Cannabis Growing Cannabis

8 Tips for Faster Marijuana Plant Trimming at Home

Although trimming your marijuana plants may not be quite as essential as providing them with the right soil, nutrients, light, and more, it’s still an important part of the cannabis growing process.

After all, trimming your marijuana buds either before or after they have dried, has a wide variety of advantages.

If nothing else, at least trimmed marijuana buds look much neater than if they aren’t trimmed. That being said, trimming marijuana buds or plants can be an extremely lengthy and tiring process, especially if you have grown quite a few plants.

If you are on your own, and you don’t know what you are doing, not only can this process be difficult, but it may take you several days to complete.

Therefore, today, we want to go over some tips for faster marijuana plant trimming at home. Using the various tips that we are about to provide you with below, you can make sure that the marijuana trimming process goes as quickly, smoothly, and as successfully as humanly possible.

What is the Marijuana Trimming Process?

If you are a total newbie to the world of cannabis, you might not even know what trimming is. Trimming your cannabis is the process of very carefully and selectively removing excess foliage and unwanted leaves from the cannabis that you have already harvested.

Many people consider this to be an absolutely crucial step in getting the buds prepared for further processing or consumption.

The main goal of this trimming process is to remove any plant material that is deemed as non-essential, which includes sugar leaves and fan leaves.

At the end, all you should be left with are the manicured buds, without any excess stems or fan leaves.

Make sure to save all of those stems and leaves however, because there are some things you can do with them. They don’t have to go to waste.

Why Should You Trim Marijuana Buds?

You might think that trimming your marijuana buds sounds very trivial, because after all, looks aren’t everything, right?

Well, the simple fact of the matter is that trimming your marijuana buds has many benefits besides just making them look a little bit better.

Aside from improving their appearance, let’s take a quick look at some of the main benefits that you get from trimming your marijuana buds.

Increased Potency

Technically speaking, trimming your marijuana buds does not make the buds themselves or potent. It’s not like cutting away the outside leaves causes the THC levels to increase.

However, you will be left with more THC in comparison to the overall plant matter.

The reason for this is because all of those sugar leaves, stems, and fan leaves don’t contain much or any THC. Fan leaves are pretty useless on this front.

Therefore, if you were to grind these up along with the buds, you would be left with comparatively less THC than if those elements they’re not included.

You’re removing the parts of the plant that don’t contain any of the cannabinoids you are looking for.

Better Taste and Reduced Harshness

Another benefit that trimming cannabis buds has is that it can help to improve the aroma and flavor. Once again, this really has to do with the trichomes on the buds.

The trichomes are what contain the terpenes, which in simplest terms are the essential oils contained in your cannabis plants.

These essential oils or terpenes are responsible for producing flavor and aroma. However, the terpenes are not really present in the fan leaves, sugar leaves, or the stems.

Those on the other hand are full of chlorophyll, which more or less just tastes like grass or plant matter.

Therefore, by removing all of the leaves and stems, you are reducing the amount of chlorophyll present, and ultimately reducing the plant taste of the buds.

This allows the trichomes and terpenes of the buds to stand out, therefore maximizing and improving the overall flavor and aroma.

All of that plant matter in chlorophyll is also very harsh to smoke. If you don’t trim your buds properly, you’ll most likely end up coughing very hard because of the harshness. Removing this from the equation is beneficial for everybody.

Consistent Drying

If you decide to perform wet trimming as opposed to dry trimming, a difference that we will touch on further below, another big trimming your marijuana buds is that they will dry and cure much more consistently.

 If you cut down all of your marijuana buds to a relatively consistent and uniform size, they should also all cure and dry at the same rate. This allows all of the buds to reach their optimal moisture content at the same time.

On the other hand, if you don’t trim your buds before drying, they’ll all be vastly different sizes, which means that they will also dry at different rates. At the end of the day, this means that some of the buds may be too dry whereas others may not be dry enough.

Legal Compliance

If you happen to live in an area where it is legal to cultivate and sell cannabis, it may be a part of the compliance process to trim your buds. In many places, trimming your buds is a part of a strict quality control process that ensures that all products are as high quality as possible by the time they reach the consumer.

Using Plant Matter Efficiently

If you don’t trim your buds, you’ll probably end up ripping away the fan leaves and sugar leaves before you smoke the buds anyway.

This is nothing more than a waste. Thus, the better solution is to trim those unwanted elements away first and then use them to make other products.

Although they don’t contain much THC, there are still trace amounts present, and this can therefore be used to make a variety of extracts, with bubble hash being one of the fan favorites.

Wet Trim vs Dry Trimming Weed

When trimming your marijuana plants, there are actually two methods you can choose to follow, with these being wet trimming and dry trimming.

Wet trimming simply means that you trim the buds before the drying process, and dry trimming means that you dry the buds first and then trim them.

Both of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at what these might be.

Wet Trimming

As mentioned above, wet trimming is when you trim your marijuana shortly after the harvest, before the drying process begins.

Well, there are some big benefits to the wet trimming process. First and foremost, leaves may be a bit easier to manipulate due to being more pliable, as they still have a higher moisture content.

This also means that they are still very sticky, which some people might find makes it harder to manipulate. As you can see, this is somewhat of personal preference.

That said, if the plant has not yet been dried, then the leaves are still big and lush, which means that they are much easier to access, hold onto, and cut away, as opposed to when they are dried and shriveled.

Next, some people prefer wet trimming their buds because it often results in a bit of a neater and more manicured appearance, because the leads are removed before they get a chance to curl up around the buds.

One of the biggest benefits of wet trimming your marijuana is that you create uniform sized buds, therefore allowing them to dry and cure at the same rate, ultimately resulting in an overall better final product.

However, one of the drawbacks of wet trimming, besides the fact that you’re shears are going to get super sticky, is that some of the flavor may be lost. Removing some of the sugar and fan leaves from around the main buds may lead to the buds oxidizing very slightly, which may affect the aroma and flavor. Just remember that your trimming shears will get sticky when trimming buds in this way!

Dry Trimming

We then have the dry trimming process, which as mentioned above means that the buds are trimmed after the drawing takes place.

Some people find that a dry trim is a bit more time consuming and challenging because the leaves are already delicate and dry, therefore making them harder to manipulate.

However, on the other hand, consider that the buds are now relatively dry, so they’re not nearly as sticky anymore, which can prevent your scissors from seizing up. Sticky buds can be quite hard to work with.

Another massive benefit of a dry trim is that you tend to preserve a lot more of the trichomes. When you wet trim your cannabis buds, you may knock off a lot of the trichomes, therefore reducing the overall potency of the buds. However, if you trim the buds when cannabis is already dry, the dried leaves are much less likely to knock trichomes off of the buds.

Although it would appear to be somewhat subjective in nature, some people say that a dry trim results in a better aroma and flavor profile because the buds have had more time to dry and possibly cure before any excess leaves and foliage are removed.

Some people may however not like dry trimming buds because the buds may look a bit less aesthetically appealing, as some of the dry leaves may have curled over and covered parts of the buds.

As you can see, there are some fairly big differences between wet trimming and dry trimming cannabis, with neither method being clearly better than the other. It really depends on what your needs and processes are, so we recommend carefully considering which of these trimming processes you are going to go with.

What to Do With Cannabis Trimmings

Just so you don’t waste those cannabis trimmings, even though there’s not that much THC in them, you can always turn them into extracts.

Many people decide to make what is known as bubble hash, which is when the plant matter is mixed around with iced water for a very long period of time, ultimately causing any remaining trichomes or crystals to be separated.

These can then be used to make extracts, with hash being one of the most popular ones. It’s just a good way to prevent any loss of money or material from occurring.

8 Tips for Faster Marijuana Plant Trimming at Home

Now that you know all of the basics about trimming your marijuana plants, let’s take a closer look at some of the best tips you can follow to make this process much easier and faster for you.

1. Using the Right Tools Helps

One issue that so many people have when trimming their cannabis buds is that they just don’t have the right tools. Some people might think that using a basic pair of scissors is enough, but this is really not the case. When it comes to trimming cannabis, remember that these buds are full of sticky trichomes. If you don’t have really sharp scissors, they’re going to seize up due to all of that stickiness.

It is best if you get yourself a high quality pair of garden shears and trimming scissors. You should be able to purchase these online or in any local cannabis growing shops. Not only do we need high quality trimming scissors to stop them from seizing up, but you also just need something that is exceedingly sharp.

Cannabis branches can be quite tough and hard, and if you don’t have sharp scissors, you’re going to break your fingers trying to cut through each and every single branch.

Having a good pair of gloves to cover your hands to prevent them from getting sticky is a good idea as well. There’s no point in using inadequate tools when the proper tools cost just a few dollars.

2. Wet Trim or Dry Trimming

We spent a bit of time talking about the main differences between dry trimming and a wet trim. Now that you know what the difference is between these two types of trimming are, you need to decide which one is best for you.

Some people may consider wet trimming to be a bit more straightforward and faster, whereas dry trimming takes a bit more time, but is also usually a bit less tedious because the buds aren’t as wet or sticky anymore. If you want to make things as fast and simple as possible, at least as far as trimming is concerned, wet trimming is faster.

However, a big caveat that many people don’t consider is the drying process. If your buds are already trimmed and cut down to size before you dry them, you won’t be able to hang them up. If you only have small buds, you’ll need to place them on a flat surface or mesh for them to dry, as opposed to if you do the trimming after the drying process.

If you do the trimming after the drying process, which means that all of the buds are still attached to their branches when they are being dried, therefore allowing you to easily hang them up. As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when choosing between wet trimming and dry trimming.

3. Maintain a Clean Workspace

Something that is definitely going to help make this process easier and faster is if you have a clean workspace that you constantly maintain. This is especially the case if you have many cannabis plants that you need to harvest and trim.

The more plant matter you have around, the bigger of a space you need, and the cleaner it should be. This means that you should remove any and all objects that are not 100% necessary for the trimming process.

Everything should be very neatly organized as well. Being clean and organized is always a great way to improve efficiency, because you don’t end up looking for those trimming scissors every time you bury them under another bud. Your time is valuable, and if you work smart, you can preserve as much time as possible.

4. Trim in Stages – Like a Conveyor Belt

To help improve your overall efficiency when trimming your cannabis buds, trimming in stages, kind of like a conveyor belt system, is generally best. Of course, this is much easier to do when you have multiple people working with you, as each person can perform one specific job.

However, if you are working alone, you could always set up so-called workstations, with each station being dedicated to a specific task.

For instance, the first station could be dedicated to simply cutting the biggest parts of the buds away from the branches. The second station could then be dedicated cutting the buds down to more manageable sizes.

The third station could then be focused on cutting away fan leaves, whereas the fourth station could be focused on cutting away the sugar leaves. By the end of the four-station process, you should have perfectly trimmed and manicured buds.

Therefore, try to find a relatively wide space that you can turn into a quasi-conveyor belt set up, and make sure that each station is perfectly prepared before you start, with all of the tools ready to go.

This type of conveyor belt assembly line process is proven to be much faster than if you do everything at once. It allows for much greater efficiency. Instead of having to pick up and put down tools all of the time, you can simply use one tool for one job until that job is done, and then move on to the next job.

5. Using the Single Cut Method

Some people turn into real perfectionists when they are trimming their cannabis buds, and this often results in making way too many cuts. Not only does making way too many cuts take far too long, but you also risk cutting away too much of the valuable plant matter.

Therefore, a big rule that many professional trimmers follow is the one cut or single cut method. This is where you cut away plant matter with a single cut, and then you don’t revisit that same area again. It’s just another one of these methods that can help you increase your overall efficiency.

6. Take Breaks

Something else to take into account here is that you are simply human, and this means that you get tired. Remember that trimming cannabis can be extremely hard work and very tiring as well. Not only is it tedious and painstaking, but it can also be very painful for your fingers.

Using those small trimming scissors for hours on end can cause your fingers to seize up. Therefore, it is a very good idea for you to take regular breaks, possibly every hour, if not more.

This will prevent you from becoming fatigued and it will allow your fingers to quickly recover in between trimming sessions. There is simply no point in rushing the trimming process if you’re just going to get tired and possibly make mistakes. It’s always better to take plenty of breaks, to be well rested, and to do a good job.

7. Enlist Some Help

If all else fails, one of the easiest things you can do to make this process easier is to enlist some help. There’s no reason why you can’t get some friends to help you in exchange for a few buds or dollars. Two heads are always better than one.

8. Use a Trimming Machine

If you have a whole lot of marijuana that needs to be trimmed, you may just want to invest in a trimming machine. That said, unless you are a professional growing operation, a trimming machine will likely be a bit too expensive for you.


There you have it folks, everything that you need to know about trimming marijuana. We hope that our tips on trimming marijuana have helped make your life a whole lot easier and faster. After all, the whole point of cannabis is to be able to enjoy it.

Fabian Raemy is an avid cannabis enthusiast and expert. He's been a part of the cannabis community in one way or another for the past 15 years. Whether cultivating or consuming, Fabian knows his cannabis inside out. In his humble opinion, there’s just nothing more rewarding than growing a great strain of marijuana and being able to take a puff of some home grown green.

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