Wet Vs Dry Trimming
2 min

Wet Vs Dry Trimming Your Cannabis Plants

2 min

Nobody wants to smoke leafy stash full of sticks and stems. Trimming your cannabis plants is the final step in converting flowers into finished product. We break down the wet and dry trimming techniques, so you can best decide how to manicure your marijuana.


So, your plants are ready for harvest. Unless you plan on hand-rubbing charas from the fresh flowers, you’ll need to carefully harvest your bud. Every grower, with the basic competencies for successful cannabis cultivation, understands that marijuana needs to be dried and preferably cured before it is fit for toking.

The nugs with the most bag appeal, without exception, will be those that have been trimmed to perfection. Which brings us to the question, how does the ordinary decent grower produce a visually stunning stash?

First, you must decide between two trimming methods. Option one is to follow the standard operating procedure for the majority of home growers, trimming your cannabis plants wet on harvest day. Or you can dry first and then trim, which is known as the dry trimming method. There are pros and cons attached to both. In the end, you must settle on the method that is most suitable for your crop. Let’s break down the options to help you decide whether to wet or dry trim your plants.


What Is Dry Cannabis Trimming?

Dry trimming is a somewhat controversial technique mostly favoured by large-scale commercial growers. That being said, dry trimming is enjoying a resurgence in popularity attributed to YouTubers. Essentially, dry trimming means cutting down the cannabis plant and removing only the large fan leaves and hanging the untrimmed plant to dry slowly.

The advantage of not removing leaves from flowers is that it dries your marijuana nice and slow. This is because the extra green material will retain moisture. At the same time, this can be a big risk. More so in a high humidity climate. Too much trapped moisture can cause buds to mould. Outdoor ganja farmers and guerrilla growers have long favoured dry trimming as there is simply not enough time to trim wet. Furthermore, the cannabis plants must be transported for indoor storage.

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After 10-14 days of drying, removing curled, tangled leaves from flowers can be a painstaking process with trimming scissors. Dry trimming by hand takes at least twice as long as wet trimming. Large-scale dry trimming necessitates an investment in professional pruning tools.

Electric trimming machines are costly and also take some time to get used to. You might shred more than a few buds before you perfectly dry trim a trophy cola. Over time with practice, you can perfectly manicure cannabis plants in hours, rather than days.


What Is Wet Cannabis Trimming?

Wet trimming is the normal way to harvest your cannabis plants. You either cut the whole plant down and start removing as much leaf material as possible with fingers/scissors, or trim one branch at a time. This method is preferred by the vast majority of cannabis cultivators worldwide.

Trimming away wet leaves immediately is far less laborious than waiting for your sticky green to dry into a clump of matted flower and leaf. By handling only the stems, and rotating buds for better cutting angles, wet trimming can produce perfectly manicured buds. Of course, the more leaf removed, the lower the final harvest weight. But the smoke will be a whole lot smoother and sugar leaves are great hash making material.

The disadvantage of wet trimming is the time it takes. For commercial growers, hired hands will be required for post-harvest processing. This can be costly and a security risk. Home growers may need to wet trim in stages for larger harvests, especially if you favour the ScrOG method. 2-3 days of trimming solo by hand is hard graft.


Wet Vs Dry Trimming Cannabis

The verdict is that both are viable trimming methods. Obviously, the average micro-grower to home grower should stick with wet trimming. Those with larger grow-ops and multiple harvests per year should consider investing in some pro trimming tools.

If you really want the top-shelf, pure flower, A-grade buds, you should trim wet and trim dry. By immediately pruning wet, you will remove most leaves and dry the bud safely. Then, if you follow this up with some dry trimming, consider it the detail work, you will have a flawless finished product to cure. Double trimming will leave you with pure (or near pure) flowers and probably more leaf material. Enjoy the fine flowers and turn that trim into potent concentrates - you can’t really go wrong here.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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