The term "dry trimming" refers to a method of trimming the plant's leaves after they have been dried on the stalk with the flowers. This insulates the flowers and allows them to dry slower, retaining the plant's terpenes and producing the richest flavors and quality. You will want to be careful with the buds at this point as the trichomes will be more delicate and easier to knock off.
Dry trimming is known among cannabis enthusiasts around the world to be the best method of trimming to retain the plant's craft quality and flavor. It is, however, a more time consuming and delicate way of trimming compared to wet trimming, and most commercial grown cannabis will not be trimmed this way.
The best techniques for dry trimming are to strip the plant into multiple branches of flowers roughly 18" - 24" long depending on plant size, removing all "fan leaves" and hanging. The fan leaves are the largest leaves on the plant sent out to catch the light and each branch generally has a few of these unless they have been removed during the flowering cycle.
2) Scissors Over Machines
Machines will make a grower's life easier, but for the best quality, cannabis machines are not the answer, unfortunately. At least, not yet. The problem lies in how precise of a job proper trimming is, taking into account that we want to be as delicate with the flowers as possible while also getting into small areas and precisely cutting leaves out and ideally dry trimming.
For months you have been farming millions of tiny trichomes, the last thing you want to do is knock them off with a brush or aggressively tumbled and cut with a machine. In all the expensive trimming equipment I have seen hands-on compared to scissor trimmed results, the end product is night and day. Scissor trimmed flowers always come out on top of the machine trimmed in terms of flavor, smell, and look.
3) Things You Will Need
Trimming can be a sticky business that can end up following you around if you aren't prepared. Disposable suits are cheap and are a great way to keep the trim off your street clothes. If you don't have disposable suits, then a change of clothes is recommended as the smell can easily stink up your vehicle or home. Powder-Free gloves are always a must if you like to keep the use of your hands as well as sharp, spring-loaded scissors with rubbing alcohol and paper towels to clean them when they get gummy. Cleaning your scissors regularly will keep you trimming your best and damaging the flowers the least. A tray or bin will be useful to keep your working flowers on hand as well.
4) When To Trim
The environment that your flowers are drying in is as important as how you grew them, which is why many will dry in the room they grew in. Air movement in the room should be moving well but not have fans directly pointed at the flowers. Temperature for a craft quality slow dry is ideal between 63-65F with the humidity 50% - 55%. Flowers will need to dry in this condition for 10 - 15 days on average depending on the density of the flowers. You will know the flowers are ready to trim when the stem they are connected to will snap when bent. The flowers' leaves and surroundings will feel almost too dry, but not to worry, there will be moisture inside them that will release throughout the curing process.
5) Curing Your Cannabis
You can spend months growing, dry trimming, and doing everything right. In the end, if you don't cure properly, you can ruin all your hard work. Curing will release chlorophyll amongst other stored chemicals, even the moisture of the flowers, create a clean and even burn when smoked as well as increase the smell and flavors. This is all dependent on a process called burping your cannabis while curing. Your curing cannabis needs to be released of built up chemicals regularly while curing, otherwise, the chemicals your flowers release during curing will be leached back into themselves, this process is called "burping". Curing is best done in glass since the flowers will absorb most plastic smells and tastes. Curing needs to be airtight with the flowers filling the area it is in to its fullest. Burping should be done 2 - 3 times for 10 - 15 min per day for at least 2 weeks, turning and moving the flowers around each time.
Follow these 5 key steps to trimming your cannabis for craft quality flowers every time.