Wet Trim vs. Dry Trim


Wet Trim vs. Dry Trim

If you’re planning on growing cannabis at home, you may be wondering whether a wet trim or dry trim is best for your garden. Each method of trimming cannabis has its own pros and cons, but dry trim, in general, tends to produce better overall results.

In this installment of Ask the Garden Sage, David Robinson breaks down the hotly contested debate between wet trim vs. dry trim to help you understand the key differences and make an informed decision about how best to trim your plants come harvest season.

What Is Wet Trimming?

Wet trimming refers to trimming cannabis plants while the buds are still wet or fresh after harvest. This means that the plants have not yet been dried and cured. Wet trimming involves cutting off excess foliage and leaves from the buds, leaving the bud itself intact to dry on racks.

Benefits of Wet Trimming

Wet trimming has several benefits over dry trimming methods. For example, it can take much less time to process than dry trimming because you skip the drying process altogether before trimming. 

Some cannabis growers believe the drying process is quicker with the wet trimming process because you’ve trimmed off the excess wet foliage near the flowers.

Trimming the sugar leaves from the plant when wet may also be simpler because they are pointed out instead of being curled inward when dried. They are easier to identify and cut off this way.

Drawbacks of Wet Trimming

Trimming wet plants can require a more rigorous and immediate trimming process right after harvest. If you wait too long to trim your wet buds, you can increase the risk of mold, which can ruin your entire crop.

Having such a short time frame to trim your wet plants can be stressful and cause you to rush the process, increasing the risk of damaging trichomes and resulting in a poor trim.

“When trimming wet, there’s a lot more vulnerability of the cannabis flower to bruising and damage, so you’ll notice that when people are trimming wet, they end up with a lot of finger hash or resin all over their fingers and the scissors,” the Garden Sage said.

If trimmed wet, “we can no longer hang it, so we end up putting it on screens [to dry], which causes half of the flower to end up flat, which is not a very flattering look,” he warned about the lack of bag appeal you get with wet trimming.

What Is Dry Trimming?

Dry trim refers to trimming the leaves and stems off a cannabis plant after it has been harvested and dried for a few weeks in a climate-controlled environment. The trimming process is typically done by hand using scissors or trimming shears. 

The dried buds are trimmed to remove excess leaves and shape the final product for maximum bag appeal. Then, they are hung to dry to get the chlorophyll content to go down, and the flavors and aroma to become more present.

Benefits of Dry Trimming

Dry trimming is considered the gold standard for cannabis harvesting for many reasons. For one, you don’t need a lot of equipment to dry and trim cannabis plants, just a pair of scissors and space to let your branches dry.

With dry trimming, you can also take your time with the trimming process compared to wet trimming, which requires an all-at-once approach to reduce the risk of mold due to excess moisture.

Dry trimming requires less cleaning after harvesting because you don’t get equipment, such as automated trimming machines, coated with resin.

The Garden Sage says that when we dry our cannabis before trimming, it’s in a much more durable state. “The trichomes are no longer vulnerable to bruising, and the cannabis, being dried before it was trimmed, can be hung, which allows us to have a nice even look instead of half of the flower being pressed flat by the screen,” he said.

Overall, the dry trimming process produces higher-quality products and can retain more of the plant’s essential oils in the trichomes.

Drawbacks of Dry Trimming

Dry trimming cannabis produces some of the best cannabis buds but has a few drawbacks. For instance, you need considerably more space and the proper relative humidity to hang and dry the cannabis branches before trimming, which can be more difficult in humid climates.

In addition, the dry trichomes can be brittle and fragile if handled improperly. This may require a hand-trimming process to preserve the trichomes and the cannabinoid potency.

Drying can also take considerably longer due to the process of removing the large fan leaves, the time it takes to set up the drying room, and the weeks it takes to dry the weed.

Which Trimming Process Is Best?

​​So, which method is best: wet or dry trim? Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your garden. Here are a few things to consider when deciding between wet trim and dry trim:

  • Time and labor: If you have a large number of plants to trim and are looking for a faster and more efficient method, wet trimming may be the better option, but requires being trimmed immediately when harvested. 
  • Precision and aesthetics: If you want a precise and visually appealing final product, dry trimming may be the better choice. However, keep in mind that dry trimming is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to handle your cannabis plants with care and use proper trimming techniques to ensure the best possible final product. Whether you opt for wet trim or dry trim, the key is to find the method that works best for you and your plants.

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Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a California-based cannabis writer. In his free time, he loves traveling to the hidden gems in Mexico, reading literary fiction and non-fiction, and listening to punk on vinyl.

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