There journey of quality hemp flower from the field to the consumer has many stops along the way. In addition to slow-drying and long-curing, commercially available CBD rich artisan hemp flower must receive a proper trim after harvest, whether it be a wet trim or a dry trim. Trimming removes any excessive leaves present and leaves only the CBD laden goodness of top-shelf hemp flower.
When buying either CBD hemp flower or high-quality marijuana flower, an experienced cannabis consumer can evaluate a large quantity of trimmed flower and quickly tell if it’s been hand-trimmed or trimmed with a machine. Hand-trimmed flower requires meticulous handling, patience, a steady hand, and a keen eye. Properly trimming artisan hemp flower is a skill, and some people are significantly better at it than others. This is why flower trimmers usually earn more money than budtenders (retail associates) or entry-level cultivation personnel.
Flower trimmers who know their craft have quick hands and can work their way through a pile of untrimmed flower quickly. Keeping their jobs requires high production, speed, and high-quality finished product. In many ways, it’s a labor of love, because properly hand-trimmed hemp flower is something beautiful to behold. ‘The difference is apparently immediately’, says the farm manager for artisan hemp vendor Berkshire CBD. ‘Great care went into producing it, from young clone to final cure and hand trim. No corners were cut when it comes to quality.’
Why Use an Auto Trimmer?
Auto-trimming machines are expensive, and for high-production cannabis companies, they fill a need. Large companies that believe in hand-trimming have large crews working long shifts to keep up with production. In Denver, for instance, the largest cannabis companies are harvesting 50 to 60 pounds of flower each day, which requires a lot of trimming. Some companies have both auto-trimming machines and a staff of trimmers. For these companies, the best-quality flower receives hand-trims. Other flower may go into an auto-trimming machine.
Because cannabis companies go through a lot of flower, auto-trimming machines see use during times of particularly high production or when they are low on available staff. The show must go on, and whether flower is hand-trimmed or auto-trimmed, they must continue to keep up with the constant need for fresh flower, concentrates, edibles, and topicals.
Is It Really Possible to Tell the Difference?
The answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. While auto-trimming machines remove the undesirable leaves from flower, the resulting product has a distinctive look. Many people liken it to little Christmas trees. Most people have seen lots full of Christmas trees with the same symmetry because they’ve been pruned to an ideal shape. The same is true of auto-trimmed cannabis flower.
A cannabis flower—whether hemp or marijuana—is a delicate object. Cultivators worth their salt will take great care to preserve as many of the pristine calyxes and sticky trichomes as possible. Careful handling and meticulous care with scissors do much better at preserving the integrity of flowers than tossing them into an auto-trimming machine. Artisan hemp vendors like Berkshire CBD, say they do not even consider machine trimmed flower for their premium menu. ‘Machine trimming is simply too rough to preserve the delicate nature and properties of premium quality hemp’ the company says.
When faced with a choice of hand-trimmed or auto-trimmed CBD flower, the obvious choice is hand-trimmed.
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