After plants have been hung and dried, all side stems from the main stalk have been removed and the flowers have been clipped into more manageable pieces, the following steps will help get any strain of herb well-groomed and ready to enjoy.
1. Begin by removing all the outer, dry fan leaves by hand or with the tip of your scissors using an outward, tugging motion. A gentle pass is all it takes here to flake away most of the dry leaves. These leaves possess little THC and can go straight to the compost bin.
2. Snip away less brittle leaves with more moisture content that won’t simply flake away. Make sure to not cut away smaller, more crystal-covered leaves, as they not only act as protectors of the delicate buds beneath but are full of valuable, sugary trichomes.
3. Holding the bud by its stem or gently cupping it in your palm, rotate the flower slowly as you clip free leaves similar to shearing a garden shrub of unwanted excess. Beware not to trim too closely or you’ll dice into the bud. Follow the natural topography of the flower – let your own personal aesthetic guide you.
4. Spin the bud one last time to ensure the profile of the flower is tight and free of protruding leaves. The end product should emphasize the flower’s rich colors, sugary trichomes and overall visual appeal.
5. Finally, view your splendid handiwork and cap it off by clipping the stem down to about 1/8” long.
Some useful tips to keep in mind:
Always use clean, sharp scissors and have isopropyl alcohol on hand for cleaning hands and equipment.
Adjust your trim to the particular strain – depending upon the strain, you may snip off less/more leaf and spend a bit less/more time.
To save time and energy, find an efficient trim area that sets up and breaks down without hassle. We employed the Trim Station and found it to be an absolute joy to work with, easily doubling our productivity.
Save the remaining trim and kief that falls away during steps 3-5 to make hash or other concentrates.
Do you have some trimming tips? Share them in the comments.[Originally published in issue 14 of Cannabis Now.]