Hand-Trimmed vs. Machine-Trimmed Cannabis: What’s the Difference?

Written by Ryan Scott

Trimming cannabis by hand can be a time-consuming and daunting task. Hours spent manicuring the tiny sugar leaves from a dried flower can leave one’s hand cramped and tired. It was only a matter of time before someone invented a machine that does the work. But, are they really better at doing the job than hand-manicuring?

Man versus Machine

Since the time of the industrial revolution, man has spent much of his time trying to take the “labor” out of “manual labor.”Today, entire factory lines are fully automated, self-checkouts are standard in many supermarkets, and an entire crop of grain can be harvested in less than a day via giant tractor combines. Applying this idea to the laborious task of cannabis manicuring makes more than enough sense, but also comes at a cost.

A good indicator as to the quality of cannabis one observes is shown in how well the sample has been manicured. Is the sample covered in many large leaves? Are the capitate stalk trichomes intact and unharmed? If your answer is no to the former and yes to the latter, you have a well-manicured cannabis sample that was more than likely trimmed by human hands. Machines that are used to trim cannabis flowers essentially cut more than just fan leaves, affecting precious resin glands. Reducing potency greatly, these trim machines can also have a negative impact on flavor and yield of the dried, finished product.

The machine-induced hack-job is due to a few reasons.The shapes and densities of bud in each cannabis variety is too different for a basic trimming machine to take into consideration. This can lead to aggressive trimming, which processes the flower quickly but negatively impacts visual appeal, density, potency, and flavor.

Nowadays it’s fairly common for many commercial producers of cannabis to employ a team of people to hand-manicure dried cannabis flowers. The use of these teams quickly and efficiently cuts down on the time it takes to process the finished product, without the need of a pricey, clumsy, trim machine.The care and mindfulness involved with manicuring cannabis by hand results in near perfect and resinous flowers.

Although this activity can be painstaking and exhausting, the substantial amount of time put into growing perfect cannabis shouldn’t be wasted on cutting corners in an attempt to decrease manicuring efforts.

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Ryan Scott

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