Manual and machine trimming of cannabis, witch is better?

Anyone who has experience with growing cannabis has surely asked themselves if it is worth the work of trimming cannabis and in this article we will look at this issue.

Every cannabis grower is always looking forward to reaping the fruits of their year-long labour. After harvesting and drying, it’s time for trimming. Yes, it’s an awful lot of work and if you have a lot of harvest, it’s sure to be a pain in the arse and you’ll wish it was over. So you’re wondering, are there any methods to improve this? Lately a lot of people have been turning to the advantage of mechanical trimmers.

So the question is, which of these options to choose? You can do it classically and take a pair of scissors in hand or purchase some device. Each has pros and cons, so let’s clarify them.

Manual trimming of cannabis

trimming marijuana with scissors

Guaranteed method of trimming. Why, you ask? Weed growers have been doing it this way for generations, and it’s important to add that they have taken their art very far. What’s more, a pair of the right hands, concentration, patience and sharp scissors are always appreciated by others. The results are still pretty good.


This is probably the best quality trimming method. The growers are very precise and treat each cone individually. This ‘cut’ brings out the best possible characteristics of each variety. On top of this, gentle and skilful hands do not damage the bud, so that the important trichomes are not degraded and retain their characteristics.

ganja bud hand trimming

The aforementioned varieties also play their part in trimming. Each has its own specific look and must be trimmed in its own way. The texture and appearance should be preserved, so that you do not accidentally damage the doughnut. Trimming should be done with discretion, whether the bud is small or large, narrow, wide, etc…

Using our eyesight is also a great advantage. The human eye pays attention and carefully examines the surface of the bud. There you will notice a leaflet, or some part that has no place on the flower. You can also assess whether the plant is damaged in any way, either by mould or pests.

The hand-trimming method is also relatively inexpensive and only requires a pair of scissors and a little skill.


manual vs machine trimming ganja plants

It’s simply a handmade job that you can’t do in an hour. Imagine harvesting an entire greenhouse and having to do everything by hand. Can you imagine how much time you spend on that? Assuming you do everything yourself.

You have the option of maybe calling a couple of your friends to help you. But will they do it out of respect for your friendship, or will they want something in return? If it’s money, will it be worth it? And do you trust them enough to even approach them?

Finding a few capable hands is a problem and doing these things the old-fashioned way and alone is terribly time-consuming.

What is hand trimming weed best for?

Top cannabis varieties deserve the best possible care, and that will always be the skilful hand of the person holding the scissors.

Plus, the top varieties may not have many leaves on their flowers, so you may not even have to work that hard.

Machine trimming of cannabis

hemp bud trimming machine

In the cannabis industry (which, for example, is involved in research and commercial cultivation) you have a huge amount of marijuana to process. Let’s pour ourselves some clear wine, one really couldn’t handle that. Not to mention that it’s a business and needs to do things not only well, but quickly. There are machines that can process up to 8 kilos an hour. Then there are smaller versions that could be used for smaller harvests.


The quickest method to get the unprocessed cones into glass jars where they will ripen. The initial investment in such a machine can be costly, but if it is for industrial cannabis processing, the cost of the machine will pay for itself. The procedure itself is harmless and everything is carried out in a sterile environment. So producing concentrates on the same site may also be an option.

Moreover, technological advances allow the cones to be treated in a gentle way. So you don’t have to worry about drastic damage caused by mechanical handling.


dry cannabis buds in trimming machine

Unfortunately, despite ever-improving technology, trimming machines have a bad reputation. They can separate the leaves, but there are situations where the cones become degraded. A good example of this is trimming to a specific shape. In this way, important plant material is removed and the flowers of the cannabis plant lose their potential. The trichomes are separated or destroyed and the potency and flavour profile of the strain is reduced.

The technological process has also not prevented the appearance of leaves, stem pieces and sometimes even seeds in the final product. This would not happen to the trained human eye.

Best use ?

Mechanical trimmers are most applicable in the weed industry where large quantities of cannabis are processed. When they need to get the largest quantity to market in the shortest possible time, these machines are the ideal choice.

Cannabis leaf plucked by hand

Both trimming methods

Of course, we live in a time when we can make the best of both options. The advantage of machines is speed and the advantage of the human hand is precision. The machines could thus handle the quantity without the slightest problem, which would then be checked and fine-tuned to perfection by an experienced worker. In this way, we get the most out of the harvest and the time saved can be spent on other activities.

What do you think of manual and mechanical trimming? Do you think technology will go so far as to replace the dexterity of human hands? Or are we simply indispensable?

Published by Kotelnik


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