One of the most debated topics in this industry is wet trim vs dry trim - which is better?
Growers on both sides of fence make valid arguments, and swear their method of harvesting is better.
There are good points for each side of the debate, but what it really comes down to is what your flower is used for, the size of your yield, and personal preference.
Before we break down the pros and cons of each, let’s explain the difference.
Wet trim vs dry trim - what is the difference?
You may already know the difference between wet trim vs dry trim, or at least be able to surmise it from the names.
If you are new to this topic, the difference between the two styles is just when you trim your flower.
A wet trimming style involves chopping your plant down and immediately getting to work trimming off all fan leaves and finely manicuring the bud. Then, you will allow them to dry.
On the other hand, dry trimming is exactly what it sounds like. You will chop your plant down, allow it to dry, and wait until you are satisfied with the moisture content. Then, you will manicure your flower to perfection.
Wet trimming vs dry trimming - Is one really better than the other?
The wet trim vs dry trim debate is really just an example of different people liking different things. To a certain extent, it all comes down to personal preference.
However, certain growers will be better suited for wet trimming. If you have a huge crop, you may not be able to find space to hang your plants to dry. So, you'll need to trim wet and dry afterward.
We will break down the benefits and drawbacks of each style so you can make the most informed decision possible.
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.
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!
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 smoke.
Since sticky trichomes harden during this process, also much cleaner, less cleaner will be needed for your equipment
Problems with trimming dry
The main problem with dry trimming is the heightened risk of damaging your trichomes during the trimming process.
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.
Which style is best for commercial harvests?
When it comes to commercial harvesting, however, there are other things to consider. Often times, commercial cultivars are harvesting every few weeks, if not more often.
In these instances, speed is even more important. This is why many commercial growers opt for wet trimming. You can trim the product faster wet, and then dry it faster as well, with less leafy material on the flower.
So you can get your product to market faster, which is huge. However, there will likely be some level of terpene loss when trimming wet.
This is because you'll be drying the flower already trimmed, and there aren't any sugar leaves to help preserve the terpenes during this next step. The quicker dry means great loss of flavor and aroma.
The flower will also have less bag appeal. So, while you'll be able to get the product harvested and ready for sale quicker, you may not be able to command the same prices with a wet trim.
When you dry your harvest and then trim, you'll achieve higher quality with a longer, slower drying period which preserve terpenes better.
In the past, trimming dry earned a reputation of damaging trichomes. The theory was that since dried flower is more brittle and easier damaged, the tumbling will knock off more trichomes.
However, this is not necessarily accurate. Many trimming machines are optimized specifically for dry trimming, and this means they won't damage your trichomes.
While dry trimming will result in higher quality flower, you sacrifice time, and time is money.
And, you'll have a harder time finding adequate space to dry your huge commercial harvest, since you'll likely be drying whole plants.
With all this in mind, you have to consider which method makes more sense for your business.
In summary, wet trimming is faster, and dry trimming produces greater quality. But, you also have to consider how much space you have to dry.
Use wet and dry trimming for the best results!
Another option is to remove a lot of the fan leaves right before harvesting. This will take some of the work off your plate after your buds are dry, and result in a faster drying process.
This leads to a greater preservation of your trichomes, since the small sugar leaves protect them. You can get the best of dry trimming and wet trimming at the same time, without all the cons!
Many commercial growers will trim wet just to knock off some of the bigger leaves, and then manicure the buds by hand to achieve the boutique-style look that many consumers expect these days.
Whether you trim wet vs dry we have the trimming supplies you need!
Regardless of which side of the wet trim vs dry trim debate you fall on, we have the trimming machines and hand trimming supplies you need here at Hydrobuilder.
If you aren't sure which style of trimming is right for you, reach out to us at 888-815-9763 and we can talk you through it!