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Lesson 1, Topic 1
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7.2 Wet vs. Dry Trimming: Pros and Cons

Cartier April 11, 2023

Trimming is a crucial step in cannabis cultivation that involves removing excess leaves and stems from the buds to enhance their appearance, potency, and overall quality. There are two main approaches to trimming: wet trimming, which is done immediately after harvesting, and dry trimming, which is done after the initial drying phase. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in this section.

Wet Trimming:

Pros:

  1. Easier process: Wet trimming is often easier, as the leaves are still turgid and stand away from the buds, allowing quicker and more precise cuts.
  2. Faster drying time: By removing excess plant material immediately after harvesting, the buds will dry more quickly, reducing the risk of mold and mildew.
  3. Enhanced appearance: Wet-trimmed buds are often more uniform and aesthetically pleasing, as the leaves are less likely to curl and fold around the buds during drying.

Cons:

  1. Higher risk of over-drying: The quicker drying time associated with wet trimming can also lead to over-drying if not monitored carefully, which may result in harsher smoke and reduced flavor.
  2. Sticky resin: The high resin content of freshly harvested cannabis can make wet trimming a sticky and messy process, which may require frequent cleaning of tools and gloves.
  3. Terpene loss: Wet trimming may result in greater loss of terpenes due to increased exposure to air and light during the drying process, potentially affecting the aroma and flavor of the final product.

Dry Trimming:

Pros:

  1. Preserved terpenes: Dry trimming allows for slower drying, which can help retain more terpenes and result in a more flavorful and aromatic final product.
  2. Less sticky: Dry trimming is generally less sticky, as the resin glands become more brittle during drying, making it easier to handle the buds and clean the tools.
  3. Better humidity control: By keeping the leaves intact during the initial drying phase, dry trimming can help maintain more consistent humidity levels, reducing the risk of over-drying.

Cons:

  1. More challenging process: Dry trimming can be more difficult and time-consuming, as the leaves tend to curl and fold around the buds during drying, making precise cuts more challenging.
  2. Longer drying time: The additional plant material left on the buds during dry trimming may prolong the drying process, increasing the risk of mold and mildew if not monitored carefully.
  3. Aesthetics: Dry-trimmed buds may appear less uniform and well-groomed than wet-trimmed buds, as the leaves are more likely to curl and fold around the buds during drying.

In conclusion, wet and dry trimming has pros and cons, and the choice largely depends on personal preference, available resources, and desired outcomes. By considering factors such as ease of trimming, drying time, terpene preservation, and bud appearance, growers can choose the trimming method that best aligns with their goals and requirements.

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