One of the best parts about growing cannabis is the final harvest. Taking those beautiful buds from the plant, whether you plan to sell them or use them, is a great feeling of accomplishment, especially if you were the one who planted the seed. However, it’s not as simple as picking buds from the plant and smoking them/turning them into edibles. First, you must trim the buds so that they can be used more efficiently (and so you don’t use unnecessary plant matter).
Trimming cannabis buds is quite simple and easy to remember once you get it down. Of course, when you have many buds to trim it will take some time, but a single bud only takes a few minutes to complete. Then, you can save it for later or get to using it.
If you are brand new to growing cannabis, you may wonder why the buds need to be trimmed in the first place. Can’t the whole plant be smoked? After all, it is all cannabis, from the seeds to the stems to the branches to the buds. But just as you would not smoke seeds or stems, you only want to smoke what will give off effects or benefits.
For example, stems can be used in edible recipes, but contain such a low amount of THC that they are not worth the harsh smoke that they produce when combusted. The same thing goes for the branches and leaves. Only the buds contain the amounts of cannabinoids needed for anything to happen, whether its THC or CBD.
By trimming the buds, you remove any excess plant matter that does not contain (or contains in very low amounts) any cannabinoids, especially THC or CBD. What you want to leave on the buds is the trichomes. These are tiny hairlike strands which produce the cannabinoids in the plant. Without them, smoking buds would be like smoking the leaves (so don’t expect to get high).
When Should You Trim?
Before you trim, you must determine when it is the best time to do so. Of course, the buds on your plant must be ready for harvest. This means you won’t need to worry about trimming until the final harvest, which is towards the end of the growing process of your indoor cultivation.
When you know the time is right to trim, first remove the buds from the plant itself. Cut from the nodes, where the branches meet the stem of the plant. This way you cut off branches with multiple buds per branch, the best bud typically being on the top. Then, lay your cut-off branches side by side and prepare to trim.
The first step to trimming begins with removing individual buds from the larger branches, or bucking. Branches may contain between 2-6 individual buds per branch, so it’s best to organize your buds as you cut them off. The trimming is not over just yet, so don’t stash those buds yet. Line them up and prepare them for Step 2.
The best way to buck your buds is to start from the bottom and work your way up. For the bud at the top, usually the best of the bunch, use the branch as its stem and cut off the longer part of the branch, instead of removing the bud from the branch altogether.
2: Water Leaves
After bucking, you can start removing any water leaves on your buds. Water leaves are the small leaves on the sides of buds that stick out and need to be clipped off. You can either pull them off with your fingers or clip them with scissors. Any leaf that sticks out too far and does not belong on the bud, remove it.
When removing water leaves, you want to make sure to not go too deep and remove anything essential. Trichomes, for example, may be easy to clip off, yet you want to keep them all on your buds. Any orange hairs or frosty-looking crystals should be left on the buds, as these produce THC and CBD.
Once the water leaves are gone, go back through each bud and give it a nice touch-up. Make sure every water leaf is gone, then you can detail it and make them pretty. For those who plan to sell their buds, presentation is key. Clip your buds right and shape them how you want. But remember, leave those trichomes on there!
At the bottom of many buds may be something called crow’s feet. These are tiny leaves that form at the bottom of the bud on the stem somewhere. These do not necessarily need to be removed, however they have no purpose. For better looking buds, clip these off too.
This post was created from one of our Youtube videos posted on our channel. If you learn from videos better, feel free to watch that instead, link below:
When you finally finish trimming all of your buds, they will be ready for use. You can sell them, stash them, roll them up and smoke them, grind them, and even use them in edible recipes. What else did we miss? Hopefully this helps make you a better trimmer. Thanks for reading!