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Cannabis Trimming: Wet vs. Dry - Which one is best?

Bjorn Dawson May 27, 2020

The Trimming Process for the Perfect Yield

It takes time for our weed to reach maturity and reach its peak cannabinoid content. Smoking good quality cannabis gives us a euphoric high, and proper processing of cannabis ensures a smooth smoking experience. It enhances the flavor of marijuana. It takes quite some time and patience for one to master the techniques of both dry trimming and wet trimming, or as we call it, the “trimming” procedure. 


The fan leaves or the larger leaves have to be removed with a lot of effort. The fan leaves can be hand-plucked or cut using trimmers. As they are not so rich in weed essentials, they’re considered unnecessary and are thrown away. 


The smaller leaves are also called sugar leaves because they are rich in trichomes (a sugar substance). They are also removed but as they have a fair trace of cannabinoid, they are saved for later extractions like hash, cannabis oil, etc. 

The Most Important Question

We’re almost certain that you’re looking for a consolidated answer to one important question: whether to trim it wet after being freshly harvested or after drying it out for a few days. 


It is totally up to the harvesters on how they want the weed to be, and they can experiment by trying both the processes of dry trimming and wet trimming and choose the one that suits them the best. The quality of marijuana depends on what processes it had to undergo before being brought to the market. 


We are aware that there are both pros and cons in either process. Both measures can be carried out successfully and there is actually no right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on cultivating techniques. The decision of whether to trim it wet or dry is extremely crucial. The quality of the weed depends on the circumstances and the decisions taken by the harvester. 

What is the Importance of Trimming? 

Drying and curing of cannabis is a tedious process and requires some real skills. We have to know all about it in order to do it properly. This includes knowing the ideal time for trimming, and the procedure for how to trim it in order to make it look, taste, and smell good. 


●   Maintaining the Quality. The fan leaves, or the larger leaves, have no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and the sugar leaves have less THC as compared to the buds. Therefore, only the buds are selected in the process of trimming in order to maintain the quality of the weed.


●   Enhancing the Smoothness of the Cannabis. The raw leaves are harsh on the throat and can also cause damage to the lungs. Therefore, the buds are retained and the leaves are discarded.


●   Presentation of the Buds.The buds that have been manicured or trimmed are more appealing to us than the ones that have not been trimmed properly. The pictures of cannabis we see in magazines are almost always of the trimmed ones that look the best.


In some cannabis, the sugar leaves or the smaller leaves that are intertwined with the weed buds are rich in trichomes (a sugary substance). They are covered in THC and are left to make them look more beautiful and appealing. It always makes the weed taste harsher. On the other hand, there are a few people who like the sugar-covered leaves. At the end of the day, it is all about personal preferences. 

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Wet Trimming Process 

Are you curious to know why wet trimming is so much in demand? 


Well, it sells at a higher price but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more incentives for it. Let's go through the detailed process to see why wet trimming is such a crowd favourite! 


The wet trimming process has to start immediately after the marijuana plants are cut down. The wet buds are trimmed immediately after harvest, and all the surplus leaves are taken off. Then, the cannabis flowers are dried without the leaves. Sometimes trimming machines are used to speed up the process. This process is believed to be a faster and easier one by some.  


The Key Pros

●   As we’ve mentioned earlier, the process of wet trimming is easier. It saves a lot of time and hence is preferred by many harvesters. In freshly harvested plants, the fan and the sugar leaves stick out perpendicular to the bud, making them easier to remove with hands or scissors.


●   In fresh plants, the THC-filled glands which are responsible for a better high are very sticky. The sticky substance helps them to remain stuck to the plants until they’re sent out to the customers. THC remains to help in upgrading the quality of the marijuana.


●   With no leaves around the flowers to capture moisture, the drying process speeds up. So there is less chance of mold growing around the plants in a humid climate.


●   Trimming out all the extra leaves saves a lot of space, making room for some extra storage.


The Primary Cons

●   The outer leaves that are trimmed out during the process of wet trimming are meant to protect the bud when the drying process starts. They are also meant to retain some moisture to create an ideal humidity level.


In this process of wet trimming, the buds get dried up prematurely, which can, in turn, affect the quality of the buds.


●   It is a lot of work at the same time, harvesting and trimming all at once! It can get very stressful and take up a lot of time and energy.


●   The plants are really sticky right after harvesting. Therefore, it can be quite an ordeal to process cannabis right after the harvest. Thus wet trimming can get very messy.


We have to keep our pair of gloves and rubbing alcohol handy to get rid of all that stickiness, it seems! 

And What’s the Dry Trimming Process?

Now that you know about wet trimming, let’s delve into the finer details concerning dry trimming. 


This process demands that the leaves are left to dry out naturally, immediately after harvesting. No leaves are cut off at the harvest. Only after the plants have dried and cured are the leaves removed. 


The more time we give to cannabis to dry up, the better the quality becomes. The ideal time for the flowers to dry up is 10-14 days. Dry trimming, if done by hand, is a tedious and time-consuming process. Hence many helping hands are needed during this process. Otherwise, this entire dry trimming process is mostly carried out with the help of trimming machines. Many marijuana harvesters are investing in machines to save a lot of time. 


Many harvesters would prefer the dry trimming process because it results in better-looking and better-tasting buds, but there will be a considerable increase in labour costs. 


The Key Pros 

●   After harvesting, the trimming doesn’t need to be done all at once. Thus the dry trimming process is less stressful than the wet trimming process.


●   Buds dry at their own speed and maintain the correct humidity because we do not pluck out the leaves initially. 


●   Dry trimming is a lot less messy than wet trimming, as the trichomes are not as sticky when the plants dry up.


●   Chlorophyll adds a harsh flavour to the buds. The more time it takes to dry up, the more faded the chlorophyll gets. Therefore, the dry trimming process enhances the flavour of the marijuana and makes it smell even better.



●   The dry trimming process takes up a lot of space as no separation of leaves is done before the drying up process is over. A lot of drying space is required in the process.


●   Even though it seems less of a messy job, dried up buds become more brittle and prone to breakage. Therefore, it is more difficult to manage. In order to preserve the THC levels, one has to handle the buds with a lot of care.


●   When the leaves dry up, it becomes more difficult to remove the buds. So the dry trimming process is, therefore, more time-consuming and difficult. It becomes almost impossible to remove the sugar leaves. 


●   As the moisture is preserved by the leaves, they become more susceptible to becoming moldy and damp.



Cannabis: Topping the Charts in Natural Nutrition and Medicinal Values

Demand for “Trimming” on the Rise 


We’re all aware of the rising demand for cannabis products around us, especially because of its high medicinal values. Cannabis is legalized in quite a few countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, etc. Along with the legalization, the industrialization surrounding it continues to expand. 


You must be aware of the various cannabis products gaining immense popularity. These include cannabis beauty and skincare products, chocolates, cannabis capsules, gummies, other edibles, cannabis oil, etc. Needless to mention, the increasing demand of such products further highlights the need for mastering the art of “trimming”.  


However, there are a lot of variations in trimming. Some growers trim plants immediately after the harvest, some trim them midway before drying, and some trim them after they are completely dry. Some people don’t trim them at all. Again, talking of variations, it all depends on the preferences of each person and how they want to smoke their weed.

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