A Guide To Splitting Cannabis Stems

A Guide To Splitting Cannabis Stems

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
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The splitting technique has been popularised by outdoor Dutch cultivators online. Splitting stems follows similar logic to “tree ringing”. Instead of completely removing a few layers of bark from the circumference of the stem you split it with a vertical cut through the middle. Make no mistake. This is extreme high-stress training.

Splitting the stem of cannabis plants is a controversial technique buzzing around the cannabis forums of late. Outdoor ganja farmers in Colombia during the 1960’s and 70’s were reputed to “ring” cannabis stems a couple of weeks before harvest. A pocketknife is the only tool needed.

The practice is believed to have given Colombian Gold its golden nugget bag appeal. By inducing senescence to increase potency and break down chlorophyll, the method helped make the strain a legend, allegedly.

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When To Split Cannabis Stems

If you are going to experiment with the splitting technique, timing is crucial. Splitting the main stem of a flowering female cannabis plant 7-10 days before harvest is the window that most growers favour. Inducing high levels of stress to force the plant to produce more resin and terpenes with a split is tricking Mother Nature. Marijuana will respond to this kind of stress negatively if you split too early.


How To Split

How To Split

How To Split

Splitting cannabis plants stems doesn’t require brute force. Rather precision, preparation and the right tools for the job are de rigeur. Moreover, splitting is best suited to outdoor marijuana crops. Although, an indoor experiment can succeed following the same methodology.

  1. First, gather up your splitting tools. Don’t worry, they are all easy to come by. You need a large, non-serrated, sharp kitchen knife, 3 pencils or kebab skewers if can get them, and some string. Next, size up your stem. Measure out an area approx 15-20cm long from just below the lowest set of branches towards the ground.

  2. Wrap the string around the stem a few times. Tie off two pieces of string to mark the borders of the area to be split. One for the top and one for the bottom. Then carefully drive the blade through the stem.

  3. With one hand on the handle and the other depressing the dull side of the blade slowly and as straight as possible split the stem. All the way to the lower knot. Don’t remove the blade just yet.

  4. While the wound is still fresh and open with the blade wedged in the bottom, insert the 3 skewers to prevent it from closing. Slide out the blade and make sure your skewers are spaced out. That’s how to split the stem of a cannabis plant Dutch style.


Benefits Of Splitting Cannabis Stems

Splitting is reputed to increase the potency of marijuana and possibly boost flower production too. Hard data is difficult to come across to verify this claim. Unfortunately, all we have to confirm the effectiveness of the splitting technique is forum chatter and some YouTube vids. Albeit footage by skilled Dutch stem splitters.

In theory, this high-stress method works, and they are at least reporting positive results here in the Netherlands. Experiment with one cannabis plant as a test case if you are considering it.

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Splitting, by its very nature, is rough treatment for cannabis plants. High stress close to completing the bloom cycle is risky. For autoflower cultivators, this technique is best avoided. Similarly, novice growers should skip splitting. Unless you’re already hitting the potency barrier, the splitting technique is unlikely to push your marijuana to produces extra potent gooey buds.

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