What is Wet Trimming?
Wet trimming is when you trim the cannabis plant right after it has been harvested. When you wet trim, the plant is still alive, fresh, and has a very high moisture content.
One benefit of wet trimming is that it’s easier. When the buds are still fresh, the stalk of each leaf is well exposed and can be cut off easily. This makes it easier for novice growers to trim. Wet trimming also lowers the chance of mold during the drying and curing phases, making it the go-to trimming method for people with less experience drying and curing. This method also works best for those that use machine trimmers. The leaves are easier to cut off when they are still sticking out horizontally verse when they curl up tight to the buds after drying.
This big downside of this method is the buds will dry fast. By removing the extra vegetation, you’re also removing the moisture that comes along with it. Less water to evaporate means a quicker dry time. Connoisseur cannabis is dried “low and slow” to kept as much of the terpene and cannabinoid profiles intact as possible (see also: Low and Slow: Your Guide to Cannabis Drying Techniques). Studies have shown that up to 31% of terpenes can evaporate in the first week of drying.
What are the benefits of dry trimming cannabis?
Dry trimming is when you wait to trim the plant until it has been hung to dry.
When choosing the dry trimming method for cannabis, the flower will take a lot longer to dry. This is because you’ve left all of the extra vegetation on the plant that is holding in moisture. With the dry trim method, a two week or longer dry is not uncommon. To avoid microbial growth, drying conditions should be checked regularly and the room should be kept at 60*F and 60% RH. A longer dry will preserve more terpenes and cannabinoids and provide a higher quality end product.
Dry trimming is a tougher method to use. The buds become much tighter when they dry up and the leaves curl up tight to the plant. You must be careful when dry trimming to prevent trichome damage. Using a trim bin is a great way to catch any trichomes that may have been knocked off while you were dry trimming. To help prevent mold growth when drying, make sure there is proper airflow and buds are not touching hanger to hanger.
Wet trim or dry trim: Which is better?
Wet trimming is better for new cannabis growers and those who run large scale operations with machine trimming. Dry trimming will result in a higher quality end product that will almost always have a superior aroma. A combo of both cannabis trimming methods is also a great option! It doesn’t have to be completely one method or the other. Personally, I cut out any large fan leaves right after harvest when the plant is still wet, but leave all the small fan leaves with trichomes on them and the sugar leaves on the plant while it hang dries. After the hang dry is done, I sweat out the inner moisture of the buds then do a final trim before packaging the cannabis to continue its cure.