Once you’ve finished trimming the buds you’ll notice a layer of resin on your scissors; if you scrape that off you’re left with some hash that can prove to you what your buds are going to taste like before the rest of the buds dry.
To properly trim your buds with scissors you’ll take much longer than with a trimmer, but your buds will look much nicer and healthier. Trimming using scissors is a traditional way of getting the leaves off of the buds, but it takes quite a while to trim an entire plant that has a good yield. When trimming with scissors make sure to touch the buds as little as possible so you don’t end up removing some of the resin; trimmers aren’t so careful, and you generally have to clean them afterwards to get back all of that lost resin. My preferred method is to grab the plant and branch by branch, leaf by leaf and from the bottom upwards I remove every single leaf and then I remove the buds from the trunk. I pull the bigger leaves off by hand, but for the smaller ones I grab them, taking special care to not touch the buds, and then I cut the leaves off, up and down the bud, until it’s clean and I move on to the next one. The bigger leaves don’t tend to have much resin on them so I throw them out, but I keep the smaller ones I cut with the scissors so that I can make extracts when I have enough.
Just like with the scissor method, you can also get a sneak peek at the resin from your buds. You’ll need to scrape the edge of the turning straps with a plastic card or whatnot and you’ll get some nice, soft hash. In the leaf container, once you’ve emptied it, you can do the same process using your plastic card to scrape the rest of the resin and you’ll get some nice, hard pollen. You can also use the leaves for BHO extracts, so you can make the most out of everything.
There are many ways to remove the leaves but it all basically boils down to two things; by hand with some scissors or by using a bud trimmer. It can be tedious work when done by hand as you need to remove the leaves one by one, and remove the most stem you possibly can. This will make your buds look spectacular and you’ll have champion-looking weed without any leaves, which also increases the quality. Sometimes, people don’t just have a few plants; sometimes people grow 100 plants or a few massive ones, and doing all of this work by hand for such a gigantic quantity of buds is a bit of a stretch, which is why you can acquire trimmers that are especially made to turn what could have been days of trimming into hours.
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Learn how to trim cannabis buds. Many first time growers don’t know what to do with their plants once they’ve harvested them. You’ll need to remove the leaves so that all that’s left are the buds, which is the part of the plant that contains most of the active components that we’re interested in; the leaves and stems also have THC in them but they don’t taste nice, although you can use them to make extracts. The leaves on a cannabis plant are like their lungs; it’s where they receive the necessary light for the photosynthetic process, which is why there’s so much chlorophyll in that part of the plant. Chlorophyll is like blood for the plant, but it also gives the buds that leafy green aroma and taste before they’ve been cured. You need to remove the leaves so that you’re left with the good stuff, but like we said before you can make BHO or other extracts from the leftover trimmings; the only parts of the plant that we can’t make anything of are the roots.
Now you know what to do with your recently harvested buds, and I bet you know exactly what to do with them once they’re dry, right? Enjoy them!
Then, you’ll need to hang the plant up to completely dry it in a dark place. We have an article all about curing and drying your buds here.
There are various trimmer models available, although we’re going to talk about two specific types. Some of them are used by removing branches from the plants and passing them over a mesh with blades. There are some that are used by removing everything but buds and leaves; you introduce the buds into a machine and the leaves are removed and separated from the buds. Both of these ways are extremely comfortable, although the second type of trimmer is much more popular as it’s more automated and cleaner. The Leaf Cutter trimmer is the most efficient one in my opinion; you place the buds on a sort of mesh with some spinning straps above them; the clean buds are left on top of the mesh and the blades make sure that any leaves fall down to the bottom. Now, all you have to do is hang your buds in a drying sock (as you don’t have any branches from which to hang them).
Learn how to trim cannabis buds by hand using some scissors, or with a professional leaf cutter that can save time and work.
Untrimmed cannabis buds
For Trimming Cannabis by Hand
“Wet Trim” vs “Dry Trim” (trimming buds before or after drying them)
This is what buds look like after the fan leaves have been removed
The whole trimming process can take a while depending on how much you ended up with, but if it’s more than you can do at once, it’s perfectly okay to harvest your plant in stages over a few days.
- You’re not worried about mold
- You have low humidity (below 45%RH)
- You want buds to dry more slowly (buds drying too fast is the #1 cause of “hay smell”)
- You want buds to be “tighter” or more dense
- You don’t mind buds losing their color vibrance (dry trim buds tend to lose their green/purple/color and take on shades of brown or tan)
One thing about these trimmers that makes them unique is you have to remove the buds from the branches before using the machine, which means you’ll probably also want to use a mesh hanging rack to dry your buds. And since the buds will be removed from the stems, it may be more difficult to get them to dry slowly. Another option is to trim them with the machine after they’ve already dried.
Sharp scissors (for trimming buds) – Fiskars shears are our weapon of choice. They are very sharp and have a pointy end, which makes it a lot easier to get your bud looking perfectly manicured!
Before you start trimming your plants, you should set up a nice, comfortable place to trim your bud-laden branches. Trimming can take a lot longer than it might seem at first, and it’s a good idea to dedicate at least an afternoon to trimming. I usually try to start trimming in the morning on a day I have off with no other plans in case it goes on longer than expected.
Learn how to trim your buds so they look like the ones at a dispensary!