Like all the quality features of cannabis, bud structure development is a combination of genetics and environment. I think we can all agree that well-trimmed buds are more attractive and give the appearance that they come from a healthy plant.
All features of cannabis plants are a result of 2 factors, genetics and environment. As we discussed in the past two blogs, (Smell & Color), light and temperature are critical components to producing high quality cannabis. Once again, light and temperature play a major role in bud structure. From a genetics perspective, Sativa strains tend to be light and airy with looser buds while Indica strains are known for their shorter and stockier buds.
Additional environmental influences on bud structure include timing of the harvest and the choice of trimming method. A hand trimmed bud is more appealing aesthetically but trimming machines are beginning to get more sophisticated and we may soon see an increase in machine-trimmed buds. Patience is the name of the game here… don’t harvest too early and don’t dry too quickly!
There are strong opinions about the best way to trim your cannabis flowers but most people favor dry trimming over wet trimming. Wet trimming has a tendency to destroy more of the trichomes on the leaves than dry trimming. Trichomes are the little hairs that you see on buds and they are where much of the buds THC resides.
The time needed for drying will typically range from 7-14 days depending on the amount of moisture in the plants which varies among strains. Ideally, growers like to see moisture reduced by roughly 87%-90% during the drying stage. If you dry too quickly the buds can lose their strong smell and flavor is diminished, i.e., the terpenes are damaged. To learn more about terpenes refer to our blog post: Cannabis Quality Test – Smell.
Many growers have made the mistake of over drying their plants and try to compensate for this error by adding moisture back into the plant… this really doesn’t work well because the terpenes have already been damaged. Growers all have their own strong opinions about the best ways to dry and cure. We could probably write over 20 blogs just on this topic! Ultimately a grower learns about their strains and can tell by looking at each strain which methods will work the best.