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Hand-Trimmed, Machine-Trimmed, THCa Hemp Flower, THCa
October 19, 2023 By Wild Orchard Co.

Hand-Trimmed vs. Machine-Trimmed THCa Flower from Hemp

THCa hemp flower is really a huge product to try at the moment.  And, it’s no wonder why, given how it supplies us with what is practically, legal weed.  Derived from hemp, it yields high concentrations of THCa through natural growing techniques, and that THCa turns into delta 9 THC once the flower is heated – like through smoking, vaping, or making edibles at home.

THCa hemp flower is best loved in loose bud form, coming in all kinds of fantastic strains to choose from.  And, we at Wild Orchard carry premium THCa hemp flower, which has undergone a hand-trimming process to offer top-notch quality like our customers deserve.  So, what’s the deal with hand-trimming, and is it superior to machine-trimming?  Let’s find out.

What is the Purpose of Trimming THCa Flower?

Hand-Trimmed, Machine-Trimmed, THCa Hemp Flower, THCa

Let’s take a closer look into the process of preparing hemp flower – in this case, THCa flower – for just a moment.  We know that when the industrial hemp plant is finally mature, the flowering buds are harvested, and undergo a dry-curing process to preserve them so that they don’t develop mold.

But, there’s another step that’s rarely talked about, and isn’t even performed all the time.  That step is trimming, and it’s one of the factors that separates premium flower from, well, not premium flower.  Trimming is actually done before the curing process, in most cases.

Basically, trimming the buds of cannabis gives them a nice, uniform shape, and gets rid of leaves and stems, which aren’t quality sources of cannabinoids and terpenes, as the remaining flower material is.  Leaves and stems essentially dilute the product’s efficacy, while accounting for its weight.  Hence, they’re seen as a waste.  Getting a gram of trimmed flower gives you more cannabinoids and terpenes than a gram of flower that has leaves and stems taking up some of that space.

Not only that but trimming flower prior to dry-curing it means that the buds will cure more evenly, and this helps prevent mold from developing.  Now, of course, trimming also has aesthetic value, as people generally like seeing flower buds that look about the same as one another.

Hand-Trimmed

Hand-trimming came first, before companies developed machine-based alternatives.  The process is simple: use small trimmers, and meticulously trim away the leaves and stems of each flower but, before cutting it down to the desired size and shape.  Discard the trimmed material.

Pros of Hand-Trimming:

  • Hand-trimming is the more “traditional” method, and its labor-intensiveness is a sign of fine craftsmanship.
  • With hand-trimming, you can be more precise and deliberate, and avoid the mistakes that can be made with a machine.
  • Hand-trimming allows companies to have control over the appearance of each bud.  Specifically, emphasizing certain desirable qualities based on the nature of the strain.  For instance, making a strain that’s naturally round even rounder in appearance.
  • Hand-trimming allows actual humans to approve each final product, to be sure that it matches their quality standards.
  • With hand-trimming, you can discard just the unwanted components of the buds, while machine-trimming is more indiscriminate.
  • Hand-trimming provides employment to those who want to work in the cannabis industry.

Cons of Hand-Trimming.

  • Hand-trimming is very time-consuming and laborious, and this also makes it a less cost-efficient option.

Machine-Trimmed

Then, we have machine-trimming, which many companies use nowadays to save on time, labor, and cost.  While the actual machinery can vary from brand to brand, the idea is running up to 20 pounds of cannabis flower per hour (as opposed to 1-3 that can be executed in a day by hand-trimming, give or take) through a machine, which trims the flower in a uniform manner.  The exact nature of the equipment depends largely on the size of the brand’s operations, and their budget.

Naturally, because machine-trimming has been around for several years now, it’s more advanced than ever.  When it first got introduced, customers could generally tell the difference between machine and hand-trimmed buds, but now, the technology is advanced enough where brands with high budgets can purchase machines that do a much better job at mimicking hand-trimmed flower.

Pros of Machine-Trimmed:

  • Machine-trimming can trim more flower in one day, to provide superior output compared to companies that rely on hand-trimming.
  • With machine-trimming, companies don’t need to pay actual humans to trim their flower.
  • Because machine-trimming trims buds more uniformly, they can cure more evenly.

Cons of Machine-Trimmed:

  • Machine-trimming can make flower buds appear generic since they’re so uniform.  This in turn can take some of the fun out of looking at different bud structures inherent to each strain.
  • Machine-trimming can have a higher margin of error since companies aren’t using human eyes to check over each bud.
  • With machine-trimming, you can end up losing the parts of the buds that you actually want, wasting precious cannabinoids and terpenes.

Are There Any Benefits to Untrimmed Buds?

Maybe you’re wondering if flower buds even need to be trimmed in the first place.  And, the answer is no, of course they don’t.  For decades – actually, for millennia – people have used cannabis just fine without having to trim away those stems and leaves.  They’re not harmful in any way, after all, so there’s no risk associated with smoking, vaping, or ingesting them.

Simply put, they don’t add to the value of the product.  Also, because flower is typically sold according to weight, customers end up paying for parts of the plant they’re not actually benefiting from.  The cannabinoids and terpenes people want to get from cannabis are in the buds themselves, rather than those other pieces of the plant.

So, at the end of the day, there is no real benefit to buying flower that hasn’t been trimmed.  Trimmed flower, whether by machine or hand, is boosting the value of the actual product.  And, that’s actually a big part of why premium flower is more expensive than that of a lower tier.

The Final Verdict

Overall, how your flower is trimmed is up to you – machine-trimming and hand-trimming each have their virtues, and both aim to accomplish the same thing, which is providing you with THCa hemp flower that brings you more bang for your buck.  But, most people will argue that hand-trimming is easily the better option.  Sure, it takes more time and costs more money.  However, individuals who are trimming each flower bud are ensuring every bud comes out perfect in terms of size, shape.  Not to mention, what gets trimmed away versus what remains.  There’s a reason why “hand-trimmed” is in the product descriptions of most premium flower, after all.

At Wild Orchard Co., we take pride in hand-trimming all of our organic, locally grown THCa flower buds, employing meticulous trimmers who go through the painstaking process of bringing the best qualities out of every single bud that’s been freshly harvested.  It’s details like these that make our flower of a premium quality, and keep customers completely satisfied with every purchase.  Explore our hand-trimmed THCa flower buds today, and know that you’re getting a product that has undergone extensive care, from cultivation to packaging.