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Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming: Your Ultimate Guide to Bud Trimming

With the industry booming, it's no secret that everyone is looking for more ways to streamline their business and get their product from seed to shelves as fast as humanly possible. While there is a ton of optimization you can undertake during your grow operation, post-processing is usually where a ton of time is lost.

Bud trimming, for example, has historically been a hand done process that has taken n immense amount of time adding weeks if not months on top of your already lengthy grow process. Luckily, with the advent of automatic bud trimmers from companies like Twister, Triminator, CenturionPro and more, that is a thing of the past.

Let's take a look at some of the latest automatic bud trimming processes and how they can help you.

Why Trim?

It’s no secret that having a rock solid growing method when undertaking a grow operation is imperative to producing a high-quality end product. But, if we’re able to so seamlessly grow high-quality product, why is trimming even necessary? Shouldn’t all of the plant material be valuable? Let’s take a look at why we trim bud and what benefits there are.

  1. Aesthetics – When you see a picture of the latest strain or other types of bud, chances are you’re seeing some meticulously trimmed buds. Compare the same pictures to those of unruly, freshly harvest buds and you’ll quickly see the first benefit. Trimming makes your buds look better, the better your bud looks, the more appealing they are. Easy, right?
  2. Smoother Consumption – The flower itself of the plant is usually what you’re going for when considering a final product. This is not only due to the high concentration of beneficial compounds, but because it is the smoothest smoke as well. Leaves and other unwanted particles do not produce the same sort of smooth smoke when burned which can irritate the throat and make for an overall unpleasant experience.

What’s the difference?

  • Trimming Wet refers to trimming your buds soon after harvest and before they’ve been dried. This allows you to get a tidier final product at a much faster rate than you would get if trimming dry.
  • Trimming Dry refers to trimming your buds after they’ve already been dried. This process is quite a bit slower than wet trimming and less material will be removed from your buds. Things like the sugar leaves will be left on the plant which will give additional concentration to your final yield.

Dry Trimming vs. Wet Trimming

Much like any process, you will find people who swear by any given method – but this doesn’t by any means mean dry trimming or wet trimming is the right way to go about doing things.

Dry trimming, for example, will leave you with a much more potent smelling final product with components such as the sugars leaves left intact. The drawback of dry trimming is that it takes a much longer time to do which means you will be able to process less material in any given time frame. Luckily there are machines like the Triminator Mini Dry that can cut down your processing times considerably, but it is still something to take into account.

Wet trimming, on the other hand, is a much, much faster process. This means if you’re growing a large volume of plants, you will be able to get those plants trimmed and ready for consumption much faster than if you had chosen the dry trimming method. However, you will be left with a less potent smelling item in the end, which may not be ideal for your specific scenario.

Tips for Dry Bud Trimming

First and foremost, ensure that that the machine you’re using is equipped with a dry tumbler. Many high end machines on the market today will have both dry and wet trimming configurations and when you’re trimming dry – ensure the dry tumbler is used.

To prepare for your trim, in terms of humidity, you’re going to be looking for roughly 30% humidity at 60-65°F for 24 hours. Soon after you’re going to want to increase the humidity to 50-60% for 5-7 days. While this is a good general rule of thumb, you will want to see what works best for your material as density can play a deciding factor.

Before trimming, your buds should be 90% dry – anything more and they will run the risk of crumbling leaving you with dust as opposed to neatly trimmed buds. 

Should your leaves be too dry, your machine may not be able to process them effectively leaving you with a less clean cut. To remedy this, simply raise the humidity of your buds up to 75% for 12 – 24 hours and the leaves should regain enough body that they will more easily be pulled through your trimmer’s drum resulting in a cleaner, sharper and better-looking end product.

Tips for Wet Bud Trimming

Firstly, much like above, ensure you’re using your machine’s wet tumbler option – this will allow you to process your material faster and more effectively.

You will want to hang your plants on sturdy drying racks in a cool, dry and dark place with slight airflow. Eliminating light and heat will cut back on oxidation of any trichome resins and keeping humidity levels below 30% will prevent mold, mildew and improper drying.

Save on space by hanging your plants close together, but not too close. Each plant should be evenly spaced to promote airflow between the plants. This will help evenly dry each plant.

Steer clear of loosely-woven cords, ropes, or other material made of natural fibers. Such types of material can collect moisture thus promoting mildew and mold as well as collect dust – nothing you will want on your plants.

Remember to rotate your plants at least once a week if not every few days. This allows you to periodically inspect every square centimeter of your plant and get rid of any mold or mildew before it spreads to the rest of your harvest. Additionally, rotating your plants thusly will help promote even drying.

After trimming your buds, be wary of using dehumidifiers unless you know what you’re doing. Large commercial producers typically opt for this method as it can dramatically speed up the process leaving unwanted things like mold, mildew or dust little time to set in. However, without careful consideration, you run the risk of over-drying your plants leaving you with a highly undesirable end product.

In conclusion, there’s really no right or wrong way to trim your buds. Dry trimming leaves you with a prettier looking, better smelling end product while wet trimming is much, much faster. Before deciding how you would like to trim.

Regardless of what you choose, our machines will dramatically increase the rate at which you can trim your buds. No task is too big or too small as we have machines catered to both small producers and machines catered to incredibly large producers. Need help picking out a trimmer? Shoot us an email at info@rightbud.com or give us a call at 1(800)856-7140 and we’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

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