There are two methods of hand trimming cannabis that are equally used throughout the world of cannabis cultivation: wet and dry. Proponents of each will list the reasons that their way is the best and, in reality, they are both right. Wet and dry trims offer both up sides and down sides and what it comes down to is really a matter of preference and logistics.
The Simplicity of Wet Trimming
A wet trim is simple. Once the plants are cut down, the fan leaves are removed and the trim begins. The advantages to a wet trim are that there is less overall damage to the bud. When you dry trim, the brittleness of the buds makes the kief and trichomes prone to detach. This isn’t a problem with a wet trim. However, you will find that your gloves are soon covered in sticky oils. Wet buds are much easier to manage and are flexible as opposed to the stiff rigidity of already dried buds. Another benefit to a wet trim is you don’t have to wait a week to get started.
How Workflow Can Influence Cannabis Trimming Options
The one benefit that a wet trim misses out on is the accumulation of the compounds and essential oils transferred from the stalks to the buds during the drying process. It is a key factor for some in deciding how to go about their trim process. Another key factor in the decision making process is the flow of work on harvest days. Sometimes harvesting and trimming a large number of cannabis plants in the same day is just not logistically possible which makes a dry trim the only solution.
Dry Trimming Cannabis Requires Careful Hands
A dry trim, if prepared under the right conditions, will lead you to an incredible finished product as long as you handle with care. The biggest benefit of dry trimming cannabis is the maximization of cannabinoids and terpenes accumulated in the drying process from the stalks. Once you start to trim, however, you will find that over handling will lead to crumbling and excessive amounts of kief on your tray. Of course the kief can be used to make Moon Rocks and a number of other delectables but you really want to preserve as much of the bud and trichome as possible.
So there are a lot of questions you should ask yourself before deciding which process works best for you. Are you growing a large number of plants? Can you actually cut, harvest, and trim all in one day? If so you may want to consider the wet trim. If you are a cannabis superstar and pumping out 40 plants per harvest, getting that down and processed in a day is near impossible without a big crew. Either way, the decision you make will end up requiring a bit of foresight and planning ahead. Your trim process should be planned before you plant the first seed. After you have trimmed your nugs, you are ready to move on to curing which we will cover in our third part in our series on cannabis post-production.