How to Trim Your Cannabis Plants for Beautiful Buds | Leafly
Tuesday, Jul 25, 2017

Trevor Hennings and Patrick Bennett contributed to this article.

After months of attention and effort in your cannabis garden, it’s finally time to finish what you started. Many people dread the process of trimming cannabis buds (also known as “manicuring” your cannabis), but luckily there are ways to make it more enjoyable and efficient. Knowing the basics before picking up a pair of shears will help ensure you’ll end up with the perfectly manicured buds that you’re looking for when going in for that first smoke.

(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Trimming cannabis serves several main purposes. Aesthetically speaking, cannabis looks better when well manicured. Cannabis that has been trimmed takes on a tighter, more uniform appearance, much like you would find on a menu at your local dispensary or in the photographs that line your favorite cannabis publications. Excess foliage is an eyesore and evening the buds often results in a final product that is far more visually pleasing.

Additionally, sugar leaves tend to contain a lesser concentration of trichomes. Removing these protruding leaves will expose parts of the nugs much richer in trichome concentration. Larger leaves protruding from the buds also tend to provide a harsher smoke, as the foliage is thicker and harder to wick away moisture. During the curing process, trimmed buds tend to leave a more uniform moisture content, proving a much more even and flavorful smoking experience.

What Are Trichomes and Why Do They Exist on Cannabis? (Julia Sumpter/Leafly) Why Are Hand-Trimmed Cannabis Buds Better Than Buds Trimmed by a Machine? Your Guide to Drying and Curing Cannabis Buds 5 High-Yielding Strains for Your Cannabis Garden Cannabis and Coconut Oil: Uses, Benefits, and a Recipe to Make Your Own What Are You Smoking? Episodes 1-5 (Julia Sumpter/Leafly) When Is the Right Time to Harvest Cannabis Plants? What Are Popcorn Cannabis Buds? Leafly’s Visual Quality Guide to Selecting Cannabis Always use the tips of your scissors when trimming, and try not to trim with the sides. This will keep your tools cleaner for longer and reduce stickiness. When trimming, take away everything that isn’t fully covered in trichomes. Attempt to create a uniform surface area around the buds. This includes taking down red pistils all the way to the foliage. Pistils have very little to zero trichome content and should only be kept long for aesthetic purposes. Save your trim for budders, edibles, and tinctures. There is still a good amount of cannabinoid content in this excess foliage and the frugal grower can do some amazing things with excess trim. Store your trimmed buds in airtight containers for curing. Glass mason jars make great companions for freshly dried and cured buds looking to go into a long cure. Finger hash is a great post-trimming treat. Also known as “scissor hash, ” finger hash can be sprinkled onto a bowl of flower, rolled into a joint, or dabbed on a nail for a minty fresh, cannabinoid-rich victory sesh to celebrate a finished harvest.