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How to Trim Buds

By Last updated on February 23, 2023No Comments

The cannabis market is ever-evolving. With revenues expected to touch an astounding $47.2 billion this year, now is the best time to grow cannabis and make some extra cash.

Trimming the buds right is essential if you want a tasty, potent batch.

You may have a small tool or use your bare hands to trim; knowing the proper technique is what matters. So yes, be ready to spend a few quality hours (even days) with your plant to get the perfect trim that will be worth it!

So, how do we trim the buds? What is wet and dry trimming? Is the machine better, or would you instead cut using scissors? Let’s find out.

Importance of Trimming

The trimming process is essential as it’s the only way to remove the buds from the plant. You take out the buds and remove the stems, fan leaves, and other undesired parts which you do not need to smoke.

If you want to market your cannabis yield, trimming is a plus, as it will give your cannabis a more refined look. It will look more pleasant when put in a bag. Here are some other factors why it’s essential to trim the buds.

  • Well, manicured buds look more appealing and are more potent. 
  • They give a smoother experience and get you more clients for the product.
  • Trimming gives the maximum potency levels as you get the maximum concentration of trichomes on the buds.

Types of Trimming

Types of Trimming

There are two basic ways to trim marijuana weed: Wet and dry trimming. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s check out both in a bit of detail here.

Wet Trimming

Wet trimming is relatively easy. You can complete it quickly and just have to wait a few days for the buds to dry before you can use or sell them.

Benefits of Wet Trimming

In wet trimming, you trim while the plant is wet. It has several benefits:

  • In this method, the buds dry fast
  • Sugar and fan leave removal is easy
  • Significantly less chance of mold growth
  • Storage is easy as most unwanted bulk is removed right at the beginning 
  • The final product looks more appealing and neat.
  • The flavor and terpenes are maximized this way, according to many experts.


  • It’s sticky! It will get to your hands, clothes, nail beds, and everywhere it touches. Always use gloves and oil or alcohol during wet trimming.

Dry Trimming

In this method, you must chop the entire plant and let it dry before getting to the buds.

Benefits of Dry Trimming

The method is more common among large-scale growers and has several benefits.

  • Not sticky at all!  
  • Easier to handle large batches
  • It takes less time to cut once the stickiness is gone


  • It needs meticulous handling; Trichomes get hard, so they can easily break
  • Whole plants take up more drying space
  • Slow drying process as you have all the leaves, stems, etc., intact
  • Mold can be a concern in humid climates

Machine or Hand Trimming

Some people prefer trimming with a scissor to a machine. While using a device is easier and time savvy, using your hands has its benefits. 

For instance, you can give each bud a more refined shape and cut off the extras neatly. You can also spot mold and other issues with the buds while you are at it.

Machine trimmers are adequate for high yields like commercial growing and producing more at the cost of quality. They can over-trim the buds and will not bring lasting flavor and potency. Moreover, you won’t be able to keep away all the leaves, stem, and seeds from the final product.

Things You Need for Hand Trimming

You can easily trim the weed at home, so you don’t need high industrial-grade equipment.

The basics you’ll need are

  • Scissors or shears
  • Pruners
  • A tray or bowl
  • Oil or rubbing alcohol
  • Gloves
  • Appropriate attire (the one you wouldn’t mind ruining due to the stickiness)
  • A table and comfortable seating for the hours of work ahead

How to Trim Buds

Check the weed plants first. If they are harvest-ready and have dark hairs or curled-in pistils, it’s the best time to trim them. At this stage, the cutting process will be the same whether you want wet or dry trimming.

Here’s a stepwise way to cut the buds

1. Cut the Plant

Using your scissor, cut the plant. Take off the branches using your prune. Remember, the sharper your tools, the easier it will be to cut off the branches in one go. The best is to use a new pair or designated pair of scissors for cannabis cutting at home.

Prune the plant into small pieces till you get to the central stalk. Cut it off just by the bed or where it meets the soil.

2. Hang Them to Dry

If you are going for dry trimming, you will hang the plant at this stage. You may hang the whole thing or use small branches to do so. Depending on the climate, drying may take anywhere between three days to about a week.

Pro tip: It’s dry and ready when you can easily snap the stem instead of bending it.

But if you are going for wet trimming, do not dry at this stage. Proceed with the refined cutting.

3. Remove Fan Leaves

Get rid of all the fan leaves and sugar leaves. These are the pointed leaves and typically carry no value or trichomes. You can do this with bare hands or use scissors when wet trimming. But for dry trim, you’ll have to use the scissor only.

4. Cut Off the Buds

Once you’ve removed the fan leaves, cut the buds individually from each branch. This process is also termed ‘bucking.’ 

5. Trim the Buds

Now that you’re left with the buds only, start trimming. Make sure they are small (cut off the bigger-sized buds into small parts for quick drying).

Take the scissors and trim the bud at the stem, right around where they both meet. Be careful not to break the buds. Also, take out the leaves at the bottom of the bud or the ‘crow’s feet.’

Carefully trim away all the extra parts till you get your free, clean bud. This way, you’ll get rid of everything that’s not rich in trichomes.

Now place all the nicely finished buds in a bowl. 

  • Wet Trimming: You’ll have to place the buds on the drying rack for 3-7 days.
  • Dry Trimming: Place your buds in a jar for curing.

Pro Tips for Cannabis Trimming

Here are some key tips to make the most of your cannabis. 

  • Cut slowly and carefully. Avoid making larger snips, as it will affect your yield.
  • Wipe your scissors with alcohol when they get too sticky.
  • Keep extra sets of scissors and replace them when they get too sticky with the resin.
  • You may use the leftover hash on the fingers or scissors to smoke later; it may be a bit harsh but worth it.

Bottom Line

The basic idea of trimming is to take out all parts of the plant til you are left with clean buds. Remember that the stem and other parts can make smoking a harsh experience.

Whether growing cannabis for yourself or trying to make some money out of your stack, the cleaner your buds, the higher the returns will be.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.