A Simple Guide on How to Trim Weed the Right Way

hand holding manicured marijuana bud with scissors next to bud

Whether you're growing at home, looking to pick up a new skill, or you're just curious about the best way to trim weed, Leafbuyer has you covered with this comprehensive guide on how to trim weed the right way. And since the cannabis market is flooded with untrimmed weed for its ever-expanding range of cannabis products, trimmers are in high demand. That's right, learning how to trim weed could actually get you a job! And while everyone has their own special trimming method, this one is guaranteed to produce great weed every time. Don't worry about how to trim weed; everything you need to know is explained below!

Best Weed-Trimming Tools:

weed trimming scissors in a pile on a table

Before getting into how to trim weed, you should first know all the best weed-trimming tools to have on hand. Of course, the most minimalistic approach to trimming is to use fingers and nothing else. And if you want sticky fingers and trim all over the floor (and yourself) then that's just fine! But the best weed-trimming method requires just a few basic trimming tools to get you started. Without further ado, here's the basic weed-trimming tool list:

    • Gloves: Gloves are an optional tool for weed trimming, but can make a big difference for people who don't enjoy having a layer of resin an eighth of an inch thick coating each and every finger. Gloves do make it harder to handle the tiny (some might say fragile) cannabis buds, but it's up to you to decide which you prefer: dexterity or clean fingers. Either way, the gloves are optional, but highly recommended.
    • Specialized Weed Clippers: Weed clippers are a must if you plan to do any sort of trimming. Scissors just won't cut it in this case, so plan on investing in a pair of specialized weed clippers. They give you more control, a sharper edge for trimming, and can cut back trimming time by hours if you use them right!
    • Airtight Curing Containers: Mason jars, tied-up bags, empty tea tins, and so on. Anything that can hold weed and won't let dust and dirt in is a perfect receptacle for your trimmed weed. You can get as fancy (or as simple) as you want with this stage, so take the time to find some personalized curing containers for your trimmed weed.

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    • Waste Disposal Bags: This may seem obvious, but it's safe to assume that at least one person out there has tried to trim weed without a waste receptacle. Those extra leaves, stems, and generally unwanted bits of trim have to go somewhere, and if it isn't into the trash then where? Save yourself the cleanup time and start trimming your weed with the garbage bag already there.
    • Labeling Tools: This tool particularly applies to people who are trimming more than one cannabis strain at once. A pen and tape will do just fine, or even just a sharpie! Just make sure to write down the date and weed strain on your curing container, or else you might forget which weed is which! Trimming in large quantities can get confusing, and labeling tools are the best way to stay in the know.
    • A Microscope: Anyone who is growing weed should have a microscope to keep track of the trichomes for harvest. Microscopes are also important for trimming, if only so you can admire the results of all your hard work.

Best Weed-Trimming Practices:

hand holding marijuana plant showing how to trim weed

Just about anyone can grow and trim weed, but only those who know how to trim weed the right way will get the most out of each and every harvest. Of course, you can just toss your dried weed into a bag and be done with it, but manicured buds are worth a little extra time trimming. Just make sure to follow these best practices for trimming weed if you want to get the most bang for your buck on your next cannabis harvest.

Remove Big Leaves First

marijuana grow operation with large pot leaves visible

The trimming process begins before you even harvest your cannabis plant. Trimming away all large, vegetative leaves about a week before harvest ensures that the extra energy is directed solely into your buds. This makes them larger, more potent, and all-around better. Trimming the bigger leaves from the cannabis plant before harvest also makes molding during the drying stage less of an issue. Fewer big leaves means more airflow and less moisture – in other words, no mold!

Harvest Your Weed on Time

trichomes on cannabis leaf

All the trimming in the world can't make up for badly harvested weed. If you're going to take all this time trimming your cannabis plants to perfection then it only makes sense to catch your plant at its most potent. Use your handy microscope and check each plant (and each branch) when harvest time approaches. The trichomes should be cloudy with only a few showing a hint of amber. Don't feel like you have to harvest your entire crop at the same time either! Branch-by-branch harvesting is a great way to stagger your trimming, which can be useful when you have a big harvest.

Keep Trimming Away from Dust

hands holding marijuana plant from the ground

Even if you follow every bit of advice and spend hours painstakingly trimming, your entire crop can be ruined with a little dust and hair. Keep your weed away from anywhere that can collect dust, pet hair, human hair, dander, and anything else you wouldn't want to put in your body. If you don't want to touch it then you certainly don't want to consume it! The best marijuana trimming method is often the cleanest trimming method.

Save Your Shake

pile of marijuana shake from guide on how to trim weed

Shake, also known as trim, simply refers to all the popcorn buds, sugar leaves, and excess weed products leftover from trimming the prize nugs for curing. Trim is great for making edibles and can be a lifesaver in case you go dankrupt. So never throw away those bits and pieces that don't look important at the moment — they can really save you later!

How to Trim Weed

hands trimming weed in indoor growhouse using weed trimming scissors

Set up your station with all of your tools and, hopefully, some entertainment. Trimming is a long, tedious process that can really benefit from a little music or Netflix. Make sure you're comfortable and in a well-lit room. The last thing you want is a sore back and strained eyes! Once you're comfortably situated and ready to get started, simply select a branch and remove everything except for the largest, most prized nugs of weed. Popcorn buds, leaves, and stems should be discarded and placed in either the trash or the trim bag (depending on what you want to save). Use your clippers only when needed and rely largely on your fingers for the more dexterous manicuring.

Once the prized nugs are separated from the trim and trash, set everything else aside and focus on perfectly manicuring the best of your crop. Crop the stem as close as you can with your clippers and inspect each individual nug for imperfections (pests, mold, etc...). If the weed passes muster, take the time to carefully remove vegetative leaf remains (called crows feet), dirt, hair, and anything else that isn't sticky and coated in trichomes. Repeat until all of your weed is trimmed and loosely packed away for curing.

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Isabella Cook
Isabella is a freelance journalist based in Northern California. She hopes to use her satirical writing experience to bring fun and facts together in her articles. When she isn't writing, Isabella can generally be found cooking, catching up on shows, or reading a really old book.