CANNABIS TRIMMING: HAND VS MACHINE

Cannabis trimming is easiest just after harvest. However, commercial cannabis cultivation’s do not have the ability to hand wet trim thousands of pounds immediately. This is why dry trimming is typically utilized in craft commercial cannabis cultivation’s. No machine has come close to hand trimming cannabis (wet or dry) in terms of quality, potency preservation, and clean testing lab results.

Hand trimming brings an organic, natural, manicured appeal that any consumer or cultivator would prefer. A machine will cut all buds exactly the same despite strain and shape variation. This results in lower quality in terms of flavor, potency and shelf appeal. Each strain and individual plant of cannabis is unique, and each natural shape should be preserved. Unfortunately, machines aren’t sensitive enough to recognize these differences and essentially take away all the love and hard work that cultivators put into growing cannabis. 

Machine trimming is expensive and comes with a host of issues, including constant maintenance, contamination risk, severe damage to trichomes, bud potency, and jar appeal. Machines also trim off valuable portions of buds, reducing weight and destroying months of hard work. Further, machines that are rented or refurbished could hold damaging pesticides. Residual pesticides can remain on the walls or blades of machines years after pesticides were used and scrubbed. Machines destroy local jobs and put undue pressure on the cannabis industry.

Now let’s discuss hand trimming techniques. The key to hand trimming your desired weight is a clean and organized trimming station. Reduce arm fatigue by keeping arms close to your body, elbows tight to your torso, not extended out. It’s best to do one task at a time then switch to the next in sequences. For example, a good trimmer knows to strip fan leaves off each bud and placing in the trash bin, before moving to the next task of trimming sugar leaves. Cannabis hand trimmers cut sugar and fan leaves as close as they can without cutting the bud. We handle the buds like we would a baby’s soft spot or baby bird. We don’t stack buds to avoid crushing them. We don’t rub or press them hard. We do not toss or throw buds. 

It’s important to hold the blade perpendicular to the bud. Use the tip of our scissors as a pinpoint to remove leaves at the base. We rarely trim with the side of the scissors. Instead, we rotate the bud towards us as we gently trim, uniformly creating a manicured, sculpted bud. Hand trim specifications and modifications are made for each client, facility, strain, and plant. We swap out and clean scissors as they become gummy. It is essential to stretch muscles every hour or ninety minutes to avoid cramps, fatigue, and carpal tunnel. Once dried and trimmed, the cannabis can be stored in glass jars to complete the curing process.

“Virgin” bud trimming is growing in popularity. This is when the cannabis flower is manicured without touching the bud at all. In virgin hand trimming, a trimmer will hold cannabis by the stem, strip the fan leaves and trim the sugar leaves. Then the bud is cut from the branch – without ever touching the buds. This requires a steady hand and a trained professional with extreme attention to detail. The virgin cannabis bud trimming technique may take longer, but the potency results are worth it!

​~Buddha’s Harvest Co. is a professional cannabis harvesting company based in Southern California. We specialize in hand trimming and focus on the zenith of efficiency by building custom standard operating procedures for each new client or facility. We consider each variable in the harvest process, to ensure efficiency and reduced.

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