For those who still belong to the Guild of the Scissor, here are some good tricks of the trade.
Cutting Things Down to Size
The first step is to cut your plants into manageable sections. Trim off all of the side stems from the main stalk (or stalks if you have been “topping” your plants).
Next, remove the corona(s) from the center stalks, and decide whether you are going to leave your buds on the stems to hang dry or cut them from the stems to dry on a mesh rack. Smaller stems can dry on a rack as well.
I like to hang dry on the stem because it is the least traumatic to fragile buds. Also, you have something to hold onto that is not your bud, so you don’t end up with all of your sticky trichromes all over your fingers.
Stems are also a great indicator of when to move your buds from hanging to curing. When the stem is dry and easily snaps in half, you’re ready. Simply trim the buds from the stem, and into jars they go.
Once you have your plants in manageable sections, your first step is to cut off the larger leaves, often referred to as water or fan leaves. These are the big, easily visible ones. Don’t worry about keeping them; they won’t have any trichromes stuck to them so they’re not useful for making hash.
For the next step, knowing your marijuana’s anatomy is especially important. You will want to remove all of the smaller leaves, trimming as close to the base of the leaf as you can without losing any of the flowers in the process. Pointy-nosed, very sharp scissors are your friend.
Knowing that there is (almost) always a leaf or two growing at the base of each bud should make it relatively easy to find all of the leaves. Removing as many leaves and their stems as possible is the key to perfectly-manicured marijuana.
Make sure that you set aside all of the trimmings from this part. Most will be covered in trichromes and you can use them to make hash or medicated tea.
Once you have trimmed off as many leaves as you can, remove anything that is obviously not bud. But keep it short and sweet — those delicate little hairs covering your buds are packed full of THC and CBD, so touch them as little as possible and don’t trim them off. Once this step is finished, you can take your buds to dry.
Stay Organized and Collect Scissor Hash
As you go along, you should have a system to keep everything organized in front of you. Keep your trimmings in a bowl, your finished stems in a neat pile, and hang them before the pile gets too large to avoid squishing any buds.
Also, regularly use a razor blade to remove the gunk that builds up on your scissors. That is scissor hash, and it is almost pure trichrome, meaning that it is very potent. Scissor hash is one of the best byproducts of a harvest because you don’t need any elaborate process to extract the active chemicals.
Once you are done, use the trimmings to make hash (there are a variety of methods for doing this) or brew in hot water for tea. Mix the MJ tea with other teas of your choice for a more robust flavor, or add a little buckwheat honey for an sweet source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and as a natural remedy for cough. Until next time, happy harvests!