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It’s Fall Harvest! Don’t Forget The Trimmings…

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One really can’t help but think of fall harvest this time of year as the leaves are changing color and the air starts to have that familiar crispness. Each autumn we get an opportunity to reap the rewards of our work from the summer.

For many their harvest involves vegetables from a garden, while cannabis growers have a much different looking harvest. Clearly harvest season is upon us, and comments suggest many of you are spending lots of time trimming, as Wake + Bake has received several inquiries about using trim in recipes over the last couple of weeks.

While most of my published recipes use quality flower, trim can absolutely be substituted, however, before you get too excited, let me give you some pointers.

cannabis trim

Example of a fan leaf.

What is Trim?

Ok, for the new comers to cannabis, let’s cover a little plant terminology. “Trim” simply refers to the clippings off the plant after the flowers have been trimmed down to the bud. Buds rank first in terms of cannabinoid potency, sugar leaves (tiny leaves around the bud) and other trim collected during manicuring come in a distance second, while fan leaves (the bigger, pretty leaves) round out third with very little THC at all.

Trim is NOT shake. Shake is broken bud and kief which sifts to the bottom of a cannabis jar. Shake can be very potent, as this is where trichomes fall, too.

Things to Know about Trim

  • Trim is not as potent as buds. While we expect trim to have about half the potency as the buds of the same plant, I’ve read where some suggested using as much as four times the amount trim, as properly cured, quality flower to reach potency.
  • Curing is important! Just as you cure your freshly harvested bud to allow it to dry and finish doing its magic, fresh trim needs time to cure, too. Curing cannabis, not only increases potency, it breaks down chlorophyll and helps eliminate the grassiness. (If your oil is too grassy, try a Weed Wash!)
  • Ok… Curing isn’t that important. While curing is important to boost potency, you can still use trim and fresh plant material, too. Just be aware, the chlorophyll may impact the flavor, and it will definitely affect the color. If “Alien Green” is a color… expect your oils to be similar.

cannabis trim

To De-Carb, or Not to De-Carb

While there is medicinal benefit in non-activated cannabinoids, the body uses activated cannabinoids much better. I will say this… non-decarbed canna-butter made with trim has very grassy, spinach-y flavor.

Remember, without activating the THC (decarbing) there will be no psychoactive effect. So, I definitely suggest, if that’s the effect you’re going for, decarb it! Use the NOVA Decarboxylator to take the guess work out of time and temp.

Also, after you’ve decarbed your trim, you can use it in several ways. If you don’t want to infuse it, use like a spice. It’s activated, and it can be consumed. I’ve even used a processor to grind decarbed trim, then sift it, and use it like flour.

cannabis trim

Try, Try Again

You may need to play around with different methods, but that is the beauty of harvest season, there’s usually plenty of trim to experiment with. If you don’t like how it turned out the first time… give it another shot!

If you’re concerned about potency, of course, always check your dosage first.

Grow your own? We’d love to hear how you use your trim after harvest!


Corinne Tobias

My name is Corinne Tobias and I’m the creator of this site that is all about cannabis and health (and having a good time combining those things!). Since 2013, I’ve helped millions of people on their cannabis journey and have been featured in publications like High Times, Merry Jane, Jezelbel, Westword, and Vice.

4 thoughts on “It’s Fall Harvest! Don’t Forget The Trimmings…”

  1. Was wondering how I can contact you directly as I can’y find an email address for you anywhere on your site. Thanks very much 🙂

    1. Hi Jason!

      Yes! Fresh bud can easily be decarbed in the right conditions. It’s a good way to preserve more terpenes in the final product.

      This article from Ardent goes into more detail that you might find helpful. Decarboxylation Myths

      Victoria (Team Wake + Bake)

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