Tips to Improve Bud Trimming – How Not to Mess Up your Marijuana Crop


After few exciting months of developing and growing your garden, the time will finally come that you have the chance for an excellent but incredibly pressuring finish. If you are of the many people who are not very comfortable with the trimming process, you are not alone.

We are here to help you make the trimming process more enjoyable than it is dreadful. This post will include some tips and tricks that you can take advantage of and surely help you. It is essential for you to know the basic facts and information so that you will end up having wonderfully trimmed buds that you have definitely imagined.

Why is trimming important?

There are a couple of reasons why trimming your cannabis important, other than being aesthetically pleasing. Trimming your cannabis will help the buds appear to be more dense and uniform in size and appearance; it will also help you discard excess foliage that can be not that pretty to look at.

Trimming away the sugar leaves will also allow exposure of the nuggets that are rich in trichome concentration and well-preserved cannabinoids. Technically, the cured and trimmed buds will have a more evenly distributed moisture content, therefore, providing a more flavorful and aromatic cannabis experience.

Trimming techniques: Facts and information

Two trimming techniques are practiced when it comes to bud trimming, the hand-trimming and the other one using machines. And commonly, experts and experienced growers suggest the more conventional hand-trimming technique. The hand-trimming technique definitely produces a prettier and more meticulous looking bud, while the bud trimmer machines are faster.

We all know how fast the cannabis market is growing, and the producers, growers, and cultivators ultimately need to keep up with the demand; this is why bud trimmer machines came to the surface. Generally, machines are faster and very handy, yet they are expensive and definitely needs maintenance. Despite its quick action and mechanism, trimmer machines have poor quality control when it comes to the bud that they have been worked on. Machines can’t adjust to a specific shape of the bud since they trim in a standardized manner. This means that there are wide chances that they may accidentally cut off parts that should be retained, resulting in reduced potency and flavor of the buds.

If you are a small-scale grower who only grows a couple of plants for personal consumption, we highly suggest that you go for the hand-trimmers since they are cheap yet very efficient. If you are growing cannabis for commercial use, hiring a bunch of skilled bud trimmers is a good idea; you might need to pay them, but that would probably be the same cost that you would put into machines – minus the poor trimming techniques. Therefore, hand-trimming is the best option if your priority goal is to maintain the buds’ good flavor and strong potency. It may require more effort, but it is genuinely all worth-it.

Dry trimming vs. wet trimming

There are two options when it comes to trimming, and these are dry trimming and wet trimming. Wet trimming is done while the flowers are filled with wetness and moisture, while dry trimming is done once the flowers have already lost all the moisture content.

Wet trimming is commonly done when you are a grower who gets icky and bothered with mold and in an area with high humidity. If you want the trimmed buds to dry a lot faster, wet trimming can be done too. However, wet trimming can be really messy and tricky, and you might need to clean your trimmers and other tools from time to time.

Dry trimming is right for you if you don’t get bothered by molds at all and you live in an area with relatively low humidity. This is also great if you desire to have compact and very tight buds and want them to dry slowly for flavor retention. Many prefer the dry process since it is a zero-mess process. You can definitely use both methods, try out which one will suit you best, it is just a matter of preference in the end.

Tools are important

Like grow lights and cannabis nutrients, getting the right equipment and tools is extremely important. Picking a good and ergonomic trimmer is crucial to finalize the growing process; you should get ahold of something you will be comfortable handling and should be sturdy. Aside from the trimmers, getting a trim tray will also help you have a catch-all for all the loose THC. A good and sharp pair of trimming scissors is a big help too.

Always choose tools that are high-quality and ergonomic; it is okay to spend on them since you will be working with those tools. It is also a good idea to keep an extra set of your trimming tools just in case you need them.

Be a good handler

Handling your crop involves a good deal of delicate and precise movements since you will surely want to preserve your buds’ flavor, potency, and trichomes. Remember that as your flowers dry, they can eventually become a little too sensitive to your touch, and to avoid degradation, you will need to handle them in a way that you are able to reduce damages as much as possible. Be sure that you are only touching the stem and the branches as much as possible, and never the delicate flowers.

When it comes to trimming, it is always a good idea to start from the bottom-to-top as this method aligns well with your hand-and-eye coordination. Before you begin trimming each nug, you might want to start from the bottom up since this will give you a good view of its entirety. Also, when trimming the leaves, you will want to start from the big ones while working your way towards the smaller ones. Always snip from the base and avoid damaging the flower.

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Here are some essential tips to help you improve your bud trimming techniques:

1. Understand the Right Timing

  • Harvest at the Right Time: The timing of your harvest is crucial. You should observe the color of the trichomes (the tiny crystals on the buds) to determine the perfect time for harvest.
  • Dry Before Trimming: Ensure your buds are properly dried before you begin trimming. This process typically takes about a week in a controlled environment.

2. Choose the Right Tools

  • Sharp Scissors: Invest in a good pair of sharp, precise scissors. Dull scissors can crush the buds and trichomes, affecting the quality.
  • Ergonomic Design: Since trimming can take a while, ergonomic scissors can reduce hand strain.

3. Master the Technique

  • Gentle Handling: Handle your buds gently. Avoid crushing or compressing them.
  • Remove Large Leaves First: Start by removing the larger leaves that stick out from the buds.
  • Shape Carefully: Trim around the bud to give it a nice shape, but be careful not to over-trim as this can reduce potency.

4. Create a Comfortable Workspace

  • Good Lighting: Make sure you have plenty of light to see what you’re doing.
  • Comfortable Seating: As trimming can be time-consuming, ensure you have comfortable seating.

5. Cleanliness is Key

  • Clean Your Tools: Regularly clean your scissors during the trimming process to avoid resin build-up.
  • Hygiene: Wash your hands and wear gloves to keep the buds clean and uncontaminated.

6. Proper Disposal of Trimmings

  • Don’t Waste: Remember, the trimmings are not useless. They can be used to make concentrates, edibles, or even mulch.

7. Consider Automation for Large Crops

  • Automated Trimmers: If you have a large crop, you might want to consider using an automated trimmer. It can save time but be aware that it might not be as precise as hand trimming.

8. Learn and Adapt

  • Observe and Learn: Every strain might require a slightly different approach. Pay attention to how your plants respond to different trimming techniques.
  • Seek Advice: Don’t hesitate to seek advice from more experienced growers.


After working for your hands out in the trimming process, make sure that the fruit of your labor will be in good storage. Aside from wanting to keep them fresh and properly stored, you might also want your buds to be stored in a pleasing way to the eye. The most commonly used item for storing your dried and cure buds are those glass mason jars that look really cool when stashed.

Final thoughts

Bud-trimming can definitely be tons of work to do but is definitely an enjoyable task as well. With the right techniques and some nifty tools, you will indeed be able to find joy in bud trimming. Aside from practicing your trimming skills, you might want to practice your patience, too, since bud-trimming can really be a tedious process. Just remember, practice makes perfect!