A very important step in a successful harvest of the cannabis plant is trimming marijuana during flowering. It is vital to trim marijuana properly so the flowers can cure correctly and insures that optimal potency of the cannabis plant. There are several methods of achieving good outcomes on the final product. Some people prefer hand trimming marijuana flowers and some people use automatic trimmers. Whatever trims your marijuana, you want it to be as efficient and cost effective as possible.
When is the right time for trimming marijuana plants?
Finding the right time to start trimming marijuana is fairly easy but you need a 100x magnifier to look on the buds during the flowering cycle. Wait for the buds to look full and monitor the trichomes. The trichromes (small glands on the leaves and buds) will turn from clear to “milky” and then take on an amber hue when the plant matures during the flowering stage. When at least fifty percent of the trichromes have changed to amber It is a good time to harvest most cannabis Indicas. Many growers like to harvest cannabis sativas when they turn fifty percent “milky” because it gives a more cerebral high.
It is noteworthy to say some strains of marijuana are bred to have a low leaf to flower ratio like Fast Bud Outdoor strain. These strains of marijuana are a good option for reducing costs and increasing yields at harvest time. They have wonderfully dense colas with less leaves. This cuts down on the amount of work needed when trimming marijuana whether you are hand trimming marijuana or machine trimming marijuana.
Before you start trimming marijuana fan leaves, make sure you have all of the materials you need.
Set aside a climate controlled area that you can cure the cannabis buds. If you are hand trimming the buds, you should have the scissors from trimming marijuana leaves during veg. For hand trimmed buds you will need some very sharp scissors or pruning shears, several trays (depending on how much you are trimming), some grain or rubbing alcohol for cleaning your tools (alcohol wipes work well), latex gloves (optional) and a comfortable spot to sit. You will need the same items if you are using a trimming machine. Keeping the cutting edges clean for the tool you are using to trim is extremely important. Using marijuana trimming shears, you will need to wipe them with alcohol or scrape them from time to time. The same can be said for trimming machines.
When trimming marijuana, you will need to cut each branch off from the main stalk and place in to trays so you can catch what is trimmed off of the buds of the marijuana plants. It is easiest to trim the marijuana buds right away when the plant is still flexible. Some people believe it is better to let the harvested plant hang in a curing room for a while before trimming. The reasoning for that is usually so the plant can mature as much as possible before trimming. This will make the plant harder to manipulate.
Trimming marijuana leaves by hand.
Hand trimming marijuana plants during flowering (or budding) can be an extremely effective way to trim the marijuana plant. It will be somewhat messy because some of the glands will rub off on to your hands. You can use latex or neoprene gloves but that will waste the glands that get rubbed on to the fingers when trimming marijuana. Many people trimming marijuana with bare hands will rub them afterwards in order to make hand hash from the glands that stick to their fingers. Just rubbing them together will cause the trichromes on your hands to stick to each other and makes small balls that you can roll off of your fingers. Making hash by rubbing your cannabis plants and then rolling balls from the resin is probably the oldest method for making hash. When done using fresh cannabis plants it can produce a wonderful hash.
You will need to manipulate the buds so that you get the best access to the “crotch” of the leaf or the petioles. The “crotch” or petioles is the spot where the leaf connects to the main branch. You will need to cut the leaf as close to the main branch as possible. Leaving some of the stem will lower the potency of the final product. On very dense colas (buds) you may not be able to cut the leaves at the crotch. In those cases, just removing the parts of the leaves is acceptable. The overall object is to remove as much of the leaves as you can without removing any parts of the flowers. This should leave you with the well trimmed bud that we are all familiar with. With a little practice, most people will become quite efficient at trimming. A good trimmer can trim from fifty to one hundred grams per hour (or two to four ounces). Trimming marijuana jobs are available anywhere it is legal.
Using a machine for trimming marijuana.
This is a very efficient way to ready your cannabis plants for consumption. Trimming machines can come in a variety of sizes, shapes and prices It is a cleaner method because only the machine gets messy, not your hands. An automated trimmer usually has spinning blades under a rack. Using a trimming machine also cuts down on cost and time by having the machine do most of the work. Trimming machines range in price from 115 to 100,000 euros. They vary in the amount they can do as well as efficiency. If you want to invest in an automated trimmer, you should do some research on the trimmer you intend to buy before purchasing.
Trimming marijuana leaves with machines instead of using your hands will also allow for less contact with the glands on the flowering buds of your cannabis plants. Rubbing the glands off with your hands during trimming will lower the potency of your cannabis buds. The glands are where the THC-A is produced as a reaction to sunlight. During the curing process the THC-A will decarboxylate, having a CO2 molecule break off leaving THC. THC-A is not psychoactive and THC is psychoactive.
So what do you do with all of the leaves when trimming marijuana flowers?
Trimming marijuana gives the fan leaves as a byproduct that you can extract the glands off of for their THC. Well, waste not, want not.This can be done using hundreds of different methods such as using screens in a cold room or purchasing a water extractor. Water extractors work like a small washing machine. They use cold water to make the glands brittle. The brittle trichromes break off of the cannabis leaves and flow through a small screen. No matter what method you use for extracting the glands from your trimmed leaves, one rule applies. The smaller the screen that you use, the better the product you get at the end. Trimming marijuana is an art form. Finding which trimming and extracting methods work best for each individual marijuana plant grower is a matter of research and trial and error. There is no right way of doing it, but there are some wrong ways of trimming. Each marijuana grower should use the method that they feel most comfortable with. Keep track of the cost to product ratios while trimming marijuana and it will be easy to figure out which method is best for you.