How To Lollipop Cannabis

Lollipopping Cannabis

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Lollipopping is a simple technique that growers of all levels can apply early in bloom to boost bud production. You really need to give lollipopping a try.


Lollipopping is a high yield pruning technique favoured by indoor cannabis cultivators. The philosophy of lollipopping is “less is more.” Not exactly what you would call a scientific method to boost bud production, but hey, it works. By removing the lower bud sites from a cannabis plant, all plant energy is focused on bigger, fatter buds on top. It’s time we talk you through the process step by step. No tools required, except maybe a pair of scissors. Let’s get lollipopping.


When To Lollipop Cannabis

Most growers will agree that week 3 of flowering is the right time to start lollipopping. After a couple of weeks in the bloom phase, most cannabis strains will begin to display multiple bud sites along shoots. Marijuana will stretch during this phase, some strains more than others. By removing the lower bud sites early in bloom, plants will waste less time and energy developing fluffy buds.


How To Lollipop Cannabis

Most marijuana growers prefer to lollipop by hand. But if you feel more comfortable using scissors, that’s fine too. A simple pair of clean, sterilised scissors will almost certainly do the job. While this isn't a surgical procedure, a reasonable level of care and a steady hand are required for the task. Take your time, and go easy.

For those familiar with topping or fimming cannabis plants by pinching off the tips of main stems, this will be a breeze. Instead of pinching off or snipping shoots, lollipopping is all about carefully removing lower bud sites. Make sure not to cut through the shoot, and remove the leaves too. Above all, cleanly strip away that popcorn bud site; otherwise, it may regrow in a week.

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What To Do With Your Leftover Cannabis Stems

Now that we have an understanding of what lollipopping is, how can we make it work with our own home growing projects? Well, you'll be pleased to know that there are a couple of different methods you can try out to maximise performance and yields.

Method #1 — Top-Down Lollipopping

As we know, the idea behind lollipopping is to remove excess growth located toward the bottom of the plant so that all the growing energy and nutrients are given to the colas located higher up.

With the top-down method, this ethos still applies, and requires you to remove all the lower growth on your plant. When doing this, you may feel as though you're butchering your plant, but this isn't the case, and will only help maximise your plant's potential.

Take the stem between your fingers, about 4 nodes down from the top of the plant, and slide your fingers down, catching all the smaller branches and growth on the way. Be careful not to bend the stem or damage the plant. Once the branches have been removed, you can then look to remove any lasting offshoots. However, unless you are extremely confident in your skill, we would recommend going with method 2.

Method #2 — Bottom-Up Lollipopping

For those who find the first method a little daunting, or simply don't trust themselves and believe they will damage their already carefully cultivated plant, this is the method for you.

Working your way up from the bottom of your plant, take your scissors and selectively cut off any smaller branches and growth, leaving the top 50-70% of the plant to flourish. This method can also be worked into your maintenance routine with your plant. If you are already pruning the leaves and branches of your cannabis plant, this method is just a little more involved. Of course, it takes slightly longer than the top-down version, but is more precise to boot.

That's all there is to lollipopping your cannabis plants. As mentioned, just take your time and be cautious, and you simply can't go wrong. So, sit back and see how your plant can benefit from its new shape.



Lollipopping is a proven technique for improving both harvest quantity and quality. Popcorn buds are B-Grade stash. By effectively applying lollipopping, the crop is all A-Grade buds and chunky colas. When combined with the ScrOG (screen of green) method, high yield and high-grade cultivation are taken to the next level. Scroggers will use lollipopping to clear away all lower growth beneath the screen to cultivate a forest of top-shelf buds above.



No pruning or training method can be applied universally to all kinds of cannabis in every grow environment. Autoflowering cannabis plants perform best when pruning and training are kept to a minimum. Cannabis with such a short life cycle and compact structure really does not require lollipopping. Most grow lamps can provide complete coverage for stocky ruderalis hybrids. In fact, lollipopping may decrease overall yields with autos.

Outdoors, the Christmas tree structure of cannabis serves it well. As the sun rises and sets, cannabis plants will receive sunlight from different angles so every part of the plant soaks up light at some stage during the day. Nature removes the problem of light penetration from a stationary source positioned above plants. Pruning shady fan leaves is often preferred to lollipopping by outdoor growers.

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