Although it’s really hard to get a nice dank, high yield product, it’s equally as hard to trim and cure it. The last steps of a grow are always at least as important as the beginning steps, if not more. This is when you get to lock in not only a really nice visual appeal, but also a fantastic smell, and even potency.
Trimming is more than just removing the fan leaves. It’s about giving the weed an attractive look, pruning off the unattractive little leaves and letting the user see the bare flower.
This is where the term nug porn comes from – the fact that well manicured flowers are actually very beautiful. Take a look at the picture above – the vibrant red hairs and dense bud are completely visible. This makes the weed look like an actual end-product. As such, try to take the trimming process very seriously – it’s important, and makes a big difference.
Trimming - Tools of the Trade
These are what I use, definitely the best scissors I’ve used for trimming weed. They last forever, are razor sharp, trim quick and very accurately, and can be cleaned off very easily. At a very fair price point, you can’t go wrong with this.
If you’re looking to speed up the process, check out this product. You won’t have to strain your hands or spend as much time, but the bud won’t be quite as nice. Depending on what you’ need, this could be a decent investment.
Trimming is really simple, the only thing you need is a pair of scissors. Some people like to use manual scissors, some like to use an automatic trimmer. It really depends on how much you are trimming, how frequently, and how much money you want to invest.
Chances are, if you’re growing 4 plants every 3 and a half months, an automatic trimmer is not going to be necessary. There are some fantastic scissors out there, I like using the Happy Hydro scissors. They have a super durable blade, are extremely sharp, comfortable, and function perfectly. Just be careful, it’s not hard to cut right through your skin using these, so watch out.
If you’re going hard – growing many plants, or very frequently – it’s best to use some kind of a bud trimmer. These are quick and relatively easy, but do have some drawbacks. The bowl trimmers as I have shown above work well but don’t get into the nooks and crannies like my scissors do. On the other hand, good automated trimmers can work very well but are usually quite expensive.
Therefore, I would say that bowl trimmers should be used for a lot of mid grade weed where the end look isn’t all too important. The higher end stuff, I would still take the extra time to hand manicure or use a quality hand trimming machine.
Trimming – Process
I like to use garbage bags to not only keep things clean but also separate the different strains, if applicable. Lay down a garbage bag, or other sheathing material to catch all the falling debris.
Firstly, I like taking off the big fan leaves. These can be plucked off with the hand or cut off. Once the fan leaves are off, it’s a lot easier to see the end product.
Once all you have left are sugar leaves, I quickly go over the whole thing, and get the most obvious leaves off really quickly. I’ll usually snip continuously, and move the scissors around up and down to get the thing roughly trimmed really quickly. The image on the right is a good representation of a quickly trimmed flower. As you can see, it’s coming along pretty well, but there are still some stragglers hanging on.
To finish off, I go over it one last time, trimming with the actual contours of the nug, to get it well manicured. Pick off the little things which stick out to the eye. This step can be skipped if you are just growing for yourself, or your bud isn’t going to be top shelf anyways. However, if you are looking to grow the best of the best, take this step to go over everything until all you see is bud.
Keep in mind, a lot of the little sugar leaves actually have a tendency of drying up, curling inside the flower, or just falling off all together. Therefore, sometimes, it’s best to just let those really hard to get leaves go, and often times they will just shrink into the flower during drying time. Don’t beat yourself up getting every last little sugar leaf, but get the ones which are apparent.
Well, at this point, you should have a lot of manicured bud, ready to be dried. For this process, I have another page, a guide to drying marijuana. It’s a complicated process, a lot of nuance, so take a look at that page for more information. This page is strictly to cover the aesthetic aspects of making great marijuana, trimming and curing.
Curing The Bud
Once trimmed, curing is the process which locks in the smell, flavour, and maturity of the plant. It’s like ageing wine in a barrel, and the longer you do it, the better it is. Technically speaking, curing allows the chlorophyll to disintegrate, and the terpenes to mature.
If you first smoke a freshly dried bud, it tastes “green”. Try it out and you will see what I mean. Also, it will also be very harsh on your lungs, and might even burn strange, leaving behind chemical residues. Much like flushing the soil before harvesting, curing is like a final flush, but on a different level.
Instead of flushing the soil, you are flushing the actual flower itself. The distasteful chemicals disintegrate, and will also evaporate to leave you with a much better quality bud.
Curing is very easy, it’s a two step process:
- Put weed into a jar.
- Burp the jar daily.
Don’t fill the jar up completely, leave at least 1/5th the volume at the top. This is to make sure that it doesn’t get too humid in there, and that you have enough room to shake it around, let the weed breathe. This whole process is about letting the weed breathe, letting it mature and get rid of the nasty chemicals by exhausting them.
Conclusion on How to Trim and Cure Weed
Well, that’s about that folks. If you’ve got any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to help you out. Happy growing!