Once you’re crop has been harvested, congratulate yourself and prepare to put in some serious elbow-grease in terms of trimming and manicuring techniques. To successfully trim and manicure your harvest you will need:
- Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls: with any luck your bud is packed with resin, which means it is sticky as all heck and your scissors are going to get gummed up fast. Keep rubbing alcohol and cotton balls / paper towels on hand to clean your scissors as you go.
- A sturdy, comfortable pair of trimming scissors, preferably a pair with a spring mechanism to open easily; make sure they’re razor sharp and fit easily in your hand.
- A pair of latex gloves; as mentioned, hopefully your buds are bursting with resin, which means you can expect to get good and sticky when you trim and manicure your buds. Wear a pair of latex gloves to avoid getting your hands totally gummed up, and be very careful not to touch your face or eyes while you are trimming.
- A tray or bucket to collect your discarded material in; although the leaves and other material you’ve trimmed aren’t suitable smoking material, they do contain a significant amount of THC, resin and other cannabinoids, so this trim isn’t waste material. Collect your trim as you manicure your buds and save it to use in making hash oil and tinctures. You can also use trim to make olive oil and / or butter infusions for cooking / eating.
When you’re trimming your bud, you’ll want to clip off your fan leaves and then trim the smaller leaves, known as sugar leaves. Some growers like to trim the fan leaves and sugar leaves the same day they cut their harvest down, but another method is to simply cut the fan leaves but let the sugar leaves remain for a few days while your bud dries out a bit.
After drying for a few days, the sugar leaves will curl up and you can practically break them off, saving you a bundle of time and energy on cutting them off. Letting the sugar leaves dry also makes them nice and light, crunchy and wonderful to use for many other products. Some growers also like to leave a fair amount of the sugar leaves on the bud. This will be a matter of personal choice; you can let some of the sugar leaves remain, since they do have resin and THC content, but the more leaf that is on your bud, the harsher the smoke will be.
After you’ve trimmed the sugar leaves and manicured your buds to your satisfaction, you can leave them hanging to dry for a few days. The final step after manicuring and drying your bud will be to cure it for several weeks or months, preferably in glass jars. Then, once it’s aged to your satisfaction, you can sit back and enjoy a well-deserved bowl. Toke up, you earned it.