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Trimming Cannabis Harvest: By Hand or Machine?

Trimming a cannabis crop might be the difference between a seamless, even-smoking finished product and a dismal one that gives a harsher, less enjoyable smoking experience. This stage is critical in a world where the legal cultivation of and sale of cannabis is becoming more competitive.

A cultivator can trim his or her cannabis plants in two ways: by hand or using an automatic trimmer.

Trimming Cannabis by Hand

Hand trimming is exactly what it sounds like: a gardener cuts the leaves of each bud carefully, by hand, to separate the undesired bits of the plant from the rest of the plant. Hand trimming has traditionally been the primary method to remove your cannabis buds of annoying leaves and other crop residues that, if missed, can drastically diminish the enjoyment and quality of a crop.

Hand trimming experts can get the most out of every individual bud in a harvest— revealing unique, appealing nugs with hardly any loss of the important bud. Hand-trimming beginners, however, may not get it right away, but they can improve with practice and little financial commitment.

Some people in the cannabis industry believe that hand-trimming your buds is the only way it should be done, and that it is a form of art that can be judged by the end result. Cannabis aficionados, for example, are known to be able to detect the difference between a hand-trimmed bud and its mechanically trimmed counterparts.

With such obvious advantages and a long history to back it up, some might ask: why even do it any other way?

Automated Cannabis Trimming

Hand trimming takes time and requires personal attention and experience. While this is great for small or individual amounts for someone with the time and energy, it becomes more difficult to maintain in bigger quantities.

Hand trimmers can generally take one to two days to trim a pound of bud, but an automated trimmer, such as the Greenbroz 215 Dry Trimmer, can trim between 2 and 4 pounds of product every hour.

This means that an automated trimmer can yield an average of 24 pounds of trimmed weed in the same amount of time that a hand trimmer can produce a single pound, and while there is certainly a market for the kind of connoisseur experience that hand-trimmed bud can provide, the legalization of both medicinal and recreational cannabis means that the demand for less expensive, mass-produced product has never been larger - and it's only growing. Fortunately, technology is advancing over time.

One of the distinguishing features of machine-trimmed bud: a homogeneous, artificial-looking cut, has now been replaced by automation capable of producing trimmed buds while retaining their own distinct shapes. Automated trimmers have evolved a long way from the days of squandered product and damaged buds, and if that's still your impression, it's probably time to reconsider your stance on the machines.

Is There a Third Cannabis-Cutting Option?

When it comes to Cannabis, conversations involving hybrids are unavoidable, so why shouldn't your trimming experience incorporate elements from both methods?

That's what Greenbroz is doing with dry trimmers such as the 215 model referred to above. This technology enables users to easily monitor and halt trim progress at any time.

This groundbreaking technique has allowed some of their clients to find tremendous success in using this form of specialized automation to get 75-90 percent of the flower cut, followed by manual trimming procedures to create a cheaper hand-crafted bud.

Choose the Right Cannabis-Cutting Method for You

Don't allow the skeptics keep you from considering technology as an answer to your trimming needs. Whether you're a home grower with no time to trim, or a bulk cultivator with fussy clients and shareholders keeping an eye on your financial line, a trimmer could be just what you need.

Hiring a team of skilled trimmers, on the other hand, may make more sense for your individual needs if you are looking to develop a boutique, hand-crafted cannabis product. Take the time to consider what you want.

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