Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to this topic, but why? Here we look at the pro's and con's of each method, and explain the different ways in which each can be manipulated for medicinal purposes.
So you're probably close to harvesting and are yet to decide upon the ultimate question; Do you wet or dry trim? But before answering that question, you should first think about what it is you plan on doing with those sugary leaves, and what is most suitable/convenient for you. In this blog, we talk about how these trimming methods affect how you collect those precious medicinal particles, and also how it affects the starting flower material. To clear things up: We stress that this is for educational purposes only, and should not be used for any illegal activity. We are not liable for anything you choose to do with this information.
Dry trimming can enhance the flavour and aroma of your flowers.
If you're struggling to decide on what to do then worry not; we're here to touch on the benefits of both dry and wet trimming, and what can be done after each method. So don't throw your trim away just yet!
Wet VS Dry Trim
One of, if not, the most debated topics among growers around the world is, you guessed it: "What's better; wet or dry trimming?". There can only be one answer: Whichever is most suitable/convenient/cost effective for you and your requirements.
You may not be best pleased with that answer, but there's no denying that both methods of trimming can go on to produce award winning medicine! So with that being the case, we're here to explain further, and hopefully make that decision a little bit clearer for you.
If you like to press with heat using a purpose made Rosin press or DIY it with hair straighteners, then you'll be pleased to know that both methods can later be manipulated in this way.
Probably the biggest reason that people around the world trim their plants whilst wet/live (freshly cut down), is to specifically collect the resin whilst it is "live" and/or because it's a slightly quicker and easier task. Although that may be the case, many believe this method sacrifices the full potential of the flowers' flavour and aroma. This doesn't mean that you will ruin your flowers, or that you won't end up with a dank end product, but the full potential may be impaired. We explain this further down, under dry trimming.
If you opt for wet trimming, don't throw your sugar leaf material away; bag it and freeze it! This can later be used for ice water sieving (bubble hash), using those purpose made bags we all know and love. Your material can be washed in these bags multiple times, but be aware that the quality will lessen each time it's washed, and the amount of trichomes collected will reduce with each run. Don't expect to be blazing it up right away though, as newly washed IWH (Ice Water Hash) requires drying first. This can take approximately a week. For a consistent dry and a better quality end product, many freeze the IWH right after being sieved, and then micro-plane on to cardboard. This also helps prevent any mold issues while drying.
Wet trim, whether freshly cut or previously stored in the freezer to keep "live", can be agitated with dry ice in a method similar to dry sifting, but with wet material in IWH bags (commonly known as "bubble" bags). Be careful as this method comes with a few safety warnings, so research is key, and it can eventually damage your IWH bags due to the harsh temperatures of the dry ice. Finesse is required for this, as you can soon end up with highly contaminated sift within seconds with too much agitating or too violently. Dry freezing is another possibility once sieved, which essentially dry freezes the trichome heads in their live state and makes for a great product to press for Rosin.
You could also dry the trim just like you would with flowers, and then process it through our #DankSifters; but if you're going to do that, then why not just dry trim!?
The #1 reason most people choose to chop, hang and then dry trim would be to preserve the flavour and aroma of their flowers. The theory behind this opinion is that the fan leaves and sugar leaves wrap around the flowers as they dry; protecting the buds from the air and holding in essential terpenes, thus acting as a pre-cure, and can also prolong the drying time due to the added moisture around the flowers.
As mentioned above, doing this can prolong the drying time. This in itself will enhance the flavour and aroma of your flowers, which in our personal opinion is always the better option! Although, people may argue that this method of trimming isn't the most appealing to the eye, or "bag appeal" for short. It is also worth noting that this method is slightly more difficult and possibly a longer task for some.
If you've opted for dry trimming then this gives you a few options for your left over material; Dry Sift, Pressed Hash, BHO (Butane Hash Oil), RSO (Rick Simpson Oil)/Tinctures, Rosin, and more! Even Budder/Coconut Oil for medicinally infused edibles. All of these have their own great benefits and uses, so finding out which is more suitable for your needs is important before trying any. Some of these can be extremely dangerous to make, so each method will also need to be further researched to ensure all safety measures are covered, as well as techniques practiced and the legal status in your area. We do not encourage or condone any illegal activity.
If your end goal is to produce high quality Hashish or Rosin, then removing as many contaminants as possible through our Dry Sift screens before pressing is one of the most efficient ways of producing a clean product. By removing the contaminants, you are left with 99.9% pure trichome heads, thus giving you a clean, sandy coloured product. You will also notice increased yields when pressing Dry Sift for Rosin over flower or trim. This is because there's a higher concentration of trichome heads, and also because there's no plant material to soak up any medicine or get in the way; only heads that will ooze out that glorious gold medicine. This has got to be the cleanest, most natural method of extraction currently, as there are no solvents involved whatsoever!
We know we may have missed a few other methods of collecting heads and extractions, but we thought we'd touch on the more commonly known methods to help those starting out. With that in mind, here's our thoughts...
Unless you specifically wish to make Ice Water Hash (Bubble Hash), then we believe dry trimming is the better option. Simply because it improves the overall flavour and aroma of the flowers whilst also being versatile in the way it can be manipulated/sieved/extracted. Not only that, but it's a really quick process and there are no additional drying times after sifting! Meaning you can tuck right in or manipulate further, then consume straight away! As compared to IWH which requires drying, freezing, micro-planing, pressing etc before being a finished product. It is still fine to consume straight after drying, but this isn't seen as the method of practice for optimal quality when it comes to IWH. Being left in the micro planed form is also a great way to consume
One thing is for sure though, no matter which method you choose; DON'T WASTE YOUR TRIM! There's still a great amount of trichomes that can be collected or extracted!