The harvesting period is a very important time for any grower as you have patiently tended your plants and now this is when you reap your rewards. But what is the best method of trimming your leaves once the plant is harvested? There are differences in opinion in the medicinal plants growing world as to which method works best - wet trimming or dry trimming. Here we explain a bit more about each of these methods, and their pros and cons.

Wet trimming is better for:

  • Beginners to growing as it is easier to get it right
  • Avoiding mold
  • Prettier buds

Dry trimming is better for:

  • Flavor and aroma
  • Allowing your buds and leaves to dry out at their own pace
  • Shortening the cure time

What is the Importance of Trimming?

Drying and curing medicinal plants is a tedious process and requires some real skills. We have to know all about it in order to do it properly. This includes knowing the ideal time for trimming, and the procedure for how to trim it in order to make it look, taste, and smell good. It would be a shame to spend months growing a high quality medicinal plant just to wreck it with poor trimming. 

Maintaining the Quality

The fan leaves, or the larger leaves, have no THC and the sugar leaves have less THC as compared to the buds that we all know and love. Therefore, only the buds are selected in the process of trimming in order to maintain the quality of the medicinal plants. The fan leaves should be disposed of, and the sugar leaves should be trimmed off and can be saved for a later use. 

Enhancing the Smoothness of the medicinal plants

The raw leaves are harsh on the throat and produce more smoke, making for a less pleasurable experience. Therefore, the buds are retained and the leaves trimmed off.

Presentation of the Buds

The buds that have been manicured or trimmed are more appealing to us than the ones that have not been trimmed properly. The pictures of medicinal plants we see in magazines are almost always the trimmed ones that look the best.

Wet trimming benefits

Wet trimming is recommended by a lot of growers. The main reason they claim this method is more superior is because of greater trichome preservation, and quicker harvesting. It also takes up less space when the drying process begins.

Buds can “puff out”, appearing larger and more aesthetic. If you are a commercial grower, this can be a huge reason to trim wet, as it leads to greater bag appeal.

This also makes the drying process faster, by removing much of the moisture in the plant

Problems with trimming wet

Trimming wet does have some issues. It is far messier because the wet material builds up on your scissors and can decrease their performance.

If you trim wet, prepare for some downtime as you clean your scissors.

Another issue is that trimming wet front loads a lot of work in a short period.

Not only do you have to cut all your plants down and separate branches, but you also need to get to work trimming them right away!


Easier to access large and small leaves for trimming

Quicker trimming process

Quicker drying

Lesser risk of molding due to less moisture content around buds

Less space needed for drying

Rounder and fuller-looking buds


Lower quality buds, resulting in a harsher smoke

Trimming needs to be started right after harvesting

Messy as buds are still sticky with trichomes

Dry trim

Dry trimming benefits

Dry trimming also has its benefits. When trimming dry, you can chop your plants down and immediately start drying.

This involves a slower drying process, preserving terpenes and leading to a more enjoyable consumption.

Since sticky trichomes harden during this process, less cleaner will be needed for your equipment.

Problems with trimming dry

The main problem with dry trimming is you need to be more gentle - otherwise, you may lose some trichomes during the trimming process. If you use a gentle, dry-batch tumble trimmer - this shouldn't be an issue.

Because your flower has dried out, the trichomes are much more delicate and can be more brittle, so you'll have to trim with caution. this makes the process longer.

The other big issue is space. Since you'll be hanging entire plants to dry, you'll need to have an adequate drying space for a few weeks. If you have more than a couple of plants, this can get tricky.


High-quality medcinal plants, leading to a smoother smoke

Most suitable method for arid climates

Less messy because the trichomes are not sticky and have dried


Very time consuming, as leaves curl up with the buds

Harder to work with because the buds along with the trichomes are delicate and can break easily

Higher risk of mold to develop due to high moisture level

May require extra working hands if you have a lot of plants to trim

Requires more room for drying

Hand trimming may be too tiresome and using expensive machines may become necessary


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.

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