No matter how much more information humanity gathers on cannabis, there will always be people with different opinions and preferences. There will be those against vaping; people who only smoke flower, and of course, the concentrate advocates. Just like the consumer market, the cultivation industry also wages many debates on numerous weed-related issues. One of the main points of discussion is dry vs wet trimming. There are valid arguments for and against both methods and there exists a wide range of personal preferences therein.

If you don’t understand the harvest process well enough yet and want some background on the subject, make sure you read our previous article on this.

INTRODUCTION TO BOTH METHODS

Before we can get into why one method may be more beneficial than the other, we should first analyse what they both are and the steps involved with each technique.

Wet trimming is when a grower trims the leaves of the buds right after the branch is cut from the main plant. In this method, all excess produce will be located perpendicular to the plant. On the other hand, dry trimming involves waiting for your branches to, well, dry up before trimming. Using this method, the leaves will dry with the buds and curl up closer to them.

Some growers prefer to find a balance between these two. Before drying, some growers will cut off fan leaves. This will keep the sugary ones for after the drying process. We will cover the reason for this later on.

WET TRIMMING

Removing the leaves right after the plant is harvested is recommended by a lot of growers. It’s an easier and more practical method, especially for novices. When the leaves are fresh and sturdy, it’s easier to find them and reach inside of the bud to remove the full leaf stem. When wet trimming, the whole process becomes much faster. You’ll only have to dry the buds and not worry about the extra time added by removing the leaves later.

Most mould develops in between the stalk and the bud during this stage. Removing the buds from the stalk eliminates this problem, which can save your stash if you live in a very humid area.

This method will also give the buds a chance to puff out. They’ll be more aesthetically pleasing. If you’re planning to sell the buds you grow, this method will probably draw in more customers.
Wet trimming will also be the one most compatible with machine trimmers. If we’re talking about large-scale growth, this is probably the method to go with. If you choose to dry trim in a large-scale operation, you’ll have to call up the whole squad on trimming day.

Wet Trimming

DRY TRIMMING

This method is defended as a more caring one. While it is certainly less efficient, it’s argued as being more effective in some cases. Most growers that choose the dry trimming method want to prevent the buds from drying too fast. This makes them more pleasing to smoke and gives them the chance to dry out in their own time. The bigger leaves will coat the buds with constant humidity until the full branch is ready to be smoked.

It will be harder to trim dried up, dead leaves. But if your natural environment does not allow for a wet trim, you won’t have another choice. The quality of your cannabis is always more important than the extra effort you might have to put into it.

Dry trim will also prevent you from removing many of the sugar leaves that have dried up and stuck to the buds. Unless you spend a lot of time carefully removing these, they’ll stay put. But hey, some people even love the THC-coated leaves that come with the buds - it’s a matter of personal preference. A lot of consumers prefer the less harsh smoke produced by buds with these leaves still attached.

This method can make for a smoother smoking experience. The more time it takes to dry your crop, the more chlorophyll you will let fade away. This property gives a very harsh, “green” taste and smell to the bud which many consumers don’t enjoy.

Dry Trimming

THE PERFECT BALANCE

With all this in mind, here is how you can balance the methods and try to obtain the pros of each one.

Trim off any large fan leaves and big sugar leaves that protrude out from the buds. Leave behind some of the smaller, sugary leaves. These will still keep the drying process slow and will protect your buds and their crucial trichomes. When the branches have fully dried up and finally snap instead of bend, this is where you trim the rest. Don’t just throw these away! Excess plant matter or “trim” is an excellent way of making edibles, tinctures, and even hash.

The biggest concern with any method of trimming is trichome damage. You’ve spent all of your time and energy growing this amazing plant, you certainly don’t want to lose any potency at the last minute due to carelessness. So, make sure you study every aspect of it thoroughly and that you tailor all procedures to your specific conditions.

At the end of the day, cannabis can be a divisive issue with a lot of individual preferences at play. Every consumer will have a grower that shares their beliefs and opinions. It’s up to you to see what you like best as a consumer or cultivator.

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