming process.

How to trim weed: pruning

Why Is It Important To Trim Your Weed Plants?

Properly trimming your weed plants is a step worth a little extra time and care. Most importantly, it helps to  ensure that the buds deliver a smooth and flavorful smoking experience. By removing any harsh or unwanted plant material, you improve your overall smoking experience. 

Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming: What’s The Difference?

There are two primary methods of trimming cannabis: wet and dry. 

  • Wet Trimming: This method involves trimming the buds immediately after harvesting, while they are still wet. Wet trimming is generally easier and allows for a neater appearance, but it can be messier due to the sticky trichomes.
  • Dry Trimming: Dry trimming involves allowing the freshly harvested buds to dry partially before trimming. Some growers prefer this method, as it is believed to enhance the curing process and preserve the terpenes. However, dry trimming can be more challenging and time-consuming.

Preparing Your Equipment & Workspace

Before diving into the trimming process, gather the following equipment:

  • Sharp Trimming Scissors: Quality trimming scissors make the job much easier and provide cleaner cuts.
  • Gloves: Wearing gloves prevents the transfer of oils and contaminants from your hands to the buds.
  • Clean Trays or Buckets: Use these to separate the trimmed buds from the excess plant material.
  • Magnifying Glass or Loupe: This tool will help you inspect the trichomes for optimal harvesting time.
  • Pruning Shears: For larger leaves and stems that need cutting.
  • Trash Bags or Compost Bin: Dispose of the trimmed waste responsibly.

Ensure your workspace is clean and well-lit to make the trimming process smoother.

How To Trim Weed (5 Simple Steps To Follow)

Here we will break down the essential steps and tips you should follow when you are ready to trim your weed.

#1) Selective Pruning

We recommend that you start by carefully inspecting your plant and identifying the areas that need trimming. You should focus on removing any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves at this point. 

Look closely for any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves and carefully remove them.

By doing this, you can eliminate a significant amount of unnecessary plant material right from the start, making the trimming process more efficient and manageable.

#2) Removing Fan Leaves

Next, you will want to remove any fan leaves, which are the large single-fingered leaves extending from the plant. If you are worried about throwing out your precious greens, fear not! These leaves contain minimal trichomes and don’t contribute much to the overall potency or flavor of the buds. 

Use your scissors or pruning shears to gently snip off these fan leaves near the stem. We can’t stress enough that you want to make sure to be gentle during this step.

We have found that it’s helpful to lightly mist the fan leaves with a fine spray of water prior to removal. This helps prevent a build up of resin from sticking to your fingers or scissors. This makes the trimming process easier and leaves the trichromes on the buds to be smoked later.

#3) Buck Buds From The Branch

Now that the fan leaves are removed, it’s time to “buck” the buds from the main branches. Bucking is a term that refers simply to removing buds from the main plant branches. 

You should hold the stem of a branch and carefully snip the buds off, leaving a small portion of stem attached to each bud. 

Place the trimmed buds into a clean tray or bucket, ensuring they remain separate from any excess plant material.

#4) Fine-Tuning The Buds

How to trim weed: fine tuning the buds

With the individual buds in hand, it’s time for precision trimming. 

Take a closer look at each bud and use your trimming scissors to carefully snip away any excess sugar leaves and stems. The goal is to leave behind only the beautifully manicured buds that are rich in trichomes and ready for consumption.

We recommend using a pair of scissors with a shart, narrow tip for this step, if possible. This allows for more precise cuts and helps to avoid accidentally damaging the surrounding trichome-rich areas, ensuring a cleaner and higher-quality end product.

#5) Final Touches and Drying

Once all the buds have been trimmed, take a final pass to ensure everything looks clean and tidy. Now, you have two options:

If you opt for wet trimming, proceed with the cannabis drying process immediately after trimming.

If you choose dry trimming, allow the partially trimmed buds to dry further before transferring them to a curing container.

A Few Final Things To Keep In Mind

  • Take Your Time: Trimming can be time-consuming, so be patient and give each bud the attention it deserves.
  • Save The Trimmings: Don’t throw away the trimmings! If you are wondering what to do with leftover leaves and stems, we recommend using them to create your own concentrates, edibles, or topicals. Every part of the plant can be used in some way or another for the most part!
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Trimming can be an art form. The more you practice, the better you’ll achieve a clean, professional trim.
  • Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor: After the drying and curing process, you’ll have your very own beautifully trimmed and perfectly cured cannabis buds ready to enjoy!

Hopefully this guide has given you everything you need to know about how to trim weed to ensure a great session. By following these simple steps and taking your time, you’ll be trimming your weed like a pro in no time. Enjoy the process and the rewarding results of your hard work. Happy growing and happy trimming!

If you’re located in the Okanagan Valley, stop by our Kelowna Dispensary or West Kelowna Dispensary to stock up on some fresh greens or get some detailed trimming advice today!